Miami Sunset Senior High School has played host to several amazing student groups over the years, but during the 2021-22 school year a new group of community heroes has emerged.
“Heroes of Miami” is a diverse group of Miami Sunset Senior High School students dedicated to creating a safer space online for inclusion, allyship and positive social interactions. These students joined together to create this initiative and use their superpowers to combat online hate speech and trolling.
All eight students had experienced cyberbullying in the past and wanted to make a positive change within their community. The Heroes of Miami group was created by Jocelyn Alonso, Kaitlyn Engroba, Andres Tablada, Amanda Porter, Emilee Paulino, Carlos Ruiz Martin, Cleopatra Jones and Luz Andablo.
To spread awareness on cyberbullying, the Heroes of Miami created a virtual platform to engage people in their mission. They created their own website, social media outlets and even a blog which can be found on Spotify and Apply Podcasts. Through content shared on those outlets, these students shared positive messages and the importance of digital citizenship. The website that they created also allowed them to share positive stories and highlight a diverse group of community changemakers.
Heroes of Miami also has established a presence through in-person events. The Heroes visited Winston Park K-8 Center and Herbert A. Ammons Middle School to host fun and engaging informational sessions on digital citizenship. During the initial introduction, students focused on a roundtable style discussion on cyberbullying. Many middle school students spoke out and mentioned that they had seen a lot of online hate speech on social media or on other outlets such as Discord. Next, the Heroes focused on how middle school participants can replace that negativity with positive affirmations and helped students to identify trusted resources in their own lives.
More information on this program can be found at www.heroesofmiami.org. Are you a teacher or student interested in bringing this program to your school? Feel free to reach out directly to the Heroes of Miami via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.