Over 1,000 nominations have been narrowed down to three. The winner will be named Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas’ godmother.
The criteria for consideration was an educator across South Florida who is inspiring the next generation to dream big, think differently, and challenge the status quo.
On October 24, one finalist will be named the winner, and honored as godmother of Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest and most innovative cruise ship, during an official naming ceremony to be held November 10. The South Florida-based cruise line also will award a $25,000 grant to the winner's school or non-profit organization.
The three educators chosen as finalists are:
Brittany Affolter: Manager, Teacher Leadership Development, Teach for America Miami-Dade
After leaving an unhealthy home life, Affolter attended college and became an educator. Currently she trains teachers at 14 low-income schools in Miami-Dade County, serving over 500 children. In her spare time, she tutors her former students, is working to become a mentor for foster children, and completing her masters in educational leadership. Affolter has started the first after-school robotics and coding program at her schools, and has helped her students write a book about making the world a better place, which received attention from the White House and Miami Dolphins.
Katherine O'Fallon: Magnet Coordinator, New River Middle School
Since 2006, O’Fallon has been teaching middle school students marine biology. She has exposed her students to environmental issues, what they can do to protect their habitat, and encourages her students to get involved in their communities. In addition to her students, O’Fallon has gathered parents, faculty, and community members to participate in coastal clean-ups. Additionally, she organizes a variety of activities for the children, including snorkeling trips in Fort Lauderdale and the Keys, shark-tagging with Nova Southeastern University, and trips to local state parks. One of her newest and most innovative projects is the school's remotely operated vehicles (ROV) program, where students can learn about both the marine life and engineering.
Anike Sakariyawo: Physical Science Teacher at Miami Norland Senior High School
Sakariyawo has taught various grade levels for over 13 years, and is currently a physical science teacher for ninth graders at Miami Norland Senior High School. She has founded Seeking Education Empowers Knowledge (SEEK), a non-profit that aims to empower teens, parents, teachers, and the community. SEEK serves over 1,000 at-risk youth with unique programming such as digital literacy, robotics, coding, electricity basics, and how to create a product and a business plan. Sakariyawo hosts the Get Hip & Fit Fair on Miami Beach for over 500 kids, and volunteers to feed and clothe the homeless.
For information on Harmony of the Seas, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com.