Fall 2016 Miami Senior High Recap

A new year is approaching, and with it, new beginnings. Ever ahead of the curve, KOC’s big new beginning began in September, when we opened a chapter at Miami Senior High!  We feel very grateful for all the wonderful new freshmen we have met and worked with since then—we are truly learning as much from them as they are from us. From farming to pharmaceuticals, here’s what the new class has learned this year:

Eddie Echeverri: Sourcing Strategist

Setting a strong tone for the rest of the year, Eddie Echeverri from Costa Farms came in to speak with the class about his role in sourcing materials for the company’s agricultural products. Traveling as far as India, and as nearby as Little Haiti, Eddie goes to all lengths to ensure that the product is of the highest quality. Eddie brought the class into a negotiating game for his activity, having the students represent buyers and sellers negotiating for profitable prices.

Sandra Ferrin: Attorney

Getting out of the dirt and into the courthouse, Lawyer Sandra Ferrin was next. As a judge’s clerk moving into a position at a firm, Mrs. Ferrin knows all sides of the law intimately, and expressed to the class how invaluable creative thinking is in law and in everyday life. With a focus on logic, deductive reasoning, and an appreciation for recognizing legal process, Mrs. Ferrin introduced the class to the legal methods of settling suits and prosecution. For an activity the students worked on a real case that Mrs. Ferrin was involved in, helping to determine if actions taken in a case were premeditated or not.

Catherine Ragheb: Nurse

Soon after Catherine Ragheb presented to the class on her experiences as a Nurse. Mrs. Ragheb described the study, hard work, and experience that goes into nursing, and the fulfilling and profitable future it holds. Having been involved in numerous fields of nursing, Cathy described the different field of treatment from admitted patients to being involved in emergency disaster relief. Later, she got our class’ blood pumping with some jumping jacks, sprints, and runs up the stairs to measure our heart rates.

Ashley McNeil: Nutritionist Masters Student

As any athlete knows, exercise is only as useful as the diet you pair it with. As such, Nutritionist Student Ashley McNeil joined our class to speak with us on the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. Covering the movement from the Food Pyramid to the Food Plate as the national nutritional standard, Ashley covered how different types of food affect our bodies, and how maintaining a balance between them is instrumental towards a healthy body and mind. To finish up, Ashley had the class fill out a 24-hour diet recall, and graded how healthy the last 24 hours were for each student.

Daniela Diego and Alex Bode: Medical School Students

Medical Students Daniela Diego and Alex Bode spoke to the class about their experiences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and the paths they took to get there. The two explained that you can reach medical school with a background as typical as biochemistry, like Alex’s, or as unexpected as dance, like Daniela’s. Between the two of them the students gained an appreciation for the rigors of higher education and the payoff it has for the future. As class drew to a close, the future M.D.s showed us how to tie a surgical suture knot.

Isabella Roque: Digital Marketing Intern

Isabella Roque was next to teach our class about her experiences working in the music industry. Focused on the business side of music production, Isabella explained how her many high school courses created the skill set she has today to effectively market new artists and singles. As a Digital Marketing Intern, Isabella is a key figure in making new music popular. This was especially evident in her activity, where each student chose a popular artist and was tasked with coming up with a marketing strategy to advertise the artist to their parents.

Stephanie Ragheb: Physical Therapist

For the final presentation of the semester, Physical Therapist Stephanie Ragheb joined the class early in December to speak with them about the path towards becoming a PT. Explaining the complex science behind muscles and bones, Stephanie educated the students on how the body fits together, and how to treat it when the pieces aren’t all aligned. Ms. Ragheb described her career path in detail, and made every step to becoming a PT clear. She also taught the students how to run a physical therapy evaluation on a patient, which the students performed on each other as part of her activity.

As the semester ended, we were forced to say so long to our students once again. The first year at Miami Senior High School was a smashing success. Our class size has grown, and we have all grown close to one another. It may be a new environment, and may be a new class, but it feels like we are with old friends, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year!

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Take Our Kids to Work Day

Taking up a timely topic, Richard V. Reeves of the Brookings Institute asks us to rethink the goals behind Take Your Kids to Work Day. What if it was renamed Take Our Kids to Work Day? On this day, professionals would take kids who are not regularly exposed to interesting and compelling careers into the office with them. Rather than focusing exclusively on our own children, Take Our Kids to Work Day would provide an opportunity to introduce kids to professions that would otherwise remain invisible to them, and therefore beyond their young ambitions. The author identifies socioeconomic immobility as the grievous problem - for the nation, for communities, for schools, and for our kids - that it is, and notes how we might take small steps towards bridging the divides that pervade our nation and undercut its fundamental promise to provide opportunity for all. We work every day to give our students the opportunities and skills they need to explore the new professions that will ignite their curiosity and passions, and are grateful that Mr. Reeves shares our enthusiasm for poking holes in the walls that separate society, keeping us from learning from one another. Link to article: https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/theres-a-better-way-to-celebrate-take-your-kids-to-work-day-taking-someone-elses-kid-instead/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51237898 --
We are very excited to introduce an ongoing series that will display the research of elite think tanks, social scientists, and journalists who are engaged in the same important work as KOC. We consider these researchers to be our partners. Their data gives us guidance, and our programs bring their data to life.
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Miami Senior High School Year 1 Updates - March 2017

The past few weeks have been filled with some great presentations for our first freshman class at Miami Senior High School. Our students have been learning about law, education, digitl marketing, and even geology. As the weeks pass new topics and ideas are being introduced, and our students are learning more about new professional possibilities.   Our students started off with a presentation by lawyer Marissa Leichter. With a focus on family law and child protection, she discussed the law’s involvement with the foster care system and nonprofit systems that provide child care. Marissa also detailed the complex juvenile detention system. For her activity, the students developed their own ideas for nonprofit companies and drafted a mission statement.   Digital marketer Bryan Lozano visited our class to speak on the value of online marketing and social media management. As the digital marketer for a large, south Florida law firm, Bryan manages the online presence of the firm and maintains a positive corporate image. Bryan described to our class the importance of establishing a difference between the online persona of a company or corporation and one of a person. As such, as part of his activity, each of our students started their own blog which they have been updating regularly.   A week later we were visited by Kyle Mullan, teacher and dean at Cushman High School. Kyle recounted his storied path to teaching and showed our class the many steps it takes to reach a professional goal. As a dean and teacher, Kyle crosses the line between educator and administrator, and helped explain to our class the multifaceted ways he must face an issue. Additionally, we were treated to a detailed description of Kyle’s many travels and volunteer work, which prompted a concluding informal discussion about world travel, geopolitics, and the need for selflessness. Lastly, geologist and professor Ta-Shana Taylor came to our class with a bucket of rocks! However we quickly learned that these were not just rocks, but also a mix of ancient fossils and minerals. Ta-Shana explained in-depth the inner workings of archaeology and the scientific fields, gradually revealing throughout the lecture signs and techniques to classify all of the samples she had brought with her. By telling us stories of her visits to the Museum of Natural History as a teenager, her dig sites in college, and her current work at UM, we seemed to learn more and more about classification and study as her timeline progressed. As we reached our current day in her story, we compared how we had sorted the samples to how the student did initially and saw firsthand how much we had learned in such a short period.
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Booker T. Washington Year 1 Updates - March 2017

As the school continues our freshman class at Booker T. Washington High School continues to have engaging presentations from a variety of professionals. Our last series of presentations have covered disciplines from all walks of life, professions, and academics, and have given our students an experienced outlook into the working world.   We started off the month with aesthetician Elizabeth Canler who spoke on her training and experiences in the beauty industry. Elizabeth drew from both scientific and aesthetic viewpoints in her presentation, speaking on the methodology behind products and techniques used in the modern beauty and cosmetological industries. Elizabeth brought in a number of ingredients used in facial masks which can be found at home and had the students design and create their own masks.   Dr. Angie Laird is a professor and neuroscientist from Florida International University who discussed with our students the benefits and uses of MRI technology in the medical field and how she uses it to study brain function. Dr. Laird focuses on the differences between active and inactive regions in the brain, and discussed with our class the differences between the two and how she differentiates between them based on MRI feedback. For an activity she had our students perform various critical thinking problems and exercises to stimulate brain activity and explained how she would measure which portions of the brain was being activated based on the type of question.   Entrepreneur Tony Thomas was next to speak with the class. He discussed the benefits of branding, personal marketing, and wealth management, both personal and professional. Mr. Thomas has a number of companies and holdings including athletic training and management, and discussed strategy behind balancing budgets and efforts between them, while maintaining separate and effective brands. As class drew to a close Tony had the students create personal fictional brands for causes or issues important to them.   To round out the month we had Dr. John Davies come speak with our class. An experienced leader in the south Florida academic field, he has been Head of School for the local Miami Country Day School for nearly 20 years. Documenting his path towards education and administration, Dr. Davies discussed how high school-level academia has evolved over past decades, how teaching styles can be altered to best suit different students, and the many opportunities and career paths involved in following an education in teaching.
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March 2017 Ambassador Updates

Over the past month our Ambassadors have had some of the most productive and educational weeks yet! Between large strides being made in their Community Impact Projects and developing their professional skills, they have been working tirelessly to improve themselves and the neighborhoods around them. Within the last month our Ambassadors presented their projects at our first annual Knowledge of Careers Pitch Presentation, where they were judged independently and the winner received seed funding for their project!   The Ambassador’s Community Impact Projects have been developing rapidly over the past few weeks. With each unique project taking realized form, our Ambassadors have been creating business models, competitor analyses, and financial projections, as well as ensuring their positive impact on the Overtown community and surrounding areas. Their work on their projects this semester culminated in our First Annual Knowledge of Careers Pitch Night, where the Ambassadors pitched their projects to an independent panel of judges: Melitsa Waage, Oro Padron, Hannah Anokye, Naureen Rizvi, and Sally Guzik. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to them for evaluating the programs and giving their feedback! At the end of the night our Ambassadors Donna and D'eria from their project Diamonds In The Rough edged out the other competitors; In Between, the program run by Kimneisha and Jonathan, and Beat The Odds, Chris and Marquise’s Community Impact Project.   Donna and D’eria won a well-deserved prize of an initial $250 funding towards their project, which will be implemented in May along with the other Ambassadors’ projects. The projects will be continued throughout the rest of the year, when they will undergo an unbiased, professional evaluation to see which projects have room for future growth and development. In the meantime the Ambassadors will continue the Knowledge of Careers curriculum into their Junior years, developing their programs further, and focusing on SAT and ACT preparation and internships.
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    • Jesica Doe
      “[After starting Knowledge of Careers] I know that math is a lot more important than I thought it was, I’m trying harder in it now.”
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      “[K.O.C. showed me that] you need to work hard to achieve your goals.”
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    • Jesica Doe
      "[After starting Knowledge of Careers, I am] more interested in school in general, trying harder across the board.”
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      “The program helped me [learn about] more careers. At first I only wanted to do one thing, now I want to try something else.”
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      “You have to work hard to get a job, I didn’t think it was hard to do before [the program]. If you need to look longer than you thought you would to get a job, that’s okay.”
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      “[Knowledge of Careers] helped me [learn about] more careers and jobs that need more challenging steps. This program makes you want to do better in your classes for your future.”
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      “[K.O.C.] gave me a good inside view on every different job, it [shows you] different things that are good jobs and it makes you want to expand your horizons."
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      “[Knowledge of Careers makes you] open your mind to different stuff, like if you didn’t know what you wanted to be it gave you different [careers].”
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      “[Before K.O.C. I thought getting a job was easy.] You get your degree and go see if they have any spots open, show your resume and you get the job. The perception has changed, you have to work hard.”
      K.O.C. Student