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Students Featured in 20 Under 20

Posted: 1/9/2019

We are proud to announce that three Upper School students are featured in Atlanta InTown's 20 Under 20. Senior Regina Munoz is an honoree, and William Schulman and Christian Rubio made their honorable mention list. The Reporter Newspaper also does a 20 Under 20 which will feature senior Cynthia Liao as an honoree. This article has yet to be published.

For her Girl Scout Gold Award, Regina Munoz chose to address problems with self-image and self-esteem in young Latina girls. She created the program En La Amistad Nos Encontramos, or In Friendship We Stand, that offered 12 classes to middle-school-aged girls, focused on health, beauty, and professional development. Regina went to the Hispanic Services Foundation to pass out flyers and spread her program through word-of-mouth. She reached 15 girls who regularly attended her classes.

Regina recruited guest speakers to help the classes, female experts in business, health, diet, exercise, and beauty. Guests included a business woman, yoga instructor, dietician, and dermatologist. Her goal was to create an environment where the girls could gain more confidence and make friends while learning how to feel good about themselves. “I know that you can’t change [problems with self-image] overnight,” said Regina, “but I wanted to do something to diffuse it in the Latina community.”

“This program was personal to me, since I belong to the Latina community. I know how hard it can be, especially for young girls at schools, not having friends can be really lonely and can lead someone down the wrong path.”

Regina made a lasting impact on these girls that was unexpected. “The girls were really shy at first, but by the end of the program, they were telling me everything!” She held a party at the end of the program where two of the girls opened up to her about their struggles. “One girl told me she had been having suicidal thoughts at the start of the program, and now she doesn’t feel that way anymore. Another girl who had worn long sleeves in the beginning to cover her self-harm started to wear short sleeves by the end of the program. You could see her scars, but they were healing. She wasn’t self-harming anymore.”

Although the program has ended, Regina hopes to pass it down to someone at HSP when she graduates. She hopes that En La Amistad Nos Encontramos will continue to provide a community for young Latina girls to grow in confidence and friendship.
 


 

This past summer, Cynthia Liao held an art exhibit entitled “To Seek” in her hometown Shenzhen, China to support the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). With the help of her friend Christina, who lives in Boston, the two curated the exhibit with their own work, paintings and photographs with themes of nature and wildlife. By selling prints on postcards and bookmarks, Cynthia raised $1,000 for WWF.

The idea for an art exhibit to support WWF stemmed from her frequent visits to the Atlanta zoo, a place she feels is “personally important to [her] for inspiration.” She’s gone to the zoo with her art class and on her own to take pictures of the animals, to then study the photos and paint the animals. She wanted to give back to the nature and animals that are essential to her art.

Also this past summer, Cynthia interned in Beijing with the China Architecture Design and Research group to create a design guideline for the Beijing waterfront, taking into consideration the surrounding ecosystems and communities. She also attended a summer program at Cornell called Making a Difference through Design, a three-week program where she visited hospitals and assisted living facilities to analyze their operating systems in a design thinking lens. In her final project, she created a design for a shower spa for those who cannot shower by themselves.

Cynthia wants to pursue a career in City Planning or Landscape Architecture.
 


 

William Schulman and Christian Rubio dedicate an hour of their time every Sunday to facilitate their Classics Club at Centro Catolico, a subsect of Holy Spirit Catholic Church that serves the Latino communities in Sandy Springs. William has served as a leader of this club since its inception in 2015, while Christian joined a year after. The two teach about Latin and Greek language, mythology, and culture to 10-15 students age 4-15 years old.

William was a part of the HSP Classics Club starting in 4th grade and fell in love with Latin and Greek mythology. “I love that I can share what I learned as a kid with other kids,” explained William. “I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that these kids wouldn’t have access to this knowledge without this club.” One of William’s favorite sessions was when he used the second half to play bingo. “It was a fun way to make sure the kids were paying attention!”

William and Christian bring candy or snacks and play games with the kids while also forming relationships. “Getting to know the kids is probably the best part of all of this,” reflected Christian.