Coral Gables High senior Amanda Cabrera has more than 600 community service hours. Many of the hours came from volunteering at Miami Children’s Hospital.
“I started in the summer going into 10th grade,” Cabrera said. “I did paperwork. I answered phone calls.”
Later, she switched to the childcare area.
“The daycare was for children whose parents worked at the hospital,” she said. “I helped in the baby section and the toddler section.”
At one point, she was assigned to the hospital cart with snacks for parents. The cart would go around the hospital in the morning and the afternoon.
“There would be a time where they would ask us if we could stay in the room for a couple of minutes while they ran down to the kitchen,” she said.
When school started she kept on volunteering and she switched to the emergency department where she would do registration paperwork.
At school, Cabrera is involved in the Junior ROTC program. She was on the JROTC drill team but had to quit when her mother became seriously ill and spent more than four months in the hospital. Because of the illness, her mother became paralyzed and still requires a lot of care.
This year Cabrera is a sergeant and squad leader. She believes JROTC has helped her tremendously.
“They taught us responsibility. They teach us how to be organized and deal with real life situations,” she said. “They have inspired me in so many ways. JROTC has taught me to be positive, to take day by day. You never know what could happen five minutes later. It has helped me in so many ways.”
Her mom’s illness has limited her college options so she will go to Miami-Dade College and then transfer to Florida International University. She has considered majoring in business but currently is leaning toward majoring in English literature
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld
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