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GOOD FOR YOU

Published Aug. 28, 2005

Dr. Marilyn Fudge and Sierra Simmons were recently recognized as Citizen and Student of the Month for October by the St. Petersburg City Council.

Dr. Fudge, the Citizen of the Month, is a St. Petersburg native, and currently serves as one of the supervising physicians at the Bayfront Medical Center Breast and Colposcopy Clinics. She received a bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Florida, a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of South Florida, and her doctorate from the UF College of Medicine.

During her residency at Bayfront, Dr. Fudge received numerous awards including the outstanding resident of the year award. She became St. Petersburg's first African-American female doctor specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In addition to being a debutante, Sungoddess and Miss Sigma Gamma Rho, the 1985 Lakewood High School graduate was a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, and the marching band. Dr. Fudge studied in the M-Paths Program at Washington University in St. Louis, attended Boston University School of Medicine's Post-Baccalaureate one-year program, and worked as a sixth-grade science teacher at 16th Street Junior High School (now John Hopkins Middle School).

Dr. Fudge is married, has three children, and is active at Bethel Community Baptist Church.

Simmons, 19, the Student Citizen of the Month, recently won a $10,000 scholarship from the National Exchange Club. She received the Accepting Challenges of Excellence (ACE) Award which recognizes students who have succeeded despite tremendous adversity in their lives. Simmons is the first national winner from Florida

During her sophomore year at St. Petersburg High School, Simmons faced the death of her mother and father within eight months and lived alone in her parents' Midtown home during her senior year. To pay the water and electric bills, she took a job as an afterschool counselor and reading tutor at the Harbordale YMCA. Simmons participated in a dropout prevention program, improved her grades, made the honor roll and graduated this past May.

Over the summer, Simmons completed St. Petersburg College's six-week program of remedial courses to prepare low-income high school graduates for higher education. She is continuing classes at SPC this fall and plans to study criminal justice. With the help of a nonprofit group, Simmons now has an affordable one-bedroom apartment that is close to her new job as a research assistant at the St. Petersburg Main Library and within biking distance for classes at the SPC Gibbs campus.

Send Good For You items (college-level or higher) to Ceska McCottry Sutton, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or cmsuttonsptimes.com. Please include a photo if available and your return address and phone number.