By Sharon Aron Baron
During Black History Month, the City of Coral Springs is recognizing Black individuals, businesses, or business owners who have positively contributed to the community with outstanding service and/or achievement records.
In January, residents were invited to nominate an individual or business. Categories included educator, public safety personnel, artist, youth under 18 involved in community service, adult contributing to the success of youth, or any Black community member, or business.
Here are those who were nominated.
Dr. Precious Skinner-Osei
Dr. Skinner–Osei, a Coral Springs resident of 10 years, has worked in partnership with the Coral Springs Police Department since 2017.
She has bridged the gap between the community and the Police Department while mentoring our underserved community’s children and providing students with academic and civic learning.
Her contributions to our community make her not just a role model for the Black Community but the entire Coral Springs community.
Cassandra Brice has lived in Coral Springs for 17 years and served as an SGA Advisor in Coral Springs High School for the past two years.
She has revitalized the program culminating in the school’s most recent win at the 2020 Teen Political Forum. As a strong Black woman herself, she imbues strength and determination in all her students.
Rachel Robuste is a Community Liaison at Liberty Elementary and has lived in Coral Springs for 6 years. Focused on helping students feel accepted and confident, she infuses value and self-esteem in each student – igniting their potential.
Her work ethic and dedication make her an incredible role model for the Coral Springs Black community.
Winston Clark, Sawgrass Springs Middle School Educator, has lived in Coral Springs for 14 years. Encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM, his direct, yet understanding personality allows and empowers students of all races to achieve high academic standards while being respectful and courteous to their peers.
Christopher Crossman, a six-year resident of Coral Springs, is the Assistant Principal of J.P. Taravella High School and has positively impacted over 3,000 families in the city.
He has demonstrated incredible work ethic and commitment to the community, students, parents, and teachers, serving as a role model to all.
Rolsilla Francis, Behavior Tech at Forest Glenn Middle School, works closely with our Black Youth community, impacting their growth and self-improvement.
Always going above and beyond to make a positive and lasting effect on the students, she often works after hours to gain funding for the program.
Linda Pierre, a Sawgrass Springs Middle School Educator, has been teaching in Coral Springs for 15 years. As a recently named Teacher of the Year, she has commanded the respect of her peers, parents, and the entire community.
Working closely with the U.S. Chess Federation program, she helps bring enrichment to students’ lives in the city of Coral Springs. Constantly, she goes over and beyond the call of duty as an educator to ensure students at Sawgrass Springs Middle School succeed and are prepared for high school.
Sharon Hannor-Murray is an outstanding Reading and ESOL/ELA Educator at Sawgrass Springs Middle School and has been for the past 22 years.
She has coached Floor Hockey and Volleyball for the SSMS Gators. Notably, she has been an asset to the Coral Springs community by providing parent training and reading resources to students who need an extra boost to improve their reading skills.
Adult contributing to the success of youth
Nick Cabral, owner of HYAS Performance, trains students through performance-based activities while also mentoring them to ensure they have good grades, excellent behavior, and be stand up citizens.
He has played an important role in the lives of young Black men who may often need a mentor and someone to help them craft a future for themselves.
Major Collins, resident of Coral Springs for 8 years, is a Federal Officer and the Founder of DadsBeOnDuty.com.
He has hosted Back to School Events, distributing school supplies to the elementary, middle, and high school students throughout the city, and personally assisted families with food, clothing, and toys during the holidays, especially during the pandemic.
Additionally, he has mentored numerous African American fathers in the community who struggled with parental skills to become a better role model for their children.
Pastor Oral Walters has been a fixture in the Black community in Coral Springs, often distributing food and other vital resources to those in need in our community.
Leading a congregation that believes in serving the community, he has been a role model to many in our city.
Damon Penn, Realtor for Keller Williams Real Estate Coral Springs, has been a resident of the city for eight years and has always been very involved in the community.
Focused on giving back, Penn has sponsored city sports teams, led men’s ministries, and participated in many local food share outreaches to provide food, gifts, and decorations to less fortunate families, especially during the holiday season.
Donna Denton served the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce for more than 15 years as an Ambassador to welcome new business owners and help them immerse into the community.
She has served on the Chamber Board of Directors, chaired the Education Committee, and worked for the Chamber for Good, where she built relationships between profit companies and nonprofits.
Donna Denton is a go-to mentor for business owners, and her assistance is widely appreciated and respected.
Alison Clarke-DeSouza is an OB-GYN doctor. In the tumultuous healthcare profession, it is difficult to survive as a single practitioner; however, Dr. DeSouza has been successfully operating in the city of Coral Springs for over 30 years.
She is a selfless and caring educator; she has mentored students on being a good person in the community and volunteers in various city programs.
Grace Carrington has lived in Coral Springs for 25 years.
Rather than sitting on the sidelines, she dives in to help where she can make a difference in others’ lives.
She is a very active leader in the city’s Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund, helping students advance in their career choices and making an impact in their futures.
Lorna Brown-Burton is an active member of the community. She serves on the CRA board.
Glass House Barber and Lounge
The Glass House Barber and Lounge, owned and operated by Rodnel Vedrine, is a local business that has brought much joy to the city while focusing on its mission: to help transform lives from the outside-in.
At this business, they believe in the community’s future by broadcasting that “we live here, we work here, and we mentor here.” Business owner Vedrine mentors young men on what it means to be responsible, have integrity and be men of valor.
Fat Boyz Barbecue
Fat Boyz Barbecue is of the few local businesses that are Black-owned in Coral Springs. Jarael and Yolanda Holston-Jones have won numerous praises from many South Florida media outlets for their business, and regardless of the pandemic, Fat Boyz Barbecue has remained busy.
Shachouritzy Salon is a Black-owned local business that many residents appreciate and praise.
Owner Shalida Joseph uplifts young girls and women with her talent and passion. Her incredible talent provides young girls with confidence and celebrates their beauty in every way.
Innergy Dance Company
Innergy Dance Company provides dance classes for youth and adults.
Before becoming a business, Innergy Dance Company started as a dance team at Church by the Glades.
Led by Quency and Porshia Gordon, the business provides dance training to students from age 5 and up and focuses on cultivating leaders in the Coral Springs community.
Youth under 18
Jayda Washington-Boothe is a student at Sawgrass Springs Middle School who serves as Broward County Chess Ambassador Queen and advocates for Chess Programs in Coral Springs.
She has accomplished over 500 hours of community service since kindergarten, maintained honor roll status.
Regardless of many setbacks, she has been selected as the 2020 US Rocket and Space Center Scholarship Recipient, Hour of Code Speaker representing Broward County Public Schools, and Top 50 Finalist for Nickelodeon Kid of the Year.
Public Safety Personnel
James Johnson is a Coral Springs Field Training Police Officer and a Crisis Intervention Team Member who goes above and beyond to make a difference every day.
He always goes out of his way to help his fellow officers and detectives work cases. During his off-duty time, he works on felony cases, demonstrating his commitment to the community.
Ebony Winn is the first Black female sergeant at the Coral Springs Police Department and has worked for 13 years.
She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives working diligently to ensure diversity at all levels of law enforcement leadership, respect for the profession within the ranks and within the vast communities that they serve.
She is a true leader that is genuinely vested in making the world and those around her better.
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