For the first time in the 34-year history of the Roland Gomez Scholarship Awards, two boys shared the first-place prize that a girl also received, The Optimist Club of Miami Lakes said.
Students are chosen from among those who have demonstrated good academics during the 2018-2019 school year, performed community service and played sports with the club.
Former Barbara Goleman Senior High School students Sebastian Rivero and Michael Tobar each won a gold medal and a $1,000 college scholarship.
The boys both graduated with a 4.0 GPA and played basketball with the club, awards chairman Jim Hamilton said.
Rivero attends Miami Dade College and Tobar is enrolled at Florida International University.
Goleman junior Christina Gonzalez, who played flag football, softball and basketball at the club, won the first place prize for girls, a gold medal and $1,000 college scholarship, too.
Gonzalez was so nervous during the Nov. 14 ceremony at the Miami Lakes Middle School that she held hands with her mother, Cathy Quintana.
“Winning the Roland Gomez Scholarship Award is an honor for me because the Optimist Club means so much to me,” Gonzalez said. “To be recognized for my academic achievement, community involvement and participation in sports is an indescribable feeling.”
Gonzalez, Class of 2021, currently has a 4.0 GPA.
She plans to study meteorology at the University of Miami.
The trio of student-athletes won from a field of nine boys and five girls from area high schools and middle schools.
Club coaches used a point system and Rivero, Tobar and Gonzalez were their top picks, Hamilton said.
The award is named for Roland Gomez, who volunteered for more than a quarter century for the organization, Hamilton said.