Governor honors local middle student


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman awarded a local middle school student with the Champion of Service Award during Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting.

Taylor Richardson is a student at Fletcher Middle School in Jacksonville and is also a triathlete, local Girl Scout, and has a passion for helping homeless individuals, families, and animals.

She has collected over 1,000 books to donate to local organizations such as the YMCA and the United Way. Richardson was recently nominated for the 2016 HandsOn Youth in Action Award for outstanding volunteer service from HandsOn Jacksonville.

“It is an honor to present Carole Zegel and Taylor Richardson with the Champion of Service Award today for giving back to their communities and providing Floridians across our state with more opportunities to succeed. We are thankful for their service as they impact the lives of countless individuals,” Scott said.

Carole Zegel of Gainesville was also awarded the Champion of Service Award. She helped create the Guardian ad Litem program in 1979. She was appointed to serve as the first director of the Family Court in 1994 and oversaw the Guardian ad Litem, Teen Court, and Project Payback programs. Zegel has volunteered with the PACE Center for Girls since 2011 and currently serves as their chair of the Board of Trustees. Under her leadership, PACE has opened two new centers in Miami and Clay County.

“Volunteer Florida is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month and the contributions of women and girls in Florida by recognizing Carole Zegel and Taylor Richardson. They demonstrate that community service and volunteerism can be a lifelong endeavor. We are grateful for their service and proud to recognize them with the Champion of Service Award,” said Spellman.

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