For two summers, Coral Gables High senior Nina Llado worked at the Key Biscayne K-8 Center aquatic summer which was held at MAST Academy.
“The first two years I was too young to be a counselor alone,” she said. “We helped little kids learn to swim and play games like water polo.
We taught them how to fish and how to kayak. We did crafts; we did tie dye. I taught the youngest group how to swim.”
The next year, she and another girl were counselors for 7- to 9-year-olds.
“We had to be in the kayaks with them and the same with the fishing,” she said. “I was mostly with the group and not in the pool.”
This past summer she spent much of her time traveling, practicing and dancing with the Gablettes and Company.
“We attend two camps every summer. They are in Fort Lauderdale and one is at Barry University,” she said. “We have weekly practices so we can prepare for the camps.”
This is Llado’s fourth year on the team. She is the senior officer for the group. As an officer, she helps lead the girls through stretches and warmups. Throughout the year, they prepare for a number of events, including the Fall Frolics and the Gablette Review. For those events, the officers teach the other girls the dances.
While Gablettes takes up much of her time, she also volunteers with Interact and is vice president of Save Our Sports, the club created to boost school spirit.
To fulfill her International Baccalaureate community service requirement, Llado teamed with Save Our Sports to do a sports equipment drive. They collect basketballs, footballs and baseballs that were then donated to the Boys and Girls Club. Llado has been accepted into FIU, Penn State University and the honors program at Florida State. She wants to major in athletic training and physical therapy.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld