Student entrepreneurs striving toward success

Written By: Amir Brady

Technology and the internet enable our youth to explore ventures that some think only adults could accomplish like starting a business. Ariane Santivanez, David Granda, Ricky Angelone and Matias Urcuyo are all seniors that have taken leaps and bounds with how the businesses they have started are growing and developing.  

Santivanez started Amorperu at the age of 15 during her sophomore year when she saw a demand for the type of clothing made by artisans in her family’s native country of Peru. She found that items like elephant pants and other accessories like scrunchies and make up bags were being sought out by students daily, so she decided to bring some along with her whenever she took a trip to Peru. It started small, with selling the pants to a few friends, but soon business was booming since word spread that she was selling artisanal Peruvian clothing. Arianne does not do it alone, though, since so many people are interested her family also helps her out. Whenever they find themselves coming to Miami, they bring clothing from the artisanal markets for her to sell. Arianne’s profits do not only go back to her, she feels that it is only right that she gives back to her local community. “Out of every article of clothing that I sell, I give a percentage back to the kids in Peru that cannot afford certain luxuries like new clothes that we can get whenever,” Santivanez said.

Granda was a 14-year-old freshman when he decided to start Aquarius, a now four-year-old company that specializes in making autonomous underwater robotic vehicles for research purposes. He decided to start this business because he saw that there was a need for more accessible underwater research vessels that will not break the bank. The inspiration for Aquarius was the movie Spare Parts which was about a team of Mexican immigrants who beat the odds by building an underwater vehicle to win a nationwide robotics competition. David built his first prototype during his freshman year and has improved on it until now where as a senior he has brought it to the market with the help of engineering teacher Allan Miller. He is also being featured during the 2019 Key Biscayne Children’s Business Fair. “I love doing this because I think we as humans need to narrow the gap between what we do and don’t know about the ocean” Granda said.

Angelone and Urcuyo along with a host of 24 other students started a non-profit company called Miami Tutoring based in Key Biscayne which provides tutoring services to underprivileged kids. Ricky and Matias were 16 when they decided to bring a few kids together at Key Biscayne Village Hall and give free tutoring to kids that could not really afford it. When word got out, they decided to make a website to promote the tutoring and got a lot of sign ups. From there, they started an outreach platform that would accept donations to pay for gas needed to go out of Key Biscayne to tutor and to recruit more tutors to help the cause. “We wanted to help bring community together while giving high schoolers a chance to help so we thought the perfect way for people of our age to leave our mark is to tutor others,” Angelone and Urcuyo.

 

Netflix: The superior streaming platform

Written By: Amber Haydar

           In the age of digital media, popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have brought about the evolution of watching our favorite movies and shows, as well as discovering new ones with series and films original to each corresponding platform.

Netflix is at the top of its game, especially when it comes to developing original movies and television series.

Recently-released Netflix films, Bird Box and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch broke the internet during winter break 2018.

Binge-watchers everywhere were anticipating the interactive Black Mirror film and the highly-regarded psychological thriller, Bird Box.

Netflix decided to wait until the final Friday of 2018 to drop the full-length, 90-minute special, though the quickest path ends after 40 minutes: Bandersnatch.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is the first of its kind, specifically on the Netflix platform. The interactive special grants the audience the ability to make decisions for the main character, programmer Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), starting with the stress-inducing action of choosing which cereal to eat in the morning.

Later in the special, watchers are faced with more grueling circumstances, some of which not all viewers will get to experience. A brief tutorial, specific to the device being streamed on, explains to the viewer how to make these choices. Viewers have ten seconds to make choices, or a default decision is made.

The complex special takes place in July of 1984, where young programmer Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead) dreams of adapting a choose-your-own-adventure book titled Bandersnatch, by tragic writer Jerome F. Davies, into what he hopes will be a revolutionary adventure video game. Devoted fans of the science-fiction dystopia were raving on social media.

Black Mirror is a television show, originally from Great Britain before Netflix bought the series and produced seasons three and four. Each episode of the series is stand-alone- sharp and suspenseful in exploring themes of techno-paranoia. The series serves the purpose of making a point to display how our future may appear at the rate we are going as a society in technological advancement, in the most shocking, unpredictable ways possible.

As for Bird Box, Netflix subscribers have been obsessing over the Netflix original film since its release over the holiday season. The must-watch thriller engulfed the Internet in all its meme glory.

Bird Box was originally a 2014 post-apocalyptic novel and the debut novel by writer Josh Malerman. The Netflix original film follows a woman, played by Sandra Bullock, who must guide herself as well as a pair of young children, dubbed Boy and Girl, through a treacherous journey in order to make it to safety.

The journey entails trudging through a forest and a river blindfolded in order to avoid a supernatural entity that causes people who see it to either die by suicide or force others to take a peak and kill themselves.

Bird Box is not merely about entities, clawing at the door of helpless apocalypse survivors— it is about the depths and measures humans will take in order to survive, specifically in correlation with motherhood and the sacrifices mothers are willing to make in order to provide for their children.

The Sandra Bullock-starring film broke the Netflix record for the most watches within premiere week, with more than 45 million Netflix accounts viewing it within its first week.

MAST Sophomore Kaleia Zambrano has an opposing opinion on Netflix’s reign. “Bird Box was very interesting and actually kept you on your feet, unlike most of Netflix original movies,” Zambrano said. Another anonymous sophomore said, “Bird Box had a deeper meaning and its true context was artistically delivered and publicly ignored.”

Netflix has recently announced that they are increasing subscription prices worldwide in 2019. Netflix is hiking their standard $10.99 plan in the U.S. to $12.99 per month. Its $7.99 plan will go up to $8.99 and its $13.99 plan will go up to $15.99 a month. This monthly total would still cost less than the majority of traditional cable or satellite packages, but will it cost Netflix some loyal subscribers nonetheless?

 

Food for the stomach, the earth, and the soul

Written By: Skye Hervas-Jones

Under The Mango Tree (Miami Beach)

Hidden along a strip mall in Miami Beach hides a hidden gem called Under the Mango Tree, this charming restaurant radiates love and happiness as soon as you enter. The large mango tree that reaches the roof in the center of the store and the local made products for sale that are scattered around add to the cozy, bohemian vibe. Their smoothies and juices are completely made from fresh fruit. They also offer acai bowls, juices, melts, and salads.

Their packaging is completely sustainable as they serve their drinks in mugs or mason jars with paper straws. They also sell a starter pack for eliminating plastic from your life.

My personal recommendation is their Pink Dragon smoothie, which contains dragon fruit, banana, apple and coconut nectar

Green Life (Brickell, Miami Beach, Coral Gables)

Green Life’s motto is in their name, their mouthwatering menu is crafted by using ingredients free of genetically modified organisms, pesticides, hormones. They serve simple, healthy and organic food with 90% of their products being organic and locally sourced. Their Eco-ware is made with potato starch and plates from sugarcane bagasse making them recyclable and compostable.

Their furniture is also either reclaimed, recycled or donated from local job sites. Not only are they helping the Earth, but everyone who visits becomes regular customer. They offer Acai bowls, wraps and an incredible avocado toast. Most of their food and drink are under $10 so it’s a great place if you are on a budget.

Pura Vida (Coral Gables, South Beach)

Living a simple, pure life is what Pura Vida restaurant strives to do for their customers. The owners created a menu that can be eaten at any time of the day, and strive to create jobs for the people in the community. Their food is locally sourced, keeping high standard with their farm to table policy. They shop sustainably and open their restaurant up to adults, kids and even pets.

For those who wake up late noon or even early morning, Pura Vida offers an all-day menu and a special section for avocado lovers. They also sell Acai bowls, superfood smoothies, wellness shots and bowls.

My personal recommendation is their Mango Salmon Bowl, which contains oven roasted salmon, quinoa, arugula, avocado, mango, cherry tomatoes, pickled cabbage and Pura Vida sauce.

 

Artechouse: Fusing art and technology in interactive displays

Written By: Taylor Politi

As you walk down Collins Avenue on Miami Beach you would never guess that there is an innovative art gallery devoted to showcasing observational and technology driven installations and performances hidden in an everyday, ordinary white building.

Artechouse is part of the national and now local trend of using technology to create interactive art that has become discovered and more popular, especially with teenagers, in the past couple of months.

“I initially heard about Artechouse from my friend and saw it all over social media. It looked extremely interesting so I decided to try it not knowing if I would like it but it ended up being an incredible experience and a great place to take pictures,” junior Liberty Hernandez said.

On November 15 Artechouse opened the “XYZT Abstract Landscapes,” an exhibit by French digital artists Adrien M and Claire B. The highly interactive show offers an exploratory physical experience through ten digital installations.

Visitors can interact, play and gape at the installations engulfed with lines, dots, light and letters in this virtual playground of four dimensions: X (horizontal), Y (vertical), Z (depth), and T (time).

You can touch, step on and move around in the 10 different installations inside the exhibit and manipulate them with your body. Guests who visit the exhibition will experience an immersive and spectacular digital arts experience: walking on floors that react to footsteps, manipulating light particles within a giant digital cube and blowing into glass boxes to witness virtual letters that assemble and disassemble like magic.

Miami is just one of many stops for the XYZT exhibit in the United States It was showcased earlier at the Brooklyn Music Academy in New York, Artechouse in Washington D.C. and most recently at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

“I went to see the XYZT exhibit at the Brooklyn Music Academy in New York and enjoyed the exhibit so much I decided to see it again when I heard it was coming here in Miami. Both times I really enjoyed the mind blowing installation,” junior Jacqueline Lesentier said.

With a mission to inspire, educate, and empower the creation of new, experiential and exploratory art forms, Artechouse connects all audiences to the arts, and stimulates interest in technology, science and creativity. From seniors, to adults, to teenagers, to children this exhibit is enjoyed by everyone.

Where: 736 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Hours: Daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (a new session starts every 45 minutes)

Tickets: $17 for kids 2-14; $20 for students, seniors and military; $24 adults

 

Explore art for free at the Perez Art Museum

Written By: Carolina Niebla

There is a new way you can get into the beautiful Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)  for free. PAMM offers an excellent deal for MDCPS students.

If you are a student in Miami Dade County Public Schools grades Pre-k through 12th grade, you can register for a student pass. The pass allows for the student to bring a guest over the age of 18, free of charge.

To get the pass, you just need to fill out a form at the museum. The pass is valid for one year and then expires on August 31 of every year. On September 1, students can renew their pass as long as they are still a Dade County student. Even though the passes give free admission, they do not give the benefits that memberships do such as discounts at the museum store and early admission to certain exhibits.

The student pass allows exposure to this exhibit and many others for any Miami Dade County Public Schools student.

A new exhibit that you can see with the student pass is called “while the dew is still on the roses” that showcases African Americans and beautiful floral arrangements. The artist, Ebony G. Patterson, exhibits black and brown men being decorated in embellished clothes and jewelry through a time lapse to explore gender. They are depicted crying to show the violence towards these people globally. Through the dark background decorated with bright flowers shows that although it may have a dark message, its representing them in beauty.

 

Makos take Art Basel: Students explore contemporary art

Written By: Daisy Hoover

Thousands of celebrities, socialites, and art lovers flock to Miami every December to revel in the premier international art festival known as Art Basel.

New art teacher Eduardo Lacayo wanted to ensure that his students would not be left out of this incredible culture experience. Tickets to the fair were priced at $50 for students, but Mr. Lacayo ensured that the trip was free and open to all members of the Art History and Appreciation and the Architecture and Design clubs.

There were multiple stops on the itinerary, the first being at the Dorchester Hotel and Suites in Miami Beach, which was transformed to host the INK, Miami Art Fair. As students made their way through the hotel, they encountered many different art pieces. ‘

“The kinds of work there were almost entirely modern,” senior Glow Allday said, “and ranged from paintings to 3-D printed designs.”

After a lunch break at McDonalds, the students were taken to the Miami Beach Convention Center. There were let loose to explore Art Basel.

Before leaving, the group saw a live art demonstration in the main hall. The group arrived just in time for the performance and headed home on the bus once the show was over.

Mr. Lacayo felt the trip was a success and hopes to return next year. The students highly enjoyed the trip.

“Art Basel surrounded me with culture, the latest fashion, and mind-altering artworks.” junior Diego Gamez said.

“It will forever be the centerpiece of the year for me. I would call Art Basel one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had and I would strongly recommend it to everyone interested in art.”

Mid90s review: Jonah Hill’s directorial debut dives into the world of skating

Written By: Alexia Ureña

Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s, is a love-letter to the gritty world of skateboarding in Los Angeles.

The story follows the life of 13 year old, Stevie (Sunny Suljic), as he navigates the beginning of his adolescence. In an effort to move away from his disengaged mother Dabney (Katherine Waterston) and his abusive brother Ian (Lucas Hedges), Stevie finds solace in a group of older skateboarders. He is quickly immersed into a whirlwind of firsts, and is faced with new situations both dangerous and exciting. Stevie falls in love with skating in every aspect from its vast culture to the values it represents.  

Stevie’s new friends and the environment they live in may be rough, but there are strong feelings of brotherhood beneath the slight tension and competition amongst the crew. He is eager to be a part of the group, using both his innocence and strength to gain their trust and admiration.

Mid90s emphasizes the value of your chosen family, proving that you can build equally powerful bonds with friends and find happiness outside of a difficult home situation.

The movie truly does bring audiences back to the time of its title, with every detail in the film reminiscent of the decade of the Super Nintendo and Nirvana.

The movie is incredibly raw, feeling more like a documentary than a Hollywood picture at multiple points throughout. This is partially due to the fact that Hill opted to cast real skaters rather than professional actors (of which there are only two). The group of skateboarders spent their first acting gig playing a role that resembles their real lives and everything mentioned about the meaning of skating feels like it comes from their hearts.            

Audiences may not have expected Hill, an actor known for movies like Superbad or 21 Jump Street, to make a movie like Mid90s. While the film definitely includes some comedy, it covers a roller-coaster of emotions. It takes the audience through moments of pride and joy to several instances of gut-wrenching anxiety and tear-jerking sadness.

Hill and the cast managed to capture skate culture in its honest form, without patronizing a community that is often butchered in movies. Mid90s encapsulates a beloved era and captures the essence of Hill’s first love. The film is available on iTunes and Amazon on December 21.

 

Alternative Music Appreciation meets at the Twenty One Pilots concert

Written By: Piper Penney

Interested in diversifying your music taste and meeting students with a passion for music? If so, the Alternative Music Appreciation Club is perfect for you. The club’s main focus is learning about the history of alternative music. This is done by listening to the “essential albums” of each era of alternative music history. These albums come from a wide range of time periods, which allows students to hear music that they may have never heard before. Another fun thing that the club does is that they host meetups at various concerts, whether they are of major artists or local bands. The first of these events was at the Twenty One Pilots concert on November 4, 2018. This gave the members had a chance to chat with familiar faces and take a group photo before the show. The next meetup will be held on January 11, 2019 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. The show is titled Take This To Your Grave and will consist of a tribute band performing covers of hit Emo songs from the early 2000s. All students, whether they are members of the club or not, are welcome. Anyone who is interested in the club’s activities should follow @mast_amac on Instagram for event updates and meeting dates.

 

Unique creative outlets: Ballroom dancing to bullet journaling

Written By: Michelle Garcia

Art is not limited to the constraints of society, instead it offers creative outlets through various types of illustrations, dance, music, and many more branches. Sophomore Aleks Copeland, has been able to find her confidence through her hobbies of Ballroom dancing and bullet journaling.

Copeland was first introduced to the extravagant hobbie when she was a seven year-old gymnast and found a business card for a local dance studio. Having a background in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and tap she was pleasantly surprised when she discovered that Ballroom dancing was distinctly different from other forms of dance.

“Ballroom [dancing] is a partner sport. You have to be able to work and collaborate with other people or else it just will not work in your favor. I learned how to be both a leader and a follower through this sport.” Copeland said.

After years of experience, Copeland is proud to be a two time regional champion who will be competing in Nationals and hopes to continue onto Worlds in February. She has been able to go from a beginners level to a respectable contestant. Unlike other dance tournaments, she cannot prepare one specific dance for the competition. Preparation consists of training one to two times a week, where they follow an American and International syllabus that contains the standards of different moves.

“ Most of the dances are improvised. There are moves that we practice beforehand, but the sequencing is random. Whatever move my partner decides to do I have to follow it. We prepare by learning the different moves on the syllabus that have to fit into a sequence,” Copeland said.

Copeland will soon begin volunteering with her dance studio in teaching elementary students; the program hopes to bring awareness to the beautiful sport.

Juxtaposing her traditional sport is Copeland’s modern take on journaling. Helping her express her creative thought process Copeland has become extremely fond of bullet  journaling.

“Bullet journaling can be anything you want it to be. As long as you have a pen and a notebook, you can create one. I use it as an agenda, a diary, a place to keep track of my mood, what books I have read, what movies I watch, my plans. I also use it to doodle and as a place to do art,” Copeland said.

Since seventh grade, her interest in this community has skyrocketed. She began journaling in hopes that creating alluring images would motivate her to study and learn.

“One day I found a video on Youtube on how to take pretty notes. So, I have come to the conclusion that if you are having fun whilst you are studying and being productive it makes things easier. I now like to take notes, doing my bullet journals and checking things off my list. It gives me something to look forward to I find [bullet journaling] very liberating because it doesn’t matter if I mess up because it is mine. It has become a part of my life,” Copeland said.

Recently, Copeland has begun a small business where she designs the layouts of the page spreads of the journal. She claims that it is nerve wracking to be producing such a personal product for other people. To ensure that her customers are pleased she asks them questions regarding the color scheme, theme, and page spreads.

“One of my friends told me I should start charging for it, since I was doing it for free for some of my friends. I hope that since people are contacting me to do their journals, that they like my designs. I let my creativity do the work for me. I trust that everything will turn out nicely” Copeland said.

As Copeland reflects on her time participating in both activities she notes that it has provided a sense of motivation for her, an avenue in which she can freely express her emotions and more importantly her originality.

 

Thank u, next: Ariana Grande breaks record after record

Written by: Amber Haydar

Pop sensation, Ariana Grande, has finally earned her first #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with a track that addresses an empowering message of self-love and a reflection of her past, titled thank u, next.

The hit-single was well-received from the public the moment it was released, some fans dubbing it “the mother of all break-up anthems.”

Grande inspiringly displays vulnerability by addressing her ex-boyfriends by name in the first few lines of the track, before coming to the healthy conclusion that the most valuable relationship in her life is the one she has with herself. 

Thank u, next is the title track of Grande’s fifth studio album, expected to drop later on this year or early 2019.

On May 22, 2017, Grande performed to a crowd of ecstatic, devoted fans in Manchester, United Kingdom during the European leg of her Dangerous Woman Tour. Tragically, as the concert came to an end, fans were leaving Manchester Arena as a suicide bomb was detonated. Twenty-three people were killed, including the attacker, and 139 people were wounded, more than half of them children. Thankfully, Grande had not been injured in the attack but she suffers from PTSD to this day because of it.

Grande’s fourth studio album, Sweetener, was released in August, three months prior to the surprise release of “thank u, next.” The body of work includes guest features from Nicki Minaj, Pharrell Williams, and Missy Elliott. Sweetener’s lead single, no tears left to cry, is an uplifting dance-pop track that discusses her personal growth since the Manchester bombing and how she is stronger than ever before. Grande has now decided to write her own narrative about her past relationships, and that is how thank u, next came to be. The empowering message struck a chord with many and is now a worldwide hit.

On November 30, Grande released the music video to “thank u, next,” — which derives inspiration from early 2000s movies Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On, and 13 Going On 30. The five-minute long video become the most watched video on Youtube and VEVO in the span of 24 hours, garnering over 55.4 million views.

Ariana Grande is embarking on the Sweetener World Tour, performing mainly songs from that album, as well as songs from upcoming album, thank u, next , on March 18, 2019. Grande is performing in Miami on May 31, so make sure to get your tickets and give her upcoming album, thank u, next a listen when it is released.