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.