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Honorees

The 2016 Honoreees

Honorees

Dixie Lee Hedrington-Miller

Arts and Culture

Dixie Lee Hedrington-Miller, a professional artist, quickly found there were limited creative outlets for people with disabilities when looking for enriching activities for her son, who is deaf. With a desire to create change, she founded Friends & Stars Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the well-being of South Florida’s special needs children and adults through inclusive arts programs. By providing individualized attention specific to each student’s needs in an environment of acceptance, Dixie and her team help them discover their unique artistic expression. She also works with museums and public spaces to display her students’ pieces. Through her efforts, participants gain confidence and pride, and many have gone on to pursue a career in the arts. Dixie’s talent and passion for teaching demonstrates that limitations can be conquered when you are willing to try.


Honorees

Jaret L. Davis

Business & Entrepreneurism

As an undergraduate at the University of Miami, Jaret L. Davis minored in computer science before going on to pursue his law degree. His passion for technology turned into opportunity when he began his legal career during the dot-com boom of the 90s at Greenberg Traurig in Miami, where he is now Co-managing Shareholder. Jaret’s knowledge made him an important resource for the growing sector. Throughout his career, Jaret has helped build Miami’s tech ecosystem, including co-founding the eMerge Americas Technology Conference and bringing together thought leaders in the industry. He volunteers as a mentor in the startup community, particularly focusing on African American-owned companies. As an advisor to investors and venture capitalists, he also serves as the critical link in connecting tech startups with funding. A South Florida native, Jaret is dedicated to fostering our community’s growth by helping business and entrepreneurship thrive.


Honorees

Gilbert Lancelot Raiford, Ph.D.

Community Service

Dr. Gilbert Lancelot Raiford has spent his life dedicated to the advancement of others, including nearly 40 years teaching university students. The product of a humble and rural upbringing, Dr. Raiford studied social welfare and mental health policy, which propelled him to help underserved populations in his community. His outreach includes aiding the homeless, uniting families, counseling students and assisting the elderly. While tutoring children in Liberty City, Dr. Raiford learned none of them had been on a plane, eaten at a restaurant or left the county. In response, he raised the funds to take 25 youths on a weeklong trip to Washington DC to experience the city’s culture and history. Dr. Raiford is a true resource to those in need and often takes people in to his own home and provides them with shelter and assistance.


Honorees

Ricky Wiggins

Education

For 20 years, Ricky Wiggins has been mentoring young dreamers in a community facing challenging economic circumstances through the I Have a Dream Foundation. Ricky motivates his students, fueling the desire to learn and think beyond their current environment to realize their full potential. He has encouraged, inspired and pushed a generation of young people to stay on the path toward completing school and pursuing higher education. Often times, Ricky is a father figure to children who lack a consistent positive role model in their lives. He knows every child is capable and deserving of a helping hand on their path to adulthood. Ricky’s vision becomes reality as each young person who succeeds as a result of his mentorship transforms into an adult who gives back to the community that invested in them.


Honorees

Reanna Murray

Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever

Born and raised in Miramar, Fla., Raeanna Murray is the youngest of seven children from a single-parent household. She learned early that things worth having can often be difficult to obtain, and watching her mother support their family gave Raeanna the drive to never give up on the pursuit of her dreams. Currently enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program at Miramar High School, Raeanna maintains a 4.6 GPA while serving as the senior class treasurer, volunteering and participating in school clubs. She looks at college as an opportunity to take her first steps toward her future while immersing herself in the study of psychology and human behavior. As a first-generation college student, Raeanna looks forward to her time at FSU and turning her passion into a profession as a clinical psychologist.



African-American Achievers