February 2019


1.  ANASTASIA CARRILLO, fifth grade, & 2. CHRISTINA HAMILTON, fifth grade, Henry S. West Laboratory School:

Anastasia and her classmate Christina saw a group of students who were hurting another student during recess. There were many other witnesses to the incident who did nothing. However, Anastasia and her Christina decided to do the right thing and protect the student being hurt. They told an adult who stopped the inappropriateness and ensured everyone’s safety. Their school is proud of the girl’s actions and for protecting their classmate.

3.  ISABELLA FAEDO, seventh grade, Hialeah Gardens Middle, Washington, D.C. Trip Winner:

Since the first grade, Isabella has excelled in school by achieving the Principal’s Honor Roll. Outside of school, she also remains very active always looking for ways to give back to her community participating in events such as the Live Like Bella Foundation Walkathon to raise funds for pediatric cancer, the Breast Cancer Awareness walk, and Wear Pink Day at school, just to name a few. Isabella is also an exceptional dancer who has attended various academies since the age of four and competes in numerous championships. Isa has made numerous friendships thru dance, and has created a sisterhood and inseparable bond with many of her team mates. However, Isabella experienced early on a devastating loss when in third grade, a fellow dancer Breanna collapsed at practice and passed away. Later it was discovered that she had a congenital heart condition that had ended her life, and as a result, the Breanna Vergara Foundation was created. Isabella has made it her mission to become involved in every way possible, and she actively participates in health fairs, seeks donations for AED machines, attends and performs at volunteer dinners, you name it. At school, Isabella is also an active member of the DFYIT Club where she serves as Peer Counselor and has done classroom presentations on the topics of drugs, alcohol, bullying, depression, cyber safety, “Say Something…,” and kindness, just to name a few. She’s also a member of the Castaway Club, Law Academy, American Sign Language Club, Cross Country, and Track & Field teams. Isa also happens to be a “twin.” At home she selflessly dedicates her time to helping her fraternal twin brother who has suffered and overcome various physical impediments since birth. Assisting him with everything from homework, to therapies, to feeding him, she has been an angel to her brother. Striving to always do good for others, in and out of school, it is no surprise that Isa plans to become a medical doctor and specialize in pediatrics.

4.  SOPHIA FULTON, fourth grade, Air Base K-8, Rapids Water Park Trip Winner:

Sophia has been a role model, inspiration, and servant to her community since her arrival from England at the beginning of the school year. Sophia arrived from England with her father who is stationed nearby at the Homestead Air Reserve Base. Instead of being overwhelmed by the move, she decided to embrace it. Each and every day Sophia is a role model to her classmates. She shares her school supplies, encourages her classmates, and brings a bright sunny attitude which spreads to other students. During the United Way and food drive campaigns at her school, Sophia was the first to donate and challenged and encouraged her classmates to do the same.  Sophia is also involved in the community. While she was traveling over Thanksgiving break, her family passed through an area devastated by Hurricane Michael. They pulled off the road and met an individual who was organizing a toy drive for Christmas for the students effected by the storm. Sophia’s parents got the name and address of the coordinator in Panama City. On her way home, Sophia immediately knew what she wanted to do to help. She gathered big boxes and had her father get permission to do a toy drive on the base. Sophia also went to her school’s administration to get permission to do a toy and school supply drive at the school. Sophia worked quickly because of the short amount of time until Christmas. Through her tireless efforts, boxes and boxes of toys and school supplies were gathered and sorted. Right before Christmas the boxes were sent by mail and received in Panama City. Sophia said she never felt so happy inside. Everyone at her school is so proud of her and her shining example of “doing the right thing” each and every day.

5.  ALEJANDRO GALLEGOS, fifth grade, Miami Heights Elementary:

Alejandro is receiving a Do The Right Thing award for his quick response in helping a friend. Alejandro received a text message and pictures from a peer who stated that she wanted to hurt herself. Alejandro kept the other student on the phone until she promised not to do anything to herself. The next morning, he ran to his homeroom teacher to inform her of the messages and pictures he had received. Due to his quick reaction, the other student was able to see the school counselor and receive the help that she needed. Alejandro did the right thing by seeking help from a trusted adult in order to seek assistance for his friend.

6.  DEYANA HANSON, fourth grade, Colonial Drive Elementary:

Deyana is a remarkable, caring student who goes above and beyond for her school, family, and community. Deyana was concerned for the homeless at a nearby supermarket and felt sad for their plight. Deyana made it her project to feed these persons last Thanksgiving and at Christmas. Deyana helped cook food and filled containers. Deyana still searches for those in need because it is something she wants to do on Sundays after church with her Nana. Deyana is also a Girl Scout and was selling cookies. A man said he only had a dollar, so Deyana told the man she would pay for the rest. Deyana hopes to be a nurse and to that end has taken great strides in the well-being of loved ones. Last year, when Deyana’s cousin was in intensive care and remained in the hospital for two weeks, Deyana helped to comfort and take care of her cousin. Deyana also takes care of her grandparents. For the past few years, Deyana won’t let her grandfather walk alone because of his diabetic condition and she helps give him his insulin shot. Deyana has also learned how to cook for the family. Additionally, Deyana has an uncle that is mentally challenged. On weekends, her uncle is able to leave his facility and visit with Deyana and her Nana. While staying at their house, Deyana helps with his medications, clothes, and cooking. Deyana always has a warm caring smile and is willing to help those in need.

7.  VALENTINA KULPA, Kindergarten, Academir Charter School West:

Valentina is an outstanding Kindergarten student whose recent brave actions saved a life. She was staying the night at her elderly great aunt and uncle’s house. At about 1 a.m. in the morning, her great uncle became unconscious and her great aunt was very afraid and crying. Valentina, awakened by the situation, remembered the code to unlock her great aunt’s phone and also remembered her mom’s phone number. She called her mom and explained the situation including the severity of her great uncle’s condition. Her mom rushed over to the home, staying on the phone with Valentina the whole time. When she arrived, they immediately called 911 and first responders came to the home. They were able to save Valentina’s great uncle, and assured them that had it not been for her brave actions, her great uncle might not have survived. Valentina is a courageous five year old girl who was responsible enough to know what to do in a scary moment without letting fear take over.

8.  ANGIE LOPEZ-GUTIERREZ, eighth grade, Palm Springs Middle:

In January, Angie received a text message from a friend that was home alone saying she was going to kill herself. Angie immediately sought out the school counselor and reported it. She called her friend many times until she answered the phone. Angie was able to keep her friend on the phone talking and safe while the counselor and administrator worked on contacting her mother and the police. Because of Angie’s quick response in alerting the school counselor and keeping her friend engaged, she was able to save her friend’s life and get her the help that she needed.

9.  AUDRINA RAMOS, fourth grade, Pinecrest Academy South Charter:

Audrina is a student who is always going the extra mile to make sure that she is obtaining the best from her education. Besides that, Audrina is an amazing friend. She is sweet, caring, respectful, and extremely thoughtful. We can constantly see these characteristics being displayed in the classroom, and now she has made her goal to help others in need. With her parent’s permission, she has started her own foundation “The Love People Project.” She is using her heart of gold to help the homeless and others in need with care packages containing snacks, socks, water, hygiene products, and other items. She prepares the packages and writes hand written notes that says: “Just a little note to let you know that you are loved. God bless you, love People.” Audrina goes on the weekends with her family to deliver the care packages to those in need. She has started her own Instagram page where she has motivational quotes, a message board where people can post items to donate, and when she is having meetings. She updates her pages regularly with photos and messages. Audrina has been able to get her family involved and she said it felt really good to see her younger sister show an interest. Audrina has caused such a positive impact that many people are helping her with donations, and others are even letting her know that they are paying it forward because they feel inspired by her. Audrina is also part of the Teachers of Tomorrow, a club where older students help the younger students with reading and they assist the teachers with any classroom needs. Audrina plans to be visiting a homeless shelter with her club to prepare sandwiches and feed the homeless.  Audrina’s school is very proud of her project and didn’t want this opportunity to pass without recognizing her good work.

10.  MALA’KYE SMILEY, eighth grade, Myrtle Grove K-8:

Mala’kye did the right thing by reporting that another student had a weapon on campus and had been making threats. Mala’kye discretely went to the main office and made a report. The administration was called, an investigation conducted and the situation was resolved quickly. The administration is proud of Mala’kye for being unafraid and for his quick thinking to protect the faculty, staff, and students at his school.