Page 1

The original community newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes & surrounding areas Read story on Page 2. Vol. 46, No. 16



Spanish Lake Elementary welcomes new Principal

AUGUST 16, 2019

Town hosts firstever Miami Lakes Night at Marlins Park, Sat. Sept. 7 The Town of Miami Lakes is hosting its first Miami Lakes Night on September 7. Join them in watching the Miami Marlins go up against the Kansas City Royals.The ticket package is $14. The event begins at 6:10 p.m., so arrive early for a pre-game parade around the field with the Town of Miami Lakes! The first 10,000 fans will be given a Brian Anderson bobblehead. To purchase tickets please visit: For groups of 10 or more, please contact Grace Herba at: or call (305) 480 - 1545.

The Spanish Lake Elementary (SLE) family welcomes their new principal, Milko Brito, who comes to them from Mae M. Walters Elementary School. Brito is a homebred MD-CPS product. Born in Cuba, he came to Miami at the age of eight with his parents and an older brother. He attended Kinlock Park Elementary School, Coral Gables Senior . High, Miami-Dade and completed his Bachelor and Masters’ Degrees in Educaion. Leadership at FIU. Upon arriving to the US, he nor his family spoke a word of English. Ms. Garcia was his first teacher at Kinlock Park who watched over him and continually collaborated educationally. At home, his parents spoke not a word of English. They valued education and they would drive him to succeed. They could not help him with his homework or schoolwork. He persevered to obtain his educational success. Initially, Brito thought he would like to become an architect. After his first class, his interest waned. He always remembered Garcia and how she made his

A Look Inside:

arrival in America so much easier and he dreamed of paying it forward. Growing up, he was there to make someone’s life better. Thus, he decided to take one education class and he was hooked...he could help kids! He began his career in education as a teacher at James H. Bright Elementary School. He then served in the capacity of an assistant principal at Lawton Chiles Middle School and Brentwood Elementary School. Brito is an excellent, knowledgeable communicator and an effective listener who encourages open dialogue and interaction with students, staff, and parents. His work ethics are evidenced through his being an impeccable teacher and an impeccable administrator. He credits his high standards and work ethics to his parents. His mom held down three jobs and his dad worked four in order to provide a better life for his brother and him. He now mirrors the same standards in his relationships with others.

■ Library programs for August ■ My Gym hosts Saturday ................4 ■ Top sports stories.........16 classes...........................10 ■ News and Notes of interest ■ MLK-8 Top Students celefrom the Town of Miami Lakes. brate at Shula’s 2 ■ FBLA competitions....... See pages.........................6 & 7 ...............................................11 ................................17

■ MDC receives $50K...................19


AUGUST 16, 2019


Bovo, Jordan host community meeting on golf course conditions Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan and Esteban Bovo, Jr., recently called a Sunshine meeting to discuss plans to enhance the Country Club of Miami golf course following residents’ requests to fix the conditions of the outside facility. Dozens of residents attended the meeting at the Country Club of Miami, 6801 N.W. 186th Street, to share their concerns and ultimately expressed their support of the proposal created by Jordan, Bovo and Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Director Maria Nardi. The golf course, which was

built in 1961, is a 7,017-yard par-72, 18-hole course with a slope of 132, hosted the 1991 Senior PGA Tour National Qualifying School. Residents requested the county fix the conditions of the golf course, upgrade the treacherous bunkers, lush fairways and rolling greens among other recommended improvements. Their hoping the county’s plans would help bring back major golfing tournaments and attract avid-golf celebrities who teed off at the golf course. Comedian and actor Jackie Gleason played host to celebrity golfers including Bob Hoe and

Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Director Maria Nardi, and Miami-Dade County Commissioners Barbara Jordan and Esteban Bovo, Jr. Bring Crosby at the Country Club of Miami golf course, and Jack Nicklaus played his first professional tournament there and Lee Trevino won his fourth professional game at the club.

Bovo honors FIU student Marin Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr., recently recognized Florida International University student Steven Marin for helping homeless students and pupils coming out of foster care by raising money for college’s Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) program. The program allows FIU to provide students with food and shelter, when other students are going home to their families. “In the five years that Steven has been involved with FIU’s Fostering Panther Pride, he has raised over $100,000. Since its inception, 425 students have benefited from the program as out of the 425, 117 have graduated from FIU,” Bovo said. “As an alumnus of FIU, I thank and congratulate Steven for his efforts to help his fellow panthers fulfill their utmost potential.”


AUGUST 16, 2019



AUGUST 16, 2019


announced at 2 p.m. Judging

will befor in three categories: Ages Library programs August 5-12 years, ages 13-17 years

Miami Lakes Branch Library announced the following programs that are available for the public during August: For Children and Families: Dr. Fitz Science Show - Dr. Fitz will teach kids about a lot of cool science like what makes a volcano explode or how are birds able to fly. Best for ages 612 years and made possible by the Town of Miami Lakes Education Advisory Board at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 3. Edible Book Contest – Create an edible display inspired by a favorite book, author, cover art or character, including comics and manga. Registration is required and participants must be registered by Friday, August 2 to submit an entry. Entries must be brought to the branch by 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 3 and must be family friendly. Winners will be

and ages 18 years and up. Contest made possible by the Town of Miami Lakes Education Advisory Board at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 3. Movies and Stories for Kids – Watch favorite movies with family and friends. Movies being shown this month are “Smallfoot” (PG), “Angry Birds” (PG),“Captain Underpants”, and “Lego Movie 2” (PG). Events made possible by the Town of Miami Lakes Education Advisory Board at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, August 7, 14, 21 and 28. Talking is Teaching. Talk, Read, Sing for Toddlers – Stories, songs and activities for toddlers. Best for ages 18 months to 3 years old at 11 a.m. on Thursdays, August 8, 15, 22 and 29. Lego Club: Minifigure trading – Bring your own LEGO Minifigure to trade. After the

trading session, enjoy making your own LEGO creations. For all ages at 11 a.m, on Saturday, August 17. For Teens: Teen Club presents Shazaam PG-13 – We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAAM! - this streetwise 14-yearold foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazaam. Shazaam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Taddeus Sivana. Made possible by the Town of Miami Lakes Education Advisory Board at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6. Teen Club Play videogames, watch anime, draw, participate in STEAM activities and more. For ages 12-18 years at 4:30 p.m. on

Tuesdays, August 13, 20 and 27. Retro Game Night - Play retro video games on the big screen or classic board games around the table. Suitable for ages 8-18 years at 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, August 5, 12, 19 and 26. For Adults: Purls of Wisdom – Learn basic knitting and stitching. Materials will be provided. Best for ages 18 and up at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, August 6, 13, 20 and 27. Strum the Lute: Tai Chi for Beginners – Practice this ancient tradition and learn gentle movements to increase strength, flexibility and balance. Class is led by library staff. Best for ages 18 and up at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, August 7, 14, 21 and 28. Mario Diaz-Balart Outreach Table - A member of Congressman Mario DiazBalart’s staff will be available to discuss federal issues and address any concerns a con-

stituent may have with a federal agency, at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28. Miami Lakes Branch Library is located at 6699 Windmill Gate Road and is open Monday and Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The branch is closed on Sundays. For more information, call 305-822-6520.


AUGUST 16, 2019



AUGUST 16, 2019


News and Notes from the Town of Miami Lakes Artist Miguel Rodez Town names Royal Oaks Park will host art show in courtyard after Brenna Vergara Miami Lakes, Sept 5 Born in Havana, Cuba, Rodez, as a visual artist, engages in a similar creative process as a musical composer—that of evoking emotion. His exhibit “Surging Harmonies” is Rodez’s way of, instead of balancing sounds to create harmonies, achieving them by arranging color and form on a physical substrata, such as wood or canvas, in a manner that appeals to the brain’s visual logic. In his Harmony Series he utilizes seemingly chaotic visual elements, which serve the same purpose as dissonant musical chords, and balance them with elements that are pleasant for the eyes to see. The THE TOWN OF MIAMI LAKES recently broke ground for a new courtyard at Royal Oaks Park result are visual harmonies that create a mood named after Brenna Vergara, who died in 2014 from a rare heart condition during dance class. rather than tell a story. Vice Mayor Nelson Rodriguez proposed the idea at regular Town Council meeting, saying Vergara is an inspiration to the community and inspired several Miami Lakes regulations that

Rodez’s body of work includes traditional por- require athletes and people participating in physical activities at the town’s parks and facilities to get a cardiogram to detect any health-related issues. traits and abstracts. His artwork has been shown The town honors Vergara with the annual Breanna Vergara KK extensively, including at the Coral Gables Museum; and Color Run which is held in December. St. Thomas University; Florida International University’s Green Library; Albizu University; Bacardi Headquarters; Bayfront Park; Miami Beach Botanical Gardens; Dominican Republic’s Palace of Fine Arts; Hialeah’s Milander Center for the Arts and Entertainment; Wynwood Art District; Miami Design District; the Bird Road Art District, and other venues. To attend the Art Show please register at


AUGUST 16, 2019


News and Notes from the Town of Miami Lakes Havana Nights Sept. 21

Youth events for the rest of August Miami Lakes Youth Center will be hosting several fun and exciting programs for middle and high school students from 6 to 8 p.m. during August at “The Spot,” 6075 Miami Lakes Drive East. Open Hang Nights are scheduled Friday, August 30. The Youth Center is equipped with a billiard table, table tennis, indoor basketball shootout game, Microsoft Xbox One Console, Nintendo Wii, and more. Bring friends for a night of fun and games. Elementary School Open Hang Game Night is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28. Parents can come out with their children ages 5 to 12 years and enjoy a

game night competition where families or groups of friends go head to head in different board games and game show games. Mayor’s Back-To-School Beyblade Challenge and Family Game Night - This will be a one night for Miami Lakes families to get together to learn about Beyblades and best their Beyblade skills. Parents need to stay for the duration of the event, no drop-offs allowed. Event sponsored by Mathnasium. For more information, contact Programs coordinator Manny Martinez at or 305-819-7768.

After school care availabe for Miami Lakes Youth Summer is almost over, and the school year is right around the corner! The Town of Miami Lakes in partnership with the YMCA will be offering afterschool care throughout the school year beginning Monday, August 19. The Programs will run Monday – Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for children between the ages of 5 and 15 years old. Transportation is provided from Miami Lakes schools to the program locations by the YMCA. The programs will be offered at the Roberto Alonso Community Center (west side), 16500 NW 87th Avenue, and the Miami Lakes Optimist Clubhouse, 6411 NW 162nd Street.

Students will receive daily homework help as well as academic curriculum and projectbased learning which include science, technology, engineering, math (STEM). The YMCA also offers a variety of enrichment options through sports, health & wellness programs, games, arts & crafts, tutoring, and recreational activities. $100/ month with transportation and one time $50 registration fee. Financial assistance is available. To register or for information, please contact the YMCA at (305) 357-6622 or visit


AUGUST 16, 2019


Pace Starletts work for a shining new season By Carolina De La Nuez and Surella Rodriguez, special to The Miami Laker

their dance technique, but they also prepared intensely with their own personal trainer, who challenged their athleticism.

The Pace Starletts look forward to a bright new season. “The work is worth it!” said senior, Anais Gonzalez. This is the mindset that the Starlettes will uphold and continue to carry out throughout the summer. After holding tryouts at the end of the school year, the Starlettes are eager to start working together as a new team.

Additionally, they worked with an acrobatics instructor that helped them learn skilled tricks, which they plan on showcasing to the school body this season. We cannot forget to mention the tremendous amount of team bonding the team participated in to grow stronger together.

The team commenced their training with a “Starlettes BootCamp”, which consisted of a week and a half of high intensity training. To grow as wellrounded dancers during this camp, they not only worked on

All of this training helped the Starlettes in preparation for the National Dance Alliance Camp (NDA). NDA Camp was the first large event as a team. This was a four day, three night camp filled with an elite cur-

riculum including team dances and individual routines. The Starlettes loved this camp because it was an opportunity to focus on dance, expand their artistic knowledge and bond with other high school dance teams that also attended this camp. Moreover, this camp determined if the dancers would receive a bid to nationals. Not only did they acquire their bid, but they took multiple prizes home. This experience has helped the Starlettes truly prepare for an upcoming successful year. The Pace community is extremely excited for their Starlettes and the bright year that awaits them.


AUGUST 16, 2019



AUGUST 16, 2019


My Gym hosts Saturday classes in M. Lakes Calling all youngsters! My Gym is hosting Saturday classes at the Miami Lakes Youth Center located at 6075 Miami Lakes Drive, for children up to six years old. My Gym is a children’s program dedicated to teaching children in a fun, physically engaging environment. With

over 600+ locations worldwide, My Gym now opens their newest location in Miami Lakes and offers a Saturday program to members and nonmembers.

required for kids ages up to two years old). For more information visit or contact (305) 790-9266.

This will run Saturdays starting in August through December. To register a $10 fee per child per class (Parent participation

Follow Us On Instagram themiamilaker


Miami Spice runs through September!

Miami Spice is back! Shula’s Steak 2 located at 6842 Main Street, is participating in this two-month long event. Miami Spice runs from August 1 - September 30 with special menus. All participating restaurants offer a $39 3-course dinner menu. For more info call (305) 820-8047 or visit

AUGUST 16, 2019

MLK-8 top FSA students celebrate at Shual’s 2

Pictured: Virnalis Arvelo, Anthony Arvelo, Andrew Ildefonso, Aiden Pinto, Matthew Mackenzie, Nicolas Moreno, Kevin Montero, Emma Pearsall, Alexander Alvarez, Gabriel Alves, Leilani Garcia, Gabriel Borelly, Mia Riobueno, Sofia Rebustillo, Alejandro Cabrera, Emmy Martinez, Amber Rodriguez, Sofia Rodriguez and Gabrielle Blanco (not pictured: Marymar Alfonso) Mrs. Virnalis Arvelo, eighth grade Language Arts teacher at Miami Lakes K-8 Center, took her top FSA achieving students to dinner at Shula's 2 to celebrate their accomplishments. "This is my ninth year continuing with this motivating ritual and I absolutely couldn't be prouder of

Send your story ideas to or 305-817-4078 Share the new with all of our community!


this class. This class improved their passing rate by 11 percent, so in my book they are all winners! The students invited all earned a five and some even a perfect 10 on the writing portion”. Congratulations to an unforgettable class!"


AUGUST 16, 2019



AUGUST 16, 2019


--PAGE 14

AUGUST 16, 2019


Mater Academy’s girls volleyball wins first place

STU Dr. Torres selected as fellow by Hispanic Assoc. of College and Universities The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) selected Dr. Luis Fernández-Torres, dean of academics at St. Thomas University (STU), as a fellow for its Inaugural Presidential Leadership Academy, La Academia de Liderazgo.

MATER ACADEMY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM Mater Academy’s girls’ volleyball team took home first place among 40 other schools at the University of Florida Team Volleyball Camp and Competition.

by Mater Academy. The event concluded with an awards ceremony recognizing the Lady Lions for their achievement followed by a gourmet dinner.

The Lady Lions beat out their competition during the three-day event which included training and competition, watched a demonstration from UF volleyball players and participated in the tournament won

Earlier this year, the 12member team committed to attending the camp and competition by attending local camps to prepare them for the big stage of high school volleyball.

HACU created the academy in response to a declining percentage of Hispanic university presidents, despite unprecedented growth of Hispanic college student enrollment nationwide. Fellows will participate in a series of leadership development seminars throughout the year designed to prepare them for leadership roles in higher education. Arriving to St. Thomas in 2012, Fernández-Torres teaches general chemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry; and he actively performs undergraduate research in surface science, nanotechnology,

solar energy harvesting, and antioxidants. He is also involved in undergraduate research collaborations with other universities. And, as a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 2001, he advises the ACS student chapter. Fernández-Torres is one of 24 fellows selected by HACU for the Academy. Through the program, he will be mentored by a nationally recognized university president and develop a special project designed to have an impact at STU. “The Presidential Leadership Academy, La Academia de Liderazgo, meets HACU’s mission to champion Hispanic success in Hispanic higher education,’” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “By preparing more Latinos/Latinas for leadership roles with a special focus on Hispanic-Serving Institutions, HACU and the Fellows who participate will have a profound

impact on the students they serve and the institutions they lead.” HACU, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. The mission of HACU is to Champion Hispanic Success in Higher Education. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are located in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Sacramento, California and Washington D.C. Information is available at



AUGUST 16, 2019


PACE excels at LIFE By Surella Rodriguez, special to The Miami Laker For almost 30 years, Monsignor Edward Pace High school (PACE) has been setting the standard in Catholic education through their campus ministry engagement. This summer, PACE continued the tradition of sending eight of their youth group members to the national Marianist LIFE leadership training in Tecaboca, Texas. The team spent a week learning to build community, reflecting upon their personal experiences, and preparing consciously to extend the richness of Christ within their lives. LIFE leader alumna and current staff member Melissa Sanchez led the students in the faith-growing experience as the facilitator of the team.

"It was a blessing to be able to see our students truly open their hearts and minds to this experience. I am so proud of the commitment and willingness they have put into their training to be able to carry it back to their role as student leaders within our Pace family." said Sanchez. The LIFE youth group program at PACE provides students with opportunities to grow in their faith throughout student-led weekly meetings. PACE is one of the only Archdiocesan schools to incorporate a youth group that is consistently committed to their campus ministry. As a focal point in the school's curriculum, Pace's religion department is highly acclaimed due to its engagement with students. "LIFE camp is an experi-

ence I wish everyone could experience. In just a week I grew closer to my team, got to know amazing new people, and grew deeper in my faith" said senior Annalyse Sanchez. Through small and large group discussions, prayer/ ministry workshops and, of course, fun summer activities like kayaking, students focused on reflection and progression of faith. To strengthen their experience, the leaders were disconnected from all media and communication for the week. Miami Lakes resident Kaylee Gonzalez elaborated, "It was an incredibly insightful and calm experience. One that allowed me to disconnect with the noise I'm constantly drowned in and connect with the many people I was fortunate enough to cross paths with. It has strengthened my sense of

Pictured (from left): Moderator Melissa Sanchez with Pace students Marco Sanchez, Kaylee Gonzalez, Sebastiaan Bak, Annalyse Sanchez, Alyssa Barcelo, Juan Guevara, Agatha Zapata, Joseph Lopez.


Christian community and inspired me to spread what I have learned. It was a truly memorable experience". The leaders' encounter with the eclectic environment impacted them profoundly. Senior Sebastiaan Bak reflects on the camp's powerful diversity, "My LIFE camp experience was definitely one for the books. From the first day, I was welcomed by so many nice strangers. But these strangers became my second family. My new family came from Hawaii, California, Texas, and Florida. I wouldn't trade anything for this experience, and I am so excited to be a LIFE leader and to see what will be able to do using what we learned." The Marianist LIFE leadership training is a tradition that commemorates the bond and growth of a Pace youth group

leader. This year's leaders were deeply impacted by their time spent in Texas. As they concluded their training, the students were asked to come up with a mission statement that would embody their true purpose as LIFE youth group leaders for the upcoming school year. As they take upon their new roles, the PACE LIFE leaders will affirm their mission to build Christian communities through creating unique, faithfilled experiences for the Pace student body, along with striving to inspire others to always do the next right thing.


AUGUST 16, 2019


FIU kicker named to Lou Groza Award List Florida International University place kicker Jose Borregales was placed on the Lou Groza Award Watch List, as he puts himself in a good position to win the honor named after the NFL Hall of Fame kicker. Borregales is among 30 players selected to the list. Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Thursday, Nov. 7. From the list, a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers selects the top three finalists for the award, announced on Tuesday, Nov. 26. That same group then selects the national winner, who will be announced on

Thursday, Dec. 12 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN. The 28th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet at West Palm Beach's Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 9. The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou "The Toe" Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ush-

ered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker. Borregales, a 2018 Lou Groza Award semifinalist, ranks fifth all-time on FIU's career point list after earning 181 in just two seasons. The kicker also owns school records for most PATs made in a game (9), PATs made in a season (54) and longest made field goal after nailing a 53 field goal in the 24-21 victory over Middle Tennessee last season.

FIU coach selected to USA Baseball Natl. Team Development staff Florida International University baseball head coach Mervyl Melendez will wear the Stars and Stripes once again after he was named to the USA Baseball 2019 16U National Team Development Program coaching staff.

VCU and Frank Maldonado of Greensboro College. The 2019 16U NTDP will take place July 31-August 5 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

The 2019 selection marks Melendez's third year coaching at the National Team Development Program (NTDP) after previous stints with the 2015 17U and 2016 14U NTDPs. Melendez also has previous experience helping lead the 2018 18U National Team to its fifth consecutive COPABE U-18 Pan-American Championships gold medal in 2018.

USA Baseball and the coaching staff utilized a rolling invitation process for the 16U NTDP roster that was announced on July 11, selecting athletes from the 2018 National Team Identification Series (NTIS), the 2019 16U National Team Championships in Arizona and Florida, as well as through recommendations from scouts, coaches and the amateur baseball community.

Melendez is slated to be the manager of the Stars team and will be assisted by Mike McRae of

Pace’s Mendive Monsignor Edward Pace High junior Onelia Mendive recently graduated from the FBI Summer Youth Academy at Miami Dade College. Mendive has dreamed of becoming an FBI agent since she was eight-years-old and the program offered her a view of the inner workings of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During her week-long experience, Mendive engaged with FBI agents, law enforcement officers, forensic experts and university professors for the purpose of fostering academic excellence, leadership skills, team building and career exploration. The FBI Youth Academy consists of an intriguing mix of classroom, laboratory, outdoor and field trip activities for five days, the culmination of which

is an awards ceremony and banquet. Miami Dade College North Campus’ 15 classroom-buildings and its 245-acre environment present the ideal setting for formal instruction and scenario-based training. Mendive and her fellow students became fully immersed in hands-on modules that include mock crime scene investigation, SWAT led hostage recovery and many other Public Safety themed activities that demonstrate how real-world challenges are solved using expert investigation techniques.


Dade Christian’s Jason Smith off to Junior Olympics Dade Christian’s (DADE) Jason Smith attends Junior Olympics in Greensboro, North Carolina. Smith is still unattached and Coach Doreen still trains him. He represents DADE and he does it well by wearing all his school bands. Smith is only nine years old and made it to the 10 year old triathlon, high jump, shot put, 400 meters, 10 year old individual event, shot put 10 year old individual event, javelin throw.

MLA FBLA competes in National Conference place from June 29 - July 2. These students needed to compete in two different competitions which are at the district and state level prior to nationals. At both competitions, MLA FBLA highly succeeded as they won 61 medals at the district level and 16 trophies at the state level. With these accomplishments, these two topics qualified for the national level.

FBLA CLUB AT MLA Mater Lakes Academy (MLA) FBLA placed ninth in the Nation in Introduction to Business Presentation and Publication Design at the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The conference took

Out of approximately over 100 student groups competing in these topics, MLA FBLA won ninth overall. This national competition held more than 9,500 students from the nation including international students. The students not only competed, but also attended workshops and presentations based of the category they were competing in. MLA is proud of their FBLA competitors.

AUGUST 16, 2019


Mater Academy competes at FBLA Members of the Mater Academy Charter High School (MATER) Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) returned from San Antonio, Texas FBLA's National Conference with many awards and recognition. The event took place from June 29 - July 2. The following students were recognized in their categories: Juliet Munoz and Aiden Guerrero - first place in Business Financial Plan. Nathaly Oliva - third place in Local Chapter Annual Business Report. Michael Lopez, Alex Chang, Maximus Marroquin

and Juan Gonzalez - seventh place in Parliamentary Procedure. Kassandra Perez and Rachel Ponce eighth place in Publication Design. Timothy Oei - ninth place in Networking Concepts. Gabriella Melo was recognized for her community service efforts working with Lead4Change through Feeding

South Florida. Advisers for MATER FBLA, one of the top chapters in the nation, is long-time Miami Lakes resident and business teacher Tonya Alvarez, along with Daisy Benitez and Ronny Perez.

DON’T FORGET, Miami Spa Month is still in full swing until August 31. Relax and get your massages/facials in. For a list of all participating spas visit


AUGUST 16, 2019


Local teacher wins “Educator of the Year” at Operation Smile’s 28 annual International Student Leadership Conference Recently, Shannon PerryMartinez, a Kindergarten Dual Language teacher at Gator Run Elementary School, won “Educator of the Year” at Operation Smile’s 28 annual International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC) at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “I just feel like my little club is so small and to be honored that way made me feel really proud but very humbled since there are so many rock stars at this place,” PerryMartinez said.

The Educator of the Year award is given to an educator who has devoted his or her time, effort and knowledge to supporting Operation Smile by spreading awareness and aiding an Operation Smile student club. Perry-Martinez first got involved with Operation Smile, an international charity that offers free surgeries to people born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, after meeting with a friend who worked with the organization. “We got together for coffee,” Perry-Martinez said. “She talked about her involvement with Operation Smile and I said ‘Wow, we

should start an Operation Smile club at Gator Run,’” she added. After receiving the green light from Gator Run’s administration to start the club, 52 students signed up to get involved. The Operation Smile Student Club at Gator Run Elementary will enter its 3rd year this fall. Club members assembled Smile bags that are sent to patients, created No Sew blankets for patients and fundraised for Operation Smile. Perry-Martinez also incorporates an educational aspect to the club’s itinerary. “We teach them geography, so we show them where the countries involved are,” Perry-Martinez

said. “We also have a leadership board of students, so there’s the educational aspect of teaching them the roles of parliamentary procedures. It’s amazing how so many kids step up to be leaders,” she added. Perry-Martinez says that it is her dream for Operation Smile student clubs in elementary schools to continue into the middle school grades. “There’s this strong desire from children to help and give back,” Perry-Martinez said. “It motivates me because I feel If I can give them an opportunity to have empathy and give to others, that’s the most powerful

thing I can do as an educator, as a human being,” she added.


AUGUST 16, 2019


MDC receives 50K gift from The City of Miami Miami-Dade College received a $50,000 gift to create the Eduardo J. Pardon Completion Scholarship Fund to support students close to earning their degrees or certificate programs. The City of Miami was the benefactor for the gift award, as Mayor Francis Suarez and City Manager Dr. Emilio T. Gonzalez presented the check to help 50 students this year in time for MDC’s upcoming giving day I AM MDC DAY on Friday, Sept. 6th. As part of the City of Miami’s Path to Prosperity Initiative, the new scholarship fund will give students the opportunity to more closely focus on their courses and complete their degrees while reducing the financial pressure to work full-time. Each scholarship recipient will receive $1,000 to support tuition and fees. Nationally, about 15 percent of college students drop out with 75 percent of their credits completed. “The Eduardo J. Padrón Completion Scholarship Fund serves as a welcome addition in our mission to create a pathway to prosperity for every resident in the City of Miami,” said Mayor Francis Suarez. “By accelerating program completion for students in the final year of their degree at MDC, this scholarship enables students to graduate, start their careers, and become active participants in our community’s future. I look forward to seeing this program carry on Dr. Padrón’s legacy of transforming lives through education and opportunity.” At MDC, more than 80% of students rely on financial assistance to attend college. With support, MDC students are able to climb higher on the ladder of social mobility. MDC ranks first in the state among colleges and universities for improving student economic social mobility, with 36% who move up two or more income quartiles and 4th in the nation. “Education is the great equalizer that builds a vibrant Miami, and we are so grateful to our partners at the City of Miami for this generous support of our students,” added Dr. Lenore Rodicio, executive vice president and provost of MDC. “Our hope is that students who receive this scholarship will benefit from the extra boost to reach the finish line, and we know they will go on to successful careers and be the changemakers of tomorrow because of the foundation they received at MDC.” Suarez first shared plans for the scholarship fund in May during the re-naming ceremony of MDC’s Little Havana campus to the Eduardo J. Padrón Campus. Dr. Padrón will step down in the fall, after nearly 25 years as college president and 50 years of service excellence to MDC.



Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hosts M.Lakes Community & Health Fair The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 8201 NW 186th St, Hialeah would like to invite all to take part in their upcoming Miami Lakes Community and Health Fair. The goals of the event are to connect individuals with services and resources in the communi-

ty as well as to assist and educate families to be able to work within their own strengths and limitations while maximizing community supports. The event will take place on August 31, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information contact Martha Gaviria (786) 344-0490.

4 FIU Track and Field standouts earn USTFCCCA Academic Honors Four Florida International University (FIU) track and field standouts were recently honored by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for earning USTFCCCA All-Academic honors. Clarissa Cutliff, Asha James, Gabrielle Rains, and Reed Service were all recognized for their academic achievements during the 2019 track and field season. Cutliff (3.83 GPA in psychology), James (3.54 GPA in psychology), Rains (3.53 GPA in sports and fitness) and Service (3.28 GPA) all advanced to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Prelims qualifying them for the honor, along with their impressive grade point averages. Cutliff and Rains also advanced to the NCAA Championships in the high jump and discus, respectively. To qualify for USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have met at least one of the following athletic standards:

For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds). Additionally, both the men's and women's programs were honored by the USTFCCA for their academic accomplishments. The men's team held a cumulative GPA of 3.04, while the women came in with a 3.4 GPA. In order to be in contention for Scholar Team of the Year, a program must finish highly at the respective national championship meet and have at least a 3.00 cumulative team GPA.


HELP WANTED Looking for energetic, motivated Assistant Preschool teachers to work with children ages 3-5. For mor information, contact the office at 305822-4313.


Sprinkler Systems. Installation and repairs. 24 hours. Free estimates. Call 305-300-9414.

ROOF PRESSURE CLEANING Lic. & Ins. CC#14290 Free Estimate 305-556-5265.


AUGUST 16, 2019



Tile/Marble Installation. Pet Care - Daily Walks. In-home. Vacation Care. Lakes Pet Walking. Remodel bathrooms and repairs. Free Estimates. Call 786-516-6567. Call 305-803-6901.


AUGUST 16, 2019

FOR RENT 3/2.5 luxury townhome with 2-car garage, gated community, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, wood laminate floors, hurricane impact windows, fitness studio, 24 hr. maintenance. From $2570 monthly. Call 305-821-1138.

3/3.5 brand new luxury townhomes with 2-car garage, quartz counter tops, stainless steel appliances, vinyl floors, hurricane impact windows, and 24-hour maintenance. Part of 6600 Main, Miami Lakes’ newest apartment community featuring a 24hour state-of-the-art fitness center and a resort-style swimming pool. Call 305-821-1137.

FOR SALE Cele. Point 3/2 large bay window, water view, w/d, wooden kitchen cabinets, 2 large bedrooms, easy to view. Call Marina Bass, owneragent, 305-582-8384.



AUGUST 16, 2019



AUGUST 16, 2019


Profile for MiamiLaker

The Miami Laker, August 16, 2019  

The Miami Laker print edition. The Original Northwest Miami-Dade Community Newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes & Surrounding Areas.

The Miami Laker, August 16, 2019  

The Miami Laker print edition. The Original Northwest Miami-Dade Community Newspaper for the Town of Miami Lakes & Surrounding Areas.