Gulliver Prep junior Samantha Tano has been president of the Class of 2017 since she was a freshman. Being class president has kept her busy planning functions for the students who are currently juniors.
“This year the juniors, we planned prom,” she says. “That is the main focus. Everything for prom.”
They started early, booking the Intercontinental for the venue of the junior/senior prom almost as soon as school started.
“We’re also in charge of doing the pep rallies,” she says. “We make the class tee shirts. We do something each month where we try to pick a holiday.”
Last year one of the holidays they chose was National Milkshake Day. So they made milkshakes for all the students.
“We try to get everyone involved in all different grade levels,” she says.
Being class president has taught her important skills.
“I learned to work well with other people,” she says. “And to delegate without being a tyrant. To make sure everyone’s opinion is heard. The other people who are in the junior student council with me, we are all good friends and that really helps.”
Outside of school, Tano volunteered at South Miami Hospital during the summer. She worked at the patient registration desk.
“I showed patients where they needed to go,” she says. “They were all different kinds of patients. Some for procedures, others for check-ups or blood work. Some were for MRI’s.”
She volunteered at South Miami because she’s interested in the sciences and medicine. Plus, her dad works at South Miami as a neonatologist.
“I wanted to volunteer at the hospital to see what it was like in that environment,” she says. “I really liked it. When I wasn’t helping patients, the ladies at the desk were nice and tell me about the hospital. I was engrossed in a different jobs.”
She hopes to return this summer to volunteer in the NICU.
“I’m excited about that,” she says.
Her school activities include playing soccer on the junior varsity team. While she enjoys playing, she’s unsure if she will try out for the varsity team her senior year.
Tano is a member of the biomedical club at Gulliver. She’s also a Link Leader. Link Leaders help freshmen around the school at the beginning of the school year to help them find their classes and important things such as the library.
“Before school starts, we are paired up with a partner and we get a certain amount of freshmen,” she says. “We show them around the school and we help them get their books, we exchange phone numbers so throughout the year, if they have questions, they can text us.”
The students who come from the academy generally don’t need as much help as the students who transfer from other schools.
“Especially if the ones from the academy have siblings that have gone through the prep,” she says.
In addition, to her other volunteer duties, Tano has been tutoring students at the academy in math and science. She works with children in second grade to middle school.
“I think it’s really nice to help out the younger kids,” she says.
The tutoring program is fairly recent. Tano said they only began in the last year or so.
When she gets to college, Tano wants to do take pre-med classes, even if pre-med is not her major. She’s still formulating her college list but the University of Miami is toward the top of her list. Other possibilities are Johns Hopkins, Rice and possibly Emory.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld