Page 1

Every year, the school selects 12 to 15 of its distinguished seniors as nominees for the Silver Knight Awards.

Words of advice Staff members reflect on their time in high school and offer their share of wisdom to inbound Cavaliers.

Cuban fusion

Stephan Chamberlin/highlights

Mojito Grill, a South Miami staple with student friendly prices is serving up traditional Cuban dishes with a Miami twist

Issue 5 \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

Financial FLuency: How does

Gables teach



Seeing Silver

4 8 11 14 17 22

Financial Fluency

A look into how well Gables students are prepared for their future of financial responsibility

The Knights’ battle

Twelve seniors, nominated for academics and service, join the annual fray to win the Silver Knight Awards

Detentions lack strength

To best employ detentions as a disciplinary measure, it is important to follow up on them after not being served

College Sports

Eleven seniors have signed to play sports in college, including football, baseball and dance

Lunchtime tunes

Students Marco Aedo, Jesus Zurpa, and Eric Suarez’s jam sessions provide easy entertainment

Rustic, fresh meals

Harry’s Pizzeria is dishing out creatively crunchy pizzas

highlights is the official student-produced news magazine at Coral Gables Senior High School published and produced by highlights staff members. highlights has been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to educate and inform their readers of issues of concern to their audience and dissemination of news and ideas to the entire school community.

Advisory Board

As the producer of a scholastic publication, highlights subscribes to the responsibilities set forth in the National Scholastic Press Association Code of Ethics for scholastic journalists and advisers. According to MiamiDade County Public School policy, student media is not subject to prior-review by administration or district personnel and as such, all content is determined by, and reflects the views of, student staff members only.

Kasandra Scholz


Stephan Chamberlin

Business Manager Maria Ovalle

Copy Editor Adviser

Melissa Gonzalez

Contributors Tesla Sullivan, Mario Acosta, Guneet Moihdeen

Staff Writers News

Maya Iskandarani


Danny Delgado


Sydney Scanlon


Leila Iskandarani


Jordan Payne

The Scene

Olivia Field

Gabriella Alzola, Jack Band, Eleonor Bauwens, Dylan Carol, Ben Estrada, Yara Faour, Sarah Galt, Albert Garcia, Amanda-Victoria Gonzalez, Dan Leiferman, Angelika Menendez, Amanda Pallas, Sutton Payne, Natalia Perez, Alejandro Prida, Cecilia Rodriguez, Araceli Sanchez, Mia Tolpin, Jules Uzquiano, Vanessa Vazquez, Alfredo Viera, Natalie Viglucci, Sofia Viglucci

News 3

A letter from the editor

Dear reader, Well that was… fun. On this date one year ago, highlights was still a newspaper, I was still grappling with the idea that my beloved publication would be changing forever, and I had only a vague idea of how to run a staff of teenage journalists. Only one of those things has changed. During my tenure as a member of this publication, I’ve seen some pretty wild things. At CAF&DM field day I saw half of a game of tug of war devolve into a mass of rowdy adolescents yelling “zucchini!” For secret Santa I’ve seen everything from fresh fruit, to live cats, to a scavenger hunt that was slightly too creepy on a personal level. And even with all that variety,

I’ve managed to get a smelly bottle full of pennies… twice. We’re an odd bunch. Much credit is due to the people who have maintained a sense of culture and fun while performing their journalistic duties. Maria, your business savvy and organization skills far surpass that of your predecessors. Kassandra’s faithful copy editing caught scores of typos and fragments, even though only a laughable amount of drafts were given to you. Kudos as well to Maya, for doing a great job of covering worthwhile stories in News and making the section more palatable to the eye. Jordan will go down in the history books as the comeback kid,

who went from not being on the staff to serving on the Editorial Board as Sports editor in one fell swoop. Gavi and Natalia, because it only feels appropriate to refer to you two together, your service to the paper has been exemplary; thank you for being dependable writers and reporters. Eleonor, the culture you’ve brought to the paper, which can only be described as spunk, will be sorely missed. Angelika, thanks for keeping our feet planted in the digital age and maintaining our social media. Your license to sass me doesn’t have an expiration date, please use it sparingly. Mia, your long-time dedication both to the publication and your writing makes you emblematic

of everything we strive to be. Araceli, you’re the incarnation of the ideal writer for The Scene, it wouldn’t surprise me if you had done that in a past life. Danny, you come from a long line of opinion editors who care deeply about what we publish; thank you for being my friend, editor and brother. Mrs. Gonzalez, if it weren’t for you I don’t know where we would’ve ended up. We couldn’t have made this transition without your guidance. Olivia, I have the utmost confidence in your ability to take highlights to the next level. Just remember to have fun doing it.

-Stephan Chamberlin Editor-in-Chief


inancial luency

Gables students find themselves struggling to keep up with the financial decisions the future may throw their way.

By Jack Band & Vanessa Vazquez



Insight 6

S S Financial Fluency Understanding subjects in school guides us through college and into careers, but understanding money guides us through life. As college tuitions skyrocket and career options shrink, the financially illiterate can find themselves trapped by a lifetime of restrictive debt because of choices they make at the young age of eighteen. In this scary world of credit cards and student loans, it is crucial to have knowledge of economics and a grasp of basic finance early on. An understanding of fiscal responsibility provides the knowledge necessary for a future of successful financial pursuits. Although Gables offers courses similar to those that teach financial fluency, there is no personalized-financial course that explains how to deal with real-life finance. “All students should really be aware [of their finances] and I think that all students should take at least one financial literacy course in high school,” senior Rodrigo Fernandez said. In this new day and age, a plethora of technology exists to help

people (who may or may not know how to deal with money) perform a multitude of tasks that advance their economic status. With websites like Scottrade, and apps like Level, investing is simplified and made easy for those who would rather not tackle the massive world of trade. Also, with online tax softwares like TurboTax and H&R Block, people can cut out hours of tax work. With websites such as this one, personal finance has never been easier. The basics of economics and finances sum up the smart use of one’s capital; that is, smart shopping, paying bills on time, stowing away a portion of one’s paycheck in a savings account for future prospects such as college and a home. The future of financial literacy at for Gables students can be promoted with the implementation of required common sense courses teaching people the basics of personal economics and self-financing to ensure a richer future. Curriculums for classes could range from how to open a bank account to how to invest in the stock market.

By the Numbers A lack of financial literacy in teenagers and adults has become a rising trend in the U.S. recently. Many Americans do not grasp basic finances, evident in the resulting poor financial decisions. According to AOL Money & Finance, “only 40 percent of adults keep a budget and track their spending” and “more than one-fourth of American families have no savings at all.” That is, Americans are being irresponsible with their money. The collective debt of Americans is rising, most frequently in the form of loan debt. Student loan debt has increased from over $2 billion to $665 billion since 2003 according to data collected by the New York Federal Reserve. The collective debt of American consumers’ to lenders and creditors is approximately $11.5 trillion (imagine 11 zeros following 11.5) and growing, a direct result of a financially uneducated population However intimidating the deficit, the effectiveness of finance courses has been proven. College students coming from states which require a course in financial fluency were more likely to budget and save money and less likely to max out credit cards and destroy their credit scores determined a 2009 study conducted by a University of Florida assistant professor of family financial management, Michael S. Gutter. Not just limited to the classroom, social learning and positive adult influences during teen years also provide a path for adept finances. Financial Education

By Jack Band

ecte www.v


Students weigh in No 8%

Gables Finances Opportunities for financial education do exist. An entire academy here at Gables is devoted to finance with a range of business courses, but most do not touch upon the precise subject of financial fluency for each student individually, leaving students confused on topics of taxes, bills and budgeting. Furthermore, many students are in a different academy and fail to choose the elective. “Start saving now. I would encourage students to learn how to earn and manage their money,” National Academy of Finance lead teacher Anna Carranza said. It seems the responsibility of learning fiscal responsibility has been left to the student. Ideally, the parents instill intelligent financial decisions and lead with smart practices, but if the parents also lack the knowledge of finaces, students are left behind. A semester of economics is a graduation requirement for all academies with the exception of the International Baccalaureate program, however, Gables students feel that the course does not cover the specifics of financial fluency that are most significant and they believe there should be a course that teaches specifically financial fluency. “Economics taught me about global economics such as unemployment and inflation, but not how to handle my own finances,” senior Kayla Hippolyte-wade said. A vaeriety of courses at Gables come close to teaching financial literacy, such as Legal Aspects of Business and Accounting 1, Personal Finance Planning, and Junior Achievement. Regardless, there is no all-encompassing real-world finance class all students must take leaving the majority of the population lost in the future. “It should be required by the school system to have a course that teaches you all the necessary stuff for you to be able to work and function in society,” junior Sabrina Fiske said. With the application of a personalized finance class here at Gables, students could become much more confident in making financial decisions.

Do you think financial fluency is important?

No 37%

Yes 63%

Have you started saving for college?

Yes 17% No 83%

Do you believe Gables has provided you with the resources you need to be financially independent?

Yes 92%

Do you currently have a bank account?

No 42%

Yes 58%

Have you ever taken a financial literacy class?

No 74%

Out of 300 students surveyed

Yes 26%

News 8

The battle to win a Silver Knight Award Since 1959, the Silver Knight Awards have recognized high school seniors in Miami-Dade and Broward counties who have had positive, long-term impacts on their communities. By Yara Faour STAFF WRITER

The Silver Knight Awards program recognizes high school seniors with impressive performance in academics and community service. The program, hosted by the Miami Herald, is open to all high school seniors in public, private and parochial schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties who have maintained good grades and, more importantly, have strong records of service. “The award, though you have to turn in grade-point averages, and for general scholarship you have to turn in test scores, really is a service award. They want to know that you’ve had some sort of positive impact [on the community]” the school’s Silver Knight coordinator Preston Payne said. Students may be nominated

into one of 15 categories: Art, Athletics, Business, Drama, English and Literature, General Scholarship, Journalism, Mathematics, Music and Dance, New Media, Science, Social Science, Speech, VocationalTechnical and World Languages. To become a Silver Knight nominee, students must be nominated by their schools. Each school is permitted to nominate only one student per category. This year, 12 Gables students were nominated to be Silver Knights recipients. At the school, seniors who wish to be nominated must fill out an application that serves as a draft for the actual Silver Knight application, and submit it to Payne in November. A committee of teachers then chooses the 15 nominees from the pool of applicants and determines what category each student will be entered into. Once the school has

a nominee for each category, the nominees proceed to the actual Silver Knight Award application. The Silver Knight Awards process consists of an interview and an electronic application about community service and school achievement. “Each nominee is also allowed to put together… twelve support pages… [which can include] photographs, letters, emails, planning sheets… [to] give judges a sense of both who you are…and the impact your project has” Payne said. The application was due by January to the Silver Knight coordinators, and interviews followed in April. Interviews are directed by panels of judges invited by the Miami Herald. Each category has its own panel. Nominees are evaluated based on their service, achievements, character and leadership. Interviews for each student usually

pertain to that student’s category. “In the Music or Dance category, last year, our music person was asked to stand up and sing during the interview, so you need to know about the subject area” Payne said. Each panel of judges selects one Silver Knight and three Honorable Mentions. Broward and Miami Dade counties issue awards separately, but have a joint ceremony. Silver Knight Award winners receive $2,000, a Silver Knight statue and a medallion. The Honorable Mentions are presented $500 and an engraved plaque. Since 1959, the year of the first Silver Knight Awards, a total of 81 Gables alumni have received Silver Knight awards in 13 of the 15 categories. Presently, the school’s 12 nominees will learn the results at the Silver Knights Awards ceremony on May 18 at the James L. Knight Center.

And the Silver Knight nominees are... STAFF WRITER


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-Project: Coordinating sales for fundraisers, bake sales and a clothing line to fund work done for the 400+ children who walk through his church’s doors

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By Alfredo Wolfermann

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The following 12 students are the school’s Silver Knight Award nominees, seniors selected for their prowess in academics, community service and paid work.

-Project: directing a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as a fundraiser for the Shihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Pnomh Penh, Cambodia -Editor-in-Chief of Catharsis

highlights \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

-Volunteer at nursing home


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-Project: Teaching immigrant students English through cooking, music and interactive lessons -Involved in Health Information Project (HIP), Italian Club and Interact

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-Project: Creating a blog called “Colitis Chronicles” to share advice relating to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)


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-Project: Collecting candies and teddy bears to donate to children at the Miami Rescue Mission for Valentine’s Day

-Volunteer in the Department of Marine Biology at the University of Miami

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-Project: Fundraising $4,100 for an orphanage in Las Brisas, Dominican Republic



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-Project 1: Establishing a math tutoring program at Ponce de Leon Middle School

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-Project: Educating students in local elementary schools about nutrition and childhood development -Member of Science National Honor Society (SNHS) and Health Corps *Not pictured: Social Science/Betsy Garcia

Fine tune your look! (786) 362-6360 | 130 Miracle Mile

Opinion 10

Corruption: a disease of dishonesty

As corruption cases reach global, political and economic spheres, the international community must uphold integrity and transparency. In order to maintain integrity in politics, governments should cooperate internationally to combat corruption. The Panama Papers exposed covert financial dealings of dozens of politicians and public figures, who have hidden their questionable assets from the public. With recent developments in the leak, the Panama Papers bring to light the very important issue of corruption and shadow finances in politics and government. Over 214,000 businesses, firms and accounts were created and used to move money internationally by using the services provided by Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian

company that creates shell companies for its various high-profile clients. These shell companies are used as vessels for financial transactions. Mossack Fonseca’s clientele includes many important worldly political figures, such as the King of Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister of Iceland and many others. Iceland’s Prime Minster, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, was met with public outrage and was forced to resign from his post. While the action of using an offshore company is not technically illegal, There seems to be an obvious consensus that this type of activity is unethical and wrong. The Panama Papers present an issue of a larger, global scale. The leak of these thousands of documents, exposing financial fraud on many levels, illustrates

the extent to which corruption has grown in the world. The reality of the matter is frightening, and suggests a toxic growth that has attached itself to the very fabric of our society and economy. The problem of corruption must be stopped, and the international community should work together to make sure that undeclared finances and tax evasion are eliminated. In order to combat corruption, intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court should take steps to condemn and end corruption. Currently, the UN has dozens of specialized agencies and programs that are designed to address various global concerns: energy, finance, the environment and much more. An agency devoted to ending global corruption would be an effective deterrent towards covert criminal activity.

David Cameron:

King Al Saud of Saudi Arabia:

Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson:

Commentary by Benjamin Estrada STAFF WRITER

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, holds shares in his father’s $25 million Bahamian fund company, facing calls to resign.

Used a British Virgin Islands company to make real estate investments and buy luxury homes in London.

Prime Minister of Iceland, resigned on April 7 after unrest over his involvement with an undisclosed offshore company.

The new, proposed International Corruption Agency would be tasked with investigating high-level global corruption cases. Officials found guilty of corruption would be charged with economic sanctions and financial penalties that would make up for unregulated income and tax revenues specific to their case. The only major consequences that world leaders have faced so far from the recent corruption scandal is widespread protests. Surely, if corrupt people were held accountable for their offenses, they would refrain from such behavior. Our representatives face a moral obligation to practice transparency. Internationally, where nations have united to uphold causes like human rights and world peace, they must work together against the growing issue of corruption to maintain a sense of honesty in politics.

Petro Poroshenko: President of Ukraine, created a company in the British Virgin Islands to keep his assets safe during the Ukrainian civil war. Compiled by Benjamin Estrada

highlights \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

Defective detentions require reform The current model of detentions as a disciplinary measure must be reevaluated to ensure its effectiveness and legitimacy.

Detentions are a tool implemented in an effort to give teachers, security guards and administrators a way with which to curb a particular behavior with certain students. Like many administrative policies, assessing a detention’s effectiveness is difficult given its varied application and mixed results.The protocol and the systems at play when a detention is given vary depending on who is giving the detention and for what it is being written. Overall, a fair evaluation of this punishment requires a far more nuanced approach than many might think. A detention can be given for a number of offenses. With teachers, detentions can be given for anything. “Detentions are used across the board. I’ve seen teachers write a detention for anything; sometimes I’ve seen a teacher write a detention for … not turning in a homework assignment,” Assistant Principal Lazaro Hernandez said. The idea behind giving teachers this sort of autonomy to decide what merits a detention is that detentions should be used as a corrective measure. To ensure that detentions are being given justifiably, teachers are expected to have a discipline plan where they establish a set of rules. Ultimately, the use of detentions as an enforcement policy for classroom rules is dependent on the teacher. Some teachers choose to apply detentions as a regular punishment and some choose to not use it at all, because they do not find it necessary. The problem

punishment for such a wideranging set of offenses as opposed to a serious punishment with follow up and legitimate consequences, teachers risk losing the effectiveness of this tool. “The most important thing for a detention to be effective would be parent communication,” Hernandez said. Moreover, detentions pose further complications when issued by a security guard using the Plasco system—which students know as the wheeled cart equipped with a scanner and computer—for tardiness. In this case, the follow up comes from an administrator.

STAFF Editorial:

is that teachers that do give detentions often fail to take a “follow up” measure such as calling home and speaking to a parent, or making sure that the detention was served. Consequently, detentions have mixed results and their effectiveness depends significantly on an individual basis, and on what the teacher is doing to make sure the detention is actually being applied properly. “It’s just like if I give you a hammer, and I give a master carpenter a hammer. The master

It’s nothing more than a slap on the wrist. They’re given...but the reality is that infractions like being out of uniform slide by all the time.

-Melissa Boza Senior

carpenter is probably going to make something incredible. You and I… are probably going make something rudimentary,” Hernandez said. In order for teachers to make detentions effective it will require more action than simply issuing one. This might result in teachers writing detentions for what is and should be considered more unruly behavior. Which means fewer detentions for things like chewing gum, not doing homework or wearing open toed shoes, and instead more detentions for things like disruptive behavior, bullying and habitual skipping. This does not mean that smaller offenses should go unpunished, but by treating detentions as a

Sometimes Coach Roger Pollard takes the list and pulls certain students that have failed to comply with their detentions a large number of times and takes them to do work detail. “A lot of times what will happen is students don’t serve the detentions and at a certain threshold it no longer generates a detention and it starts saying ‘see administrator’,” Hernandez said. The threshold is 20 detentions. The emphasis that the administration has with regard to detentions is not whether students have failed to comply with them a few times, but rather when the un-served detentions accumulate. After this amount of failed compliances with detentions, the

administration interferes. “We’re trying to change a behavior…There is a group and we know who they are, that are continuously and habitually late, and those students get dealt with… it gets escalated,” Hernandez said. However, with repeat offenders, the real punishment is not a detention; usually it consists of indoor suspension or work detail. Even then the follow up seems to depend on which administrator is the one issuing the punishment. “Every assistant principal deals with it differently. So you’re interviewing me and you’re getting my perspective...and it also depends on the grade level... seniors have not been having attendance and tardy issues because they want all the senior activites,” Hernandez said. When the detention is given by a security guard, the real purpose of a detention is to point out to administrators which students are breaking rules more frequently. This makes the detention somewhat of a tracking system, with the real punishment coming later with something like indoor suspension. This tone of detentions as an indicator of chronic rule breakers is echoed by Hernandez’s comments that there’s a group of students that are continuously late who get dealt with differently. Ultimately, the reason detentions seem to be an empty punishment is that there is no urgency on an administrative side of things to make sure every single person is serving every detention that is given by security guards. Part of the reason for this is that administrators justifiably prioritize other more important things. It seems that unless a legitimate emphasis on follow up is implemented, the state of detentions in this school is destined to continue this way.

Opinion 12

from >> the >> >> Way >> Out >> As the year draws to a close, highlights staff members reflect on their time in high school and offer words of advice to inbound Cavaliers about the days to come. Their trial and error can become your wisdom. Take these words as your guide to the adolescent journey.

Do your own thing. Get your stuff done and don’t let yourself, or other people, hold you back. From here on out you’re in charge of your own future. So don’t mess it up.

-Joseph Villafañe Senior

Commentary by Danny Delgado OPINION EDITOR

Senior year is a period of one’s life that requires a lot of introspection and endurance. The beginning of the year will come out swinging with plenty of work, and you might witness the people around you going crazy due to stress. From my experience the key to senior year is striking a good rhythm that allows you to get your work done, think about your future, and appreciate the present. As far as the work load that senior year entails, much of it will require organization on your end to stay on top of deadlines and pay attention to the more important assignments. Being able to prioritize and organize yourself is important if you intend to keep a steady pace to get you through the year. College should be your priority, and doing the small tedious errands and paperwork that the process requires is important so that you can free up your time to work on more laborious tasks like application essays, research papers, and classic school work. College application essays, like the Common App essay may seem daunting. College essays require you to undergo an introspective process where you reflect on your time in high school and figure out which events were the most inspiring and important ones. With this, you should paint a picture to admissions counselors about the type of person you are, the person you envision yourself becoming and how your passions will contribute to the academic climate of a particular institution. It is important to be genuine and be true to yourself. Don’t get caught up in not having a particularly jaw dropping event in your life to write about. Often times the essays that are able to illustrate how a seemingly typical event is impactful are the most interesting. For those of you stressing out about the prospect of not getting into the school of your choice, just know that the whole thing is more or less out of your control. I would suggest that you make sure that the college list you’ve created is one that you love. It will be a lot easier to deal with the anxiety of not knowing where you’ll end up if you at the very least know that wherever that may be, you will be happy there. Most importantly, senior year is also about appreciating these final moments. Going to college whether you’re staying in Miami, or leaving the country will be exciting but also nostalgic. Your senior year will go by a lot quicker than you think so take a few moments to just breathe and relax and enjoy while you can.


Senior year rhythm

It is stressful at the beginning, but you will soon realize that time goes by so quickly and before you know it, you are out.

-Patricia Llamos Senior

highlights \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

Opposable Junior year: learning to live

THUMBS Senior Year “HEY...look at me...look at me...I am the captain now.” -Stephan Chamberlin, Editor-in-Chief

Junior Year “Just make sure to laminate your notes so the tears roll off.” -Sarah Galt, Staff Writer

Sophomore Year “My grades...they don’t matter, just like a wedding ring on a business trip.” -Alejandro Prida, Staff Writer

Freshman Year “I miss my rolling bookbag.” -Dylan Carrol, Staff Writer

career is breathing down your neck. Explore unconquered subjects whether they be a studio art or environmental science. That is not to say your schedule should be padded with too many light electives— colleges are looking at GPAs and course difficulty. Find the balance. On a Saturday night, drag yourself through horrid Miami traffic and aimlessly search for parking, or better yet, Uber yourself to the hopping Wynwood ArtWalk for a bang of local music, art and culture. The smorgasbord of tradition that displays itself in Miami’s up and coming districts is beautiful. You have got to get a taste of the melting pot. Engage in some form of ridiculous, but not too dangerous, rebellion. Use this precious time when you still have doting parents to break a few rules and then learn from your mistakes. Someone is still looking out for you. So, your junior year should be a year of balance between your comfort zone and experimenting with new things. Embrace what is left of your childhood and venture into your forming vision of your adulthood. Regardless, be enthusiastic to live.

Commentary by Sydney Scanlon INSIGHT EDITOR

You are allowed to sit at the grown-up table, seen but not heard. However, that feeling of an impending end is creeping up on you as the days are slowly and steadily ticking away and soon you will be an adult expected to pay taxes and book your own doctor’s appointments. Take advantage of the limited time you have left to be irresponsible, because it won’t last for too much longer. Go to a football game; if you bring your friends and body paint it is bound to be a blast and the energy of a crowd compiled with the common goal of spirit may never feel as communal again. Make a friend with a freshman. Close your eyes and ears to class systems and nodes of acceptability; these structures limit you. There is a plethora of interesting people out there; stay open to their variety of forms. Experiment with an elective. For two more years, classes are free and available. Then comes college where each course can cost hundreds of dollars and the need to create a

Sophomores: define yourself From an academic standpoint, sophomore year is a blend of both introductory freshman themes and looming upperclassman endeavors. You will begin to concern yourself with AP exams, your GPA and the SAT as your counselors urge you to begin considering what college you will attend. It can all seem very intimidating, but as you mature throughout the year you begin to accept that such challenges are simply a fact of life that you must face with ambition. Ultimately, the sophomore experience has helped me define myself. I have realized that I want to pursue journalistic writing as a career. You may realize that you want to join the military, study computer science or become a musician. Even if you have no idea what your passion is, know that your purpose will eventually reveal itself to you. All you have to do is have an open mind and try new things. Enjoy your sophomore year. Recognize the responsibilities that lie ahead and the tribulations you have surpassed so far. As you continue along high school’s nonlinear path, allow yourself to grow and flourish as an indivisible entity; an individual.

Commentary by Alejandro Prida STAFF WRITER

Your first year in high school may have been filled with unanswered questions, undefined aspirations and a general sense of mystery in terms of what the next four years of your life entails. However, your sophomore year will help you understand yourself and the plethora of unique teenage circumstances better than ever before. Like getting a new contact lens prescription, chiseling away at a large stone slab, or translating some otherworldly message— everything is much clearer now. Sophomore year has helped me anchor myself. While I’ve met dozens of new people, I know that there are a select few I can thoroughly understand and relate to. The cliques that you carried over from middle school ultimately disperse themselves, with their dynamics manifesting in unexpected forms. Like them, you too will branch out, with the most unique values of your character expressing themselves in strange ways.

Sports 14

Panthers fans need to step it up

The future is bright for the Florida Panthers, as they have laid the groundwork for a successful team, but if the fans do not step it up the team may have to relocate. By Dylan Carol STAFF WRITER

The Florida Panthers experienced one of their best seasons since the hockey franchise was established in 1993. The team went to the playoffs and a great young core surrounded by seasoned veterans promises success in the coming years. However, even with this recent success attendance is still among the bottom third of the league. The National Hockey League (NHL) is looking into the relocation of some franchises to cities like Quebec City and Las Vegas, and Florida is on the wrong end of the conversation. If these poor attendance numbers continue to plague the franchise even through success, the Sunshine State is going to lose its hockey team. Panther fans, now more than ever, need to get up and root for the team in the near (and very bright) future because if not, the Panthers will be moving out of the sun. This season was one to remember for the Panthers. They went on a franchise record twelve game winning streak, finished first in the Atlantic division, made the playoffs for the second time since the 20002001 year, had a franchise record number of points, 103 (teams receive two points per win and one per overtime loss) and had four allstar selections. Young players like Alexander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trochek all produced big time for the team alongside all-time greats like Jaromir Jagr and goalie Roberto Luongo, whose collective performances got the team to the playoffs. Even though this is a historic season for the team, the Panthers were No. 24 out of 30 teams in attendance this year. This is an alarming trend that has been following the team, even through years of success, that may force this great team out of South Florida. This is a money making business and if the owners or the NHL feel that they cannot profit even when a team is having such a good season, relocation is definitely a possibility. The NHL is looking into a few cities as

possible places to relocate a franchise. The ones that keep resurfacing are Quebec City, Las Vegas and Seattle, although the latter is less likely to receive a hockey team. Franchises that are relocated are struggling ones, usually ones who are failing to put up wins and lack attendance. Aside from the Panthers, there are a few franchises amid a swirl of relocation rumors, including the Carolina Hurricanes. Many times, people do not appreciate something enough until they have lost it, a phrase that rings true for cities like Winnipeg (lost their team but got one back), Minnesota (got another team) and Quebec City (still looking for a second chance at a team). Florida fans cannot let this great team leave the comfort of the BB&T Center, because playoff success seems to be coming, and coming fast. “ Hockey is still a growing sport in Florida, the Panthers need to develop a series of winning seasons so relocation won’t be an issue...I think next year and many years to come [Florida Panthers] have a good chance at bringing home the Stanley Cup” said sophomore Thomas Mikel, a hockey player and avid Panthers fan. The team, for the most part, has been a bad one since 2002 and the attendance has been bad right along with that. They have been in the bottom ten in attendance every year this century, according to ESPN. A lot of that comes with bad play and no hope for the playoffs, but now that the Panthers are turning it around, fans must show up to the games. Being No. 24 in attendance during a historic season like this is just unacceptable. This poor record cannot be a trend for the coming years because if it is, this team will be winning Stanley cups somewhere much colder.


12 1st 4

Game winning streak

Place in the Atlantic Division all-star selections

Made playoffs for 2nd time since 2000-2001 season Earned franchise record number of points:


Compiled by Dylan Carol Source:

highlights \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

Cav seniors sign to play sports in college

Senior athletes take their passions one step further after high school, proving that hard work really does pay off. Eleven Cavs will be taking their sport to the collegiate level. art of dance on the Gablette team for four years. Contributing to the team continuously, Kellogg has gone to compete at the National There are certain athletes at Gables who Antonio Eusebio is well known for being Dance Competition alongside her teammates have a passion for their sport, so strong that one of the school’s top athletes and best throughout her four years at Gables. She they are challenging themselves to take it to baseball players. He will be attending Florida noticed how much the dance program here at the collegiate level. Within the class of 2016, Gulf Coast University in the fall with hopes Gables meant to her as a whole and impacted there are 11 seniors with scholarships this of continuing on with the same leadership her dancing career. year taking the sport they play and pursuing skills he attained as a Cavalier on his journey Kellogg has already committed to Florida it after high school. to fulfill his life-long goal. State University (FSU) for the fall, and she Senior Tyler Santana has been assisting “I would like to be on tv one day with tryed out and made it onto the Golden Girls the schools’s baseball team with his powerful the people I’ve watched since I was little and team, the FSU’s dance team. arm for make my dream real,” said “In high the past Eusebio. school I four years. Another athlete with learned how Having a a similar goal in mind to care about virtuous is senior Robert Brown. a whole pitcher is Brown is one of the six program vital in the football players who rather than game of received a scholarship for just dancing baseball. his passion for playing for myself,” The pitcher football and will attend Kellogg basically Bryant University in the said. controls the fall. Shakur game, and “Even though we Cooper, Tyler has came a little short, I feel better Senior Robert Brown (right) speeds Senior Antonio Eusebio, or “Elijah,” done just that I have influenced known towards opponent (left) and (left) focuses at home plate, that, giving and impacted a lot of the as“Pooh attempts to make the tackle. keeping his eye on the ball. his team younger Cavalier lives and Bear,” has opportunities a lot of times they tell me started on in almost how they looked up to me the varsity every game and how I was a role model football this season. to them, so at the end of team since “I kept the day its more than just his freshman my team football, it’s also what I did year. Along in most of to a lot of those people’s with his the games I lives emotionally,” said talent on pitched in, I Brown. the field, always gave “Hard work beats talent he says them a shot when talent doesn’t work,” the most to win, in senior Marcela Hernandez important Senior Tyler Santana pitches the Senior Marcela Hernandez college I’m said about her time as a part quality that baseball with speed and precision, of the Gablettes. “Marci” demonstrates her passion for the hopefully he will take attempting to strike out the batter. art and sport of dance. going to do will be attending University with him to the same of Central Florida as part of his college thing,” said their dance team and hopes career at Santana. to bring some of her dance skills that she Florida International University will be his He expects to be able to help and lead has developed ever since she could walk. character. the Jacksonville University team to success Because she has been dancing for so long, “My character, my personality, it’s like he managed to do at a variety of games she could not see it not being as a part of her something that always can go far, and for the Gables baseball team. Even with the college experience. with character always comes hard work, potential of pursing his talents on the baseball “Although I was a bit apprehensive as to dedication and commitment,” Cooper said. diamond in college, he plans to go on a level whether I should do it in college, I thought We can only hope for the best for the all higher than the college level, as he hopes to why not. Dancing isn’t something I could go the seniors going to college and continuing get drafted and sign to play professionally his four years without,” said Hernandez. their sport. Each will always have Gables and junior year in college. Mariana Kellogg has been spreading the their high school experiences in their heart.

By Amanda Victoria Gonzalez & Cecilia Rodriguez

Courtesy of Cavaleon

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Hernandez

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Hernandez

Courtesy of Cavaleon


Sports 16

highlights \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

Brazil does not look ready to host Olympics With the Summer Olympics fast approaching, is Brazil, the host country, read to face the influx of athletes and visitors? As the for soccer, Hope Solo, is considering not Summer attending because of the risky virus. Olympics “I think the competitors wouldn’t want approach, Brazil, the host country, is facing to risk contracting the virus and wouldn’t many problems in terms of its sanitation, new be competing at their best, thus altering the venues and the outbreak real outcome of the games,” of the Zika virus, all sophomore Jose Paredes said. Brazil is the of which the Brazilian The virus is not Brazil’s government is scrambling only concern; it is also South American to solve at the last minute. facing a major sanitation Country to host the This year, Brazil has crisis. When Brazil first bid Olympics faced the outbreak of the to be the host of the 2016 Zika virus, a mosquitoOlympics, it proposed to Since the outbreak, borne illness, just in clean up at least 80 percent there have been time for the summer of the water contamination Olympics. Women are for the water events but has the greatest concern yet to complete the difficult reported when it comes to the task. Brazil wants to mainly cases of Zika virus because it is passed clean the Rodrigo de Freitas Compiled by Amanda Pallas down to newborn babies, Lagoon, which is where most Source: increasing the possibility of the water events will be of the babies being born hosted this summer. Given with birth defects such as that Brazil lacks money, the microcephaly. Because of this, even the star water treatment centers were not built in time. goalie for the U.S. Women’s National Team Aside from the health issues, some people

By Amanda Pallas STAFF WRITER



are also concerned that the venues will not be completed in time for the beginning of the Olympics. The construction process for the venues has slowed down; workers have gone on strike because they have not been paid for their work. To make matters worse, Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, is currently involved in a corruption scandal involing Petrobras, a state oil company. Unfortunately, Brazil has become the center of many problems, mainly because of the Zika virus, which has only exacerbated other issues. In this issue, however, Brazil is not alone. “The whole world is starting to face issues with viruses that can’t be controlled. Brazil just happens to be on the forefront right now but it [could] be anybody,” Athletic Director Louis Romero said. As the countdown to the Olympics continues, Brazil must find a quick and efficient way to solve its overwhelming problems, in order to have a successful competition this summer.

Taking advantage of the Summer heat

As Summer quickly approaches, and with Miami to call home, students find ways to get outdoors, stay active, and get in shape when school lets out. By Sutton Payne STAFF WRITER

perfect for doing almost anything outside. You can stay healthy just by heading over to the park with some

With the school year coming to a close, students trade in their books and pencils for bathing suits and sunglasses as Summer arrives in Miami. Students can stay active Sutton Payne/highlights and get in shape without Matheson Hammock provides carving a dent paddle boards and kayaks to in their preenjoy the Miami coast. cious summer schedule. The friends. At Kennedy Park Miami weather provides in Coconut Grove, you blue skies and warm can play soccer, frisbee or climate over the break,

just jog around the open plains of grass. There are several beach volleyball courts at Kennedy as well. With just six friends, you can play volleyball in the summer sun while staying active and having a great time. “I love Kennedy Park because it has everything,” senior Isabella Izquierdo said. Another easy and entertaining way to stay fit is to enjoy the Miami waters off of Matheson Hammock. You can rent paddleboards and kayaks at the rental center and paddle the coast of the clear waters. You can rent the paddleboards for

only $30 an hour and the kayaks for $25 an hour. Adventure Sports Miami provides all the necessary equipment for

going for a bike ride. The weather in Miami is perfect for exploring the everglades or Key Biscayne on a bike. The Eco Adventures by Miami Dade Parks provides programs and activities with bike rides in Miami. This summer, it may be Sutton Payne/highlights easier to stay in shape than Kennedy Park’s volleyball courts make a great place to get outside you would think. With so and get exercise with friends. many possible activities to you to have a great time. do outside, it can be very Another great sumeasy and fun to stay fit mer activity is simply over this break.

Features 17

highlights \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

Lunch band trio: peanut butter and jam

Students Marco Auedo, Jesus Zurpa and Eric Suarez’s lunchtime “jam sessions” cover classic music, from AC/DC to the Beatles.

By Natalie Viglucci and Sofia Viglucci STAFF WRITERS

Concealed in a sparsely inhabited corner of the school and positioned in front of a faded and peeling wall is a group of students equipped with guitars and AC/DC shirts in place of school books and collared uniform tops. Freshmen Jesus Zurpa and Eric Suarez, and senior Marco Aedo have revamped a veiled and forgettable seating area known as “The Roof” located near the JROTC pavilion, making it into their personal stage during school

hours. The group gathers weekly during first lunch on odd days to play music together sometimes with the company of friends or an audience of wanderers who stumble upon their secluded musical abode. “Jesus and I were friends and one day Marco showed up at our hangout, and we became friends and started to jam,” Suarez said. There is no shortage of instrumental ability among the three musicians. Together, the members of the group play the guitar, bass, drums, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, piano and trombone. “I’ve always been a fan of music,” Suarez said. “When I was a kid my dad would play The Beatles and Led

Zeppelin a lot and I got hooked.” The group mostly performs covers, but they have developed some originals and improvisations in the past. Although they jam together, Zurpa, Suarez and Aedo each have their own taste and style of music. “All of us have different playing styles,” Suarez said. “Marco is like a bluesy indie rock style, I’m a bluesy hard rock style and Jesus is very pop.” When they’re not playing together at school, the group can be found at the Guitar Center jamming and learning about the instruments that turned a shadowed and desolate nook into a vibrant and distinguished spot at the school. If anyone is ever seeking to escape the humming and suffocating cafeteria during lunch, “The Roof” and its concert of rhythmic and captivating melodies remains welcoming.

Natalie Viglucci/highlights

MAKING MUSIC: Students Auedo, Zurpa, and Suarez strum away during one of their many lunchtime jam saessions.

Features 18

Gables goes Br oo ke Don ner/co ntributor

fam st r ho LIVI NG AB d he ROAD: Donner an

ily sit in

the ir co mmunal ompound. c

Gables grad takes Senegal

Former highlights editor-in-chief Brooke Donner returns from her gap year in Africa. By Sarah Galt and Natalia Perez STAFF WRITERS

Senegal proved to be the perfect place for Gables graduate and former highlights Editor-inChief Brooke Donner to explore her identity and motivate herself for the transition into future college life. Through a bridge year program offered by Global Citizen Year (GCY), Donner was able to “think and get to know [herself] a little better,” as she puts it, on the western coast of Africa. “I liked Global Citizen Year more than other gap year programs or plans because I felt like it provided a lot of freedom but also had a very intentional curriculum focused on personal development in a global context,” Donner said. The GCY program allowed Donner to prepare for her journey throughout Senegal in California,

along with other recent graduates “I had who were preparing to journey to a lot of their respective GCY countries. awesome Upon their dispatch, each moments with my host family participant was set up with a and host community, and with host family. Donner initially the other Senegal fellows,” lived with a Donner said. host family “It wasn’t I spent the majority of my in Dakar, always fun time with [my host family] Senegal’s and easy, and and was treated as a capital, there were member of the family and moving to times when community, which was really Kedougou I questioned special to me. after 3 weeks, what I was where she doing there Brooke Donner, lived with a in the first graduate different host place, but I family for the made tons of rest of the year. GCY’s training memories of all sorts.” seminars, which took place every Donner lived in Senegal few months, brought together from Aug. 2015 to April 2016, both staff and fellows carrying experiencing Senegalese life out their GCY experience in in the simplest of ways: from Senegal. feasting at the daily communal


lunches to familiarizing herself with her local name, Adama. Donner’s blog, www. brooke/, recounts her personal experience in Senegal, reflecting upon specific objects, events, places and people she found compelling. “I see things much clearer than I used to and am more comfortable with uncertainty, hardships, and failures,” Donner said. “My bridge year has definitely impacted who I am and who I want to be moving forward.” As for her future plans, Donner plans on studying at the University of Florida beginning this summer, although with no specific major in mind.

highlights \ Vol. 56 \ May 2016

international Senior trip: the last hurrah

Seniors Zachary Walsh and Tomas Nieves prepare for the adventure of their lives as they pack their bags for a three week trip across Europe. By Araceli Sanchez and Gabriella Alzola STAFF WRITERS

Seniors Tomas Nieves and Zachary Walsh, in the hopes of overcoming international language barriers across far-off foreign lands, gaining independence from an overly familiar home life and immersing themselves in unkown cultures, have decided to embark on a three-week transcontinental endeavor across Europe following their forthcoming graduation. The duo plans on beginning their journey with a three-day stay in Berlin, Germany, then heading toward Lille and Paris in France. The two will continue on to Spain, stopping in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao,


The combined idea of traveling in Europe for our summer before college and having an experience like the one we had when we went to the World Cup in Brazil sounded awesome.

Zachary Walsh, senior

London Lille



Bilbao Madrid Barcelona

among other unfamiliar spots, then wrap up their three-week journey in London, England. The trip will truly be a full-on European experience; the two intend to stay in small, quaint youth hostels and travel using the Euro Rail system. Nieves and Walsh plan to take advantage of the open, liberal European culture and practices, getting the traditional post-high school overseas experience they hope for. “We are really hoping to end our four years of high school by going all out and just having an amazing adventure somewhere we’ve never been before, and be getting some new life experiences…overall just sharing some good times,” Walsh said. The highpoint of the adventure, according to Nieves and Walsh, will be attending one of the much-anticipated Eurocup matches

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the quadrennial during their stay in Lille. The trip was Fédération Internationale de actually initially Football Association (FIFA) decided upon for It’s important to take a World Cup. the sole purpose of senior trip because it ends The Europe trip has been catching the game, your high school life with a long time coming, according which they hope a bang and starts a new to Nieves. will be a showdown chapter in your life in a high “It’s always been a plan between Germany note. for us to do a big trip like and England. This Tomas Nieves, this when we graduate, so wouldn’t be the first senior it’s really been an idea in our time the pair travels heads and our parents’ heads across international since middle school or the borders to attend a beginning of high school,” Nieves said. soccer game– in 2014, the two journeyed to


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Mojito Grill: Cuban food crafting memories Through its confined, Latin atmosphere and delicate details, this restaurant integrates an authentic Cuban taste with a sense of nostalgia. create their own wrap for $7.99. Grilled steak or chicken is stuffed into a white flour tortilla, with the option of adding anything from black beans to yuca fingers.

By Dan Leiferman & Angelika Menendez STAFF WRITERS

With Cuban restaurants on virtually every corner of Miami, it is hard to discover a true Hispanic eating house with a unique, yet traditional taste that also has an affordable menu. The delectable aroma of rice and black beans fills all four corners at Mojito Grill, a Cuban-infused restaurant on SW 57th Avenue. Mojito Grill’s menu is filled with many traditional Cuban meals such as “Ropa Vieja,” a traditional dish made with shredded beef in tomato sauce, or “Pan con Bistec,” grilled steak on Cuban bread. These mouth-watering dishes come at $7.99 and $6.99, respectively. All of the flavorful daily specials, including the “Ropa Vieja” and “Vaca Frita,” cost $7.99 a piece. An authentic taste of Cuban cuisine should not be that cheap; however, Mojito Grill offers affordable prices for all of its menu items. If Cuban food does not appeal to your taste buds, customers are able to


Mojito Grill is a small, cozy place. The first thing I smelled was Cuba and I was really excited to eat the food, and being Cuban, it really surpassed my expectations.

Tamara Sanchez, Sophomore

From the bright yellow sign to the tall umbrellas lined up and down the street, tourists and customers alike have no choice but to step foot into the restaurant. Two comfortable orange chairs are set on both sides of every table, creating an enjoyable outdoor seating experience.

Although the interior of the restaurant is rather miniscule in size, it has a lot to offer. More than half of the interior is occupied with the kitchen, filling the restaurant up with “Cuban” fumes and the sweet smell of rice and beans. On display by the kitchen are bags of chips and heated empanadas that are ready to be purchased at any moment. If customers would like to sit in the cool air conditioning, there are limited seating options inside the restaurant, including high chairs and a booth. The restaurant also has a framed picture of the Cuban map hung onto the orange walls adding to the authentic Cuban atmosphere. This Cuban cafeteria is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. for all customers to enjoy. Just make sure not to get there too late, because the restaurant does begin to run out of popular menu items, such as “pan con bistec,” as the day goes on. Nonetheless, with large portions and mouth watering meals, Mojito Grill has customers walking in and out all day.

8433 SW 132 Street

Miami FL 33156 305-255-4367



TUESDAY-­‐FRIDAY 10:30  AM  –  6:30  PM    SATURDAY  10:00  AM  –  5:00  PM  

The Scene 22

New ad ditions

to the

Harry’s Pizzeria: a fresh take on a classic

Residing in Coconut Grove, Harry’s Pizzeria is serving up rustic and tasty pizza pies, with a friendly staff and a homey atmosphere. By Mia Tolpin & Eleonor Bauwens STAFF WRITERS

With its newest location having opened up on 2996 McFarlane Road in Coconut Grove, Harry’s Pizzeria is a family friendly pizza joint that offers options for all types of foodies. Upon walking in, your eyes will scan the restaurant, making note of the wood-burning oven in the left-hand corner, and the newspaper wall-décor covering the rest of the shop. As far as casual dining goes, Harry’s is the place to be. Originally opened in the Design District, this neighborhood styled American pizzeria is a comforting, but also hip happening hot-spot for Miami locals. Harry’s first location opened in the Design District down the street from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, both owned

by chef Michael Schwartz. Harry’s, named after Michael’s son, became a pizzeria because the pizza oven was left over from the former owner of the place. The menu is divided into five subsections: snacks, salads, daily entrees, pizza and dessert. All salads are light, yet wholesome, and especially colorful. The warm brussel sprout and stracciatella salad ($12) is comprised of pears, pistachios, herbs and a creamy, homemade parmigiano dressing- a house favorite. The short rib pizza ($17) comes with cave aged gruyere, caramelized onions and arugula. All pizzas are available with gluten free crusts, for an additional $2. Every single pizza is cooked to perfection in an open wood-oven. Besides pizza, Harry’s sure knows how to create a delectable dish. Their

specialties are their daily entrees, which range from vegetarian options like Wood Oven Roasted Eggplant on Monday, to a meaty Lamb Merguez on Sunday, topped with curried lentils, tomatoes, yogurt and delectable herbs. “One Saturday night, my friend and I drove to the grove intending on eating burgers at Lokal. But as we walked pass Harry’s Pizzeria and had a quick look at the pizzas laid out on some customers’ tables, we quickly starting craving pizza more than burgers. We both shared the kale salad that had roasted beets, onion, goat cheese and dill, as well as the mozzarella, basil and eggplant Caponata pizza. I had always complained of never having found a good Italian restaurant in Miami... [but now] Harry’s is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Miami,” senior Charlotte Leforestier said.

Mia Tolpin /highlights

CRISPY CRUST: Harry’s Pizzeria has a full functioning brick oven to cook its many pizzas, including the Short Rib with arugula, to perfection.

e n e c s d o o f i m a i he M

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Araceli Sanchez /highlights

HEARTY AND HEALTHY: With options ranging from soup to fresh garden salads, Grown provides filling, organic meals for a reasonable price.

Allen takes a shot at the restaurant business Basketball legend Ray Allen recently opened an organic fast food restaurant called Grown, emphasizing healthy and quick meals. By Araceli Sanchez STAFF WRITER

Using the slogan, “real food, cooked slow for fast people,” Grown is a new restaurant opened by former Miami Heat player, Ray Allen. The fast food joint provides its customers with nutritious and organic food and allows customers to pick up a quick fix and continue on with their day. The restaurant uses the idea of a farm-totable concept and fuses it with the quickness of a fast food restaurant, claiming to be one of the first organic fast food restaurants in the country. Grown offers patrons a drivethrough option, a carry-out option, a graband-go option and a sit-down option. Offering everything from sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, smoothies, juices, coffee and even

gluten-free baked goods, Grown is the perfect stop for a fresh, filling meal. Their menu is customizable and offers patrons with three main entrée options: salad, sandwich or wrap. From there, customers are asked to pick a type of lettuce, bread or wrap and to “Choose Their Vibe,” which includes either featured combinations of toppings or a customizable option. The featured Havana option includes fresh greens, black bean salsa, avocado, cheddar cheese, plantain strips and Salsa Fresca topped with some cilantro lime vinaigrette. Customers are then asked if they would like to add on protein, ranging from shrimp to slow cooked brisket, for an extra charge. Located on South Dixie Highway, the restaurant is accesible and easy to spot. The main entrance is lined with bright red flowers

that lead to the front door. Even though the owners’ focus is to provide fast, healthy food, there are also indoor and outdoor seating areas. Additionally, the restaurant will also have a rooftop garden where Allen and his wife, Shannon Allen, are planing to grow vegetables, lettuces and herbs to be used in their kitchen. They will also allow other farmers to plant their own fruits and veggies on the rooftop, which will ulitmately be used for everything from sandwhich topppings to wrap fillings. The restaurant will also be offering cooking workshops and classes. The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Prices range from about $4 to $18, for everything from veganfriendly avocado toast to a pipping hot cup of coffee.

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The key to an enjoyable outdoor afternoon Located at the end of the island, the Virgina Key outdoor center offers kayaking, yoga, mountain biking and more to its customers. By Sarah Galt STAFF WRITER

The Virginia Key Outdoor Center is a hidden gem located on the outskirts of Key Biscayne that allows visitors to escape the ruckus of the Miami city lifestyle and partake in various outdoor adventures around and throughout the island. The center provides the option of renting equipment such as stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, mountain bikes and other supplies that can be used to engage in an ecofriendly experience. Located at 3301 Rickenbacker Causeway, the Virginia Key Outdoor Center is a friendly shop open on weekends from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with more information about their weekday hours online at The center’s helpful employees encourage people to get out and try different activities they may not be accustomed to, such as stand up paddle yoga (SUP yoga). SUP yoga makes the ocean a yoga mat, using paddleboards to connect the yogi to the movements of the water- a true flow. Group


classes are $45 for an hour and a half session, but the price includes both the class and the equipment needed to take it. Classes are taught by trained and certified yoga instructors. A large number of the activities are aquatically based and require some sort of board or boat. For instance, the full moon and new moon sessions include bioluminescent lagoon paddles for $10, for those with their own board and $30 for those who need to rent. There are also monthly and special events available without the board or boat requirement. Such events vary from mountain biking, which is available at any time but requires having or renting a mountain bike, to sunset yoga every Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. Sunday yoga classes by the Lagoon are also available at 10 a.m. as a donation based community class. Prices for these events can be found on the Virginia Key Outdoor Center’s website. “I’ve only been twice, but both times I went, the employees were very kind and helpful, making my experience extremely easy and fun. I went paddle boarding, but had to rent


a board, and I can truthfully say the rent was well worth the price. One of the workers helped me set it up and get out; everything worked out very smoothly and I had a great time,” junior Alexandra Andrade said. If lucky, wildlife may find its way to greet visitors. Employees have spoken of multiple accounts of manatees, starfish, crabs and rare birds, all seen while embarking upon a waterfilled journey around Virginia Key. Because the provided excursions are so ecofriendly, various animals may make an appearance while someone is paddle-boarding or kayaking. The center provides a small selection of snacks ranging from chips and donuts, to energy bars and refreshingly healthy drinks. The store also offers last minute swim suits, ensuring that one can enjoy the waters. Despite rental rates ranging from $20 to $40 per hour, the Virginia Key Outdoor Center offers multiple entertaining and enjoyable activities, which not only inspire exercise, but also provide unique ways to spend an afternoon with friends.


Kayak rentals

Lagoon night

Hosted at 6:15 p.m. every Tuesday of the week, the sunset yoga class is an inexpensive way to exercise.

For this small price, anyone can rent a kayak to spend the afternoon paddling in and around the Virgina Key island.

Patrons can rent a paddleboard and be exposed to the bioluminescent algae that grows in the lagoon.

AQUATIC ACTIVITES: Virgina Key Outdoor Center rents kayaks and paddleboards to customers, allowing them to enjoy the wonderful weather.

Sarah Galt /highlights

Yoga classes

Issue 5, Vol. 56  

Issue 5, May 2016, Volume 56

Issue 5, Vol. 56  

Issue 5, May 2016, Volume 56