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Orlando Family Stars

Each month, Stars features exceptional students, student-athletes, educators and all-around boons to the Greater Orlando area.

Amelie Halon
Halon, a senior International Baccalaureate Candidate at Winter Park High School, is a member of the UNICEF USA National Youth Council. She is passionate about children’s rights and was inspired to join UNICEF in response to political actions in Florida targeting freedom of expression and diversity in education. Halon attended the UNICEF USA NYC conference in New York City, where she trained with leaders from across UNICEF in youth advocacy. Outside of UNICEF, she is also the outreach director for the Justice Education Project, a youth-led/focused organization targeting injustice within the criminal justice system. She loves being involved in her community work at the Orlando Science Center and volunteers for various organizations. In college, she will study political science and environmental sociology with the goal of becoming an environmental lawyer, and she hopes to someday work for a major NPO or NGO such as UNICEF USA. 

Tamerlan Sarazutdinov
Petty Officer 3rd Class Sarazutdinov, a resident of Orlando, is one of more than 5,000 sailors serving aboard the self-contained mobile airport, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. A 2020 graduate of Colonial High School, Sarazutdinov joined the Navy three years ago. Today, he serves as an air traffic controller. 

Lake Highland Preparatory School
Congratulations to LHP students Belle Acosta, Elise Asadi-Frazier, Lauren Chang, Shauna Kaup, and Farrah Moreton for being selected for the 2024 Elementary All State Chorus. These students were selected from over 1,250 kids across the state and will perform in January at the Florida Music Educators Conference in Tampa. This is the first year that Lake Highland Prep has had five students be selected for the chorus.

The Hope Church and Jones High School Band Students
The Hope Church recently hosted the Hope Sacred Jazz Series featuring Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum and the new band director of Jones High School, Naomi Nelson, to benefit the Jones High School band program. The show was hosted by Archbishop Allen Wiggins, who pledged to ensure a minimum donation of $10,000 from the net proceeds of the event for his high school alma mater, where some students cannot afford to rent instruments and others are homeless. The concert ended up assisting The Hope Church in satisfying its pledge to the Jones band and is still hopeful for additional funds to allow for a donation beyond its pledge.

Frank Gay Services and Wounded Warrior Project      
Frank Gay Services, which provides HVAC, plumbing and electrical services to residential and commercial clients, presented a check for $13,420 to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) during the season opener for the Orlando Solar Bears on Oct. 19. The donation is a product of the ongoing Saves program in collaboration with the minor-league ice hockey team. Throughout the 2022-2023 season, the program contributed $10 for each goal saved during home games at the Amway Center. The total of 1,092 home saves throughout the season determined a generous donation amount of $10,920 from Frank Gay Services and an additional donation of $2,500 from the Orlando Solar Bears. Frank Gay is continuing the Saves program in the current season, in support of WWP’s free programs and services for veterans, including physical and mental wellness programs, as well as long-term independence support to help service members and their families live happy and healthy lives.   

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Aetna     
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida recently announced the expansion of its School Partnerships Program through a $115,150 grant provided by Aetna, a CVS health company. The funding will help elementary, middle, high school and post-secondary institutions stock their markets and emergency pantries with nonperishable food items throughout the 2023-2024 academic year. Aetna Better Health of Florida publicly celebrated this event at Evans High School, Florida’s first Community Partnership School. The partnership among Children’s Home Society of Florida, Orange Blossom Family Health, Orange County Public Schools and the University of Central Florida focuses on removing tough barriers to learning by bringing together high-quality academics, health care, counseling, support, mentoring and more—right on-site at the school.