College Circuit: Ryan Scanlon


The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a private college located in Savannah, Georgia. SCAD specializes in careers of Interior Design, Architecture and Graphic Art. 2018 alumna Ryan Scanlon is currently a freshman at the university, majoring in Production Design for theme parks and attractions.

 Why did you choose to attend SCAD?

I have almost always wanted to pursue Themed Entertainment Design, or the design of theme parks and similar experiences. I first heard about SCAD because they were the only school to offer a degree for Themed Entertainment Design, so I knew my best option was to go there.

What advice would you give to anyone who is deciding to go to SCAD?

I would definitely recommend SCAD to anyone interested in pursuing a degree in a creative field. Of course, it depends on what specifically you’d like to go into. [However,] SCAD has an amazing set of resources that [will] help you build on whatever skills you’re passionate about.

What has been your favorite experience so far studying at SCAD?

My favorite experience so far from studying at SCAD has been living in Savannah. I have never lived in [a] city like this before, since it is half historical and half modern. I have also had a lot of unique experiences just from walking around and exploring. SCAD is in Savannah, which is the most haunted city in America, so there’s a bunch of ghost tours and haunted places I’ve explored that are really interesting. SCAD even had a ghost themed masquerade ball for Halloween which was unlike anything I’ve ever attended for school before.

Has your college experience been drastically different than your high school experience?

[My college experience has] definitely been extremely different. Adjusting to a new place and new responsibilities all at once was a lot to handle. But, I prefer it so much more, as I am able to take courses that match my specific interest. Also, although living on your own has more responsibilities involved, I like that I’m in control of everything.

Do you believe SCAD has helped you develop skill sets which you value?

I wholeheartedly believe I have developed certain skill sets more in the short time I have spent so far at SCAD than I have ever before in my life. SCAD is a really interesting school because even its general education courses are designed to help people in creative fields specifically. For example, I just took a speech course that was more centered on the best way to communicate original creative ideas you might have to an audience rather than general public speaking.

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Tesla Alum. Strike by Sandra Talledo

Alumni Strike: Heather Molina Macfie



Alumna Heather Molina Macfie graduated from the Bay in 2004 and achieved her goal of becoming an engineer for Tesla cars. After graduating, Macfie took her education to Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Business Management.

“Being an engineer is thrilling,” Macfie said. “I was able to be a part of [engineering] competitions in college and now I am one of the creators of things at Tesla. I was always passionate about math and knew that doing something I love was the right fit that led me to engineering.”

According to Macfie, engineering competitions were exciting because they allowed her to showcase her passion. In college, she was involved in a competition called Formula SAE, where collegiate teams design and build small race cars.

“Competition was always exciting and extremely interesting when it came down to working on cars,” Macfie said.

Once the competition ended, Macfie met with someone who worked at an oilfield services company called Schlumberger. As a result, this person connected Macfie with the recruiters of the company, and she got a job as a Wireline Field Engineer in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“With this opportunity, I saw firsthand what engineers did,” Macfie said. “I saw how much effort is put into something and what it takes to make something incredible.”

After college, Macfie went on to work for Tesla. She said she loves the challenges the company creates for the team of making something impossible become possible.

“Tesla culture doesn’t allow for the notion of ‘impossible,’” Macfie said. “This creates an interesting work environment because once ‘impossible’ is eliminated as an option, everyone is forced to consider how to make seemingly-impossible things happen.”

Macife said her experiences at the Bay helped her get to where she is today. She said the lessons she learned with Mu Alpha Theta (MAO), which was under the direction of Vice Principal Marianela Estripeaut, was the start of finding her career of becoming an engineer.

“I loved math and [Estripeaut] made it fun and challenging,” Macfie said. “ When it came time to start considering colleges and majors, Mrs. Estripeaut encouraged me to consider engineering as a career path.”

Macfie said she got a better understanding of using math in the real world in Estripeaut’s math class.

“My teachers did an incredible job of setting the bar for our education really high without us realizing,” Macfie said. “As a result, I went to college with a much stronger foundation than my peers.”

Estripeaut said she asked Macfie to join MAO because she saw something special in her. She said Macfie added the spunk, knowledge and friendship that MAO needed.

“[Macife] was the only girl [on the competitive team] and she became the glue that held everyone together,” Estripeaut said.

Estripeaut said Macife was always giving her all in class and in math club, where she challenged herself in whatever came her way.

“[Macfie] was a brilliant mind from the second she walked in my math class,” Estripeaut said. “I knew that she was special and that she would excel at life.”

During the 2003 school year, Estripeaut said she and her husband took the team to a competition and that is where career choices became a discussion for Macfie.

“We all wanted to know what  [Macife]  was going to do, and my husband, who is a Georgia Tech alumni, told her to consider the school as well as a career in math, such as engineering,” Estripeaut said.

After Macfie applied to GT, Estripeaut said she knew she was going to go on and be successful with whatever she did.

“Seeing that [Macife] works for Tesla, I couldn’t be more proud of that girl,” Estripeaut said. “I was proud of her from the first day and I will be proud of her forever.”


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Devin pabian traveling holidays

Winter break invokes holiday travels


When the holiday break begins, freshman Trevor Thacker said he wants to travel to New York to visit his family. Thacker said he and his family go every year, and he looks forward to spending quality time with the family members he rarely sees.

“My family started this tradition because we never see this part of my family and my parents thought it would be a good idea to go during Winter Break since I wouldn’t miss school,” Thacker said. “[Traveling to New York] is one of my favorite things that I do all year. I wouldn’t want to spend my holidays any other way.”

In addition to visiting family, he said he enjoys seeing all the snow New York receives, as it is different from the hot and humid weather in Florida.

“My little sister loves to roll around in the snow and it reminds me of when I was younger and used to roll around too,” Thacker said.

Like Thacker, Spanish 2 and 3 honors teacher Mileidy Milone said she has some big plans for this year’s holiday break. She said she and her family are traveling to Machu Picchu, Peru.

“I cannot wait for all the fun times my family is going to have [in Machu Picchu],” Milone said. “My family and I have been looking forward to this trip for so long.”

Milone said the trip is going to consist of hiking in the Andes mountains, which is something she has always longed to do.

“The hiking through the breathtaking scenery [in the Andes] is going to be an amazing time,” Milone said.

According to Milone, she said she is most excited to spend quality time with her family and enjoy the culture and food they will discover.

“This [trip] is going to be the best trip that our family has ever taken,” Milone said. “I am so thrilled to see what Machu Picchu has in store for us.”

Last year during the holiday season, freshman Nicolas Pineda travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain with his family. He said they took this trip to see what Spain had to offer, and Spain blew away his expectations.

“My family wanted to travel somewhere new and winter break was the ideal time to go since the weather was really nice and I didn’t have to miss any school,” Pineda said. “[Going to Spain] was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.”

Pineda said the highlight of the trip was going to a Real Madrid soccer game. He said it was so surreal to be in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which he had seen pictures of and watched on television for many years.

“The atmosphere of a Spanish soccer game is different than anything I have been to before,” Pineda said. “There is just so much energy in the fans. It was so exciting to be there.”

Pineda said this was a trip he hopes to take again soon, as there were so many more destinations he wanted to experience. For instance, he said he wants to go to the exotic beaches and to Ibiza.

“I know [travelling to Spain] is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I would love to go back [to Spain] sometime in the future,” Pineda said. “I know there is so much more to experience in this great place.”

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photo taken by ana c

Faculty expands as student body grows


With the Bay’s growing student body, the school had to hire new faculty members, including Debate 1 and 2 Honors teacher Rachel West. Before coming to the Bay, West taught at Western Kentucky University (WKU) as a graduate assistant. However, she said teaching at the Bay is more favorable because of its constructive environment.

“[The Bay] has built such a unique and positive culture that I have [never] seen at [any] other high school. It is positive and uplifting,” West said. “The teachers respect the students and the students respect the teachers and administration. It’s overall a very positive and surprisingly fun environment for a school.”

As the Bay has many similar programs as WKU, such as Debate, West said moving here was not a difficult transition. She said she decided to switch to the Bay after her friend recommended it to her.

“[My friend] told me that [the Bay] is very academically rigorous and competitive in debate, so [I knew] it would be very similar to the experience I had teaching college classes,” West said.

In addition to the similar programs, West said the students have made her transition into the school easier.

“I love the students. Every student that I’ve come across has a new story to tell and something new to share that they [the students] are very passionate and genuinely excited for,” West said. “It’s the high of my day when I see them learning something new; it is why I do what I do.”

Freshman Christopher Jones said West has shown a personality that will help debate students get on the right track for learning how to get better.

“Ms. West’s fun personality influences the class by helping us feel more awake and giving us a good attitude in first period,” Jones said.

According to Jones, West helps her students develop their debate skills in a fun way by doing interactive activities with them.

“My favorite part about the class is when Ms. West lets us choose our own topics for speeches. I feel like it lets us be more creative with our work,” Jones said. “We also play this debating game called Super Fight and it’s really fun and makes the class enjoyable.”

Like West, Michael Albiez joined [the Bay] this school year as an English 3 teacher. He said he chose the Bay because of its stellar reputation.

“I heard that [the Bay] was one of the best [schools] and I have not been disappointed thus far,” Albiez said. “I love it. The staff is excellent and the students are fantastic. There are a lot of intelligent and creative minds.”

To Albiez, teaching at the Bay is an enjoyable experience because of the students and their individualities.

“I enjoy teaching here because of the amazing students that [the] Bay has and all the great, intelligent, talented kids here,” Albiez said.

According to Albiez, the staff and students give the [Bay] a positive and supporting environment that to be a part of, he said he cannot wait.

“[The Bay] has a positive environment because of the amazing staff and students here,” Albiez said. “They [all] work together for a common goal and their general success.”


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Transferring in enables new changes



After transferring to the Bay from a school in Istanbul due to his father’s business relocation, sophomore Can Altug said he had to adjust to the school’s fast paced schedule.

“[At the Bay], the deadlines for assignments are short,” Altug said. “The schedule here makes it really hard for me to get my assignments done on time because I am not used to it.”

When Altug and his family were searching for schools, he said the final decision was his. As a result, he said he chose the Bay because it seemed like the best fit for him.

“The other schools looked more monotonous, whereas the Bay was more active because the whole school is interactive,” Altug said.

In addition to adjusting to the pace of the school, Altug said he has had to change his after school routine.

“At my old school since the deadlines were longer, I would usually go home and watch Netflix or hangout with my friends,” Altug said. “Here, I go home, hangout for a few hours and then start my homework [and] it is the same for projects.”

Despite all of his current adjustments, Altug said he was happy he changed schools because the transition prepared him for the future.

“[Moving schools] helped because it showed me that despite of what life throws at me, I can adjust to the new changes,” Altug said.

For senior Dayna Herman, she said she quickly adjusted to the Bay after transferring from Franklin Academy her sophomore year.

“I had friends that went to [the Bay], so they were able to show me around and help me get acclimated,” Herman said.

As Herman said the academics at her previous schools were not great, she decided to come to the Bay for a better education.

“I felt the teachers were not great and I wasn’t getting as good of an education as I could [have],” Herman said. “Franklin [Academy] was a new school, so there were a lot of things that needed to be fixed.”

To alleviate the process of switching schools, Herman said she advises incoming students to make a friend in each class.

“Making sure you try to make a friend in each one of your classes [would help] so you know you have a person to go to for questions,” Herman said. “That way, you are on top of everything and you have someone to turn to if you need help.”

Regular and Advanced International Certificate of Education Chemistry teacher Terri Kennedy said if she were a transfer student, she would feel overwhelmed by the size and rigor of the Bay.

“[Transfer students] either are behind with regards to the material they understand or they are not used to the pace, speed and amount of work that [the Bay] has,” Kennedy said. “This causes students to fall behind and it puts everyone at a disadvantage.”

In all of her years of teaching at the Bay, Kennedy said the only problem she found in transfer students is that they have to try to catch up with the rest of the class.

“I have a student now who has transferred over from another country and has no grades,” Kennedy said. “This is a challenge because he has to make up everything that he’s missed, which causes him to fall behind on the material [the class] is learning now.”

Kennedy said her best piece of advice for incoming students is to take advantage of the academic opportunities offered at the Bay. She said there is tutoring in science, math and English, which students should use to their convenience.

“[Try to] make friends and try to start getting into study groups,” Kennedy said. “[Also,] catch up if you are behind. Take advantage of what this large school has to offer.”

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Personality Profile: Beau Simon


Throughout high school, junior Beau Simon said he has used his leadership skills to achieve his goal of becoming an elected official.

Simon said he strives to have an interactive role in politics. As the full-time student adviser and representative to the School Board, he said he has numerous responsibilities, while simultaneously having the opportunity to provide student input. Along with this role, Simon is president of his chapter in the Jewish organization BBYO and is also a Student Government Association (SGA) member.

“Holding a position in something I love is what is most important,” Simon said. “[Broward County Public Schools] provide a pathway for students [to succeed] and my goal is to see all students take advantage of those [educational opportunities] and tools.”

As a spokesperson on the School Board, Simon is considered a Broward County Association of Student Councils (BCASC) officer. He misses school every Tuesday to attend School Board meetings and workshops. He said he uses his seat on the board to give members a student opinion and to represent all 270,000 Broward County Public School (BCPS) students in all seven districts.

“I enjoy my position because I feel like I make a lot of change in our education system and being able to do that is unique for a student,” Simon said. “This position [on the school board] has taught me that nothing in life comes easy.”

Simon said he became interested in his leadership role on a trip to Tallahassee when he met a student adviser named Stephen Marante. He said Marante became a mentor to him and taught him how the School Board works. About a month after Simon’s trip, he became the first student adviser to be elected from the Bay; he was elected through the county SGA and his job entails assisting in setting policy and inputting a student opinion in the district.

“The student councils represented from all over the district saw something in me that I don’t think I saw,” Simon said. “Personally, I think I have grown so much since the election and [I have] really evolved with the position.”

Although Simon said he is interested in politics, he said he is more of a people person, as he cares more about the individuals he represents.

“The ability to care about one and others opinion is something I take seriously,” Simon said. “Always keeping an open mindset is something I value most about myself.”

Adviser of SGA and Interior Design 3 and 4 teacher Danielle Nascimento said she has seen Simon’s passion for governmental affairs and county politics in her SGA class. She said he was an excellent choice for the position as student adviser because he enjoys it and he wants to be involved.

“Simon always gets involved as much as possible whether in SGA or other activities,” Nascimento said. “Simon’s time commitment always takes priority in his school board position.”

Simon has been in SGA for two years and he said the organization is the perfect outlet for leadership. He said he owes most of his success to his teacher and mentor, Nascimento. Without her, he said the organization would not be what it is today.

“Through it all, the life lessons and valuable input [Nascimento] gives to SGA are extremely impacting to the organization,” Simon said.

Along with SGA, Simon said he joined BBYO because Judaic value and heritage is something he finds important and being involved in the organization helps embody this into his values.

“The thought of being involved in something that I was so passionate about really made me interested in BBYO,” Simon said. “BBYO has always been special to me because of the friends you meet and the different aspects of Judaism you experience.”

According to Simon, he always makes sure to recognize the success of his board members in his chapter, no matter how small. He said with such a strong membership base of younger students, the weekly events allow them to connect and learn various leadership skills.

“[Younger students] individual accomplishments are so important and the second you don’t recognize their accomplishments is the second they feel unnoticed,” Simon said. “They are the backbone of BBYO and I always make sure they know that.”

Simon said one of the past student advisers is currently the Mayor of Broward County, which shows how his positions can prepare him for his goals. He said he has worked extremely hard for his positions and will continue to work hard to ensure the success of our county and our schools.

“Leadership is something that I always needed to be a part of,” Simon said. “Having this stepping stone in leadership is something that sets you up for greatness.”

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Gap year grants self reflection



While some students at the Bay are sending college applications and preparing to further their education at a university, other students have decided upon another route in the form of taking a gap year. Senior Mikayil Verdiyev said he opts to experience life outside of a classroom after graduation.

“I want to take a gap year to take a break from formal education such as sitting in a classroom,” Verdiyev said. “I want to increase self-awareness about myself versus learning about something.”

When taking his year off, Verdiyev said he wants to visit France and other countries. Rather than learn in a traditional class setting, he said he wants to gain knowledge by travelling the world and meeting new people.

“I love France and everything it has to offer,” Verdiyev said. “I want to travel around Europe and [its] neighbouring countries to see what’s out there such as scenery and history.”

Verdiyev said he also wants to utilize this year off to explore career paths and alternate opportunities for his future.

“My gap year is not the end of my education,” Verdiyev said. “I want to thrive as a person and learn about myself, then I plan to come home and study whatever I end up falling in love with.”

Since Verdiyev intends on moving out of the country, he said he must grapple with the idea of leaving his life in Florida behind.

“There’s a lot out there in the world, you just have to find it,” Verdiyev said. “Moving to France will allow be to expand my horizons at least in cultural experiences.”

Guidance Counselor Melissa Boorom said taking a gap year can be beneficial depending on the student. She said gap years can open the doors to many opportunities if the time off is used wisely.

“Gap years can lead to success in oneself,” Boorom said. “It can lead to many opportunities and experiences, but college can also.”

According to Boorom, while some students are ready to go to college and start their future careers, it’s okay for students who are undecided to explore.

“Some students need time to decide what they want to become,” Boorom said. “College isn’t for everyone, but there is always something out there for every person.”

Whether it’s attending a college or travelling the world, Boorom said all of the graduates will be learning something new.

“It’s beneficial if taking the year off of school to work in your desired field for a year,” Boorom said. “This is a gain either way, students go and they come back learning something new.”

While gap year students are not enrolled in classes, Boorom said students typically take this year off for exploration and self-realization wherein they are learning beyond what a general classroom can teach them.

“Travel is a great thing because there is no rush for a college education, especially if you have a great opportunity waiting for you,” Boorom said. “No matter what, I would definitely recommend finding your passion.”

While Boorom said she believes college right after high school graduation is a logical path, she said any route the students embark upon will further their knowledge and aid them in future careers.

“No matter what path you follow, there will always be a gain in the experience,” Boorom said.

When it comes to her future, senior Naiara Amarante said she is not ready to commit to anything. She said she wants to leave her options open and travel the world.

“I’d like to take a gap year because I don’t feel ready to commit to one major, one school and one schedule just yet,” Amarante said. “I want to find out what I really want in life first.”

Taking a gap year, Amarante said, seems like the perfect time to decide what she wants to do for the rest of her life. She said there is no need to rush or make a final decision on something she is unsure about.

“During my gap year, I hope to get out there on my own and volunteer for a few organizations here in South Florida, the Caribbean, Canada and Brazil that work with animal health and research,” Amarante said.

With her year off, Amarante said she hopes to further explore her true passion: animals. She said she wants to focus on the caretaking of animals and study their environments.

“I believe this [experience] can benefit me by giving me more exposure to a field I might want to pursue later in life,” Amarante said.

As she will not only explore the animal world during her gap year, Amarante said she will mature greatly by delving into an independent lifestyle and a load of new responsibilities straight after high school.

“I want to gain the experience I need to feel confident on my own in the real world,” Amarante said. “The doubts about what I want to do in the future go away within that time.”

After her gap year, Amarante said she plans on going to college. Once a year passes, she said she hopes to have a clearer view of her future and in what she plans to major.

“My gap year isn’t because I am tired of education,” Amarante said. “It’s a continuation to finding my life’s purpose and my road to success.”



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Mrs. Nascimento

The Outlet: Danielle Nascimento

In this issue’s recurring segment that gives students an opportunity to learn more about the teachers they see every day, staffer Rachel Supnick interviews Student Government Association (SGA) and Interior Design 3 and 4 teacher Danielle Nascimento.

How did you first get involved with SGA?

I’ve been involved in [SGA] since third grade. I was super involved through elementary school, middle school and then high school. I held officer positions throughout [the time I was involved]; it was my high school passion. After college, I became a teacher and started teaching [DECA] here at Cypress. When I started, I was very interested in SGA and was always asking around about the program because I did not see that it was very active; the adviser just had a different way of running things than I was used to. Fortunately for me, the adviser retired and the position became available. I spoke to Mr. Neely about it and I was fortunate enough to get the job.

How did you begin teaching Interior Design?

Interior Design has always been a hobby of mine. About ten years ago, the county decided to start Broward’s first Interior Design program here [at the Bay]. I am in the current technical department and I had heard of [the program], so I went and got certified in it and here I am teaching it.

Is it ever difficult to transition teaching back and forth between the SGA and Interior Design?

Actually no, because [both classes] are similar and different in many ways. They are both creative, which is my favorite part about both of them, but Interior Design is not as stressful as SGA. For me, [Interior Design] is a nice change from the fast pace of SGA.

Before you decided to become a teacher, what was your dream career?

I wanted to be a doctor for many years, until I went to college. Then I realized with that job I was not going to be able to be creative and that was really important to me. For a while after that, I saw myself being an entertainment publicist.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

[My favorite part of teaching is] that every day is different. Every day is a new lesson and a new experience with the students and each day is what I make of it. Obviously teaching SGA every day is going to be different because every day we are planning something new, which I think is different than traditional teaching.

Outside of school, what is your favorite thing to do in your free time and why?

Shopping is my favorite. Retail therapy does wonders. I love walking around Target and the mall. Usually by myself is my favorite because I can spend as much time in any store that I want.

Who is your number one role model and why?

My grandfather [is my number one role model]. He has always been somebody who prides himself on having a very strong work ethic and doing things the right way all the time. Even if it takes more time [and] effort, you should always do things right and give it your all.

What do you want students to take away from your classes?

I want [my students] to take away some leadership skills. In SGA, I would like them to walk away feeling like they are organized and prepared to handle and plan anything in their life, whether in their future jobs or personal lives. In Interior Design, I would [hope that] those of them who are going off to be Interior Designers feel like they are light-years ahead of people their age who also have that same dream.

If you could give one piece of advice to your high school self, what would it be?

[The advice I would give to my high school self is] don’t freak out about the bigger picture because it all works out. As a kid, you think everything is the end of the world, and as you get older you realize it is really not. When you are stressed out, it is going to be for a moment in time. [My advice would be] do not freak out and make a plan and attack it, versus thinking that the world is caving in, because at the end of the day, everything is going to be okay.

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Personality Profile: Annabelle Arteaga


As a child, junior Annabelle Arteaga said she was the only person in her family who liked watching political debates. As a result, she was always well informed about politics and current issues and believes she could be the person to solve society’s problems.

Because of this passion, she joined Model United Nations (MUN) two years ago. MUN is an extracurricular activity at the Bay, where student’s role play as the delegates of certain nations and discuss current world issues.

“I love Model UN here and it makes me feel like I am a part of the community and family at the Bay,” Arteaga said. “It gives me a feel of what daily work would be like if I studied international relations, and that is one of the reasons why I love the club so much. It not only has allowed me to meet great people, but I also have learned about current and social skills.”

Arteaga attended Saint Thomas Aquinas from sixth grade to freshman year. When she started attending the Bay, she joined MUN after she read an article about how clubs could change students’ high school experiences.

“The article was kind of an eye-opener. I never had been part of anything like that and I started to feel like I was missing out,” Arteaga said. “I just had to join something. I began looking into clubs, and I had a feeling that MUN would be a good choice. It allowed me to become friends with people who liked things that I did too.”

Arteaga said changing schools has been one of the best decisions she has ever made. She said she met amazing people and found some of her best friends.

“The people at the club helped me grow accustomed to Cypress. They were all really welcoming and kind to me,” Arteaga said. “I felt really comfortable being around people who wanted to do the same thing as me and pushed me to work for it.”

In addition to the friends Arteaga made in the club, she said she formed a strong relationship with MUN’s advisor Timothy Petritis. Petritis said he appreciates all that she does for the club.

“We found Annabelle in a box in front of the classroom, wrapped up in blankets and we took her in. Eventually she became secretary,” Petritis said. “She is the messenger between the club members and me.”

According to Arteaga, she felt like she could do more to help.  As a result, she decided to run for vice president of the club. However, she did not get the position she wanted and instead got secretary.

“At first I was not sure if I wanted to be secretary [because] it was not the position I wanted,” Arteaga said. “[However], it has allowed me to always keep in touch with people in the club and [make me] feel like I am doing something for the club that has done so much for me.”

Arteaga said being secretary has taught her to manage her time better and become more involved in the club. Moreover, she said she wants to study International Relations and that this position looks good on college applications.

“The club has helped me expand my knowledge of International Relations,” Arteaga said. “It allows me to know more of what is going on in the world and helps me learn how to deal with all kinds of people.”

Like Arteaga, Petritis said being part of MUN helps students to better shape their futures.

“The club allows students to become well-rounded in diplomacy and learn how to solve issues without violence, which is the whole point of the United Nations,” Petritis said.

Petritis said intelligence agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency as well as the state departments also like to recruit and train students who come out of MUN, as these students have been involved in diplomacy.

“If a student wants a career in the intelligence field, MUN would be a good place to get a background on how all these state and foreign departments work,” Petritis said.

Arteaga said she hopes to work in a foreign agency someday, but for now, she said she would love to attend the University of Florida (UF) because they have an outstanding International Relations and study abroad program.

“There are a lot of school options for International Relations and some of them are really great,” Arteaga said. “Being in the club allows me to gain more opportunities to get into such amazing programs and make all of my dreams come true.”

According to Arteaga, International Relations will allow her to travel to parts of the world that are unrepresented and need to be helped. She said she is the right person to go to for anything, and she loves to help.

“I am one hundred percent focused on continuing to be an officer for Model UN and learning other languages such as Portuguese and Italian,” Arteaga said. “If I want to get into a great program, I’m going to have to work for it. I am not worried, however, because I am such a hard worker.”

Without this club, Arteaga said she would not have been able to settle into the Bay as easily as she did. She said she looks forward to continuing being a member of the club for the rest of her years here.

“Joining Model UN was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Arteaga said. “I know for a fact that I have gained friends for life, and it has helped me feel included [by] doing something that I genuinely love.”


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Out of state colleges offer new opportunities


For junior Pat Ponza, he said it has always been a dream to attend the University of Dundee (UD) in Scotland. While he knows this college is far from home, he said he has wanted to live there throughout his whole life.

“I would like to leave Florida because I feel like I am better suited for the lifestyle in [Scotland],” Ponza said. “[Scotland’s] way of living is more practical [and] their spirit makes me feel welcomed and as if I am in the right place.”

In addition to enjoying Scotland’s atmosphere, Ponza said attending UD would give him the opportunity to more frequently see his family that lives there.

“[My family in Scotland] are third cousins and I want to know more about what part of my culture comes from,” Ponza said.

Besides seeing his family more often, Ponza said he enjoys the various cultural differences between Scotland and Florida and would like to experience them.

“[Scotland’s] landscapes are gorgeous, the attractions and type of architecture are rich, the food is good and the people are kind and welcoming,” Ponza said.

Unlike Ponza, sophomore Olivia Turner said she would like to return to her home state of Pennsylvania for college. Turner would like to go to Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.

“I am originally from Pennsylvania, so I already have an idea of the northern environment,” Turner said. “Pennsylvania State University (PSU) is also a large school and I like larger schools.”

As a football fan, Turner said PSU also appeals to her, as its football team is a part of one of the five major college football conferences.

“PSU has a lot of school spirit, especially for football. Having done cheerleading for seven years, this level of love and support for a team is appealing,” Turner said.

Academically, Turner said she is interested in PSU as the school offers many biology research programs that she would like to try.

“PSU offers a huge variety of research projects. This is good for anyone on a pre-med track because it gives offers some insight into more complex studies in the process of finishing medical school,” Turner said.

College Adviser Shari Bush said she believes about 40 percent of students want to leave Florida for college. However, she said only about 25 percent actually follow through with this.

“For some [students], they want to go back home or to an area where they grew up in,” Bush said. “[Students] have aspirations to try a different culture and experience different types of people.”

While Bush said many students have a desire to attend an out of state college, she said this can often be financially unrealistic. Nonetheless, she said if students have the opportunity to, they should consider the option.

“I think [going out of state] is a great option to explore,” Bush said. “Ultimately, whether it is in state or out of state, I want [students] to be at the place that will make them[students] most happy.”


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