Miami’s Community Newspapers is a proud media partner in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Senior Recognition Campaign; a community-wide effort to recognize and honor the many accomplishments of the M-DCPS Class of 2020.
Jamison Herron – ALONZO AND TRACY MOURNING SENIOR HIGH BISCAYNE BAY
Jamison Herron suffered from leukemia at a young age. That experience made a significant impact on his life. Jamison is both a fighter and a very humble person. Since he has been in remission, he has volunteered at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to give back. As a student, he is passionate and responsible. He is in his school’s top 11% and is enrolled in the law academy where he is a member of the Mock Trial Team and was also a Silver Knight nominee. Jamison will attend Tallahassee Community College and then FSU.
Kelcie Jackson – AMERICAN SHS
Kelcie Jackson is an avid golfer and has a love for learning and a philosophy well beyond her years. Her goal is to inspire other students to think beyond the usual sports of basketball, football, and track and take notice of other sports, like the one she is passionate about – golf. She loves golf because it requires not only craft and skill, but thinking. One of few female African-American golfers, Kelcie is excellent at it and has won numerous recognitions and awards for her diligence and skill in the sport. She is an example to all young women and truly embodies greatness.
Sajada Heard – ARTHUR AND POLLY MAYS CONSERVATORY OF THE ARTS
Sajada Heard is a member of the National Honor Society, Vice President of the Student Government Association, President of the National Thespian Society, Secretary of the Health Information (H.I.P.) Project, Chief Editor of the school’s yearbook, a leader in the competition Poetry team and a finalist in the 2020 “Louder than a Bomb” National Poetry Slam. Sajada is one of the top 10 poets in the state. Even with her hectic schedule and the added responsibility of participation in extra-curricular activities, Sajada has maintained a 4.47 weighted G.P.A. and is reliable, responsible and resilient. Her efforts continually demonstrate her high standard in all endeavors. Sajada was accepted to Howard University with a $129,000 scholarship.
Anthony Hernandez – BARBARA GOLEMAN SHS
Anthony Hernandez is an example of a great student and athlete. Anthony is graduating with a weighted GPA 5.13 and is a Summa Cum Laude Honor Graduate & AP Scholar. In addition, he served as Vice-President of the Medical Leaders of Tomorrow. As an athlete, Anthony is a four-year varsity football quarterback. He returned from injury his senior year and broke passing yards and touchdown records. He will start in the fall at the University of Florida with a Florida Bright Futures scholarship.
Alina Fernandez – BIOTECH @ RICHMOND HEIGHTS 9-12 HIGH SCHOOL
Alina Fernandez is the youngest student of BioTECH’s graduating class of 2020. She is a goal-oriented, intelligent, mature young lady. She has completed over 500 community service hours, has committed herself to being the Secretary of the Class of 2020, while also taking part in various other school clubs and activities, and maintains a GPA of 4.3. She has achieved one of the highest scores on the SAT assessment in her class and earned a Bright Futures Scholarship. She also received a Dean’s Scholarship from Nova Southeastern University.
Anquincia Jones – BOOKER T. WASHINGTON SHS
Born and raised in the historic neighborhood of Overtown, scholar-athlete Anquincia Jones has risen to the top of her class as one of Booker T. Washington’s most dynamic student leaders. Driven by hard work, dedication and selfless service, Anquincia dedicated over 950 hours of service to her local community. She did this while maintaining an astounding 4.5 (unweighted) GPA, serving as President of the Engineering & Robotics Magnet Club, Publicist of the National Honors Society, and captain of both the varsity girls basketball and flag football teams. Rooted by her love for God and close-knit family, Anquincia plans to become the next powerhouse on the basketball court at Cornell State College in Iowa, this Fall, and plans to eventually serve our nation in the Army Corps of Engineers as a premier civil engineer.
Alexander Munguia – CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
Alexander Munguia has achieved many accomplishments, in spite of coping with visual impairment. Last year, while only a junior, Alexander had already received a Cambridge AICE Diploma. Now, he is graduating Cum Laude with a Scholar Designation and a Superintendent’s Diploma of Distinction. Alexander also already graduated with honors from Miami Dade College with an associate’s degree. Some of his other accomplishments include serving as Chair of a chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, National English Honor Society President, MDUDL Youth Council Public Relations Chair and Rhu Kappa Honor Society Historian. This fall, he will attend the University of Miami with a full scholarship as well as a Department of Blind Services scholarship.
Ja’Kerra Blackman – COPE CENTER NORTH
Ja’Kerra Blackman is the C.O.P.E. Center North’s Student Government Association President. A few months ago, she was named runner-up for the Eli Wiesel’s Ethics Essay Contest. A proud teen mom, she is also in the top 10% of her graduating class. While attending C.O.P.E. Center North, Ja’ Kerra has managed to earn and maintain a 3.7 GPA. Her scholarly talents come with ease due in part to her passion for writing. She is also a magnificent mother to her one-year old daughter, Jamaria. She also works a part-time job at Port Miami.
Lia Sanchez Ramirez – CORAL GABLES SHS
Lia Sanchez Ramirez is attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall and plans to major in molecular and cellular biology on a pre-medical track. She completed the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High, and was involved in the Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish and National Honor societies and has had extensive volunteer and research experience at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Being a “Peer Health Educator” through the Health Information Project lead to her passion for understanding and aiding the human condition through medicine.
Anyeli Pro – CORAL REEF SHS
Anyeli Pro is a committed and determined student. As part of Coral Reef Senior’s Business & Finance Academy, Anyeli is certified in various Microsoft programs, and has competed, placed and won various categories for Reef’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America at district competitions. Anyeli also sits on many committees and boards. To support and remain connected to her native Peru, Anyeli created The Ashima Project which translates to “The Sky’s the Limit”. The Ashima Project’s goal is to provide young children in Peru with the resources to both prosper and thrive in education and life. As a Junior, Ashima interned for Chief Financial Officer Denise Suarez of the 11th Judicial Court of Florida. She is the Silver Knight nominee for the Business category from Coral Reef.
Leyton Foxworthy – CUTLER BAY SHS
Leyton Foxworthy is Class President and has held this position for two years. Earlier this year, Leyton lost an immediate family member and despite this difficult time was able to stay on top of his school work and maintain his high GPA. Leyton has been a part of the swimming and water polo teams since his freshman year. He will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University this fall on a $120,000 ROTC scholarship. Leyton is in the top 5% of his graduating class.
Sarah Mendoza – DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE SHS
Sarah Mendoza has overcome homelessness, bullying and tremendous struggles with her gender expression and identity. Further, she has overcome chronic, painful and debilitating health conditions. Sarah was accepted to DASH, arguably the premier art and design high school in the state, as one of only four sophomore transfers granted acceptance that year. This is a testament not only to her talent, but to her sheer determination. In addition, Sarah’s achievements include completing 130+ volunteer hours, fulfilling an internship in Japan and teaching art to middle school children.
Bernaika Francisque – DOROTHY M. WALLACE C.O.P.E. CENTER
Bernaika Francisque is a dedicated student who is a teen parent at Dorothy M. Wallace C.O.P.E. Center. Each day, she took two buses to school and manages to keep her academic standing at performance levels. This has led to her being accepted to Miami Dade College. Bernaika’s goal is to major in criminal justice and become a criminal profiler. She is determined to make sure she has a solid foundation to raise her child and that she has a positive future on a personal and professional level.
Kenneth Cula – DR. MICHAEL M. KROP SHS
Kenneth Cula embodies the story of the immigrant and dreamer who came to this country to succeed. He originally arrived with his father, who sadly has passed away. Now, thanks to help from his sister, Kenneth has excelled academically. He was the Silver Knight nominee for Digital & Interactive Media. He is also an AP Scholar and an AP Capstone Diploma recipient. Kenneth will be attending Cornell University in the fall.
Jennifer Barios – DR. MARVIN DUNN ACADEMY FOR COMMUNITY EDUCATION
Jennifer Barrios came to the Dr. Marvin Dunn Academy for Community Education after under performing at her former high school. Before attending Marvin Dunn, she doubted she would earn a high school diploma. Not only is she getting her diploma, she is attending Miami Dade College in the fall. Jennifer is now full of optimism and is grateful to her family and the Marvin Dunn staff for helping her “become the best version of myself”. She especially wants to thank Marvin Dunn’s Principal, Dr. Deborah A. Carter, for inspiring her to learn and to give her hope to pay it forward.
Ashley Rivera – FELIX VARELA SHS
Throughout Ashley Rivera‘s time at Felix Varela Senior High, Ashley has excelled in many Advanced Placement courses, while working a part-time job and participating in church activities. She plans to study computer science with an aspiration to ultimately join the FBI. In the fall, Ashley will be attending Brigham Young University.
Nadeska Montalvan – G. HOLMES BRADDOCK SHS
Nadeska Montalvan is the recipient of more than $1.2 million in academic scholarships. As a member of the Cambridge Global Studies Academy, the highest curriculum offered at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High, she strives for excellence in her academic pursuits, graduating in the top one percent of her class. She is a National Hispanic Scholar and was named a Sunshine State Scholar after being nominated as one of the District’s top STEM students. Nadeska will join Duke University’s Class of 2024 as a member of the University Scholars Program, an elite group of students selected for their impressive accomplishments.
Stephanie D. Mo – HIALEAH GARDENS SHS
Stephanie Mo has been an officer for her school’s Student Government Association for three years, including serving as President this year. She is an integral member of the Academy of Finance and sits on the Academy of Finance School Advisory Board. She is a Silver Knight nominee for Business. She also won a virtual prom with MTV for the school, (the only Florida winner) awarded by Michelle Obama and her @whenweallvote prom challenge. Stephanie has helped to sign up countless members of her senior class to vote.
Eric Forteza – HIALEAH SHS
Eric Forteza is a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States at the age of 10 with his mother and brother, forcing him to separate from his father. Eric struggled academically due to the language barrier at first, but is now in the top one percent of his class. He was awarded scholarships from eight universities totaling to nearly $2 million, including for four Ivy League schools. He opted to accept admission to Harvard.
Akil Cole – HIALEAH-MIAMI LAKES SHS
Akil Cole‘s drive and integrity set him apart. He has actively participated in student organizations, such as Model United Nations, Student Government/Student Council, and Project Citizen since his freshman year and he currently holds leadership positions in each. He led the Project Citizen team to develop public policy solutions to two growing public health crisis in Florida – the rise of new HIV/AIDS infection rates and the lack of access to mental health services for Florida’s public school students. Akil’s hard work resulted in a 5.0 GPA and a total of $677,504 in scholarships. Akil will be attending Georgetown University in the fall.
Julio Jaramillo-Mora – HOMESTEAD SHS
Julio Jaramillo-Mora is an extremely hard-working and dedicated student. His sense of maturity and responsibility are revealed not only through his commitment to his school work, avionics certification program, and his job; but also through his meticulous life planning and dedication to ensuring the well-being of his family. When his family moved out of Miami, Julio opted to stay behind on his own so he could complete his certification at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College, and continue working at his two jobs to send money to his mother. Julio has accumulated over 900 community service hours and maintains a 3.9 GPA at Homestead Senior High.
Nylien Machado – INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PREPARATORY ACADEMY
Nylien Machado is the Silver Knight nominee in the area of Speech at International Studies Preparatory Academy. At her school, she is considered to be an excellent student who represents well the diverse student population, which includes students from over 40 countries.
Ajay Zheng – iPREPARATORY ACADEMY
Ajay Zheng is the youngest senior to graduate from iPrep at the age of 15. He has taken Advanced Placement courses and was one of only six university freshman to be admitted to the University of Miami’s BioChemistry and Molecular Biology program. He was also accepted into numerous other universities but is staying local, as he is too young to live in on-campus dormitories. Ajay has also completed 657 community service hours.
Yvanee Coriolan – ITECH @ THOMAS A. EDISON ED. CTR.
Yvanee Coriolan is a hard working, dedicated and intelligent student. She drives to be challenged and has a natural inquisitiveness to learn. Yvanee is optimistic and her positivity is how she overcomes challenges in life. Her achievements include a Space Geospatial Certification, achieving highest SAT score in her class, serving as a National Honor Society member and she has been accepted to Florida Atlantic University.
Darnell Luster – JAN MANN EDUCATIONAL CENTER
Darnell Luster enrolled in Jan Mann Educational Center to accomplish one goal – he promised his mother he would graduate high school and he was determined not to let her down. He often remarks “I have made mistakes in the past, but I was determined not to let them define my future.” Even when it was difficult, Darnell did not quit. He has become an inspiration for many students who believe change is not possible. He intends to enroll in a M-DCPS Technical College in the fall.
Kelly Ibarra – JOHN A. FERGUSON SHS
Kelly Ibarra was previously involved in a car accident, which left her hospitalized. Despite this traumatic challenge, she recovered and returned to cheerleading and academics. She has a GPA of 4.1, more than 200 hours of community service and has served on the Senior Board as Publicist.
Scherezada Lozada – JOSE MARTI MAST 6-12 ACADEMY
Scherezada Lozada has an impressive academic record, beginning with being in the top 5% of her class. She has received the AP Capstone Diploma, the Gold Biliteracy Seal, Scholar Designation, Merit Designation, Superintendent’s Diploma of Distinction and is the school’s Silver Knight nominee for General Scholarship. Several years ago, she founded a non-profit organization, “Silver Knights Take Action,” named for the school’s mascot. This organization has helped various charities, like St. Jude’s Children Hospital and the American Cancer Society. It has assisted with various beautification projects around the school, provided the funds to begin several honor society and service club charters each year, collects used student uniforms to wash, mend and then resells them at the opening of school to families for a minimal cost. Additionally, she is president of the National Honor Society and co-captain of the school’s MAST relay team, which is associated with the American Cancer Society – Relay for Life. She has been a pillar of the school for community service, logging in over 2,000 hours! Lozada plans to attend the University of Florida.
Klerys Obregon – LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL
For Klerys Obregon, books and studying have always been her escape and safe haven. This is most evident in that she achieved Summa Cum Laude honors at Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial High School’s highly competitive magnet. She also earned her associate’s degree via the Early Admissions program at Miami-Dade College. For a long as she can remember, this brilliant and unassuming star has dreamt of becoming a doctor. She will begin this formidable field at the University of Florida, which was her first choice of the 20 universities where she was accepted. UF offered her more than $800,000 in scholarship money. She will be pursuing her passion at UF free of debt for four years as part of the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program. Even more incredibly rewarding, Klerys will be the first person in her family to attend college.
Charles McCutcheon – MARITIME & SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY ACADEMY
Charles McCutcheon volunteers teaching Japanese language and math at Miami Hoshuko, a nonprofit Saturday school sponsored by the Japanese Consulate. In fact, he is a Silver Knight nominee for World Languages. He is also the Vice President of the National Association of Students Against Gun Violence, a founding member of the Junior State of America MAST Chapter, Choir Member of Miami Children’s Chorus. He is also a two-time winner of the UC Berkeley Book Award Best Speaker in JSA Debate and a finalist in the Theodore Gibson Oratorical Competition. Charles is pursuing degrees in Linguistics and Chemistry. In addition, he is Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level N1 Certified, which is a graduate-school level test. He has been accepted into Columbia, Brown, Cornell and Dartmouth. Charles will be attending Brown this fall.
Kaylah McNamee – MAST @ FIU BISCAYNE BAY CAMPUS
Kaylah McNamee is interested in educating undergraduates about topics like health, self-care, and relationships. By doing this, she is improving her ability to speak in public. That is why Kaylah joined the Health Information Project (HIP) in her Junior year, and served as its President this year. Kaylah participated in UNICEF for all four years at MAST@BBC, where she served as the fundraising chair in her Junior year and then the treasurer her senior year. Kaylah has accumulated over 700+ community service hours by volunteering at Rhythm and Pitch, a school for Exceptional Students. She spent six hours daily, uncapping her students’ potential in the fine arts by teaching dance classes and guitar lessons. She then coordinated 25 dancers and choreographed three performances for an end-of-summer showcase of The Greatest Showman. This earned her the Rhythm and Pitch’s Dedication Award. She also interned at the EV3 Robotics program at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus, where she introduced middle school students to a variety of STEM resources. McNamee will be attending Howard University in the fall.
Akeema Williams – MEDICAL ACADEMY FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Akeema Williams is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Her positive upbringing is evident in her character and actions. Her teachers admire her work ethic and her classmates respect her. Throughout her time at the Medical Academy for Science and Technology, Williams has performed admirably well academically, earning admission into various colleges and universities. In the fall of 2020, she will attend Miami Dade College’s Honors College on a full scholarship.
Mark Coiras – MIAMI ARTS STUDIO 6-12 AT ZELDA GLAZER
Throughout Mark Coiras‘ life, he has been battling an autoimmune illness that causes debilitating pain and has greatly impacted his vision. He is grateful for the kindnesses and care of medical professionals and countless giving souls who have helped in his most challenging moments. Mark pays it forward through his Mark’s Miracles community service mission. He and his family devote volunteer hours, helping the less fortunate by preparing meals, bringing music to nursing homes and teaching music to middle school children. Mark is graduating in the Top 15% of his class and is a University of Miami President’s Scholarship Recipient.
Heavyn Lee – MIAMI BEACH SHS
Heavyn Lee is the type of dedicated student who goes above and beyond to be the best. In middle school, she decided she should learn Spanish, and did so well that she took the AP Spanish test in 8th grade and passed it with a top score. During her time at Miami Beach Senior High, she joined both the IB and Dual-Enrollment programs. Heavyn will receive her associate’s degree in political science from Miami Dade College. She is also very involved in student government since the 10th grade. Currently, she serves as Student Council president. Outside of school, Lee spends her time volunteering with the Nyah Project, Breakthrough Miami, and Florida International University’s National Achievers Society. She is also a water safety instructor at Riverland Park. Heavyn is a winner of the Gates Scholarship and will attend Harvard University in the fall.
Sylus Miller – MIAMI CAROL CITY SHS
Sylus Miller has been part of the iPrep program at Miami Carol City Senior High. He has been a member of the Chiefs Marching Band for four years as a Section Leader, Vice-President, and now President. He also participated in the JROTC program and became a Corporal. Sylus was admitted to Iowa State University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, North Carolina University, Michigan University and Penn State University. He received a $41,000 merit-based scholarship from Michigan State University. Sylus is a Florida Medallion Scholarship recipient and plans to attend Penn State University and also enlisted into the Army Reserves.
Shamar Zaragoza – MIAMI CENTRAL SHS
Shamar Zaragoza excels in academics, sports and community service. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate. He is also a 6A State Championship Scholar Athlete. He was named “Mr. Miami Central” for his 1000+ Community Service Hours. Shamar is a January Enrollee at Southern University, with a full ride football scholarship. In just his first semester in university, he made the Dean’s List.
Romy Paz – MIAMI CORAL PARK SHS
Romy Paz immigrated from Cuba back in 2014, speaking only Spanish. She had to learn a new language, adapt to a new culture and a new way of life. Today, Romy is at the Top 1% of class with a 5.0 GPA. She is President of the Math Honors Society and Vice President of the English Honor Society. She is also a member of the National Honors Society, the Women of Tomorrow and the Social Science Honors Society. Partly due to her active role in the ACE Legacy / Liberty City Elementary Project, she has completed 800 community service hours. Romy will be attending the Miami Dade College Honors College in the fall.
Sandra Noel – MIAMI EDISON SHS
Sandra Noel is one of a set of triplets and are first generation graduates. Since freshman year of high school, they have always maintained a 4.0 GPA and higher. Sandra will graduate in the top one percent of her school, along with her sister Sarena. Their sister, Sabrina will graduate from Miami Northwestern in the top 5 percent of her class. Due to their hard work and determination, Tennessee State University awarded all three sisters a full ride scholarship.
Giselle Rosales – MIAMI JACKSON SHS
Giselle Rosales is receiving $473,000.00 in scholarships from Florida State University. She has a weighted grade point average of 4.6. For three years, she has been a part of the distinguished National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academy of International Business and Finance Magnet Program (AIBF) and Future Business Leaders of America (F.B.L.A.) and has won numerous awards. In addition, she completed all her NAF requirements to become NAFTrack certified by completing four business classes, a summer internship, and certain certifications like Dreamweaver and Quickbooks. Giselle has completed over 300 hours of community service.
Laura Guerra-Lopez – MIAMI KILLIAN SHS
Laura Guerra-Lopez aspires to hold a double major in political science and international relations once she enters university. When she was 16 years old, Guerra-Lopez created a non-profit organization known as “Corazon Contento” (Happy Heart Foundation). The goal is to help the people of Venezuela through various projects in the community that help create social awareness. While at Miami Killian Senior High, Laura was a member of Student Government from 2016-2019. As a senior, she was a Silver Knight, and President of the Social Studies Honor Society and the Model United Nations.
Yasmine Mezawi – MIAMI LAKES EDUCATIONAL CENTER
Yasmine Mezawi is a tireless student leader, who has balanced the responsibilities of student, leader, and journalist among others to make our hallways brighter, students more spirited, and faculty proud. She is part of the Cambridge Academy and is a first generation American of Cuban-Lebanese descent. She plans to attend Syracuse University.
Joseph Valladares – MIAMI MACARTHUR EDUCATIONAL CENTER
Joseph Valladares is Class of 2020 Senior Class President and plans to become a nutritionist. He completed 150 hours at Jackson Memorial Hospital working in the Pharmacy Dept., specializing in nutritional needs for special needs population. Joseph wants to make a difference in people’s lives by offering practical advice to enable others to improve their lifestyle. His mantra is,”Learning from one’s mistakes allows one to become a better person.”
Tehannah Matthew – MIAMI NORLAND SHS
Tehannah Matthew is an extremely determined, focused and confident student. She has a 4.8 G.P.A., graduating in the top 5% of her class, and has been a part of many of extracurricular clubs and activities. All of this, while she has had to help her mother with a health battle since Tehannah was in the 10th grade. Tehannah is motivated and inspired by her community. She dedicates many hours to community service projects because she loves to see everyone working together to create a positive change. She is a Silver Knight nominee and a National Honor Society member, who has been accepted to over 20 universities.
Stephanie Jobe – MIAMI NORTHWESTERN SHS
Stephanie Jobe and her sister Jada Jobe were raised by their aunt, Barbara Williams, in Coconut Grove. Unfortunately, Ms. Williams passed away, leaving the girls without a permanent home. With support from Miami Northwestern Senior High, Stephanie found a place to stay temporarily with an older sister. Her housing became unstable again, but soon after, the court system placed her with one of the school’s assistant coaches. This gave her more stability, where she was able to become more focused. Stephanie became a good student athlete, improved her grades and excelled in track and field. Stephanie earned a full athletic scholarship to South Carolina State University.
Evan Golinsky – MIAMI PALMETTO SHS
Evan Golinsky knows about loss but he also knows about helping others. He had been taking care of his father, who was in a coma for a year, until he passed away. Then, Hurricane Irma destroyed his house. Evan took his desire to give back to the community by starting a comedy club fundraiser to fund the unit for traumatic brain injuries. This year, Evan gave his final comedy performance while managing to transfer this worthy project to a sophomore in his school.
Adrian Fernandez – MIAMI SHS
In the last four years, Adrian Fernandez‘ dedication has paid off. He has an academic resume of AP and Dual Enrollment Courses. As a leader, he has risen to become a dedicated Teaching Magnet Ambassador and his school’s technology club’s R-Tech president. Adrian is a first generation student and a Gates Scholarship semi-finalist. He will be attending the University of Florida in the fall, majoring in engineering.
Boni Abdulali – MIAMI SOUTHRIDGE SHS
Boni Abdulali enrolled in high school as an unaccompanied minor through the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program. Much of his biological family was displaced or killed during the ongoing ethnic and land disputes in Northwestern Myanmar. Despite these challenges, Boni has chosen to persevere. He was active in the World Languages Club, art programs and ROTC. He currently aspires to join a branch of the U.S. military to serve the nation that has provided him refuge.
Anna Bellas – MIAMI SPRINGS SHS
Anna Bellas has proven her academic success can translate to great things in and out of the classroom. She has been involved in Student Government all four years, serving as the Senior Class President this year. Anna is also the President of the National Honor Society and a member of her school’s student health organization (HOSA). She was also a member of the track and field, swim and cheerleading teams. She placed second at HOSA Regionals for Community Awareness. This accomplishment, along with her work with the American Heart Association during their annual walk has brought to light her passion for medicine. She plans to enroll into the United States Naval Academy this Fall on a full $400,000.00 scholarship. Her ultimate goal is to become a doctor in the United States Navy. Anna has accomplished all of this, while also maintaining a GPA of 5.08, the highest in her graduating class.
Corina Lola – MIAMI SUNSET SHS
Corina Lola is President of her class, the school’s National Honor Society and the Health Information Project. Her communication skills with students, parents, and staff are superb and respectful. Academically, she participated in a STEM project with participants in Russia and was awarded a trip to San Francisco in 2018. She also completed the Pre-Med Magnet & NAF Academy of Hospitality and Tourism where she gained experience by completing two summer internships. Corina is in the top five percent of her class, graduating Summa Cum Laude and she already completed over 35 dual-enrollment credits. She plans to attend Florida International University and pursue studies in biology.
Ana Viveros – NEW WORLD SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
Ana Viveros‘ family was homeless for years, living out of their van and in multiple shelters. Her mother became disabled six years ago. Despite these challenges, Ana is an incredible student. She danced professionally for the International Hustle and Salsa Congress, has won numerous writing and academic awards, has completed 660 hours of community service and is very involved in dancing, theater and writing clubs. She was accepted to seven universities and was offered $734,753 in college scholarships. She will be attending Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Mahian Chowdhury – NORTH MIAMI BEACH SHS
Mahian Chowdhury is the oldest of three siblings and speaks five languages: English, Bengali, Hindi, Arabic and Marathi. Mahian is graduating in the Top five percent of his class and is a BEAM and AP Capstone Magnet student. He will be attending University of Florida on a full scholarship.
Isabella Limbo – NORTH MIAMI SHS
Isabella Limbo is a very conscientious student. She created a memorial garden with one of her teachers to honor two school staff members who passed away a few years ago. She is the top student in her class with a GPA of 5.14.
Raymond Sterling – ROBERT MORGAN SHS
Raymond Sterling has two passions: education and dance. His passion for education comes through in the number of Advanced Placement classes he has taken throughout his high school years. He loves the fact that he has been able to learn more about the history of the world. He is thankful to his mother, teachers, counselors and friends for motivating him to work hard and do his best in school. Raymond earned close to $600,000.00 in scholarships. As for his love for dance, by eighth grade, Raymond had already taken numerous dance classes at Adrenaline Dance Company. By 9th grade, he had enrolled at his high school’s Dance Academy. Sterling is extremely ecstatic to be attending Columbia University. He aspires to be a lawyer because he wants to promote justice and equality in America.
Julianna Suriel – RONALD W. REAGAN/DORAL SHS
Julianna Suriel is in the top 10 percent of graduating seniors in her class. She sits on multiple student boards, is involved in multiple clubs and sports, and has given back to the community with over 1000 hours of community service. She received recognition by the City of Doral for her leadership and academic achievements. She also served as her Class President. Julianna earned 49 dual enrollment credits during her time at Ronald Reagan/Doral Senior High School.
Jaheim Thomas – RUTH OWENS KRUSE EDUCATIONAL CENTER
Jaheim Thomas is eager to learn and has shown this both in the classroom and during his participation in the Community-Based Vocational Education program at Publix on a daily basis. Jaheim also volunteered at the Homeless Assistance Center on a biweekly basis. There, he prepped meals and served food to the residents. Overall, Jaheim is a well-mannered young man that has excelled despite the many obstacles that he has faced.
Ariana Rejas – SCHOOL FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
Ariana Rejas is a Silver Knight Nominee in Music and Dance, thanks in part to her project called “Limitless Love”, which helps undocumented families in Miami through musical performances. Ariana is also a recipient of Univision’s Orgullo de Nuestra Comunidad award. She will be attending the University of Miami on a full scholarship.
Marianela Mejias – SOUTH DADE SHS
Marianela Mejias describes her story as a “Miami” story. She migrated from Cuba with her family at the age of four. She is the first in her family to have the opportunity to pursue a college degree. During the summer of her junior year of high school, she was chosen to take part in the Summer Scholars Program at the University of Miami, where she received a scholarship to cover all her program expenses. She was also accepted into her school’s International Baccalaureate program which allowed her to work toward her IB diploma and earned her place among the top one percent of her graduating class. Marianela was also elected President of Student Government and Spanish Honor Society, and Vice-President of the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association). She is a recipient of the MFOS, Promise and Bright Futures scholarships. Marianela will be attending the University of Florida in the Fall.
Kevin Fernandez – SOUTH MIAMI SHS
Kevin Fernandez held a JROTC leadership position all four years at South Miami Senior High School. As the JROTC selected Battalion Commander, the highest student leadership position available, Kevin led approximately 150 cadets. He is the National Honor Society President and was selected as a Senior of Distinction by the faculty. He is a Silver Knight nominee for Digital and Interactive Media for leading a team of artists and 3D modelers in producing a Holocaust documentary. Kevin is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Superintendent’s Diploma of Distinction, Scholar and Merit Designations, Florida Gold Seal of Biliteracy and an Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma (Cambridge Diploma). In the area of athletics, Kevin was a member of the South Miami Cobras Cross Country Team for two years. Fernandez was admitted to the extremely selective U.S. Military Academy at West Point for the Class of 2024 after receiving nominations from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (South Miami Senior Alumnus), U.S. Representative Mario Díaz-Balart, and his JROTC Senior Army instructor Col. (Ret) Eliezer Santana.
Luismel Roquete – SOUTHWEST MIAMI SHS
Luismel Roquete arrrived in the United States only four years ago and enrolled at Southwest Miami Senior High as an ESOL student. He will now be graduating in the top three percent of his class, and will also be attaining his associate’s degree from Miami Dade College. He was hired by the South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union after completing an internship, where he was part of a student team that created a winning software application called SmartCash. The app earned a finalist ranking at the 2019 National Lenovo Application Development program. Luismel has over 800 hours of community service and received top honors in his school’s Academy of Finance and Banking. He is the first member of his family to achieve his dream of an education and as he puts it, is “glad to be the test pilot – this way my younger cousin has a much steadier flight.” He looks forward to continuing his education.
Giovanni Molina – TERRA ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Giovanni Molina’s mother passed away from cancer when he was a young child. As a tribute to her and other families going through the same pain of terminal illness, Gio decided to create bracelets and charms for sale to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Miami. This is where his mother was able to stay during her treatment so many years ago. His efforts, documented through the site ProjectGiovanni.com, resulted in a $1,000 donation toward a community organization, that helps so many in their difficult time of need.
Kristian Carreno – WESTLAND HIALEAH SHS
Kristian Carreno was born in Havana and arrived in the United States at the age of 11. He was separated from his mother for more than a year without knowing when they would be reunited. Always motivated by academic excellence, Kristian and his family have strived to better their lives through education and fulfill the American dream. He currently serves as Student Government President at Westland Hialeah Senior High and ranks among the top of his class. He will attend the University of Florida next fall and pursue a degree in political science.
Sadre Campbell – WILLIAM H. TURNER TECHNICAL ARTS HIGH SCHOOL
Sadre Campbell will be the first to attend college in his family, attending Dartmouth in the fall. Sadre is the oldest of nine and has lived half of his life with his grandmother, whom he supports financially. Sadre has attended schools in the urban core of Miami and excelled. He struggled with Internet connectivity and technological issues and received an Internet hot spot in the seventh grade personally from Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. He has since thrived, becoming a student spokesperson for the Sprint One Million campaign, speaking across the country about the importance of digital connectivity. Sadre has a 4.7 GPA, served as the 2020 SGA President, DECA President, National Honors Society President, FBLA District Vice-President, Miami-Dade Youth Commissioner District 2, and Florida Christian Association President among other positions. He tutors students at Madison Middle School and completed an internship at the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office.
Alexander Hardy – YOUNG MEN’S PREPARATORY ACADEMY
Alexander Hardy is a dedicated and responsible young man who is always willing to help. He is currently taking care of his mother who has health issues and is also assisting in the care of his younger sibling. For a few years, Alexander has been a member of the “Don’t Take My Life, Let Me Live” group, which conducts activities that help unify and protect his community. Alexander has lost too many friends to gun violence and wants to do all that he can so others don’t go through that pain and loss. He also assists with food distributions within his community and spent last summer helping younger kids who are attending his former elementary school, as part of a church initiative. As a student, Alexander has received top student designations in many academic subjects and is graduating in the top five percent of his class. He is considering offers from Bethune College and Miami Dade College, and is currently debating between studying health or criminal justice.
Stara D’Haiti – YOUNG WOMEN’S PREPARATORY ACADEMY
Stara D’Haiti continuously goes above and beyond not only for her peers and teachers at the Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, but also for herself. She became the first black female Key Club Governor for the Florida District while maintaining above a 3.8 GPA (a weighted GPA of 5.12) just to mention a few of her accomplishments. Stara earned enough credits to graduate with an associate’s degree before entering college due to her AP and dual enrollment courses. Stara is never shy to lend a helping hand to teachers or any staff member at school and has over 400 community service hours.