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A group of Broward County high school student developed a safety kit. (Photo by Adrianne Richardson/SFNS)

Broward County high schoolers develop kit to improve driver safety

As a full-time mother who’s always on the go, Wynne Avellanet said she’s not always prepared for unexpected emergencies while driving. But recently, when her 8-year-old son, Noah, suffered from a bad nose bleed on the way to school, she was able to stop the bleeding. “My son suffers from chronic nose bleeds, and we’ve often been caught in situations ...

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Maria Serrano (far left) visited Cozumel, Mexico in January 2015 with her mother, Claudia Niño, father, Carlos Serrano, and brother, Mauricio Serrano (far right).  Photo: Courtesy of Serrano’s family.

Millennial breadwinners

Maria Serrano, then 22, scrambled through her final exam feeling like her head was on the brink of shattering. After turning in her test, Serrano stumbled to the nearest restroom to heave. Hours later, her mother rushed her to Baptist Hospital. “The pressure was too much,” Serrano said. “I lost all control. I lost all power.” Serrano was a full-time ...

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Daniela Perez, 5, is checking each #teachHope70x7 bag for a sandwich, chips and a snack before they are packed into the cars to go to the streets of downtown Miami. (Photo courtesy of #teachHope70x7)

Miami first-grade teacher launches #teachHope70x7 to ‘teach hope’ to the community

When Jocelyn Morffi, a first-grade teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami, was talking to her students two years ago about recent tragedies in the world, she was inspired to show them that there is hope in the community. Then, a year later, she brainstormed with her new group of students about ways they could “teach hope” ...

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Emmanuel Ortiz, 17, takes a dive during swimming class at Palm Springs North Pool. (Photo by Hellen Rivas / South Florida News Service)

Learn-to-Swim program seeks to prevent drownings, No. 1 cause of small kids’ deaths

When Karina Medina took swimming lessons for the first time at age 8, she did not expect to become a lifeguard. Now at 17, her role is to protect others from a frequent occurrence in South Florida: drowning. According to the Miami-Dade Drowning Prevention Coalition, drowning is the county’s leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4. “It ...

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Heroines Choir's musical director Analy Mendez leads a rehearsal for the event Arts for Healing on a recent Saturday. (Photo by Maria Serrano / South Florida News Service)

Arts for Healing show at Miami Dade College to feature dozens of breast cancer survivors

  In 2012, singer Mary Jo Garrity and art director Alice Billman produced The Heroines Show to promote healing through arts in the Miami area. Three months into the production process, the show came to a halt − Garrity, 53, died. A 10-year breast cancer survivor, she had been diagnosed with another rare type of cancer. “After Mary Jo’s death, ...

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After her asthma attack, Ashley went from dancing and enjoying her everyday childhood to recovering from a drug-induced coma, where she had to re-learn everything, including how to walk, write and eat.

Girl recovering from critical asthma attack launches foundation to raise awareness

When Ashley Marie Hierrezuelo, 12, left her dance practice three months ago, she didn’t feel well and asked to go to the hospital. Her parents figured it was another asthma attack that could be easily dealt with. But upon their arrival at the hospital, Ashley was given multiple treatments that didn’t help and resulted in her lungs continuing to fail. ...

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John Paul Jebian, a sign language teacher at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High, teaches his high school students American Sign Language alongside Lisa Espineira, 37, a certified sign language interpreter. (Photo by Daniel Hidalgo / South Florida News Service)

Deaf community pushing for state to license interpreters

In a second-floor meeting room at West Dade Regional Library, Lissette Molina Wood recently stood in front of a group of deaf people. Halfway through her first term as president of the Florida Association of the Deaf, Molina Wood, 37, also deaf, is trying to build support for a bill that would require all American Sign Language interpreters to be ...

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Margarita Beckford, the post-high school coordinator at the Overtown Youth Center, informs students about activities planned for the month. (Photo by Daniela Rios / South Florida News Service)

Overtown Youth Center students to participate in career-motivation event

Malyka Joseph, a high school student from the Overtown Youth Center, realized she wanted to major in engineering by accident. In middle school, she fulfilled her credit requirements ahead of time and was one of the only girls placed in engineering electives. “I kept getting talked at and discriminated at because I was a girl interested in engineering, but I ...

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Ishkol is a native of Guatemala, where she learned how to speak in her village's dialect but never attended school.  (Photo by Melhor Marie Leonor/South Florida News Service)

Eliminating illiteracy in migrant workers: it’s complicated

Isabel Ishkol’s daughter spots her mom outside her classroom at Le Jardin Community Center in Homestead and quickly tumbles over. It’s close to pick up time for the 3-year-old, but not quite. In what sounds like a whisper, motioning with her hands, Ishkol tells her daughter to join her teacher, now busy wrangling other toddlers. Vanessa lingers, beaming. More than ...

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Gaby Benavente, 20, a transgender student at Florida International University, stands in front of the bathrooms scheduled for renovations at the Graham Center, FIU’s student union. As the bathrooms are renovated in late Spring 2015, a storage closet close by will be turned into the university's first gender neutral bathroom. (Photo by Maria Soledad Lorenzino / South Florida News Service)

LGBT students praise FIU for readying campus’ first gender-neutral bathroom

At home, Gaby Benavente dresses as a man and goes by her legal name, Gabriel, to please her parents. At Florida International University, Benavente, 20, a male-to-female transgender student, is able to express herself as a woman, but she still runs into trouble when using bathrooms on campus that are marked “Men” and “Women.” Benavente uses men’s rooms at school ...

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