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Local teens receive humanitarian award
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ST. PETERSBURG – The Florida Holocaust Museum recently honored the humanitarian efforts of exceptional teens with its 12th annual Anne Frank Humanitarian Award.

The award was created to focus attention on the positive actions of today’s teens. The AFHA recognizes those humanitarian actions that better the lives of others.

By “doing the right thing,” recipients hold true to the spirit of Anne Frank who, in the face of hardships, endured and did not abandon her ideals. She believed that “in spite of everything ... people are truly good at heart.”

The award is presented to one junior in each of the 93 public and private high schools in a five-county area, and the honorees were nominated by their principals, guidance counselors or teachers. Reneé Walter and Jody Sherman are the program co-chairs.

“Each year we continue to be amazed by the extraordinary commitment and accomplishments of our AFHA Honorees,” stated Walter, who also sits on the FHM board. “These young people are the embodiment of the mission of the Florida Holocaust Museum and will serve as role models for future generations of humanitarian leaders.”

Following are profiles of three of this year’s 93 Anne Frank Humanitarian Award honorees:

• David Siegel – Siegel, a Countryside High School student, is described as an activist, leader and catalyst for change. He is the Clearwater Chapter President of United Synagogue Youth and he is a leader in several Jewish youth groups that work locally and internationally. Siegel is dedicated, civic-minded and passionate about his work.

• Mar’keta Alston – Alston, a Bayside High School student, puts her care and concern for others into action. She believes in giving to those less fortunate than she is and she works hard to help with a smile on her face. She’s a member of Girl’s Club where she meets regularly during lunch hour with the adult club sponsor and other female students to discuss issues they all face. Alston is a member of her Bethel neighborhood church youth group, and she donates her time as part of the youth group’s Hospital Cheer Campaign, visiting children during hospital stays and adopting them during the holidays.

• Brendon Bloomfield – Bloomfield, an East Lake High School student, is a caring, compassionate and genuine young man who is an avid volunteer and supporter of the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the ALS Association. He has been a mentor for elementary school children, and he has worked in a homeless shelter. All of Brendon’s service projects have helped make a difference in the lives of others but one project stands out among them all. Bloomfield participates in the Best Buddy program.
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