During the school year at Palmetto High, Amanda Guglietta as a junior would go to Perrine Elementary every Tuesday to tutor children in the after-school program.
“I tutor the same class,” she says. “I probably will stick to second grade, but they reassign every year. I might follow them to third grade, but
I think I like doing second grade better.”
Guglietta helped the children with their homework in reading and math or any subject they needed help with. There were usually 15-20 children in each grade in the after-school classes.
While Guglietta loves helping the children, she won’t give them the answers.
“I like to see them think about it. They light up when they get the answers right,” she says.
This summer, Guglietta is weighing the possibility of creating her own community service project to benefit children with autism and children with cancer. In the meantime, she earns community service hours through the Interact Club at school. She is also in the Pink Ribbon Club, which raises awareness about breast cancer.
Guglietta is an athlete, a starting pitcher for the Palmetto varsity softball team. Playing varsity sports is often paired with playing on a club team and Guglietta plays for the Miami Stingrays travel ball team. She has been on a Stingrays team since she was eight-years-old. In the fall, the girls on the Stingrays go to Palmetto Bay Park on a regular basis and help the younger girls practice.
“It’s a volunteer thing, it’s not set up; we just go out there and help,” she says. “I’m passing on my love and passion for the game.”
That love and passion shows in her play. She won the varsity’s MVPAward both as a freshman and junior. In her sophomore year she was named Offensive Player of the Year. She also was named to the Miami Herald’s All Miami-Dade First Team all three years. The first time she was named to the All Miami-Dade Team, she didn’t know what an honor it was.
“I remember in my freshman year my coach called me and told me, but I didn’t know what that was,” she says. “Everyone was so excited.
Everyone was so proud. I continued to get the award in my next two years with the team.”
This past school year, the Palmetto team made it to second place in the district before losing to rival Coral Reef. But she believes the team will make it to state championship tournament in the 2016 season. The reason? Coral Reef graduated six key players, but all of Palmetto’s players are returning.
“We had no seniors on the team last year, so we had a very young team,” she says. “We are going to be good next year.”
Playing sports may be her golden ticket to college. A scout from Yale talked to her coach about recruiting her, which would be great for her since she is interested in attending an Ivy League school.
“I want to get a scholarship and not have my parents pay,” she says.
This summer, Guglietta will tour several colleges to see which one might suit her the best.
Although she’s very talented, Guglietta doesn’t expect to sign with a Division I school because of her height. But she says that’s okay.
“I want to go Ivy League or mini-Ivy League,” she says. “I want to go more academic.”
Guglietta is strong in math; she is planning to take two Advanced Placement math classes in her senior year.
Her love of math will be useful since her long-term goal is to become a structural engineer and design and build buildings, bridges and roads.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld