1. The Education Gradebook

Spoto High School: Tribune scholars profiles and essays

An invitation was extended to the top 3 percent of Hillsborough’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.

Brandon Caballeros

Brandon Caballeros
Brandon Caballeros [ handout ]

Activities and Accomplishments:

  1. Varsity Swim Team Captain.
  2. Member of the National Honor Society.
  3. Member of the National Art Honor Society.
  4. Volunteer at the Pet Resource Center.
  5. Volunteered at the annual Science Olympiad.

College or post-high school plans:

My plans after high school are to study biomedical sciences, and to join a medical college to further study health and medicine to become a surgeon.

Tribune Scholar Essay

It should be up to people if they want to move away from the shore, but they should know that by staying close to the shore, they are risking property damage, which may or may not be under insurance protection. But they should armor their shores to at least try to prevent any damage. I believe the government should pay for the work because it involves the safety of the people, and although the current climate change crisis is mainly due to the increased industrialization, it is also a natural occurrence which we don’t really have control over. Buying out property owners could become expensive very quickly, causing the government to lose money, and put landowners at a risk of not making money. Another area that could be impacted is tourism, specifically beaches and resorts. There could be many changes to areas like those if the government has control over them, because they could easily change landscapes, or remove areas that people actually enjoy. One last area that would be affected are the people who actually live there, if the government buys out properties, it would be hard to find other places to live, and certain areas would become density-populated, causing a lot of traffic issues and such. There are some people who would want to stay there because they enjoy the view, and probably had many goals to get there, only to be told that they may or may not have to move out.

Isaias Martinez

Isaias Martinez
Isaias Martinez [ handout ]

School activities and accomplishments:

1.Section leader in Marching Band and Wind Ensemble all 4 years of high school.

2.National Honor Society member.

3.Was awarded the John Philip Sousa award Sophomore year.

4.2nd in class of 389 with over 300+ hours of volunteer work in hospitals, local schools, and summer camps.

5.Made all-state band freshman year, all-county band all 4 years, and have received superior rating in district and state solo performances.

6.Dean’s list of scholars at USF Fall 2019 (4.0 Dual enrollment GPA at USF).

College or other post-high school plans: Admitted into USF and will begin classes Summer 2020.

Tribune Scholars Essay

As the climate continues to change and sea levels slowly rise residents in the coastal regions of Florida should prepare to leave their coastal communities and find homes further inland in the near future. It is a sad and unfortunate truth but due to the fact that no major environmental reform to curb climate change has taken place there is no way to stop the rising sea, and given the current political climate there might never be such reform. There is no amount of sand bags or engineering that could possibly stop the ocean from rising, and it would be a risk to let coastal communities remain where they are now, even today it is a huge risk. Hurricane seasons already leave behind large amounts of destruction, and if we let the ocean’s water get closer it will only get worse. Leaving home is terrifying, and for families like mine nearly impossible, we could not afford to move out of our current home, however that is where the government should step up and own up to its inaction in regards to the climate crisis. It should be the government that buys the property of all those in high-risk zones in order to give them a fighting chance to relocate. We just witnessed the government sign a record breaking two trillion-dollar relief bill for this current pandemic, once the ocean starts knocking on our doors it will have to be the government that answers.

Mylah Wiggins

Mylah Wiggins
Mylah Wiggins [ handout ]

School activities and accomplishments:

1. Marching Band (achieved the Drum Major position for junior and senior years)

2. Wind Ensemble (achieved the Concertmaster position)

3. All-State High School Honors Band participant (1st chair, 2nd clarinet)

4. All-County Symphony Orchestra participant (3rd chair clarinet)

5. Teen Advisory Board member at Brandon Regional Library

6. USF Festival of Winds participant (1st chair clarinet in one of three bands)

College or other post-high school plans: I plan to attend the University of South Florida for a degree in music education. After, I intend to teach within the Hillsborough County School District.

Tribune Scholars Essay

Climate change has been seen to have detrimental effects in Florida communities; be it because of stronger seasonal storms, increased sea level, or beach erosion, people living on or near the coast are constantly at risk for flooding. A possible solution to this problem could be to reinforce barriers along the shore and having residents move closer to inland cities.

Constructing a strong shield against the rising waters will lower the amount of flooding in areas where it is common. In conjunction with the barrier, legislation would require people to relocate to places further away from the coast. This would assist in preventing damage to property and casualties that could result amid flooding incidents.

To fund these policies, the State of Florida should request assistance from the Federal Government. If no support can be provided, state taxes will have to be tapped into, which may require higher tax rates. The policies would also include any subsidies to property owners that live along coastal areas; this is to ensure that said property owners have sufficient funds to be able to move.

All things considered, protecting Florida’s shoreline from higher seas levels and removing people from those areas will help keep everyone safe from the dangers of flooding. Although these strategies will result in inconveniences to many, they will ultimately keep more people safe in the grand scheme of things.

Reese Thorne

Reese Thorne
Reese Thorne [ handout ]

School activities and accomplishments:

1. Captain of the Girls’ Varsity Swim Team.

2. Member of the Girls’ Varsity Swim Team for three years.

3. Vice President of Mu Alpha Theta in 2018-2019 school year.

4. Treasurer of the National Honor Society in 2018-2019 school year.

5. Active volunteer at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center with over 100 volunteer hours.

6. Current Early Admissions/Dual Enrollment Student at Hillsborough Community College with over 45 credit hours

College or other post-high school plans:

My plan is to attend USF starting fall 2020, majoring in Biomedical Sciences on the Pre-Med track.

Tribune Scholars Essay

Climate change is a global phenomenon that continues to get worse for the entire world. However, here in Florida, the question of how to protect ourselves from the waters that surround us is constantly in the minds of every resident. Communities who reside by the waters pay outrageous flood insurance fees, and as the risk of floods due to climate change increases, residents begin to wonder if just the insurance will protect them. I believe that both communities armoring their shores with physical structures such as levees or dams and the government controlling the properties which reside on the coast can alleviate some of the stress. The first step would be to stop building in high risk areas where flooding is almost inevitable. The next step would be to start adding physical structures that protect property, but the plan for how to pay for it would be rough. Property taxes could be raised, but eventually floods will occur, and the government will have to pay out flood insurance, and if the property owners aren’t eventually driven inland, the government will continue to lose money. To aid and protect the land and residents of not only Florida, but the entire United States, FEMA and The Department of Homeland Security must realize the issue of climate change isn’t going away anytime soon. To accurately protect one area of the U.S, the whole nation needs to be protected, which means revising previous laws and legislations to protect everyone from this growing challenge.