One of the best aspects of writing a story “on assignment” is when it’s filled with unexpected surprises. This is one of those stories. – Terri Lynn
Future Role Models
All of her life, Ani Foti, 13, has been exposed to the restaurant business. Her parents, Vincent and Maria Foti, own the popular restaurant, kitchenetta, in Ft. Lauderdale.
Ani loves the business so much that now she helps her parents at the restaurant making cappuccino and espresso on weekends. In addition to being focused, hard-working and a loving daughter, Ani, is very active at her school.
A few weeks ago, Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso, a big fan of their pizza, was having dinner at kitchenetta. Ani went up to his table and introduced herself. They struck up a conversation and the teenager asked him if he would like to attend St. Anthony Catholic School Academic and Career Fair. To her amazement, he said yes!
On Tuesday, May 24, Kiko arrived at the school gymnasium and was greeted by a cheering crowd of junior high school students, their parents and the school’s faculty.
Like a gifted ambassador, Ani introduced Kiko to her classmates and teachers. She then guided him on a detailed tour of incredible science projects that the students had all been working on.
Editorial Note: It’s been a long time since we have visited a Junior High School. It was a privilege to be surrounded by 100+ young adults who are brilliant, polite, respectful and full of life. If the students at St. Anthony Catholic School are any indication of the future we are all in good hands. If we had the authority we would award blue ribbons to Fr. Michael Grady, Pastor and school principal, Terry Maus, for the exceptional young people they are inspiring.
The science projects of 2016 are a whole lot different from when I went to school. The students were told to identify a problem and come up with a solution. The “problem” and the “solution” could not be available via Google. The result was a mind boggling array of science projects worthy of a NASA exhibition.
Categories included science, medical, criminal justice, engineering, finance and statistics, health and fitness, invention and new creation, language arts, religion and visual and performing arts.
The school principal, Terry Maus, called out the names of the winners in each category and Kiko handed them ribbons. Congrats to Miss Foti on her second place award for her religion project.
After the awards event, students posed for pictures and took selfies with Kiko.
The school is very impressed with the young Foti’s initiative. Her homeroom teacher Mrs. Cerrone is amazed. “Your daughter is going to run the world one day,” she told Maria Foti.