Honorable mentions: Ba'Carri K. Johnson, Miami Carol City Senior High; Kelly Hsu, Miami Palmetto Senior High; Andres Pedro Casas, Southwest Miami Senior High.
Music & Dance
Southwest Miami Senior High School
Solansh was inspired to help abused and orphaned children in Guatemala after learning of her mother's tragic past - she grew up in an orphanage after fleeing her abusive father at age 12. Solansh knew then she would one day repay those who cared for her mother. Four years ago, she launched a project that raised more than $60,000 for the children at Misioneros del Camino. The donations have helped to buy sheets, medical supplies, hygiene products, a TV, toys and art supplies. Every year Solansh, an accomplished dancer, has staged performances and organized dinners to benefit the orphanage. She has maintained a rigorous academic schedule in AP and honors courses and performed with the school's dance team. She has won top honors in the Superintendent's Showcase and won first place at the state DECA competition in marketing.
Honorable mentions: Luciana Valencia, La Salle High; Josephine Veloz, Coral Gables Senior High; Timotheus James Harper, Miami Central Senior High.
North Miami Beach Senior High School
Rebecca has volunteered at the Humane Society of Greater Miami for six years. She quickly advanced from cleaning dog kennels to rehabilitating animals and working in the clinic. She became a recruiter for the agency, finding volunteers and creating documentaries on the plight of homeless and abandoned animals. She started a research project in her senior year to study how therapy dogs can help disabled students. She began bringing a dog to The Victory School for autistic children every week. Rebecca, who has dedicated more than 1,500 hours to the Humane Society, used her documentary skills to film her research, with the hope of bringing more therapy dogs into schools. She is also a debate champion and district bowling champion. She will attend the University of Colorado's pre-veterinary program in the fall.
Honorable mentions: Kamilah Zahira Acebal, MAST Academy; Eduardo Tomas Salas, Miami Coral Park Senior High; Elizabeth Rita Hernandez, Southwest Miami Senior High.
Miami Palmetto Senior High School
A talented scientist, Daniel designed an environmentally sustainable aircraft; worked with a University of Miami professor researching a method for using mathematics and computer technology to treat breast cancer; and designed a building based on a termite mound. He also launched a project that promoted water conservation in Pinecrest. Concerned about the cholera outbreak in Haiti, Daniel started a program to buy LifeStraws, a portable water purification system. He held events to raise money and used grant money he had won for his projects. Daniel raised enough money to provide clean water to 1,000 Haitians for a year. He also volunteered as an urgent care assistant at Miami Children's Hospital, is president of the Science National Honor Society and was named a full-tuition Posse scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
Honorable mentions: Bradley Rene Jean-Baptiste, Miami Country Day School; Erin Alexander, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High; Eduardo R. Gomez, Miami Killian Senior High.
Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School