Miami-Dade youth rock and jazz bands came together this month to participate in the first Rock Sarcoma Out Concert, held at the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables, to raise awareness about childhood cancer.
Nine bands performed at the concert, including the Miami School of Rock Band, RipCord, PEAR, Stix Stones and Bones, Distant Age, Tongue Tied, Fifty Eight Hundred, Westchester Sauce and the Christopher Columbus High School Jazz Band. A total of $8,400 was raised from the event, and all proceeds were donated to the SebastianStrong and Manny Alvarez foundations to honor the families and memory of Manny Alvarez and Sebastian Ortiz, two Columbus High students who died of cancer in 2016.
Taco Bell’s Live Más Scholarship
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Taco Bell recently announced that Nelson Brito, 17, was one of 16 students to win the $25,000 scholarship — the highest amount available to scholars.
The scholarship program awarded $3 million this year to students and employees that wish to pursue a unique passion that doesn’t fit into the traditional academic or athletic categories. The program requires applicants to submit a two-minute video to show their passion and explain why they should be chosen as a winner.
Nelson grew up painting and, at age 4, lost his vision in the left eye due to complications with surgery. Despite the challenges, he continued to paint and also tried photography, sculpture and film — earning him the scholarship from Taco Bell. He plans to use the funds toward his education at Miami Dade College’s New World School of the Arts.
In addition to Nelson, Taco Bell awarded several $10,000 scholarships to local Miami students. Winners included Emily Bryson of Miami Springs; Emilia Hernandez of Davie; Krista Alles of Palmetto Bay; and Juan Calderon and Marian Pedreira of Hialeah.
This year, Taco Bell implemented a renewal program that awards previous recipients with scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Winners of the $10,000 scholarship included Camron Scott of Miramar; David Ramirez of Pembroke Pines; and Gabriela Pena of Fort Lauderdale. Winners of the $5,000 scholarship included Hannah Petosa of Boca Raton and RaShawn Dixon of Miami.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall recognized the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida in honor of Haitian Heritage Month.
HANA is an organization that aims to provide nurses with opportunities to share interests related to health and the welfare of communities in Florida and to increase the enrollment of nursing students through education, scholarship and mentoring opportunities.
“As we celebrate the contributions of Haitian Americans during Haitian Heritage Month, it was my honor to recognize HANA for their great service in Florida and Haiti. I salute HANA leadership and all nurses for keeping our children and families healthy,” said Bendross-Mindingall.
HANA members that were recognized include Barbara Destine, Marsha Eloi, Dr. Marie Etienne, Fayola Delica and Carmel Dabady.
Ray of Hope Foundation
Ray Allen’s Ray of Hope Foundation is joining forces with Mack Cycle and Fitness, and Giant Bicycle Company to donate 25 bikes, helmets and locks to Homestead Middle School students at 3 p.m. Thursday at the school.
Bike recipients were selected based on their academic achievements. Ahead of the event, the University of Miami’s BikeSafe Program will provide a curriculum and teaching points to encourage safe bike riding habits.