Inspiring Okeechobee Hard times bring out the best in Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — When disaster strikes, or even threatens, the people of Okeechobee come together to take care of their own. Last week, we thought a hurricane was headed straight toward our town, and all over Facebook were offers from total strangers to help put up shutters or plywood. These people were not asking for money. […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Gumz wants her students to be kind

OKEECHOBEE – Cheryl Gumz has been a part of the Okeechobee County school system for so long, she has seen three generations pass through her classrooms. She loves children, and she loves teaching. “It’s nice to see the kids grow up and be happy,” she said. Originally from Indiana, her family moved to Sarasota when […]

Inspiring Clewiston: Janae Steen is an inspiration

CLEWISTON — Vanderbilt University student Janae Steen is a very busy young woman, who is not only doing an internship for The School District of Palm Beach County’s Office of African, African American, Latino, and Gender Studies, but she has managed to place on the Dean’s list at the university during both the Fall of […]

Inspiring Clewiston: Dorothy Sims-Gilbert still stands strong

CLEWISTON — Some people are born into difficult circumstances and use those circumstances to justify bad choices. Others, like Dorothy Yvonne Sims-Gilbert, choose to rise above those circumstances, and change the world around them. Mrs. Sims-Gilbert was born and raised in Belle Glade. She described herself as an angry child, growing up in a culture […]

Belle Glade principal believed you have to stand up for what is right

LOS ANGELES — As Father’s Day 2019 approached, Dr. Ron McCurdy found himself thinking back to his roots in Belle Glade, Fla., and more specifically, of his father — a man who believed you have to stand up for what you feel is right, no matter what the repercussions might be. Born in 1913, his […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Wrestling did a lot for Curtis Tyson

Wrestling does not teach violence, said Coach Curtis Tyson. It’s just the opposite, in fact. Like any good discipline such as karate or Taekwondo, wrestling teaches respect for the opponent, for the coach, for the mat, for your parents and for other adults in the children’s lives, he explained. In teaching that, you teach them […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Sumner is champion of champions

It’s not every day that a teenage girl whips out her phone to show you pictures of her Brown Swiss cow, but then Shelby Sumner is not your average teenage girl. Shelby has been a member of one 4-H group or another since kindergarten, participating in Junior Quiz Bowls, speech contests, public speaking contests and […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Delagall tries to follow wherever He leads

  “If I could do anything for people, I would,” said Charlotte Delagall. “I try to live by the Golden Rule.” Mrs. Delagall and her husband Daniel moved to Okeechobee in 1957 to be closer to their families. She said both sets of parents and her grandparents were getting older and their health was not […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Israel Medrano is a changed man

  Inspiring people come in all shapes and forms, and sometimes what makes them inspiring is the fact that they have overcome or changed something about themselves. If you had met Israel Medrano 20 years ago, you probably wouldn’t have liked him very much or thought he was very inspiring at all, but Mr. Medrano […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Frank DeCarlo loves people even when they aren’t lovable

  Frank DeCarlo doesn’t see today, he sees what he will leave behind, says his daughter Sarah Reno. He doesn’t care about himself at all she explained. “Everything he does is either for his family, God, his church or to help someone else.” He loves his family, and his dream is to have a legacy […]