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Young Advocate for Health Will Be Honored at Spirit of Manatee on March 30

Each year, a young person under the age of 21 is recognized for their philanthropy and community leadership at the Spirit of Manatee Awards Luncheon. The honoree must demonstrate an exceptional commitment to the community through direct financial support, contributing time and energy to a fundraising effort. By example, the winner encourages and motivates others to make contributions to a charitable cause or causes in Manatee County.

Gabriella Cortes-Alban, nominated by Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee County, will be in the spotlight on March 30, 2022. Gabriella volunteers as a Teen Health Educator providing peer-education and mentoring services to at-risk youth across Manatee.

She has been described as wise and mature well beyond her years, passionately and completely dedicated to bettering the lives of her fellow youth in our community, able to relate to people from all walks of life. She is a powerful spokesperson and advocate for youth who are less fortunate than she is, including minority youth.

A junior at State College of Florida’s Collegiate School, Gabriella has donated well over 100 hours of volunteer time. She supports youth experiencing the trauma of homelessness, providing services at Family Resources SafePlace2B. She implemented a plan for expanding the program offerings, to increase positive peer support. As an active member of her school’s Youth in Action Club, she utilized her Teen Health Educator training to educate students about the risks surrounding substance use.

In October 2021, Gabriella shared her Teen Health Educator story at an event with senior community leaders, including those across the school district, healthcare professions, elected officials, and local government. Her remarks helped raise over $3,000 to support the ongoing mission. She is a natural leader and a role model for her peers.

Join us in recognizing Gabriella Cortes-Alban and others later this month. Learn more here and get ready for a celebration of the good in our community!