Award Winner


Julissa Melo-Olguin

Eighth Grade, Hialeah Gardens Middle School

Julissa is a part of the Youth Crime Watch Club and has excelled academically this school year, earning principals honor roll. This was her first time receiving honor roll which shows the effort and focus that she has this school year. Julissa offered to help a group of students who are in the process of obtaining their legal papers and still learning English, with their classroom routine and assignments which made them feel more comfortable and confident. She also purchased school supplies for one of the students who was unable to afford supplies. Julissa shared that she loves making people feel good and that she understands that others have had tough lives. Julissa can relate to these students’ struggles as she had to grow up without her father who was unfortunately deported. Although she misses him dearly, she is beyond grateful to her mom who serves as her inspiration. Julissa lives in an area called “Fish Camp” where you will find many families doubled up in order to make ends meet. For the past 3 years Julissa has been essential in helping make sure these students get meals, gift cards, and any supplies needed and she continues to follow-up to make sure that they are on target and on the path to success. She makes sure to greet and make friends with the new kids living at fish camp so that they feel welcomed. On the weekends Julissa buys fruits, prepares them into cups and sells them to help her mom. In the future she aspires to become a homicide detective or a therapist. Whichever route she takes; Julissa will surely make a difference.