Earlier this month, the Gulliver Academy’s Girls in Engineering students were invited to eMerge Americas to present “How Girls Engineer in Middle School.” eMerge Americas is a global idea exchange focusing on how technology and innovation are disrupting industries. The five-day conference serves as a platform connecting revolutionary startups, cutting-edge ideas, industry leaders and investors from around the globe.
Our students were interviewed by the U.S. chief technology officer and assistant to the president, Megan J. Smith, and discussed the importance of S.T.E.M. (science, engineers, technology and math) programs for kids in grades K-8 along with the mayor of the City of Miami, Tomás P. Regalado.
Just this year, Gulliver’s Girls in Engineering class established a mentoring program to inspire Primary and Lower School children to take an interest in robotics, coding, designing and building.
The opportunity was inspiring and eye-opening for the girls.
Seventh and Eighth grade students at the Montgomery Drive Campus participated in meaningful community service opportunities at Miami Rescue Mission and Farm Share. At Miami Rescue Mission, students served meals to more than 220 individuals living in the shelter and prepared food for the nightly meal, which is served to more than 1,200 homeless and needy people throughout the area. Before serving, students toured the facility, participated in a discussion of the reasons for homelessness and learned how the homeless are rehabilitated and gain re-entry into the workforce. During the students’ visit to Farm Share, they assembled enough meals to be delivered to more than 2,000 families in the surrounding community – in just one afternoon. These experiences continue to encourage our students to be active positive participants throughout the community.
For its second consecutive year, the Gulliver Prep Social Science Department has released its academic journal of history, politics, economics and society. “Principles of Social Science” incorporates a year’s worth of work by both students and faculty, with student editors and writers taking the lead in its completion.
Student editors James Britt ‘17, Caroline Comeau ‘16 and Sara Fuenmayor ‘17 worked with Christopher Calvo, Prep Social Sciences faculty, to select student articles of quality scholarship for publication in the department’s journal. The team of student writers included Martina Zuluga ‘16, Raphael Hillis ‘16, Kaeli Streeter ‘14, David Klein ‘15, Lauren Pelletier ‘17, Sarah Menasce ‘17, Sebastian Barlett ‘15 and Songlin Vincent Li ‘16.
Together, faculty, student editors and writers accomplished multiple tasks. Writers committed to demanding assignments, both editors and writers had to remain engaged throughout the assignment. Both had to ensure that the final articles were written correctly – paying attention to the style, the format and the way they communicated their ideas.
Pelletier, a Gulliver drama and debate student, and Menasce, a biomedical science and art student, contributed studies on 20th-century African-American history. Zuluga, who is heavily involved in several of Gulliver’s student service organizations, wrote about the indigenous Wayuu population in northern Colombia, providing additional insight gained through her family’s travels and experiences. “I really like talking about where I am from and providing that insight,” Zuluga says, adding that guidance from one of her teachers was particularly important. “I’ve been much more open-minded after taking anthropology with Dr. Cubas. He has helped me with the process and has really guided and helped me.” Klein, whose Gulliver activities including being captain of the tennis team, researched the popular Hollywood film “Schindler’s List,” intent on thoroughly examining Oskar Schindler, the main character of the true story. Li, who is studying engineering as well as international business and entrepreneurship, contributed an essay on contemporary Hong Kong.
This year’s journal follows up on the 2013-2014 journal of the same title, which received positive reviews and praise from the Gulliver community. The journal is a unique experiential learning opportunity developed with months of patience, dedication, detail and hard work from the social sciences department. “As far as I understand, there is only one other student lead journal like this in the United States. I am proud of the content and quality of work each student contributed in making the journal a success within the Gulliver community. This project enriches the learning experience of our department and provides insight on the diversity of our students,” says Christopher Calvo.
Jorge Rodriguez-Walling, Prep Social Sciences chair, said the journal reflects the department’s commitment to student-led learning and student engagement in the social sciences. “We tried to put out a quality product, just as we did the first time, and we hope you all love it as much as we do,” Rodriguez-Walling says. “We hope to continue putting products out which students are really proud of.”
We are ecstatic to receive the second volume of the academic journal and congratulate the social science department and the students for their year-long work and dedication to another exceptional journal!
Throughout the year, Gulliver Prep students have planned ways to help others who are less fortunate. After a successful Club Rush during the beginning of the year, TECHOhad enough volunteers to begin implementing their ideas. In late March, the students traveled to Costa Rica, near San Jose, to build homes for people in need through TECHO, a non-profit that helps fight extreme poverty with youth volunteers. Roberto Interiano ‘16 met with the Miami representative for TECHO, Laura Mejia, to help launch this initiative. He turned to Angel Munoz ‘16, Ruben Pena ‘16, Ashlee Ruiz ‘17, Gabriel Almeida ‘16, Daniel Lopez ‘16, Natalie De Angulo ‘16, Gabriela Dullenkopf ‘16, David Herrera ‘17 and Victoria Padilla ‘16 for assistance. Together, they reached out to all potential volunteers, including other students and their families and friends.
To finance building the homes, the students fundraised more than $5,000; one house typically costs around $2,500 to build. “It was definitely a life-changing experience for all of us that participated,” says Roberto. “We learned so much: organized our logistics, fundraised, traveled and built houses in record time. And most importantly, we lived and became friends with people who live in very challenging conditions. It taught us gratefulness and service. We are committed to expand our TECHO Gulliver Club and are already organizing upcoming trips like this, including for this summer.”
Students arrived on a Friday and spent the evening dining with the families for whom they’d be building homes. They worked most of Saturday and Sunday, leaving later in the evening on Sunday. Much of the $2,500-per-home cost goes towards the required and primary material: wood that is six meters by three meters. The students helped with the base, framing and building of the home. All materials were brought in through TECHO, purchased through the funds the students raised. Once the homes were completed, students included a ribbon for the families to cut as they began to enjoy their new homes.
“This mission trip was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had,” says Angel. “These types of trips are something I believe every individual should try to make at least once. The manual labor involved is great for the body and the connection made with the local people is great for the soul.” The students were passionate about the trip. “I left with a feeling of fulfillment that was unparalleled to any other. No materialistic or superficial achievement can amount to how spiritually rewarding building that house was,” Munoz adds. “We left something that would last for years and were able to improve the quality of life of another human being. Before we left, the house owner asked us to write our names on her wall so she could remember us.”
Please join us in congratulating our students and families for the excellent work they have done and the commitment to service they have demonstrated. We are so proud of you!
The Gulliver Academy Middle School Music Department competed at the OrlandoFest music festival. OrlandoFest, which began on Friday, April 24, provides various performance groups an inspiring and educationally meaningful music festival experience. During the weekend-long competition, the Academy’s Chorus, Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Jazz Band received numerous awards for their performances.
The Chorus came in first place within its classification, the Orchestra came in first place within its classification – receiving a Superior rating, the Symphonic Band came in first place within its classification – receiving a Superior rating, the Jazz Band came in first place within its classification – receiving a Superior rating and the Grand Champion Award for the highest middle school instrumental ensemble score.
Two individual students also received special recognition from the judges for the solos they performed with the Jazz Band: Congratulations to Robert Cancio ‘19 and Diego Rodriguez ‘20 for this special award.
Congratulations to all our musical Raiders for their astounding performances!
On April 8, 2015, Gulliver faculty and students hosted more than 100 attendees at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden for the TEDxCoralGables event! Its powerful theme of Momentum brought together impressive speakers in the beautiful Coral Gables area. Event organizer Noah Jacobs ‘15 and co-organizer Adam Schachner ‘98 put on the event with Sebastian Bartlett ‘15, Rene Carballo ‘17, Emily Fakhoury ‘17, Ros Fiol ‘15, Isabela Herrera ‘18, Allegra Kaufman ‘15, Ana Laub ‘15, Fefi Martinez ‘16, Tyler Sanchez ‘15, Marina Wakil ‘15, Franco Zacharzewski ‘15 and Demi Zhu ‘15.
Guest speaker Ben Abo, a longtime paramedic who is now an emergency medicine physician, humanitarian and educator, delivered a powerful, witty and enthusiastic speech that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Alessandra Maggioni ‘17 delivered an emotional and heartwarming speech about the obstacles she has faced with scoliosis, helping the audience visualize the difficult road she has taken and the strength she needs to overpower adversity. Alouishous San Gomma, a popular street mural artist who has helped erase the divide between high and low art, provided insight into his upbringing and showcased how his past helped pave the road to his present, shaping who he is today as a human being and an artist. GPS Quintet – David Hernandez ‘16, Bret Gilbert ‘15, David Klein ‘15, Arnau Hanly-Jorda ‘17 and Daniel Mesko ‘15– delivered an influential performance on Jazz, expertly detailing the melodic and harmonic elements of the music genre as it developed over the last century by showcasing sounds, notes and histories.
Other guest speakers included Ruben van Hooidonk, a marine biologist working for the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. Michael-Anthony Espino, a 16-year-old junior at Terra Environmental Research Institute, showcased his rise and fall as a dancer and his will to continue to be bigger and better than ever with his team, as he incorporates martial arts and dance. Michelle Villalobos, a personal branding professional who specializes in "turning identity into income,” shared her struggles with perfection and what exactly it means to be perfect. Victor Dove, cofounder of Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning spoke about his work designing plans for livable, walkable and sustainable communities in 22 states and across five continents.
A very, very special thank you to the Gulliver faculty, students, families, administrators, staff, as well as the live band, Thanks, who helped make the event so special! GO RAIDERS!
For the first time ever, the Engineering for Females Class at Gulliver Academy - Marian C. Krutulis Campus competed in a statewide competition. Going up against more than 15 robotics teams from around Florida in FIRST® LEGO®,the girls won “The Gracious Professionalism Award” and “The Judge's Award.”
As part of the competition, all FIRST LEGO League teams needed to conduct active research on a “World-Class Question:” How can we improve the way someone learns programming? The Gulliver All Girls Robotics Team, also known as the “Maker Raiders,” decided to investigate this question by teaching programming skills to Primary and Lower School students.
The Maker Raiders Team 6120 found Cubelets robot construction kits to be the best manipulative for teaching computational skills to Primary School students, while LEGO Mindstorms worked best for Lower School students in in grades 3-5.
Our Team Includes:
Victoria Alfonso ‘20
Katie Alvarez ‘20
Sofia Canico ‘20
Alina Jimenez Cala ‘20
Olivia Connor ‘20
Alexandra Cueto ‘20
Mila Eliaschev ‘20
Katia Perez ‘20
Fiorella Polit ‘20
Kelly Zighelboim ‘20
Overall, this year has been a huge success for the Engineering for Females class! Congratulations, Raider family!
G.O.A.L.S., one of Gulliver’s most beloved clubs at the Prep, has had an amazing year! The group, whose name stands for Get Out and Love Soccer, runs free clinics that give local children with Autism Spectrum Disorder the opportunity to enjoy exercise through soccer and various games. At the last clinic of the school year on March 7, Gulliver students worked with more than 30 families and 38 participants!
Both Middle School and Prep students and faculty are heavily involved in this club, with approximately 64 volunteers on-site to help support G.O.A.L.S. “I’ve always been a social person, and knowing how many of the kids are reserved around others made me want to join and see how much I can help them have a good time while encouraging them to interact with others,” says Gustavo Mogollon ‘15.
The club’s primary objective is to assist families through social outings for children who may not have many such opportunities. The clinics focus on behavioral skills, such as learning how to play well with others, and on enhancing communication skills. Parents enjoy networking and speaking with other families, discussing therapists, schools and grants. “At least 15 families are G.O.A.L.S. veteran families and they love it!” says Yary Roman, a member of Gulliver’s physical education faculty and G.O.A.L.S. co-sponsor. “I have so many success stories that I can share. You see the new families with their children, who at first are hesitant and timid. But throughout the course of either their first clinic or throughout the multiple clinics we witness an improvement – and this makes all the hard work even more rewarding. Once we gain the children’s trust, they are little firecrackers out on the field. We feel humbled to be a part of such a positive contribution to our community.”
G.O.A.L.S. clinics are now held on four Saturdays during the school year – an increase from last year – and participants’ parents continue to ask for more clinics each year. “We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who donated and helped make this event possible,” Yary says. “We are so grateful and are looking forward to another great successful year – thanks to Gulliver and the amazing students, parents and local families who truly inspire us!”
The club would not have achieved such success without Yary and the amazing co-sponsor Dori Guerra, as well as Gulliver administrators, faculty and staff who help add an extra touch of kindness to the Miami community. Thank you for all you do!
If you would like to get involved with G.O.A.L.S., please contact Yary Roman at 305.992.1151.
The Gulliver Academy Girls’ Lacrosse team began its first season by hosting familiar rival Ransom on March 17, and traveling to American Heritage Plantation on March 18.
The inaugural Gulliver Girls’ Lacrosse game against Ransom was both history-making and exciting. The Raiders were down for most of the game, but rallied to tie Ransom at 9-9 with one minute left in regulation. The game went into overtime, but while the Raiders gave it their best shot, they ended up with a 9-10 overtime loss. The Raiders were led by Lara Arvesu ‘19 with four goals, Carolina Hassan ‘21 with three and Camila Capriles ‘20 and Elizabeth “Lily” Harris ‘19 with one goal each.
The girls’ first away lacrosse game at American Heritage Plantation was a seesaw battle. At the half, the Raiders trailed the Patriots 7-4, but outscored American Heritage 7-1 in the second half to make a comeback and earn their first victory in program history, by a score of 11-8. Lara and Lily led the Raiders, each scoring four goals. Emily Turner ‘19 netted two goals and Camila added one. Samantha Ashbel ‘20 added great defense, limiting the Patriots to one goal during the second half.
“The entire process has provided a great learning experience for the girls,” said Coach Shannon DeCamp of the Raiders victory. “It provides the program a foundation, and the victory gives us a nice start.”
“This was a great beginning for Gulliver Academy Girls’ Lacrosse,” added Gulliver Academy’s assistant athletic director, Laz Fernandez. “It is always special to have the opportunity to start a program, and go through to process of seeing it grow. I look forward to the future, as we have more student athletes raise their level of commitment to the development and growth of the program.”
Girls’ Lacrosse Inaugural Team Members include: Carolina Hassan ‘21, Alexandra Procce ‘19, Mila Eliaschev ‘20, Lara Arvesu ‘19, Cassidy Woolworth ‘19, Ana Benacerraf ‘19, Emily Turner ‘19, Camila Capriles ‘20, Camila Noel ‘19, Lily Harris ‘19, Ana Rego ‘20 and Sam Ashbel ‘20.
In early March, Gulliver international business and entrepreneurship students were hard at work earning their places in DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC). Twenty-nine students participated in DECA’s district-level competition, and 11 qualified to attend the ICDC from April 25-28 in Orlando. There, they will join 17,000 other high school students, advisors, businesspeople and DECA alumni in competitive events, DECA’s Emerging Leader Series and college and career exhibits!
DECA is a non-profit that helps prepare students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management through business experiences and projects, partnerships with businesses, competitions and educational opportunities. Gulliver’s involvement with the organization was spearheaded by alumnus Paolo Parente ‘13, and has since become an important elective for Gulliver students with an interest in business. “Our international business and entrepreneurship program helps students develop their business acumen, enriching the learning experience while preparing them for future careers. We’re excited to see them have the opportunity to further develop those skills through the international business and entrepreneurship courses,” says Frank Steel, Gulliver’s head of schools. “Their efforts, dedication and business savvy are really paying off as they move through the DECA competitions.”
Every year, more Gulliver students attend high-level DECA competitions and qualify for ICDC.
In 2013, 22 students attended the district competition and two qualified for ICDC. Last year, 33 attended districts and four qualified for ICDC. “Our students have a few years of business education under their belt, so the vocabulary and concepts are no longer foreign,” says Gulliver Prep International Business and Entrepreneurship faculty Kamal James. “They can speak about it much more naturally and are able to answer questions more accurately, a wide variety of business topics.”
The students who qualified for DECA’s ICDC will need that extra background as they continue to dedicate their time and efforts and prepare for a competition that will test their skills at a higher level involving business concepts and terms.
Incredibly, some of the students who competed this year at DECA districts were first-year business students, and seven are not even in business classes. For many of the Gulliver competitors, it was their first time attending a DECA competition.
A very special congratulations to Gulliver’s international business and entrepreneurship faculty, students, parents and, of course, the amazing administrators, for all their hard work and support throughout the years! Best of luck to the students attending ICDC!