Dear Volunteer Florida Partners and Friends:

Please see the press release below from Governor Rick Scott announcing the winners of the Governor’s 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month art, essay, and educator awards. Volunteer Florida is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Governor in this initiative and to recognize these outstanding students and educators for their accomplishments.

Volunteer Florida is grateful for the generous support of the following sponsors:

  • Florida Prepaid College Foundation
  • AT&T
  • Comcast
  • Walmart
  • Florida Power and Light
  • Prudential
  • Florida Lottery
  • Florida Blue


October 30, 2017
(850) 717-9282

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott Announce Hispanic Heritage Month Contest Winners


TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  – Today, Governor Scott and First Lady Ann Scott announced the 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month student and teacher contest winners. This year’s theme was “A Recognition of the Role of Hispanic-Americans in Shaping Florida Today,” and the winners were honored during the annual Hispanic Heritage Month reception at the Florida Governor’s Mansion.

Governor Scott said, “Ann and I are proud to recognize these great students and teachers who participated in the Hispanic Heritage Month contests. Our state’s history has, and continues to be, shaped by Hispanic Floridians and I’m glad so many students took the opportunity to explore Florida’s history while having the opportunity to earn a college scholarship.”

First Lady Ann Scott said, “I’m so proud of the students and educators who participated in this year’s contests and Floridians across the state who joined us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Congratulations to these outstanding contest winners, especially the deserving students who earned a college scholarship.”

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said, “Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for Florida students to learn about the many Hispanic-Americans whose hard work and innovation make Florida the best state in the nation. I am proud to recognize the Excellence in Education Award recipients for ensuring Hispanic students and their families have the information and resources necessary to succeed and for sharing their passion for Hispanic heritage in their schools and communities. I also commend the three students who earned 4-year Florida College Plan scholarships through the Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest; this is a life-changing opportunity to accomplish their education goals, and I am confident they will make the most of it.”

Volunteer Florida Chief Executive Officer Vivian Myrtetus said, “Volunteer Florida is honored to join Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott to present awards to these outstanding students and educators. We are incredibly grateful for the many partners who made the recognition event possible – particularly the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, which provided three, 4-year Florida College Plan scholarships. Volunteer Florida was also thrilled to present the Champion of Service Award to an outstanding college student and service leader.”

Award recipients are as follows:

Essay winners:

Elementary School Category: Ayan Nallamshetty
Fifth grade, MacFarlane Park Elementary, Hillsborough County

Middle school Category: Charleigh Ann Wood
Sixth grade, Pasco Middle School, Pasco County

High School Category: Lina Neraas
Twelfth grade, J.R. Arnold High School, Bay County

Excellence in Education Award winners:

Elementary School Category: Gloria Matos, Greensboro Elementary School, Gadsden County

Middle School Category: Tzeitel Chacon-Rosado, FAU Lab School, Palm Beach County

High School Category: Romina Jannotti, Paul J. Hagerty High School, Seminole County

Student Art Contest winners:

Noah Henry, Coral Reef Elementary, Miami-Dade County
Title of art: “Spring”

Sophia Maxine Gatdula, Wyndham Lakes Elementary Schools, Orange County
Title of art: “Latin Florida”

Honorable Mention: Gabriel H. Mikati, Pinewood Elementary, Martin County
Title of art: “Florida Melting Pot”