TBO Database Education Tribune Honor Roll 2013 Bios
4 Tribune scholarship winners set global goalsBY MARILYN BROWN
TAMPA Each year, The Tampa Tribune invites Hillsborough County's top public and private high school seniors to compete for the R.F. "Red" Pittman Scholarship, named for the newspaper's former publisher. Here are profiles of this year's four winners, each of whom will receive a scholarship for $1,250.
College Plans: University of Florida with plans to become a pediatrician
Parents: Luisa Alonso and Edmundo Calderon, own small construction business
Hobbies: Dancing, swimming, reading
Favorite book: "The Giving Tree," by Shel Silverstein
Watches television: Five to six hours a week
Social networking: Five hours a week
Advice to other students: "Be strong, keep strong. Keep your objective in mind and never forget where you came from."
Most influential teacher: James Fosco, advanced placement statistics, junior year. "It was a very hard year. He kept me motivated. He was one of the few teachers who kept in touch with my parents, he emailed us, he talked to my Mom. He was interested in us doing well."
Excerpts from winning essay: "My father has always reinforced in me to 'help others unconditionally without expecting anything in return, only the satisfaction that you are helping others. This is why my passion since sixth grade has been to go to developing nations to help children combat their daily lives. One service project that has really impacted me has been the Eliminate Project, which dedicates itself to raising money for Mother and Neonatal Tetanus vaccines. I am passionate about this because I see I am starting off in small scale something I desire to accomplish at a larger scale in my life."
College Plans: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to study biomedical science and public health and become a doctor
Parents: Ping Jiao and Dean Wang, currently studying to be a nurse.
Hobbies: Running, baking, movies and playing violin
Favorite book: "The Book Thief," by Markus Zusak
Watches television: Two hours a week
Social networking: Seven hours a week
Advice to other students: "Definitely don't procrastinate. You will, but try to do the least amount of procrastinating."
Most influential teacher: Marvin Brown, home room and advanced placement U.S. History, junior year. "He was our hardest teacher that year... There was one instance where a lot of people cheated on a test. I told him, someone overheard. ... He was the one who protected me from the rest of the students, comforted me, justified to me I did the right thing. ... I thought I would never stand up again. After he supported me, I would do it again. I know I did the right thing."
Excerpts from winning essay: "One glance at Southwest Asia or Africa and one will see the dismal conditions millions of humans still have to endure. These fellow human beings live like animals in ramshackle huts, receiving little to no medical care, and are left alone to fend for themselves in unsanitary conditions. The biggest plague sweeping through the twenty first century is the lack of widespread, quality healthcare. …The most effective way to improve the health care is to raise awareness through research and educate people on how to make do when there are only substandard resources available."
College Plans:University of Florida with plans to major in medicine, minor in sustainability studies and become a doctor.
Parents: Suzanne Gariss, a nurse, father Randy Townsend (deceased).
Hobbies: Reading, running, baking
Favorite book: All Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
Watches television: Three hours a week
Social networking: Five hours a week
Advice to other students: "Don't procrastinate. Always put your best effort in. Always be working toward your goals."
Most influential teacher: Ryan Haczynski, advanced placement human geography, sophomore year. "He was one of the very first people to give me advice about eating, everything you have to do to lead a healthy lifestyle... He also helped me look at the world with a broader perspective. His passion for teaching is inspirational."
Excerpts from winning essay: "Today in the United States of America, two-thirds of adults and one-third of children and teens are overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to heart disease, which by the way, is the number one killer in the U.S., elevated cholesterol levels, strokes, various types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. And this is not just in the U.S. - no, this is in Great Britain, European countries, Australia, the Middle East, and even China. So what do I think the world's greatest challenge is? Death by food. ...The way food is produced now is extremely inefficient, inhumane, and harmful."
College Plans: Undecided, goal of becoming an international lawyer
Parents: Vera Kozina and Vladimir Kozin a software engineer
Hobbies: Writing short stories and poetry, art, chess, ballet, biking, gardening
Favorite book: "Eugene Onegin" by Alexander Pushkin
Watches television: Zero hours a week
Social networking: Ten hours a week
Advice to other students: "Don't let the work get to you. If it seems overwhelming, take it one task at a time and you'll get through it."
Most influential teacher: Cecilia Boyce, home room and International Baccalaureate English teacher senior year. "She is always willing to help with just about anything, not just school related. She takes the time to know her students. I told her I was interested in chess. She took the time and helped me start a chess club. That was really altruistic for her, it was a lot of work. It was really touching."
Excerpts from winning essay: "There are 27 million people in modern day slavery across the world, 50 percent of which are children. Part of the second fastest and largest criminal industry, these millions are victims of human trafficking ... this issue is very close to home - Florida has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the entire world; every day young girls are kidnapped in cities such as Miami and our own Tampa, torn away from their lives and families, and forced into the sex industry in a foreign land... The suffering of these innocent souls is the reason I aspire to go to law school and fight for human rights as an international lawyer."