Lombardi / Stamps Alumni Bios
Bios of scholars when they were freshmen that have now graduated!
Class of 2018 Scholar Bios
Ariana Agrios is a graduate of Oak Hall School in Gainesville, Florida where she served as vice president of Chinese Club as well as her Senior Class, and was co-captain of the Varsity Track and Field team. Profoundly interested in world affairs, Agrios has studied Spanish, French, Chinese, and Ancient Greek, and traveled to Changzhou, China in 2013 as part of a cultural exchange program. She also participated in a United Nations summer program and was a member of Young Democrats and Youth in Government. Outside of school, Agrios is an instructor and performer with Hogan School of Irish dance and competes at the Regional, National, and North American levels. Agrios plans to major in International Studies with a focus on European politics.
Madison Behm is a graduate of Plantation High School in South Florida, where she participated in the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism program and was heavily involved with the school’s chapter of DECA, a leadership program for students of business, finance, and marketing. Behm served as Florida’s representative in the International DECA competition for three years, and as president of her high school chapter in senior year. Behm has dedicated many hours to community service, volunteering with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Broward Coalition for the Homeless, and the Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders program. She has competed as a varsity and all-star cheerleader and volunteers as a youth coach. During her senior year, Behm was one of two student representatives on the Broward County District Attendance Committee where she worked to increase student attendance throughout the district. She plans to major in public relations in preparation for a career in law.
Mihael Cudic graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at Atlantic High School in Port Orange, Florida in June, where he was Debate Club president and helped establish a SECME club with the goal of promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in the community. Cudic also worked with middle school robotics teams in Volusia County and competed at the First Robotics’ South Florida Regional. Cudic completed internships at the United States Department of Agriculture and the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and has presented his research findings at an international symposium. Cudic will major in electrical engineering and hopes to someday influence public policy in support of science education.
Eliana French earned the International Baccalaureate Diploma at Vanguard High School in Ocala where she was also involved in the TV production program and served as captain of the soccer team. French earned national honors for a public service announcement she co-produced and has an interest in documentary filmmaking. Outside of school, French is the alto leader for her choir and head of the Operation Shoebox program in her community. French plans to double major in Spanish and telecommunications with an emphasis in production.
Megan Hirsh is a graduate of Cypress Bay High School where she was captain of the nationally ranked debate team and a four-year varsity cheerleader. Under her leadership, the debate team earned top honors at several national tournaments in Public Forum Debate, including the University of Florida Blue Key invitational round robin. She has been recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Speech and Debate Association member of premier distinction, and was a South Florida Silver Knight Award nominee. Megan plans to double major in economics and sustainability studies and serve as a member of the Peace Corps before attending graduate school in development economics.
Nicholas Kaufman is a graduate of Nova High School, where he served as captain of the Debate Team’s Extemporaneous Speaking Squad and tutored students as an active member of the Biology, Chemistry, and Math Clubs. Kaufman has played piano for twelve years, earning nine consecutive “Superior” rankings in the Piano Solo division of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs. Additionally, he has been recognized as a National AP Scholar and completed a medical internship at the Hahnemann University Hospital. Kaufman has completed university-level computer science and propositional logic courses at the Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science, where he also serves as a Teaching Assistant. Kaufman plans to major in Biomedical Engineering and eventually work as a cardiologist in a setting where he can perform research creating new medical technologies.
Rebecca Kiriazes graduated from Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park where she was recognized as outstanding student in both AP Environmental Science and Painting and performed in three TPS musical productions. She relaxes while jamming on her ukulele, playing piano, or swimming laps on the Varsity swimming team. An active Girl Scout for over ten years, Kiriazes earned the Presidential Volunteer Award and the Girl Scout Gold Award for her many hours of service to the community. During the summer of 2013, Kiriazes interned in the Office of Chief Engineering at NASA Kennedy Space Center testing tether systems for high altitude balloons and plans to major in Civil Engineering at UF.
Amaleah Mirti graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at Eastside High School in Gainesville where she grew up and works on an organic family farm, selling produce weekly at two farmer’s markets. In 2012 she was one of two Florida representatives to be selected to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, where she met with foreign dignitaries and presented a research essay on water sustainability in Ethiopia. She returned to stage an Oxfam Hunger Banquet at her school to raise awareness about local and global food security. In recognition of these accomplishments, the World Food Prize Foundation has selected Mirti for participation in the Borlaug-Ruan Internship Program in China this summer. She has worked at an invasive ecology lab at UF, where she plans to complete a dual degree in chemistry and history.
David Paul Stanley is a graduate of Atlantic Coast High School in Jacksonville, where he was a member of the varsity swim team and a participant in Youth Leadership Jacksonville. In 2010 he founded Paul Stanley Services, LLC, which offers commercial/residential landscaping and pressure washing services to the local community. In addition to his work, Stanley trains with a beach lifeguarding squad and has received First Responder and USLA Surf Rescue certification. He plans to double major in finance and information systems in the Heavener School of Business.
Schiley Vertusca grew up in Gonaives, Haiti and moved to the United States at age fourteen. He graduated from Coconut Creek High School where he served as secretary of the National Honors Society and was a Florida American Legion Boys State participant. Vertusca conducted scientific research at the University of Miami in his sophomore year, where he investigated the regeneration capabilities of the zebra fish. Vertusca plans to major in biomedical engineering in preparation for a career in medicine
Austin Young earned the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE Diploma) with Distinction from Estero High School, where he was president of the Debate Team, treasurer of the Student Council, and played guitar for the Varsity Jazz Band. Additionally, he served as president of Estero’s chapter of the National Honor Society and vice president for the district. Young cofounded the AICE Student Union at EHS and served as chairman, mentoring younger members of the program and providing opportunities for community service projects. He was elected Senate President at Florida American Legion Boys State and plans to major in political science in pursuit of a career in public policy.
Class of 2017 Scholar Bios
Sean Patrick Bliven of Lutz was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age nine. He has since then been highly involved with the Arthritis Foundation, working to spread awareness through an annual charity golf tournament as well as other fundraising events. Bliven has been a member of the Youth Advisory Board at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, the largest science museum in the southeast for the last five years, serving as president this year. In 2012, he was awarded the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award from the Florida Holocaust Museum in recognition of his years of service to the community. Bliven will graduate from Freedom High School where he serves as editor-in-chief of the yearbook, president of the Interclub Council, and as officer in numerous other organizations.
Alexis Cunio is a National Merit Finalist in the International Baccalaureate Program at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra. She is fluent in American Sign Language and teaches it to elementary school children in downtown Jacksonville. Committed to service, Cunio spends vacation time on mission trips to Guatemala, Honduras, and Jamaica, where she managed arts at a camp for deaf teens. She plans to major in chemistry in order to pursue a career as a pediatrician.
Juan Ehringer is a senior at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange. Fascinated by machines and technology since childhood, he serves as president of the Florida Junior Academy of Science as well as the Physics and Engineering Club, and vice president in the American Chemistry Society. He has competed in the Florida state science fair several times, securing a fourth place finish in 2012. In his spare time Ehringer enjoys tinkering with the electric sports car he has been constructing since his sophomore year of high school or managing computer donation drives in his community. He plans to major in materials science or mechanical engineering.
Nishtha Garg: A National Merit Finalist and AP Scholar with Distinction, Nishtha Garg is senior at Stanton College Preparatory High School in Jacksonville. She plans to pursue a career in medicine conducted research in Dr. Ben Dunn’s lab as a participant in the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida. Garg also volunteers at St. Luke’s Hospital and organized a project to spread awareness about cardio cerebral resuscitation (CCR) as a member of her high school’s medical society. Since seventh grade she has choreographed, coordinated, and taught Indian cultural dances to children in the Jacksonville area and plans to continue this activity at UF. Garg plans to major in biology.
Nicholas Johnson: Johnson is an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate at C. Leon King High School in Tampa. Johnson served as Drum Major for three years, and in that role he led the band at major events such as the Gasparilla Festival Parade and the Under Armour All-America Football game. Johnson is also principal chair in the Jazz Band, Full Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble for tenor saxophone and bass clarinet. As an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, he is especially concerned about the protection of tribal lands and preservation of natural resources, and to that end he plans to become an environmental lawyer. Johnson will study history with a minor in music performance.
Alexander Sargent: Sargent of Oviedo is a senior at Veritas Academy. He has participated in competitive forensics for 5 years and was a nationally ranked debater for 3 years, including a 6th place finish in Lincoln Douglas Debate at the 2012 NCFCA National Championship. He also taught Public Speaking 101 at The Regent Academy, an Orlando area private school. Sargent was one of two students selected to represent the state of Florida at American Legion Boys Nation in Washington D.C. after being elected Attorney General at Boys State in 2012. He has served as the North Florida District Governor of Junior Optimist Octagon International, where he helped to get young people involved in community service, while logging over 450 community service hours of his own. Sargent plans to major in political science and hopes to work in the field of political theory.
Ciara Styles: Styles is a senior at Ocoee High School and dual enrolled at Valencia College. She is heavily involved with the Student Government Association (SGA) and serves as the Florida Association of Student Council’s District Three Vice President, earning the Outstanding Dedication in SGA award for her commitment to the organization. Styles participated in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation, and volunteers with Give Kids the World, Habitat for Humanity and the Second Harvest Food Bank. Recognized as an Outstanding Participant in the 2013 National Achievement Scholars Program, Styles plans to major in neurobiological sciences in her path to becoming a psychiatrist.
Alexander Touchton: Touchton is an Advance International Certificate of Education (AICE) candidate at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville. He serves as president of Spanish Club and as editor-in-chief and founding member of the school newspaper “The Mandarin Times,” since 2010. In 2012 Touchton won the Florida Black History Month Essay Contest, earning a scholarship as well as recognition from the governor. He plans to double major in chemistry and linguistics, and continue on to graduate school to earn a PhD in chemistry.
Robert King: A National Merit Finalist and AP Scholar with Distinction, King is a senior at Maclay School in Tallahassee. He is a national champion certamen player, State Parliamentarian of the Florida Junior Classical League, and President of the Maclay Junior Classical League. An avid soccer player, he is Co-Captain of his varsity soccer team and volunteers in a soccer training program for disabled youth. King was selected to represent his school at Boys State in 2012, where he was elected Laundryman and State Representative. He plans to earn dual degrees in classical studies and biology.
Ethan Landrum: Landrum is a senior at Pensacola High School, where he is president of the National Honor Society, editor-in-chief and founder of his school’s digital newspaper “The Prowler,” and founding member of the Science Olympiad chapter. He has been named a QuestBridge Scholar and an AP Scholar, and competed at the state level of Science Olympiad as well as the History Fair. Landrum participated in a research program at the University of West Florida in 2012, where he studied the optical properties of liquid crystals. He plans to major in engineering in preparation for a teaching career.
Christina Wiley: Wiley is an International Baccalaureate senior at Bartow High School. She is passionate about youth engagement in the civic process, a cause she has been working to advance during her six years as a part of Florida YMCA Youth in Government. Wiley founded a chapter at her high school and a local middle school, mentored middle school students for the past four years, served as Speaker of the House and Florida Youth Governor, and was distinguished as an Outstanding Statesman in her third year at the Conference on National Affairs. During her junior year, she spent a week working as a Senate Page in the Florida Capitol where she has also served as an inaugural YMCA Youth Advocate. In addition to her civic involvement, Wiley enjoys playing violin within the First United Methodist Youth Orchestra and scouting. She plans to earn degrees in economics and political science with a minor in public service.
Class of 2016 Scholar Bios
Isis Ash is a senior at Plant City High School in Plant City, Florida where she is a scholar, leader, athlete, and philanthropist. Isis currently maintains a 6.26 weighted GPA and was recently named a National Achievement Finalist and an AP Scholar of Distinction. She has participated in seventeen different clubs and extracurricular activities ranging from the Drama Club to the Academic Team. She has served as Secretary of Executive Council, Editor of Key Club, and a Student Council Representative. For the last four years, Isis played on the Girls Varsity Tennis Team, and is currently the number one seeded player and co-captain. She incorporated her love of tennis into her volunteer work when she co-founded Tennis Anyone, an after-school program that teaches special needs students to play tennis so that they can compete in the Special Olympics. She led a second community project last summer, called “Isis’ July Birthday Blood Drive”, to increase awareness about the importance of giving blood. The result was a 52% increase in donations, for the same month, year-over-year. Isis plans to follow the Pre-Dental program while obtaining her Bachelor degree so that, upon graduation, she can enter University of Florida's College of Dentistry
Ryan Baum is an artist, an intellectual, and a leader. He was a percussionist throughout middle school and high school playing the marimba, xylophone, timpani, snare, trap kit and a variety of hand-drums. In his sophomore year of high school art became one of his strong interests. In his first year, he won the Congressional Art Competition for Florida’s 8th district and his art was exhibited for a year in our nation’s capital. Since then his work has been exhibited throughout Central Florida, winning awards at Winter Park Art Festival and Maitland Art Festival, among others. He has a passion for ministry and community, serving over 500+ hours throughout high school. He helped lead the youth praise band at his church and youth leadership team, consistently logging 20+ hour weeks for the past four years. He is Valedictorian of his class, a National Merit Scholar, and an AP Scholar with Distinction. He is in National Honor Society as well as the honor societies for math, science, social studies, English and art. Baum hopes to dual major in Graphic Design and Psychology.
Amanda Clark is an International Baccalaureate senior at Southeast High School. She volunteers as a puppy raiser for Southeastern Guide Dogs, a local organization that provides guide dogs free of charge to visually impaired individuals. In addition to helping raise the next generation of guide dogs, Amanda has created a 45-minute instructional video for fellow puppy raisers called "How to Train Your Guide Dog Puppy” that will be placed on www.guidedogs.org. Currently, Amanda is in her fourth year as an active member Southeast Televsion (SETV) and has earned a third place national title (2009) and a national championship title (2011) in SkillsUSA Broadcast News Production. Amanda has held two officer positions in SETV, Historian (2010-2011) and Vice President (2011-2012). She has also been involved with Formula One in Schools since her sophomore year, holding a World Championship title (2010) and a third place world title (2011). She is also a member of the National Honor Society. Amanda hopes to pursue a career in television production, with a goal of one day directing the Super Bowl or the Olympics.
Brendan Dufresne is a graduating senior from Winter Park High School, in Winter Park Florida. A candidate in the International Baccalaureate Program, Brendan maintains a 4.0 un-weighted GPA and was named a National Merit Finalist. Brendan is a member of the National Honor Society, the Tri-M Music Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society. Brendan has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America since the age of six. He was inducted into the Order of the Arrow and has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. His Eagle project involved the construction of a simple machines exhibit for Lakemont Elementary School. In summer 2011, Brendan taught the Engineering Activity at a weeklong Cub Scout camp. Brendan has played the trombone for seven years, participating in the wind ensemble, jazz band, marching band, and orchestra at his school. He has been selected by audition for Florida All-State Concert and All-County Jazz ensembles for five years and the Orange County Honor Band for six years. In addition, Brendan has spent three years as the principal trombonist in the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra. Brendan is looking forward to attending the University of Florida to study chemical engineering and music.
Stephen Gibbs Academics and sports defined my early years. However, as I grew up I began to open up to more activities. I became a Boy Scout at age 11 and eventually achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Scouting introduced me to volunteering. We did Adopt-A-Road clean-ups, Scouting-For-Food drives, and I even had to fund, plan and carry out my own community service project. I’ve enjoyed the seeing the impact I can make when I volunteer. I became a counselor at my Church’s summer camp for three summers, became president of our school’s math club which offers free tutoring for students, and helped out at a youth football camp. I didn’t forget about sports or academics by any means. I played Varsity Football, Basketball, and Volleyball and was honored to be named Captain of all three teams my Senior year. While enjoying successful senior seasons in basketball and football (conference champs in both) I still managed to keep all A’s with a tough schedule (14 total AP classes taken) and to finish in the top 5 of my class of over 650 students.
Kaitlyn Johnston is a home schooled senior from Windermere, Florida who will graduate high school with her Honors Associate of Arts degree from Valencia College. During her four years of high school, Kaitlyn has taught public speaking and Latin classes at a classical private school. She competed nationally in both Lincoln Douglas Value Debate and Team Policy Debate, finishing third in the nation. A nationally ranked speaker by the age of fifteen, Kaitlyn has directed forensics camps for hundreds of students. She has spoken on over 100 community platforms from entertaining children at homeless shelters to sharing at community leaders’ conferences to promoting reading in schools. She was the Institute for Cultural Communicators’ 2010 Raudy Bearden Community Speaking National Award winner and served as editor for their national newsletter. Kaitlyn also plays on a nationally ranked quiz bowl team and tutors elementary mathematics students. She plans to major in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Linguistics.
Marshall Petrik is an International Baccalaureate student at Fort Myers High School. Along with family, academics are the main focus of his life, having had a 4.0 unweighted gpa throughout high school. In addition to scholastics, he is a dedicated athlete: a two year varsity swimmer, two year varsity cross-country runner, and a four year varsity track runner. Outside of school, he is a black belt in karate and an avid cyclist. His main hobby is penmaking, which he dedicates a lot of time to. He has progressed from making simple pens to making functional pieces of art. Penmaking has taught him many things about business and has piqued his interest in mechanical engineering, which he intends to study throughout college. Despite having a busy schedule, his family always comes first and he always finds time to spend with them.
Sameer Saboungi is an International Baccalaureate student at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, where he has been recognized as a National High School Scholar, an AP Scholar and a two-time recipient of the Volusia County Futures Foundation Recognition of Excellence Award. Saboungi is an active member of several organizations; he founded and is president of the Islamic Awareness Club, Captain of the school Academic Team, and has secretarial positions in the Florida Junior Academy of Sciences and the Junior American Medical Association. Saboungi has participated and won at the State Science Fair and Florida History Fair numerous times, and in the Regional Science and Social Studies Fair for six years. Saboungi has also represented Volusia County at the state Commissioner’s Academic Challenge for the past four years. He volunteers at the local Hospice, teaches Arabic at school, volunteers extensively at his local Mosque and teaches at its Sunday School. Saboungi also spearheaded a “Fast for Hunger” campaign that raised money and canned goods for the Second Harvest food bank and a Syrian Awareness Day that raised money to send much-needed humanitarian supplies to suffering and innocent Syrian civilians. Saboungi plans on pursuing a medical career in the future.
Ari Sharfstein is a Senior at American Heritage High School in Plantation, where he is the President of the Student Government, an active member of the Honors A Capella choral group, a member of the National Honor Society, and founding member of the Res Novae Philosophy Club. Ari has also applied his leadership skills to community service projects such as Stand Together, an anti-bullying campaign that he spearheaded at American Heritage, and Camp Jenny, where he has served as a counselor in training and head counselor for underprivileged youth from inner-city Atlanta for the past four years. Ari is the Head Regional Songleader for NFTY STR (North American Federation of Temple Youth Southern Tropical Region) and President of his temple youth group. A National Merit Finalist and AP Scholar, Ari plans to major in biochemistry with a concentration in neuroscience and a minor in music.
Marina Kay Wiatt is the valedictorian at Marathon High School with a perfect 4.0 unweighted GPA. Wiatt is both a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction. She has participated in the Academic Challenge Team for three years and was voted by her classmates as “Most Likely to Succeed”. A three sport varsity athlete, Wiatt served as team captain her senior year for Cross Country, Soccer and Tennis. Wiatt was recently awarded the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship as well as the Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs Scholarship. For three years, Marina Kay has served as the student representative to the Board of Directors for the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter, a local non-profit. She has also served for two years on the PeaceJam Youth Board of Monroe County as part of the Be the Change Club. Wiatt plans to pursue her love of mathematics and biology by majoring in Biomedical Engineering
Rachel Wise of Zephyrhills has authored a children’s book, won service awards in recognition of her anti-bullying work and has been a national finalist in public speaking competitions. She has served as president of Florida 4-H and worked as a messenger in the Florida House of Representatives. Wise is a competitive singer and enjoys acting. The combination of serving as editor-in-chief of her high school’s newspaper and her work with 4-H and the Legislature has inspired her to pursue a career that fuses her interests in journalism and political science.
Class of 2015 Scholar Bios
TJ Anderson: Anderson is a senior in the International Baccalaureate Program at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, FL. He is an active member in Gulliver’s music department where he is vice president of the wind ensemble, the clarinet section leader, and principal in the clarinet quartet. In addition to his music involvement, Anderson is vice president of Gulliver’s chapter of the National Honor Society and helped to develop a volunteer program to support an after school center for at risk youth in Florida City. An AP Scholar, Anderson plans to study history and economics.
Deina Bossa: Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Bossa moved to the United States at age eight. She will graduate from F.W. Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida this June while at the same time earning an Associate of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from Santa Fe College where she serves as a student government senator and president of the president of the Model United Nations Team. A finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, Bossa plans on studying Biology and Economics in preparation for medical school.
Joseph Di Paolo: DiPaolo is a senior at Lake Mary High School where he is president of the Teenage Republicans and secretary of Mu Alpha Theta and the Computer Science Club. DiPaolo is heavily involved with local politics and community volunteering, and has worked with senatorial and congressional campaigns. He plans to major in economics.
Corey Flayman: Flayman is a senior at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Grove where he is founder and editor in chief of the school's magazine, InMotion. He is also senior class president, having previously served in Student Government as 9th and 10th grade legislator and junior class secretary-treasurer. Flayman is interested in social media and intends to earn dual degrees in Journalism and Computer Science.
Hannah Gamache: Gamache is a senior at Tampa Preparatory School where she has applied her creative talents to community projects such as Coloring the Community, with whom she designed and painted murals at local elementary schools. She serves as president of STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur) and is an active member of the National Art Honor Society and the Poetry Club. She plans to major in English with emphases in creative writing and art, film, and media studies.
Alexia Khella: Khella is a senior at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton, Florida where she is editor-in-chief of the school literary and arts magazine, and photo editor and staff writer for the newspaper. Khella dedicates most of her time to S.M.I.L.E. Photography (Sharing Memories in Life Experiences), a non-profit organization she founded in 2010 which is committed to providing community groups with free photos of their events. Khella intends to expand S.M.I.L.E. into a university organization at UF, where she will double major in English and political science in preparation for law school.
Andrew Kolarich: Kolarich is an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate at Winter Park High School. An AP Scholar, Kolarich plans to pursue a career in medicine and volunteers at the Orlando Regional Medical Center where he is founder and editor in chief of the “TAV Newsletter”, a publication distributed specifically for teenage hospital volunteers. Kolarich enjoys scuba diving and backpacking, and was named an Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America. He plans to major in biology.
Corey Nickels: Nickels is a senior at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Florida. Nickels has been recognized in his community for his extensive recycling efforts and the development of a bicycle repair initiative that has facilitated the donation of almost 200 bicycles to those in need of transportation. Nickels plans to major in electrical engineering and conduct research on alternative energy.
Grace Ooi: Ooi is a senior at Nova High School in Davie, Florida. Ooi is president of her school’s Science National Honor Society, and is a volunteer peer-tutor for calculus and chemistry. During the summer of 2010, Ooi participated in the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida and was part of the first high school team to successfully launch an operating atmospheric balloon from Kennedy Space Center. An AP Scholar, Ooi plans to major in materials science engineering in order to pursue a career in energy technology.
Kristin Tringali: Tringali is a senior at Crystal River High School where she is active in several organizations including the calculus club and Students Against Destructive Decisions. She has for four years served as captain of the varsity tennis team and volunteers for the Boys and Girls Club as a tennis instructor. Tringali plans to major in physics with plans for a career as a medical physicist.
Valentina Vincentelli: A National Hispanic Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction, Valentina Vincentelli is a senior at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Vincentelli serves as Campus Ministry President for her school, and has since spring 2010 spent her vacation time on mission trips to the slums of Caracas, Venezuela (where she is from). She plans to major in industrial systems engineering with double minors in philosophy and religion.
Class of 2014 Scholars
Lindsay Avila: Avila is a senior at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, where she has been recognized as a Cambridge Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction. She has dedicated many hours to the Alachua County March of Dimes’ Chain Reaction Youth Leadership Program, where she served as Health Conference Chair for at risk youth and was the 120th top fundraiser in the nation. Avila was also the president of her school’s March of Dimes Club and co-president of STOMP (Students Teaching Open-Mindedness and Pride). She has been a volunteer at a school for children with special needs for the past ten years and has also been a student mentor for elementary aged students. Avila plans to double major in Political Science and Psychology and pursue a career in law.
Tyler Davidson: Davidson is a student in the International Baccalaureate Program at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School where he has been named a Senior of Distinction and an AP Scholar with Honors. In addition to his academic accolades, Davidson was awarded the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Community Service for organizing the Rafe Maccarone 5K Scholarship Fundraiser, which raised over $4000 toward a scholarship fund honoring a deceased classmate. Captain of his school’s cross country and track teams for two years, Davidson was selected for the All-Florida and All-South National Cross Country Team, and will be running cross country and track for the Florida Gators next year.
Lauren Donnangelo: Donnangelo is a senior in the International Baccalaureate Program at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra where she is ranked in the top one percent of her graduating class. An AP Scholar with Distinction, Donnangelo is treasurer of the National Honor Society, has been secretary of the National Art Honor Society, and is an active member in the Beta, National Hispanic, and National Science honor societies. She is also the Varsity swim team captain, and her freestyle relay has placed second at the state level, receiving All-American Consideration status. A dedicated volunteer, she has worked at the Baptist Medical Center for four years and has spearheaded several charity endeavors including a Haitian orphan relief drive. She is also a Red Cross certified ocean lifeguard, as well as an avid surfer and artist. She intends to double major in Neurological Sciences and Spanish before attending medical school.
Matletha Fuller: Fuller is the valedictorian and President of the senior class at Glade Central High School. She is a Coca-Cola Scholar and will be receiving her Associate of Arts in English simultaneously with her high school diploma. Fuller maintains positions as President of her Youth NAACP, striving for equal rights within the school and community, and Vice President of Glades Delta GEMS, a program that fosters self-esteem in "at-risk" teenage girls. As captain of the Drill Team, Fuller volunteers every summer as a dance choreographer for Street Beat, Inc. Performing Arts, a program that offers training in the arts for underprivileged children both locally and in Kingston, Jamaica. A member of her school's Criminal Justice Academy, Fuller volunteers at the Palm Beach County West Area Courthouse in preparation for her intended career as a juvenile defense lawyer.
Gabriel Hament: Hament is senior at Pine View School in Sarasota, Florida where he spearheaded the transformation of his school into the “GREEN” school of Sarasota implementing many sustainable practices, such as preferential parking for student carpoolers and raising money for a wind turbine to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. In 2009, Hament was awarded the Student Volunteer of the Year for the State of Florida by the Department of Education. He has worked on two US Congressional Campaigns and aspires to run for office one day.
Claire Kent: Kent is the valedictorian at Forest High School in Ocala. A four year member and past president of the Junior Classical League, she received the Silver Medal on the National Latin Exam, was awarded the Ike Neeley Latin Award, and has consistently placed in the top ten at regional and state Latin competitions. Kent plays on a national volleyball club team and as captain of her high school team led them to their first district championship in seven years. She was also one named by the Ocala Starbanner to both the all-county volleyball team and the all-county team for academics. Her plans are to study biochemistry and pursue a career in public health medicine.
Jose Perez: Perez is a senior at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, where he is valedictorian of his graduating class and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” Perez co-Editor in Chief of his school’s yearbook, and a finalist for Florida High School Journalist of the Year, as well as a St. Petersburg Times Career Journalism Scholarship recipient. An active member and President of the Future Business Leaders of America, he was awarded the first place Future Business Leader award. Perez also volunteers tutoring 6th grade students, and plans to be an English teacher.
Austin Reed: Reed senior at Lake Mary High School, where he is valedictorian of his senior class. A National Merit Scholar and an Eagle Scout, Reed enjoys being outdoors and participates in a variety of activities including camping, hiking, kayaking, cycling, SCUBA diving, and underwater photography. At Lake Mary, he is the president of Mu Alpha Theta and the Biology and Medicine Club and earned a Varsity letter in lacrosse. He has conducted research at the NanoScience Technology Center at The University of Central Florida where he worked under Dr. James Hickman on developing in vitro neuron culture techniques. He intends to major in microbiology/biochemistry at UF before continuing to medical school.
Alice Rhee: Rhee is a senior at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne. She has been named National Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and valedictorian. Rhee is co-captain of her school’s varsity tennis team, captain of the Academic Team, and holds leadership positions on Student Government, Mu Alpha Theta, Honor Council, and the National Honor Society. In her free time, she catches up on sleep, reads, and writes short stories, several of which have placed in the county writing competition.
Darien Williams: Williams is a senior at First Coast High School in Jacksonville where he has served as vice president of the FCHS Art Club and treasurer for International Thespian Society Troupe 4808. He has been recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Art at the Duval County 2009 School Board Exhibition, Outstanding Achievement in Junior Drama, and was awarded first place at the Clay County Shakespeare Recitation Contest. Williams has been involved with several theatrical stage productions including The Wiz, for which he was voted Best Actor. A highly engaged student, Williams also has other passions, including Anime Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Environmental Club, and Newspaper Staff.