Page 1


Orlando’s theme parks


SARASOTA West coast beaches

MIAMI-DADE The STI capital of the United States

highlights \ Issue 5 \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ 450 Bird Road, Coral Gables, FL, 33146

Contents 2

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 2



7 | On Feb. 4, seniors

in the culinary program took to the Coral Gables restaurant scene at the Coral Gables Community Foundation’s annual Tour of Kitchens alongside local restaurants.

Advisory Board Editor-in-Chief: Olivia Field Copy Editor: Dylan Carol Business Manager: Amanda Pallas Social Media Manager: Sutton Payne Adviser: Melissa Gonzalez Features: Leila Iskandarani News: Vanessa Vazquez Opinion: Benjamin Estrada Sports: Jack Band The Scene: Sarah Galt Insight: Sydney Scanlon

20 | Brothers Cavan and

Colin Wilson led the boys’ cross country team to States for the first time in Gables history. Their bond and love for running was shown during the challenging season.

The Scene


10 |

Next year’s student government representatives were elected and announced on Feb. 13. They plan to improve the school in innovative ways and make sure all events are run smoothly.


13 | With the mounting

issue of sea level rise threatening to damage Miami’s coastal infrastructure, the city’s government must take immediate action to prepare for rising waters.

Cakes Bakery provides vegan and gluten-free alternatives to sugarpacked desserts. The bakery encourages clean eating, yet does so in a deliciously intriguing way.

Staff Writers

Estelle Erwich /highlights

Karina Wu/highlights

25 | Wynwood’s Bunnie


28 | Miami Dade County

continuously ranks high in the state of Florida for STIs. highlights explored the reasons why the numbers are so high and how, in the future, they could be lowered.

Nicolas Burniske, Tatiana Campos, Estelle Erwich, Angelle Garcia, Dan Leiferman, Kevin Monjarrez, Alejandra Orozco, Alejandro Prida, Shirley Ramirez, Cecilia Rodriguez, Luis Toruno, Mariam Vela, Natalie Viglucci, Sofia Viglucci, Audrey Weigel, Alfredo Wolfermann, Ana Wolfermann, Karina Wu.

Contributors Mario Acosta, Virgina Ansaldi, Cavaleon 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 on issues of concern to their audience and dissemination of news and ideas to the entire school community. 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 Miami-Dade 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.

creates tours where....... MEMORIES LAST A LIFETIME HISTORY AND ART COME ALIVE LEARNING IS ENRICHED CALL US TODAY 305 266-3333 or visit us at to learn more about our Unforgettable Student Journeys

Features 4

Stars speak students’ futures

highlights reveals what the stars have in store for students. Disclaimer: we are not actually astrologists By Alejandra Orozco STAFF WRITER



Think twice before you come to school without your ID (again). Security guards will have their eyes peeled for uniform infractions.

Your week-long lucky streak has begun! Try heading to the vending machine— you may just receive an extra snack.



Check the stalls before you spew bathroom gossip! The person you speak of might be listening in.

The stars and planets have nothing in store for you. Go to class.



Be sure to study for your tests this week, as the stars are not likely to evoke the magic that usually gets you an A.

Do your best to avoid driving to school this week— the stars reveal an imminent pigeon poop attack.




Be on the lookout this week! You may find your true love in the math hall.

This week is the week to try new things! Be sure to head to a sports tryout or pick up a highlights application.

Get ready to buckle down this week. A storm of homework is coming your way.

Feb. 19- March 20 Forget about sneaking a text during class this week. Your teachers will be watching.


May 21-June 20 Head to breakfast this week, as your morning teachers will forget to mark you tardy.


Aug. 23-Sept. 22 Roaming the halls this week is sure to get you a detention. Stay in class.

Nov. 22-Dec.21

March 21-April 19

June 21-July 22

Sept. 23-Oct. 22

Dec. 22- Jan. 19

April 20-May 20

July 23-Aug. 22

Oct.23- Nov. 21

Jan. 20- Feb.18

Leila Iskandarani/ highlights


highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 5

Yelamos’ Yellow Mouse Skate Co.

Sophomore Alexander Yelamos combines his knack for skating and entrepreneurship as founder of Yellow Mouse Skate Co. By Mariam Vela


HE NEWEST ADDITION TO the many student-run companies, Yellow Mouse Skate Co. (YMSC), was founded by sophomore Alexander Yelamos. Around May of last year, Yelamos, an avid member of the local skate community, thought it would be fun and more cost effective to design and sell his own decks. “I was sick and tired of spending $50 a month on a new deck, so I did some research and found out I could print my own graphic on boards in bulk... and naturally, I had to make it a bigger deal than it was and start a company,” Yelamos said. Not to be confused with boards, YMSC only stocks decks (the wooden piece of the board), and does not carry the wheels or bearings. YMSC decks are sold for $40 each, a significantly cheaper price compared to generic store brand decks, making it all the more appealing to other young skaters in the Miami area. “I really like the Yellow Mouse Skate Co. decks… I think they are just as high-quality as any other standard deck, and on top of that they are almost 25 dollars cheaper,” junior Anay Lopez said. The company mainly operates through social media networks, such as Instagram. Yelamos runs the official Instagram account, @ yellowmouseskateco, through which he receives direct messages from interested customers. Social media platforms like Instagram allow Yelamos to reach out to skaters outside of the school and the Coral Gables area, as well as market YMSC decks to a broader audience. “I buy Yellow Mouse decks not just because the price is significantly cheaper, but because supporting a

small business started by a skater my age, rather than a big corporation, is always a cool thing to do,” Patricio Gonzalez, a sophomore at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, said. Yelamos hopes to further expand the company’s social media presence by creating a website dedicated to the advertisement and sale of YMSC decks. “I’ve really considered buying a domain and putting up a website for Yellow Mouse Skate Co., since it would be a much more formal platform than the Instagram account that is currently up… I may do that in the near future, and if the company grows exponentially I will definitely do it,” Yelamos said. Yelamos orders the boards in packages of twenty decks for the price of $400 from an online skateboard supply company called Sk8factory. The decks are stocked in a variety of shapes and concaves, and the top-plies are available in green and purple. YMSC decks also come in sizes ranging from 7.75 to 8.5 inches. “For a small company, Yellow Mouse Skate Co. offers a nice variety of decks both size-wise and in terms of color… I think Alex, the founder, does a good job of promoting the decks to people outside of Gables and getting the boards to them in good condition and on time.” Vicente Rovira, a sophomore at Design and Architecture Senior High, said. The inspiration for the name “Yellow Mouse” came from Yelamos’ own name. If pronounced slowly enough, “yellow mouse” sounds like “Yelamos.” The

Mariam Vela/ highlights


DOPE DECKS: Yelamos showcases two YMSC decks with the company’s sgnature logo.

company’s distinctive logo, designed by Yelamos in his digital design class, also garners inspiration from its owner. “The logo is a mouse with yellow hair, much like my own bleached hair. It can also be mistaken for a rat, like a literal skate rat,” Yelamos said. Yelamos hopes to see the company flourish throughout the remaining years of high school, but he does not plan on continuing to pursue this endeavor after he graduates. “Honestly, I don’t see myself pursuing this after high school. It initially started it as a side project but lately it has been growing into so much more... if any opportunities were to arise because of Yellow Mouse Skate Co., I’d take them, of course,” Yelamos said. In the meantime, YMSC continues to grow as a business, reaching out to skaters throughout the greater Miami area looking for cheap decks with kicky and cool designs.

Features 6

Student restores NOW chapter

Junior Catherine Healy revives the National Organization of Women’s (NOW) Miami presence By Tatiana Campos STAFF WRITER


N JAN. 2, JUST ONE DAY after Donald Trump’s inauguration, over five million people participated in the Washington D.C. Women’s March. Men and women alike held signs reading, “The future is female,” “I will not go quietly back to the 1950s,” and “ I’m with her” in support of women’s rights. While many

“There’s a lot to be done. I know we are all scared but I think we have a real great opportunity right now because people are energized. People who have never been involved in politics are now interested. We need to channel this energy in good, effective ways.”

- Daisy Baez, Florida state representative

may have tweeted about the event or updated their Facebook statuses, junior Catherine Healy joined the millions who

marched in our nation’s capital. Healy’s role in the women’s rights movement does not end there—last year, in an effort to become an active part of the movement, she began to work with the National Organization of Women (NOW), a women’s advocacy group that has been at work since 1966. “I have been interested in women’s rights all my life. I grew up with my mother who is a very strong woman who believes in equality and so does my father,” Healy said. Healy first began attending national and state NOW conferences in 2014. Last November, she was able to speak with NOW president Terry Sanders and NOW vice-president Laura Fausone about how they could make the organization more prevalent in the South Florida community. According to former NOW president Patricia Ireland, there had previously been a North Miami chapter, but once Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012, the fear of losing women’s rights dissipated and the chapter died down. “There was a Miami chapter, but it wasn’t strong enough in the community and it was only a Spanish speaking Miami chapter... I don’t speak Spanish, so I took it upon myself to make a new chapter,” Healy said. Healy explained that the spike in interest came in light of the recent election, as chapter members feel that

HALL >> talk The highlights staff records what students are talking about in the hallways during passing between periods.

DID YOU KNOW? NOW has 550 chapters nationwide and focuses on six key issues, including reproductive rights and economic justice. Source: NOW

the progress in human rights made under the Obama administration is in danger. “There’s a lot to be done. I know we are all scared but I think we have a real great opportunity right now because people are energized. People who have never been involved in politics are now interested. We need to channel this energy in good, effective ways,” Florida state representative Daisy Baez said. The revived chapter is set to deal with not only a myriad of women’s rights issues, but education as well. One of the chapter’s first projects is electoral work for the 2018 midterm elections. They will work to ensure that the candidates elected help advance the issues that are relevant to the chapter, like economic justice, pay equity, racial discrimination and reproductive rights. “The new chapter sounds very promising. What we are going to need is a few people to take leadership positions to organize, spread the word, get the group to meet and come up with agenda items,” Sanders said. The next chapter meeting will be held March 23 at the War Memorial Youth Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. At the mettings, members will nominate officers, vote for officers and discuss the chapter’s top-priority issues. For more information, visit



“Wait... if that’s not tweed, then what did I put in my cereal this morning?”

“Well, I can count to F.”

“Why’d you call me a mushroom man?”

“Listen, I have bad breath and I’m not afraid to use it.”

“The empanadas are two bucks? Wow. That’s an “Don’t wipe your ugly on me.” investment.”

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 7

Culinary students represent the school at the Coral Gables Community Foundation’s Tour of Kitchens By Karina Wu STAFF WRITER


Karina Wu / highlights

ROM FULFILLING THEIR class requirements to competing professionally, the school’s culinary program is serving up fresh cuisine wherever they go. Gables culinary returned to Tour of Kitchens on Feb. 4 alongside local restaurants like My Ceviche, Swine and Spring Chicken. For the past four years, the school’s culinary program has participated in Tour of Kitchens, offering top quality dishes made from the school’s very own vegetable garden. “When people initially taste the food, the don’t realize it’s high school students cooking it,” culinary teacher Mercy Vera said. “They get really excited about how the food is made by culinary program students … there’s definitely a lot of positive feedback.” Seniors Rey Prieto, Javier Reyes-Sanchez, Alexander Gonzalez and David Jimenez represented the culinary arts

program at the event, which took place in the home of Leslie Lott and Michael T. Moore. Preparing original recipes from scratch, the seniors set high expectations for both the culinary program students

“When people initially taste the food, they don’t realize it’s high school students making it. They get really excited about how the food is made by culinary program students... there’s definitely a lot of positive feedback.”

- Mercy Vera, culinary arts teacher

participating in the next Tour of Kitchens as well as this year’s guests. “It’s a crazy experience! No one would imagine high school students serving at Tour of Kitchens,” Prieto said. “It’s an honor to represent our school’s culinary

FRESH CUISINE: (Top) A chef from the Mariposa Restaurant at Neiman Marcus serves up small delectable treats at the Laguna House stop. (Bottom) Gonzalez, Jimenez, Prieto and ReyesSanchez (pictured left to right) offer baked green tomato topped with buttermilk dressing, avocado, corn and papaya, fresh from the school’s vegetable garden.

Karina Wu / highlights

Students serve up fresh cuisine at annual Tour of Kitchens

program.” Established by the Coral Gables Community Foundation (CGCF) in 2008, Tour of Kitchens is an annual tour that showcases the community’s top private residence restaurants. Planning for Tour of Kitchens begins in October, led by a committee of community leaders including kitchen and home designers, event coordinators and the CGCF. This year, the one day tour included 12 stops and involved the partnership and support of local homeowners and merchants as well as student volunteers. “This signature event attracts over 500 guests,” Executive Director of the CGCF Mary Snow said. “[It] is a fabulous community gathering year after year.” The funds earned from the event are used to grant scholarships to culinary arts students. The Culinary Arts Program Scholarship is one of many provided by the CGCF, offered to three seniors passionate about the culinary arts and hospitality. The scholarship’s value ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 and covers two years’ worth of tuition. Last year, alumni Michael Medina and Miguel Roche received $1,000 each to Johnson & Wales University and Miami Dade Community College for the Miami Institute of Culinary Arts Program, respectively. Aside from Tour of Kitchens, students from the program participated in and won the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America event. “We were awarded gold for the first time, which was really exciting,” Reyes-Sanchez said. “It definitely impacted the culinary program in a good way. We set higher standards for the u p c o m i n g students.”

News 8

Juniors put a ring on it

Alejandra Orozco/highlights

On Jan. 26, juniors celebrated becoming upperclassmen with a ceremony in the school’s auditorium where they received their class rings

JUNIOR TAKEOVER: Juniors on the girls’ basketball team pose together in their uniforms after a game (top), newly inducted upperclassmen celebrate their rings (bottom left) and junior Genesis Paez walks through the ceremonial ring (bottom right).

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 9

Briefings Uber on the Mile

Landmark Theatre at Merrick Park By Cecilia Rodriguez

By Alfredo Wolfermann




PENED ON DEC. 16, THE NEW Landmark Theatre is located at Merrick Park, across from the school. The high end movie theater has a bar and lounge offering gourmet entrees and appetizers, as well as traditional movie snacks like popcorn. The theatre offers reserved seating and customers can make selections using an automated ticketing kiosk in the lobby. Tickets are also available for purchase online through their website or third party websites like Fandango. “I found it cool how I could just walk in with my friends and go through the movie options and times, knowing what seats were occupied or available,” sophomore Gabriela Morales said. “Not to mention the awesome food in the lounge; I didn’t feel like I was in a movie theatre, more like a restaurant.” The venue occupies 25,000 square feet on the third floor of Merrick Park next to Neiman Marcus and contains seven screens with laser projection and Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound. This theatre includes special design and cinematic system features known as Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. With these features, the surround sound system that pans around the theatre allows for special effects such as thunder and explosions. The sound system intends for the audience to feel as if they are in the movie. The largest theatre holds 150 guests and the smallest theatre holds 25 guests for private events. Moviegoers are seated in reclining leather seats that extend fully by adjusting the electric button. Individual seats are assigned and

patrons are escorted to their seat to maintain an orderly environment. Additionally, several theatres in this complex are able for rent by customers for various purposes including holding business meetings and award ceremonies. Independent filmmakers can showcase their films and people can rent out theatres for private screenings or for gaming. “I was so much more comfortable and cozy. I felt like I was at home since the seats reclined and I had much more space. I loved it,” freshman Chloe Casaudoumecq said. Films shown include new releases, classic favorites and independent and foreign films. The movie theatre is unlike the stereotypical setting of a traditional theatre, as it incorporates independent films along with major blockbusters. “This movie theatre no longer has the feel of every other movie theatre, it’s a practically a restaurant within a movie theatre,” junior Harrison Stampler said. Landmark Theaters management currently operates 269 screens at 56 different locations in 27 markets since its opening in 1974. Operating hours at the Landmark Theatre varies according to movie showings and special events. Tickets for movies at the Landmark Theater are $10.50 for students, military personnel and seniors age 62 or older, $9 for children age 12 and under and $12.50 for all other guests. The theatre is located at 358 San Lorenzo Avenue, Suite 3005. h


HE CITY OF CORAL GABLES AND Uber have agreed to launch a campaign that is expected to promote “Ubering” to Miracle Mile instead of searching for scarce parking on the street. This a result of the recent “streetscape” renovations taking place on Miracle Mile, which have left shops struggling to make money in the past few months. The usually crowded “mile” now finds itself devoid of parking spots, and consequently, shoppers. Merchants and city staff in Coral Gables have tried several methods to keep business on Miracle Mile active, but they have not been largely successful. The reason for the partnership is that customers have complained that finding parking on the mile is difficult. The campaign is aimed to address parking and will include specific Uber drop-off and pick-up zones to facilitate the process of getting to and from the area. It has also been announced that promotional codes lowering fare prices will be available for city events like Movies on the Mile and Jazz in the Gables. “I think that the partnership between Uber and the city is great. I really hope that the Mile gets its sales up soon,” sophomore Markel Valmaña said. The city commission has officially approved the plan and has been supportive of the use of the app in Coral Gables, even passing a resolution in 2015 encouraging the use of Uber in the city. It appears that Uber will now become ever more popular in the city, aiming to revitalize business at the “Mile” in the process. h

Upcoming Events March 23-25 Grad Bash

March 14-17 CSPA New York City

April 10-14 Spring Break

March 28 Baseball Field Trip

April 18 College Signing

Source: CavsConnect

News 10

2017-2018 student government elected and appo

Appointees for next year’s class boards were voted on and announce The student representatives hope to introduce fresh ideas for the foll By Angelle Garcia & Alejandra Orozco STAFF WRITERS


LECTIONS AT THE SCHOOL have come to a close and students have chosen their student government representatives for the 20172018 school year. The representatives were elected on Feb. 13. The winners for the student council board are: president Alyssa Lamadriz, vice president Natalie Viglucci and secretary Katie Molina. The senior class board consists of president Savannah Payne, vice president Valeria Gutierrez and secretary Juliana Balladares. President Alfredo Wolfermann leads the junior class board along with vice president Sutton Payne and secretary Ana Wolfermann. Lastly, the sophomore class board is made up of president Cameron Payne, vice president August Field and secretary Andrea Goldfarb. Through the different views and styles of each of the representatives, new initiatives will be implemented. Treasurers were announced on Feb. 27 after being interviewed by both their class sponsors and the Sudent Activities

directers. Student council treasurers include Yanik Ariste, Nicholas Jacks and Alain Perez. The junior class treasurers are Maria Estrada, Christian Ochoa and Natalia Torres. Estelle Erwich, Braulio Gonzalez, Jessie Zambrano and Adriana Meijaard are the sophomore class treasurers. “As senior class secretary I want to make the most memorable shirt for our class: something that everyone can hold on to after high school,” Balladares said. There are two different boards available for candidates to run for: class boards and the student council board. Every individual grade has a class board who plans their respective activities such as class trips, treat days, ring ceremonies, college tour and eventually senior picnic, grad bash and senior sundae. Additionally, they assist in planning school wide events like prom and homecoming. The four positions available to run for on a class board include: president, vice president, secretary and two to three treasurers,

Savannah Payne

“As seniors we have to represent the whole student body and I’m proud to represent them.”

Senior Class President

I really find it important to make sure that the sudents are involved. My other goals are planning things like class trips and treat days. -Andrea Goldfarb, Sophomore Secretary

which are appointed by Student Activities Director Ana Suarez and the board’s class sponsor. Each board is supervised by a different sponsor, who also helps with the organization of school activities and works with the boards. Next year’s sponsors are: Lauren Noval for freshman, Mercy Monzon for sophomores, Margarite DePaola for juniors, Ayleen Monzon for seniors and Suarez as sponsor for student council. The student council board is made up of the four different classes, usually juniors and seniors, who represent the entire student body. The members are responsible for organizing school-wide events like homecoming, prom, pep rallies and talent shows. “I find it important to make sure that the students are involved. My other goals include planning things like class trips and treat days [and making] next year the most enjoyable for both the entire sophomore class and our sponsor Mrs. Monzon,” Goldfarb said.

Valeria Gutierrez

Alfredo Wolfermann

Senior Class Vice President

Junior Class President

“I’m really excited to plan prom, senior picnic, Gradbash, senior sundae, all those fun senior events.”

“I strive to continue representing and working extremely hard for our amazing class.”

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 11


ed on Feb. 13. lowing year Starting Feb. 7, students campaigned in school and on different forms of social media with approved materials like flyers, boards, tags and banners. With these, they advertised their promises and goals to the student body in the hopes of receiving votes from their peers. After about a week of campaigning, teachers received ballots in their mailboxes for the student body to vote during first period. After all ballots were collected the Student Activities Secretaries of State counted them and delivered the final results on Feb. 13. “I want everyone to enjoy their time at Gables and for [the student body’s] year to run as smoothly as possible,” Molina said. The representatives were chosen by the student body because of their goals, views and aspirations for the upcoming year. All of the student government board members have their ideas as to how they believe the school can be improved in the next year, which is what got them elected. h

Alyssa Lamadriz

“I am very excited to represent and work with the student body [and make] the year fun for everyone.”

Student Council President

Natalie Viglucci

“The school has lost a lot of its school spirit so it’s going to be one of my focuses to bring that back.”

Student Council Vice President An ge

ll e


Ga rc i



hts lig

Sutton Payne

“I intend on putting maximum effort towards the success of our class this forthcoming year.”

Junior Class Vice President

Cameron Payne

“I definitely want to bring back the spirit of our class to have the best possible year.”

Sophomore Class President

August Field

“I can’t wait to plan every treat day, field trip and activity for the sophomore class next year.”

Sophomore Class Vice President

Compiled by Angelle Garcia & Alejandra Orozco

News 12

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 12

Express trains to run from Miami to Orlando All Aboard Florida introduces trains to carry passengers from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando By Amanda Pallas BUSINESS MANAGER


Y MID-2017, BRIGHTLINE trains will connect Miami to Orlando while making stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This new train system will cut travel time down from Miami to Orlando from about five to three hours. Florida East Coast Industries’ All Aboard Florida is the company in charge of the development of Brightline trains. The company stands as the only privately-owned and maintained passenger rail system in the United States. They debuted on Jan. 18, displaying one of the five trains that will be in use. According to CBS, the arrival of these new trains will create over 10,000 jobs at the cost of more than $3 billion to build. On top of that, the project is receiving zero funding from taxpayers. “I have annual passes to Disney and I go at least once every three months. The idea of having a train to take me and my family to Orlando is awesome because we would be saving money on gas,” junior Stefany Ortiz said. According to USA Today, taking a train for trips to and from Miami and Orlando will be

Van es

sa V azqu




FAST TRACK: New Brightline trains are custom-built in California by Siemens USA. They have special features like Wi-Fi, electrical plugs and reclining chairs for a comfortable ride to major cities in Florida.

more convenient, affordable and safe. With the expected arrival of these new trains by the summer, many more people are likely to visit theme parks such as Rapids Water Park and Universal Studios, as well as the beaches along the coast. According to All Aboard Florida, 69 percent of survey participants said that they would extend their stay in Florida if a high-speed rail service was available. “The train will be a better way to get to the parks in Orlando [and] will allow more people to go there during the summer. I think that it will be great and affordable but it will also make the parks more crowded than they already are,” sophomore Jein Garcia said. All Aboard Florida intends for the new trains to be an alternative way of traveling across Florida, as it avoids the crowded highways and traveling in an efficient, environmentally friendly way. These trains will remove 3,000 vehicles off the road each year. Morevover, they

will offer complimentary wi-fi, power outlets at each seat, food and beverage selections, bike and luggage storage facilities, as well as pet-friendly and wheelchair accessibility. “[Rather than] an expensive plane ride or a long car ride people can take a not-so-long train ride,” senior Thomas Martinez said. The Brightline trains will not be high-speed, but the express model will be able to go up to 125 miles per hour. The ability to ride this way can relieve the pressure of families having to drive five hours north to Orlando or other major cities in Florida. “I think that the train would be really good for people especially the families who have children and may not be able to travel in a car,” sophomore Kelly Demazco said. The test runs for Brightline trains are expected to begin in the upcoming months in order to prepare for operation this summer. These trains will make the 235 mile distance to Orlando faster and they are arriving just in time for summer trips to and from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. h

Opinion 13

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STAFF-ED: Sea level rise in Miami

At risk of widespread flooding and damage, the coastal city of Miami must take action to combat rising waters


HE OCEANS ARE WARMING, land-based ice is melting and sea level rise is real. We are past the point of denying such a heavily defensible claim, especially in Miami, a prime spot for these phenomena due to its coastal location. Now that its existence has been widely established, the question is no longer whether to accept it as a mounting issue, but how to respond to it. Sea level rise is caused by thermal expansion, stemming from ocean warming and melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Oceans are consuming over 90 percent of atmospheric heat from emissions, causing the sea level to rise faster than ever. Because it is a low-lying region, Miami is highly susceptible to escalating flooding caused by increasing sea level. Studies find that millions of Floridians are at risk of eventual displacement by rising seas. A recent Florida Atlantic University study estimated that just six more inches of sea level rise would debilitate half of South Florida’s flood control capacity. “I think something important to know is that because of the damage we’ve caused up until today, we’ve already committed to a certain amount of sea level rise, so we can’t undo that,” Miami-Dade County Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator Katherine Hagemann said. “What we can do is reduce our emission to slow the rate of the rise and so we can stabilize the

Luis Toruno/highlights

WATER WORLD: This digitallyaltered image depicts the flooding effects of a higher sea level on Miami’s low-lying areas.

temperatures, which will keep the rate of sea level rise at a slower pace.” Effects of sea-level rise in MiamiDade County (MDC) are daunting, as the imposition will harm various sectors of society. Miami’s drinkingwater supply will become contaminated, with salt water being pushed through the porous limestone that serves as the natural foundation of South Florida. Evidently, MDC is in dire need of governmental assistance, which is precisely where the region is falling short. The government has been slow to respond to the issue, and the fact that a large amount of people still consider sea level rise a shadowy hoax is of no help. While MDC has acknowledged the issue by formulating committees and idealistic plans and policies, nothing concrete has been done to make progress. The MiamiDade Sea Level Rise Task Force devised a plan, but its indications have grown stale as MDC has verbally endorsed the projection, but done little to carry it out. There is no concrete plan being worked on, and the government’s reactionary instead of precautionary measures for dealing with the sea level issue is a cause for concern. “A major threat we have is our infrastructure, so we are working on hardening or protecting it with salvation,” Hagemann said. “In terms of the county, we’re working on making sure that our infrastructure that provides public services, so fire stations, police

stations, garbage trucks, etc. is up and running and able to withstand these changes.” So, while the need for infrastructural modifications has been acknowledged, the arrangement for addressing the necessity is vague and half-baked. Miami Beach is seemingly the only city in South Florida making progress on the issue, as it has spent millions of dollars installing water pumps and raising streets, recently announcing its plan to spend even more. Consider this: if Miami Beach alone is spending millions of dollars on the threat, imagine the cost for the rest of MDC to take action. As time pushes on, so do sea levels surging up and around Miami. Time is not on our side and further procrastination will evoke government spending by the bulk, with millions of dollars being spent in a short period rather than a relatively prolonged one. Citizens of MDC must rally together to demand government action, and to advocate the diversion of funds from miscellaneous projects to that of responding to the rising sea levels. The government needs to act by implementing and adapting environmental policies, and devoting money to infrastructural changes for the community. Miami’s residents must act by raising funds for the process, and making it clear to the government that this mounting issue requires immediate response. h

Opinion 14

America’s prison problem

The American mindset to value harsh punishment over rehabilitation has been the cause of severe issues Commentary by Kevin Monjarrez STAFF WRITER


N THE PAST several decades, prison systems in the United States (US) have proven to be a disaster. Today’s US prisoners endure inconsistent punishments for similar offences, harsh punishments and brutal treatment in prisons. Even worse, incarceration rates in the nation have skyrocketed since the 1970s. According to the World Prison Brief, although America contains five percent of the global population, it houses twenty five percent of the world’s prisoners. However, the most glaring issue with our current system is our refusal to shake off the mindset that the only way to rehabilitate prisoners is through harsh punishment. It is debatable whether harsh punishment even reduces crime in prisoners. The US prison system fails spectacularly in reducing crime, in that most prisoners fail to make the transition from prison life to a normal and decent life. Instead, the vast majority of convicts are recycled back into prison, boosting our jailed population. One such cause of this trend are the prisons themselves. Of course, prisons are not meant to offer a joyous time to lawbreakers, they are meant to be a deterrent to crime. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that prisons shape the behavior of its inhabitants. Inmates who enter correctional facilities are at a high risk to develop psychological issues that prevent them from functioning properly in the real world. Albeit run by students, The Stanford Prison Experiment, although it was imperfect, showcased this effect in 1971, where several men were afflicted with severe mental trauma when placed in a prison environment. Unfortunately, prisons haven’t accomplished much in the way of remedying psychologically damaged individuals and thus cannot reintegrate them into society. While some may argue that aiding the mentally ill is the duty of a mental institution rather than a prison, the argument can be made that prisons have become the mental institutions of

America. According to US Department of Justice, 15 to 20 percent of people in prisons are mentally ill. At first glance, this may seem like an unalarming statistic, but upon further inspection it becomes increasingly concerning as prisons reveal themselves to be incapable of handling the mentally ill. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), many prisons struggle to incorporate necessary psychological programs due to the lack of mental health professionals present, leaving prisoners with unresolved issues and behaviors that make it difficult to function outside of their jail cell. The APA even argues that psychologists present at a prison could assist those who are not mentally ill, creating special programs for substance abusers or for those who are on the verge of reentering the community. Several prisoners lack the social skills necessary to live outside prison, something especially true of those subject to solitary confinement. These programs help incarcerated individuals nmaintain or regain social or career skills needed to survive in society. In today’s American prisons, it is a rare sight to see a properly run facility outside of the US, however there are examples of proper rehabilitation. In Sweden, where there is an extreme focus on the rehabilitation of prisoners, the recidivism rate—the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend—is 40 percent compared to America’s 68 percent. Director-general of Sweden’s prison and probation service Nils Öberg has said that the nation keeps the rate of recidivism so low because their main goal is get their inmates in better shape, not excessively punish them. If this system has been proven to aid prisoners and reduce crime, it would only make sense for America to follow suit. If America were to establish a system in which prisons were afforded the resources to establish rehabilitative programs similar to Sweden, then it would also enjoy the same benefits that Sweden enjoys: fewer inflated prisons, lower recidivism and a healthier populace. h

BY THE NUMBERS 2,220,300 adults incarcerated in US federal, state and county jails and prisons in 2013


average annual cost perinmate in the United States

76.6 percent of United States prisoners return to prison within five years of being released

6,204 total federal, state and local prisons, jails and other correctional or detention facilities in the United States Sources: National Institute of Justice, Prison Policy Initative, US Bureau of Justice, Vera Institute of Justice Compiled by Sofia Viglucci and Benjamin Estrada

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg.15

Impersonal politics: a call for unity As a new presidential administration sets in, crossparty cooperation is more important than ever Commentary by Alejandro Prida STAFF WRITER


than their opponent. Rather than gaining the trust of the public through action and merit, candidates have long turned to exposing the faults of challengers, taking no responsibility for their own faults or mistakes. Denunciations do not stay on the campaign trail, however. Not only are personal attacks and character assassinations commonplace among candidates, but among all members of their respective parties. Sitting senators and congresspeople go after each other on a daily basis, further dividing an already tense and disjointed legislative branch. As topics like gun control, gay and lesbian rights and race relations have redefined the conservative-liberal dichotomy, it is more important than ever to respect political views in the same way other personal beliefs like religion are. Without a foundation of respect for one another nothing can be accomplished. If politicians are incapable of courteously discussing policy, they stand no chance of implementing any. The same level of respect and tolerance that is expected of politicians has normally been expected of the public. However, the advents of social media and interactive news outlets have given people a platform to share their opinions and beliefs in a way previously unimaginable. While this is certainly democratizing, it has done more to expose our unwillingness to compromise and our aggression towards


-Darian Quintana, junior


When a political figure with certain viewpoints is elected, others with those viewpoints think that they’re above everyone else. That is problematic.

those who oppose us than it has to inspire any sort of cross-party cooperation. Oftentimes, this passion morphs into hatred, contaminating our political climate and discouraging discourse. If we cannot, at the very least, entertain views in opposition to ours, our representatives have no incentive to do the same. This includes acknowledging needs outside of your own as well. Not everyone shares the same priorities; job growth, health care and immigration reform are all extremely relevant issues with varying levels of importance to large factions of the population. Seeing things from others’ perspectives allows for mutual understanding and lays a foundation of respect. The fervor and polarizing nature of modern politics can be distracting, off-putting and at times repulsive, but if any sense of normalcy can be regained it will be through strong leadership reaching across party lines and promoting respectful discourse. Instead of using their deeply loyal supporters to divide people and spread hatred, prominent political figures should be spreading a message of tolerance, if not respect, for opponents both political and social. That is the only way we can begin working together towards a common goal, the advancement and prosperity of the United States. h

Alejandro Pri

-Mauricio Sosadias, freshman

Alejandro Prida/highlights

If I knew someone would disagree with me about something political, I’d still bring it up because I like to debate certain topics.

HERE ARE few things as divisive as politics, and it make sense. A system in which there are two dominant schools of thought seems almost designed to do that. This division has long made politics a taboo topic, one only to be discussed with those closest to us lest the conversation turn into an all-out war of ideologies. But as of late, it seems that political disunion is not simply ideological, but something more rudimentary. Egged on by the hostile, polarizing political figures that fill our news feeds, there seems to be an almost tribal quality to ideological groups. Ingroup loyalty and out-group hostility has tainted our political climate, combining political and personal antagonisation and bringing to light a profoundly flawed political system. Politics’ cut-throat nature is far from a new phenomenon; it can be traced as far back as the mid-19th century when mudslinging began to infiltrate political campaigns. Mudslinging, the use of insults and accusations with the aim of damaging an opponent’s reputation, has been an embarrassingly integral part of political campaigning for almost two centuries. It can be as simple as calling opponents degrading names, advertising against them or going as far as releasing career crippling information in an attempt to make themselves look more suitable for office

Opinion 16

TWO VIEWS: Freedom of expression on colle

Following the cancellation of conserative speaker Milo Yiannopoulo being debated whether colleges should allow for uncensored discou Commentary by Sutton Payne STAFF WRITER

regarding the violent outbreaks. The protests began as crowds of students participating in peaceful activism. However, criminals disrupted the movement. In this aspect, UC Berkeley is not at fault for canceling the event as they had their students’ safety as their first priority. UC Berkeley is known for their strides to make political and social change. Similar to the women’s march, the protest’s beginning exemplified another hallmark of free speech that was later generalized by people who radically disrupted. The Berkeley College Republicans have had other conservative speakers at the school in the past proving that this issue was based on the character of the speaker, not his views. There is no support for the heinous riots that resulted, however, the idea that the school was making efforts to silence the conservative advocator solely based on his political stance is absurd. Some believe that the cancelation of the event was a direct correlation between the university’s generally liberal population and the conservative Su

views of the speaker. This assumption is immediately put to rest by the argument previously made, but it also blatantly ignores the ideology that UC Berkeley, as well as any other college, is simply able to promote whatever values or education they want. Expanding upon this, the termination of his speech was neither a violation of freedom of expression nor an attempt to shield their population from a different political stance, but rather a justifiable decision made on behalf of the students desire, as well as a clear avoidance of a radically dangerous individual. UC Berkeley took into consideration the poor reputation of Yiannopoulos and did not want to promote his hateful rhetoric throughout campus. This university was simply acting in the same manner as the other schools that have banned Yiannopoulos. Their goal was not to project implications of suppressing free speech or opposing views. Rather, to exemplify proper etiquette and education throughout their campus while taking into account the wellbeing of the student body. h

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H A T began as a peaceful demonstration of protest at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), devolved into a violent rejection of right-wing advocate and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. Even though this unlawful display was a drastic overexaggeration of the school’s dissatisfaction with Yiannopoulos’ controversial views, this does not mean that the nonviolent demonstration was not unwarranted. Initially invited by the Berkeley College Republicans, Yiannopoulos has been viewed as a misogynist with noxious behavior that has gotten him banned from speaking at several colleges, as well as banned from using Twitter entirely because of his hateful rhetoric. In this situation, when dealing with a character as offensive as Yiannopoulos has proven to be, the discontent of the student body was expected. This has not been the first incident involving Yiannopoulos’s inappropriate nature. Previous to the UC Berkeley protest, Yiannopoulos caused an outrage at DePaul University by personally attacking a transgender student. More recently, he released a statement hinting at condoning the acts of pedophilia, which led to the retraction of his book deal. Given these circumstances, the students’ peaceful protest, not the violence that ensued, as well as the university’s decision to cancel the speech, was completely understandable. UC Berkeley’s decision to cancel the event was justified, as they own the right to choose who to expose their students to. As a college, it is their duty to educate the leaders of tomorrow, not to praise the offensive rhetoric that Yiannopoulos brings as an acceptable standard. Nevertheless, the dispute should not revolve around an individual, rather the school’s responsibility for their students. In reality, the event was canceled primarily because of the safety concerns

I believe that the cancellation of [Yiannopoulos’] event was an effort to promote moral values and subdue protests.

-Natalia Rodriguez, sophomore

The ratio of Democrats to R professors from 40 leading





17.4:1 Psychology Compiled by Nicolas Burniske

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 17

college campuses

poulos’ event at UC Berkeley, it is currently iscourse or limit inflammatory perspectives Commentary by Nicolas Burniske STAFF WRITER


REEDOM OF EXPRESSION is under fire on the campus of the modern university. The same institutions that claim to prioritize free speech deliberately undermine their noble efforts by supporting, and often times participating in, the censorship of perspectives that brush against the narrative of the administration in the name of “safety” and “tolerance.” No one should want to attend a university to reside passively in a “safe space.” The idea that we are doing people a favor by keeping them “safe” is the very proposition that Sigmund Freud spent his whole life fighting against. His point is illustrated in the archetypical narrative of the Oedipal mother who beckons her children to come closer and closer, only to rob them of the abilities they need to succeed in the world. A mother who acts with the best of intentions, trying to protect her children forever, actually does them a disservice. The world is a dangerous place, and shielding students from the reality of criticism and controversy is destructive. Children, and by logical extension

people, should not be coddled. Instead, we require bouts of intellectual battle and tension, growing strong through the antifragile properties that make us great. This is a cautionary tale for our time, as the modern university, and the now dissident opinion in support of the first amendment, is losing its footing to the onslaught of political correctness. Many popular conservative speakers are held in contempt by universities across the nation. Recently, in response to a would-be Milo Yiannopoulos speech at the University of California, Berkeley, violent riots were sparked in protest of the propagation of “hateful” rhetoric. Freedom of speech is universal, because it has to be. If any publicly funded bureaucracy gets to dictate who is allowed to express their opinion or what opinions constitute “hate speech,” even in the name of safety, then we are one step closer to tyranny. What if the practice of Islam or Christianity were outlawed at UC Berkeley in the name of safety and union? Would anyone buy into that? Nic ola s is rn Bu


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11.5:1 Total Source: Econ Journal Watch




igh ighl

s to Republicans among US ading universities, by field:

College is a time to grow as people. If we pick and choose what opinions we would like to hear, we will never know what is around us.

- Caterina Viscito, senior

The spread of intolerance by the censorious political left is more than a trivial moral concern— it is obstructing the very process of intellectual evolution. In Darwinian terms, the best practical solution to survival is to generate random genetic variance among a given population, have most organisms die because they are faulty, thus allowing the ones that are correct enough live long enough to propagate, whereby the same process repeats. The surviving organism is not an ideal solution to the environment, rather it is a very bad partial solution to an impossible problem. By the same token, the only way to ensure progression to the narrative of the human condition is to allow for the free exchange of ideas and to permit maladapted ideas to wane and die off. With such importance on intellectual variance for progress, and most universities’ self proclaimed desire for myriad perspectives, it is perplexing to find that academia is as monolithic in thought and political persuasion as it once was for gender. More importantly, freedom of expression is a Darwinian means for humans to strive towards the ideal “truth.” Truth is a process of approximation, requiring the constant correction of others. People must be allowed to say what they feel compelled to say, even if it be in the form of mutually incomprehensible noise. Intellectual sparring is critical, because without it, people will bubble, boil and burst, ultimately resolving disputes through the use of physical violence. Freedom of expression is the lifeblood to a robust civilization, the mechanism by which people with different opinions settle their differences in a civil society. Just as too many antibiotics will create a weak immune system and super bugs, so too repressed thoughts will create a morally fragile society with super ignorance. h

Opinion 18

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg.18

The chameleon president

While Donald Trump’s governance is regarded as unheard of, it draws precedence from former presidents Commentary by Benjamin Estrada OPINION EDITOR


HE 2016 presidential election was without a question one of the most chaotic, dramatic and surprising cycles in recent history. Pulling off a historic electoral upset, President Donald Trump has been the center of many controversies since taking office. While many regard Trump’s presidency so far as unprecedented, many parallels can be drawn between the current president and his many predecessors. Perhaps one of the characteristics of Trump that has raised questions and defined his presidential campaign is his lack of any political experience. Having never held a public elected office before his presidency, Trump is a political outsider who ran on a platform of shaking up the establishment. The seventh president Andrew Jackson comes to mind in this regard. Besides the absence of political experience in these two figures, another similarity can be found in their populist leadership elements. Jackson has been described as a representative of the common man, while giving a voice to disenfranchised Americans is also one thing that Trump based his campaign on. With a fiery temperament and a focus on reform and authority, Theodore Roosevelt is another American statesman who bares some resemblance to Trump. The 26th president is best known for his policy to “speak softly and carry a big stick,” which seems like something that has been manifesting in modern America for some time, and will continue to develop under Trump. Of course, while few would describe Trump’s bold and brash style as “speaking softly,” it is evident that his use of power projection in foreign policy folows suit. For example, the recent buildup of American naval forces in the South China Sea illustrates how this current administration seeks to assert power and dominance internationally, especially over primary adversaries like

China, Iran and others. Additionally, one cannot think DID YOU about Trump without thinking about KNOW? this extreme wealth. Having earned his fortune in real estate, Trump is the Crowd richest president in United States history. economic status is reminiscent scientists His of the 32nd president, Franklin D. claim that Roosevelt (FDR). Both sides of FDR’s the Women’s family were wealthy, with his father revenue through the lucrative March in generating coal and railroad industries, and his Washington mother inheriting her wealth from her D.C. was father’s stakes in the Asian opium trade. Trump benefitted from his three times Similarly, family’s finances, having received a bigger than “small loan of a million dollars,” from President his father shortly after graduating from University of Pennsylvania. The Trump’s the opulent socioeconomic backgrounds inauguration. of these two presidents shaped their characters and lives. Source: Of course, the clearest comparison The New York Times between Trump and other American presidents is one that he frequently makes himself. Enter 40th president Ronald Reagan. Trump derives a lot of influence from Reagan, even borrowing his 1980 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” In terms of policy, the two see eye to eye on issues like immigration, taxes, abortion and gun control. On a personal level, both Reagan and Trump were famous television stars of their time, both were Democrats before becoming Republicans and both are the only two American presidents to have had a divorce. Many people attribute the profound outrage or satisfaction they associate with Trump’s presidency to the notion that he is unlike any other president who came before him. While the fortyfifth president is clearly unique in many respects, especially in hairstyle, it is evident that there are multiple aspects of his character and governing style that can be seen in previous American presidents. From foreign policy to domestic policy and political background to financial status, Donald Trump may not be as radically different as some would suggest. h

Opposable THUMBS Doomsday Prepping “You know something’s up when the rich are preparing for the apocalypse.” - Luis Toruno, Staff Writer

Assigned reading “So...Sparknotes or Gradesaver?” - Dan Leiferman, Staff Writer

Promposals “It’s not that deep.” - Alejandra Orozco, Staff Writer


Buying Candy “The real reason I keep asking my parents for money.” -Alfredo Wolfermann, Staff Writer

Sports 19

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ Mar. 2017 \ Pg. 19

Cavalier football acquires new coach

Following the departure of long-time football coach Roger Pollard, Timothy Neal steps in By Angelle Garcia STAFF WRITER


N THE EVENING OF FEB. 6 Roger Pollard stepped down as head coach of the school’s varsity and junior varsity football team. Pollard is stepping down after five seasons with the Cavaliers in which he led them to two district title wins, as well as to regional finals and three semifinals. His reason for leaving comes after his former team mate Jonathon Vilma offered him a chance to join his business of managing the restaurant franchise, Pincho Factory. The new coach will be former Cavaliers assistant coach and current Miami Southwest High School head football coach Timothy Neal. After he was recommended by Pollard, he officially accepted the offer on Feb. 10. Prior to working at Southwest, Neal was the Cavaliers offensive coordinator

With Coach Pollard stepping down those are some big shoes to fill. -Christian Segurola, freshman

for 10 seasons and also played alongside Pollard while the two attended Gables. In his past eight seasons at Southwest, Neal acquired a 50-26 record, leading the Eagles to win back-to-back district championships in 2012 and 2013, advancing to the playoffs in six of the eight seasons he was head coach and made four consecutive state playoff appearances. “It’s great to be back at Gables,” Neal said. “I’m really excited to work with the players and staff.” Neal is officially a permanent part of the faculty and staff on campus as of Feb. 13. Before then he has been coming in on afternoons to familiarize himself with the football program and players. As part of the faculty at the school, Neal will also be a teacher

along with already being head football coach. As spring football approaches, players will now have to acclimate to a new coach with new techniques, practices and drills than what they were already used to. “I’m going to miss Coach Pollard and all the lessons he taught me. I believe he is the reason Gables has done so well in these past seasons. I’ve heard all good things about Coach Neal and he seems like a great coach,” sophomore offensive linemen Everton Henry said. With a new season and clean slate ahead of the Cavaliers, both the new coach and experienced players are looking forward to the new practices, intense work outs and what the Spring season has in store for the team. h

Campagna takes over varsity badminton With a new coach and a new season, the team returns to the court seeking competition By Dan Leiferman STAFF WRITER


team itself. In a more general sense, walking into a situation with a positive mindset will translate that positivity all throughout. Last year, the team was more than half seniors making the current team a fresh one. Before Campagna agreed to coach, multiple team members said there was stress surrounding the newer team. However, with heads held high, the issues were able to be resolved. “I like that he takes into consideration the fact that we’re adjusting as a team considering the fact that last year the majority of our players were seniors that were really experienced and they’re now gone,” junior badminton player Hilda Delgado said. This crucial trust that the players have put in the coach will certainly help to create a more unified team and will lead to a rather positive team

DYNAMIC DUO: Juniors Robert DeDonatis and Naomy Gamarra stand with rackets ready.

Courtesy of Cavaleon

S THE BADMINTON TEAM prepares for a new season, a change at the head of the badminton team has been made as a new coach takes over: English teacher Stephen Campagna. He is also the head coach of the bowling team, and he said he hopes to bring some of that success over to badminton. Campagna’s experience, thanks to his two-year stretch four years ago, will come in handy for a successful team as they prepare for divisionals and the Greater Miami Athletics Conferences. “I am extremely excited to start working with the team to improve and contend with other schools. I think this team needs a new sense of competition and I am ready to help them find it,” Campagna said. Campagna’s excitement to get things going with a partly experienced set of players offers a lot of success for the

dynamic throughout the length of the season. Now that the team and coach have both been solidified, the new season should usher in a substantial amount of success. The fact that an experienced coach is teaming up with a group of already successful players will undoubtedly bring out a lot of success. Also, with the addition of Campagna, the team will be able to move on from its temporary break and establish itself as a vigorous team through the eyes and leadership skills of a past coach on and, personally and socially, off the court. h

Sports 20

Spotlight: The swift Wilson brothers

Freshman Colin and Junior Cavan Wilson carry on their family’s passion for running cross-country By Karina Wu STAFF WRITER

Karina Wu / highlig



ROM SHARING THE SAME love for running to their unbreakable bond, the Wilson brothers are an unstoppable duo, on and off the track. This past year, the boys’ cross country team reached States due to its dedicated runners, one of them being junior Cavan Wilson. Determined to beat his own personal record and bring his team to the top, Cavan Wilson finished strong during this cross country season, leading the Cavaliers to the boys’ district championships. Placing first in the individual 305 classic Championship and his brother, freshman Colin Wilson placing sixth, the Wilson brothers played a major role in qualifying the team for the state championships. “My desire to get faster and better than I was is what motivates me to keep running. For now, my goals are to have a great track season and make it to states in the 3200 meter run,” Cavan Wilson said. From growing up and sharing a passion for running together, both brothers strive to achieve great milestones in their running career. Their mother has served as one of the biggest influences, being a professional runner herself. Since joining the team freshman year, Cavan Wilson has managed to steadily shave off seconds from his target of 16 minutes. This year, he beat his personal best, 16:52 during a 5k run at the junior Orange Bowl Invitational, and helped the school’s team reach States for the first time in its history. “I find it very enjoyable to just get faster every time; just running faster than you’ve ever run before … it is really just an incredible sensation to me,” Cavan Wilson said. The Cavaliers won the junior Orange Bowl Invitational that took place at Larry and Penny Thompson Park on Sep. 23, where over two thousand middle and high school runners competed. Their win along with Wilson’s success in the 5k led

BROTHERLY LOVE The Wilson brothers enjoy the friendly competition that comes with brotherhood

to advancement to States last season. “I’m really happy with how I did [at Junior Orange Bowl meet]. I went out with the objective to break 17 minutes for the first time... and I finished really strong,” Cavan Wilson said. The brothers’ motivation to run stems from their parents’ interest and encouragement, as well as their running background. Cavan ran for leisure for eight years during his childhood before joining cross country during middle school. He also swims competitively for the boys’ swim team. Cavan Wilson hopes to continue both sports in college. “I would like to continue running in college. I have to keep getting better, but I think it’s a goal that I can accomplish if I keep working,” Cavan Wilson said. “I am unsure of where I would like to go, although the dream would be a [Division 1] college.” Colin Wilson hopes to follow in his brother’s footsteps during his own high school career. Running for approximately six years, his competitiveness with his brother bonded them during competition season. This past year, he was considered the fastest freshman in the 4A class at States, that includes all high schools enrolling four thousand students in Florida. “My biggest inspiration when it comes to running has to be Johnny Brownlee. [He’s] the second best triathlete in the world,” Colin Wilson said. It is safe to say that the Wilson brothers have a strong bond with the sport and each other, making them a great addition to the school’s team. Both Wilson brothers said they consider running a large part of their life and are ready to face new challenges and competitions in next year’s season. h

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ Mar. 2017\ Pg. 21

New England Patriots make history

Super Bowl LI became an instant classic as the New England Patriots won in an unprecedented fashion By Dylan Carol COPY EDITOR


UPER BOWL LI, ARGUABLY the biggest and most built up sporting event of the year, did not disappoint as the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons played one of the most memorable games in National Football League (NFL) history. The pre-game hype preceding this matchup was unprecedented, even by Super Bowl standards, as the best coach and quarterback duo ever in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady squared off against the upstart Falcons led by regular season Most Valuable Player (MVP) Matt Ryan. Both teams rolled through the playoffs and set up an epic clash of football titans in Houston, Texas on Feb. 5. In a projected high scoring game, the first quarter was relatively uneventful as both teams failed to light the scoreboard. In the second quarter, however, the Falcons caught fire, scoring three touchdowns and jumping out to a 21-0 lead. The Patriots were only able to muster a field goal in the first half as Brady struggled passing the ball and Atlanta’s pass rush was able to disrupt his timing and comfort in the pocket.

The second half started like the first half ended, with Atlanta dominating the game. The Falcons scored another touchdown to make the score 28-3. Atlanta was well on its way to winning its first championship in franchise history. No team had ever come back from any larger than a 10 point deficit in the Super Bowl, much less 25. However, Brady and the Patriots had other plans. By the end of the third quarter, the momentum had shifted as the Patriots’ offense began to move the ball up and down the field. They scored their first touchdown of the game that, after a missed extra point, cut the lead down to 19 points. The defense followed suit and began to turn up the heat on the league’s MVP and the Atlanta offense that looked unstoppable in the first part of the game. Brady, after a lackluster first half, willed his team back from the depths of defeat and, with five minutes left in the game, had the Patriots down by one score, 28-20. Atlanta looked like it would be able to hold on to the win after wide receiver Julio Jones made an great sideline catch that put the Falcons in field goal range, essentially putting

DID YOU KNOW? Tom Brady has played in seven Super Bowls. This is the most trips by any player in the NFL’s history.


“[The Patriots] made a legendary comeback and I was so happy [and] praying for them the whole time.” -Elizabeth Villar, freshman


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the game out of reach. However, after a crucial sack and holding call, the Falcons were forced to punt the ball back to the scorching hot Patriots. New England went on to score a touchdown, after an insane catch by wide receiver Julian Edelman, and the subsequent two-point conversion to even the game at 28 and sending the Super Bowl into overtime for the first time ever. In overtime, running back James White sealed a win for the Patriots with a two-yard touchdown, capping the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The win earned Brady his record tying fifth Super Bowl win, cementing his legacy as the best quarterback ever to play the game with one of the best individual performances in football history, throwing for 466 yards (a Super Bowl record) and two touchdowns. White also set a record of his own, the most receptions in Super Bowl history with 14, even more impressive because he is not a pass catcher by trade. Ultimately, whether it be because of an epic comeback or an epic collapse, Super Bowl LI will go down in the NFL record books as one of the best games ever. h

“I was pretty upset about [the Patriots winning in overtime] but it happens.” -Max Rego, sophomore

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Sports 22

Football players sign with schools

Seven football players pursue their futures at the annual college signing held by the school By Shirley Ramirez STAFF WRITER


ECIDING WHERE TO GO to college is a tough decision for many seniors. When given so many options, picking the right one feels daunting. On Feb. 1, seven football players decided where they wanted to go for the next four years. Senior cornerback Elyjah Felton was highly sought after this recruitment season. Having seven schools reach out to him, Felton eventually chose to attend Graceland University. The school offered him a full tuition scholarship and has consistently invested time in observing his game. He plans to study business there and eventually accomplish his goal of running an organization for children who cannot afford to play football at a young age. Similarly, senior outside linebacker and defensive end Robert McWilliams does not see leaving Miami as a bad thing. He said he believes traveling will help him grow as a man. That is why Williams has agreed to attend Purdue University next year. “A few schools reached out to me but at the end of the day I think I made the right decision, by choosing Purdue,” McWilliams said. Along with showing interest in the engineering program, McWilliams ultimately hopes to make it to the National Football League (NFL) where he will continue to pursue his passion for playing football. Furthermore, senior running back Jamar Thompkins is also leaving Florida and has signed with Valdosta

It was a blessing to get an offer. Just being able to have a free education and the ability to play football at the same time is amazing. decision -Adryan Ellis, senior

State University, turning down offers from Savannah State University and Hutchinson Community College. “I lived in Georgia for three years, so I knew the area and I knew some people around there so it was like my second home,” Thompkins said. He also felt a strong connection with the coaches. Moreover, Thompkins enjoys the small size of the school which he believes allows for a more personal teacher-student connection. However, Thompkins does feel that the only missing component from the school is a track team. Like Thompkins and McWilliams, senior cornerback and wide receiver Marlin Brooks wishes to make it to the NFL. Brooks received nine official offers this season. Some of the schools include Ohio State University (OSU), Temple University, Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. Brooks signed with OSU and although he said he dislikes the cold weather there, he enjoys the nice coaching staff, environment and all of the classes. He also said he enjoys the social aspect of the school and once he visited he knew it was right for him. Brooks was lucky to return to football during the recruiting process after a spinal injury his junior year. The opportunity to receive a fillip scholarship at Ohio State University was a struggle. Following a spinal injury he experienced during his junior year. After much physical therapy, he was lucky to return to the football field

www.gablestutoring. com 1886 Southwest 57th Ave Miami, FL 33135

right in the middle of the recruiting process. Additionally, outside linebacker and strong safety Kristopher Moll was offered a full scholarship by the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). He said he chose UAB because of the academic program, the coaching staff and how the linebacker coach has roots in Carol City. As a freshman, Moll said he plans to make some type of impact there and break a record. While most of the football players were approached by many schools, middle linebacker Adryan Ellis had no offers for most of the season. As time passed, he waited patiently to receive an offer and finally did from Hutchinson Community College. He plans to study there and then transfer to a four year university. “It was a blessing to get an offer. Just being able to have a free education and the ability to play football at the same time is amazing.” Ellis said. Additionally, strong safety and cornerback Terrance Bryant chose Southeast Missouri State University and is also receiving a full scholarship. He said that he valued the professors and internships for his major in business. “I chose it because it’s a nice facility and they have great coaches there that push me to be a better player,” Bryant said. Overall, the seven recruits are well equipped to go off to college and begin a new football career. h

350 Miracle Mile Coral Gables, FL (305) 442-1839

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ Mar. 2017 \ Pg. 23

Girls’ flag football season begins

For the second year, the Lady Cavaliers gear up for the upcoming season this Spring By Karina Wu STAFF WRITER


AGER TO BEGIN THE SEASON this March, the girls’ flag football team is ready to compete against other high schools in hopes of reaching districts. Newly formed the last school year, the team is sponsored and coached by Frank Welsh, the school’s new SPED teacher. Last year, the Lady Cavaliers finished off the season sporting a total of three wins and two losses. “I’m really excited for the upcoming season … having a team who has your back and who supports you on and off the field is really comforting,” freshman Samantha Wall said. Lasting until early May, the season will include several games against South Miami, Coral Park and Braddock before district finals at the end of the month. The team, divided into two sections, consists of a defensive and offensive team, each containing seven players. Though the rules and plays of flag football are similar

We’re all working really hard to try and beat [Miami High]. -Juliana Bonavite, freshman

to that of football, the former replaces tackling with the act of removing the flag belt from the ball carrier. Unlike football, flag football is a non-contact sport, however it still requires the same amount of concentration. After weeks of conditioning, team members said they feel prepared to take on their rival, the Miami High Stingarees, in their upcoming game taking place on March 14. “Being a first-year player, everything is new to me so our coach takes his time explaining each play and position to me,” freshman Juliana Bonavite said. “One of our biggest rivals is Miami High so we’re all working really hard to try and beat them.” In the past year, 31 girls’ flag football teams were created in MiamiDade County public schools. Despite being a relatively new team, the Lady

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Cavaliers are working to improve their strategies and tactics and have a successful season.

SEASON SCHEDULE: Mar. 14: Miami High Mar. 21: South West Mar. 23: South Miami Mar. 28: Coral Park Mar. 30: Mater Apr. 4: TERRA Apr. 19: Braddock *Home games are bolded

highlights Do you wanna be a part of our awesome publication? Find our

application on CavsConnect under the briefs section. Any questions? Go to Room 9220

The Scene 24

Vintage pop-up visits Lincoln Road Sojara Vintage incorporates stylistic elements from the 70s and 80s in an effort to up-cycle vintage clothes By Audrey Weigel STAFF WRITER


T FIRST, SOJARA VINTAGE appears to be just another small store surrounded by a multitude of expensive name brand locations on Lincoln Road. However, the unique inventory draws in a regular influx of customers, as the store sells vintage items such as jackets, shirts and patches. The first thing one notices when they walk in is a collection of interesting finds such as the assorted concert posters lining the wall. Rock music continuously fills the room, adding nostalgia to the store and even more character to the already colorful clothes. Sojara Vintage temporarily opened during Art Basel, selling clothes inspired by the 1970s and the 1980s. Founders

Jara Eisen and Niki Markofsky were interested in an empty lot on Lincoln Road and asked the owners if they could temporarily use the space for five days during Art Basel. The store was put together in three days and, due to the instant success of Sojara Vintage, the founders decided it would be best if they kept it open until the end of March. Sojara is named after Eisen, the founder of the Sojara clothing line. Eisen reworks vintage shirts; she says she uses peace, love and happiness to inspire her creations. She also uses a variety of elements, such as inspirational quotes and famous rock musicians, as motivation. Markofsky also creates clothes but mostly aids Eisen with the

Very Vintage: Sojara Vintage offers a variety of up-cycled options such as jackets, t-shirts and Converse.

Audrey Weigel / highlights

brand. Sojara, the brand, is sold in international markets and wholesale locations. All the clothes and items in the store have been upcycled, which means they discarded used items to create a product of higher value. “When Americans give away clothes or lose them they are sent in crates or shipments to Third World countries. Over there, people wear the original American clothes that have been donated. When the natives of the Third World countries are done with the clothes, they are sent to big warehouses there, and are sorted out and sent back here to major chain stores. Due to upcycling, clothes can come from any state and any time period,� Markofsky said. Sojara Vintage is open on weekends from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. The prices of all the items in the store vary from $15 to $400, the patches being the least expensive and the customized biker jackets costing the most. The patches are sold in packs of three for $15. The clothes may be quite pricy, but a 15 percent discount on all items is offered to students. The most popular items in the store are the flannel shirts. Each of them have a unique patch sewn on the back, drawing from the Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Sojara Vintage also offers guitar pick necklaces and virtually anything in the store can be custom painted and patched. Sojara Vintage will be leaving its location on Lincoln Road soon, but the store may move or even come back to Lincoln Road in the future. If it does come back, it will probably be a seasonal store, rather than permanent. Eisen will continue wholesaling her line to local and foreign countries regardless of whether or not the store continues to thrive. By selling products that offer nostalgia for the older generation and fashionable clothes for millennials, it is no surprise how popular the store has grown in its relatively small period of existence. h

highlights \ Vol. 59 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 25

Bunniecakes Bakery serves up sweets From cupcakes to milkshakes, Bunniecakes bakery takes the cake for its delicious vegan treats By Estelle Erwich STAFF WRITER

espresso and triple chocolate to classic red velvet and guava. Other popular products include empanadas and doughnuts, all of which are made fresh every day. The bakery plans to expand soon by opening BunnieStudio, a “Do it yourself” (DIY) cupcake studio. Cortez suggests that the most important part of the bakery is the message it sends to the community about clean, plant-based eating. “There are a lot of benefits [to a vegan diet]. It lowers your [blood] pressure, you feel like you have more energy, and your general health is better,” Cortez said. Following the vegan diet does not have to be boring, bland or green – Bunniecakes is waiting with cases packed full of decedant cupcakes. h

CUPCAKE CRAZE: Bunnie Cakes’ most popular product is its mini cupcakes, which come in a wide range of flavors and are sugar free.

Estelle Erwich / highlights


ITH PINK CHAIRS, A vibrant sign and potted flowers blooming all around its perimeter, Bunniecakes bakery fluorescently contrasts the commercial neighborhood it resides in. Inside the bakery, the atmosphere is welcoming and warm. Located at 2322 NE 2nd Ave, The shop is full of bright colors and gleaming cases displaying tempting cinnamon rolls and artistic cakes. The bakery’s appearance is not its most unique aspect though, as Bunniecakes is one of the only vegan and gluten-free bakeries in Miami. Owner Mariana Cortez, opened Bunniecakes in 2009. The bakery offers a full range of completely vegan and gluten-free products, from mini cupcakes to sandwich wraps. The cupcake flavors range from

Pitman Photo Supply: shots fired Pitman Photo Supply offers hand-on assistance and knowledgeable advice on all things photo By Natalie Viglucci STAFF WRITER

PHOTO FANATICS: The interior of Pitman Photo Supply is lined with shelving stocked full of photography equipment ranging from filters to batteries.


Natalie Viglucci / highlights

N AN ERA BRIMMING WITH technological innovations, it is hard to find the “outdated” materials that used to keep camera equipment functioning, specifically those for filmbased photography, a lost art in the minds of many. Fortunately, Pitman Photo Supply has not let go of classic film and the raw image it creates, with the fine grain and contrasts of dark and light which capture images with a sense of mystery. Shelves stacked high with equipment line the shop- tripods, lenses, and photo albums of every shape, size and brand are available for purchase. Pitman Photo Supply is a familyowned business that has been in Miami since 1928, located at 14321 S Dixie Hwy. The store has an extensive supply of products ranging from batteries as

low as $22, to camera bags and cases, and filters from $9 and more. With the internet and technology reigning, photo shops such as Pitman often find themselves competing with the internet, and falling short. “An issue that almost all the brick and mortar camera stores have been facing is individuals using us as a showroom for the online store- a lot of times people come in just to take a look at a camera, get a feel for it, make a decision and go and buy it online,” director of marketing and store manager Glenn Eisen said. Pitman offers hands-on assistance that online companies cannot. When one is experiencing troubles with their equipment, the ability to take it into a shop with knowledgeable and experienced employees is invaluable. h

The Scene 26

Nature’s best: The Kampong and Big Cypres South Florida houses two beautiful locations for enjoying outdoor landscapes and interacting with nature By Ana Wolferman & Cecilia Rodriguez STAFF WRITERS

Virgina Ansaldi/Contributor

NATURE CALLS: The famous historical house of David Fairchild (far left). The popular ‘Lotus Pond”(center left).The heart of the Cypress Dome (center right). Samantha Riesco, Carolina Luis and friends hiking beneath the Cypress trees (far right).

held at The Kampong frequently, so one should call beforehand to inquire about a peaceful visit. These incredible gardens are available to the public through a nonprofit organization called The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) that is dedicated to finding, saving, and showcasing the world’s tropical plants. In the 40 years of this organization, NTBG has provided over 2,000 acres of beautiful tropical gardens to present to the public. If one craves an escape from the bustling city, filled with vibrant colors and diverse species, visit The Kampong. Big Cypress Home to a variety of plants and animals in Southwest Florida, The Big Cypress National Preserve is approximately 729,000 acres of freshwater swap. The interesting, diverse and rich environment provides endless opportunities for adventurous individuals, as well as those who seek a tranquil location to enjoy the outdoors. The National Preserve consists of five environments, the hardwood hammocks, pinelands, prairies, cypress swamps and estuaries. Therefore, the variety of habitats offer many different scenic views and options for activities. “Visiting and understanding the Big Cypress national preserve is important because the fresh waters of the preserve

Virgina Ansaldi/Contributor

Cecilia Rodriguez/ highlights

fruits, herbs and spices that cannot be found elsewhere such as the Strychnos Vomica, or Kaffir Orange, which was the first tree that David Fairchild planted at The Kampong. The Strychnos Vomica is a native of Madagascar, Sri Lanka and the East Indies. Along with the beautiful views, The Kampong also offers a lesson in history. Anyone can come and visit David Fairchild’s creation. Fairchild was a pioneer in the discovery and usage of many tropical plants. Students who bring their ID have access to a $10 entrance fee. Some of the most visited, peaceful spots are “The Point” which has a marvelous view of Biscayne Bay and Downtown Miami, the “Lotus Pond” which is composed of varieties of aquatic plants, and lastly the “Royal Poinciana” which is a tree native to the island of Madagascar, named one of the most spectacular and popular ornamental trees of the tropics. “When I went to The Kampong, it was like a relaxing getaway from the crazy, noisy world. It was also very interesting to see all of the tropical elements come together with history,” junior Gabriella Vazquez said. The garden is open from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on Sundays they are closed. According to brochures and staff, there are events

Cecilia Rodriguez/ highlights


HE KAMPONG IS A SIZABLE garden open for the public to explore, featuring vibrant tropical plants from all over the world, while Big Cypress is a national preserve that allows for camping, kayaking, hiking and exploring the outdoors. Both natural preserves provide alternative ways for people to get out of the house and explore the unknown treasures of Miami. The Kampong In Coconut Grove, hidden behind two towering red gates, lies the Kampong, a garden filled with tropical flora, a collection of Indonesian paintings, antique houses and a serene, relaxing environment. Kampong offers an inside scoop on heritage plant collections from Southeast Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean and other tropical places locally at 4013 Douglas Rd. There are only five of these “tropical botanical gardens” in the United States, the rest are located on several Hawaiian Islands. The tropical plants showcased throughout the garden are either endangered, or have already disappeared from their original habitat. These plants are mostly foreign, hailing from different regions of the world. Kampong is not only home to some of the rarest and most desirable tropical plants, but holds hundreds of tropical

highlights \ Vol. 59 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 27

THINGS TO PACK Pack shoes that can get wet to walk through the different terrains of the Cypress

Pack a camera, best if water resistant, to capture all the wonderful views

Pack a swim suit and a towel to enjoy the mysteries of the swamp

feed the Everglades ecosystem which percolates down to our ground water, where we extract water from, plus they are federal lands so they belong to us,” science teacher Virginia Ansaldi said. The preserve is open 24 hours a day all year and there is no fee required to access the wonders that the Big Cypress has to offer. The preserve is not limited to daylight activities, as ranger led activities which promote “discovering the night sky” are also available. Visiting the preserve provides an authentic South Florida outdoor experience. From bicycling, bird watching, camping, star gazing and hunting the Big Cypress is Florida’s extensive backyard waiting to be explored. There are many ranger led activities throughout the week such as hiking through the cypress trees and sawgrass prairies, canoeing to the heart of the swamp, educational campfire talks, triathlons through the Tamiami Trail and many more. Visitors should refer

to the Big Cypress webpage for specific event information such as what is recommended to take, dates and times. Visitors should also call prior to visiting for activities that require reservation. The Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center is located at 33000 Tamiami Trail East in Ochopee and the Oasis Visitor Center is located at 52105 Tamiami Trail East in Ochopee. It takes around an hour and a half to reach the preserve, but the lengthy ride is definitely worth experiencing the colorful and wild environment. Upon arrival to the welcome centers, there are restrooms, bookstores, exhibits and National Park Service Staff available to help visitors. Maps of the preserve, including hiking and canoeing trails, can also be accessed at the visitor centers. The natural wonders of Big Cypress are unfamiliar to most, therefore safety should also be of priority. Visitors must fill out a free backcountry permit, which will allow for a safer visit to the

Pack a water bottle to battle the heat and stay hydrated during the day

CAMP IN COMFORT: Take advantage of everything the parks have to offer by bringing the items pictured above.

Sarah Galt / highlights

Pack sunglasses to protect the eyes from the intense South Florida sun

preserve. Before visiting, it is advised to search for Big Cypress on and click on the safety tab to be informed and well prepared for the experience. “Going to the Big Cypress was an experience that was a little out of my comfort zone but it was definitely worth it, it was a lot of fun and very exciting,” senior Gisselle Prida said. The Big Cypress National Preserve is a beautiful area open to the general public for the opportunity to explore the admirable works of Mother Nature. h


Insight 28

STIs Story by Kevin Monjarrez

Olivia Field & Leila Iskandarani /highlights

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 29


iami-Dade is far from a safe haven when it comes to reproductive health. In the past decade, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as syphilis and chlamydia have doubled, reinforcing Miami’s position as a danger zone when it comes sexual health. Teen pregnancy has also presented itself as an issue, but pales in comparison to the threat of STIs. The Miami metropolitan area already has the highest rate of HIV infections in the country and it seems like it will continue to hold that title for years to come. The rate at which infections occur has risen so astonishingly high that it seems as if the entire city of Miami unanimously agreed to contract a disease. According to Doctor Mark Schweizer, the primary reason rates of STIs have continued to skyrocket is the lack of education on the subject. Because abstinence is the only 100 percent way to protect from STIs and pregnancy, Miami Dade County Public Schools policy only goes in-depth into that topic. There is no education on methods of having safe sex and the precautions one should take to protect themselves. Furthermore, most students undergo sexual education at an extremely young age, when students are unlikely to be sexually active and unlikely to remember the details.

“The only sexual education that I received in a school setting was in middle school,” senior Paula Hernandez said. “It was valuable in that I learned about protection and STDs but my classmates and I were only twelve so I think that it should have been reinforced once we were all a bit older.” Although reparations are being made by the Miami Worker’s Center to offer students a more comprehensive sexual education curriculum in their later years, the program is still in the early stages of its development and could take years to implement. “I think sex education is important because without a proper education teenagers will make silly decisions like not practicing safe sex and they won’t know how to get tested for STIs,” junior Jordan Armour said. Schweizer also notes that the technological ease of treatment has strangely caused irresponsibility in STI patients. He notes that in the past, those affected by STIs had to take extreme measures to accommodate for their disease. He remarks that it was impossible to forget to treat a sexually transmitted disease. It used to take 52 pils and lab visits just to prolong the life of a person with HIV. Now, people can live long healthy lives by taking one pill and visiting a doctor every six months.

BY THE NUMBERS: In 2009, approximately of U.S. females, age 15-19, had Chlamydia

1 3

the average life expectancy after diagnosis for someone with HIV/ AIDS


without treatment




with treatment

Mario Acosta/contributor

PROTECTION PARADOX : Just as there is little education on the ways to avoid pregnancy, schools also do not address the prevalence of STIs.

Technology has advanced so far it has made AIDS seem like a minor hassle in one’s life, which is spectacularly untrue, and an extremely dangerous prospect. Irresponsibility also plays a part in non STI patients, as there are well known STI patients living their healthy lives. They see Magic Johnson alive and well on their televisions, Edwin Cameron judging, and several other celebrities Compiled by Kevin Monjarrez



in the country for new HIV/AIDs cases

1out of 3 people

In the U.S.,

age 14-19 have genital herpes sources: Conference on Retro and Opportunistic Infection 2016, Health Council of South Florida, CDC,

Insight 30

Student speak ups: STIs are not a concern for most people my age. People are more preoccupied with avoiding pregnancy... Besides, there are no resources available at school for getting tested or receiving condoms for free. STI’s just are not a part of the conversation between peers or students and teachers.

-Alex Vivas, freshman

The spread of STI’s can really only be prevented through education. When you’re only teaching about abstinence from sex and not having sex then you’re not really increasing awareness about what happens when you do have sex, which is going to happen anyways. It’s about teaching young people how to have sex safely.

-Katherine Elwell, senior

People my age regard STDs, as if you get it you re messed up for life, since they dont is something that can affect you going into your future... If you get an STD you should definitely tell your parents so they can take you to a doctor... untreated STD can lead to death.

-Edmund Rodriguez, junior Karina Wu & Sofia Viglucci/highlights

with STIs living “perfect” and “ideal” lives. This representation of their lives suggest to fans and spectators that an STI is as bothersome as a pinprick or a cut on one’s finger. “People believe too much in birth control and do not use protection enough. They completely focus on not having a baby rather than protecting themselves from [the threats posed by] multiple partners,” junior Justin Ferrer said. As a result of the rapid advancement of science and technology society underwent, people can live lengthy lives with diseases that were once a death sentence. However, this is not to say that it does not bring about pain and financial burden. According to Joe Gallant ,Medical Director of Specialty Services at Southwest CARE center in New Mexico, treating HIV would cost somewhere between the range of $28,000 to $35,000 per year. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, treating genital herpes could cost $65 to $100 for each recurrence and the Center for Disease Control reports that the annual cost for treating Human papillomavirus (HPV) could range from $3,906 to $14,723. It is due to the cost of these treatments that medication is occasionally ignored, resulting in

continued pain and in the case of HIV/ AIDS, death. Unaddressed STI infections have also become a major problem, not only in Miami, but the entirety of the United States as well. Because several STIs lack symptoms in their early stages of development, Americans often remain ignorant as to whether they harbor a STI or not. On average one in five STIpositive Americans do not know they are infected. Americans, especially teens, also forgo testing, either because they lack knowledge of available resources or they aim to avoid embarrassment and parental discovery. This ultimately results in unnecessary death, illness, and transmission to others. “The foundations for the educational pillars to provide students with the information to ensure they can make educated decisions in their sexual relations does not exist. However, it is beyond preventive measures. Resources should be accessible and publicized for STI testing at school so that they can know their bodies and begin to have higher expectations for safety for their partners,” senior Amanda Hopkins said. This is not to say that innovation has negatively affected the populous.These byproducts of technology are allowed to exist simply due to ignorance.

DID YOU KNOW? Miami-Dade and Broward County accounted for nearly 42 percent of the 5340 syphilis cases reported in Florida from 2013 to 2015. Source: Florida Department of Health

Technological advance has aided those with STIs greatly, and it continues to do so, but while simultaneously bringing about unwanted effects. However, repairs can be made, and are theoretically simple. As a result of the numerous issues Miami has faced with STIs in youth and adults alike, Miami-Dade has launched clinics and education programs throughout the county. Although this is indeed an admirable effort to educate and prevent STI infection, these programs have proven to be incapable of curing Miami’s STI epidemic. These programs, while relating to STIs, are HIV/AIDS oriented rather than comprehensive STI education in general. Moreso, these education programs are more intended for those who are already afflicted with HIV/AIDS, teaching these individuals how to treat their disease. In order to reduce the spread of STIs in MiamiDade, a more general education open to more general audiences would be necessary. Teaching young adults and the public in general about the dangers of STIs, unsafe sex, and the implications that come with dealing with an STI, would better serve to reduce the dramatically high rate of STI contraction in MiamiDade. h

highlights \ Vol. 57 \ March 2017 \ Pg. 31


Possible discrepancies from participants not understanding questions may have occured.

highlights received responses from a gender queer and a non-binary student which are not included.

*Out of 319 surveyed Luis Toruno/highlights

Like our page: highlights Follow us: @highlightscghs

Shirley Ramirez/highlights

Follow us: @highlightscghs highlights-submissions/ Questions? Email us at: What’s your opinion? Tell us your point of view on a topic published in highlights with an email titled “Letter to the Editor.” We reserve the right to publish any letters sent to this email.

LIGHTBOX On Feb. 16, Bridge for Peace took place at the Coral Gables Museum. The event included a fashion show that showcases cultures from different regions around the world. Senior Kelsey Pacheco closed the show by walking down the runway in a traditional gown from Brazil.

Issue 5, Vol. 57  

Issue 5, March 2017, Volume 57

Issue 5, Vol. 57  

Issue 5, March 2017, Volume 57