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caines | 5/24/2012, 6 a.m.

One senior shines with prestigious scholarship

When Aristide talks about one of his graduating seniors, David Green, he becomes noticeably excited. Green is one of 69 students in Florida and among 1,000 in the U.S. to receive a Gates Millennium Scholarship. It will pay his tuition in full and is good through graduation at a college of his choice. David is the essence of what Booker T. Washington is all about, Aristide said. He comes from an impoverished background and like most of our kids hes seen negative behavior, drug abuse and violence on a regular basis. But he has never lost his focus. Hes been able to do the right thing. Hes a humble young man that will go far and takes care of business every day. Green says having mentors has made the difference. I have mentors at the Miami Science Museum at the Upward Bound program and four teachers that helped me get the scholarship: Anthony Jennings, Robert Morris, Edward Robinson and Jack Hart. Amy Robinson helped me at the Museum. But Jack Hart has been my major influence. Hes been there for me personally, emotionally and is my inspiration. Hes a father figure in my life. They have all encouraged me to have fun in school. I work like crazy and had to learn how to sometimes take my head out of the books and enjoy the world. Green will attend the University of Florida and will major in engineering and business. Jennings notes that David remains committed to helping other students improve. Hes been in my afterschool program for four years and has become a real leader, he said. Thats what sets him apart. Other local Gates scholarship winners include: Akinsomisoye Olajumoke, Northwestern; Roxanne Eugene, Turner Tech; and Courtney Johnson, Carol City. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com