Category: Newsletter


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.

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.

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.

February Ambassador Updates

It’s been an impressive month for our Ambassadors! The flagship class has been traveling around south Florida and have started to make names for themselves as young professionals. From attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference to tailoring their professional skills at home, they have presented themselves consistently as changemakers of the future both in our neighborhood and statewide.

 

We started the month with a new face; our Ambassador class has grown by one with the addition of sophomore student Donna Ayala. Donna is a bright student from Booker T. Washington who is driven towards success and giving back to her community. Donna was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but moved to the Miami-Dade area when she was young, and has lived here ever since. Our new student has a passion for medicine and science, and plans to pursue a job in healthcare (preferably as a pediatrician!) after attending either Florida State University or Spelman College. Donna has been greatly involved in our program and is working on a Community Impact Project that focuses on supporting and improving the lives of women who have been victims of domestic abuse.

 

The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference is a meeting for young changemakers across the country to connect, learn professional skills, and discovery strategy towards becoming dynamic leaders in their community. Our first ever Ambassador class was sponsored by the Miami-Dade Rotary Club to attend this event, where they discussed their Community Impact Projects with other influential students and supervisors at the event. Between bouncing ideas and receiving guidance their projects evolved and grew into what they are pursuing today; impressive, well-constructed business plans that the Ambassadors will be presenting at the First Annual K.O.C. Pitch Competition in early March.
The focus has still been strong in the classroom as well. Professional skills are always on our curriculum, with the past month’s focus being on professional greetings and conflict resolution. Lessons and seminars on skills have taught our students how to properly greet a room, begin a presentation, shake hands with a new professional connection, and how to write introductions and conclusions in professional emails. Additionally, we covered respectful and effective workplace conflict resolution. A number of mock scenarios showed our students what foundations of conflict resolution to build agreements and compromises upon regardless of the situation, and how to build the rest of a resolution plan around the specifics of the scenario. Our students are quickly becoming impressive examples of young professionals and we are looking forward to seeing how they and their projects improve over the rest of the semester.

February Updates: Y1 at Booker T. Washington High School

The Knowledge Of Careers curriculum at Booker T. Washington high school continues to develop and evolve as time goes on, and the past month has been no exception. Our students have been taught the ins and outs of marketing and commercial growth, the challenges of working in education, the complexities of financial asset management, and more. As the weeks pass our students learn more and are getting closer to discovering their professional passions.

 

Jade Palomino started our month with a discussion on her role as a manager at Endeavor Miami, a corporation committed to improving local neighborhoods by enabling native entrepreneurs. Jade assists local new business owners and entrepreneurs develop their businesses models and employment methods so that the companies can grow to the size that allows them to contribute back to Miami. With backgrounds in business management, law, and music production, Jade has experiences across the board that make her an invaluable asset to our community. For one example, she directly helped grow Encompass Online Solutions grow from a $7M company in 2014 to an $11M company the next year. As part of her activity, Jade had our students run a mock Shark Tank, where they watched sample pitches form potential companies and decided what area to develop and how much money to put into their development.

 

Marketing expert Tony Dicks grabbed out students attention with his exciting presentation on his responsibilities as the CEO and Founder of Sales Funnel RX. With a focus on marketing and commercial growth, Tony’s company achieves solutions through market research, commercial strategies, and utilizing effective team members. Tony taught our class the basics of driving customers and traffic to a client’s base of operation, both through marketing and enriching value. At the end of the day Tony had our class build their very own “money machines”, individualized brands that the students created financials portfolios of and tailored for success.

 

Professor Patrick Dulcio came in for the next week, discussing with our class the importance of education and its impacts on your life outside of the classroom. A professor of finance, Patrick showed our class how the models he teaches in his classroom are used by financial professionals nationwide to ensure their clients have enough money. Patrick drew a line between “needs” and “wants” during his presentation, and showed the class how percentages of income should be distributed between the two to maintain a healthy financial status. Our class participated in an activity with Patrick where the students broke up into groups with one acting as a bank, and the rest as loan applicants. The students had to use the skills they learned during the lecture to apply for a financially-sound loan.

 

We next learned about how to employ personal wealth and investments from Asset Management Specialist Lia Yaffar-Pena. Lia has an extensive background in personal and corporate finance and explained how the same basic principles are consistent from paying monthly bills to large venture capital investments. Lia has studied that debt crisis of the 1980s extensively and used it as an example to our students and her clients to show the development of emerging Latin American markets and their impacts on the global market since. Lis now focuses on managing the sales and buying sides of Certificate of Deposits and other investments, making sure that the sales of mutually beneficial. For her activity, Lia had the students perform a mock investment scenario where the students attempted to maximize return on a $10,000 loan.

March Newsletter – Local News

A lot happened this month for education in Miami-Dade county! Early in the month our own Superintendent Alberto Carvalho was awarded the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education by McGraw Hill Education and Arizona State University. Founded in 1988, the award seeks to distinguish those who have shown immense dedication towards improving the educational opportunities for students before and during college. Mr. Carvalho has done more than that throughout his career, and deserves to stand in the same regard as prior honorees such as Salman Khan and Christopher Cerf.

Closer to home, Booker T. Washington Senior High School had the pleasure of experiencing a doubling down in scholarship money offered by the Dade County Federal Credit Union. The Credit Union has offered a $1,500 scholarship to a student in the school’s graduating class every year since 2003, but decided to double that offer this year, offering two scholarships to two separate students who showed exemplary commitment and love for their studies.

Finally, Miami-Dade County was recognized as a key player in the increasing high school graduation rates across Florida. Florida posted an impressive 77.8 statewide high school graduation rate, which is an increase of 7% over the last five years. However, Miami-Dade County, the fourth largest district in the United States, posted a high school graduation rate of 78.1%! Our students are doing better and better every year, and we can’t wait to see how the county, the state, and the nation continue to move forwards and give more of our kids the degrees they need to succeed later in life! To quote Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize winner Alberto Carvalho on this issue, “we are elated”!

March Newsletter – K.O.C. Updates

This month really put K.O.C. on the map! We started off strong with finalizing our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status and are now viewed as a tax exempt nonprofit. What does this mean for you? This way, you can be sure that any donation or gift you offer to us goes directly to tools and equipment to improve the experience of the students in the class, as well as funding the future projects of Knowledge of Careers, such as the K.O.C. ambassador program.

We also had the pleasure of being represented by our founder Michael Ragheb at Neighborhood Jam: Little Haiti/Little River in early February. Organized by New Tropic, a local media producer founded on the principle of educating Miami-Dade natives and residents on events and news within the county, the event was an open forum discussion about the future of the Little Haiti and Little River neighborhoods. Hosted at the Yeelen art gallery, we had the opportunity to teach the attendees about K.O.C., as well as learn ourselves about other Miami-based programs such as the MLK Community Mural Project.

The past few weeks have been monumental in our organization establishing itself as a major player in not only the classroom setting, but with event planning and hosting for young professionals as well. We have two large events planned in the next 3 weeks, with more on the way! On March 23rd, we will be hosting our first monthly young professional networking event at the Vagabond Hotel Miami with their generous support. Young professionals from all career fields are invited to attend, meet new people, and enjoy yourselves, as well as enter yourself into a raffle for a mystery prize! See more details on our facebook page, or contact info@knowledgeofcareers.org to be added as an official invitee. A few weeks later we are hosting a formal fundraiser and silent auction event at the Elysee Miami sales gallery. The event will be featuring pieces from Alexander Kiszynski and Guillermo Ley, as well as the silent auction items. The fundraiser will have craft cocktails and hors d’oeuvres available but requires you to RSVP, so get in quickly! Invitations will be going out soon, so if you don’t get one contact info@knowledgeofcareers.org to be added to the list. All proceeds from both the young professionals networking event and the Elysee fundraising event will go to Knowledge of Careers.

March Newsletter – Speakers Corner

We had a fantastic month of presentations in our class, engaging the students on career fields vastly diverse from one another. We kicked it off first with an exciting display from Felix Delgado, a Law Enforcement Officer with the Miami-Dade and Doral police departments for the past 34 years. Felix has been involved in crime suppression, street narcotics, and robbery task force units, as well as patrols and the Neighborhood Resource Officer program. The D.A.R.E. instructor and two-time Community Policing Officer of the Year winner gave the class a brief history of his time with the force and how his experiences on it changed as Miami evolved through the ’80s and ’90s. Officer Delgado caught the students’ attention with his detailed path towards success in a law enforcement career, as well as explaining his role in protecting President Obama during multiple visits to Miami-Dade County. Finally, he wrapped things up by having the students participate in an activity using the lessons Officer Delgado taught them about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (C.P.T.E.D.) to determine if certain public locations followed proper C.P.T.E.D. protocol.

The next week one of our own stepped into the classroom and gave a unique presentation. Aside from his work with K.O.C., Matthew Green works as a medical scribe in Memorial Hospital Pembroke’s Emergency Room, and used his experience there to talk to the students about the importance of having a “stepping stone job”. Matthew is a hopeful applicant to medical school, and used his current work as an example to show the students how many career paths require working in some less-than-glamorous positions between school and your ideal career. After breaking down his responsibilities of maintaining medical records in the ER, Matthew taught the class some basic medical knowledge about diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as how to read an EKG. In his activity the students became doctors themselves, and used what he had taught them to diagnose patients from four real encounters he had in the ER.

Next was Stuart Lilly and his experience as a harbor pilot. It was as much of a surprise to us as it was to the students to learn that ship captains aren’t allowed to pilot their craft within five miles of any Port! Instead, local harbor pilots navigate these waters with experience. An expert on the port and the waters around it, Stuart taught the class about how it is his responsibility to bring in and take out every large craft, from cruise ships to oil tankers, that make their way through the Port of Miami. Chronicling his time in marine college and being a ship’s mate, Stuart showed how his career developed as he grew, and gave the students insight on how theirs could follow the same path. After showing them how he uses his instinct and experience to pilot the ships as much as he uses charts and radar, he had the students plot a course for the port from five miles out using compasses, rulers, and oceanographic maps.

We ended the month with Claudia Sandino, better known as the #hashtagaddict. Claudia excited the students’ humorous sides with her discussion on her role as a social media marketer. The students really identified with her as she had them make targeted posts on their own instagram and twitter accounts (hey, don’t forget to follow us as well!) and expanded on how she studies trends and conversations to make sure her clients’ messages reach the right audiences. Claudia also educated the students on personal and professional fiscal responsibility as she explained the difficulties she faced in starting her own business. Finally, after distributing the selfie sticks and wooden hashtags, the class got together to take some instagram-ready pictures, duckface included.

A huge thank you to all of our presenters this month! Stay tuned next month to hear about what the next four we have in store have to offer!

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.”
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      "[After starting Knowledge of Careers, I am] more interested in school in general, trying harder across the board.”
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      “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.”
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      “[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."
      K.O.C. Student
    • Jesica Doe
      “[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