A few years ago, Palmer Trinity junior Isabella Fratangelo helped start a community organization called Kids Interact Sharing Shirts (KISS).
“We collect new and hardly used uniform shirts from area schools and companies, and the give (uniform) polo shirts to some schools in Miami-Dade,” she says. “We put a new logo on them and give them to kids who can’t afford them.”
This year they collected 3,752 shirts that were donated to students at Holmes and Frederick Douglass Elementary.
Fratangelo’s friend Mia Brochin, started Kiss and Brochin’s family paid to have the new patches sewn on the shirts. The project started after they noticed the condition of the uniforms in a school they were volunteering at.
“There are now a number of KiSS ambassadors who collect shirts from their own schools,” Fratangelo says.
The shirts are collected from St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School, St. Phillips School, McGlannan School, Riviera Preparatory School, Ransom, Carollton School of the Sacred Heart, Alexander Montessori and Gulliver Prep.
At school, Fratangelo is president of Palmer Trinity School Cares. Last year club members wrote letters thanking the first responders of the Nevada concert shooting. They wrote other letters to Palmetto Bay police officers thanking them for protecting the school and the students.
This year, the club is working with the children at the Chapman Partnership for the Homeless shelter, providing fun evenings for them to participate in. They also want to participate in charitable walks.
Her club includes middle school students as well as high schoolers.
Fratangelo is a member of The Friends of Zanmi Benni, supporting an orphanage in Haiti that took in children orphaned by the 2007 earthquake and mentally and physically disabled children.
“They have around 50 disabled kids and 50 non-disabled students,” she says.
She also volunteers for La Mujer, an organization that helps immigrant children and moms who are victims of sexual and physical abuse.
“I help a few individuals with the Christmas party for the 25 neediest families that the organization works with and getting people to donate gifts,” she says. “We try to give them presents so the parents have gifts to give to the kids. It’s a party for the kids to have fun. And for the parents to have fun, too.”
She also volunteers with Symphonettes, a local organization for young women who are dedicated to supporting the musical arts.
The organization raises money that is donated to a variety of organizations at the end of the year.
“I’m in charge of membership,” she says. “I make sure everyone has paid their dues.”
Fundraisers include a garage sale, a fashion show and two auctions.
“We usher at certain events,” she says.
Fratangelo is a member of Palmer Trinity’s Model United Nations team. She’s participated in two conferences so far and felt she had a good showing. Model U.N. topics have included cyber warfare, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year, Fratangelo joined the History Club.
“We learn about history and topics we are passionate about,” she says. “Either we debate, or we try to educate the school if it’s a big topic that not many people know about.”
She joined the club because she is passionate about history and wanted to learn more.
Fratangelo is a student ambassador for Palmer Trinity. As a student ambassador, she conducts tours for prospective students and their parents.
She just started as an ambassador and did a practice run before her first tour earlier this month.
Fratangelo volunteers for Breakthrough Miami, an academic enrichment program for underprivileged kids taught by high school volunteers.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld