Board Recognizes Six Exceptional Young People
A sixth-grader who has collected and donated tens of thousands of books to organizations across the country. A sophomore who founded the Tampa-based nonprofit Charity Health Resources. And a 16-year-old cancer survivor who earned training certifications from the tech giant Apple. These three individuals are examples of how young people can dedicate themselves to improving their community, and shape its future.
This is the underlying mission of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners' Youth Excellence and Achievement (YEA!) Awards. The YEA! Awards recognize young peoples' positive contributions in areas including academics, community service, athletics, and the performing arts. The Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women selected this year's winners from over 50 nominees.
During the Board of County Commissioners meeting on May 2, the following six students were recognized for their initiative, innovation, and commitment to Hillsborough County.
Success Despite Difficult Odds
Isaac Cross, Livingstone Academy High School | See Video
A cancer survivor, Isaac's strength and determination earned him straight A's at school. He received various training certifications from Apple, and after graduating, he plans to pursue a career in consulting.
Carlie Wilson, Burnett Middle School | See Video
Carlie overcame numerous serious health issues. She has appeared on the principal's honor roll, and participated in the Science Fair. When she grows up, she wants to become an anesthesiologist.
Volunteer or Community Service
Harsh Bagdy, C. Leon King High School | See Video
Harsh founded the Tampa-based nonprofit Charity Health Resources, which helps provide gently-used medical equipment such as wheelchairs and other mobility devices to those in need.
Chase Hartman, Farnell Middle School See Video
Chase has collected and donated over 42,000 books to 80 schools, hospitals, libraries, and organizations in 40 states, including Hillsborough County schools. He also provided 3,000 books to patients at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa.
Brooke Shapiro, Plant High School | See Video
Brooke is president of the 250-student chorus, founder and president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, musical director and founder of Plant's Pink Panther Acapella Group, an AP Scholar, a National Merit Commended Scholar, and a group organizer for March For Our Lives Tampa.
James LaFayette Jr., Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Arts | See Video
James is a straight-A student who has earned assistant principal cellist in the prestigious All-State Middle School Orchestra two years in a row, and also has been selected as a cellist for the All-County Orchestra. In addition, he is the principal cellist in the Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.