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FLIC’s interns go on a road trip! Check out what the Social Justice Scholars were up to in NYC!

SJS NYC Group PicOn behalf of the Civic Opportunities Initiative Network (COIN), the New World Foundation, and Marga Incorporated, our fellow interns made their way to the “Big Apple!” All ten interns, along with Siria, Naftalie, Francesca and Danna, spent 25 hours together, driving and getting to know each other better. The FLIC and WeCount! interns, along with 50 others from Community Coalition (South L.A.), CHIRLA- Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A., Make the Road New York, Southwest Organizing Project (New Mexico), and Tenants & Workers United (Northern Virginia) came together on Friday June 26th for COINS’s three-day kickoff retreat.

The retreat included discussions about race, class, gender, prejudice, discrimination, institutional power, privileges, and systems of oppression in the U.S. Activities addressed cross-cultural communication, teamwork-building, social justice, political leadership, academics and a “no-talent show.” We started by watching an introductory video explaining COINS’s main objective: to strengthen community leadership, establish intergenerational and interethnic collaboration, and stabilize community-based organizations as strong anchors for development in low-income communities. By creating strong relationships with organizations in their communities, youth will have an opportunity to incorporate active citizenship into their education— learning about service, advocacy, organizing, and what it takes to build effective community organizations. Before each workshop or activity we did an ice-breaker to make everyone feel comfortable.

We were divided into groups of five—each teammate from a different organization. We discussed academic empowerment and its goals. One goal was to understand the history of inequality in the U.S. and its education system. Another was to access where you are academically and practice tracking your progress. During one activity we learned how prejudice + discrimination + privilege + institutional power = oppression. We defined discrimination, privilege, and prejudice and differentiated one from the other. We wrote each other “fuzzies”—basically compliments for one another on sticky notes that we put up on a wall. It made us all feel positive and empowered.

And on the final day of the retreat, we took them off and read them. The interns went out for evening excursions at Times Square, and meals throughout the city. The entire trip was an exceptionally motivating and unforgettable hands-on experience for all the Miami/Homestead scholars. As our summer internships continue, we are bonding and connecting with one another, becoming more involved and building on our knowledge and awareness as we discuss pressing social issues in our communities.

Get to Know FLIC’s Social Justice Scholars

Note: Our amazing communications intern, Mariana Barbosa, interviewed her fellow interns. Get to know them by checking out these brief bios, below, and be sure to say hello when you stop by FLIC or FAMN, in Little Haiti’s Dessalines Center!

JoshuaAdams
Joshua Adams was born on September 21st, 1993 in Toronto, Canada. He currently lives in Miami Shores. He attends MAST Academy (Maritime and Science Technology) where he is a part of the Young Democrats, Ocean Conservation Club and the Social Studies Honor Society. He’s a new intern for Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of the coalition. In his spare time he enjoys skating, surfing, playing football, playing Xbox Live and hanging out with friends. He hopes to attend USC or UCLA and become a sports physician. “I’m really looking forward to a summer of hard work, but a summer filled with great reward as well,” says Joshua.

MarianaBarbosa
Mariana Barbosa was born on April 16th, 1993 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She lives in Kendall and attends Design and Architecture Senior High. She is part of the Architecture strand, a member of the National Honor Society, and the French Club. For the past year she has worked with The Children’s Trust in their Youth Advisory Committee. She interns for Katherine Gorell, FLIC’s Communications Coordinator. Her hobbies include volunteering, sailing, reading, yoga and going out with friends. She hopes to attend the University of Miami’s School of Architecture and become an Architect. “This opportunity given to us will aid us into becoming committed and passionate activists who see something in society that must be improved or changed, and give us the will power to do something about it. The work we are doing together as a team will not only greatly impact our own lives, but the lives of others as well” she states.

MichelleCastel
Michelle Castel, a native of Miami, Florida, was born on January 6th, 1992. She now lives in Miami Shores and attends school at Booker T. Washington Senior High School. She is a part of Spicy Spinner, The School Band, and the Finance Academy. She interns for Francesca Menes, Community Organizer. She takes pleasure in reading, doing hair, photography and music. She hopes to be an international marketer in the future. “I hope to gain more experience in the work force and learn as much as I can on the job” states Michelle.

RoderickDavis
Roderick Davis was born on April 10th 1992 in Opa Locka, Florida. He now lives in Carol City, where he attends Carol City High School. Roderick is an active member of the Future Leaders of America. He is working for Subhash Kateel, Community Organizer. His hobbies include writing poetry and playing football for the Carol City Chiefs, but he longs to be a graphic designer. “This summer I hope to educate, as well as be educated on the rights of immigrants. I have high expectations for this summer and I know for a fact that this will be a great learning experience” he said.

JeffreyJullot
Jeffrey Jullot was born on July 18th, 1993 in Miami, Florida. He now lives in Homestead, where he is a student at South Dade Senior High. He is a part of 5,000 Role Models and FBLA. He is a We Count! intern, and will be working on their campaign for restorative justice this summer. In his spare time he enjoys playing basketball, football, reading books, and writing poetry. When he grows up, he hopes to be a successful businessman. “I hope to learn more about the situations in our community and how we can help change them. I’m excited about getting to know everybody and figure out how we can put our heads together so we can make great changes in our community” he said.

LeudyDeLosSantos
Leudy De Los Santos was born on September 22nd, 1992 in the Virgin Islands. She lives in Miami, Florida where she is a student at Miami Jackson Senior High School. She is a member of the Honor Society, Sophomore Board, basketball and softball team. She interns for Danna Magliore at FAMN (Haitian Women of Miami). Her hobbies include basketball, watching movies, dancing and playing video games. “One of the quotes I live for is: “I’ve been through a lot of stuff, but Imma keep my head up like my nose is bleeding” by Lil’ Wayne. This quote made me realize that everything I’ve been through in the past stays in the past. I’m going to life for today, and then accomplish my dreams and become successful in life. This quote is going to help me overcome the obstacles that I may have in this program this summer.”

BryanRodriguez
Bryan Ruiz was born on March 19th, 1993 in Miami, Florida. He lives in Homestead, where he attends School at Robert Morgan Educational Center. He works with We Count! around issues of restorative justice. His hobbies include lifting weights, playing keyboard and guitar, and jogging in the mornings. He plans to become a pilot for an airline when he grows up. “I would like to learn from FLIC how to better understand as to why people act the way they act, such as, racism, gender and power. What I’m most excited about is being able to meet new people and expanding my knowledge from what I am going to learn from the staff. Also, the trip to New York City is going to be REALLY FUN” says Bryan.

DanielaSosa
Daniela Sosa was born on January 7th, 1993 in Havana, Cuba. She lives in Kendall and is a student at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High. She is a member of the Cambridge Global Studies Academy, the Ecology Club, Global Arts Club, and the Social Studies Honor Society. Her hobbies include reading and enjoying movie nights with her friends. She wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up. This summer she’ll be helping organize events. “I hope to make life long friends while doing something that can change people’s lives for the better,” said Daniela.

DaiyaanToffie
Daiyaan Toffie was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He lives in Dadeland and is a student at South Miami Senior High. He is on the basketball team and is a Dade County coach for Ludlam Elementary. His job entails being an organizer–sending e-mails, making calls etc. and interacting with FLIC members and allies. In his spare time he plays basketball, hangs out with friends, watches sports and goes shopping. “When I grow up I hope I can help change the world and become president of team operations of a professional sports team. I’m excited about the new things I will be learning at FLIC. My overview of FLIC is an amazing organization and willing to help anybody,” Daiyaan said.

HulyaMiclissepolat
Hulya Miclisse-Polat
was born on May 27th, 1993 in Montreal, Canada. She lives in Homestead and attends Homestead Senior High School. Hulya is a majorette for her school band, Women of Tomorrow Secretary, a member of DFYIT and the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. She is an intern and school organizer for We Count!. She hangs out with friends, shops, reads mystery and drama books, and volunteers. She hopes to become an important leader in her community who is very involved when she grows up. “I am very excited about the program; it will definitely be a memorable and beneficial experience for me. It will expand my knowledge for social and restorative justice–issues that are happening in my environment. Together, we will be able to learn things that we cannot get from a classroom, prepare for the real world, and become great leaders one day” says Hulya.