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Five students earn Do The Right Thing honors

By Staff | Feb 16, 2011

The city of Cape Coral held its monthly Do The Right Thing awards presentation Wednesday at City Hall.

Overall winner
— Diva Faustini, 10th grade, Mariner High, daughter of Dina Faustini
Diva is a young lady with a big heart and the motivation to get things done. Last year, Diva was personally affected by the death of her friend’s little sister. With the intent to brighten the lives of hospitalized children, Diva began collecting toys to donate to a cancer related charity. After contacting the charity and receiving no response, she put her plans on hold, but did not abandon the idea.
This year, Diva learned from her experience. She planned ahead by contacting the Children’s Advocacy Center, which gladly accepted her offer to organize a Christmas toy drive. She obtained permission from the school principal, coordinated the support of the school’s JROTC command staff, created a PowerPoint to publicize the toy drive on the school news and ran the event from beginning to end. Diva provided information to the local media as well and collected toys at school and at her workplace.
The end result was that she collected 185 toys and helped to brighten the holiday season for children throughout the community.

— Lidia Bernal, 6th grade, Challenger Middle, daughter of Carmen Castane and Joaquin Bernal
Lidia is from a Spanish-speaking household and is in the “English for Students of other Languages” program. She has overcome the language barrier, though, and not only understands what is being taught, but makes it a habit in math class of helping the students who are confused by the problems. They have made it a point to sit near her so that once she understands, she can help to explain the assignments to them. Lidia is a most generous young lady, not only with her time but with her possessions. Despite the fact that her family struggles financially, Lidia will bring in mints or stickers on occasion to share with her classmates.

— Cole Valentine, 8th grade, Caloosa Middle, son of Kelly and Greg Valentine
Cole has made it a habit to act as a big brother to his friend Brandon who is a couple years younger than he is, so it’s not surprising that he took on that role again when Brandon got injured. Cole and his buddy decided to run home from the bus stop when Brandon tripped and hit his head on the road. Cole picked him up and realized that he had a head wound that was breeding heavily, so Cole took his shirt off and wrapped it around his friends head and applied pressure. He helped him to walk the rest of the way home and cleaned him up the best he could; getting a first aid kit to try to stop the bleeding with bandages. He recognized how serious the wound was so he called Brandon’s mom who took him to the ER. A CAT scan showed bleeding on Brandon’s brain and he was flown to St Petersburg Children’s Hospital where surgery was performed.
Cole continued to look after his friend by calling him before and after his surgery to see how he was doing. When Brandon got home from the hospital, Cole and checking up on him regularly brought his schoolwork to him. Cole is being recognized for acting quickly in an emergency.

— Mary Decker, 6th grade, Caloosa Middle, daughter of David and Julie Decker
There is a young lady named Brittany in Mary’s school who is in the life skills program. As soon as Mary finishes her homework in study hall, she volunteers to go to the life skills class to help Brittany with counting and addition problems. She also helps her in the lunchroom and during PE class. Brittany is normally mute, but will have conversations with Mary and now looks up to her as a role model and friend. Mary struggled to adjust to middle school at the beginning of the year, however she made the choice to help herself by helping others.

— Brad Dusick, 11th grade, Mariner High, son of Barb and Chuck Dusick
A while back, Brad and his mom were sitting on their lanai. They have a canal in the backyard and there were four children fishing nearby with no adults around; the oldest looked to be 9 and the youngest was around 4 or 5 years old. The children started to get excited which caught Brad’s attention. They had a bucket and were looking into it. Brad thought they had a turtle in the bucket and he wanted to go and ask them to put it back in the canal but his mom tried to convince him to leave the kids alone because she was trying to talk to him about a family matter. Then he noticed the younger child sitting on the embankment, somewhat distressed, with some type of issue with his foot. Brad told his mom that he needed to check on the children. When he got over there the young child told Brad he had a fishing hook in his shoe. He wasn’t paying attention and walked into the line as his friend was casting. Brad tried, unsuccessfully, to remove the hook with his hands so went home to get pliers to get the job done. Brad took full advantage of this situation with the four boys. He explained to them a little about safety as they play on the side of the canal and cast fishing hooks. He also had a talk with them about the turtles and asked them to release the one they caught back into its natural environment.