Miami High News

The Amazing Amaya Napoles

Amaya played Mercutia, Romeo's bestfriend, in FIU's The R+J Effect.

Amaya played Mercutia, Romeo's bestfriend, in FIU's The R+J Effect.

Amaya played Mercutia, Romeo's bestfriend, in FIU's The R+J Effect.

By Jasmine Ortega, Editor-in-Chief

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She’s funny, free-spirited, and dedicated. She’s a top student in drama. She stands up for what she believes in, and as a member of the LGBT community, Amaya Napoles is a self-encouraged and proud young woman with many goals in life.


The Romeo and Juliet Effect

   At the beginning of the year, drama teacher Ms. Cote announced that there would be auditions at school for a play led by FIU theatre director, Phillip Church. “Naturally, I was intrigued by the play,” said Amaya. “It was a Romeo and Juliet play against gun violence, so I auditioned and got the part.”

The play is a very urban, modernized version of Romeo and Juliet with some Shakespearean language. In the play, Amaya plays Mercutia, the level-headed protector of Romeo. The play has the same plot line, the Montagues versus the Capulets, but in The R+J Effect, it’s more gang versus gang and staged as if in Miami.

Amaya performed in three shows on May 2nd, 5th, and the 18th. During the summer, Amaya will go on tour with The R+J Effect to four different cities.

One of Amaya’s hopes is that everyone who watches the play realizes that gun-control is a very serious problem. “I believe that people don’t take guns and gun control as serious as they should,” she said. “It’s like ‘Oh yeah, they have guns,’ ‘Someone got shot, oh well, we’re in Miami.’”

There is a scene in the play where a child is shot dead, and everyone gathers around him with their phone to record him. “I believe t­­his scene in the play drives home the point that there are people who stand around and do nothing,” said Amaya. “I hope this play gets the point across that people should speak up about gun violence. If anyone sees someone with a gun who means to do harm, speak up. They can save a life.”

Amaya feels as if she shouldn’t have to worry about being scared at night, having to tuck her chain into her shirt, or be on the lookout in fear of having someone with a gun threaten her.

Although Amaya loves the spot light, having been hired to act as well as model, she feels that acting is more of a hobby in her life right now. She said, “It’s not something I would want to make a career out of, simply because I don’t believe I’ll be able to put my heart and soul into it.”


From Cav to Sting

     Growing up, she attended Auburndale Elementary School, Kinloch Park Middle School, and even went to Coral Gables Senior High for her freshman year. “I transferred to Miami High because when I was at Gables, the IB program just wasn’t for me,” said Amaya. “I remember my first day at MHS and loving the ambience. I felt genuinely happy here,” she said.

Amaya has 3.3 weighted GPA and is the Service VP of the oldest club at Miami High, Honoria. She is a member of Thespians and Gay Straight Alliance. She is involved with the Band’s Color Guard and was even a cheerleader at the end of her sophomore year through her junior year.

Her favorite classes in high school were her science classes. “My favorite science teacher actually taught at Gables,” she said. “Her name was Ms. Molina, but if I had to pick a teacher from this school, it’d definitely be Mr. Rivera. He’s super cool.” Other teachers that she rates high are Ms. Rivero, Ms. Wilcox, Ms. DeVillegas, Ms. Armas and especially Ms. Puentes.


Hope and Dreams

After graduation, Amaya plans on attending Miami-Dade. “As for right now, I want to stay home, but later I want to try to go to FSU,” she said. “When I got accepted to FSU, I was so excited to leave home, but now when I think about it, I get homesick.”

Amaya hopes to become a pharmacist and wants to enroll in a program at Miami-Dade that can make her a pharmacy tech in just three years and get an AA in psychology.

In five years, Amaya sees herself anywhere but Miami. “I envision myself studying and working to become who I want to be,” she said.

Her family is happy and loving. “I grew up very pampered and spoiled, but I was taught to be humble,” she said. As for her future family, Amaya says she wants to have three children. She wishes to carry her own daughter, have her partner carry a child, and adopt her third child.


Self-Empowered Amaya

Amaya is an agnostic. “I don’t believe in religion, but I do believe in a higher power,” she said. She is most grateful for finally being able to reassess life, situations, and people.

If possible, Amaya said she would even be more happy with life if she was more satisfied with herself than she already is. “I’m at the point of my life where I realize that self-empowerment and self-love is the most important thing,” she said. “I love myself a lot, but I feel as if I had the ability to be 110% confident in myself, that’d be great.”

Amaya Napoles was born a Taurus in Monaco, Cuba, on May 20th 1998. Her father is originally from Santos Suarez and her mom is from Monaco. Although she was born in Cuba, she came to Miami when she was 18 months old.

Amaya’s favorite color is pink, and she loves writing, reading, and reciting poetry. Her favorite show is South of Nowhere (2006) and movie is A Turtle’s Tale (2010). Oddly enough, Amaya loves every kind of food except fries.


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About the Writer
Jasmine Ortega, Editor-in-Chief
Jasmin is a senior and the Editor in Chief of the Miami High Times and is currently in Journalism 4 Honors. Honors Awarded: Outstanding New Journalist Award  2013-2014 Most Outstanding Journalist Award  2014-2015 Excellence in Writing Award  2015-2016
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