James Critz of Highland Oaks Middle School and Ariana Silva of Somerset Academy are winners of the 2016 Do the Write Thing Challenge, a competition that allows middle-school students to submit any form of writing that answers three questions: How has violence affected my life? What are the causes of youth violence? What can I do about youth violence?
James and Ariana were chosen out of 325 middle school students for their essays. James focused on a personal experience from the second grade, where he stood up for a friend that was being bullied because her beliefs. Ariana’s essay focused on the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and how it traumatized her, making her realize that violence can change who you are and how you think.
THE MIAMI BAYSIDE FOUNDATION
The Miami Bayside Foundation recently awarded the $1,000 Commissioner Willy Gort Scholarship to 37 Miami-Dade County seniors.
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Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, be a United States citizen, and plan to attend college to be selected. Scholarships were presented by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, commissioners and Miami Bayside Foundation’s Executive Director Kathleen Murphy.
Scholarship winners included Nataly Cubas, Vicky Dilbert, Alexis Gabriel, Jaidah Moses, Unique Prentice, Takia Ragin, Mycah Richardson, Kayla Saintagne, Jaimesha Taylor, Estrella Arauz, Serena Bradshaw, Youlande Cineus, Emma Cuba, Rebecca De la O, Eunice Diaz, Nne-ka Ekwensi, Yislen Felipes, Alandeline Francois, Millennia Fuentes, Blonda Garcia-Martinez, Malana Grimes, Maria Hernandez, Kelly Korpela, Jim Lassin, Richenet LauFleur, Janyla Manley, Maria Mejia, Viola Moise, Carlos Morales, Jessica Myrtil, Maquicha Norvil, Amanda Orozco, Edgar Otero, Veronica Rodriguez, Kayla Saintagne, Bianca Tamburrino, Ronaldo Telfer and Zachery Walsh.
THE MIAMI MUSIC PROJECT
Benjamin Bush, a 14-year-old cellist, of the Miami Music Project was accepted into Sphinx Performance Academy in Detroit, a national nonprofit that aims to increase the number of African Americans and Latinos in musical arts.
Benjamin and seven of his siblings participate in the Miami Music Project, a program that provides at-risk children with the opportunity to learn music. He has been part of the program for four years, and plays in the Leaders Orchestra.
Also, 23 Miami Music Project students were recognized by the National Take a Stand Festival, an initiative of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival, and Longy School of Music of Bard College, for beginning a national youth orchestra that is inspired by social change. Eighteen of the honorees will perform and five are alternates for the festival.
FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The Gold Coast Chapter of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s National Alumni Association held their annual scholarship reception this month at the Church of the Open Door in Miami.
During the reception, the chapter awarded $5,500 to students planning to attend FAMU in the fall. Recipients included Jasmine Johnson, Dwayne Pinder Jr., Jada Love McLendon, Dayeashia Viel and D’Angelo Givens.
Chapter members were also awarded for their service, and they included Alonso Vereen, Cora White, Oliver Gross Sr., Mildred Young, Blanche Gross and Walter Covington.
THE SUPER SCHOOL PROJECT
Miami-Dade County teachers, students, administrators, and community leaders joined forces in September 2015 to create HUBmiami, the county’s super school team, which is part of the nation-wide Super School Project.
The project includes teams from public school systems nation-wide coming together to reinvent the way high school students learn in the 21 century.
HUBmiami focuses on personalized learning in an environment that encourages creativity as a new concept for the Miami-Dade community. The team made it to the final stage of the competition and, if chosen, will become a high school.
The Super School Bus Tour will be in Miami tomorrow as part of the initiative. The bus will be available from noon to 6 p.m. at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd. The tour aims to unite teachers, students, and parents with the community to explore the opportunities in education.