September 2017


1. SABRINA CABRERA, eighth grade, Hialeah Gardens Middle:

Sabrina’s noble heart moves her to make correct choices which positively impact her school, community, and the lives of others. As part of her school’s dance team, she has carried her team to win several national championships. Sabrina is also one of the most valuable players on the Girls Volleyball Team. When not performing as a dancer or athlete, her focus is on her school work where she is a top honors student. When it comes to doing the right thing, she is definitely a hard act to follow. This was most impressively evident on January 29th, 2017 after her school had been vandalized. Sabrina found out through some of her friends who had seen it on social media, that two students from a neighboring school were the culprits. Courageously she shared her insights with administration. Sabrina is also currently the D-FYIT Club Vice President. Taking that role very seriously, she has participated in countless community service projects and done over 100 classroom presentations in the areas of mental health, acceptance and tolerance, drugs, alcohol, bullying, and cyber safety. She also helped spearhead the Live Like Bella Sock-hop and Walk at her school raising $1,500, the Wear Pink Day Walk for breast cancer, and the “Homeless Awareness Day brigade. Sabrina also participates in a yearly food drive for homeless students, collects pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, and collects old cell phones for the Saving Species Project. Sabrina also volunteered with children from the Village South where she brought them gifts and spent the day playing. She was featured on the Start With Hello week school video taking the pledge to make someone happy and helped collect turkeys that were donated to the school for needy youth. This year, Sabrina is involved in a project spearheaded by the Trust Counselor to get formal clothing donated for needy students to attend dances, awards ceremonies, etc. Sabrina is collecting donated shoes, custom jewelry, purses, and formal wear. After taking just one year of American Sign Language Honors, Sabrina spent her entire summer vacation volunteering at a Special Education summer site where she worked with students in the deaf and hard of hearing program and autism. Recently, after Hurricane Irma left her school with uprooted trees and debris, Sabrina, along with a few of her friends, rolled up their sleeves and commenced to work. She handed bottles of water to all the workers and volunteers, leaving the school pristine as usual. Sabrina is always doing the right thing!

2. JASON GARCIA, first grade, Sunset Park Elementary:

During Hurricane Irma, Jason went with his grandmother to help at Killian Senior High which was being used as a shelter. For three days and nights, this little 6-year-old boy worked at the shelter doing whatever was asked of him. He distributed water, helped with the food trays, passed out utensils, served water to the National Guard and never complained once. Jason is an exceptionally caring boy. Instead of being in the comfort of his own home throughout the storm, Jason decided to help others. The world needs more Jason’s who worry about others especially in a time of need.

3. BROOKE GLOVER, seventh grade, Leewood K-8:

Brooke is a gifted student who is involved in countless clubs and organizations. She has been a Girl Scout since Kindergarten and is currently a cadet. She received her Bronze award last year for helping sick children at Nicholas Children’s Hospital. Brooke is part of several clubs at her school, such as, FEA, Glee Club, SCEME and Art Club as well as is involved in softball and now volleyball. Brooke has two younger sisters and has helped them tremendously getting them to and from classes. One sister suffers from anxiety and needs help with morning and after school transitions. Brooke has been instrumental in making sure her sister gets where she needs to go without any hesitation. The past few weeks after the hurricane, Brooke’s helpfulness to others really stood out. Her father who is a police officer was called out during the hurricane to work 24 hour shifts. Brooke took it upon herself to be the mechanically inclined care taker. She made sure that the generator was working properly and turned it off and on when the family needed to turn on the hot water heater or to wash clothes. She also took it upon herself to clean the yard and put back everything that was put up during the storm. Brooke wanted to make sure there was little to nothing her dad needed to do when he returned home. One of the days shortly after the hurricane, Brooke and her sisters were outside riding their bikes when she noticed her two elderly neighbors sitting in their garage. Brooke went over to check on them. When she noticed how hot it was inside she quickly asked why they were in the garage and not inside the house. They told her that they did not have power and their generator was not working. Brooke offered for them to stay at her house and to see if her Dad could fix their generator after work. Brooke took it upon herself to make those arrangements and the neighbors were very grateful for Brooke’s kind act. She also went around to other neighbors making sure everyone was safe and seeing if they needed any kind of help.

4. JAYDA LEE, third grade, Colonial Drive ES:

Jayda got off to a difficult beginning last school year but managed to turn it all around by the end of the year and was named second grade’s Most Improved Student. Month after month, Jayda evolved into a Do The Right Thing student who raised her grades by thinking first and then doing. Jayda also provided students with true friendship especially to anyone who was having difficulties and became a champion to others and a role model. Already this school year, Jayda’s teacher has reported that she has picked up where she left off by leading her class in academics. Last year, Jayda would have reacted negatively if confronted. The first week of school, Jayda was slapped from behind on her head, however, she did not fight back and immediately told her teacher. Jayda also did the right thing by standing up to a bully who was calling her brother names while at a nearby park. Jayda then reported the incident to her coach. At home Jayda completes numerous chores and then looks for homeless people so she can help them. Immediately after Hurricane Irma, Jayda used her chore money and urged her mom to find the people she had seen before Irma to make sure they were all right. Jayda also helps two elderly neighbors with bringing their garbage to the street. She advocates for safe driving with reminders to her family not to text and drive or speed. Jayda’s mom admits her daughter has saved them from potential accidents and tickets. Jayda plans to be on her school’s Safety Patrol when she is old enough. However, in the meantime, she says she will be the eyes and ears for the school and report any problems to the patrols and adults. Jayda says she wants to “do the right thing” because it is what everyone needs to do.

5. STEFPHON LOWERY, ninth grade, Juvenile Justice School:

Although students are not to involve themselves when police officers break up altercations in the school facility, Stefphon came to the aid of an officer when he recognized great injury was occurring to that officer. An altercation between two youths began without warning in the classroom. One officer in the room managed to hold one of the youths while the other attempted to control the other youth involved. However, that particular youth was so unmanageable and irate that he pummeled the officer several times head first into the concrete wall. Stefphon saw this and was able to detain the youth from behind by holding him tight around the arms. He then attempted to encourage him to calm down and move him in the opposite direction of the other youth being held back until additional officers and supervisors were able to come and assist. A situation like this could have easily worsened with other students trying to involve themselves negatively. Stefphon made a quick judgment call to help an officer who was getting attacked and saved the officer from further injury.

6. SAILASYA MUNAMARTY, seventh grade, Archimedean Middle Conservatory, Washington, D.C. Trip Winner:

Young children normally begin to develop a sense of social justice around the middle school years. The difficulty, however, comes in mobilizing the energy of youthful idealism towards making a positive difference in the world. During the prior school year, Sailasya worked on a research project while participating in the school’s Philosophy Club. Her research was on the prevalence of child labor throughout the world, including the United States, where loopholes in agriculture laws often drive migrant families to enlist children as young as age ten to help make a living. These children miss weeks of school at a time to work for as many as twelve hours a day in the sun, for very little money – and in some cases they are denied access to education. Sailasya realized that in practice, the world’s nations often do not abide by the principles spelled out in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Upon learning more about the issue of child labor and exploitation, Sailasya set about the task of spreading awareness in order to spur U.S. lawmakers to repeal the child labor loopholes in the farming industry, and to spread global awareness and action against unjust treatment of children throughout the world. Over the last few months, Sailasya has given talks at Rotary Clubs in South Florida to educate people about this issue. She also started a petition to collect signatures and funds for organizations working to make a difference for the improvement of children’s’ lives the world over. Not everyone has the determination to follow the call of conscience and work for the betterment of our society. We are lucky to have leaders like Sailasya to educate and work for justice in the world.

7. GUYCHAR NICAISSE, fifth grade, Eneida M. Hartner Elementary, Rapids Water Park Trip Winner:

Guychar was a victim of an earthquake in Haiti in 2010 when she was just three years old. A wall fell on her tiny body and left her paralyzed. Guychar came to the U.S., started school, and soon filled everyone’s days with hugs, smiles, and positivity. Guychar and her family have overcome much adversity including living in a shelter for 6 months while they strived to adjust to a new country. A naturally kind person, Guychar extends her arms to all as she travels down the hallways. Her smile and embrace never fail. Guychar is accepting and loving of all others and empathic to all who are newcomers to the school, left-out or bullied, or who need help. Last year she came to the aid of a classmate who was being bullied and told the other students to show him respect and to treat him as they would like to be treated. This year, there was a new student assigned to her class who was crying and unwilling to come into the room. The school counselor was relieved to realize that with Guychar in the class, the student would get the extra support needed. Guychar quickly came when called, welcomed the other student, and offered friendship and help with science experiments the class was conducting. Guychar embodies citizenship at its best. She follows all of the rules and without a doubt, always does the right thing. Her integrity is second to none. Guychar is a compliant student and always respects everyone. Guychar has a lovely paraprofessional, Mrs. Bess (coincidentally the mother of DTRT police academy scholarship recipient Officer Chris Bess), who accompanies her on a daily basis making sure Guychar is safe. Mrs. Bess and Guychar have a lovely relationship built on mutual respect and trust. It is truly a positive and pleasant experience to see them as they interact. Mrs. Bess has expressed the same admiration of Guychar’s spirit and positive outlook on life. Guychar is a true inspiration who we can all learn from in this life. Even though she could be dwelling on her challenges and obstacles, Guychar never does so. Everyone is blessed to know such an accepting, forgiving, loyal, bright, and big-hearted soul who graces this world by embodying the word love.

8. SAMUEL REYES, eleventh grade, La Progresiva Presbyterian School:

This Do The Right Thing nomination is both an easy and an immensely difficult undertaking at the same time. For to be properly sensitive to the still fresh wounds of this student is of the utmost importance; and yet, with all the character he has demonstrated in this past year, his is a story that simply must be told. That is because all of the best stories, no matter how hard they seem, are the ones which inspire hope for others. And Samuel’s story does just that—for his entire school. Last year, news of a tragic event utterly shook the school community. It was learned that Samuel’s father had been murdered for no reason. Teachers and administration alike could not help being at a loss for how to approach the situation. So the news could be properly shared, the students were called into the chapel by the principal. The one who spoke, the one who presented before the students was none other than Samuel himself. Though wounded in a way which very few can understand, Samuel carried himself with the greatest dignity. As he began to address the crowd, composed and intentional, he offered everyone a message to love one another—our families and friends, and that we must not take even a single moment with them for granted. His plea was not only heard, but all those present saw something else even greater. They were able to see a faith which sustained someone even in his position. Samuel’s response and demeanor that day and each day since has been something at which one marvels with the greatest admiration. Though he carries sorrows, he gives others hope for theirs. Samuel is an inspiration to us all. He has done the right thing and made it possible for others to do the same.

9. ABRAHAM RODRIGUEZ, ninth grade, Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High:

Abraham is an awesome student all around. He is open to new ideas, does all his work, and participates in class. At the end of last school year while in eighth grade, Abraham came to class late which was unlike him. He walked in with his arm wrapped in an ace bandage and a crutch. It turned out, the previous night, Abraham pushed a skateboarder out of the way of an oncoming car. The driver had run a stop sign, narrowly missed the skateboarder but hit Abraham. Even injured, Abraham showed up to school, smiling and ready to work.

10. AKANNI SUNNI-ALI, seventh grade, Academy for International Education Charter:

Akanni always does the right thing when it comes to the way he protects and looks after his two younger siblings. Akanni puts his siblings’ safety, health, and overall well-being before himself. The first time this dedication was noticed was when he asked his teacher for food because he was hungry. His teacher gave him what was left of her lunch. However, after school, his teacher noticed his younger siblings eating the leftovers. Akanni had saved the food so his siblings could have an after-school snack even though he was hungry. Now, when he asks for food, he always asks for extra so that his siblings are cared for. Akanni also walks his younger brother and sister to class every morning and makes sure they are all together as soon as classes are dismissed. Akanni was also given some extra supplies which more than likely ended up in his little sister’s backpack. Akanni does the right thing because he truly loves and wants the best for his siblings.