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Youth Excellence and Achievement Award (YEA! Award)

The Board of County Commissioners created the YEA! Awards in 2010 to recognize Hillsborough County students for making a difference in their community. The award recipients show initiative, innovation, and commitment to themselves and others, while pursuing excellence in a leadership capacity. This can be demonstrated in academics, community service, athletics, performing arts, conservation, or other areas.

The County's Commission on the Status of Women reviews the nominations, and the Board of County Commissioners presents the awards at a Board meeting each spring.

YEA! Award Categories


Demonstrating positive impact on others in an ongoing endeavor, such as sports, academics, or the arts.

Success Despite Difficult Odds

Overcoming tremendous personal difficulty to attain success and to make a positive impact on others.

Volunteer or Community Service

Allocating discretionary time to help others or complete a project that has improved our community.

2015 YEA! Awards

Award Recipients

Year Leadership Success Despite Difficult Odds Volunteer or Community Service
Eva Telesca
Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Emily McLean
Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School
Logan Grimail
Coleman Middle School
Phillip Smith
Steinbrenner High School
Christian Suarez
Sam Rampello Downtown Partnership School
Ashlyn Yarbrough
Plant City High School
Julia Woolley
Buchanan Middle School
Ervin Harris
Middleton High School
Leigh Dittman
Buchanan Middle School
Demonde Ragins
Simmons Career Center
Sam Estes
Williams IB Middle School
Derek Frantz
Jesuit High School