Oak View Middle School student wins four-year college scholarship in Governor’s Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis honored this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month student and educator contest winners in a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. This year, students wrote essays and created art centered around celebrating the achievements of Hispanic Floridians.

“It is important for students to learn about contributions Hispanic Floridians have made to the success of our state, and educating our students about those contributions requires great teachers,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Congratulations to the winners of this year’s contest.”

“Hispanic Floridians have played a tremendous role in the history of our state, and it is important that we honor those contributions and teach our students about those pieces of history,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “I am honored to host the winners of this year’s contest at the Governor’s Mansion and recognize the contributions of Hispanic Floridians.”

“Hispanic heritage is an integral part of Florida and our shared history,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “Congratulations to this year’s contest winners and to all those who participated in advancing our world-class education system by learning about the many contributions of Hispanic Floridians.”

“We are proud to honor the contributions and influence of the Hispanic cultures and to educate our future generations on the value of community and to serve others,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Josie Tamayo. “Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s contest.”

Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized and celebrated from September 15 through October 15 every year. Due to Hurricane Ian, the ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion to honor this year’s winners was postponed. 

Award recipients are as follows: 

Student Art Contest

Ryder Jesus Gorman Delgado, Westchase Elementary School, Hillsborough County
Ryder is a 3rd grader who drew a picture titled “Music: Ambassador of Joy” 

Brittany Diaz Lopez, Mort Elementary School, Hillsborough County
Brittany is a 2nd grader who drew a picture titled “Hispanics Gave Us Music” 

Isabella Alvarez, Devon Aire K-8 Center, Miami-Dade County
Isabella is a 3rd grader who drew a picture titled “Ellen Ochoa” 

Chloe Alonso, Devon Aire K-8 Center, Miami-Dade County
Chloe is a 3rd grader who drew a picture titled “Celia Cruz”

Student Essay Contest Winners

The following student essay contest winners — one elementary, one middle, and one high school student — earned a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Jayla Reyes-Camacho, Mort Elementary School, Hillsborough County

Emma Cevallos, St. Johns Virtual School, St. Johns County

Braydon Lee, Christa McAuliffe Middle School, Palm Beach County

Aeden Arquiza, Oak View Middle School, Alachua County

Jasmine Guerva, School for Advanced Studies – Homestead Campus, Miami-Dade County

Andrew Diaz, Samuel W. Wolfson High School, Duval County

Excellence in Education Award Winners

Recipients of the Excellence in Education Award receive a $1,500 prize from Volunteer Florida.

Graciela Arnold teaches grades 10, 11, and 12 at Winter Park High School

Elayne Diaz, Doral Academy Preparatory School

Liska Garcia, Countryside Montessori Charter School

Beatriz Cosculluela, Leewood K8 Center

  • Congratulations to Aeden and all of these inspiring young people.
    Another example of the great learning initiatives of our Governor and First Lady.

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