Friends and Neighbors

Miami youth, 13, honored for charitable work with homeless


On April 26, at the Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort, The Charmettes, Inc. celebrated the arts, presented the group’s annual scholarship and honored six outstanding citizens at the same time.

The youngest honoree was Joshua Williams 13, who received the William R. Sutton Humanitarian Award.

Joshua was only 5, when he saw a TV production on Feed the Children. He was so moved by what he saw that he became passionate about helping the needy. At first, he thought the solution to the problem of hungry children was to have his mom adopt. Weeks later, his grandmother gave him “pocket money,” which Joshua promptly gave to a homeless person on the treet. This fueled his vision to aid the needy and he later started his own company, the Joshua’s Heart foundation.

Today Joshua’s foundation has provided food to thousands of poverty stricken families in South Florida. He also travels throughout the country on speaking engagements talking about his vision, which he says came from God, and telling children they are never too young to make a difference.

The other honorees are:

Bishop Noward Dean, spiritual leader of Miami’s Church of God of Prophecy No 1., was honored with the Graphic Arts award. He said his talent and passion in the graphic arts were the keys that have unlocked doors for him to achieve professional and financial security. A graduate of Miami Northwestern High School, he has bachelor of science degrees from Tennessee State and Pittsburgh State. He also has a Specialist in Education degree. He has served as a commission member on the Council on Education from 1994 to 2003, which included serving as chair from 1997-1999.

Carey Brianna Hart was honored for her contribution to drama. The actor, author and playwright has distinguished She herself as one of South Florida’s most well-respected thespians. The native Miamian is a graduate of New World School of the Arts and studied at the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University, where she earned a degree in Theatrical Studies. During her tenure as a drama teacher, Hart shared her love of the theater with children in Miami-Dade public schools. She also has taught at the Children’s Theatre Programs of the AreaStage and M Ensemble Theatre Company. For 20 years, she has worked with the Afro-Academic Cultural Technological and Scientific Olympics, mentoring students in drama, playwrighting, oratory and poetry. In 2009, the New Times newspaper named her Best Actress, along with her castmates of M Ensemble’s production of “From the Mississippi Delta.”

Florene Litthcut Nichols was honored for dance. An instructor, art educator and children's etiquette consultant, Nichols is a native of Boston, who came to Florida in 1969 with Larry Steele's "Smart Affairs Revue, and performed at the Eden Roc Hotel. She got sand in her shoes and stayed. She has appeared in the Broadway road company of "Purlie", starring robert Guillaume at the Coconut Grove Playhouse and with the Frankie Kein Revue in "A Tribute to Liza", and "Caberet". She is the founder of three not-for profit cultural institutions during the past 40 years she has provided quality artistic training to thousands of Dade County youth. She has served as a board member of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and recently was named “A Woman of Impact.”

Jasper Johnson received the award for Media Arts. He is president and general manager for Clear Channel, and directs the operations for the Miami and West Palm Beach branches. He provides media support for organizations such as the Walgreens Diabetes Research Institute Walk, Downs Syndrome Miracle Walk, and Sudan B. Komen Race for the Cure. In addition , he is a creative director/consultant for Invest in Our Children, an organization which specializes in financial literacy for grade schools within the inner city.

Dwayne Wynn was honored in the music category. A native Miamian, Wynn started playing the violin at Charles R. Drew Elementary School when he was 6. Later, it was said that he was the youngest performer to accompany the Miami Philharmonic Orchestra. While in middle school at Horace Mann and high school at Miami Central High, he represented the bands in city, state and national competitions. He was chosen as an American Musical Ambassador to tour Europe. He is a graduate of Texas Southern where he served as percussion section leader of the world-renown “Ocean of Soul.” He has served as vice chairman of the Miami Dade County Cultural Affairs Council for more than a decade, and is a member of many other committees and panels of local, state, national and international arts organizations. He is the president and CEO of AxcessWorldwide and other business ventures.

China’s world class arts troupe to perform on Miami Dade college campuses

China's world class performing arts troupe will bring its “Magic and Splendor from the Silk Road” show to three Miami Dade College campuses next week.

The first show will be from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on May 8, in the auditorium in Building One, Room 1261 of the Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave.

The Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104th St., will host the troupe from 1-2:15 p.m. on May 9, in the gymnasium, Room 110 in Building G.

The final show will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. n May 9, in the Lehrman Theater in Building 5 on the North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave.

According to a press release, the troupe is considered one of the finest college performing art groups in China, representing a diverse rage of live art forms from the nations’s vast Northwestern region.

The MDC show is presented by the college’s prestigious Confucius Institute and the performances commemorate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

All performances are free and open to the public.

Art masterpieces is focus of lunchtime lecture in Homestead

The Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture series will be at noon on May 12, and will feature guest speaker Professor Peggy Nania of Miami Dade College Homestead Campus. She will lead a discussion on art masterpieces that will shed some light on the question of “What Makes an Art Masterpiece?”

Nania, who was raised by parents in the U. S. Air Force, had the chance to live in Germany, England, Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey, and California. Her travels helped her build a love for diverse cultures and Fine Art. When she was 5, she had an encounter with Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in the British Museum, where she said she imagined that her own art was museum worthy.

She has a Master’s in Fine Art from California State University in Northridge and has worked for Miami Dade College in Homestead for 23 years.

The lunchtime lecture will be in Room F222 of the Aviation Building at 500 College Terr. in Homestead. The lecture is free and open to the public. Lunch is available for $10 by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185 before 1 p.m. on May 9. Guests also may bring their own lunch, which will be at 11:30 a.m., followed by the noon lecture.

Applications sought for Disney Dreamers Academy

The Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine is accepting applications for the 2015 Dreamer's Academy, which will take place March 5-8, at Walt Disney World Resort and theme Parks. The program is open to high school students, ages 13-19, from around the country. Disney Dreamers expose the students to motivational speakers and celebrities who will share stories and insights on achieving success and dreaming big.

This is the Disney Dreamers Academy eighth year in its mission of inspiring and fueling the dreams of teens, while helping them prepare for the future. The program is hands-on, with workshops related to many career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Participants also will learn

skills, such as communication techniques and networking strategies.

Some 100 students will selected for the 2015 Dreamers Academy. The Disney theme parks will become alive as classrooms, leading to opportunities to meet and cultivate relationships with other students from around the country and and to create memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Interested students may apply at Applications must be received by Oct. 31, 2014. Winners will be announced in December.

Those selected will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, along with a parent or guardian.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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