Politicare Comes to Gables!


Lilliana Bonner

Students listen to one of the several seminars that occurred as part of the Politicare event organized by Gables PACE.

On Mar. 14, Gables’ Political Activism and Civic Engagement (PACE) held its first-ever Politicare. With the intention of educating the student body on topics relating to mental and physical health, PACE invited speakers and fitness experts to teach the student body.

A lot of planning went into the event, from making the banners to creating the schedules. The PACE board members and their sponsor, Nattacha Lezcano, worked tirelessly to make sure every last detail was taken care of. Securing the volunteers for the event was also an important part, as the PACE board wanted someone who would be able to tie in health and politics together and still capture the attention of the students. The event was separated into three one-hour sessions, with one session consisting of a 30-minute informative speech and a 30-minute ‘fun’ session. Each full session had a theme that was sustained throughout the informative and fun parts.

To kick off the event, guest speaker and nutritionist Gabriela Alfonso spoke on the importance of making conscientious dietary decisions. As the sports nutritionist at Florida International University, she has a lot of experience when it came to working with people regardless of their age and fitness level. Her energy kept the audience alive, and her presentation included an interactive aspect as to really connect the audience to what she was saying. She answered the audience’s questions with enthusiasm, and everyone was able to learn something new. After sitting down for a while, the students were then able to engage in a beginners kickboxing class led by Melanie Baez, an instructor who does classes all around Miami. She taught the students the basics and led the high energy class by moving to the beat of the music.

The second session began with a motivational and insightful speech by Scott Galamore, a psychologist who focused on the path to success. Galamore spoke on the importance of mindfulness in a hectic world, and how staying true to yourself will lead to results. An emphasis was placed on speaking your world into existence, or bringing positive aspirations to life by believing they can become reality. Following the inspirational speech, the PACE board led an activity relating to political correctness and the importance of being careful with your wording. Words relating to mental and physical health were discussed, and how to be politically correct when attempting to describe certain scenarios was the main theme.

“The speaker proved a great opportunity to reflect upon what I, myself, am doing to pursue a positive mindset through life. The political correctness session was entertaining but equally informative,” sophomore Chloe Grant said.

After a brief lunch break, the third and final portion of the event began. The theme of this session was mindfulness and how to manage time in high school. Life coach Loubna Noureddin emphasized the importance of organizing your priorities and scheduling your obligations in a way that gives you time to do what you would like. Noureddin used examples of people she had worked with previously and cited them as an example of how one simple change can help you in all aspects of life. To wrap up the mindfulness session, yoga instructor Virginia Ansaldi led the students through yoga basics to reinforce the importance of mindfulness that has been previously taught. Between the stretches and different poses, Ansaldi connected what Noureddin said with physical movements. Now, more concentrated than ever, the students left the auditorium energized about getting organized in their lives.

“Putting on the first ever Politicare was such a great experience. Through all the hard work, we were able to make our dream a reality and I could not be prouder. I am hopeful that next year we will come back with equally great sessions and hopefully PACE is able to organize more events in the future,” freshman Jana Faour said.

The PACE board was satisfied in knowing that their hard work had payed off, and hopes to come back next year with an even stronger Politicare. They hope to be able to further allow discussion of topics that are relevant to the student body and be able to help the community, one piece of advice at a time.