Among her many community service efforts, Palmetto High School senior Sarah Siclait worked on a project with her counselor called Help Heal Haiti. For three to four months, Siclait and the members of the 5000 Role Models club collected school supplies items to be sent to the island nation.
“Whenever we would have meetings, I would take down notes, I was coming up with ideas,” she says. “Since we did it with the yearbook teacher, I was the bridge between the two.”
One of the goals was to fill the back of the yearbook room with supplies.
“I’m not sure how much we collected, but we accomplished our goal of filling the room to the ceiling with school supplies,” she says.
The school supplies were delivered to Haiti by the counselor and two students involved in the project. The project was important to her since her grandparents were born in Haiti.
This year Siclait is the yearbook’s managing editor. Last year she was the photo editor although she still went out and took lots of photos herself. Being photo editor her junior year was a big deal because it has usually been a position reserved for a senior. She started out as a photographer for the yearbook.
“When I was a photographer I started taking pictures for a local children’s theater (Miami Children’s Theater) as well,” she says. “Originally I started out by working backstage at the theater. I was in one of the shows and I decided to take pictures, after a few shows. The director asked me to take pictures and offered to pay me.”
After that, she stopped auditioning for shows or work backstage so she could take pictures instead.
Siclait likes to debate, so while she was only involved in the debate club for a couple of years, she used the skills she attained to participate in the debate category of the Fairchild Challenge. The series of contests deal with the environment and is sponsored by Fairchild Tropical Garden.
“Every year since freshman year I’ve been doing the Fairchild Challenge,” she says. “The first year we got first place, the second year, second place.”
She and her partner won second place last year. The Palmetto team won the overall Fairchild Challenge last year.
She plans to participate again this year, but with a new team since most of the others graduated.
Her extracurricular activities include student council. She was advertising chair last year and this year she’s historian.
In her sophomore year, she was a member of the badminton team. She attended all practices but says her skills were lacking so she was never chosen to play in the matches. However, she went to the games to take pictures for the yearbook or to support the team.
Next year, Siclait plans to be in college taking political science courses for her major. She considered a number of schools, including Barnard, the University of Michigan and New York University.
“I guess after doing debate all these years, even though I’ve only been part of the team for two years, I realize I’m interested in those kind of discussions,” she says. “Hopefully I can move on to law which goes on along the same path. Also, throughout high school, I’ve realized I’m interested in social justice causes and civil rights issues.”
Siclait says she wants to make a difference in people’s lives.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld