For The Community
Walter B. Arnold Youth Hall of Fame
Community Service Award
This award recognizes noteworthy youth achievement for private and public middle and high school students from Miami-Dade County in service to their school and/or community. The Youth Hall of Fame was created to commemorate those students whose unselfish commitments of time and energy have impacted others in a beneficial way. In honoring youth achievement, the Youth Hall of Fame serves as a beacon to present and future youth.
- Open to all middle and high school students in public, private, parochial and home schools.
- Students should show an ability to lead and involve others in their community service project.
- Students should demonstrate perseverance, independence, creative and critical thinking skills.
- All services must be documented.
- Community service should be varied with one major community service project highlighted.
There is one winner each in the high school and middle school category who will be inducted into the Youth Hall of Fame. Finalists are also recognized in each of the five Regional Centers of Miami-Dade County Public Schools at the high school and middle school level. Private school finalists will be divided into the Regional Centers by the physical address of the school. All finalists and inductees will be honored at a ceremony at The Fair. Each finalist will receive $100 and a plaque. Inductees will receive $1,000 and a plaque.
The Life and Legacy of Walter B. Arnold, Jr.
Walter B. Arnold Jr. admired the creativity, dreams and accomplishments of our community's youth and wanted to recognize and reward these talented young people. He was devoted to youth programs, community service and the celebration and recognition of young achievers.
In 2001, The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition Board of Directors officially established the Youth Hall of Fame Community Service Award to honor the vision and dream of Walter B. Arnold, Jr.
Anilegna Nuñez Abreu
South Miami Senior High School
Anilegna Nuñez, a senior at South Miami Senior High School, founded H.E.L.P., her school’s tutoring and mentoring program, with a peer. When she tutored a schoolmate with autism, the positive experience opened her eyes to just how much of an impact the program could have. At least 56 students have been tutored through H.E.L.P., with another 40 involved in the program’s mentoring component. Students who have attended 10 or more tutoring sessions have scored a 100 percent passing rate compared to 79 percent for those who have attended fewer than 10 sessions.
Archimedean Middle Conservatory
SaiLasya, a seventh-grader at Archimedean Middle Conservatory, found her inspiration to stop child exploitation in an assignment at her school’s philosophy club. SaiLasya summarized the group’s findings on sex trafficking, child labor, organ trafficking, and drug trafficking then launched a Change.org petition to raise funds for organizations fighting these. She enlisted community support by speaking at schools, the Hindu Society of Miami, and Rotary clubs. Her efforts garnered 200 petition signatures, hundreds of dollars, and accolades from the Miami Police Department and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Although she admits that bringing about change can be difficult, SaiLasya says: “One change can help change the world.”
- Abigail Colon from Hialeah Gardens Senior High School
- April Rubin from Coral Reef Senior High School
- Anabelle Ballate from Lawron Chiles Middle School
- Paulina Almada from G.W. Carver Middle School