Tampa Bay Area Leaders Honored at Church of Scientology Ybor Square Open House for International Day of Friendship

CLEARWATER, Fla., Aug. 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Church of Scientology honored five Tampa Bay civic leaders at a special open house held in honor of the International Day of Friendship. Special Guest of Honor Actor and Ambassador of The Way to Happiness in Venezuela and Italy, Eduardo Galan, presented awards to Dr. Shawn Robinson, Frankie Jones, April Jones, Denise Pate and Catalina Kaiyoorawongs for their work to make a difference in the Tampa Bay community.

Dr. Shawn Robinson is President of Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus. As a representative of Hillsborough Community College in the Ybor City community, Dr. Robinson is currently serving as a board member of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, the Ybor City Development Corporation (currently Vice Chair), the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, the Tampa Historic Streetcar Board of Directors, and the Tampa/Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission. Additionally, Dr. Robinson is a member of the Florida A & M University College of Law Board of Visitors, NextGen Alliance Board of Directors, and the Tampa Kiwanis Club Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served Hillsborough Kids and the Kiwanis Club of Tampa on their Boards of Directors and was a citizen appointee to the City of Tampa Cultural Assets Taskforce.

Frankie Jones is the President of Rainbow Heights Neighborhood Association and Crime Watch. She takes pride in being a voice for the residents and business owners when it comes to community safety and other quality of life concerns for Rainbow Heights. She is also an Alumni Member of Mayor’s Neighborhood University, where her leadership skills have been groomed to become an effective community leader. She believes that when youth are given a voice and provided opportunities to prosper, communities will begin to observe transformations unimaginable by most. She has encouraged youth in the Rainbow Heights Community and empowered the entire community by spearheading the opportunity to reach underrepresented populations by bringing WURK 96.3FM-community radio to Tampa.

April Jones, Founder and Executive Director of Save Our Students Foundation Tampa Bay provides services to at risk and under-privileged youth and their families. This non-profit organization provides services to Hillsborough along with its surrounding counties. The program started over 7 years ago helping elementary students and has grown to include all children ages 3-17.

Denise Pate is a visible support to the Tampa Bay community serving as Program Director for Bound to Rise Mentoring Group and as the Community Engagement Specialist for the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Denise’s passion for children, civil and human rights and economic empowerment are the foundation for her community work. She serves as the link between families, community and faith-based institutions to establish long term positive impact on family strengthening in addition to implementing community programs for residents in East Tampa.

Catalina Kaiyoorawongs, Associate Executive Director of UnidosNow, brought her passion for financial literacy back to her hometown to further develop our economic integration program by serving at UnidosNow. She discovered there was another lack in our community: in 2012, 27% of Hispanic students did not graduate high school, 78% did not attend college, and 21% lived in poverty. That’s why the Youth Collaborative on College Preparation was born, to help low income youth overcome cultural barriers, graduate from high school, and identify career objectives in order to reach their dream of a post secondary education.

Throughout the afternoon and during the awards presentation, the Church of Scientology introduced those attending the open house to The Way to Happiness, a nonreligious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard and based entirely on common sense. The booklet and brief informational videos that illustrate its precepts provide a roadmap to a happier life through compassion and understanding, virtues essential to accomplishing the purpose of International Day of Friendship—to foster friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals to inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

To learn more about the Church of Scientology and The Way to Happiness, visit www.scientology.org.

Pat Harney 727-467-6860 patharney@churchofscientology.net

Source:Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization