Top student athletes honored by Junior Orange Bowl Committee

The Junior Orange Bowl Committee recently awarded the Henry O. Langston Scholar Athlete Award to several local student athletes during the annual Florida High School Athletic Association’s Football State Championships at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

For about 40 years, the committee has honored student athletes for their commitment and perseverance in both the classroom and on the field. The Henry O. Langston Scholar Athlete Award is given to the student athlete who has the highest GPA of all team members participating in the state championship. Sponsored by Gulliver Schools and Bank of America, the award is named after Hank Langston, a Miami-Dade educator, and mentor for 55 years.

South Florida award recipients included Jaquez Stuart of Miami Northwestern High School, Dylan Perez of Christopher Columbus High School, Donald Georges of Champagnat Catholic School and Domenic Bruzzi of Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School.

The committee also recognized the winners of the state championship games and the champions of Classes 3A and 6A were Chaminade-Madonna and Miami Northwestern, respectively.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami recently hosted its first combined golf and tennis tournament, called The Big Open, at the Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club to support the organization’s mentees.

The inaugural tournament featured clay courts, the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course and more than 120 players. The individual golf players raised $85,000, while the tennis players raised $15,000.

“The addition of tennis to our annual tournament encouraged even more of our organization’s members and volunteers to enjoy a day of healthy competition in support of a great cause,” said Gale Nelson, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami.

For information on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, visit


David Jenkins, third from left, of the Young Men’s Preparatory Academy recently received several $100 gift cards as part of the Miami Herald’s Wish Book Program. The gift cards were delivered to David by Officer Samuels of the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department, Principal Pierre Edouard, and Matthew Tisdol representing Miami-Dade School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.

Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Young Men’s Preparatory Academy

David Jenkins of the Young Men’s Preparatory Academy received several $100 gift cards as part of the Miami Herald’s Wish Book Program.

The Wish Book Program was created to assist those in need in South Florida through contributions from both Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald readers. After recently losing his sister to gun violence and his mother to cancer, the donations from the program has helped David to get a holiday meal with his grandmother and to purchase school clothes.

Shoes That Fit

Shoes That Fit and the Pinnacle Housing Group recently joined forces to distribute new athletic shoes to more than 200 students at South Miami Heights Elementary School during the holiday season.

Founded in 1992, Shoes That Fit is a California-based nonprofit that aims to provide children in need with new athletic shoes in hopes of helping students attend school with dignity and prepared to learn.

“This is the second year Pinnacle has worked with the amazing team at South Miami Heights Elementary as part of our continued commitment to rejuvenating local communities through important initiatives,” said Jennifer Sanz, vice president, development programs at Pinnacle Housing Group. “A good pair of shoes goes a long way, and we’re excited to send kids into the new year with new shoes on their feet and smiles on their faces.”

For more information on Shoes That Fit, visit

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Music for Memories donated an electric bass guitar, two acoustic guitars, an electric guitar and a guitar amp to Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School in Miami, as part of the organization’s mission to spread the opportunity for music education to local students. Patrick Converse, the middle school’s music teacher, is pictured with the instruments.

Photo provided to the Miami Herald