By Nagelie Lazo (Senior Columnist) & Melanie Rodriguez (Editor in Chief), Seniors
Hey there seniors! This month’s article is going to be a little different. I have collaborated with the Editor in Chief herself, Melanie Rodriguez. We will do a crossover interview of our Silver Knight projects.
April was a big month for both of us, as our projects were finalized. What happens when a top notch journalist meets a musical producer? Keep reading to get the rundown of what happened!
N’agelie: Hey there editor! It’s your senior columnist. Did you know that I was nominated for the Journalism Silver Knight Category?
Melanie: Hey! I did, and I am so proud of you! Did you know that I was also nominated for Silver Knight but in the Music and Dance Category?
N’agelie: Of course! I loved your show; it was so inspiring. Tell me more about it.
Melanie: My Silver Knight project consists of a series of affordable performances that promotes youth interaction in cultural events; I began this project in 2015 having produced shows at the Key Biscayne Community Center and Futurama Art Galleries. Most recently, I produced a multimedia show on April 8th, 2018 at Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center Theatre. Liberi di Sognare-Free to Dream recounts the story of an immigrant through the combination of live painting, music, dancing, and storytelling. It tells the story of those who have left their birthplace in search for the freedom to express themselves. This performance aims to remind us that we are all migrants to this world. Through the ticket sales for this performance, I was able to raise $1,755 for the Hispanic Federation’s Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition.
N’agelie: Truly inspiring, you’ve outdone yourself Ms. Editor in Chief!
Melanie: Thank you! I’ve worked super hard to make an impact within the community, just like you! Your project is based on journalism, which is very fitting as you’re our senior columnist. Tell me more about it.
N’agelie: Well, after witnessing a lack of initiative within the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at my school, I approached the club sponsor in order to rebuild the club. As President of the GSA for the 2017-2018 school year, my passionate endeavors led me to establishing a community service based Gay Straight Alliance, including a safe space for individuals to express themselves. Additionally, utilizing my internship experience, I initiated and partnered with the Zines for Progress program at the FIU Wolfsonian Museum. This program partners with Miami Dade County Public Schools (teachers and students) and gives students the opportunity to address social injustices through art, writing, and publishing Zines. After getting approval from the educational leaders at FIU Wolfsonian, I extended the Zine project to the GSA as a student leader and mentor to guide students to explore social issues to create Zines to raise money for the community. We titled the project, Zines Over the Rainbow. The students in the club were put into groups to create a zine about a topic they felt passionate about. The zines created were to be displayed and sold at the annual 2018 Miami Zine Fair, this year in the Little Haiti Cultural Complex on April 15th. The GSA raised over 200 dollars selling a total of 48 zines. The proceeds from the sales were donated to the YES Institute of South Miami — an LGBT organization that aids in the prevention of suicide within the LGBT community, and offers help to those suffering from mental illness.
Melanie: That is very impressive! Thank you for all the work you do to help our LGBTQIA+ community not only in school but also within Miami.
Again, thank you so much for participating in this crossover article for the Phoenix Flyer. I hope other students, especially rising seniors, are inspired to create a project, whether through a school club, community program, or their own initiative. Don’t be afraid or discouraged to reach out and ask Ms. Pedroso or Ms. Keller questions about Silver Knight or how to start up a program on your own. If you see yourself as a future potential candidate, read more on --
A few things you may want to know about me are: I enjoy short walks to the fridge, and I’m probably the only person you’ll know that has every line of High School Musical memorized. Keep an eye out every month for my senior advice column that will provide helpful information to those struggling seniors out there! See you soon, or shall I say, “Toodles!” - Sharpay Evans