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Hall of Stars - November 2013


From right to left: Commissioner Jean Monestime, Board of County Commissioners Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, Commissioner Xavier L. Suarez, Shalla Sorensen, Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Xebastian M. Aguilar, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, and Commissioner Esteban L. Bovo, Jr.

The Emerging Leader - Shalla Sorenson

Miami Palmetto Senior High School, 10th grade
Commissioner Xavier Suarez, District 7

Shalla hopes to pursue a career within the field of Biology. She recently raised over $250 dollars by selling wrist bands within her community as part of the Save the Otters effort. She has also been involved in the Conservation Teen Scientist Project at Zoo Miami, which focuses on teaching people in our community about the importance of conservation and living sustainably.

She is a member of the Thespian Society, the Nation Honor Society of Social Studies, the Biology Club, the Environmental Fair, and the National Science Honor Society, and is the Co-Founder of her school’s Robotics Club. She also teaches self-defense to kids ages 4-8 at Miami Taekwondo. She is a second 2nd Dan black belt.

Shalla hopes to receive a scholarship to attend an Ivy League university or MIT.

The Unstoppable Scholar - Xebastian M. Aguilar

Hialeah Gardens Senior High School, 11th grade
Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, District 12

Xebastian has played basketball since the 8th grade. He was on the Junior Varsity team in 9th and 10th grade, and is currently playing for the Varsity team as a junior. He has broken his ankle twice and strained the other, but has overcome his injuries through therapy. Although he was out for almost an entire season, he still attended practices and all his games to support his teammates. He never gave up and is now able to continue playing the sport he loves.

Xebastian has kept a 4.0 GPA and was accepted to the Harvard University Summer Program, where, together with students from around the world, he took Pre-Calculus and Macroeconomics. He hopes to attend Cornell University after graduation.

The Pursuer of Excellence - David Gonzalez

Miami Country Day School, 11th grade
Commissioner Esteban Bovo, District 13

David is an insatiable student. He has been a straight “A” student since elementary school, and currently maintains a 4.7 GPA. He is constantly seeking out new academic challenges in order to expand his knowledge, particularly in the areas of science and complex and pure mathematics. He participates in competitive math events and is a member of the Excalibur Honor Society, which focuses on math and science. Last year, he qualified for the University of Miami’s David Essner Mathematics Competition.

David inspires others with his dedication and work ethic. He is currently the Captain of his school’s Chess Team, Vice President of Model United Nations, Campus New Editor the school newspaper, and a member of the National Honor Society, Debate Team, Breakthrough Miami, and Operation Smile. Through the Chess Team, he tutors elementary and middle school students, encouraging a love of learning and fostering a love of chess.

David plans to continue to study pure math during his university career.

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