Students First – HLE student one step closer to college

A fifth-grade student at Highlands Elementary School (HLE) is one step closer to college thanks to a two-year Florida Prepaid Scholarship she received as part of the Florida TaxWatch Principal Leadership Award program. Jennifer Aquayo-Narvaez was recommended for the scholarship by former HLE principal Dr. Laura Mendicino who received a 2019-2020 Principal Leadership Award through the organization.

“I had the pleasure of being the principal of Highlands Elementary for four years, and in that time, I saw Jennifer take the lead in many of the school’s student leadership teams,” shares Mendicino. “Jennifer is selfless and full of love. She always has a smile on her face and handles challenges with vehemence and vigor.”

In addition to her school-wide leadership roles, Jennifer exhibits classroom leadership. She is a member of the 95210 athletic club as well as the Power Pack distribution team, where she works with fellow student leaders to distribute packaged meals to individuals that may be economically disadvantaged. She is also a member of the Safety Patrol, a group of leaders that assists younger students to their classrooms each morning. “Jennifer ensures the safety of other students and continuously puts them before herself,” offers one of her teachers. “She is selfless, driven, and a true leader.”

Mendicino agrees, “I have never observed a situation where Jennifer wouldn’t volunteer to assist others. She is a true leader!”

Jennifer also excels academically, keeping her grades up and setting goals for herself daily. In fact, her state testing scores place her in the top 15% of her peers. “Jennifer is a phenomenal student, and her academic performance often exceeds expectations,” states her teacher.

Jennifer will be a first-generation high school graduate who aspires to become a Veterinarian. With her talent, commitment, character, and overall potential, we are confident Jennifer will do great things. Congratulations, Jennifer!

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