Gulliver Prep senior Hayaat Kay-Ramos is the Prep’s Silver Knight nominee in the area of Business.
Over the years, Kay-Ramos has earned more than 1500 community service hours for the work he and his two brothers have done in Nigeria since their freshman year. Kay-Ramos and his brothers Awwal, and Kamal are triplets.
He and his brothers created the Hawka Foundation, because his family has strong beliefs about community service. As a family, they visit Nigeria for the summer and they would volunteer while there.
“Our family is big on community service,” he says. “We were doing this since we were six.
We started going actively on our own around eighth grade or our freshman year.”
Each summer they volunteer at orphanages in Abuja and Lagos.
“We bring them goods and we play soccer with them,” he says. “And sometimes we help clean up their hostels.”
The first couple of weeks they visit the orphanages and see what their needs are while their friends and cousins finish school. When their friends and cousins are finished with school, they start the volunteer work.
“I usually tutor them in math and when they finish their homework, we play or watch TV,” he says.
In total, they work with five orphanages in the two cities.
In 2019, the brothers organized a water polo camp. All three play at Gulliver and they thought it would be a great game to introduce to kids.
They worked out a deal with a school to train approximately 30 students aged 9-13 who already knew how to swim how to play water polo.
“Most of the kids had never heard of water polo,” he says.
Since he and his brothers are all on the Gulliver team, they asked their coach for help.
When they came back to the U.S. for the Junior Olympics, she donated equipment including balls and caps for the players. When they returned to Nigeria, the brothers fundraised enough money to buy materials and they built the nets, which they left with the school.
Kay-Ramos says he learned a lot at the camp.
“It was very eye opening. Some of them are inherently good,” he says. “They like swimming but they never knew what water polo is about.”
He and his brothers had hoped to conduct another camp last summer but COVID-19 kept them in Florida and will likely keep them home again next summer. When they are able to go again, they hope to work with a different school and host camps there.
Kay-Ramos is not yet sure where he’s going to college. He plans to take Business Analytics but he and his brothers are still working through college scenarios.
At Gulliver, Kay-Ramos is involved in Breakthrough Miami.
“My brothers and I started an initiative to provide them breakfast,” he says. “Some of them might not eat before they came.”
Kay-Ramos also volunteers at His House, a home for children who have been taken from parents or are displaced.
“They come from across the border illegally and they have no one here,” he says. “A place where children are abused. We go and try to make the kids’ days.”
He’s president of the National Chinese Honor Society. He started studying Chinese in eighth grade and has entered competitions for students of Chinese.
He’s a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa, the National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, the Cum Laude Club and the GPAC Council, the student run council that deals with academic integrity.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld