The winners of this year’s Summer Break Student Photo Contest

Summer is a great time to relax but also to stretch yourself and try something new! Our student-news site Propeller  asked students to send in photos of what they did on their summer break, and it seemed like a consistent theme in the photos we got was students challenging themselves mentally and physically. Check out some of the award-winners below.

The Superman Award

Our contest winner, Sean Palomino, is a Music Production student and won a $20 Amazon gift card in our random drawing. Congratulations, Sean! We’re also bestowing on him the (unofficial) Superman Award because of his amazing zip line adventure:

“My father-in-law took me to Orocovis, Puerto Rico to ride ‘The Beast’ zip line at Toro Verde,” wrote Palomino. “It’s touted as the world’s longest single run zip line at 4,745 feet long and 850 feet high. I pretty much flew like Superman from one mountain to another. Although I was supposed to reach a speed of 60 mph, I didn’t make it all the way to the end, and had to pull myself with a safety rope.”

The Evel Knievel Award

We gave the Evel Knievel Award to Digital Cinematography student Hernan Wohlfeiler for his daredevil tendencies with his 2011 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide motorcycle. While Hernan isn’t crazy enough to jump over buses or the Grand Canyon, he likes to test his reflexes against tight turns, like one stretch through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, known as “The Tail of the Dragon.”

“This summer I took a motorcycle ride from my home in Miramar, FL to the mountains in Tennessee,” wrote Hernan. “I rode 2,065 miles in 3 days, back and forth. It was an awesome experience riding through the mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee. This photo was taken up in the mountains in Tennessee in the Tail of The Dragon, 318 curves in 11 miles!”

Hernan said he often rides the 300-mile stretch from Miramar to Key West and back, and he doesn’t mind the heat or rain. “I just love the road on my motorcycle and the adventure that could come with it,” he wrote. “My next long trip that I’m planning is to ride to California; of course I need more time for that one.”

The Why-Would-You-Jump-Out-of-a-Perfectly-Good-Plane? Award

Why should video game characters have all the fun? Game Development student David Demko decided that he would kick his real life adventures up a notch by jumping out of a plane. Take that, Mario.

“Immediately after landing in Orange County, New York, my friend Ty and I set out to Gardiner, New York to go skydiving,” he wrote. “It was both our first time going. I don’t remember how the idea to go came up, but we had been set on going for a little over a month in advance. It was easily one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life. There is just something liberating about jumping out of a plane at 10,000+ feet, nothing can really compare to it.”

The Muddy Philanthropist Award

Adventure doesn’t have to mean risking your life. It can simply mean getting outside of your comfort zone, especially when there’s a satisfying reward at the end. Music Business student Anthony Gilkes did just that by participating in the “Warrior Dash,” a muddy, 5K run littered with obstacles. His registration fee went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for cancer research.

“I can’t stand getting my fingers dirty for a second. You can ask my mom,” Anthony bravely admitted to us. “But to raise money to make kids’ lives better, GET ME DIRTY ANYTIME! These children have to suffer through so much just to have a few minutes of quality life. I am blessed to be very healthy. It is only right to help out.”

Anthony points out that if he can do it, anybody can: “I was so out of shape and could barely run or climb walls. Knowing that at the end of the race that my efforts contributed to the research of making their lives better motivated me to get through. I would do it again, and I am. Find one in your area! You can do it!”

The Concrete Jungle Explorer Award

Everybody knows New York City is a jungle. Creative Writing for Entertainment bachelor’s student Sebastian Rojas explored the wilds of the Big Apple with his classmate Pedro Medina.

“We spent our whole summer break in New York, capturing footage for a business project we have in mind that we want to pitch to a television network,” wrote Rojas. “Overall, it was a productive and exciting trip, full of business and pleasure. We saw all the major landmarks, parks, and museums; I chose the picture of our view because we were on the 41st floor overlooking 42nd street which was a pretty captivating sight (especially because I’m afraid of heights)!”
Thanks to everyone who participated and sent in photos!