Stingaree pride leads to record scholarships for 43 Miami High seniors

These recent Miami Senior High graduates were awarded scholarships donated by alumni of the historic school, the oldest public school in Miami-Dade County.
These recent Miami Senior High graduates were awarded scholarships donated by alumni of the historic school, the oldest public school in Miami-Dade County. Miami Senior HIgh

In 1903, when Miami Senior High was established, classes were held in a tiny frame bungalow on Northeast First Avenue. By 1905, there were 29 girls and 20 boys in school.

Today, the oldest high school in Miami-Dade County is in its fourth building and it serves almost 3,000 students. And though there have been many years of tumultuous change, for Miami and for the school, the Home of the Stingarees has prevailed.

Its alumni, a long and distinctive list, have always taken great pride in their school and in giving back.

“This past May, with donations from our alumni, we awarded a record $26,500 to 43 deserving seniors,” said Cory Llopiz Cibran, Class of ’71 and president of the Miami High School Alumni Association.

“Our scholarship application process was one that allowed us to get to know these students, to mentor them and share some of the challenges they may face in college and life,” Cibran said.

The application process began with an essay, Cibran said. A video was also required and then, finally, a face-to-face interview with the scholarship committee. Other factors that were considered were student GPA and community service.

“I see in the eyes of the scholarship recipients the excitement and pride that I think we felt as we walked the halls of our Alma Mater,” Cibran said. “It is amazing to me that through all the decades of change and challenges that our beloved Miami High has been through, Stingaree Pride is alive and well and these young Stings realize that they are in a special place.

“As we interviewed the scholarship candidates, what was striking were not the differences but the similarities that we all felt to be in a special school, at a special time in our lives. Our Sting Pride is the fabric that binds us together and is already a part of what these scholarship recipients feel and know.”

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Helping Students from the Bahamas

The Miami Dade College Foundation has joined MDC in fundraising efforts to help aid students from the Bahamas who have been affected by Hurricane Dorian. The relief effort became part of MDC’s fourth annual I AM MDC Day campaign on Sept. 6.

“Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors in the Bahamas who have been severely battered by Hurricane Dorian,” said Mark Cole, vice president of advancement and executive director of Miami Dade College Foundation. “It’s an important time for us to come together. Let’s rally around the needs of all students on I AM MDC Day.”

Two years ago, with help from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and community partners, MDC was able to help students after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

Many who were displaced by the hurricane found refuge in South Florida, especially at MDC, where the doors are open to anyone. Puerto Rican students were able to receive tuition and other assistance to continue their studies and achieve their dreams.

The fourth annual I AM MDC Day campaign started earlier this month to mark the Sept. 6, 1960, opening of the college. If you can help and donate to students in need, and those also struggling after the latest hurricane, visit

Shores Artisan Fair

This is a sweet fall event not to be missed. Brockway Memorial Library will host its fourth annual Artisan Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 5, 10021 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores. Admission is free.

The family-friendly gathering highlights live folk music by Wagner, Hand & Pflug, and vendors selling goods and goodies including succulents; photography; ‘Bout a Jar hummus; handmade jewelry, pottery and woodwork; greeting cards; illustrated prints; local honey; organic soaps; and treats for pets. Zely’s Cupcakes will be back by popular demand.

Homemade dolls, blankets, and hair accessories were just some of the items sold at a previous Artisan Fair held at Brockway Memorial Library in Miami Shores. Christina Mayo

“Everyone says this is such a feel-good event,” said Michelle Brown, library director. “There’s a warm ambience with all the books and our three original fireplaces. People stop and listen to the folk music. They dance, get a good snack and find gifts, which is nice since it’s right before the holidays.”

Call the library at 305-758-8107 for more details. Vendor spots are full.

Beach High Fundraiser

Alumni and community members are invited to the Miami Beach Senior High School’s PTSA “Rising Hi-Tides Kickoff Party” fundraiser at 6 p.m. Sept. 27, at Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co., 237 20th St., Miami Beach.

”This is the start of our fundraising platform for Beach High, and we are raising money for much-needed resources and programs at our city’s only high school,” said Amy Moore, vice president of fundraising for the PTSA. “And we promise, like all our events, it will be fun!”

The PTSA is raising funds to purchase 15 outdoor recycled plastic lunch tables for students to sit at during lunch periods. Each table costs $875 and plaques will be available for business or family names. The “Beach High Beautification Project” will also include installing pavers, native plants and shade trees.

Sweet Liberty is underwriting the event to thank the community for its support. Tickets are $40 per person and include a welcome drink and light appetizers. Tickets at or at the door.

If you have news for this column, send it to CHRISTINAMMAYO@GMAIL.COM.