May 2018


1.  SERAAH LATALLADI, seventh grade, Howard D. McMillan :

After the recent school tragedies, “if you see something, say something” has become the motto the Miami-Dade County Public School District and superintendent use to remind students to be vigilant. Seraah took note and reported that there were two students talking about bringing knives to school to take revenge on another student who had fought and beat up their friend recently. Administration was able to search the student who was present at school and to use the help of the resource officers to be ready for the absent student after school. A big tragedy was possibly prevented. On the school front, Seraah has finished her seventh grade Carnegie Mathia Software curriculum and she also does the right thing by helping others move along with their Carnegie curriculum. Seraah is also an iPrep student. Thank you to Seraah for speaking up about a potentially dangerous situation.

2.  GABRIEL MORGALO, third grade, Cypress K-8:

Gabriel came forward to report students who were going into another student’s backpack to steal. Gabriel displayed honesty, integrity, and excellent citizenship. An act like that should not go unnoticed. His courage to do the right thing is to be commended.

3.  DAZZLYN RODRIGUEZ, seventh grade, Howard D. McMillan MS:

Dazzlyn also followed the “See Something, Say Something” motto. Along with Seraah, Dazzlyn overheard the two students speak about bringing knives to the school to exert revenge after a one-on-one, no-weapons fight. She alerted administration and the administrators immediately searched one the two would-be instigators. The second student did not show up for school, so the administrators contacted the school police so they were ready for any after-school incident. Although that is enough to earn this nomination, Dazzlyn is also a good friend, doing the right thing by her friends and teachers day in and day out.

4.  JULIETH RODRIGUEZ,  fourth grade, Somerset City Arts Academy:

Julieth is an Honor Roll student who is responsible, kind, and always ready to learn. She is a new student who was a victim of bullying at her old school. After noticing that another student was getting picked on, Julieth advocated for the student who was scared to tell the teacher what was going on. Not only does Julieth speak out for others, she also participates in various community groups for autism. This cause is very close to her heart because her older brother is autistic. Julieth has been making a daily effort to abide by the principles of kindness and compassion, even repeating the Wonders movie quote, “When choosing between being right and being kind, always choose kind.” Julieth is doing the right thing each and every day by making a difference in our world!

5.  CRISTIAN ROLDAN, eleventh grade, Booker T. Washington Senior, Washington, D.C. Trip Winner:

Cristian was driving home one evening from tutoring another student in math when he encountered an accident in which a man had a severed leg and was bleeding to death. Cristian stopped his car and began to assist the victim who is a Miami-Dade Water and Sewer employee by taking off his belt and applying a temporary tourniquet to stop him from further bleeding. This action ended up saving this man’s life. Cristian visited the man, who is a father and a husband, in the hospital, and says it was an extremely emotional and satisfying experience for both of them. In addition, Cristian is a straight A student in the demanding Engineering Magnet Program, taking all AP and dual enrollment classes. He is also the president of the Math Honor Society, vice president of the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Club, captain of the volleyball team, and a nationally ranked kicker for the football team. He plays five musical instruments and stays after school to tutor his peers in math and physics. Cristian’s future plans are to play college football at his first choice, Stanford then go on to medical school to become a doctor. Cristian is an amazing role model who did the right thing in a life or death situation.

6.  MADELYN ROSALES, third grade, Miami Park Elementary, Rapids Water Park Trip Winner:

Madelyn is a cancer survivor but she does not let that define her. Determined to succeed, she conquered the third grade by demonstrating mastery of all academic subjects. Madelyn demonstrated her academic excellence by scoring a perfect score on her 2018 Florida Standards Assessment English Language Arts test, one of only two students to score at Level 5. Besides being an extraordinary student, she is also a well-behaved, kindhearted friend. Throughout this school year, Madelyn has befriended various new students who were nervous about starting a new school. She has helped transition students who were new to the United States by translating their needs to the teacher and vice versa. She even teaches them English words. Madelyn is a quiet humble soul destined for greatness. She is already making her imprint in the world as she exemplifies the true definition of intelligence, integrity, honesty, obedience, and kindness and is a true role model to her peers. Madelyn demonstrates a positive attitude even when she’s not feeling 100 percent. She never lets what she can’t do stop her from doing what she can do. Because of her challenging work and dedication, Madelyn has truly excelled academically this school year. Outside of school Madelyn loves to play soccer with her older brother and likes to teach her younger brother new things. Madelyn is a true example of not letting your health keep you from doing anything and is a true hero to all who know her.

7.  YAEL STERENFELD, eleventh grade, School for Advanced Studies:

Throughout Yael’s academic experience, she has displayed a passion for writing. She has also always been an active participant in community events and availed herself of opportunities like being named as a Scholastic Silver Key winner for poetry as well as getting published in teen magazines. Because of her love for writing, Yael decided to begin a project called “Writing Our Wrongs” this past January. Her objective was to work with troubled teens in our community who have been affected by gun violence. Since that time, Yael has been volunteering weekly at the PACE Center For Girls where she tries to inspire underprivileged and at-risk teenagers through the art of journaling. Through research, Yael was able to discover that writing thoughts and feelings down truly helps the soul, especially those in conflict and discomfort. Many of these girls have witnessed gun violence in their community even if their families have not been directly affected. However, most of them know a friend or relative who has been killed in the last few years. Although Yael knows that her ability to pass legislation regarding the problem of gun violence is limited, she feels that she can make a direct contribution to healing the trauma of teenage girls who have been impacted by this issue through “Writing our Wrongs.” Through the short time that Yael has volunteered at PACE Center for Girls, she has grown to truly admire the girls who go there. Each of them has a story worth sharing, and a heart worth acknowledging. Yael states that though “I teach them many useful life skills and lessons regarding what it means to be a teenage girl in our society today, they have taught me more than I could ever imagine.”

8.  JAVIER VALLADARES, fifth grade, Dr.William A. Chapman Elementary:

Recently, Javier was in the counselor’s officer waiting for dismissal along with another student who is in Pre-Kindergarten. In the Assistant Principal’s office, an EBD (Emotional Behavioral Disorder) student got very violent and aggressive. Immediately Javier sheltered the Pre-K student and told him not to go anywhere. He closed the counselor’s door in order to keep the younger student and himself safe. His reaction was both unselfish and mature. Javier demonstrated leadership qualities when faced with a dangerous situation that was truly amazing to witness.

9.  ANTONIO VENTO, second grade, Brucie Ball Educational Center:

Antonio is a smart and enthusiastic young man. He is in the Hospital Homebound Program due to his condition of Epidermolysis Bullosa or EB. EB is an inherited connective tissue disease that causes blisters on the skin and mucosal membranes. This year his health condition has taken a toll on him. His skin has webbed together so much that he lost the use of his only functioning finger, his thumb. He also lost all but two percent of his eye sight. Aside from all of these turbulences, Antonio has managed to maintain high spirits in school and at home. He is happy to have class and listens to reading comprehension stories. He enjoys doing hands on activities for science. He is a true inspiration to all that when things get tough you just keep on going with a smile.