1. ANGELINE ALVAREZ, third grade, Coral Gables Preparatory Academy:
Angeline showed great kindness to another student in her class. This student had lost all of her possessions in a house fire. Angeline, along with her mom, collected clothes, shoes, and toys for this student in need. Angeline even shared her own personal favorite belongings to help this student. Giving up her favorite possessions to brighten another student’s day is the ultimate act of kindness. Angeline has supported her friend through this difficult situation and her compassion and caring helped make a difference in her classmate’s life.
2. WIDLIAN DEROSIN, tenth grade, iTech @ Thomas Edison Educational Center:
Widlian proved herself a hero when she saved her brother from their family home which had caught on fire during the night of February 20th. After Widlian and her mother escaped, Widlian crawled back inside the burning home filled with flames and smoke, and pulled her brother to safety. Widlian was hailed by the news media as a hero and responded with a modest attitude. After the incident, she resumed her school work and activities with the same energy and enthusiasm that she had before. Widlian’s heroic actions make her the perfect candidate for Do The Right Thing!
3. NAYA JOSEPH, first grade, Coral Reef Elementary, Rapids Water Park Trip Winner:
Recently, Naya joined her school’s Samaritans 356 Club. At her first meeting, the club made “goodie bags” to be distributed to the homeless. For the next few weeks, on the drive to her dance class with her mom, Naya would look out the window hoping to spot someone who might benefit from the bag. The bag was next to her in the car at all times. One day she spotted a man with a cardboard sign, said hello, and handed him the bag. She immediately put a smile on his face and they started talking. The man told her that his name was Clarence and asked her what she learned in school that day. Naya told him all about her math graphing lesson. Clarence told Naya, “Every time you see me, please tell me one thing that you learned in school.” Naya and her mother each drove away with huge smiles on their faces. After dance class, they went to watch Naya’s brother’s middle school basketball practice. While they waited, Naya asked if she could pick up the trash on the grass around the court. Later that night when Naya went to bed she said, “This was the most perfect day.” Her mother asked, “What made it perfect?” She said, “I met Clarence and I picked up trash at my brother’s school.” Naya is looking forward to seeing Clarence again on her way to dance class and doing whatever she can to put a smile on other’s faces and make the world a better place.
4. KYAH LEWIS, eighth grade, and 5. LESLIE MARTINEZ, eighth grade, Hialeah Gardens Middle:
At the school Valentine’s Day Dance, the counselor noticed an autistic boy who was attempting to dance with one group, then another, then another, with the same results each time. The other kids slowly but surely would turn or walk away. It was a very heartbreaking scene. The counselor then asked Kyah if she could help this boy have fun at the dance. Kyah, without hesitation, ran off stage and approached him and they started dancing together. Suddenly his eyes lit up and he was smiling. From salsa to the modern songs they were definitely having a good time. They were then joined by Leslie who brought two other girls with her. The young boy’s expression was priceless as he enjoyed dancing with this group of girls. The kids around them noticed and stared but the girls didn’t care and kept dancing with him. At one point, gift cards to McDonalds were tossed into the crowd. The girls scrambled and Leslie got one and gave it to the young man. As the dance ended, all of the girls walked him to his bus and told him they had a nice time. The following day, the counselor spoke with the young man and asked him how the dance went. He said the following, “It was the best day of my life. I was trying to dance with kids but no one would. Then Kyah asked me to dance and then Leslie and some other girls came too. I couldn’t believe it. They even gave me a gift card and walked me to my bus. I’m never going to miss another dance.” Kyah and Leslie demonstrated the kind of people the world needs; the kind that reach out to those who are different, the kind that take action when others just stand by. Kyah and Leslie gave this young man a day he will forever remember and for this they are being honored for doing the right thing.
6. LENNY MILLER, seventh grade, Ransom Everglades School:
Lenny showed compassion and kindness when he dedicated his Bar-Mitzvah to help needy and homeless students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. His invitation let guests know to bring new sneakers for a needy student. As a result, 100 pairs of brand new amazing sneakers were donated for needy students. Lenny is a wonderful young man who is selfless and understands that we are not okay unless we are all okay. Such an act of kindness makes Lenny very deserving of the Do The Right Thing Award!
7. AARON MOYER, seventh grade, Lamar Louise Curry Middle:
Aaron did the right thing despite significant peer pressure to do otherwise. One day during class, there was a disruption by a student out in the hallway that was greatly distracting the class. The teacher asked several students to identify the problem student but they declined even though they knew the student’s name. In spite of this significant peer pressure, Aaron raised his hand and volunteered to identify the student for his teacher. Upon doing so he was call a “snitch” by a student who failed to provide the name. Aaron should be praised for his courage, for overcoming peer pressure, and for choosing to do the right thing.
8. TERRENCE NICKERSON, twelfth grade, Miami Jackson Senior High, Washington, D.C. Trip Winner:
Terrence is a high school senior who happens to be homeless. Terrence’s mother passed away five years ago and his stepfather kicked him out of the house. Terrence was left with no family support structure, no parents to help with homework, no one to take him shopping, and no mom or dad to prod him along. Fortunately, Terrence depends on his school family which encourages and cares about him. Despite his unfortunate situation and the fact that he lives alone in a shelter, Terrence always does the right thing. He comes to school every day, gets good grades, and is on his way to FIU this fall through a special program for foster and homeless youths where he plans to study computer science. If there’s an ounce of self-pity in Terrence, you would never know it. Terrence would rather give advice to others on how to overcome adversity. “Just reaching out, a lot of doors can open for you,” Terrence said. “It all starts with you actually helping yourself.” Ask anyone about Terrence and you hear the same thing; he is always smiling and carries a positive attitude, despite all the burdens he shoulders. Terrence is the definition of self-motivation. He inspires his friends with his determination to make it. He has good reasons to get in trouble or to drop out of school but he doesn’t. Terrence constantly strives to better his situation and himself. For his perseverance, Terrence is truly a Do The Right Thing winner!
9. PEDRO RODRIGUEZ, eighth grade, West Miami Middle:
Pedro deserves to be recognized for his courage. When he noticed a student hiding between the desks looking very frightened, Pedro rushed in the classroom and alerted the teacher that a mob of kids were outside and ready to do whatever it takes to get the frightened student. The kids were all acting out threatening both the student and teacher. Pedro stood by the teacher and protected her. He made sure to stick by her until the commotion was done and was asking everyone to leave and to back off the entire time. Pedro put his life in danger and protected both the student and the teacher and for this, he is a great candidate for the Do The Right Thing Award.
10. STEPHEN SLAWSON, eleventh grade, Christopher Columbus Senior High:
Stephen is an outstanding role model to his peers and in the community. He is a member of his school’s Squires Club where he is enthusiastically involved in helping the homeless. He organizes food and hygiene boxes and then delivers and distributes the boxes to homeless shelters downtown. Stephen’s goal in life is to be of help to as many people as possible. On his own time after school, he walks over to St. Brendan’s Elementary and volunteers to tutor students several days a week. He also worked with classmates to clean the grounds of the Deering Estate and assisted in the planting of trees. This past year, he did the right thing by making food packets for a World Health Organization and volunteered to wrap Christmas gifts for disadvantaged students at a local mall. Stephen asked his parents if he could reach out to those young and old who need a friendly smile. Stephen is also an active member of his church. Through his parents and church, he has been able to visit patients at the Ronald McDonald House at Jackson Hospital and distributed ice cream at an elderly social hour at a nearby nursing home. Stephen also assists his father at work and in being a chaperone for students on after school sports field trips. He has achieved numerous academic, attendance, and citizenship Honor Rolls. Stephen has had opportunities to simply hang out with friends on numerous occasions, but instead, maintains a consistent motivation to be of service to his school and the community. Stephen is currently looking forward to becoming a camp counselor to further his commitment to doing the right thing!