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Attorney General Pam Bondi talks to Dunedin students about Internet safety

Sixth-grade students at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School received a lesson on cyber safety April 30 from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Bondi was joined by representatives from AT&T, who also presented the Tampa-based education nonprofit Step Up For Students with a $3.5 million scholarship donation.

AT&T chose Our Lady of Lourdes as a backdrop for the award partly because all the private school's sixth-graders have Apple iPads, which they use to access the Web for assignments, as part of a pilot program that will be extended to all the school's students next year. AT&T is a carrier of iPad data packages.

The school blocks Internet sites like Facebook, MySpace and any content over PG-13 from its iPads. However, Bondi and her staff still wanted to warn the children about cyber bullying and the permanency of Internet posts; teach them how to recognize and avoid sex predators; and instill the importance of open dialogue with parents, teachers and other trusted adults.

"Just the time we live in now, you've got to be careful," Bondi said.

Step Up For Students scholarships cover the tuitions of about 15 percent of Our Lady of Lourdes students. The group this school year provided more than 39,000 scholarships that low-income Florida families used to either fund tuition at 1,200 private schools or transportation to an out-of-district public school.

• • •

Stephanie Meyers, daughter of Diane and Ken Meyers of Clearwater, was named Florida Southern College's 2012 Honor Walk recipient March 16 at the Founders Day Convocation in Lakeland.

She was selected from 17 nominees. Being named to the Honor Walk is the highest individual honor bestowed on a student by the college. A stone engraved with Meyers' name will be placed in FSC's Honor Walk alongside those of previous recipients.

A senior biochemistry and molecular biology major, Meyers has earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average at FSC, holds several prestigious scholarships and was vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. She also belongs to several other honor societies and holds a seat in the Student Government Association senate. In addition, Meyers is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi women's fraternity and has been very involved with Greek life at FSC.

After graduation from Florida Southern in April, she plans to enter the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida in August 2012 to obtain a doctorate in medical sciences. The USF Graduate School has awarded Stephanie a Presidential Doctoral Fellowship, which is the most prestigious graduate scholarship awarded by USF.

• • •

Sara Lynford, a senior at Tarpon Springs High, has been recognized as a 2011-2012 Discus Award winner for her achievements in the areas of academics, faith and community service.

The Discus Awards is a national program that provides recognition and scholarship opportunities to all-around high school students who excel in three of 10 key attributes. Lynford is now eligible for 2011-2012 Discus Awards scholarships.

She created a multimedia profile highlighting her achievements, which may be viewed in the Discus Awards Winners Gallery at www.DiscusAwards.com/winners.

Lynford has been dual-enrolled at St. Petersburg College and working toward her bachelors degree in veterinary technology.

Attorney General Pam Bondi talks to Dunedin students about Internet safety 05/15/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:46pm]
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