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  1. The Education Gradebook

Hillsborough High School: Tribune scholars profiles and essays

An invitation was extended to the top 3 percent of Hillsborough County’s graduating seniors to take part in the annual competition.

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.

Dylan Houchin

School activities and accomplishments:

1. Salutatorian of the International Baccalaureate program at Hillsborough High School

2. A member of the All State Orchestra from 2014-2020, and Concertmaster in 2020

3. A member of the Hillsborough County All County Orchestra from 2014-2020, and Concertmaster in 2018 and 2020

4. Florida hospital volunteer in 2018 and 2019 (105 hours)

5. Concertmaster of the Big Red Orchestra and Hillsborough High School 2016-2020

6. Founder of Making Memories with Music at Metropolitan Ministries, where I brought violins and other instruments to Metropolitan Ministries and taught the children who lived there how to play instruments (2018-2019), as well as a member of the prelude strings mentor group where I taught young children to play the violin (2019).

College or other post-high school plans: I will be attending the University of Florida for nursing.

Tribune Scholars Essay

In a world where the climate is changing constantly, it is important to prepare for the worst. The sea level in Florida is about eight inches higher than it was in 1950. While this may sound like an insignificant amount, the rising sea level is already beginning to pose a problem for areas at or around sea level, like Florida’s coasts. In the past ten years, the sea level has been rising about one inch every three years, and these numbers will pose a problem in the future. Florida has already begun to implement changes to protect the coasts, and I firmly believe that we should continue to armor the shores. New sea walls should be built, and although they will not prevent the problem forever, it will help the problem for now. In addition to sea walls, plants like mangroves help to keep the sand on the beaches together, as well as beach replenishment, where sand is added to beaches in order to offset the effects of rising sea levels.

The state should fund the work, and although the citizens of Florida may not be happy about contributing more of their income in taxes to help solve this problem, it would be for the best. This is a problem that affects all Floridians, and the public should contribute to preventing it. I believe that the government should not buy out property owners in flood-prone areas, however, the risks of living in flood-prone areas should be widely advertised.

Jenniffer Garcia Morales

Jenniffer Garcia Morales [ handout ]

School activities and accomplishments:

1. Demonstrated my leadership qualities by arranging a project that brought the American Legion and my school together for more community involvement.

2. Accomplished and planned multiple school pep rallies and fundraisers for Student Government Association (Member of Student Government)

3. Participated in my school's clean-up day with National Honor Society Members (Member of National Honor Society for 2+ years)

4. Nursing Professional Growth and Advancement Council Certificate of Completion (Moffitt Cancer Center)

5. Varsity Soccer Player

6. In Student Council we preformed and planned various school activities and fundraisers such as movie on the lawn, selling donuts, promoting prom and grad bash, and selling school spirit gear (Treasure of Student Council)

College or other post-high school plans: My plan is to attend the University of South Florida and successfully major in nursing to pursue my nurse practitioner career.

Tribune Scholars Essay

Rising water is a topic that many try to hide and escape from. This earth has had its fair share of human destruction such as landfills, deforestation and one of the biggest, air pollution. Air pollution has a huge impact on global warming. With flood-prone areas becoming an ever-increasing issue, Florida continues to lose land exponentially due to rising sea levels. Rising water levels have been noticed across the world and have been consuming land slowly in places such as Bora Bora, Hawaii, Madagascar and all around the world where land touches water. Lately, Florida has been realizing the potential threats that increasing sea levels provoke natural disasters, which Florida has encountered in the last couple of decades. Hurricanes are the biggest culprits of bringing floods to communities here in the sunshine state. All around Florida’s coastline, people should better reinforce their plans for floods. If Floridians are paying for house insurance and in designated flood areas, they shouldn’t need to worry about their home not being covered. People who live in these flood-prone areas have lived in these homes for if not their whole lives, part of their lives, or majority of their lives and they shouldn’t give up their homes just for a possibility of rising waters. Yes, the government should help with everything they can, including support for better arming the shores for prevention measures. If Florida homeowners are concerned with this issue there’s no need to buy out property owners instead, let them enjoy the shores.

Samantha Champion

Samantha Champion [ handout ]

School activities and accomplishments:

  1. YMCA Leader’s Club President
  2. National Honor Society Marshall
  3. Start with Hello Co-Vice President
  4. French Honor Society Vice-President of Internal Affairs
  5. Science Quiz-Bowl Finalist
  6. FSU Honors Medical Scholar Program

College or other post-high school plans:

I will be attending Florida State University with a major in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences and a minor is business. In my future I aspire to become a pediatrician and open my own practice. My goal is to make healthcare accessible to those in need. I plan on volunteering at Immokalee during my time at FSU to mentor young kids interested in STEM. I also plan to continue my service to the YMCA, forming connections within the community to inspire kids in their afterschool and camp programs who may not otherwise have a positive figure in their life. Lastly, I would like to intern abroad in a third-world country to serve the underrepresented communities and give them access to basic necessities and dire health care.

Tribune Scholars Essay

How would you protect yourself in the case of a flood? With the increasing presence and intensity of hurricanes each year, Floridians are faced with the same routine: sandbags, boarded windows, canned food, and bottled water. The changing climate leaves many without the resources to rebuild the damages or relocate from changing weather patterns. This change is due to the corporations’ abuse and participation in loopholes in the EPA regulations, leaving families and communities with no other option, but to leave everything- their childhood homes, memories, and historic benchmarks, to succumb to the rising sea levels. To combat this devastation, the government should pay for families to relocate, by buying out their homes in these flood-prone areas. As someone who lives eight-feet above sea level, I understand the panic of hurricane season, not knowing if your valuables are safe despite the many precautionary measures taken. In addition to moving these communities, there should be action taken to accommodate their needs and expenses as they uproot their lives due to climate change. The government must prioritize the needs of everyone, not just the rich, but the impoverished, who are most affected by relocation, and take precautionary measures to prevent damage in the future. Floridians cannot foot the bill for the government who is not protecting its citizens any longer. Climate change is not something that knows party-lines or fiscal differences; Everyone is at risk, and preventative measures must be taken to protect

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