Clayton DeTant, a student at Miami Palmetto High School, spent nearly two months this summer at Harvard, taking undergraduate courses in business law and writing literature.
“I love it,” he says. “I’ve always been interested in business and economics, but deep down I’ve always been a writer. I want to be a business lawyer.”
He loves classes but that doesn’t mean the summer session was without challenges.
He was in Cambridge from 17th June and his last day was 4th August.
“It was an amazing experience,” he says.
And while he admires the hallowed halls of Harvard University, he’s also happy to walk the same halls at Palmetto as the students who became astronauts, the surgeon generals, and Kitangi Brown Jackson who is now a respected justice of the US Supreme Court.
“Seeing that they can succeed and thrive after receiving a satisfactory education in Palmetto gives me hope that I can, too,” he says. “I also seek to continue this history of inclusivity and acceptance of all individuals, to make sure that everyone feels individually represented.”
As student council president, he works to create events for minority students.
“To make sure that everyone is represented and accepted equally in our community and especially in our school,” he says. “I am Haitian-American. Growing up in such a privileged culture has allowed me to embrace my identity. I would like others to have that ability.”
Last year he was the Student Engagement Chair in the Student Council.
“I was responsible for organizing events in Palmetto to increase student participation,” he says.
His leadership style made him notice problems and look for solutions to those problems.
“Whatever the problem is in my school or in my community, I will do my best to solve it,” he says.
His interest in equality and equal justice led him to become a member of the Amnesty International Club. He says the club strives to fight local injustices.
“We organize passionate marches and protests at our school, in addition to organizing events for students to make sure that their voices and opinions are heard, no matter how big or small,” he says.
Detant is the president of DECA so he is in charge of the school’s business program.
“It’s for students who are passionate about pursuing careers in hospitality or business management,” he says.
His community service is diverse.
“I’m the public relations coordinator for a volunteer organization in Miami,” he says. “I help in any way I can. We are reaching out to local Miami organizations that need volunteers.
DeTant says Volunteer Miami is a good resource for students of all ages who either need volunteer hours or simply because they need them to apply to college.
“And that’s what I’m most passionate about,” he says. “I love making a positive impact on my community.”
Detant volunteers at Camp Unbeatables at Evelyn Greer Park in Pinecrest. The camp teaches children financial, social and mathematical skills.
“Being a counselor and being able to mentor kids really makes me feel like I’m doing my part to help the leaders of future generations,” he says.
His list of colleges includes Harvard University, Duke University, University of California, University of Florida, and Florida State University. His goal is to become a business lawyer, but his major may include not only business, but also political science.
Linda Rodriguez Burnfield
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