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The Links award scholarships to students

Erick Johnson | 7/3/2014, 9 a.m.
Students received $2,500 scholarships and other gifts at the awards ceremony

Jasmine Michaels is about to record her own album. Alana Starke wants to be an anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Kaliyah Brown is going to college to become a doctor.

The newly-minted high school graduates were among seven bright teenagers who were awarded scholarships last Saturday by the Greater Miami Chapter of the Links, Inc. an international women’s organization dedicated to service. The group honored the students’ academic excellence and community service with a festive ceremony at the Kroma Gallery in West Coconut Grove.

The college-bound seniors were from various high schools across Miami-Dade County who were each given $2,500 scholarships, gifts and a medallion for their years of hard work and their dedication to various causes in the community.

This was the largest crop of scholarships recipients in the Greater Miami chapter’s 60-year history, according to Rosa Harvey Pratt, Chairwoman of the program.

Pratt said a successful fundraiser in April headlined by acclaimed author Judy Smith contributed to the funding increase.

“They are outstanding students who have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence in the classroom and service to the community,” Pratt said.

At the ceremony, the students received strong words of encouragement from organization members who urged them to persevere when times get tough.

“This is the second leg of your academic career. Be bold and brave, but live your passion,” said Miami chapter president Donna Ginn.

The scholarship recipients were Frantzie Anestin, North Miami Senior High, 4.1 GPA, University of Florida; Dana Deggs, Design and Architecture Senior High School, 5.39 GPA, Milwaukee College of Design; Jasmine Michaels, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School, 6.14 GPA, Florida International University; Alana Starke, Coral Gables Senior High, 4.8 GPA, Florida State University; Anabelle Vabre, Coral Reef Senior High School, 5.5 GPA, University of Central Florida or St. Johns University; JoEll Williams, American Senior High School, 4.5 GPA, University of North Florida; Kaliyah Brown, Miami Killian Senior High, 4.8 GPA, University of Miami.