Student Learns Advocacy and Leadership

Palm Beach Virtual Student Learns Advocacy and Leadership Through Holocaust Education Program
Posted on 02/03/2022
Student reading a book

Ameera Ramsammy is more than an avid learner at Palm Beach Virtual School. This passionate freshman is also working hard to effectively share what she learns with her peers. Ramsammy is participating in the Holocaust Education Advocacy Leaders (HEAL) program, which is open to Palm Beach County students in grades 8-11.

The program requires students to attend clinics where they hear from and interact with a Holocaust survivor, research the events of the Holocaust, and learn leadership and advocacy skills. The students then create an original educational program to share with their peers.

“This requires her attendance at three, four-hour Saturday sessions and planning a program for her peers in the spring,” said Marilyn Romano, social studies teacher for Palm Beach Virtual. “We are proud of her for going above and beyond in her studies and for her commitment to sharing these important lessons with her fellow students.”

Ramsammy’s follow-through and commitment to Holocaust studies inspired Romano to recognize her for the ‘Character Now!’ trait of being responsible.

“I felt surprised when I was told I was nominated,” Ramsammy said. “Now I'm honored that what I'm doing doesn't go unnoticed. Not for me, but for the overall causes. It's a great feeling to be recognized as well. Being recognized feels like a leap of progress, and a reminder that you've got something going for you. I'm grateful to be nominated.”

The District’s character education program called Character Now!, was updated this year to incorporate new state standards with existing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) initiatives.

The following are the themes for Character Now!:

• Showing empathy and kindness.
• Being responsible.
• Having a growth mindset.
• Demonstrating trustworthiness.
• Demonstrating respect.
• Being a good citizen.

Students are provided with instruction in the standards through the SEL and PBS initiatives. They are then recognized by their schools for demonstrating the character themes. 

The following standout students were also recognized by their schools in January:

Name: Zaryah Anderson
School: Tradewinds Middle
Character trait: Demonstrating trustworthiness.

Name: Raquel Branning
School: Omni Middle
Character trait: Showing empathy and kindness.

Name: Yorah Desulmat
School: Palm Beach Central High
Character trait: Being a good citizen.

Name: Kassandra Lotzin
School: Heritage Elementary
Character trait: Being responsible.

Name: Hayden Martin
School: Eagles Landing Middle
Character trait: Showing empathy and kindness.

Name: Johnny McKeon
School: Banyan Creek Elementary
Character trait: Showing empathy and kindness.

Name: Daniel Mercier
School: Banyan Creek Elementary
Character trait: Being responsible.

Name: Jackelin Resendiz-Trejo
School: Starlight Cove Elementary
Character trait: Being responsible.

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