Palmer Trinity School junior Marissa Tannebaum volunteered for four weeks at the Breakthrough Miami summer program.
As a volunteer she would serve breakfast and give the kids lunch and snacks every day.
“We would be morning greeters,” she says. “We would help the teachers if the teachers needed supplies. We would set up all the spaces.”
In the mornings, she would sit with the children when they arrived. She played dominos and card games with them.
“I loved being with the kids,” she says. “That was my favorite part about it.”
During the school year, she’s a teacher for Breakthrough Miami program that meets a couple of Saturdays a month. She teaches eighth grade.
“I like to be with the eighth graders,” she says. “It’s that I’m not so much older than them, so I’m an authoritative leader, but I can also be a friend to them.
This year she’s president of the Breakthrough Miami Club. As president, she schedules meetings with the volunteers and helps advertise Breakthrough at school. She also keeps track of the hours earned by the members and makes sure everyone is issued letters detailing their volunteer hours at the end of the year.
She’s in Falcon Fury, the school spirit club. The club is working hard to boost school spirit by making pep rallies special, planning themes for sporting events and hosting Spirit Days. It’s not just for sporting events.
“We require all members to go to a show or musical the school puts on,” she says.
She says that she’s seen an increase in school spirit since she’s been in the club.
Tannebaum is the Executive Spirit Chair for Student Government. Previously she was the Community Service Representative for the class of 2021.
“With my tenth-grade student government advisor, I’d find community service opportunities,” she says.
She transmited the information to her classmates so they could earn community service hours.
“Most of them were beach clean-ups,” she says. “A couple at the Deering Estate.”
She’s also a student ambassador and a peer counselor. As a peer counselor, if any student has an issue that they need to talk to someone about, they can talk to her instead of going to a guidance counselor.
“I found it more helpful to go to a peer counselor,” she says. “Because sometimes it’s more comforting to talk to someone around your age and who has gone through similar experiences.”
Peer counselors undergo training before school begins and periodic training throughout the year.
“If there is ever an issue that seems concerning, we should report it to an adult,” she says.
Tannebaum plays two sports at Palmer Trinity – volleyball and lacrosse.
Outside of school, she’s the treasurer of Twenty Little Working Girls, a community service club.
“We raise money for a bunch of different organizations,” she says. “At the end of the year we donate the money.”
Some of the organizations they work with include Camillus House and Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden. The organization not only donates money but the teens volunteer there as well. At Camillus House, the do two shifts each month where they serve food to the homeless.
Of they’ll volunteer at Fairchild events.
“Last year I went to the Merrick House when they were having a holiday event,” Tannebaum says.
She attends meetings for Twenty Little Working Girls at least once a month and a monthly board meeting. Then she does her volunteer shifts. Most girls do 20 hours a year.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld