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Do The Right Thing monthly winners announced

By Staff | May 21, 2009

The Cape Coral Police Department hosted its Do The Right Thing Student Recognition Awards ceremony for the month of May on Wednesday at City Hall. The following students were recognized for their positive attitudes towards school and family, their healthy decisions regarding drugs and violence, as well as good citizenship.

Overall winner
— Joshua Ertter, eighth grade, Oasis Middle, son of Michael and Shannon Ertter
Joshua has Tourette syndrome, but instead of feeling sorry for himself, he is using his firsthand knowledge about the condition to educate others. He is Florida’s first youth ambassador and speaks regularly about Tourette syndrome to groups of students, parents and administrators. To name just a few of his accomplishments, in February of this year he made a presentation to students at Sarasota College majoring in child psychology and studying to become counselors, and in March he was chosen to represent Florida in Washington, D.C., lobbying with senators and representatives about Tourette syndrome. Josh was not always too willing to talk about the condition of Tourette syndrome until last year when his brother, Jacob, who also suffers from the condition, came home from school upset by the teasing of his classmates and comments by his teachers. Josh took his mom aside and said he had to do something to help his brother so he, too, would not have to suffer from the comments and feelings of embarrassment. He began speaking to each class at his brother’s school as a means of educating them. Joshua is courageous, confident and caring and is an inspiration to all of us.

— Demi Estes, second grade, Pelican Elementary, daughter of Kimberly Estes
Demi was nominated by Officer Angela Fleming. Fleming writes, “On March 25, at 9:51 p.m., I responded to a call at the Cape Coral Historical Museum. I met with Demi Estes who came out of the building and stated that her mother is diabetic and was unconscious. Demi was very calm and stated to me that she had been attempting to get her mother help for some time. Her mother was cleaning the building when she passed out because her blood sugar was low and had a seizure.” When Demi’s mom passed out, she fell, hitting her head and pulling the phone cord out of the phone. Demi attempted to call 911 from the disconnected phone but it did not work. She then ran to the nearest house a block away but there was no one home. To get help for her mom, Demi ran out onto Cultural Park Boulevard and flagged down a car asking them to call 911. Demi remained calm and got her mother the required help that she needed. She was able to tell emergency workers all the necessary information including her mom’s medical history. Demi demonstrated responsibility and maturity beyond her age in an adverse situation.

— Kishelly Brown, sixth grade, Caloosa Middle, daughter of Ingrid Trevino
Kishelly has been suffering with some extreme health issues which at times has warranted home-bound and hospital-bound education. Even so, she chooses to put others first. Despite the extra effort it takes to stay on top of her schoolwork, Kishelly excels with an A/B average. She is also very artistic and created the winning poster for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. The poster was sold at the event with the prize being the proceeds of the sale, but Kishelly chose to donate her prize money to Health Park Hospital. Recently, Kishelly was approached by the Make a Wish foundation so that they could honor her with a wish. According to the Make a Wish Web site, when they have a lead on a deserving child, they send a team to learn the child’s one true wish. They try to connect with the child and help explore their imaginations for an experience that would delight and inspire them. What they found from Kishelly was far more compassion than could ever have been expected. Once again, she thought about others less fortunate than herself, and chose to go to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to help the local orphanage. Kishelly’s trip is planned for this summer and she hopes to bring school supplies and art supplies and work with the children one-on-one teaching them and sharing her creativity.

— Victoria Garcia, fourth grade, Hector Cafferata Elementary, daughter of Nicola and Raphael Fonseca
Victoria, being an honor roll student, came across a shortfall in her school and has set out to correct it. Victoria has read every book in Hector Cafferata’s media center and felt that there was a shortfall of books for other children to read, so unbeknownst to her parents, she began donating her personal library. She took her mission one step farther though, and in March claimed that she would raise $500 for more books for the media center. Victoria set up donation jars in various businesses and manned tables at two bike nights bringing her total to $650. Having exceeded her goal, Victoria is not slowing down. She continues to man donation tables at local restaurants and events. Victoria has shown that even in a suffering economy, a young girl with a mission can get things done.

— Kailyn Mikulus, second grade, Gulf Elementary, daughter of Joseph and Patricia Mikulus
At Gulf Elementary, the second-grade class members stand up each morning and share their news. On one particular day, a classmate and friend of Kailyn’s announced that her dad was in the hospital, sick and could not work any more. He had bone marrow cancer. After a couple days of updates, she went home quite emotional and asked her parents, who own the Ice Cream Club, if there was something they could do to help. Because of Kailyn, three fund-raisers were arranged to help the family with their mounting medical expenses. Fliers were sent to the school and a day was set up during which 20 percent of sales went to the family and a raffle was held in the store bringing in more money. Kailyn did her part by working in the store during the fund-raisers, cleaning tables and washing dishes. When all was said and done, because of Kailyn, a nice check was presented to a very appreciative family.

— Jacob Ryan, sixth grade, Challenger Middle, son of Debi Ryan
Jacob is a Boy Scout and understands the values of scouting to help and encourage our country’s youth to become responsible, participating citizens and leaders. Part of the scouting oath is to help other people at all times and Jacob takes that to heart. Not only does Jacob attend his own scout meetings Monday nights, but he goes to all of the Pack 4 Cub Scout meetings as well to assist the third-graders. He is a valued resource and the younger scouts look up to him for his leadership skills. He goes with them on their camping trips, teaching them characteristics such as sportsmanship and safety. In fact, the only time Jacob missed attending a Cub Scout meeting was because he was helping his leader’s family through some difficult times by stepping in and keeping the leader’s household running. Jacob brings his citizenship and leadership skills to school with him, where he is the president of the Environmental Club. “This young man is incredible,” said Heidi Saichi, Pack 4 den mother.