2024 Community Involvement Awards


    Community Involvement Awards

    Honoring Broward County Public Schools outstanding family and community engagement initiatives, mentors, partners and volunteers.

    2024 Community Involvement Aw

  • Congratulations to the
    2024 Community Involvement Awards Winners! 

    Broward County Public Schools Community Involvement Awards (CIA) Ceremony was held on Thursday, May 23, 2024. The CIA was attended by more than 600 individuals who gathered to honor the District’s outstanding family and community engagement initiatives, volunteers, mentors and partners.

    This year’s event, emceed by Boyd H. Anderson High School Principal, James Griffin, II, featured student performances from Parkway Middle School, Plantation High School, South Plantation High School, Sunset Lakes Elementary School, Walker Elementary School, West Broward High School and William Dandy Middle School. Additionally, Broward Technical Colleges (Atlantic, Sheridan and McFatter) Professional Culinary Arts and Hospitality students provided a delectable breakfast.


     South Florida Institute on Aging

    South Florida Institute on Aging

    For over 50 years, the South Florida Institute on Aging's Foster Grandparent Program has partnered with Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) to provide invaluable support to students. Foster grandparents, aged 50 and above, offer mentorship, academic assistance, and emotional support to students, particularly those facing educational challenges or socio-economic disadvantages. Annually, the program serves an average of 600 students, prioritizing academic improvement and school readiness. Remarkably, 90% of these students demonstrate enhanced academic performance, reflecting the effectiveness of the program's interventions. Additionally, an impressive 90% show gains in school readiness, ensuring they are well-prepared for future educational endeavors.

    Furthermore, the program achieves significant success in core subjects, with 85% of students experiencing improvements in math, reading, and writing skills. This remarkable outcome is made possible by the dedication of 100-150 volunteers annually, who collectively provide 100,000-130,000 hours of service. These volunteers, acting as foster grandparents, offer invaluable mentorship and academic support, fostering a nurturing learning environment for students. Through this enduring partnership, the South Florida Institute on Aging and BCPS exemplify the transformative impact of intergenerational collaboration in education. Together, they continue to uplift students, equipping them with the skills and confidence needed to succeed academically and beyond.



     The City of Deerfield Beach

    City of Deerifeld Beach

    The City of Deerfield Beach has contributed towards improving public education in Broward County through their support of Deerfield Beach Elementary School, Deerfield Park Elementary School, Deerfield Beach Middle School, Quiet Waters Elementary School, Park Ridge Elementary School, and Deerfield Beach High School.

    The City has a great relationship with the schools’ principals and host quarterly round-table meetings to discuss ways in which the City can become more involved in the growth and development of Broward County Public Schools students. Additionally, the City’s Education Advisory Board assists the schools in Deerfield Beach with several initiatives and projects. Last year, almost 50 City employees proudly volunteered to help District students in programs such as JA BizTown, Reading Pals, Read for the Record, Career Day, School Advisory Council Meetings, and the Annual Back-to-School Block Party. In addition to the more than 350 hours of service provided through these endeavors, the City of Deerfield Beach also provided Deerfield Beach High School with an annual $5,000 grant to assist the Band with uniforms.



    Boies Schiller Flexner
    Morrow Elementary School Logo

    Elementary School Level

    Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP
    Morrow Elementary School 

    Boies Schiller Flexner LLP’s partnership with Morrow Elementary School has provided students with literacy-based opportunities, while introducing students to future career opportunities in the field of law. Through the dedication of Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP to the Book Fair literacy project, they provided students with free books to increase literacy at home while providing exposure to the legal field. They more than surpassed this goal at the inaugural event in March 2024 and along with the Federal Bar, esteemed judiciary, and lawyers, paralegals, and HR at Bois Schiller Flexner, LLP contributed to make this project a resounding success.

    Harvest Drive Pantry
    Pines Middle School

    Middle School Level
    The Harvest Drive School Pantry Project
    Pines Middle School 

    The Harvest Drive School Pantry Project’s partnership with Pines Middle School is designed to ensure school social workers have access to food to assist students, families, and staff that might be struggling with food insecurity. Since its foundation I 1992, Harvest Drive has expanded and developed into a reliable resource for the residents of Broward County, which now includes toiletries, household items/small appliances and clothes. Not only has the food drive helped alleviate the financial burden of putting nutritious meals on tables, but it has also instilled a sense of hope and solidarity within the community. Just in the first quarter of 2024, Harvest Drive has donated 165 bags of groceries and about 80 hours of volunteer time. This initiative has been a lifeline to families in the community during challenging times, providing essential support when mostly needed.


    Boyd H. Anderson High Logo

    High School Level
    Smitty's Wings
    Boyd H. Anderson School 

    Smitty’s Wings partnership with Boyd H. Anderson High School is model of excellence that enhances Broward County Public Schools Transition Deferment programs. Smitty’s Wings owner, Mr. Chris Smith, and company employees have heartedly dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours, working with schoolteacher Soliana Michel, to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to obtain various employment skills in a real-world setting. In recent years, Smitty’s Wings has welcomed 18 students to learn important skills such as customer service. Students have also been able to expand their social skills and pragmatics.


    Maya Gordon
    Maya Gordon  

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 

    A student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School, Ms. Gordon is an exemplar of the National Speech and Debate Association honor code, which reads: “As a student or coach member of the National Speech & Debate Association, I pledge to uphold the highest standards of humility, equity, integrity, respect, leadership, and service in pursuit of excellence.” Ms. Gordon’s civic engagement stretches beyond the formal debate spaces. She serves on local advisory boards and interns for State and Federal elected officials. She recently assisted in a voter registration drive at MSD and visited Tallahassee and Washington D.C. for public service projects. With more than 2,100 service learning hours, Maya Gordon is a dedicated and reliable student, who is destined to be a diligent civil servant and continue her history of meaningful civic engagement.


    Edward Peddell

    Individual of the Year Award 
    Edward Peddell
    Coconut Creek Elementary School, Lauderdale Lakes Middle School, and Walker Elementary School

    Edward Peddell is a lifelong educator who believes in giving back to schools. He shares his knowledge as a former educator and serves as a mentor for new educators. Mr. Peddell has serve as the Presidents of various PTA organizations and encourages parents to get involved in their child’s school. He has networked with several organizations to support students and staff with school supplies and to provide needy families with much needed meals. Mr. Peddell is invaluable to BCPS and we are grateful for the invaluable work he is doing. 


    The Scholarship Plug

    Group of the Year Award
    The Scholarship Plug 

    The Scholarship Plug is a Broward non-profit, established with the singular purpose of helping Broward students pursue post-secondary studies debt-free. The founder, Shedly Casseus Panther, a former BRACE Advisor, Ms. Casseus Parnther, a former BRACE Advisor, shares her vision with students at college fairs, community events, and FAFSA enrollment events she hosts. She posts scholarships on social media and conducts school-based workshops on students getting paid to go to college. In fact, for the past five years, Scholarship Plug has provided free summer training and workshops in which students were taught how to go to college debt-free. 


    Dania Beach Commissioner Joyce Davis 
    Civic & Community Engagement Award
    Commissioner Joyce Davis
    Olsen Middle School 

    Commissioner Joyce Davis, commissioner with the City of Dania Beach and founder of the Pearl Girlz Empowerment Program. The mission of Pearl Girlz is to prevent girl bullying through education and awareness of Relational Aggression and to empower every girl to celebrate the value of her own unique identity. The Pearl Girlz Empowerment Program provides a prosocial education, which helps students make good choices when posting online and texting; teaches how to silence bullying; and, how to focus on their own inner confidence and talents. Through this program, Commissioner Davis teaches the importance of supporting each other and emphasizes conflict resolution and assertive behavior, which helps to prepare the students become strong, assertive and confident leaders. 

     Carla Holness

    College Readiness & Resiliency Mentor Award
    Carla Holness
    South Plantation School 

    Carla Holness has been a mentor with Take Stock in Children (TSIC) for the past six years and proudly mentors at South Plantation High School. As a mentor, Ms. Holness focuses on activities which help students with personal development and growth. These activities include affirmation and check-in exercises, as well as college readiness mentoring sessions. Ms. Holness knows the importance of education and firmly believes that no matter how busy life gets, students must come first. 

    Corrie Holt

    Cultivating Career Exploration Award
    Corrie Holt
    Atlantic Technical High School / Deerfield Beach High School 

    Corrie Holt has been a mentor for five years with Take Stock in Children (TSIC) and proudly supports Atlantic Technical High and Deerfield Beach High Schools. Ms. Holt has a positive and welcoming attitude, which makes her students feel as though she is not only a mentor for TSIC, but a mentor for life. She hosts roundtables which engage students in activities related to personal growth and development, academic success, as well as college and career exploration. With each session, Ms. Holt encourages and empowers students, helping them to reach their highest potential and succeed in tomorrow’s world.

    Lucy Montoya

    Inspiring Academic Excellence MentorAward

    Lucy Montoya
    Atlantic Technical High School

    Lucy Montoya is a stellar mentor who has been with Take Stock in Children (TSIC) for the past four years. She serves at Atlantic Technical High School, where she assists students with college applications, and uplifts students through self-esteem exercises. Ms. Montoya's engagement with students has elevated their academic progress and she serves as a role model who ensures that students feel as though they have someone who is available to help them tackle some of the challenges they may face.

    Rebecca Hernandez

    Leadership Through Cultural Connections Mentor Award

    Rebecca Hernandez
    Riverglades Elementary School

    Rebecca Hernandez serves as a Latinos in Action (LIA) mentor at Riverglades Elementary School. The LIA mentoring program aims to increase literacy, empower Latino youth to excel academically and socially by providing mentorship and role models from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, fostering a supportive environment for elementary students to thrive. LIA operates as a year-long elective course that focuses on four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills. Specifically, the mentoring component aims to increase literacy rates among elementary school students at Riverglades by providing role models, mentors, and literacy tutors from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on a weekly basis.

    Monique Joseph

    Student Empowerment Mentor Award

    Monique Joseph
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Montessori Academy

    Monique Joseph is an outstanding Dream Girls Club (DGC) mentor and positive role model at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Montessori Academy. The objectives of the DGC are to encourage 5th grade young ladies to get engaged through positive leadership development, mentoring, small group tutoring, technology awareness, healthy lifestyles, and service-learning opportunities. The DGC advocates for girls by providing access and opportunity to those interested in exploring and/or pursuing a variety of academic interests, technology, and athletics. By empowering these young ladies, they gain self-confidence, stronger families, break the cycle of poverty, strengthen the economy, and make investments, which in turn promote a healthier, more prosperous world.

    Marc Larose

    Student-Centered Advocacy Mentor Award

    Marc Larose
    Whiddon Rogers Education Center

    Marc Larose is a mentor with the Forging, Intangible, Youth, Academic Hope (FIYAH) program. The FIYAH program’s goals are grounded in research about what school-based mentoring programs can reasonably be expected to address. At Whiddon-Rogers Education Center, the program focuses on improving academic performance, relationships with peers and others and exploring of positive character traits and behavior expectations. The students receive awards for being responsible, respectful, and kind. To support and monitor the relationship, the FIYAH mentors follow up with mentees weekly. The regularly scheduled check-ins foster enriched mentor-mentee relationships and meet the complex needs of students.


    Take Stock in Children
    Take Stock in Children Mentor and Scholarship Program

    Take Stock in Children’s (TSIC) mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low income, academically qualified students by providing opportunities for post-secondary education. TSIC offers college scholarships to students who are matched with adult mentors who meet one-on-one with students in middle and high school. The mentors, who all share the passion of providing support and guidance to BCPS students, work diligently to prepare them for academic and personal success.  


    Rachel Silber

    Adult Volunteer of the Year 

    Rachel Silber
    Hollywood Hills High School 

    Rachel Silber, a pillar at Hollywood Hills High School and the local community, has been a volunteer for Broward County Schools for many years. This year, she served over 300 hours, outside of her working hours at Hollywood Hills High. Ms. Silber serves as the sponsor for Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Women of Tomorrow (WOT), and is a Take Stock in Children mentor.  

    Aside from these important roles, Ms. Silber collects donations which she distributes to the school community. Students and staff alike know that when they are in need, Ms. Silber is the person to see. She is instrumental in supporting many other organizations at the school, and there is not a school event that Ms. Silber does not attend.  

    Ms. Silber is the embodiment of a community servant and a model of compassion and selflessness. 

    Millie Jachter

    Senior Volunteer of the Year
    Migdalia Jachter
    Sunset Lakes  Elementary School

    Migdalia Jachter, affectionately known as Grammie, stands as a remarkable asset to the Sunset Lakes Elementary School community. For over 17 years, her dedication and commitment have shone brightly through her selfless acts of volunteerism.

    With a heart full of compassion and a spirit of generosity, Grammie has seamlessly integrated herself into the daily activities at the school. Her presence is a constant source of support and inspiration to all who are fortunate to cross her path. Grammie's unwavering dedication and extensive involvement at Sunset Lakes Elementary have significantly shaped student achievement and school improvement.

    Amari Williams

    Youth Volunteer of the Year
    Amari Williams
    North Lauderdale Elementary School

    Amari Williams is an integral part of the school community and a true champion for children, simply because she cares. She reads to students, assists with field trips, works with students during mealtime, and assist teachers with bulletin boards, and decorating hallways. Ms. Williams mentors students in grades 3, 4, and 5 and fosters positive relationships with all students. She is loved, cherished and invaluable to all. 

    Mary Fertig

    District Advisory/Committee Volunteer of the Year
    Mary Fertig
    Parent/Community Involvement Task Force

    Mary Fertig is a longtime resident of Broward County and the current Chair of the Parent and Community Involvement Task Force.

    With more than 35 years of volunteer service, Ms. Fertig has given her time and talents to students and the community and has been instrumental in improving stakeholder contributions to our School District. As co-founder of the District’s successful Parent University, she effectively linked all students and schools and is indeed deserving of the double nomination she received for this award. stakeholders to ensure parents are connected to District educational resources and information.

    Ms. Fertig’s collaborative standards continue to gain positive recognition as she dedicates herself to the advancement of public school education as the backbone of every community. Ms. Fertig is a dynamic advocate for BCPS students and schools.

  • Presenting

    Bright Star Credit Union

  • Gold

    HCAFL Florida Healthcare Logo

  • Silver


  • Bronze

    Sunshine Child ProgramJC White architectural interior products

  • The 2024 Community Involvement Awards is a collaborative initiative between the Office of Academics, 754-323-4716, the Office of Student Services, 754-321-1600, the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs, 754-321-2300, and the Office of the Chief of Staff, 754-321-2650.

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