IBHS: Building Up the IB Cavalier


Elena Rodriguez

IBHS board members stand alongside their sponsor Ms. Noval (middle) after their first meeting.

Anthony Fajardo, Staff Writer

As the largest magnet at Coral Gables Senior High, the International Baccalaureate program houses over 500 Cavaliers. Characterized by academic rigor and high achieving students, the IB program’s influence does not end when the bell rings. The International Baccalaureate Honors Society is a club that works towards helping IB students gain community service hours and connect with others who are also in the program.

On Oct. 27, IBHS hosted their first meeting after school where they provided general information and introduced the Adopt a Freshman event for the month. The AAF program pairs upperclassmen with freshman and sophomores to slowly introduce them into the IB program as the year progresses. Events for AAF occur every month after or during the club meetings.

“Our main goal of AAF is to get kids to socialize and have fun and kind of relieve stress. Really, I would like for this club to be an outlet for students to relax and have fun and be more positive,” IBHS Club Sponsor Ms. Lauren Noval said.

For the first activity of the year, IBHS organized a “Paint a Pumpkin” event where members decorated their own personal pumpkins that they later passed out to faculty. In November, the board members are planning to host an event where students can bring and eat pies for Thanksgiving.

While future events are not finalized, the club’s main priority is to center activities around promoting positivity and interaction between students.

“Honestly, this club is such a great way to get help from others since we are all going through the same difficulties and processes,” senior Melanie Estrada said.

Besides monthly meetings, IBHS is most popularly known for hosting Bridge For Peace, an annual fundraiser that collects donations for different organizations and charities chosen each year by students. On average, the event centered around international food, dancing and fashion brings in around $10,000 each school year.

In 2020, the club decided on donating the funds from Bridge For Peace to the Asociación Emergencia Ayacucho. After raising money through bake sales in local farmers markets and fundraisers at Chipotle to conduct the event, the club was able to present it at the Coral Gables Museum for Gables students and their families to attend.

“Being in this club for over three years now, I can tell you IBHS is super important as an IB student. When you’re in IB, there are just so many things poured on you like your tests and the stuff you have to prepare for, so it is a great way to meet people in different class levels and get advice from them,” senior Julian Mesa said.

IBHS has reopened its doors with new opportunities for the future. Fostering a family outside of the academic setting, the club has embodied what it means to be a well-rounded IB Cavalier. To stay updated on future IBHS events, follow their Instagram.

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  • At the Adopt-a-Freshman meeting, students were able to bond with upperclassmen mentors while painting.

  • A freshman focuses on making her pumpkin perfect for the community service event.

  • Hard work at the Adopt-A Freshman event payed off with a beautifully-painted pumpkin.

  • A duo of IB students de-stresses by painting a pumpkin for their favorite teacher.

  • This student decided to get creative with her painting and take a hands-on approach.

  • Students had access to all colors of paint to choose from for their pumpkin.

  • Senior Grace Rodriguez holds her final product of the Adopt-a-Freshman meeting.

  • Students let their creativity loose during the first IBHS meeting of the year.

  • Senior Esperanza Barrios adds finishing touches to her pumpkin portrait.

  • Many students worked hard on detailed painted pumpkin designs, straying from the carved-pumpkin norm.