Friends and Neighbors: Celebrating ‘International Day of the Girl’

In recognition of the 2014 International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11, we congratulate Alexandra and other teen girls who are making a difference.

Girl Up is a United Nations Foundation Organization that helps to empower girls to raise funds and awareness for adolescent girls’ education, health and safety in developing countries. It is for girls, by girls, Alexandra said. The group has teamed up with many celebrities, including teen singer Victoria Justice and actress Monique Coleman.

Through her hard work, Alexandra was named a national Teen Advisor. She has attended Girl Up Leadership Summits in Washington, D.C., the past two summers.

At home, she said, her club’s success was due to its relationship with Charles Schwab brokerage service. In 2013 the women in the Coral Gables branch began a women-in-investing series, and Schwab’s Sande Taylor helped with the screening of Girl Risingand a silent auction. The efforts raised more than $4,000, including a $2,500 Schwab donation to Girl Up.

Alexandra has also been involved in the South Florida coalition of Girl Up Clubs and has held a Zumba fundraiser, yoga class, bake sales, and a spinning event held at Body & Soul. In March she said she contacted the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and was able to start communications with an all-girls school in Lege T’afo.

Through this connection Carrollton School students wrote letters to the girls in Ethiopia reminding them of how much potential they have.

“Girl Up is something that has become an integral part of my life. I believe every girl has potential and, with an education, she can become the next president of her country or doctor to find a cure for a disease,” Alexandra said.

For more on how to get involved, visit www.girlup.org.

THE GIRL PRINT

More teens inspiring girls at home and around the world include four friends from Our Lady of Lourdes Academy: Daniela Bond, Karina Fernandez, Isabel Gonzalez and Maria (Gabby) Rodriguez.

Together they started The Girl Print and they will host the International Day of the Girl Charity Bazaar, 12-5 p.m., Oct. 12 at Tropical Park Stadium, 7900 SW 40th St. The event will include vendors selling art, crafts, clothes, jewelry and homemade delicacies as well as feature food, music and entertainment.

The purpose of the bazaar is to raise funds and awareness for Girl Up’s worldwide programs that help in the education, health and safety of adolescent girls. Admission is $5.

The friends started The Girl Print nonprofit as a way to encourage their peers to help young women in our communities and around the world. Their first project in 2013 raised enough funds to donate 10 bags of school supplies to Lotus House Shelter for women. After that early success, the teens took on more projects to encourage other girls to become involved.

For more contact thegirlprint@gmail.com or connect on social media at facebook.com/thegirlprint; on Twitter @girlprint; and on Instagram @thegirlprint

HUNGER AWARENESS NIGHT

The public is invited to meet guests from Feeding South Florida and the Kosher Food Bank at this year’s festival of Sukkot, Feast of Booths, at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Bet Shira Congregation, 7500 SW 120th St. The mission of this special evening is to spread awareness about the blessing of food and the good deed of helping feed others less fortunate.

Admission is free. Just bring a non-perishable food item as a donation to the food banks.

Also scheduled for the evening is a screening of A Place at the Table, the award-winning documentary that tells the stories of three Americans struggling to find food for themselves and their children. According to the film, 50 million people — one in four children — don’t know where their next meal will come from.

Organizers of the Bet Shira event hope to spread awareness about hunger and the fragility of life and the earth. To learn more visit http://www.takepart.com/place-at-the-table, http://feedingsouthflorida.org/, and http://jcsfl.org/programs/kosher-food-bank/

WOMEN’S DAY LUNCH

New York Times bestselling author Gail Sheehy will share her memoir, Daring: My Passages, Oct. 29 at the Coral Gables Country Club, to talk about the obstacles and opportunities encountered when she dared to blaze a trail in a “man’s world.”

The Women’s Day Luncheon is one of the highlights of the 34th annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival and is an event that sells out each year.

Marcy Levitt, Alper JCC Director of Literary and Performing Arts, and Cheryl Rosen, who has chaired the luncheon for the past 14 years, are working with a festival committee determined to keep 400 women, and some men, entertained for the day.

Reservations are required. Tickets are $60, and $65 after Oct. 15. Call 305-271-9000, ext. 268. The festival begins Oct. 20. For more on events visit www.alperjcc.org/artsculture/book-festival.

STUDENT CONTEST

Public and private middle school students interested in photography are invited to enter the Zoolens Photography Project hosted by Mercantil Commercebank in a partnership with Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida.

The monthlong creative competition was developed in 2010 to foster wildlife appreciation and awareness. Students are encouraged to photograph their favorite Zoo Miami animal and enter their best work for the chance to win $2,000.

The 2014 project will run through Oct. 31.

At 10 a.m., Oct. 18, Nikon will join Mercantil Commercebank to host a special event at Zoo Miami. A group of students, up to 40, will be allowed to use digital Nikon photography equipment during their visit and memory cards to keep. The first 20 students in line also will join Ron Magill —Nikon Ambassador, Zoo Miami’s director of communications and noted wildlife photographer — for a behind-the-scenes tram tour.

At 11 a.m., the group will join other attendees to hear about animal experiences and wildlife photography tips. Representatives from Pitman Photo Supply will attend with gift certificates for either two free 12”x18” enlargements or 100 free 4”x6” prints.

Awards will be announced Dec. 11. To learn more about the special event, contest guidelines and how to submit a photograph by the deadline of 5 p.m., Oct. 31 visit www.Zoolens.com.

DONATIONS NEEDED

Help is needed for a school-supply drive for Homestead’s Neva King Cooper Educational Center, a Miami-Dade County school for students with severe challenges and disabilities in grades PreK-12.

Items needed include: hand sanitizers, paper towels, diapers for ages three to adult, crayons, index cards, glue sticks, notebooks, colored pencils and more. The Diverse Student Organization at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus is sponsoring the effort.

The deadline is Oct. 22. Items may be dropped off at the ACCESS and Disabilities Department at the Kendall Campus in room 2121. For more contact Nicole Perard, sponsor of the DSO at NPerard@mdc.edu or DSOMdcKendall@gmail.com.

DADELAND PINECREST ROTARY

The Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland Pinecrest will host Circuit Judges Nushin Sayfie and Jennifer Bailey at its meeting, 7:30-8:30 a.m., Oct. 14 at Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Blvd., for a discussion on “The Need for a New Courthouse in Miami.” On Oct. 28, Trish Ramsey, education director of the Melissa Institute, will talk about, “Stopping Gun Violence.”

The Club’s professionals and business executives who reside and/or work in the Kendall/Pinecrest area meet every other Tuesday morning. For more contact Howard Horowitz at 786-346-6661 or hhtheman@yahoo.com, or Ron Lieberman at 305-613-6744 or miamilawyr@gmail.com.