Congratulations are in order for a job well done by more than 80 students who received the Turn Around Award at a recognition program May 10 sponsored by FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools.

Parents and other family members were left with smiles of joy, while students grinned from ear to ear with honor.

The pavilion at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach seated hundreds of people celebrating the many accomplishments of the Turn Around Award recipients.

Each student received a certificate signed by Volusia County Schools Superintendent Tom Russell and School Board Chairman Carl Persis, and all the students will have their names engraved on a plaque to be displayed at their schools.

The Turn Around program honors middle- and high-school students at each grade level. Honored students have shown significant achievements in attendance, attitude, grades and/or citizenship.

After careful review, the students were chosen by their principals, with input from guidance counselors and teachers.

“Many of the Turn Around students have not received positive recognition in the past. Therefore, it is our goal that they be reached, motivated and rewarded as they turn their lives around,” said Cynthia Ramirez, FUTURES executive director.

For more than five years, FUTURES’ partnership with the Daytona Tortugas baseball team has provided discounted-meal vouchers and Tortugas game tickets for the students, along with a beautiful space for the annual celebration.

With the assistance of the Tortugas, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood and Mainstreet Community Bank, FUTURES was able to provide a meal and entry into the Daytona Tortugas baseball game for the recipients and their families.

“I think that it’s great to reward students that have put in that extra effort to turn things around. I believe it helps build their confidence in themselves as well as let them know that we are all rooting for them,” said Derrick Acree, parent of DeLand High School student Tyrese Bethel.

Let us continue to show our support for the hard work of our youth. For more information, call Ramirez at 386-255-6475, ext. 50730, or email her at caperric@volusia.k12.fl.us.

— Cameron, a longtime educator, lives in Orange City. Send email to cameronchronicleslive@gmail.com.