DFYIT named Palmetto’s “Club of the Year”

Shannon Bush, Co-editor in Chief

On May 6, senior Christian Cortes was the proudest Drug Free Youth in Town (DFYIT) cub president in the county. Besides being named DFYIT club president of the year and receiving a $5,000 scholarship, Cortes was delighted to accept the “Miami-Dade DFYIT Club of the Year” award on behalf of Palmetto, for the first time in the school’s history.

In addition, senior Christian Sorensen won a $1,500 scholarship, senior Taylor Papaianni was named DFYIT secretary of the year, sponsor Larry Schwarz was named new adviser of the year and Palmetto was nominated for the “Most Cooperative Administration” award.

“Palmetto members were the stars of the morning,” Cortes said.

The DFYIT awards ceremony seemed like the perfect end to a perfect year, especially after Activities Director Angie Lima announced that DFYIT had won another award: Palmetto’s own “Club of the Year” award.

“We chose DFYIT for a couple of reasons. They increased membership by about 150%. They participated in all the student council-sponsored activities like Homecoming week,” Lima said. “They also had everything completed in terms of documentation, like monthly reports.”

DFYIT won first place for their Homecoming Banner as well as their hallway, and third place for their Panther Prowl skit. However, participation in Bayfront Park’s mock graveyard was probably the club’s most memorable event. Members propped up hundreds of tombstones as a “guerrilla marketing technique” to make a statement to the onlookers about the effects of underage drinking and driving, a part of the DFYIT Sober Campaign.

Officers say that DFYIT’s biggest change came in the form of membership involvement. To keep up with the huge membership boost, the club provided many opportunities for members to do community service and spread the club’s message.

“We had indoor field trips for our members, including ones on bullying and another on sex education,” Cortes said. “DFYIT likes to focus on a variety of issues besides drugs and alcohol that concern the community.”

The club’s exciting meetings, especially the “Jamba Juice Kickoff,” were a hit among the club’s more than 140 members.

“This year, most of the officers are seniors,’ vice president, senior Beatriz Alvarez said. “I hope next year’s officers inspire the new members to keep up the good work.”

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