From left to right: Shaggion Milligan, Neil Fagan, Tamar Mendel, and Ariel Harris
(Credit: Julie Shillington)
Welcome Manta Freshmen! It seems like just a few weeks ago it was the opening of our brand new school! On August 18, MAST@FIU welcomed back previous alumni along with the incoming class of 2018. 100 9th grade students were added to our growing Manta Ray family, along with four new faculty members.
Although the 9th graders are fresh out of middle school, they are being welcomed into a unique high school experience taken place in a college campus. When interviewed on their opinion of being part of a high school in the campus of FIU, David Pichardo and Alexandra Etiemne both agreed it was a “fascinating experience” attending high school on a college campus. “It’s different, we’re getting prepared and exposed to a college lifestyle.” David mentions. “It’s a great opportunity, I’m able to get an advancement in my academic career.” 9th grader, Henry Mieles, says about his future. While on campus, students have the opportunities to collaborate with FIU professors and students in addition to taking college level courses. These advantages are helpful in leading all of our students to college success.
This year is much different for the freshman compared to those who were here the previous year. The inaugural class had to work out the kinks and feel out the new environment to pave the way for the incoming classes. Activities clubs and other organizations started by the original freshmen, are still up and running for the new 9th graders to participate in and continue leading. Although there are existing clubs, most students are still hoping for the most popular demand; SPORTS! “I’m an athletic person, I’d want us to have a sports team.” Freshman athlete, Alexandra, tells us.
This year’s freshmen have four more years of knowledge, fun, and opportunities to take advantage of while being at MAST@FIU. The year of 2018, the graduating year of current freshmen, could seem like a life time away, but some students already see themselves walking the stage with their diploma in hand. “At the time of graduation, I want to graduate with many college credits to save time in my college years. I want to graduate being more focused in my career, Marine Biology.” Maia Koffman shares about her future.
Welcome Manta Ray Class of 2018, we are all looking forward to having a Mantastic year!