Community’s 2023 ‘Best & Brightest’ high school seniors provide positive hope for the future

From the Tallahassee Democrat

When the news of everyday pummels us with the dark daily truth of living in the most divided time of our lifetimes, it can pollute our perspective and obscure our optimism. That’s why we all need to look for and find the light anywhere that provides positive hope for the future.

We need to look no further than right here in Tallahassee to find that light. It shines brightly in the lives and good works of the 2023 class of our community’s “Best & Brightest” high school seniors. Now in its 18th year, the “Best & Brightest” scholarship program honors the academic achievements of local students in their milestone year – but the heart of the program is all about selfless service to others. The dedication of these young leaders is inspiring because of the individual and collective impact of their service.

On May 17th, the awards program at FSU’s Ruby Diamond Concert Hall at 6:30 p.m. will recognize 146 diversely talented seniors from public and private schools — and home schoolers – in 15 categories: Art, Athletics, Business, Career/Technical, Drama & Performing Arts, English & Language Arts, Journalism & Media Production, Leadership, Mathematics, Music, Public Speaking, Science & Health, Social Science, Technology, and World Languages.  In addition, 45 eighth graders will be recognized for their thoughtful essays about service to others.

The high school and middle school elements of the B&B program are intended to encourage and nurture a culture of service to others as an ethic for life. The public is invited to attend the ceremony because it will fill your heart with hope. It stands as one of the most energetic and inspiring events of any calendar year. Even if you can’t attend, you can see these amazing teenagers in this Sunday’s Tallahassee Democrat special ad about our honorees – and read all about the top 45 countywide winners’ wonderful works in The Democrat’s special section on May 18th. The awards program will also be videotaped and broadcast all-year on Leon County Schools’ cable channel – Comcast Channel 1095.

What started as an idea nearly 20 years ago has been brought to life and sustained through the hard work of many folks and the generous support of many sponsors. Laura Rogers, leader of the Tallahassee Chamber’s World Class Schools program, does Herculean work in directing a great group of volunteers in producing the event annually. Title sponsor since the program’s inception is Envision Credit Union – partnered with Leon County Schools, World Class Schools, The Tallahassee Democrat, Sachs Media, HUB International, Leon County Government, the City of Tallahassee, Comcast, Sperry & Associates, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, AT&T, Walmart, and others that can be found on the program’s website My wife and I are proud to also be sponsors of this wonderful scholarship program.

Over the years, the program has awarded more than $867,000 in scholarships to more than 2,400 seniors and fostered an influential push for up-and-coming students to aspire to be a “Best & Brightest” senior. That culture of service that the program respects, recognizes, and rewards has gone viral in the nearly two decades that our community’s teens have been encouraged to engage in service in so many helpful ways.

The good news and bright light to comfort us all rests in the facts and truth about our community’s young leaders of the future in every field of endeavor – and their heartfelt devotion to service.

Ron Sachs, Founder/Chairman Emeritus of Sachs Media, created the concept for the Best & Brightest Scholarship Program in 2005 to encourage generations to come to embrace service to others.