MIAMI, April 11 – The Miami HEAT announced today the five recipients of the 2017 HEAT Scholarships presented by BankUnited and the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund: the Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship, the Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship and three HEAT Scholarships. In its 21st year, the HEAT Scholarships offer $25,000 in funds to high school seniors attending school in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe or Palm Beach counties. The scholarships, valued at $5,000 each, are awarded based on excellent academic performance, outstanding community service, and unmet financial need. HEAT Legend, Alonzo Mourning, BankUnited Senior Executive Vice President, Gerry Litrento and Executive Director of the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, Steve Stowe, will host a special halftime ceremony to honor the 2017 HEAT Scholarship recipients during tomorrow’s matchup against the Washington Wizards. The scholarship recipients are as follows:
Jamesia Henderson, recipient of the Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship, will graduate from Miami Killian Senior High School with a 4.7 weighted district GPA and a 3.7 unweighted state GPA. Henderson is involved in several extra curricular activities, currently involved in the Miami Killian Senior High School’s Environmental Club and National Science Honor Society. Henderson is a member of the Miami Killian Senior High School Varsity Girls’ Volleyball Team. She volunteers her time with the Miami Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and their debutante program, working on many community service projects including: collecting personal goods for the homeless, creating holiday gift baskets for needy families, coordinating hat drives for cancer survivors, being involved in monthly mentoring meetings and participating in events to benefit local charities. In the fall, Henderson will pursue a major in physical therapy at either Georgia State University, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University or Stetson University.
Sally Lu, recipient of the Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship, will graduate from Mater Academy Charter High School. Her dedication to academics is exemplified by her 5.2 district weighted GPA and her 4.0 unweighted state GPA. She volunteered over 400 hours of community service working with Evolution Dance and Performing Arts Schools where she assisted camperswith various activities, worked in organizing the production of the camp and served as an aide to dance instructors. Lu is an active member and officer of the Model United Nations Club, Health Occupations Students of America, National Honor Society and National French Honor Society. She is passionate in her volunteer work with Love146, an organization that seeks to end child trafficking and exploitation. This past summer, Lu traveled and collaborated with the local government in Zhuhai, China to host a “Child Trafficking and Drug Abuse Panel” to incorporate elements of the Love146 prevention curriculum within that community. Lu will be attending Johns Hopkins University and pursuing a major in cellular and molecular biology.
The first recipient of the Miami HEAT Scholarship is Jocabed Martinez. Martinez will graduate from Pahokee Middle Senior High School with a 4.7 weighted district GPA and a 3.8 unweighted state GPA. At Pahokee Middle Senior High School, Jocabed serves as the president of the Spanish Honor Society, the president of the Interact Club, Senior Class Vice President, Senior Class Salutatorian and Student Council Secretary. She also serves as president of the Dreamcatchers Club of Pahokee Middle Senior High School, an organization that fulfills dreams of local hospice patients. Martinez has dedicated almost 600 community service hours with several local organizations, including volunteering at the Loula V. York Library in Pahokee where she facilitated story times, book groups, craft programs and large special events that promote reading for children and families. She also volunteers with the Bridges of Pahokee organization, serving as their volunteer photographer and assisting with their events. Martinez will attend the University of Florida and major in ESL education.
The second recipient of the Miami HEAT Scholarship is Lannie Rubio. Rubio will graduate from New World School of Arts with a weighted district GPA of 4.9 and an unweighted state GPA of 3.9. at New World School of the Arts, she is president of the Thespian Honor Society, secretary of the National French Honor Society, treasurer of the English Honor Society, historian of the Model United Nations and an active member of the National Honor Society. Rubio completed over 600 community service hours, volunteering at Youth Advisory Committee for the Children’s Trust, which serves as a youth leadership development program. Rubio also participates in events with Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, being heavily involved intheir country-wide youth talent program and community outreach. This past summer, Rubio volunteered at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital as a Bedside Music Volunteer, providing their pediatric population with a positive musical experience through live performance and interactive music making while enhancing normalization, social interaction and the overall patient and family experience. She will pursue a major in music theatre and journalism and attend either Florida State University or Syracuse University in the fall.
The third recipient of the Miami HEAT Scholarship is Maria Alaez from Fort Lauderdale High School. She will graduate with a 5.3 weighted district GPA and an 3.9 unweighted state GPA. At Fort Lauderdale High School, she is president of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, treasurer of the National Honor Society and a member of the Environmental Club. Alaez volunteered over 500 hours of community service, working with the Jubilee Center of South Broward, an organization that provides a social service andlifeline for the homeless and economically disadvantaged. She also volunteered at Gulfstream Middle School in Hallandale Beach, assisting with database updates, media center circulation and inventory and technological imaging. Alaez will attend the University of Florida and pursue a double major in business management and public relations.
“In partnership with the Miami HEAT, BankUnited honors these five outstanding students who have incredibly bright futures ahead of them,” said BankUnited President and CEO Rajinder P. Singh. “These students have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to their communities while excelling academically. We congratulate them and wish them all the best as they continue their education and pursue their dreams.”
About The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund
Established in 1997, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund supports programs for the betterment of at-risk families in South Florida. Beneficiaries include SafeSpace, a domestic violence shelter for women and children, the Jackson Memorial Foundation’s Guardian Angels and Holtz Children’s Hospital. The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund also provides educational scholarships for high school seniors and partners with inner-city elementary schools to fund the HEAT Academy, which provides after-school tutoring and mentoring programs. Through these initiatives, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund continues to inspire the youth of South Florida to envision their dreams and achieve their goals.