Lucille P. '28 wins Hispanic Heritage Month Contest, College Scholarship

by: Stacy Alexander, Director of Alumni and Community Engagement
Shorecrest fifth grader Lucille P. has been named a Hispanic Heritage Month student essay contest winner. Florida’s Governor and First Lady DeSantis hosted the 2020 contest to honor and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans across the Sunshine State. As a contest winner, Lucille has earned a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

The Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest was open to all students attending any Florida school in grades 4-12. Three winners were selected: one from grades 4-5, one from grades 6-8, and one from grades 9-12. The contest is sponsored by Volunteer Florida, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of State and the Florida Prepaid College Plan. 

The essay contest addressed the topic of “Celebrating Untold Stories and Contributions of Hispanic Americans in Florida.” Lucille '28 won first place in the 4-5th grade category.

Shorecrest’s fifth & sixth grade Spanish Teacher, Melanie Jarvis, encouraged her students to use what they learned in Spanish class to apply for the contest. “My hope was that my students would develop a deeper connection to Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15). In addition to learning about the contributions of famous Hispanic and Latin Americans, I wanted my students to use the essay theme to connect with a Hispanic or Latin American person who they personally knew. By interacting with someone and hearing their story, students gain a greater understanding of what is being celebrated as well as forge a stronger bond with that person,” Ms. Jarvis explained. 

Lucille’s essay detailed the inspirational influence her tennis coach, Jorge Bernal, has been in her life. Originally from Bolivia, Jorge is a kind and patient person who helps so many in his community, both on and off the tennis court.

“Lucille is a highly motivated student. Beyond her personal desire to succeed, she wants her classmates to also be successful. She has a zest for learning that extends both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Shorecrest teacher Melanie Jarvis.

Watch a video of Lucille reading her essay and her excited Coach:

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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.