Miami Palmetto High School senior Lisa Winders is a youth group leader at St. Louis Catholic Church.
“We meet once a week, every Tuesday. As leaders we discuss how we can work together to help the kids,” she says. “We talk about how to get them involved in the Catholic community and grow in their faith.”
Winders says they teach the pre-teens lessons every student should know when they are Catholic. They also take the students on retreats.
“We are supposed to act like role models for these kids growing in their faith,” she says.
She’s been a youth leader for a couple of years after being in the youth group since seventh grade.
Through St. Louis, she volunteered with a couple other youth group leaders at Camillus House, feeding the homeless. The first time they went, she handed out the food to the people. The second time we went, she prepared the food in the kitchen.
At school, Winders is on the Variations Dance team which performs at school events such as pep rallies and at charitable events.
“I’m very involved in my dance team,” she says. “It’s such a fun way to remain active. I love to be a part of it every day.”
The team just started competing and will be at the American Dance Alliance competition at Ronald Reagan High School in December. This will be her first competition with Variations although she has participated in competitions in the past with Dance Empire.
She used to dance with Dance Empire and the Miami Youth Ballet. She was with the Miami Youth Ballet from first grade to fifth grade but not on the competition team. She later switched to Dance Empire where she danced from sixth through eighth grade. She stopped when she joined Variations because she wanted time to participate in school activities.
Her favorite dance style is jazz funk.
“It’s upbeat,” she says. “It’s always moving and sassy. It’s the best style for my personality.”
Winders is in the Student Council Senate as part of the student recruitment chair.
“Our main priority is to focus on how we can bring students in, how we can lure in freshman and transfers from other schools,” she says. “Our school is so much fun.
Freshman should consider Palmetto. My job to have them see Palmetto a viable option, the school they want to go to.”
This past summer, Winders was a paid intern at the University of Miami in the Dining and Auxiliary Services. She primarily did office work, learning how to function in office life.
“Everyone taught me what they did every day. They would take me around campus and show me how their department contributes to the function of the university,” she says. “I didn’t realize that they actually did so much. Once I got in and started working, I realized how much work they have and how vital they are. They deal with the meal plans for the students, the restaurants and all the festivals.”
Initially she was hesitant about working in an office environment. Her month-long experience showed her that people can thrive in office settings.
The experience made her excited about the future. After observing marketing agents come to the office, she realized she interested in marketing as a career.
She’s also taken a course at Miami-Dade College on the Principles of Marketing.
“That was really interesting. It involved so much creativity and innovation,” she says.
She’s applying to colleges in Florida, including Florida State, the University of Florida as well as Tulane.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld