Through much of the school year, Gulliver Prep senior Claudia Ayala will be dedicating her Saturday mornings to Teach for America.
“It is a program we started my junior year with the International Baccalaureate program,” she said. “We go to Holmes Elementary.”
There they work with the student assigned to them and help them with reading.
“We spend the first hour helping them learn how to read so they understand it and comprehend it,” she said.
The Gulliver students who participated in the Teach for America program also were required to donate books that could be used each Saturday. Ayala donated 15-20 books from home.
At Gulliver, Ayala is vice president of the Interact Club.
“I work closely with the secretary. We focus on doing the annual fashion show,” she said.
“It’s the largest school-run event at Gulliver.”
Interact members go to feed the homeless at the Chapman Partnership for the Homeless facility in Homestead and play with the children.
They go to visit Alzheimer’s patients at Easter Seals.
She also volunteers whenever possible at Fairchild Tropical Garden.
This year, her time is limited as she begins the college application process. She’s interested in neuroscience and psychology. A couple of years ago, she did a summer program at Brown University where she learned about psychology and the brain.
“It was such an amazing experience!” she said.
This summer she did an internship at Baptist Hospital, shadowing a maxillofacial doctor for three weeks.
“I got to follow him around into the OR and in the hospital room,” she said.
Ayala plays flute in the Gulliver band and she will be participating in the All State auditions. She will be performing a solo and be a part of a flute quartet.
Ayala is a member of the Cum Laude Society, National Honor Society, French Honor Society and Math Honor Society.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld