Feel-good story of the week: Students recognized for ‘doing the right thing’ by reporting potential threats to the school


MIAMI, FL – Several students in various grades received awards and accolades for ‘doing the right thing’ by helping others or informing school staff about potential threats to the school. The awards were given out by local law enforcement in downtown Miami and “Do The Right Thing of Miami.”

Far too often, there are many reports around the world where people see something and either refuse to do anything to help or tell others to prevent an incident. That was not the case when several school-aged children were recently honored with awards presented by “Do The Right Thing of Miami” and law enforcement members of Miami-Dade County.

A total of ten students from various schools were recognized with awards for their actions which ranged from ensuring another student received medical aid to alerting security officials that there was another child with a weapon on a school bus. The awards were presented during a ceremony on December 21st which was held at the Clarence Dickson Police College in downtown Miami.

One of the students recognized was Alana Johnson, a ninth-grader at Miami Edison Senior High School. Johnson was honored for breaking through a crowd of people that had gathered nearby another student who was having a seizure.

Johnson worked to calm the young girl who was having a seizure until she had recovered from the episode. Once the girl was alert, Johnson took it upon herself to locate adult supervision and ensure that the young girl received the medical care she needed.

In another incident, a second and fifth grader teamed up to inform school security officials of another student who had a weapon on a school bus. Fifth grader Jesus Rodriguez and second grader Mauro Valdes-Medina had seen another boy on their bus who had a knife.

Other children on the bus told the two not to tell anyone what they saw, but despite the peer pressure, both children did the right thing and informed the school staff of the situation. School security located the student and removed the weapon from the boy.

Ariadna Espinosa, the Executive Director of Do the Right Thing of Miami, personally took the stage to tell those in attendance that she appreciated the pair for their actions that day. She said:

“The student was subsequently searched, and the knife was found. In the face of peer pressure, Mauro and Jesus did the right thing and helped keep their school and classmates safe.”


The three students recognized are part of ten in total that was given awards on the 21st. While they received awards and public recognition for their actions, they also were given some pretty nice rewards for going above and beyond.

Johnson was awarded a trip to Washington, D.C. next year to meet up with other students who also won the “Do the Right Thing” awards. Johnson and the others will be given a tour of the capital and get to visit different national monuments and museums in the area.

Jesus and Mario will also be given something else beyond their plaques, they have been awarded a trip to the Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach. All three were also presented with Miami Marlins baseball tickets, mini-tablets, t-shirts, and free passes to both ZooMiami and Queen Cruises.

The children had the opportunity to also meet with Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Additionally, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava was also in attendance.

Do The Right Thing Miami is a non-profit organization that:

“Strives to recognize and reward Miami youths for their exemplary behavior, accomplishments, and good deeds through a unique partnership with the City of Miami Police Department and other participating law enforcement agencies.”

The organization is funded, in part, by the law enforcement agencies throughout Miami-Dade County. They also receive funding through private donations, corporations, and foundations throughout the community.

Anyone interested in learning more about the organization or take part in some manner is encouraged to contacted their office at 305 603-6957 or by emailing them at [email protected].

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