Champions always give back, and the Miami Heat is ready to do just that to help high school champions for the 17th year in a row. Graduating seniors who have excelled in academics and community service in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach schools can now apply for Miami Heat scholarships. Award money totals $10,000 and recipients are selected in May.
This year’s application deadline is April 6. Available are two $2,500 Heat Scholarships, one $2,500 Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship, and one $2,500 Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship. Seniors can download the application at www.heat.com. On the website look under the Community section and click “Scholarship.”
“I’m just happy and blessed to know that I received this scholarship,” said Ba’Carri Johnson one of four HEAT Scholarship winners in 2011. She graduated with an astonishing 6.68 GPA from Carol City High School.
Last year’s winners were Herman Castro from Seminole Ridge Community High School who maintained a 4.3 GPA and went to the University of Florida; Emily Quintero from John A. Ferguson Senior High School, with a 5.0 GPA, who went to the University of Florida; Viviane Valdes from South Dade Senior High School who maintained a 6.6 GPA and went to Harvard University; and Steven Claunch from the Homestead Campus of School for Advanced Studies who had a 5.3 GPA and went to the University of Pennsylvania.
“It’s extremely important, I mean, this is an organization that has prioritized one of the most important things in our community, education,” said Miami Heat legend and Vice President of Player Programs Alonzo Mourning in e-mail. “This is our 17th year celebrating the opportunity to support up and coming seniors that have excelled in their class, and providing the support necessary for them to continue to take steps forward in the classroom. I’m very happy and pleased to be part of an organization that recognizes the importance of that.”
KIDS LEARN IN THE GARDEN
The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove Foundation has awarded its initial grant in the amount of $1,800 to help underwrite The Barnyard after school sessions at The Kampong National Tropical Botanical Gardens. A program of Coconut Grove Cares, The Barnyard serves children with financial and domestic hardships in West Coconut Grove through a free enrichment program at the botanical garden, research lab and historic estate of David Fairchild.
Students travel to The Kampong for two six-week sessions at which they build their knowledge of tropical plants, fruits, edible plants, biology, the sciences and art. The children learn history, plant names, and how to identify plants by leaf shapes, and they create simple botanical guidebooks to keep and take home.
The students also take cooking lessons to encourage healthy food choices. They get to taste a wide variety of tropical fruits and edible plants at The Kampong. Prominent local artists also visit to lead the students in creative activities inspired by the landscape.
The program is unique in its continuity in that students participate from the second to the fifth grades and return each year to build bonds with other students, the teachers, and garden and art mentors.
Ann Parsons, The Kampong’s Executive Director, recently accepted the grant funding from the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove Foundation.
The Club has a long-standing commitment to the youth of West Coconut Grove. Members also sponsor The Titians, a youth football program, with volunteers, mentors and funding. They also provide a grant of $35,000 from The Rotary Foundation to the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative’s Youth & Family Services program. To learn more and to get involved, visit www.coconutgrove.rotary-clubs.org.
TROPICAL ART SHOW
Beautiful paintings of our lush tropics made by four women artists will be on view starting with a show reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Wirtz Gallery of the First National Bank of South Miami, 5750 Sunset Dr. in South Miami.
Refreshments will be offered.
Represented are Urszula Dudek, Pauline Goldsmith, Jacqueline Hannon and Barbara Hesse Baron. You can meet the artists at the show. The women became acquainted through a common interest in the class offerings at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Their work focuses on the natural beauty found at the Garden.
The event is free and open to the public. The gallery is open Monday through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.