2020 GCHS grad riding scholarships to FSU

Haitian American Michely Julno hopes to help immigrants

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Michely Julno’s graduation picture

WEST PALM BEACH — A student who just graduated from Glades Central High School was the recipient of $22,000 worth of scholarships through the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Michely Julno, 18, received three awards that the foundation lumped together, totaling $22,000, to attend Florida State University (FSU). The Belle Glade resident is a first-generation American, born here after her parents immigrated from Haiti during social unrest there decades ago. She’s one of 88 local students awarded a total of over $1 million in scholarships by the CFPBMC after a competitive process (the average award was $11,000).

Miss Julno was in the top 5% of the Glades Central Class of 2020 and has been very involved in volunteering for the local community.

In a phone chat June 17, Michely shared what it was like to have her senior year complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic — although she had finished her high school studies ahead of time and already had been working (since her sophomore year) on credits toward an A.A. degree from Palm Beach State College.

“I actually did have a bad last semester because I was already taking all night classes at Palm Beach State for the degree, so it was pretty much the thing for me (learning from home). The bad thing about it was missing my friends.” She explained she’d already finished earning most of her needed credits for GCHS graduation, so she wouldn’t have been going to the campus much anyway. “It was pretty OK; just not seeing my friends was hard.”

Miss Julno said she had seen her close friends at Glades Central only a handful of times since February, right before schools shut down and went to distance (online) learning.

One of her scholarships was for $2,500 for her freshman year at FSU from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Foundation; she also just received a scholarship award from the Caribbean American for Community Involvement in Florida Inc. (CAFCI) charity.

Michely also was nominated by Gema Guadalupe Cervantes for “Adopt a Palm Beach County High School Senior,” who termed her a “Community Service Queen” in her nomination.

Ms. Cervantes wrote: “Michely Julno strives for various skills due to her volunteer experiences and in academics. She is highly talented in her ability to serve others. She currently has the most community service hours in Glades Central High School, which is well over 2,000 hours. She is also an AP (Advanced Placement), AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) and Dual Enrollment student from Palm Beach State College. She has also graduated with her Associate of Arts degree before high school.

“She … holds a GPA of 3.81 and HPA of 4.79. She is bilingual in Haitian Creole and Spanish. Miss Julno is skilled in mathematics, public speaking and in the clarinet, and is Microsoft certified. Her awards and honors include the following: Honor Rolls 2016-2019; HOSA CPR/First-AID regional 5th Place 2018; reporter of the National Spanish Honor Society; secretary of Student Government Association; and secretary of Class Student Body. She also holds awards from winning the Superior Impromptu and Superior Poem Recitation in the Florida State Spanish Conference in 2019.

“She is also very active in her school extracurriculars through the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, National Achievers Society, Johnson Take Stock Club, Health Occupations Student of America, Mu Alpha Theta (Math National Honor Society), Student Government Association and in the Class Student Body. In her years in Glades Central High, she has served as a mentor for the past four years in the Youth and Children Development Center Inc., in Relay for Life raising money for cancer research and as a volunteer to serve food in the Thanksgiving soup kitchen. In 2019 to now, she has served as the student principal for the Youth and Children Development Center and as a volunteer for Arts For All for special education students. As a student who also holds over 11,000 hours of community service, she goes far and beyond to serve her community. I aspire to her level of commitment and dedication to academic excellence and service.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
BELLE GLADE — Michely Julno was a member of the Glades Central Principal’s “A” Team.

Explaining her interest in volunteerism, she said, “Most of my local community volunteering is with my church; it’s an after-school program, so I’ve been working with them since I was in middle school. But you know it wasn’t until high school that you earn service hours that count … I was in so many other extra things around my church, the First Missionary Baptist Church.”

She really had no time to play any sports with all her other activities but said she was in drama club her freshman year.

Asked what she planned to study, Miss Julno said she’d concentrate on education and legal studies. Her immediate objective is to win an internship working with elementary school children (K-8), and she wants “also to go back to school for law and then going to law school and becoming an immigration lawyer.”

Happy that she has a GCHS classmate joining her at FSU in the fall, Michely’s actually starting at FSU during summer semester, so she’ll be back at the books and on the computer in earnest come Monday, June 22.
Not that she ever spent much time away from them, mind you.

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