NEW YORK, N.Y. (FNN NEWS) – TIME’s Person of the Year is usually synonymous historically with people with a lengthy presence in the world and equal influence. However, this 92-year-old franchise has taken a turn from their own tradition by recognizing 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg as its 2019 Person of the Year.
While many other teenagers are learning to drive or going on their first date or getting ready to enter high school, Greta has taken on the most challenging cause to date: the fight against climate change.
She was only eight years old when she first learned about climate change, or “global warming,” and even at that age, found it alarming that government officials were not taking it as seriously as they should. She decided to take action by way of solitary protest in front of Stockholm’s Parliament and, like wildfire, she was joined by thousands when she garnered media attention and encouraged others to follow suit.
Since that first courageous leap of action, she has met with high-powered officials and clergy (presidents, the United Nations, the Pope) and continues her fight to bring awareness, not just to the problem of global warming but to the inactions of our leaders in government. After all, our governments have the power to invoke change and hold accountable all corporations and industries that are not working towards a sustainable future that will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint, thereby slowing the rapid progression of climate change and giving hope to the future generations for better atmospheric conditions.
Adults usually dole out scolding to kids, but the roles were reversed when Greta spoke before the U.N. General Assembly. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth…how dare you?”
All that she has said and done to encourage the youth to action is incredible. But what is most phenomenal is that Greta has Asperger’s syndrome. A person diagnosed with Asperger’s does not process nor is led by emotions the way most people do and would have an all-absorbing interest in a particular subject matter. She does not have the luxury of being dismissive of what is a global epidemic, nor can she stand by and accept the complacency in which global warming has been addressed.
Greta is proof of the adage that “one person can make a difference” no matter how small the change or how young the individual.
Kareen Kennedy is Entertainment and Business Associate Editor for Florida National News contributor. | email@example.com
Max Action Arena now open at ICON Park
Finalists For The 25th Don Quijote Awards Announced
ORLANDO, FL — Excitement builds for the 25th Annual Don Quijote Awards as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) and Prospera revealed the finalists of the four categories, along with this year’s Lifetime Achievement and Hispanic Community Champion award recipients, during a press conference that was held at the Orlando Museum of Art. The press conference was sponsored by Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo.
The Don Quijote Awards recognize businesses and individuals committed to excellence and the development of Central Florida’s Hispanic community. The winner of each category will be announced at the 25th Don Quijote Awards Celebration on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at Epcot’s World Showplace Pavilion from 6:00 pm to midnight.
The 2022 Don Quijote Awards finalists are:
Hispanic Business of the Year, Five Years or Less:
- Guacamole Mexican Grill, Inc, represented by owners Diego Rojas and Gustavo Aristizabal
- Samantha’s Walls, LLC, represented by owner Samantha Senf
- Unik Title, LCC, represented by owner Lynette Quinones
Hispanic Business of the Year, More than Five Years:
- Competitive Edge Partners & Consulting, represented by owner Debbie Rodriguez
- Lim Law, PA, represented by owner Henry Lim
- SkyBuilders USA, represented by company owners Marcela Restrepo and Juan Velez
Professional of the Year:
- Dr. Adriana Cadilla, Infectious Disease Physician at Nemours Children’s Hospital
- Migdalia Figueroa, President and General Manager for Telemundo Orlando at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
- Luis Nieves-Ruiz, Director of Economic Development at East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
- Josephine Balzac Arroyo, Esq., Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College
- Former State Representative Bob Cortes, Senior Administrator for Government Affairs for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
- Major Carlos Torres, Uniform Patrol Division at Orange County Sheriff’s Office
The Hispanic Community Champion and Lifetime Achievement awards recipients are uniquely chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee.
Hispanic Community Champion Award
This award is given to a non-Hispanic individual who has led by example in supporting the progress of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. The recipient of this award is chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee, focusing on contributions to the Hispanic community; evidence of promoting Hispanic professionals, executives, and board members within the nominee’s respective organization and in the general community; demonstrated leadership or community involvement to benefit the Hispanic community; and honors or awards.
The winner of the 2022 Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award is Dr. Michael Burkett, President at Florida Technical College (FTC) – one of Florida’s largest trade schools with seven campuses across the state and its sister school Dave School, ranked as one of the top schools in the state for animation, visual effects, and game design. FTC is a Hispanic-owned institution that offers diplomas, associate and bachelor’s programs designed to assist the adult learner.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the development and empowerment of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. The Lifetime Achievement this year goes to Modesto Alcala, Senior Vice President of Global Restaurant Development and Placemaking for Universal Creative at Universal Orlando Resort.
For more than three decades, Modesto has been a catalyst in the global hospitality and restaurant industry. His national impact began when he was part of the ideation and development of Barnes & Noble’s 600-unit café business, including an early partnership with Starbucks. In 2012, he joined Universal Parks and Resorts. As a senior executive at Universal, Modesto leads the efforts to establish new supplier diversity programs to help diverse-owned businesses gain more access to contracts.
The Don Quijote Awards are made possible thanks to the support of Walt Disney World Resort, Wells Fargo, AdventHealth, Bank of America, Universal Orlando Resort, PNC, 1st SOS Staffing, Florida Blue, Orlando Health, OUC- The Reliable One, Travel & Leisure, Cypress Bank and Trust, Orlando Magic, JPMorgan Chase, 26Health, University of Central Florida, iHeart Media, Telemundo 31, Florida National News, La Prensa Newspaper, El Osceola Star, Univision Orlando and El Nuevo Zol 95.3 FM, among many more. For more information on the Don Quijote Awards, please visit www.donquijoteawards.com.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens to reopen Wednesday, October 26