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3 Young Heroes recognized by Board

Young Heroes Honored from Newsroom Videos on Vimeo.

Pinellas County Schools recognized the 2012-13 fall semester Young Heroes award winners at its board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26: Hannah Arthur, Lakeview Fundamental; Alian Collazo of Dixie Hollins High; and, Michelle Yongue of Palm Harbor University High.

The Pinellas County Schools’ Young Heroes Award is a way for the district to recognize students in grades K-12 who give tirelessly of themselves through community service or who have inspired others through their deeds and strength of character. Each winner receives a $500 Savings Bond supplied by Robert McIntyre, CEO of DITEK.

Hannah Arthur, a fourth grader, heard a radio report that every 45 seconds someone dies from malaria. She counted to 45 and realized that someone had just died. She decided to do something to help prevent that: Hannah held an art show in her home and raised $350. With the proceeds, she purchased 40 mosquito nets and sent them to southwestern Ethiopia to help protect children from the mosquito-borne infectious disease.

Alian Collazo almost lost his life when he came to the United States at the age of 8. The boat that he was in capsized in the Gulf of Mexico as his family was fleeing Cuba. For a day and a half, they drifted in the ocean with no food or water. Now a senior, Alian has turned his tumultuous start into triumph. He is president of the student body, vice president of the National Honor Society and he founded a UNICEF club that held a rally to heighten awareness of the plight of children in third world countries.

Michelle Yongue, a freshman and a vision student, helps younger visually impaired students feel more confident by volunteering at elementary schools and summer vision camps. She tutors students after school with braille instruction. Michelle provides the students with strategies to use in school and informs them about the latest devices in technology that can help them succeed. Michelle also mentors students on personal issues visually impaired people often face.