October 2019


1. KASSIDY BARRY, third grade, Colonial Drive Elementary:
Kassidy experienced an unfortunate event at her school last year when she was pushed down and hit her head on a bench. The child that was involved then held Kassidy down and told her not to tell what had happened. Kassidy fell unconscious, her brain swelled, and she went into a coma. She spent weeks in the hospital before being able to return to home. Kassidy then developed pneumonia and severe asthma. She became disillusioned with going back to school so her parents transferred her to a new school. Sadly, a few weeks ago, Kassidy and a classmate were disrespected by a boy with vulgar language. Kassidy had the courage to come forward and the boy was disciplined. She decided to engage the boy in conversation and has shown him that he can “do the right thing.” Even with all she has been through, Kassidy still sees the kindness in people and always helps others. While it takes Kassidy longer to process information and she still needs to see specialist due to her injury, she continues to persevere and remains positive. Thanks Kassidy for doing the right thing!

2. NOAH CABALLERO, fourth grade, Air Base K-8, Rapids Water Park Trip Winner:
Noah is a courteous, empathetic, and intellectual child with a thirst for scientific knowledge about animals and their environment. Noah researched that panthers in Florida are endangered. Wanting to raise awareness about the plight of the panther, he created a rubber bracelet that reads “Save the Florida Panther!” Once the bracelets were produced, he sold them for a dollar at church, at school, and in the community. Everyone in his class became more environmentally sensitive to this endangered animal. The money that was raised was donated to the Defenders of Wildlife, an organization that researches, tags, and conserves the Florida panther populations in order to keep a natural and healthy balance in the wild. Noah proves that one child can make a significant difference.

3. AIDEN CARDENAS, twelfth grade, Hialeah Gardens Senior, Washington, D.C. Trip Winner:
Aiden aspires to be a judge and has partnered with his school’s Law Academy to create a simulated court room. He helped raise $20,000 by meeting with community partners, political dignitaries, and non-profit organizations. Aiden was the first student at his school to do a summer internship with the mayor of Hialeah Gardens who has committed to partner with his school and continue providing internship opportunities. Being a top student in the Academy of Law Studies, Aiden has also won numerous prestigious awards including the student Attorney Award for the Florida Bar’s 2019 Moot Court in Tallahassee. A National Honor Society recipient, he has maintained a constant Honor Roll status since kindergarten while successfully taking rigorous comprehensive college courses in high school. His care and concern for others is evident when he spearheaded a soap drive at school for the Bahamas Hurricane Relief and collected over 600 bars of soap. Aiden has dedicated over 200 community hours tutoring middle school students in Civics. He has also participated in walks and events to raise money for worthy causes. An active athlete, he is a member of the swim and water polo teams throughout his four years of high school. Aiden has continuously demonstrated pride and dedication to his community and is a young man who truly does the right thing.

4. TRAVIS GETTINGER, eighth grade, Palmetto Middle:
Travis is not just your average eighth grade student with good grades and class conduct. He is the student that others look to for guidance and leadership. For the past few months, Travis has been collecting dental hygiene products to send to those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. He saw the devastation the hurricane had caused and wanted to help. He named his project “Bringing Smiles All Around, One Dental Bag at a Time.” Travis has been working tirelessly putting up posters and encouraging over 1,000 students to also participate in the challenge to do the right thing and donate to the cause. He has currently collected over 400 items and is still working to achieve his goal of 1,000 items for the Bahamas. Travis is definitely an amazing role model who does the right thing.

5. KYARA MUNOZ, fourth grade, Brucie Ball Educational Center:
For the past three years, Kyara has been battling Obliterative Bronchiolitis, a disease that affects her lungs. She is currently waiting for a lung transplant and is on oxygen 24 hours a day. Kyara is an amazing student with great grades and is always eager to learn. Because of her condition, she cannot go to school or do other activities which could expose her to germs that could make her sick. Despite her daily struggles and obstacles, Kyara remains positive and enjoys making others happy. She loves to make videos to send to others and enjoys drawing. Because of her illness, Kyara’s mother must be home with her at all times. She had to quit her job and money is a struggle. Kyara took it upon herself to bake cupcakes and sell them to help her mother with the finances. She receives treatment at Shands Hospital in Gainesville and being away from home calls for extra expenses. With Kyara’s cupcake sales, she’s been able to help pay for some of the costs. Kyara is a very special young lady and deserves to be recognized for doing the right thing in spite of adversity.

6. BRIANNA NUNEZ, sixth grade, Hialeah Gardens Middle:
Brianna is a new student at her school. In September she saw a presentation by her counselor as well the school’s peer counselors on “Start With Hello” and “See Something Say Something.” Brianna’s kind heart was immediately touched and her spirit ignited. Since then, Brianna has sought assistance for two different friends who were doing self-harm. Brianna explains that she doesn’t understand why anyone would harm themselves but she also understands that she is not in their shoes. All she knows is that her friends needed help and she was going to make sure they got it. Due to this intervention, Brianna decided to be a peer counselor in order to help other students. Academically, Brianna is on her way to Principals Honor Roll for the first quarter. Brianna is truly deserving of the Do The Right Thing award.

7. ANGELINA QUINTERO, twelfth grade, School for Advanced Studies:
Angelina initiated a service project over the past year called “Miranda Miracles” in honor of her Grandma Miranda who passed away. Through this project, Angelina helps needy people in the South Dade area. From collecting toys for homeless children to a Fun Friday Bingo night at a nursing home, Angelina is doing the right thing. She recently went to Nicaragua and delivered supplies to poor people in that country. Angelina is an excellent student graduating with a GPA of 4.85. She is an officer in her school’s Pre-Med Club as well as a member of the National Honor Society and the Multicultural Club. Angelina has also achieved Principal’s Honor Roll on multiple occasions. Her efforts both in school and in the community are truly commendable.

8. MICHELLE ROCHA, seventh grade and 9. SAINA SOROUSHIANI, seventh grade, Frank C. Martin K-8:
Michelle and Saina are both kind, thoughtful, and caring young ladies. Michelle along with Saina came to the counselor to report that they were concerned about a friend. They were aware that the friend had been having suicidal thoughts and had reported it earlier, but they were extremely concerned as someone had carved “suicide is an option” in the girl’s bathroom mirror. The girls immediately reported it as their friend had seen the message and thought it might really be an option. Thanks to Michelle and Saina’s intervention their friend received the help she needed and they potentially saved a life. We need more students like these amazing young ladies who are not afraid to speak up.

10. TYISHA THOMPSON, eighth grade, Myrtle Grove K-8:
Tyisha showed great leadership and quick thinking when she observed a first grader playing with a box cutter. She immediately went to security and luckily no injuries occurred. Tyisha is on the Safety Patrol and a model student. She is always on task and sets an example for the younger
students at her school. Tyisha always strives to “do the right thing.”