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MEET OUR ANGELS​

RAYTRAVIS JONES​

Michael Aller Memorial Scholarship
Supported by Miami Beach Pride in Partnership with Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Raytravis Jones is a Black, gay man originally from Homestead, FL who is studying nursing at Miami-Dade College. Asked to describe himself, Raytravis says he is dedicated, caring, and hard-working. He is always eager to learn new and exciting things. Hands-on, collaborative, and ambitious are words used to describe him. He's apart of the honors society at Miami Dade College and has been nominated and awarded the position of Vice President of Fellowship. He has gained acceptance into the School of Nursing.

 

He is also recognized in Miami Dade County's Foster and Adoptive Association for being apart of an organizations whose goal is to change the community and foster love and stability into the lives of our at risk children. He mentors children with trauma related to sex trafficking, as well as, children in care that are LGTBQ.

 

His academic interests and goals include researching effective ways to stop the spread of HIV in vulnerable communities and becoming a Nurse practitioner to educate the community about the importance to health and to take preventative measure to maintain a health life by making better choice with better informed knowledge.

JULIANA BETANCES​

Nathalie is a Miami native of Colombian and Cuban descent. She was born in Miami but lived in Colombia for three years before moving back to her hometown at nine years old. She attends Miami Dade College. In high school, she became invested in understanding why voters support certain politicians. Because of this, she decided to study Sociology.

 

During her time at Miami Dade College, she made the first LGBTQ club on her campus, Queer Collective. Since she was a kid, she was shamed for being queer due to the nature of her conservative household. She was raised on the idea of being gay being wrong. Nathalie understood her identity at 13 years old but struggled with self-acceptance until her first year in college. For this reason, Nathalie decided to hold a safe space at her own school. Through her club, she has worked with organizations such as SAVE LGBT and Planned Parenthood to elevate the voices of queer youth like her.

 

She is passionate about climate action, LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, racial equity, and workers’ rights. Nathalie plans to transfer to an out-of-state university and study International Relations. Once she graduates, she plans to continue her work in activism and work alongside non-profit organizations.

CINDY MESA​

Cindy Mesa is a Latina, bisexual woman from Opa Locka, FL studying photographic technology at Miami-Dade College. Cindy makes sure to keep herself  involved in her community by participating in as many volunteer programs as she can, such as the Employee Volunteer Group for Wells Fargo where she’s been a distinguished member since 2020. Having participated in events such as tree planting around town, home constructions for families who suffered natural disasters, & food drives. She captures the raw emotion behind these events by taking her camera on the go & photographing the volunteers in action. Cindy is also currently working on receiving her certificate as a Crisis Counselor for The Trevor Project, a LGBTQ+ crisis hotline.

 

Even with all this she still finds time to pursue her hobbies of painting & sketching/creating clothing pieces. Cindy created a sculpture out of recycled materials which was awarded & placed in an exhibition inside of a museum. With her love for everything artistic she hopes to include more of this into her work for the future. Cindy is currently working on receiving her certification for Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator. With this she can incorporate her drawing skills into her photos & further develop her ideas into real life projects.

 

Her number one dream is to travel many countries & have the chance to capture photographs of the Seven Wonders of World, especially the Northern lights.

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NATHALIE SALADRIGAS​

Nathalie is a Miami native of Colombian and Cuban descent. She was born in Miami but lived in Colombia for three years before moving back to her hometown at nine years old. She attends Miami Dade College. In high school, she became invested in understanding why voters support certain politicians. Because of this, she decided to study Sociology.

 

During her time at Miami Dade College, she made the first LGBTQ club on her campus, Queer Collective. Since she was a kid, she was shamed for being queer due to the nature of her conservative household. She was raised on the idea of being gay being wrong. Nathalie understood her identity at 13 years old but struggled with self-acceptance until her first year in college. For this reason, Nathalie decided to hold a safe space at her own school. Through her club, she has worked with organizations such as SAVE LGBT and Planned Parenthood to elevate the voices of queer youth like her.

 

She is passionate about climate action, LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, racial equity, and workers’ rights. Nathalie plans to transfer to an out-of-state university and study International Relations. Once she graduates, she plans to continue her work in activism and work alongside non-profit organizations.

MANUEL FARIA

Manuel S. Faria was born in Caracas, Venezuela, to a family of immigrants from Maderia, Portugal. He has more recently become an immigrant himself, having moved from Caracas to Miami with the intention of finishing his secondary education and ultimately starting college. Currently, he is pursuing an A.A. in Biology within The Honors Program at Miami Dade College, hoping to transfer to a selective institution. At MDC, he is involved with Planned Parenthood, the STEM Student Association, and Model United Nations, where he serves as a student leader in each.

 

His ultimate goal, however, is to become a board-certified psychiatrist with a private practice that mostly serves low-income families. He is passionate about mental health, sustainability, and social equity. Besides science, Manuel is also deeply interested in economics, sexuality studies, and art history – all of which he loves to read about! If you ever see him, don’t be afraid to approach him, ask him a question, and enjoy a short conversation – he loves to make friends and connect with other people.

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KENMEL GUZMAN​

Kenmel Guzman is a STEM AA major at Miami Dade College. Originally from Honduras, Guzman moved to the United States in 2010. He graduated from Coral Gables Senior High School in the top 30 percent of his class.

After graduating from Miami Dade College, Kenmel plans to transfer to a four-year accredited university to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology before pursuing a doctorate in medicine. Aside from his academics, he is a devoted student leader, partakes in extracurricular activities and volunteers around campus. He is a senator and newly elected president of the Student Government Association, as well as a member of the honorary Phi Theta Kappa chapter at Miami Dade College.

 

Kenmel’s well-rounded individualism, attention to detail and excellent communication skills differentiates him from others. Outside of school, you can find Kenmel at an art gallery as he is fascinated by the visual arts. He also indulges himself in the world of literature, historical dramas and novellas. He loves playing volleyball and cooking. Kenmel believes optimism is a happiness magnet; if he maintains a positive and happy outlook, good people and good things will find him.

JOSE ARANGO

Jose Arango was born and raised in Medellín, Colombia. When he was a high schooler in Colombia, homophobic bullies harrassed him after discovering his relationship with another student. However, he turned it into a growing experience that helped him acquire a profound sense of justice and the desire to help other queer Latinx students.

Jose moved to the United States at age 17 and found an opportunity to be open about his sexuality. Although he initially lived in California, he relocated to Florida where he enrolled in college. He is the co-vice president of The Pride Club at Miami Dade College Wolfson campus and actively coordinates and participates in events for LGBTQ+ youth. Jose hopes to transfer to a four-year university, major in business administration, and with the help of his twin brother, start their own business.

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DAFFODYLE SAGET

Daffodyle Saget was born in Haiti. At age 5, her family emigrated to the United States so they could provide her with more opportunities. As she grew up, she soon learned that access to those opportunities was not easy and that her race, class, sex and sexuality would become barriers and burdens.

She felt isolated in her predominantly white schools, humiliated by her financial circumstances, lacking in her femininity and upon realizing her bisexuality, ashamed. The treatment she received from her peers, family, church and society took a toll on her. She internalized that negativity, and it started to affect her grades and social interactions. With the help of an observant counselor, she was able to overcome her depression and become brave enough to get involved in her school GSA and become more active in the LGBTQ+ community.

Daffodyle took a year off after graduating high school. That year, she officially came out and gave back, traveling to Haiti to work at an orphanage whose children she was able to relate to and pass the baton of healing. She later enrolled at Miami Dade College to study sociology. Daffodyle wants to examine the barriers she and others face and educate others on these issues using multiple platforms and focusing on social issues by making documentaries, creating art installations and putting these issues into context in films and novels.

Tremaine Jones

A native of Miami, Florida, Tremaine “Trey” Jones identifies as an Afro-Bahamian American Queer. He recognized his queerness at age 5; however, due to his Catholic and Episcopalian background and Bahamian heritage, he believed that exploring his queerness was not a possibility. Due to his supportive mother and sister, Trey was able to explore his queerness and support his community.

 

After graduating high school, he organized an effort to end the criminalization of youth of color in Miami with Power U Center for Social Change. Active in the community, Trey is involved with organizations that provide support groups for LGBTQ+ youth in shelters. He also coordinates events for gay, bisexual and queer men of color, and co-created a summer-long social justice leadership institute for youth.

Trey is a past board member of the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth. He has also collaborated with the Miami-Dade Department of Health’s Miami Collaborative, PrEP Workgroup and Black Health Initiative.  In his free time, Trey enjoys taking care of his godson, rollerblading and practicing the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira.

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ONE CHANCE.

ONE HEART.

ONE WORLD.

ONE LOVE.

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