The 2020 Honoreees
Arts & Culture
Traci Young-Byron, born and raised in Liberty City, is a pillar of her community. She heads the Performance and Visual Arts Center at Miami Northwestern High School and is dance coach for the school’s Golden Girls Dance Line. She pushes her students to succeed, requiring a 3.5 grade point average to be a part of the team. Young-Byron has touched thousands of underprivileged young women and men with her contributions to the community. Her passion for the arts shines through her role as Founder and CEO of the Young Contemporary Dance Theatre, with its mission to help enlighten and expand societal views through all areas of dance.
Business & Entrepreneurism
Ken Roland's career was launched by a tragedy -- a car accident that landed Roland in the hospital gripping to life. After a stressful 15-hour surgery, Roland recovered and vowed to help his community in a special way. Now CEO of CPR-ETC. Inc., Roland brings CPR training and swim instruction to children across the country. Since his accident, Roland became a certified lifeguard, swimming instructor and created the business model which he now runs with his son Jacob and grandson Judah. He formed Swim Central in Broward County, which has provided swimming lessons to more than 650,000 elementary school children, at no charge. As an innovator in the industry, Mr. Roland is leveraging his remarkable background to create an entirely new approach to safety courses.
Marleine Bastien is a social worker and the Executive Director of Family Action Network Movement (FANM). Born in Haiti where she volunteered most of her young life, Bastien came to Florida as an adult and days later began volunteering at the Haitian Refugee Center. Bastien has a master's degree in Social Work from Florida International University and spent many years at Jackson Memorial Hospital as a medical social worker with children and families where she became the premiere advocate for patients’ rights. She has championed the cause of women, children and Haitian families through her dedicated advocacy in the areas of immigration and human rights, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and domestic violence. Through FANM, Bastien helps to provide an array of services such as immigration help, health access, housing, education and more.
Danni Washington’s passion for education and for marine biology has given her a unique career path. She broke the mold of a traditional environmentalist, toted as the first African-American to host an American science television series. At age 21, she co-founded the Big Blue & You, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and educating youth about marine conservation through arts and media. Washington has a love for youth outreach and education demonstrated by her work as a naturalist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, where she has helped educate thousands of South Florida children about local marine ecosystems. She sets out to inspire and educate children so they, too, can use their unique set of gifts and follow their passion in life.
Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever
Paige Harris is an Honor Roll student, and extremely active at her high school. As co-treasurer of the Will Make It Enrichment Program, she worked to help fellow students stay on track to help achieve their career goals and further their education. She studied Licensed Practical Nursing and took part in the dual-enrollment program through Broward College. A cheerleader and member of the student government, she was also busy setting an example in the community. Harris could often be found volunteering at various schools and libraries, mentoring younger children. She is a Sunday school teacher who also teaches vacation bible school for Kingdom Now Ministries.