North Central Florida students win Florida Black History Month competitions

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 12:20 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCJB) -Three North Central Florida students won categories in the annual Florida Black History Month competitions sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Florida First Lady Casey Desantis announced Belleview High School student Valeria Alfonzo Molina won the high school section of the annual Black History Month essay competition. She wrote about James Weldon Johnson a Florida-born educator, poet, novelist, journalist, anthologist, diplomat, lyricist, lawyer, and civil rights activist.

In the elementary section of the essay contest, High Springs Community School 4th-grader Brynley Ashraf won. She wrote her essay about the school’s resource officer, Officer Adam Joy. In her essay titled “The ‘Joy’ of Our Community”, she explained the ways he serves the community, including programs like Meals on Wheels, No Son Left Behind, and a variety of giveaways and community events.

“I believe Officer Joy should be recognized for the amazing work,” wrote Brynley. “From mentoring kids, supporting families and helping senior citizens, there’s no limit to his kindness.”

Both essay winners received a four-year college scholarship from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

One of the two art contest winners was 2nd-grader Immanuel Howard at Metcalfe Elementary. He created a portrait of the school custodian James Henderson who worked at the school for 14 years.

“He keeps coming into our classroom and cleaning up, and making sure that the virus was out,” said Immanuel. “He looked like a superhero to me.”

portrait of James Henderson, Immanuel Howard
portrait of James Henderson, Immanuel Howard(ACPS)

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