The semester got off to a fast start with our class at Miami Senior High. Many familiar faces, and some new ones too, joined our weekly sessions to learn about new career paths and opportunities. From elected officials to journalists, our semester has been intellectually diverse, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of it has in store.
Morgana Nieves works in the department of corporate sponsorship at Nikalus’ Children’s Hospital. It is her responsibility to find big-name partners and sponsors for events the hospital organizes. She touched on the importance of professional decorum and negotiation when making deals, and explained how the work she does ultimately has a positive effect on the patients and their families. Whether it be blood drives, charity walks, or fancy hotel parties, you can be sure Morgana is involved in finding the best partners to help the patient. For her activity, Morgana had our students break into groups of twos, acting as hospital representative and corporate salesperson. In a negotiation exercise the two had to come to a mutually beneficial agreement for the corporation to provide a service to the hospital.
There are a few who have seen Miami change, and been committed to making it the good kind of change, as Councilman Scott Galvin. Whether as a middle school history teacher (the best many of us have had), a youth program manager, or a (literally) combustion busting elected official, Scott has made our city a better place.Scott’s tenure on the City Council is one of the longest the city of North Miami has ever seen, and as such, he has been instrumental in all the changes and improvements it has seen over the years. Scott encouraged a lively discussion among our classmates, explaining to them that we are in a political climate he has never seen before, and gave his predictions on how it will affect both our neighborhoods and our neighbors.
Our next presentation came from the young journalist Wilson Sayre. Reporting for WLRN, the national public radio branch in South Florida, Wilson investigates and reports on topics relevant to our city, state, and nation. Wilson explain to us the specifics of investigative journalism, sound editing, and news-writing. Relevant to our classroom, she showed us some of her pieces on school zone speed limits and issues in Miami Dade school lunches. At the end of the class, she had our students break into pairs of interviewer and interviewee, with the interviewers prompting their partners on issues they cared about, all while recording the conversation. Wilson took the tapes with her and will be editing them into a piece that she will send back to us.
To round out the month our students had the pleasure of talking with Marilyn Bonilla-Krantz, an alumni of Miami senior high school. Marilyn has had a storied career, from healthcare administration to becoming an attorney. Marilyn explained the legal system in great depth, covering civil courts all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. She also discussed how the law is evolving, with new fields of law developing in robotics and cyber security, while educating the students on many organizations that defend the fair and free use of technology and information. Marilyn closed the month discussing the implications that may come with the hiring of a new Supreme Court Justice, and a short mock trial session.