|20th Annual Award Ceremony Honoring the Actions of Students that Make the World a Better Place to Air on Social Media
September 30, 2021 [St. Petersburg, FL] — For the past 20 years, The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) has been honoring the humanitarian efforts of exceptional high school juniors with its annual Anne Frank Humanitarian Award (AFHA), presented by Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. Typically, these remarkable young people are recognized to much applause during school presentations and at a special award ceremony at the Museum. Unable to hold an in-person awards ceremony again this year, The FHM called upon community, business, and non-profit leaders, elected officials, FHM Board Members, and celebrities to record virtual presentations highlighting each of this year’s 94 award recipients. Many of the presenters are from around the state and outside of Florida. The FHM wanted to make sure, especially as we continue to deal with COVID-19, that these students heard some applause.
Beginning on Monday, October 4th at 7:00 a.m., these individual videos will run on the FHM’s Facebook pagethrough October 8th. In total 94 videos will be aired showcasing the extraordinary accomplishments of each one these students. The honorees were nominated by their principals, guidance counselors, or teachers for their accomplishments during the 2020-2021 school year. The award winners represent every public and major private high school in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
“One of the things I appreciate about our Anne Frank Humanitarian Award program is that it is a great reminder that every individual can make a positive impact on his or her community in big and small ways,” said Interim Executive Director, Erin Blankenship.
“Anne Frank Humanitarian Award recipients exemplify what it means to be upstanders because of their willingness to help others and make a difference in order to improve the world around us. The Florida Holocaust Museum is grateful for our partnership with Publix Super Market Charities and community leaders for their continued support of this program and for helping us recognize these students in this virtual format.”
By “doing the right thing”, AFHA recipients hold true to the nature and spirit of Anne Frank who, in the face of great hardship, did not abandon her ideals. Their conscious efforts to better the lives of others in their schools, community, and beyond, embody the mission and principles of the Museum and help make the world a better place. As role models for their peers and the community during their senior year and beyond, their gifts of kindness, altruism, and community service help to make the world a better place and remind us that with their leadership our future is bright and hopeful.
The program was started in 2001 by Irene Weiss, a former FHM Board Chair and current Advisory Council Member, and is chaired Traci Klein, The FHM Board Member. Retired WFLA News Channel 8 anchor, Gayle Sierens, has served as the AFHA Honorary Chair since its inception.
AFHA is now celebrating its 20th anniversary with a diverse group of new recipients recognized both by their schools as well as at the Museum. To view our 20th anniversary video please visit: www.thefhm.org/events/anne-frank-humanitarian-award/
Each AFHA recipient will receive a glass plaque, a family membership to The FHM, a copy of The Diary of Young Girl by Anne Frank, and an inspirational stone. The program is made possible by presenting sponsor Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. Additional sponsors include: The James H. and Amy G. Shimberg Family Foundation, Laura and Kevin Morris in memory of Zach Morris, Werner and Rosa Cohen (of blessed memory), Lois and Peter Pardoll, Irene and Steve Weiss, Rachael and Don Worthington, Carolyn Bass; and Jody & Dennis Sherman.
Some of the 2021 Anne Frank Humanitarian Award Honorees:
Sydnie Espro, Northside Christian School, Pinellas CountySydnie was nominated by one of her teachers to participate in this year’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year campaign in the Suncoast area. Her team raised an incredible amount of funds…$14,970 to help the society in their quest to fund the most promising cancer research while being the #1 resource for families dealing with blood cancer from diagnosis to remission. Sydnie is described as a forward-thinking supporter and a wonderful ambassador for Northside Christian School and in the Tampa Bay community. Sydnie saw how her efforts could impact many young people who are waitingfor a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma. She was moved by their stories and even though the campaign has ended, she continues to find ways to invest in their lives and support the efforts to raise funds for cancer research and to support those diagnosed with cancer. Sydnie has been a leader at Northside Christian School for many years, beginning in middle school when she served as president of the National Junior Honor Society. Since the 10th grade, Sydnie has been a member ofthe National Honor Society. She served as Vice President of her sophomore class and this year served as the junior class President. In addition, Sydnie was recently nominated to serve as the student body President for the 2021-2022 school year. Her extracurricular activities include being a member of the swim team since and being a part of the cheerteam where she will serve as their captain this year.
Tatyannah Santos-Lopez-East Bay, High School, Hillsborough CountyA lifelong humanitarian, in the 8th grade Tatyannah Santos-Lopez started the first of her 3foundations, Knowledge over Poverty. Through this organization she collects books and donates them to kids who are less fortunate or don’t have a way to get books of their own.In the 9th grade she began #FoodFight. She was previously the Miss Citrus Teen and through that organization she attended various community service events geared toward ending food insecurity. After Tatyannah’s tenure as Miss Citrus Teen, she did not want to give up the cause and #Food Fight was born. Through this organization she collects food throughout her community and donates it to local food banks and food pantries such as Feeding America Centers and Feeding Tampa Bay. She also delivers food directly to people in her community. In the 10th grade she started Student Athletes for Change, which connects student athletes with service projects in their communities. The service projects range from community clean ups to coaching at rec parks in the area. This past Christmas, in the midst of the pandemic and knowing that hundreds of families were struggling to make ends meet, Tatyannah and her foundations, partnered with one of her former pageant sisters to do a toy drive. In three week’s time, they were able to collect over 18,000 toys that they donated to children not just in Hillsborough County butin neighboring counties across central Florida! In addition to the work she does with her foundations, Tatyannah also volunteers with various in-school organizations such as Junior Steering and Civics Unplugged. Tatyannah won the Congressional Gold ServiceMedal for starting her 3 organizations and the National American Miss Heart of Service Award for her over 3,000 hours of community service!
Abigail McKone, River Ridge High School, Pasco CountyAbigail has a heart to help others in her community and has headed community outreach events through the Girl Scouts organization for the past several years. Abigail is a model for younger scouts and hopes to continue her work in the community as a young adult. She encourages elementary students to do their best through tutoring and mentoring. Abigail and her troop participate in the annual Angel Tree donation program, and they collect blankets and clothing donations to give to a local Women’s shelter. Abigail is also member of the River Ridge Teaching Academy. As a Girl Scout, Abgail conducted meetings where she contacted and invited speakers to come and speak to her peers. In the meetings that she leads, she identifies a relevant skill that other girls must learn and helps them with the skill, making sure she presents the necessary materials and instructions needed. Abigail received the bronze award from the Girl Scouts for raising funds through donations, where her troop purchased books for children at St. Joseph hospital.
Logan Kliewer, Bradenton Christian School, Manatee CountyLogan Kliewer is such a humble leader! He is committed to bettering his school through Key Club where he has served as an officer for years and has been instrumental in community service projects to include:Operation Christmas Child,Coastal clean ups throughout the year,And also distributed candy grams to raise money to fight leukemia.Logan participated in “Night of Wonder” which was a dance held for students with disabilities.Logan applied to and was accepted to participate in Junior Leadership Manatee. He then took days throughout the last year to learn more about the businesses, commerce, and leadership of Manatee County.Logan is also a student athlete and participated in the varsity football and varsity wrestling program.
Rayne Felix, Sarasota Military Academy, Sarasota CountyRayne is a caring, humble student who always tries to help fellow students. Rayne is part of the school Ambassadors’ program aimed at assisting new students transitioning to high school. He helps by either leading tours, having students shadowing him during the school day, or helping with activities to promote a positive school environment. Rayne participated as a volunteer for Operation Second Chance, assisting in setting up fun events for veterans. Rayne loves music, plays the ukulele and is currently learning the keyboard. He also sings the National Anthem representing the Sarasota Military Academy for many community events. Rayne is an active participant in his church, assisting with the sound system, conducting the band and sometimes singing, as well as helping toorganize events. Rayne describes himself as a kind-hearted young man who helps others because “you never know what is going on in some else’s life. We can always make some else’s life better, why not help? Everyone has the capacity to be kind!” Rayne was selected as the vice-president of the Student Council in 2019-20 to give students a voice in school matters. He is also a member of the Ambassador’s program and was part of the Drill team last year. He is interested in becoming a JROTC leader for his upcoming senior year to gain experience and become a role model for others seeking to improve their lives and the lives of other students. Rayne! Thank you, for your amazing leadership!
Please stay engaged with The FHM online through the Museum’s virtual tour, virtual resources, online curriculum, collections, Holocaust Survivor testimonies, and on its social media pages Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The Florida Holocaust Museum is now open Wednesdays – Sundays from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Please continue to visit TheFHM.org for Museum updates.
About The Florida Holocaust MuseumOne of the largest Holocaust museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit www.TheFHM.org
|Sydnie Espro, Northside Christian School, Pinellas County
|Tatyannah Santos-Lopez, East Bay High School, Hillsborough County
|Abigail McKone, River Ridge High School, Pasco County
|Logan Kliewer, Bradenton Christian School, Manatee County
|Rayne Felix, Sarasota Military Academy, Sarasota County