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Students, police honored in Miami-Dade for 'doing the right thing'

10 students recognized on Thursday

MIAMI – A joint ceremony was held in Miami awarding police officers for their work in the community and students for doing the right thing.

From reporting inappropriate posts on Facebook, to helping other classmates in need, a total of 10 Miami-Dade students were recognized for their heroic acts.

One of those heroic acts came from fourth-grade student Kalyha Smith.

Kalyha's  her best friend recently lost her father, and told Kalyha that she wanted to hurt herself in hopes of being with her dad. 

Kalyha immediately told one of the guidance counselors at school that her friend was in trouble.

"I'm her bestie, and I didn't want her to die, so I just wanted to go tell somebody so she could change her mind," Kalyha said.

Another good deed came from Martin Castillo, a senior at Miami Beach Senior High School.

Castillo is captain of his wrestling team, and has been helping one of his teammates who has a learning disability with his studies.

"Sometimes I go to his special ed class and I help him pronounce the words, I help him with some of his assignments. When we have study hall, I stay with him after school and I help him," Castillo said.

The "Do the Right Thing" program was started in 1990 after a student was recognized by the police department for turning in a loaded gun that he found at school.

Since then, the program has recognized more than 200,000 students in 40 schools in the county.

"I knew I was coming here today to receive an award and a plaque but I had no idea so much other things would happen, like winning a trip to (Washington) D.C.," Martin said.

The program recognizes 10 Miami-Dade County students every month and organizers hold an end-of-the-year banquet for all of them.


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