Police leader speaks
More than 100 Saint Leo University students, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the public gathered in person and online on Feb. 22, to hear Memphis Police Department Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis talk about her experiences as a leader, according to a news release.
Davis’ appearance was part of Saint Leo’s Mission-Driver Leaders: Conversations on Purpose program.
Davis was named as the Memphis Police Department’s first female police chief in 2021 and is a Saint Leo University alumna.
She spoke about the people and events that have influenced her career and how she leads with a service mindset.
“It’s not about you, it’s about helping other people,” said Davis in the release.
As one of six children growing up in a military family in which her father was one of the first African Americans to serve in the Army’s Special Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Davis said patriotism was ingrained in her, as was civic duty.
She told students, “Never turn down an opportunity,” and be ready to “walk through that door.”
Davis also cited the advice of one of her Saint Leo professors who told her, “Learn something about everything.”
Having mentors and being a mentor also is important, Davis noted.
Davis has been at the forefront of examining police reform and creating national standards – what she calls “checks and balances,” according to the release.
She is an advocate for using the position as a law enforcement officer to influence the community, and said that engaging with those they serve can lead to less crime.
Davis also notes that public safety officials should not shoulder all of the responsbility.
Being successful can take a lot of sacrifice, Davis added.
“Anything you want to achieve, you will have to make sacrifices,” she said in the release.
As a leader who lives her mission, Davis reminded the students, “Know that there is nothing that will keep you from your goals if you stay focused.”
The Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Foundation recently offered free introductory tennis clinics to physical education classes at Raymond B. Stewart Middle School in Zephyrhills.
The Play Days program explained the basics of tennis to local students, many of whom have never been exposed to racquet sports and come from low-income households.
The foundation in March will launch an after-school tennis program at Stewart Middle School in Zephyrhills, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to give students greater access to lessons and equipment.
The foundation’s mission is to provide tennis and education programming in Pasco County communities through character-building, physical activity, and mentoring.
Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano will accept entries from March 28 through April 22 (at 5 p.m.), for his annual essay contest for high school students.
Students enrolled in Pasco public/charter, private, parochial, nonpublic, and home-school programs can participate.
In 500 words or less, students must answer the question, “Since the 1980s, Pasco County has seen a steady growth in population that now has us nearing 600,000 residents. To accommodate this growth, we have seen many additions made to our county’s general infrastructure (expanded roads, public transportation, additional shopping venues, etc.). What is one addition that has been made that was most beneficial to Pasco County, or what is one addition that you believe should be made to further accommodate our county’s growth?”
The winner will be notified no later than May 13, and will receive a $500 gift card.
Students in public/charter schools should submit their essays to their principal.
Students in private, parochial, nonpublic or home-school programs should send their essays directly to Assistant Tax Collector Greg Giordano, c/o Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office, P.O. Box 276, Dade City, FL 33526.
Entries also can be hand-delivered to the tax collector’s office at 4720 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey.
For questions, call Jose Rodriguez Sierra at 727-847-8165, ext. 3826.
Eagle Scout award
Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Eagle Scouts who are currently registered in an active unit and are graduating from high school this year can apply for the Dadez Family Eagle Scout Values Award.
The award is presented to an Eagle Scout who has lived a life of honesty, integrity, respect, responsibility and leadership with a demonstrated commitment to the ideals of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, according to a news release.
The selected recipient will receive a $1,000 cash award, a medal and a certificate.
Application deadline is March 30.
For information and to apply, visit tinyurl.com/5b2kt5bw.
Fish art contest
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in partnership with Wildlife Forever, is hosting the annual Florida State Fish Art Contest.
Students in kindergarten through 12th grade can compete in the free contest for a chance to win state and national honors, and prizes.
The program inspires creativity, while developing the next generation of anglers and conservationists.
Florida winners will be selected by the FWC in four grade categories: Kindergarten through third grade; fourth grade through sixth grade; seventh grade through ninth grade; and 10th grade through 12th grade.
State winners will advance to the National Competition to be judged for top prizes, including Best of Show.
The deadline to enter is March 31.
For entry guidelines and information, visit WildlifeForever.org/home/fish-art/.