Harmony and Amani Ayala. Harmony is in Kindergarten at Liberty Elementary while Amani is in the second grade at the same school. Both girls are the daughters of Ashley and Jose Ayala.
Last spring Amani asked if she could donate her hair to a sick child after reading about the issue in the local paper. As soon as she raised the point, her sister Harmony asked if she could do the same. On March 25th both girls went to the local J.C. Penny’s and had several inches cut off of their hair. That hair was then donated to Locks of Love.
Isn’t it wonderful when someone as young as these two girls can be thinking of others?
When not thinking about others, both girls love to color, draw and be around animals. They also love crafts and dancing. Amani is a very caring young lady, and loves to help her younger sister. She loves to help her mother bake and offers her assistance to anyone who is in need. She looks forward to growing he hair out again so she can once again donate it to Locks of Love.
Harmony especially loves giraffes and horses. When she gets older, she would love to be a cow girl. She helps he mother around the house with cleaning and cooking and enjoys her best friend, her sister.
Our next recipient is Alivia Lewis and she is a 6th grader at the Woodland Middle School in North Port. Alivia is the daughter of Tom Lewis.
During the summer of 2013 Retired Officer Jose Sanchez’ life changed. His wife of many years suffered a massive stroke. Within the first days of her recovery, her family rallied around her. Her son, a Marine, who is stationed in Spain, was unable to return to the states to see his mom; which would be a very important part of her recovery. This is where Alivia comes in. It was mentioned that Skype is a way for the son and mother to see each other over the Internet. Unfortunately for the Sanchez’s, this was not an option because they had no computer or tablet that could be brought bedside. Alivia, like every young person, lives and breathes with her iPad in tow. The device is the sole way of communicating with her friends, listening to her music, playing her games and staying connected with the Internet. When she heard that Jose needed a computer, she graciously donated hers, without hesitation, knowing it could be a long while before she got it back. With that said she still did not think twice about lending it to them. This act of kindness may not seem like a big deal, but, to be a young person without a tablet it had monumental challenges, which ultimately changed the last weeks of her summer vacation Her selflessness allowed a son and a mother to be reunited by videoconference. The communication between the two of them, which happened daily for several weeks, proved to be very beneficial during the primary days of recovery for Mary Lou. The prospect is still a long road ahead for the Sanchez family, but it is kindness like this that helps make the hardest times more bearable.
It is obvious that Alivia has the characteristics of the type of young person who will be a benefit to our society.
Alivia is very computer savvy as defined in the nomination we just read to you. In addition, she loves animals and shooting her fathers guns. In fact her father said that she is an excellent shot. In the future, Alivia aspires to become a medical doctor.
Our next recipient for the month of October is a young man by the name of Cayleb Smith. Cayleb is in the Meadow Park Elementary School where he is in the 5th grade. He is the son of Amber and Shane Boyce.
In the last 3 weeks of school Cayleb has shown an exceptional ability to put other students’ needs above his own. One example is when his class unexpectedly received a new student and they did not have a desk ready. Cayleb quickly informed his teacher that the new student could use his desk and that he would sit on the floor for the day, or until they were able to acquire another desk. Another way Cayleb has shown his love of helping others is when he was passing out a snack to his class. He accidentally had skipped one of the students and as he finished passing out the snack he put the last of the bag of pretzels on his own desk. The student who was forgotten informed the teacher that he was skipped, so Cayleb took his share of the snack from his own desk and gave it to the student. The last act of chivalry that Cayleb displayed was when our class was in the cafeteria getting their class pictures taken. There were a limited number of seats for the students to sit in after they waited in line for their pictures. Cayleb was sitting in one of those seats. When two girls walked over to the table and did not have a place to sit, Cayleb stood up and offered his seat to one of the girls. Cayleb stood the rest of the time so that one of them could sit. He has never sought out any type of recognition for his actions. His natural instinct to take care of those around him is rare and heartwarming. He is a wonderful role model and true leader to his peers.
What a wonderful role model Caleb is to his fellow students. Hopefully they will observe his actions and start showing some of his character traits in their class.
Caleb loves to play hockey and loves swimming. He enjoys four wheeling, fishing and anything outdoors. Cayleb is very active in his church and the Word of Life program. He is an A/B student at the Meadow Park Elementary School.
It is now my pleasure to introduce you to the overall winner for the month of October, Alyssa Toth. Alyssa is a 7th grader a Murdock Elementary School. Alyssa is the daughter of Tracy and Erick Toth.
On August 19th, 2013, at 715pm. Alyssa Toth was home alone with her fourteen year old sister doing school homework. Suddenly, a woman started banging on the front door while screaming to let her inside. Alyssa quickly ran to another room to look out front to see who it was and witnessed a man in a fight with the woman in her front yard. Alyssa quickly pressed the panic button on the alarm system, grabbed her cell phone and called 911. Alyssa then instructed her sister to grab her cell phone and call their father. At the same time both sisters ran to their bedroom closet and hid with the door closed and locked and with the lights off. Alyssa then stayed on the line with CCSO dispatch and gave a description of people involved and then waited until a deputy sheriff arrived. With the help of Alyssa’s description, officers tracked down the people involved to a house in the neighborhood that has had previous problems. When I asked her how she thought of everything so quickly she responded that “Officer Moore” (Murdock Middle School Resource Officer) has been teaching her for years on what to do in an emergency. Her quick thinking and self-control makes her a good candidate for the “Do the Right Thing” nomination.
It is a pleasure to hear that the lessons our school resource officers and deputies teach our students are actually put in place in their daily lives.
Alyssa is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. She is a Charlotte County Soccer Federation referee and volunteers for the animal welfare league. In her spare time, Alyssa loves fishing, snorkeling and shell collecting and basically all sports.