Intern profile: Hali Gutierrez March 24, 2016

When she’s not in class at South Plantation High School or working at MIASF or West Marine, 12th-grader Hali Gutierrez can be found participating in her school’s Marine Science Club, doing waterway and beach cleanups, releasing sea turtles, going out on her family’s 17’ Bayliner and fishing or scuba diving.

Hali will celebrate one year at MIASF in April, when she will also compete in her 6th Plywood Regatta, which she first did as a 6th-grader at New River Middle School. Her teams have won Most Spirited with New River Middle School, and in high school they came in 2nd place the last three years.

“Nova’s got some good rowers,” she said. She is not usually one of her team’s two rowers, but “they’re making me race this year though.” To prepare, she and her teammates are building a practice boat prior to the event and are practicing rowing in the canals behind their houses.

As usual, her mom will be accompanying her at the Plywood Regatta, as she does at all the various waterway cleanups, boat shows and other events Hali volunteers or works at. “She loves to volunteer,” Hali said. Hail says she volunteers because “if I don’t do it, who would?”

“Someone has to pick up the trash, otherwise it will keep building up and people won’t want to come to Florida, because we’re known for our beaches and we won’t make any money if they’re full of trash.”

Hali graduates on June 9 and is going to study nursing, but she plans to continue to volunteer with MIASF, along with her mom.

In addition to her dad and brother, Hali and her mom also live with a menagerie of pets, including 3 dogs, 2 cats, an iguana, a bearded dragon, 2 turtles, a 350-lb. pot-bellied pig, 2 parakeets, a boa constrictor and a rat.

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Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733