In hopes of educating children about the importance of growing local foods, eating organically and sustainability, Coral Gables High senior Brooke Donner planted several gardens at Coral Way K-8.
Donner planned and implemented the project with a friend to satisfy the community service requirements for the International Baccalaureate program.
“We wanted to do something that we were interested in and that we could implement into the community,”Donner said.
It took considerable planning and some frustration to get the project going, particularly dealing with school system bureaucracy. Also, Donner wanted to construct raised garden beds so they could plant flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs.
She knows how a garden can interest kids. Over the years she and her family have had gardens.
“Right now we have an herb garden and we’ve had vegetable,” she said.
Donner does enjoy giving back to the community. Her sophomore year she volunteered at Breakthrough Miami as a tutor. She would help the disadvantaged children every Saturday during the school year.
At Gables, Donner is editor-in-chief of Highlights, the school paper.
“I’ve been on the paper since my freshman year,” she said. “I started as staff writer, then became news editor and then editor-in-chief.”
Donner is co-president of the National Honor Society, which has approximately 500 members. Club members participate in a many service events both in school and in the community.
Athletics has been a big part of her high school career. She is co-captain of the varsity soccer team, which made it as far as the regional quarterfinals. Donner has been on the varsity team since freshman year. She also played club soccer at Pinecrest Premier and Tropical Soccer.
In college, Donner plans to study environmental science and journalism. She has been accepted into the University of Florida, University of North Carolina, University of Miami, Lewis and Clark College and New College.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld