Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Oct. 17, 2019 – A Pine Forest Elementary School fourth grader was among the winners announced this week of Florida’s 2019 Hispanic Heritage Month Essay contest.
Julietta Ramirez said she was both shocked and proud to be selected as the elementary school winner out of the entire state.
“It didn’t feel real,” Ramirez said. “I was proud of myself. I felt like I could do anything I put my mind to.”
In her essay entitled “Justice with Compassion,” Ramirez wrote about Judge Tatiana Radi Salvador, a member of the 4th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.
She highlighted how the judge exemplified the theme of this year’s contest: Celebrating Public Service.
Salvador – who like Ramirez, has extensive family in Colombia that she visits often – values giving back to the community and serves in several organizations including City Year, Leadership Jax and One Jax.
Ramirez notes how the judge embraces her Hispanic heritage and believes her appreciation of diversity enables her to be more compassionate to all.
“I feel inspired by her story and all the differences she has made in my community,” wrote Ramirez. “This makes me want to be a better person as I look up to her for her service.”
Her love of community service was noted by her teachers at Pine Forest, who encouraged her to enter the contest.
“Not many fourth graders would choose to spend their free time researching for an essay and setting up appointments to interview judges,” said Michelle Lovelace, fourth-grade teacher at the school. “But Julietta is very passionate about public service and Hispanic representation in her community. She is proud of her roots and wants to share that with the world around her.”
In addition to being recognized by First Lady Casey DeSantis, Ramirez and the other essay contest winners were awarded a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.
To read the full essay from Ramirez, click here.
For more information about the state’s 2019 Hispanic Heritage Essay contest, visit here: http://www.fldoe.org/newsroom/latest-news/first-lady-casey-desantis-announces-2019-hispanic-heritage-month-student-teacher-contest-winners.stml
District winners to be recognized on Friday
This Friday, the three winners of the district’s Hispanic Heritage Essay Contest will be recognized at 2 p.m. at City Hall in the Mayor’s Large Conference Room. The winners are:
Jaabir Syed - Mandarin High School, 11th grade Essay: “An exceptional role model: LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber”
Tiffany Black - Mandarin High School, 11th grade Essay: “Tomas A. Jimenez”
Rico Simmons - Alfred I. duPont Middle School, 8th grade Essay: “Ms. Duff”