Senior Grace Urbita Takes On the School Board Administration


Courtesy of Grace Urbita

Senior Grace Urbita poses with Principal Mr. Ullivarri, School Board Member Mari Tere Rojas and others at her SYIP internship.

While returning back to the school system over the summer may seem like a humorous joke for some students, for Cavalier Grace Urbita, the classroom is her second home. Starting an internship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools where she worked for Mari Tere Rojas at the School Board Administration Building, Urbita got a full understanding of what it means to be an educator. 

During her junior year, Urbita enrolled in the Summer Youth Internship Program, still unsure of where she wanted to intern. Fortunately for her, Urbita was personally contacted by Coral Gables Senior High’s assistant principal and former teaching academy leader, Ms. Leyte-Vidal, who was seeking a student for Principal Ullivarri since the SBAB had requested a student who would be interested in interning for them. 

“I was hesitant [about accepting the internship position] due to nervousness but Ms. Leyte and Ms. Santamaria helped reassure me that it was going to be an amazing experience and that it would be worth it in the future,” senior Grace Urbita said.

While interning for District 6, Urbita was responsible for greeting constituents by phone and educating herself on the district’s schools and personnel. During the internship, she was tasked with assisting those who manage monthly newsletters, social media and community outreach. As she worked alongside the Chief of Staff, she was able to share her knowledge on Instagram’s different functions and how they could increase their viewers on posts.

Everything makes her stand out as a student…She is responsible, hard working, a model student and a pleasure to have in class.

— Ms. Santamaria

A couple of Urbita’s colleagues and supervisors made sure she felt included by taking her to meetings, events and school sites. However, not all of the interactions with her coworkers were smooth sailing. Communicating efficiently with some of the directors of the program in the building proved to be a struggle, since they did not come off as the most approachable or welcoming. Having a second job along with the internship also proved to be a challenge, however, one she was able to overcome. 

“They treated me like I was a part of their office and if I was treated like a student, they would try to show that I wasn’t just any student,” senior Grace Urbita said.

Although the internship was educational in many ways, one of the most crucial things Urbita learned was to create new goals every week and successfully follow through with them. One goal she worked on was Rojas’ Back to School Bookbag and Supply Giveaway. Calling different companies for donations, filling book bags and making PowerPoints all went into this commendable effort. Additionally, she experienced how organized and alert one has to be to become a board member, that adaptability and efficiency are imperative in a professional environment. 

“I think the most memorable moment for me was when they showed me how excited they were to have me in the office and to just include me in everything,” senior Grace Urbita said.

Submerging herself into the field of education, Urbita’s internship aligned perfectly with her aspirations of becoming a teacher and eventually an administrator. She recommends this internship to other Cavaliers considering it, especially if teaching is their passion. Although becoming a School Board Member might not be in the near future for Urbita, this is just the beginning of the countless teaching opportunities that will surely impact her future career.