Natalia Baigorri, an incoming senior at Ransom Everglades, taught English in the Dominican Republic as a way to celebrate her sister’s good health after a cancer scare and surgery.
“My family and I wanted to do a service trip or project,” Baigorri said. “Just to give back to the community.”
The family went with an organization, Outreach 360, which helps children in schools learn English.
“While on that trip, we went to the border of Haiti,” she said. “There were a lot of barefoot people there.”
Seeing so many shoeless people made an impression. That led her to organize a shoe collection drive to be donated to “Shoes for Streets.”
“They give out the shoes to homeless people in Miami,” she said. “They have a van and go around the downtown area, giving them straight to the people who needed them.”
For three months Baigorri collected the shoes from her classmates, family and friends.
The sneakers were either new or gently used. She washed them and sorted them by size. And then went out with Shoes for Streets to hand out the shoes.
“I went one Sunday and it took us about two hours,” she said.
Baigorri’s commitment to community service didn’t end there. She also is in the community service club Twenty Little Working Girls. She was head of community donations her sophomore year.
At Ransom Evereglades, she is going into her seventh year running cross country. She also runs track. Her school clubs include Girl’s
Outreach, which organizes events for kids as a park near Coconut Grove.
Her passion is photography.
“This past spring break I went on a trip with my school for photography to Iceland which was amazing,” she said. “There wasn’t one place I didn’t find extremely beautiful.”
This summer she interned at a Homeland Security office, working with the immigration lawyer. She is considering a career in law, after getting a degree in international relations or political science.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld