More than 200 of Hillsborough County’s top high school seniors from 35 public and private schools accepted an invitation to share their accomplishments and take part in an essay contest through the 2020 R.F. “Red” Pittman Tribune Scholars program. Their profiles and essays are published here, just as the students submitted them. To search all schools, click here.
School activities and accomplishments:
- Echoes Yearbook Editor-in-Chief
- National Merit Commended Scholar
- Mu Alpha Theta Team Lead
- Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society
- Varsity Jaguarettes Dance Team
- Key Club
College or other post-high school plans: University of Florida, double majoring in Education Sciences and International Studies
School Activities and Accomplishments
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Student of the Year 2019 Winner From November 2018 to March 2019, my parter Lauren Jones and I led a campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year Program. Our team had won the title for the Tampa Bay chapter, and we raised over $44,000 for blood cancer research. We also established a legacy team that won the 2020 chapter with over $113,000 fundraiser!
- Cross Country and Track - Varsity Runner & Team Captain I was in high school cross country and track for four years. I ran in the state series as a varsity runner and was team captain for both teams in my senior year. I also received the Most Improved award in my junior year.
- Cross Out Cancer - Representative Board Member and Graphic Designer I was a school representative and graphic designer for the nonprofit organization, Cross Out Cancer. I helped organize fundraisers and events, and in total I collected over $4,000 in donations that will be given to cancer patients at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. I also created logos and designs for advertising.
- Student Council - Secretary and Representative I was a grade representative for three years, and I was elected as recording secretary for one year. I attended several student government events, such as the Florida SGA statewide convention and the South Florida Leadership Training Camp during the summer. I was committee head of our annual Christmas Formal dance during my senior year.
- Teens In Action Member + Volunteer at Feeding Tampa Bay I participated in a leadership-building and community service program called Teens in Action. Every weekend I volunteered at a food bank called Feeding Tampa Bay, and once a month I attended a leadership workshop.
- Scranton Mission Trip - Group Leader For the past three years, I have attended a mission trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania. During my junior and senior year, I was a group leader that helped organize and plan the trip. We worked to serve the poorer communities around the area and participated in projects with homeless shelters and local schools.
College/Post High School Plans:
I plan to attend the University of Florida and major in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science Engineering. I have always had a large interest in math and science ever since I was young, and seeing how influential technology and computers are becoming in this modern world, the engineering field has particularly peaked my interest. Additionally, I hope to expand the diversity of the STEM field since women are typically underrepresented. As an Asian-American woman, I want to be able to overcome these challenges and be an empowering example to other girls. I am also a Type 1 Diabetic, so I am interested in pursuing something in endocrinology (the study of diabetes). In the end, I hope to contribute to ground-breaking innovations and research that generates meaningful change in medicine and science.
Tribune Scholars Essay
With increasing changes in weather patterns and sea levels, it is predicted that many coastal cities in Florida will be underwater soon. Therefore, both individuals and the government must take urgent precautions and measures to prepare for rising waters.
It is crucial that citizens who inhabit coastal homes prepare themselves accordingly, whether it be through effective infrastructure or basic knowledge. Raised housing with stilts and elevating plumbing systems are examples of architectural changes. Homeowners should also buy flood insurance. These expenses should be paid by the individual; Those who can afford to live comfortably on the coast should understand these risks. On the other hand, those who live in poorer neighborhoods and are unable to afford adequate adaptations should have the government either buy out their property or pay for repairs.
On a state and national level, the government should prioritize lower income neighborhoods for flooding issues and financial aid, as they will require the most need when disaster strikes. An option is to expand and modify the National Flood Insurance Program so that they can directly finance buyouts. Then, local governments can fund expedited buyout programs, as a large issue with buyouts is the delay. Cities should also work with land trusts and nonprofits to facilitate buyouts, similar to land conservation. Another option would be for neighboring counties to pool together budgets to fund engineering projects, whether it be upgrading sewage and drainage systems or using natural infrastructure. With federal support these steps may help save Florida from drowning, both literally and financially.
School Activities and Accomplishments:
- Varsity Swimming and Diving (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th)
- Mara Shultz Award (12th)
- Student Council Representative (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th)
- Mu Alpha Theta Co-President (11th, 12th)
- National Honor Society (11th, 12th)
- Best Buddies (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th)
College: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
School Activities and Accomplishments:
1. In 2019, I served as the executive director of Cross Out Cancer , a certified nonprofit organization totally led by local high school cross country runners that aims to provide financial relief to pediatric cancer patients and families at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Through our fundraising campaign and annual 5K race, we raised over $83,000 for our restricted fund.
2. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award (West Point Society West Coast) 3. National Merit Commended Scholar
4. Cross Country: team captain, 2x state medalist, 5K school record holder
5. Track & Field: team captain, 4x state medalist, 400/800/1600 school record holder
6. Member of the 2020 FHSAA Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team
College/Post-High School Plans: I will be attending the University of Notre Dame on a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship, where I plan to study