In middle school, Coral Reef High senior April Rubin attended Holocaust Impact Theater productions. She was impressed and wanted to become involved. In ninth grade, Rubin got her chance and has been integral to the productions ever since.
She started as a writer and actor. Generally, only upper classmen are chosen. Getting started so young, she became the first high school junior chosen as student producer. She’s the student producer again this year and head writer.
As the student producer, she helps choose the writers.
“This year, we had more than 50 applicants,” she says. “We had to choose 12 of them.”
She also organizes meetings and makes sure everything is running smoothly. They begin meeting over the summer to sift through potential topics for the March production.
“This year it took us three to four writing meetings before we had an idea that we all agreed on,” she says. “It’s going to be about the media. We are always very relevant to the moment.”
Other topics include feminism, racism, religious intolerance and immigration.
“That’s what I’m personally writing about (immigration),” she says. “We’re going to be writing about terrorism and disabilities. We always find a way to incorporate the Holocaust into it.”
For research, the students also watch movies that relate to intolerance or other subjects that they talk about.
“We had a holocaust survivor attend our show last year,” she says. “It was amazing to hear his story.”
Working on Impact Theater has taught her a variety of skills, including improving her writing.
“Intellectual skills, how to collaborate skills, listening to what everyone has to say,” she says. “It gives you a type of intelligence that you can’t get from school. It gives you a sort of sensitivity and compassion for what other people are going through.”
She helps organize holiday concerts at Ibanez Piano Studio that are also fundraisers for charity. She’s played piano since she was a child.
At school, Rubin is President of the French Honor Society.
“I started taking French freshman year of high school and I’m now almost fluent,” she says.
“We have to do oral exams for IB and written exams as well, so I can read, write and speak.”
She is a board member of the organization HUGS, which stands for Helping Underclassmen to Grow Successful.
“We teach them and guide them through IB and aspects of high school,” she says.
She’s secretary of the IB Student Government, a member of the National Honor Society, English National Honor Society and an associate member of Best Buddies.
Because of her love of the English language, she started a grammar workshop at Howard Drive Elementary for fourth and fifth graders.
“Each week we have a new lesson on grammar,” she says.
She started the class because in her elementary school, they offered language enrichment to fourth and fifth graders.
“I know I can write with proper grammar because of those classes,” she says. “I wanted to channel that love I have for grammar to younger kids.”
She always incorporates a game or fun interactive activity. The class is so fun and useful, teachers are trying to get their kids into it, even if those kids don’t attend after school care.
In college, she wants to double major in communications and political science. Eventually she wants to be a journalist.
Her top choices are NYU, Boston University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Florida and Columbia.
She attended the Youth Leadership Institute at U Penn. Her participation was funded by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld