Homestead teen Crystal Ruiz was recognized for her community service and dedication to helping young students during the January city council meeting. The presentation was made by Councilmember Judy Waldman.
The former Miss Homestead Outstanding Teen 2010-11 currently holds the title for Miss Miami Outstanding Teen and is the founder of the organization “The Crystal Care Packages for At-Risk Children.” The organization fundraises to create care packages with uniforms and backpacks for underprivileged students in the Homestead community.
“Making a difference is important to me and providing needy children with new school items and apparel that will help boost their self-esteem and make them feel good about the way they look,” said the 16-year-old South Dade High junior during the council meeting.
Councilmember Waldman, a champion of community service herself, presented Ruiz with a plaque honoring her community service and congratulating her on recently winning “The Violet Richardson Award” for her volunteer work.
“I have seen Crystal grow to be an excellent representative of Homestead,” Councilwoman Waldman said at the meeting. “In addition to her academic achievement she always finds the time to volunteer and make a difference.”
On the day before Thanksgiving Ruiz presented 25 students from Campbell Drive K-8 Center with care packages that she put together through fundraising and the help of NeatStuff, an organization that provides new school uniforms for underprivileged children. Ruiz already is working to put together another donation event.
“None of this would have been possible without the support of family, friends, Mayor Bateman, Councilwoman Waldman, and many residents of Homestead,” Ruiz said.