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  • My family lives in Miami, Florida. I am the eldest child of my Puerto Rican mother and my African-American father. My younger brother, Jaral Arroyo-Jefferson, and I were born in New York, but our family has lived in the historic Bahamian 'West Grove' community in Miami since our days as young schoolchildren.


    Our parents are a source of great strength and support for my brother and me because of their unwavering dedication to encouraging us to always strive to be the best versions of ourselves - continuously learning and growing as confident, goal-oriented, independent-thinking individuals. This level of conviction can also be found in our family’s commitment to providing service in our community by helping to empower and uplift those around us.


    Even now as a high school senior - Class of 2024 - these same instilled values have guided my actions throughout my four years at Ransom Everglades Upper School (RE), a nationally ranked, award-winning, independent, college preparatory, where the academic curriculum is rigorous yet innovative, and the expectation for student achievement is set very high.


    I hope my acts of service and volunteerism as a member of our Black Student Association, the Student Diversity Council, and the Environmental Sustainability Council have helped improve our school community by making the RE student body a more unified group. I am particularly hopeful that my actions as the President of our Gender and Sexuality Association have encouraged my schoolmates to be accepting of those of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions as well as exemplified to all members of the RE community that 'Love is Love'.




  • In school, I have always been a high-functioning, hard-working, all-around good student. However, around 6th grade, I began to notice I was struggling with certain aspects of my reading and math comprehension. My parents had me complete a psychoeducational evaluation with a licensed school psychologist. The results revealed I have dyslexia (difficulty with reading or interpreting words, letters, and other symbols) and dyscalculia (a learning disability in math). However, I refuse to let these learning challenges limit my academic success.


    I do not view being a neurodivergent thinker as a 'problem', but rather as a 'gift' that allows me to share with others my unique interpretation of various types of information. Additionally, being neurodivergent has allowed my artistic expression and creativity to flourish, thus providing me with a special ability to quickly process varied situational conditions and then devise insightful and creative solutions.


    Instead of hiding the fact that I am neurodivergent, I have decided to fully lean into it. As a vocal advocate, I routinely speak to various groups, helping them better understand the challenges experienced by neurodivergent thinkers as well as encouraging the implementation of inclusive teaching strategies that address the needs of all types of learners in the development of educational and training programming.


    I hope that revealing my own truth will help lessen the fear of coming forward for others who are also neurodivergent. Dyslexia and dyscalculia may be conditions I must navigate throughout my life, but they do not define 'who I am' or 'what I am capable of achieving'.




  • I love creating multimedia content and sharing my work with others through my social media accounts - LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. I developed this interest early in my elementary school years after watching my dad - who is a marketing consultant - create amazing campaigns for his clients.


    Over the years, my dad has taught me about photography, video production, web development, and content marketing. From creating high-quality school presentations to crafting engaging social media posts to working as a freelance multimedia content producer, I have put the valuable skills I have learned to good use in both my academic pursuits and professional endeavors.




  • My normal day-to-day schedule is typically very hectic. But, when I do have available free time, there are many different types of activities I like doing for pure enjoyment and relaxation.


    Physical fitness and proper nutrition are important aspects of my life because they help ensure my mind and body can balance the daily stress I encounter. Thus, I enjoy cooking healthy vegetarian meals and jogging and I was recently introduced to the training discipline of parkour.


    Urban gardening is an activity I have done since I was very young. My family has always had outdoor planters around the house growing a variety of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. With the beautiful weather of South Florida, I get to spend my time growing these delicious foods for my family year-round.


    Photography is a passion my brother, Jaral, and I share. We were fortunate to be selected for the inaugural HistoryMiami Museum Youth Photography Fellowship, where we honed our skills under the tutelage of award-winning photographer, Woosler Delisfort, and had our photography showcased in the museum's online Youth Photography exhibition. Woosler continues to mentor us to this day, advancing our ability to communicate compelling visual stories through the lens of a camera. 


    Creatively speaking, there are not many things that I do not enjoy. From painting to sewing, ceramics to ironwork, I like it all. But, my absolute favorite free time activity is crocheting. I could spend hours on end creating fabulous items out of colorful balls of yarn. I find it to be a great way to relieve stress, and most of the time, I give away my creations to family members, friends, and schoolmates as random acts of kindness. 




  • As a high school student with lots of different personal interests, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of afterschool organizations, many of which I have been involved in since my sophomore year of high school (2021).


    Because of my love for creating art, I joined the Perez Art Museum (PAMM) Teen Art Council (PTAC). Comprised of only 12 selected high school students from throughout Miami-Dade County, PTAC is a teen-led, museum-facilitated program for youth interested in all things creative. PTAC members help fulfill PAMM's mission to encourage everyone to see art as an incentive for genuine human interaction, communication, and exchange. Through ambassadorship, mentorship, and teen advocacy, PTAC members creatively interpret and respond to art to engage local and global teen audiences. PTAC provides a safe and fun environment for teens that is full of possibilities for self-exploration and learning.


    Protecting the environment is another one of my interests. So, I joined the Miami Waterkeeper Junior Ambassador Program. This program allows its members to gain an understanding of issues impacting our local waters, receive training for civic engagement and advocacy as well as share knowledge learned with those in our community. This program helps students become versed in the complex relationship between social, environmental, governmental, and economic issues that are central to cultivating a culture of environmental awareness and advocacy in South Florida.


    I am also firmly committed to performing acts of service and volunteerism that benefit those in my community. This was the motivation for me to become a member of The Children's Trust of Miami-Dade Youth Advisory Committee. The mission of this program is to nurture the next generation of diverse change-makers by providing valuable life experiences that foster essential character traits – responsibility, creativity, optimism, and grit – which create positive change within each student, their respective communities, and county-wide.


    The program that has had the greatest impact in helping me be the person I am today is Breakthrough Miami, which I entered in 5th grade. Breakthrough Miami is an 8-year, year-round academic enrichment and professional development program that creates a rigorous and vibrant learning community for underserved and underrepresented students in 5th through 12th grade across South Florida. Now that I'm in high school, I have entered the Breakthrough “U” program, which is held at the University of Miami and focuses on college preparation and career exploration.


    On a national level, I have also had the opportunity to represent the state of Florida as a member of the 2023 Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador Program - advocating on behalf of afterschool programs for all youth - and the 2023 STEM Next Opportunity Fund Million Girls Moonshot "Flight Crew" - encouraging STEM careers for girls.




  • My goal is to utilize my years of academic preparation along with my experience gained from serving as an agent of change within Miami-Dade County to successfully pursue a college degree program whereby I can combine my passion for creative design with my strong interest in the fields of STEM and environmental sustainability.


    Currently, I am focusing my academic efforts in two specific areas of study; sustainable design and development as well as sustainable agriculture. In the future, I hope to build innovative environmentally sustainable habitats here on Earth and - one day - in outer space. I believe my participation in projects like the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and NASA sponsored Grow Beyond Earth® program will help me achieve this accomplishment.


    Ultimately, I want my career to have a positive impact on our global community.