Alaz Sengul ‘17 was hard at work this summer, dedicating more than 100 hours to the University of Miami School of Law’s Health Rights Clinic. He was originally set to focus on helping digitize student surveys; however, his mentor Melissa Swain, the clinic’s associate director and clinical instructor, provided him with cases to assist with so he could begin getting experience and real-world exposure.
Alaz and a UM law student also working at the clinic were able to win a Social Security case for a young individual battling a brain tumor. Without Alaz’s assistance, this person would have been homeless and would have waited more than two years for his case to be heard by a judge. Alaz and his fellow Health Rights Clinic worker turned it around in less than a month!
Alaz is no stranger to law, as he was a part of Gulliver Prep’s Law and Litigation course in the Signature Academic Program, taught by Jorge Rodriguez-Walling. He has also taken several rigorous courses throughout his studies at Gulliver. “The class was more theoretical and I really wanted the opportunity to apply it in the real world,” Alaz says. “I applied for the [internship] opportunity and was thrilled to be chosen. The course I took at Gulliver helped me understand so much during this internship. I knew and understood all the legal terms!”
Alaz has several passions and is currently pursuing and enjoying them all, including basketball, music, law and litigation. He hopes to continue interning with UM and also experiencing new things while he explores which career he wants to pursue (he currently remains undecided). A very special congratulation goes out to Alaz and the UM School of Law Health Rights Clinic for this amazing opportunity and all of the hard work they have put in! We are so proud!
Lucas Costello ‘20 was selected to participate in the Team USA Florida National Team Identification Series (NTIS) – a series of tryouts for the USA Baseball National Team. Lucas is one of five people in his age group from the Miami area who made it to the NTIS.
In addition, Gulliver Prep baseball players Raymond Gil ‘17 and Robert Touron ‘17 were selected, along with 40 players from around the country, for USA Baseball’s 17-and-under developmental team. Each of them competed in their respective age groups against 15 other regions from across the country at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
From the NTIS, USA Baseball will invite a minimum of 59 players to future USA National Team trials and development program opportunities. The ultimate goal for all of these players is to be selected to represent our country as part of Team USA, in partnership with Major League Baseball.
Lucas’s team concluded the weekend by winning the inaugural 13-and-under NTIS championship, known as the American Elite Baseball Championship.
Earlier this month, Lower School third grader Paulina Luis ‘25 earned the lead role of Marie and the additional role of Polichinelle in Miami City Ballet’s 2015 production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker.”
The Miami City Ballet (MCB) is one of the largest ballet companies in the United States, and Paulina has been a student at the Miami City Ballet School since age four. On September 20, she joined around 100 MCB School students to audition for the children’s roles in “The Nutcracker.” Her auditions lasted more than three hours.
At the young age of eight, Paulina will already be making her second appearance as a performer in “The Nutcracker.” Last year, she was assigned to one of two casts as an angel and danced in half the shows. This year, she will be assigned to 17 shows within Miami-Dade and Broward counties, so her rehearsal and performance commitments will be double the hours for the two difficult roles of Marie and Polichinelle.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the December shows, visit MiamiCityBallet.org. We are excited for Paulina and know that with this honor comes lots of dedication and hard work! We look forward to seeing her perform and blossom in the roles.
The Under-11 (U11) Gulliver Elite Boys’ Soccer team is co-champion of the Mega Cup Miami tournament, which took place during Labor Day weekend.
Despite beginning the tournament with a tough loss in the first game, the players persevered to reach the finals. Although the final game was cancelled due to rain, the team was awarded the co-championship for its division. Coach Armando and the Gulliver community are very proud of the team for their exceptional performance during the tournament.
This is starting the season with a bang, and we are so proud! GO RAIDERS!
Gulliver Prep swimmers Kelly Fertel '16 and Niki Urquidi '16 have both qualified to compete in the 2016 USA Swimming Olympic Trials to be held at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska from June 26-July 3, 2016. Kelly and Niki qualified at the USA Swimming Junior National Championships in San Antonio, Texas. Fertel punched her ticket to the Olympic Trials in the 400 Meter Individual Medley, while Urquidi earned her Olympic Trial qualifying time in the 400 Meter Freestyle.
Congratulations, ladies! Their dedication to swimming is inspiring - we cannot wait to see what else they accomplish. Way to go, Raiders!
Shelby Martin ‘18 wrapped up a successful internship, totaling more than 340 hours, in the tissue culture lab at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s pulmonary division. She learned how to culture human lung cells, observe human lung dissections and monitor growth. Shelby’s future goals include studying medicine, and she knows her background at Gulliver – from the rigorous curriculum such as pre-IB/AP classes and additional higher-level classes, to extra-curricular activities – helped her prepare for the internship. “My internship was very interesting. It was originally supposed to be an admin job, but turns out, I helped out more in the lab department because they discovered my passion is science, they provided me with more opportunities and mentored me,” Shelby says. “One of the younger researchers taught me cell culture [and] cell growth, [and I] analyzed data, helped with research work, among other things.”
Shelby has been such a great asset to the UM pulmonary division that the staff asked her to continue assisting the department during any time off she may have in the future. While the work can be intense for most students her age, Shelby is grateful for the exposure in order to prepare for her career as a doctor. “I have always been interested in human anatomy, so I was not affected doing the job,” she says. “The whole time, I focused on the moral code towards the specimens and completed my job.” Her mother, Nanette L. Martin, also adds, “This internship has made her more independent and accountable. I am very proud of her.”
Please join us in congratulating Shelby for focusing on academics during the summer! We are so proud and extremely excited to see what Shelby will accomplish. We cannot wait to see her succeed, not just in academics, but also in all her passions!
Alexis Godoy ‘17 was able to spend her summer doing what she loves: helping others around the world! After fundraising hundreds of euros, she traveled throughout Morocco – hiking the Sahara Desert, climbing the Atlas Mountains and providing help and assistance to others in need – as a part of the extraordinary experience “España Rumbo al Sur,” also known as ERS. ERS is a hands-on educational and volunteer program for teens aged 16 and 17 from anywhere in the world who have knowledge of the Spanish language. The program’s aim is to build “critical consciousness,” helping participants to better read their world and take an active role in building a society committed to volunteerism and cooperation. The program teaches students to include local needs and concerns in their analysis when making political, economic and social decisions for the future. The program’s many sponsors include Coca Cola, Fiat and the European Parliament. During her time in Morocco, in Northern Africa, Alexis spent three weeks in long treks through deserts, jungles, mountains and rivers, under scorching sun and heavy rains, in order to reach the volunteer projects. At each project site, she was welcomed with open arms and received as family. The ERS group worked hand-in-hand with locals to learn about their lives and help improve them. Alexis spent time working in hospitals where the patients had been abandoned by their families and with children recently rescued from the streets. She helped with construction and water projects. For Alexis, this experience highlighted the continuing need for educational and health improvements in Africa. “My experience living and working with the nomads of the Berber tribe in the Sahara desert and climbing the Atlas Mountains to paint and play with the local children showed me the simple beauty and kindness of the people and the land of Morocco,” she says. “I learned about problems that plague the people of Northern Africa and the opportunities to improve their lives with better health care and education. I met and worked with people who dedicate their lives making these improvements every day. I am grateful for the experience and thankful that I was able to learn and I was able to help.” Upon her return from Africa, Alexis spent her last week of summer vacation “shadowing” Dr. Harry Shufflebarger, an orthopedic surgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and its director of pediatric spinal surgery. She was able to observe Shufflebarger’s work in the clinic and watch him operate in multiple spinal surgeries. Congratulations to Alexis and her family for all their dedication and hard work to help others both locally and globally! We look forward to hearing more about her achievements.
For the first time in Gulliver Prep’s history, a student has auditioned for and been accepted to a National Honors Ensemble. Pablo Ocampo '17 played double bass in the All-State Concert in Tampa, which made him a candidate to audition for the NAfME (National Association for Music Educators) All-National Honors Ensembles. Pablo was selected in Tampa as double bass first chair, and now will participate in the All-National Honors Ensemble in Nashville, Tennessee on October 25-28.
Please join us in congratulating Pablo and his family on such an incredible accomplishment! We look forward to hearing more about his talents in the future.
Gulliver Prep’s 2015 Raider yearbook and Reflections literary magazine both earned All-Florida honors from the Florida Scholastic Press Association. This is the highest ranking designated for student publications in Florida, and the first time in Gulliver's history that our yearbook has been recognized with this honor. This is the third year in a row that our literary magazine has achieved All-Florida status.
Our yearbook also was honored by Walsworth Publishing Company as part of its Gallery of Excellence, featured in its Possibilities publication. As such, Walsworth also will distribute the Raider yearbook throughout the country as a sample of excellent student journalism. The yearbook also has earned All-American at NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association), ranking us among the best student-produced publications in the country, having met exceedingly rigorous journalistic standards.
Please join us in congratulating Prep Journalism Faculty Monica Rodriguez and her exceptional journalism team for their creative talents, dedication and hard work! Thank you for making Gulliver's publications a success! Way to go, Raiders!
Alexandra Duffy ‘17 and her rowing team from the Miami Rowing Club became the first female team to medal for the Miami Rowing Club at the US Rowing Youth National Championships in more than 20 years. They placed third in the lightweight 4+ (LTWT4+) category at the competition, which was held in June at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, FL. The medal ranked Alexandra and her boat as 1st in Florida and the SE Region before attending Nationals where they placed 3rd overall.
Before making it to the national competition, Alexandra and her team took first place in both sweep rowing and sculling at the state rowing competition in Sarasota, then continued their rowing dominance with a first-place finish at the Southeast regional competition in Gainesville, GA.
“I feel very lucky to have found a sport that I love almost more than anything, and I feel that this is what drives my success,” Alexandra said. “Whenever I am asked what drives me, I just respond by saying ‘I do not set limits for myself.’ I have an overall goal for my rowing career, and to get there I have to take steps and create small goals each day. I realize that no one ever woke up successful; they worked hard to get there, and I am willing to put in the effort!"
We congratulate Alexandra and all the members of the Miami Rowing Club team on their recent rowing accomplishments, and we wish them all great success in future rowing endeavors!
Fun Facts about Rowing:
Lightweight women’s rowing is for rowers 130 pounds and less
Open weight women’s rowing is for rowers who weigh more than 130 pounds
LTWT4+ means lightweight rowing with four rowers plus a coxswain
Sweep rowing and sculling are two rowing techniques. Sweep involves only using one oar, and sculling involves using two oars.