Miami Palmetto High School senior Andres Laventman joined Model United Nations and grew to love the club. The next year, when he learned that the sponsor of Palmetto Middle School Model UN was leaving. Laventman stepped in to keep it going.
“Together with Warren Martin, I founded the club and went once a month, to teach UN skills and train them for conferences,” he says.
The middle school club has about ten students. He’s happy with the passion the students brought to the table.
“I do not teach them what role the UN has in lawmaking,” he says. “Instead, we teach them how to use the Model UN forum and public speaking to communicate ideas representative of the country they are representing and to collaborate with others.”
Laventman says they started off with public speaking exercises having students give speeches and having them participate in mini mock conferences.
“We’d teach them how Model UN is set up,” he says. “We did one conference last year but we were unable to attend the second one.”
He says Model UN teaches skills needed for diplomacy, public speaking and working collaboratively.
“The public speaking is what people struggle with,” he says. “I teach them writing skills needed for writing Model UN Resolutions.”
He’s vice president of the Model UN club at the high school.
Laventman is the chief financial officer for Tutoring for Tomorrow, a student run tutoring non-profit.
“This year we expanded to other schools,” he says.
The Tutoring for Tomorrow program pays tutors for their work. Half of the fee charged goes to the tutor and half to Tutoring for Tomorrow. That money is given to school clubs and outside charities. Some tutors donate the entire fee. As an officer, he donates back all the money he makes as a tutor.
Last year they made about $5,000. This year they lost clients because of the coronavirus.
They have branched out to include Advanced Placement reviews as well as SAT and ACT tutoring.
In the past Laventman participated in Odyssey of the Mind, an international creativity competition.
“Students work together in teams of five to seven to create creative solutions to open ended complex problems,” he says. “We won the World Finals in 2014. We were the first team from Miami to win.”
He founded a team at Howard Elementary because his sister Gabriela was interested.
Sophomore year he coached them and they went to competitions but this past year the coronavirus made the team refrain from competition.
He is a member of the student council. He was on the Class of 2021 Cabinet, his freshman year and his sophomore and junior years he was class vice president. He is the senior class president this year.
Laventman is in the National Honor Society, the Social Studies Honor Society and competes in History Bowl. His team qualified for the national competition sophomore year and again this year but couldn’t go because of COVID-19.
He earned his first-degree black belt in karate in 2019. He’s been doing it for as long as he can remember.
“It’s very focused on mental discipline,” he says.
He volunteered at the Pinecrest Martial Arts summer camp last summer leading up to the black belt.
In college he wants to major in business, finance, or economics. He’s applying to schools like Duke, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, and Yale.
He’s interning at DobleDoble Digital, a service for other start-up companies to help them grow their business through podcasts and video shows.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld