Belen Jesuit Prep travels to Dominican Republic, builds bridge

Students and faculty from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School visit the Dominican Republic for 10 days to build a bridge for villagers.
Students and faculty from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School visit the Dominican Republic for 10 days to build a bridge for villagers. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

For 10 days, 51 students and 65 missionaries of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School visited a village in the Dominican Republic to build a 135-foot bridge.

Batey Piedra Blanca is a community that includes roughly 125 families that had to travel 30 minutes around a river to cross it. The new bridge allows students to walk to school safer and the village’s hospital is more accessible.

The Belen Jesuit group also included Jesuit Father Frank Permuy, Brother Michael Martinez, four faculty members and eight alumni. The group also traveled with medicines and vitamins to help villagers in need.

Enrollment for the Belen Youth Missions opens in mid-January to current juniors. For information, call 305-223-8600.


Christina Cruz of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart was recognized as a 2016 United States Presidential Scholar for her academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, and service to her school and community.

Each year, U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from each state, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 15 are chosen at-large. The program aims to honor the highest performing students in the nation during a ceremony in D.C.


Cristina Pla-Guzman, a theater instructor at Monsignor Edward Pace High School, was named a Varsity Brands’ 2016 School Spirit Awards’ Top Notch Teacher, a national award that recognizes teachers and students that go above and beyond to encourage school spirit in their students and peers.

Pla-Guzman was nominated by several of her students for this award, and received a $2,000 grant from Varsity.


Applications for the 2016 South Florida Business Aviation Association scholarships are now open to high school students until Aug. 1.

The scholarship program aims to award a high school senior that plans to study aviation. Three finalists will be selected and one winner will receive up to $3,500.

The Dave Davis Memorial Scholarship awards a senior based on their community service throughout high school. The winner can receive a minimum of $3,500.

For criteria or to apply, visit


Next Generation Dance Studio is currently accepting new students. The studio, at 2165 NE 163 St. in North Miami Beach, offers classes in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, acrobatics, and hip hop for ages 3 and up.

For information, call 305-948-3854, visit, or email