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</head> Spirit of Volunteering Thursday
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Updated: 05/14/2014 08:00:03AM

Spirit of Volunteering Thursday

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Christine Roslow

Youlei Li

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On Thursday, May 15, the “spirit of volunteerism” will be celebrated when students, faculty and staff come together for the annual Outstanding School Volunteer of the Year Awards program.

The event is 7:30 a.m. at the Nora Mayo Hall, 500 3rd Street, N.W., in Winter Haven.

The annual event calls attention to the important role volunteers at Polk County Public Schools play in making sure educational excellence is achieved in the classroom.

Volunteer awards will be given at the elementary and secondary level in “Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year,” “Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year” and “Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year.”

Among the area teachers in the ceremony is Doris Brosseau from Alta Vista Elementary, Jeffrey Bargeron from Alturas Elementary, Vicky Jenkins from Bartow Elementary Academy, Nancy Lott from Bartow High, Clarice Roth from Bartow International Baccalaureate, Dorine Fox from Bartow Middle, Dorothy Tucker from Floral Avenue Elementary, JoAnne Santo from Fort Meade Middle-Senior, Susan Bako from Griffin Elementary, Laura Kelley from Spessard L. Holland Elementary, Margaret Foreman from Stephens Elementary, Lynette Grainger from Summerlin Academy and Michell Githens from Union Academy.

To find out more about volunteering, visit and enter “Volunteer” or call 863-534-0636.

IB student named National Merit Scholarship winner

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named Youlei Li, a student at Bartow High IB, a $2,500 Merit Scholarship winner. He was chosen from a pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship program.

“He is an exceptionally talented young man. I am proud to count him among the wonderful students who are part of the International Baccalaureate program at Bartow High School. I see nothing but a successful road ahead for him,” said IB principal Ed Vetter.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are chosen because they display the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success. National Merit Scholarship Corporation finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2,500 scholarships.

Area minority students recognized

Four area students were recognized at the 24th Annual Minority Achievement Awards as having the highest grade point averages in their school to graduate and Fort Meade Middle-Senior was recognized as being among the schools with the most improved students.

From Bartow High the student is Aaron Foley, from Bartow High International Baccalaureate is Youlei Li, from Fort Meade Middle-Senior is Allison Mechelle Peralta and from Summerlin Academy it is Krisham Rajaratnam.

The ceremony was held May 5 at the Branscomb Auditorium at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Each year, the event honors minority students who achieve a 3.5 grade point average or above in regular education classes. During the ceremony, each school’s minority graduate with the highest GPA and each school’s “most improved” minority graduate (a graduate who makes significant academic gains from their freshman year to their senior year) are named.

The mission is to recognize high-achieving minority students and instill in them a sense of pride for their academic success. Asian, Indian, Hispanic and African- American minority students were the target of a group of school administrators in 1991 who recognized the need to encourage this diverse student body to succeed. Since the program’s inception, more than 5,000 students have been honored through the Minority Achievement Awards program.

Achievement Academy has its Hope for Brighter Futures luncheon

The Achievement Academy has its 4th Annual Hope for Brighter Futures luncheon from 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 14 at the Lone Palm Golf Club, 800 Lone Palm Drive, Lakeland.

The Hope for Brighter Futures Luncheon is one of the Achievement Academy’s yearly fundraising events. Community supporters gather for a special lunch program where they hear touching stories from parents whose children have benefited from our programs. Through the generosity of private and corporate donors, funds raised through this event are utilized to fund the Mission of the Academy and provide speech, occupational and physical therapies to students.

The levels of sponsorship range from a Single Table Sponsorship of $200 to a Bright Futures Sponsorship of $5,000.

Individual tickets for the luncheon are available for $25.

For questions or information, call Eunice M. Hutto at 863-683-6504 or visit

The Achievement Academy is a pre-kindergarten charter school providing education and therapy services to children with developmental delays/disabilities in Polk County. It assists children through 6 and their families through education, support, resources and advocacy at each of its three locations in Bartow, Lakeland and Winter Haven.

Ace Mentor awards and scholarship banquet set

A CE Mentor Program has its first Awards and Scholarship Banquet on Tuesday, May 20.

Tickets for the event are $25 per person and sponsors are being sought to purchase a table for $250. It will be at 6 p.m. at the W.H. Stuart Center, 1710 U.S. 17-98, Bartow.

ACE stands for Architecture, Construction, and Engineering. The ACE Mentor Program was founded this past year to introduce high school students to career opportunities in the design and construction industry. Through a partnership among industry professionals — architects, engineers, construction managers, and other professionals from related organizations — volunteers serve as mentors to high school students in order to introduce them to the A/C/E professions and encourage them to pursue studies and careers in these fields.

Over the last 16 weeks, students have planned, designed, and constructed a project. The banquet is the culmination of the 16-week program, where the students’ projects will be showcased.

Thanks to the support of our financial sponsors, our ACE Mentor chapter will award scholarships to students for them to pursue a career in Architecture, Construction, or Engineering. Learn more about ACE Mentor at

If you are interested in attending the banquet, contact Brian Brogen, Southeastern Construction at or Jennifer Hall, SEMCO Construction

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