The Athena Society annually recognizes 10 high school juniors as Young Women of Promise. The program is named after Dr. Sylvia Richardson, who has played an integral role in the program's growth and success. The 2013 Young Women of Promise are:
ALICIA BISHOP, Middleton High
Alicia will become the first in her family to attend college, with her sights set on becoming a nuclear engineer. She recently received the National Award for Aspirations for Computing from the National Council for Women & Information Technology. One of only three girls in her engineering cluster at the magnet school, she remains undaunted by the male-dominated field.
BRIANA BURSTEN, King High
Briana, a student in her school's International Baccalaureate program, holds membership in a number of honor societies. Her community service includes work as a counselor for impoverished kids. She not only volunteers at the camp, but raises money to help cover attendance costs for the children.
SARAH CIMINO, Plant High
With a passion for service, Sarah hopes to become a pediatrician and help people in impoverished countries. She founded a nonprofit to help a Haitian village and the group raised more than $12,000 to go toward the purchase of two generators for the village.
KAILEY FERNANDEZ, Robinson High
Kailey holds an outstanding academic record while participating in sports and serving as vice president of student government. She and her sister started a three-week summer camp for girls ages 5-10 and the camp will enter its fourth year in 2013. Kailey also teaches cooking classes to children at Metropolitan Ministries.
ANA GOMEZ, Leto High
Ana's inclusion in this program adds to a list of honors that also includes receiving the 2012 student leadership award from the Tampa/Hillsborough Human Rights Council. Gomez displays an impressive commitment to service through her work with: Community Tampa Bay; Starting Right, Now; Project Shattered Silence; and the Hillsborough Youth Collaborative.
EMILY HARWELL, Berkeley Prep
Emily, an honor student, hopes to work in the nonprofit sector. As one of 14 teen advisers for a United Nations Foundation program called Girls Up, she's off to a good start. The program seeks to empower American girls to address issues that impact girls on a global level. The group helped promote the Tampa screening of Girl Rising, a documentary screened Thursday at the Tampa Theatre.
KELLYANNE HURST, Plant City High
Kellyanne, an outstanding junior golfer, takes even more pride in maintaining her goal of a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. She recently received the Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award. She hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
GABRIELLE MADDEN, Academy of the Holy Names
Gabrielle plays a key role for her robotics team as its safety coordinator, and hopes to extend her career into the robotics field. However, she's equally gifted at writing. She received an award from the Florida Council of Teachers of English for her poetry, which aims to uplift girls and the problems they face.
ISABELLE PUPPA, Steinbrenner High
Isabelle's exceptional work ethic has helped her achieve excellence in the classroom and on the field despite battling life-threatening food allergies. As a Girl Scout, she hopes to craft a Gold Star program to help other children with food allergies.
LAURY RIVERA-ADORNO, Freedom High
An honor student who is vice president of the National Honor Society, Laury also impresses with her commitment to family. After assisting with the care of her grandmother, who had a stroke, she decided to become a physician. She also volunteers at school and at Cafe Freedom