Volunteer Youth Awards: Students Recognized for Giving Back
Posted on: May 23, 2012
Volunteer Youth Awards: Students Recognized for Giving Back

Earlier this month, twenty Tampa Bay students were recognized for their stellar commitment to the community.  Each student receiving an award attended the Tampa Bay Rays vs. the Oakland Athletics game. They were announced publicly in front of fans and of course, friends and family who cheered them on as they were presented a laptop computer compliments of Bright House Networks for their generosity and volunteerism.

Winning students performed at least 50 hours of community service throughout the year while maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or better. This year’s competition had more than 250 applications.

“We believe volunteerism to be a core value and a civic duty,” said Mike Robertson, senior vice president, Bright House Networks Florida Operations. “This is one way that we can encourage young people to give back to their community. We hope that volunteerism will become a lifelong commitment for these winners, and their peers.”

All awarded students had volunteered for a variety of non-profit organizations throughout the Tampa Bay area, including:

Ryan Sutherland, a student at St. Petersburg High School volunteered his time at All Children’s Hospital. Other Pinellas County winners assisted at Suncoast Hospice, Center Against Spouse Abuse (CASA), and Clearwater Juniorettes-Relay for Life Team.

Isis Plant, a student at Plant City High School Co-founded “Tennis Anyone” an afterschool program for special needs students. Other winning students from Hillsborough County volunteered their time at Camp Jenny, a camp for Inner City kids from Atlanta, A Kids Place, a unique, state of the art, 60-bed facility for abused, neglected, or abandoned children, and C.A.R.E., an animal clinic for local low-income residents.

Halie Rose Caudill, a student at Winter Haven High School volunteers her time at, The Haley Center, a free medical clinic for low-income families. Other students spent time at Southeastern Guide Dogs Association, Pasco County 4-H, Sea Turtle Preservation Society, Kids Helping Kids of Shawn & Jessica Doolittle Children’s Charity Fund Inc., Brooksville Elementary School, Devereux Kids Crystal River Neighborhood Project, a facility specializing in children’s behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and Citrus Future Farmers of America.

Megan Wiedeman, a student at Southeast High School gives her time to Treasures Thrift Shop benefitting Tidewell Hospice. Other Manatee County winners volunteered for Manatee Glens, YMCA of Lakewood Ranch, and Manatee Memorial Hospital.

More information is available online about the Volunteer Youth Awards on brighthouse.com/community.

Below are the names of the 2012 Volunteer Youth Award winners by county and high school:


  • Sarah Hierl, Countryside High School
  • Diana Gorman, St. Petersburg High School – IB
  • Milan Patel, Palm Harbor University High
  • Ryan Sutherland, St. Petersburg High


  • Emily Almand, Strawberry Crest
  • Karlye Becker, Riverview High School
  • Max Wolfson, H.B. Plant High School
  • Isis Ash, Plant City High School


  • Halie Rose Caudill, Winter Haven High School
  • Lexus Pfaff – Harrison School for the Arts
  • Rachel Wise, Zephyrhills High School (Not Pictured Above)
  • Alexandra Pierovich, Land O’ Lakes High School
  • Jessica Doolittle, F. W. Springstead High School
  • Lance Robert LeDoux, Nature Coast Technical School
  • David Meeks, II, Citrus High School
  • Evan D. Kegler, Citrus High School


  • Matthew Davis, Southeast High School
  • Megan Wiedeman, Southeast High School
  • Kelsie Thomas, Lakewood Ranch High School
  • Katty Pierre-Charles, Manatee High School

How do you give back in the community?  Do you volunteer, donate or serve on a local non-profit board?

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Leah Brown
Leah Brown

(2) Readers Comments
  1. Great job, what a nice idea to recognized the kids who make a difference with a laptop!

    In our area, Waterford, MI, we had 5 girls who put in over 2000 hours of volunteering and all had over 3.5 grade point, and only received a letter and a lapel pin for their hard work.

    Way to go TAMPA area!

    • As a scholarship requirement, each student we awarded for their community service also excelled in the classroom. We agree the laptop computers are a great way to recognize the winners. At the awards it was truly humbling how appreciative the students’ were of the prizes, they graciously thanked us and I’ve received several thank you cards in the mail as well.

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