Let’s Be Adventurers!

Travel has become a necessity for me, so I try to go somewhere new every year. Having a mixed cultural background really influences those decisions to travel and just kind of pick up and go!

I love it so much I have decided to share my stories and experiences on my travel blog TheBlondeMademoiselle.com 

Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

City Year: Making Better Happen

I proudly served as an AmeriCorps member at the legendary Booker T. Washington Senior High School in the historic city of Overtown.

I was born in Venezuela and I grew up with three brothers and two devoted parents. Growing up, I had a very colorful childhood where I was unaware of the struggles that my parents were facing, the struggles that eventually let us to make the hasty decision to move to Miami. Moving to Miami was a huge cultural shock to me; I started school right away. On my first day of school, the FCAT was taking place. You can’t imagine my struggle coming in to school not knowing English and having to take a state test. My years in elementary and middle school were very challenging. My parents didn’t speak English. School work and homework were always a challenge. My mom always tried to do the best she could to help my brother and I to the best of her abilities. Nonetheless, we struggled through school, but with motivation and assistance, we managed to pass middle school and learn English. High school was a bit more relaxed; I had passed the ESOL exam, and I was still motivated to finish and focus on a college career. Thanks to my parents support and sacrifice, I was able to enroll as an out-of-state student in Miami-Dade College where I managed to complete my Associate’s Degree. I later transferred to Florida International University where I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication in Broadcast Media.

When I was growing up in Venezuela, I participated in a student newspaper called “Redonda La Luna.” This newspaper was created by my mom’s aunt, and it was established in low-income schools where students lived in poverty. The idea behind this newspaper was to show students that they had a voice and that someone cared for what they had to say. Being a part of this newspaper got a group of seven-year-olds, myself included, to interview the president of Venezuela at the time, which to us was a huge achievement. When I heard about City Year, I immediately decided that it was a great opportunity to give a voice to the voiceless just as that student newspaper had done with me.

I decided to dedicate a year to service at Booker T. Washington Senior High School because as a journalist I felt the need to see for myself how education and our students are affected by the constant debate of what is best for them. The reason I served was to give back to others the courage and belief that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

I was an interventionist in an Intensive Reading Plus class, which meant I worked with the lowest 25 percent of ninth graders. These were students that somehow were left behind due to different factors such as lack of motivation, low-income or lack of parent support. Our goal was to try to get them on grade level and on the path to graduation.

Through my role, I met a student named Joe. The first time I started working with Joe, I was taken aback by how he struggled to read the simplest words. Joe had a reading level of a student in kindergarten. It was such a shock to me that he was so behind in reading but had somehow managed to make it to ninth grade. That’s when I decided to focus as much as possible on making him a more fluent reader. At first, he seemed unaware of his inability to read but after a few mentoring sessions he understood that he had to work harder than some of his other classmates. Through constant differentiated instruction and tutoring, we were able to help him improve.

After a lot of work and teaching, we were able to get to a third grade reading level. Joe is one of the many students that lacked parent support and motivation to care for his education, and that is why we are here as City Year, to make sure he gets a second chance at learning.

Joe reminded me how any obstacle can be overcome if we have the support and determination to achieve what we want. He was a wonderful inspiration to continue my work after City Year and pursue my career as a journalist.

After graduating from City Year, I aspire to continue to be a voice to all students. I intend that through my career as a journalist I would be able to advocate for education. I hope that one day, I can also form my own student newspaper and give a voice to all those students that didn’t think they had a voice or goals that could be achieved. I hope I can be a source of inspiration to them, so that one day they can become a mentor to another just like I did with Joe.

Professional Experience

Take a look at my portfolio here.

Professional Experience

Bilingual Multimedia Journalist
City of Coral Gables
January 2018 – Present
Coral Gables, FL

  • Interview, edit and create packages to be distributed on social media and local channel.
  • Manage social media accounts and post continuous content.
  • Stay up to date with all the happenings around the city to be able to report on them.

Public Relations Coordinator
Univision Communications Inc.                                 
August 2016 – August 2017
Miami, FL

  • Assist media credential process for tentpoles: Premio Lo Nuestro, Premios Juventud and Premios Univision Deportes.
  • Write and update talent and executives biographies and show fact sheets, as well as any other support that may include thorough proofing, assembly and delivery.
  • Assist NY team executing internal communication tactics.
  • Provide support staffing photo opportunities  and interviews with talent.
  • Distribute upload and tweet press releases.

Travel Counselor
American Express                                              
November 2015 – August 2016
Miramar, FL

  • Creating memorable travel experiences for Card Members by booking travel with a key focus in domestic and international destination air travel arrangements.
  • Staying ahead of industry trends and continuously building destination knowledge.
  • Creating innovative ways to resolve Card Members’ issues or concerns to win their loyalty and travel spend.

English Language Assistant
September 2015 – November 2015              
Ministry of Education                                                    
Madrid, Spain

  • Provided one-on-one and small group tutoring during school.
  • Worked with elementary teachers to improve conversational English in the classroom.

Reading Interventionist
AmeriCorps: City Year Miami                                      
July 2014 – June 2015                                         
Overtown, FL

  • Provided 46 high school students with yearlong intensive academic intervention resulting in a 15% increase in reading proficiency at the mid-year.
  • Successful mentoring initiative engaging 12 students in targeted behavior interventions leading to demonstrated improvement in citizenship skills.
  • Organized and led activities and projects to improve the school environment.
  • Completed a curriculum of professional and leadership development sessions including techniques for providing socio-emotional support to youth, group facilitation, and hands on presentation skills.
  • Completed 1700 hours of service.

Instructor                                          
John Casablancas Modeling and Career Center
February 2010 – December 2013                    
Doral, FL

  • Produced/ hosted quarterly Fashion Shows. Produced weekly photo shoots.
  • Instructed groups in techniques and methods of self-improvement, utilizing principles of modeling, such as visual poise, wardrobe coordination, and cosmetic application.
  • Adapted teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students’ varying needs and interests.
  • Monitored students’ performance to make suggestions for improvement and to ensure satisfaction of course standards, training requirements, and objectives.

Projects

The Blonde Mademoiselle 
July 2015 – Present

  • Founder and author of TheBlondeMademoiselle.com
  • Writing multiple stories from places visited around the world.
  • Promoting on multiple social media sites.

EyesOnTheRise.org                                                     
May 2014 – July 2014

  • Co-Produced a video explaining how students at Florida International University were communicating Sea Level Rise in South Florida.
  • On-Air Reporter.
  • Interviewed the Mayor of South Florida at the time, Philip K. Stoddard.
  • Recorded and edited multiple footage.

Education

Florida International University
January 2012 – August 2014
Bachelor of Science in Communication
North Miami, FL

Università Per Stranieri di Perugia
June 2012
Italian Language
Perugia, Italy

Miami-Dade College
June 2008 – July 2011
Associate in Arts in Journalism
Miami, FL

Skills

  • Fluent in Spanish and intermediate Italian
  • Communication/ Interpersonal skills
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Protools
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Sabre GDS
  • Agility, MuckRack
  • Audio-Video Editing.

Who Am I?

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A little bit about myself…I live where you vacation, Miami, FL (although I barely ever make it to the beach). Throughout most of the year we are blessed with year long summer, humidity and some strong rains (maybe a hurricane or two). I have been in Miami since the age of 10, before that I was living in Maracaibo, Venezuela, otherwise known as “La tierra del sol amada” because of it’s high temperatures and the warmth of it’s people, where my wonderful parents met.

I come from a multicultural background, thanks to my dad’s ancestors immigrating from Greece to Lebanon and my dad moving to Venezuela escaping the civil war in his country, and meeting my mother. My mother’s father had a similar idea when he left Italy and moved to Venezuela where he met my grandmother.

I grew up listening and speaking different languages and that’s where I developed my love for them. So besides speaking my native tongue Español and learning English during my school days here in Miami, I also learned Italiano and took some course to learn Française and throughout the years I have pick up some Arabic at home.

From a young age, I have had a like for girly things like fashion and make up.  For a long part of my life I was involved in the modeling industry as a model and later on as a modeling instructor. My love for travel and exploring new cultures is my escape from the routine.

I had the opportunity to study abroad in the city of Perugia, Italy where I was able to improve my Italian speaking skills and travel all around Italy, with a newly found best friend and now travel buddy.

I am the founder and author of TheBlondeMademoiselle.com, a blog from my experiences around the world (if you haven’t decided if travel is for you, go take a look, it might inspired you? maybe?).

I served for a year with City Year Miami at Booker T. Washington Senior High School in the historic city of Overtown, FL. City Year was an eye opening experience to the crisis in the education system and how students are struggling to stay on track for graduation.

In 2015, I had the opportunity to live in Madrid, Spain for a few months while I taught English at a bilingual public school. It was a great opportunity for growth and to meet great inspiring individuals.

I’m currently working on my Master’s Degree in Journalism Innovation with Syracuse University.

I hope that one day I can become an influential journalist and have an impact on society and the people around me.

PS: I’m always searching for new places to visit so feel free to recommend your favorites!


“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” ~ Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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