Gulliver Prep junior Cristina Ruiz has more than 500 hours of community service, much of it coming from dance. She is on the Gulliver dance team, the Sundancers.
“We dance at pep rallies and benefits and competitions, football games and basketball games,” she said.
The dance team also takes part in an AIDS benefit each year. They partner with other schools and a dance academy. The proceeds go to organizations such as Dancers Responding to AIDS.
The Sundancers participate in three competitions each year. They competed at the American Dance Alliance competition at FIU at the beginning of February, gaining first place in one routine, second place in another and third place in three. The next competitions are scheduled for late February and early March.
Ruiz is a member of the Health Information Project, the organization that trains upper classmen to teach freshmen about health, sex education, drugs and AIDS. The students go into the freshmen classrooms eight times a year.
“A lot of people are unaware of things you would think they would know,” she said. “I’m glad that we’re doing this because it really helps.”
She also is secretary of Best Buddies. The club has events once or twice a month either at school or at one of the officers’ homes. The Gulliver students try to help the mentally disabled students learn how to socialize.
As vice president of the junior class, she is involved in student government. She has worked on events such as homecoming and is helping plan the prom. Next, she plans to run for vice president of the whole school.
Outside of school she hopes to volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital this summer.
“I want to be a doctor and specialize with children,” she said.
While she knows what she wants to do, she’s not sure about her major. Right now she is looking at schools with good pre-med programs. Topping her list are the University of Miami, UNC at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld