ST. PETERSBURG — Keonna Welch, a senior at Gibbs High School, was named 2011 Junior Sungoddess in ceremonies held Friday in the Gibbs High auditorium.
Danielle Price of Osceola High School is first runner-up, and Valiece Long of Clearwater High School is second runner-up.
The young women were chosen from a 20-member court and were selected based on academic success, leadership qualities, community involvement, personality, poise and their ability to be speak comfortably before large groups. Altogether, they receive more than $6,500 in scholarships and awards.
Welch has been president of her class for four years and is a member of Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, the National Honor Society, the Principal's Multicultural Advisory Committee and Campus Crew at Gibbs. She also has represented Gibbs on the Pinellas County School Board's students rights and responsibilities committee.
She has volunteered as a reading and math tutor at Lakeview Fundamental Elementary, has assisted with the Childs Park Christmas toy drive and has participated with Invisible Children, which raises funds for Uganda. She founded the My Sister and Me mentoring program, leading several high school girls who are role models and mentors for elementary school girls.
The Junior Sungoddess program, administered by the Suncoasters of St. Petersburg, began in 1955 to recognize high school girls in Pinellas County who represent the civic group and the city of St. Petersburg as goodwill ambassadors.
Welch is the daughter of Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and Donna Welch. Price's parents are David and Maria Price. Long is the daughter of Sadretá Wagner.