On November 22, 2013, Soraya toured the Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial High School in Miami, Florida as part of her listening tour of the different career and technical schools that exist and can be used as models for the Virgin Islands. This school is touted to be the first of its kind in which a public school system has partnered with a city's police department to offer students studies for a law enforcement career. It has been in existence for 4 years and has an enrollment of approximately 350 students. The classes center on law studies, law enforcement and forensic studies. Twenty three careers are associated with the program, ranging from careers with the FBI and DEA to latent/fingerprint examiner and medical examiner. The vision of the school is to "provide an educational environment that meets the needs of all students while promoting university and career pathways."Continue reading
On The Trail
Notes from the trail.
On November 22, 2013, Soraya also toured William Turner Technical Arts High School in Miami, Florida as part of her listening tour of the different career and technical schools that exist and can be used as models for the U. S. Virgin Islands. This school has seven academies or fields of study for high school students: criminal justice; entertainment technology; finance; information technology and entrepreneurship; medical science; urban construction management technology and urban planning architecture; and veterinary science and agricultural technology. The goal of each academy is to prepare and direct students into careers in a specific field. For example, the academy of veterinary science and agricultural technology has 28 career paths listed, from an animal scientist to a water quality specialist and an environmental engineer. This high school has over 2,000 students. Soraya specifically saw classrooms in veterinary sciences, agricultural technology, and moot court.Continue reading
On November 19, 2013, Soraya met with a group of over 20 junior high school girls at Adelita Cancryn Junior High School on St. Thomas in support of their "Girl Power" initiative. She spoke to them about respecting themselves and developing self confidence. Drawing from her own experiences as a woman, lawyer, judge, and mother, she encouraged them to work hard in school; to set goals; and to plan for their future. The girls asked many questions, ranging from different aspects of the law to relationships.
"When I was growing up, I always searched for good role models. I enjoy speaking to and interacting with students, both girls and boys. My diverse background and life experiences bring unique perspectives for them to consider and learn from", Soraya said.Continue reading
The National Park Service’s Presentation of “Imagining the Possibilities - Restoration of Salt River’s Batey” on St. Croix on November 15, 2013
On November 15, 2013, Soraya attended the National Park Service's opening night presentation of "Imagining the Possibilities – Restoring Salt River's Batey (Ceremonial Ballcourt and Dance Plaza)" at Salt River on St. Croix. The exhibition and installation were developed and curated by Opal Palmer Adisa with renowned Crucian artist Brian Bishop and Sara Lee Hayes. Dr. David Goldstein, who is an anthropologist and chief of interpretation and education for the three National Park Units on St. Croix, gave an introduction. The special guest speaker was Dr. William Keegan from the University of Florida who spoke about his thesis "Columbus was a Cannibal: Myth and the First Encounter." Additionally, Maekiaphan Phillips, a woman of Ameridian-Taino ancestry, spoke about the cultural and historical contributions of Indigenous Americans.Continue reading
Soraya attended the 30th Annual Coral Reef Task Force Meeting at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix on November 15th . Governor John deJongh hosted the event. In attendance were the Governors of the Territory of Guam, Eddiel Baza Calvo, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Eloy S. Inos; the Lt. Governor of American Samoa, Lenanu P. Mauga; a representative of the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Don Hess; a representative of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii, William Aila; the Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources for Puerto Rico, Carmen Guerrero Perez; and many representatives of various agencies of the federal government, including Eileen Sobeck, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior. The task force seeks to preserve and protect all coral reef ecosystems by consensus and cooperation.Continue reading