Miami Senior Embodies Perseverance, Academic Brilliance

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He’s the lead attorney on his school’s mock trial team, but that’s just the starting point to describe Gerbenn Seraphin, the big man on campus at Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial High School.

“Everybody in this school knows him and they want to be like him because they know he’s gonna do great things,” said one of Gerbenn’s classmates, Enoch Jean-Mary.

He’s already doing great things at school and in the community. Gerbenn is involved in so many activities and clubs, we don’t have space here to list all of them. From National Honor Society to FPSA, to the debate team to Science Honor Society, to SECME to the environmental club, to volunteering with Breakthrough Miami. He also plays football for Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School, since his school doesn’t have sports, and by the way, he’s taken so many AP and dual enrollment courses that he’s getting his AA degree and high school diploma simultaneously this year.

“Education is key because coming from the ghetto that’s something that’s very difficult on a daily basis,” Gerbenn explained.

“Gerbenn is one of the best I’ve ever seen, I have great expectations for him and I have no doubt that he’s gonna fulfill them,” said Jennifer Brown, Gerbenn’s law teacher.

When you see Gerbenn deliver a closing argument in the mock trial class, you see a young man who looks and sounds the part, but the road to get to this point has been long and grueling for this young man.

“There were several times where I was homeless, no place to stay, but like, just fighting, just constantly fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, working hard,” Gerbenn said.

Gerbenn worked and focused on his future through all the turmoil, including the time he witnessed a family friend murdered in the park as he played basketball.

“Those are events that like, it really gets you, and I feel like for you to be great, those are the events, people passing away and stuff, that’s where you have to rise above and beyond and become a great role model,” Gerbenn said.

He focuses on mentoring kids, through Big Brothers and Big Sisters, because he knows where they’re coming from. But his friends in high school say Gerbenn inspires them, too.

“He’s very dedicated so it pushes me to be a little more dedicated, too,” said Adrian Rodriguez-Diaz, a classmate.

“He’s inspired me in so many ways, he’s inspired me to take so much harder classes, he’s inspired me to take dual enrollment,” added classmate Camila Quintanilla.

Gerbenn says he relaxes by creating raps and beats for kids, through the Music Solutions Lab program.

“We make music for kids, we talk about making music without cursing, just positive vibes, you talk about how you feel but you don’t have to curse in it,” Gerbenn said.

No matter what he’s going through at home, Gerbenn is positive all the time.

He’s already been accepted to UF and to FSU, and he’s waiting to hear from Duke. After college, you might find Gerbenn in law school, which is made all the more remarkable by this fact: Gerbenn will be the first in his immediate family to even graduate from high school.


1 Fort Lauderdale

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