Two South Florida teens have found a way to defend human rights with action that transcends borders.
Congratulations to Adrian E. Sanchez and Joshua Strauss who were honored with a Leadership in Human Rights Initiative award by Fundación Colombiana de Servicios Comunitarios in conjunction with B’nai B’rith of South Florida for their groundbreaking work in Latin America.
Honors students at Don Soffer Aventura High School and David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Adrian and Joshua began their journey when they were chosen as representatives to commemorate the historic Eightieth Anniversary of the Salvation of the Jews of Bulgaria in Sofia.
From there they started “Small actions, Big impact,” a fundraising campaign to help underprivileged families in Bogotá, Colombia.
Their hope is that more high school students will be inspired to participate in collecting and organizing donations, fostering a culture of empathy and community engagement among the younger generation.
“This honor isn’t ours alone. It belongs to all our teenage friends and all the people joining our efforts, from my school’s principal Dr. McKee and Joshua’s school community to Officer Mike, Aventura Cares, and our entire community,” Adrian said.
“It was so heartwarming to see how many people were willing to help. Truth is, we worked hard to help as many people as we could. We didn’t even think for a minute that we could be awarded anything. We are incredibly humbled for the award and what was even more fulfilling was to see the smiles on the faces of the people we helped, especially the kids.
“Human rights are a birthright, not a privilege, and every person deserves to live with dignity and hope,” Adrian said.
Joshua said the effort also honors the people in vulnerable zones in Colombia who became their “teachers of strength.”
“The award was a testament to our shared commitment. The goal here is to help when we can. It is the right thing to do and the most beautiful feeling to see when it is accomplished,” Joshua said.
“We truly have amazing mentors at B’nai B’rith of South Florida and also the Colombian Foundation of Community Services that support us. Together, we’ve awakened a beacon of hope that will illuminate many futures.”
CEREMONY FOR NEW HEALING PLACE NOV. 19
The Miami Chapter of The Compassionate Friends will host a dedication and candle-lighting ceremony at the new Place of Remembrance at Tropical Park, 1-3 p.m., Nov. 19, Shelter 11, 7900 SW 40 St.
This is a tranquil spot where anyone who has lost a loved one can visit to reflect, remember, find peace and joy, and heal. Miami Chapter members have created the place in honor of their children and grandchildren, and the siblings of those who died too young.
RSVP to the “We Need Not Walk Alone” dedication ceremony at MiamiTCF@gmail.com or call 305-460-5762. Bereaved families all over the world have been receiving support through The Compassionate Friends for 40 years. Learn more at https://www.compassionatefriends.org/
CONTEST OPEN TO YOUNG PIANISTS
The deadline is Nov. 17 for pianists under age 18 to enter Orchestra Miami’s search for soloists in its performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals” at Zoo Miami.
In addition to performance opportunities with Orchestra Miami, each pianist will receive a $500 cash prize.
The first round of the competition is by video entry. The final round will take place the week after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27- Dec. 1 with the location and date/time to be announced.
Pianists must enter as a duo. To submit a video for consideration, entrants can upload a video to YouTube, or another file-sharing site, and send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org who can also answer any questions about the event.
NILO CRUZ PLAY EXPLORES 1970 CUBA
The final performance of a four-day run of Pulitzer Prize-winning Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz’s “Un Parque en mi casa” will be 5 p.m., Nov. 12 at Miami-Dade County Auditorium’s On.Stage Black Box (OSBB), 2901 W. Flagler St.
The semi-autobiographical story is presented in a new Spanish-language version with English translations.
This is one of Cruz’s earliest works and is an exploration of family, faith, and politics. Set in 1970 Cuba, the story is about a family awaiting the arrival of a Russian international exchange student. The characters struggle with a divided country and an uncertain future while trying to meet the objectives of Castro’s “Ten Million Tons of Sugar” harvest.
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