compiled by Lauren Salinero
Dr. Phillips resident Jessica Faraldo graduates with the help of McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program.
Jessica Faraldo, a Dr. Phillips resident and floor supervisor for a Windermere-area McDonald’s, enrolled in McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program to earn her high school diploma. She is the first Orlando employee to earn her diploma through the Career Online High School program. The Archways to Opportunity program is a comprehensive education strategy with multiple programs that give people an opportunity to grow and learn, no matter where they are on their journey. It can also assist with scholarships or educational advising. Jessica began working as a crew member for McDonald’s in 2009. She was promoted to crew trainer and eventually became a manager in 2013. After becoming aware of the program, she was encouraged by her general manager to enroll. Jessica plans to enroll at Valencia College — with tuition assistance provided through the program — to pursue her dreams of becoming a paramedic.
U.S. Navy Airman Blane Davidson of Gotha refuels an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron 131 on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (photo by 3rd Class Theodore Quintana).
Gotha resident and U.S. Navy Airman Blane Davidson is serving in the Arabian Gulf aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He is part of a Carrier Strike Group deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theatre security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
Keene’s Pointe resident and Girls on the Run coach Amalie Skorman completes a Lake Eola 5K with her daughter, Maya.
Amalie Skorman of Keene’s Pointe is a coach with Girls on the Run Orlando. She was recently profiled by the organization for her energy and positivity. Amalie volunteers as a site liaison for GOTR’s largest site in Central Florida and has led a team of four girls for four seasons, helping them discover their passion for running and healthy living. She has four children. Amalie also volunteers with Windermere Elementary School and is an Ironman competitor. To read her full profile, visit goorlando.org/be-a-coach/ on the web.
Dr. Nasim Ahmed of Windermere offers nonsurgical weight loss procedures for clinically obese adults.
Windermere resident and gastroenterologist Dr. Nasim Ahmed announced the launch of Belly Balloon Orlando, a nonsurgical, FDA-approved weight loss procedure for adults.
“For years, a significant gap has existed in treatment options for obesity,” Nasim said. “We often see patients who are clinically obese and in desperate need of medical intervention to help them lose weight. Diet and exercise alone have failed them, and surgery is not an option. Belly Balloon Orlando provides this group of ‘in-between’ patients with access to a nonsurgical, reversible option to encourage new habits and lasting results.”
Young bullying prevention advocate Makaila Nichols of Windermere tops Amazon’s New Release list with her book, Blatantly Honest.
Eighteen-year-old Windermere resident Makaila Nichols turned her experience of being bullied as a young teen into a book, Blatantly Honest. In honor of October being National Bullying Prevention Month, her book was released Oct. 3. It topped Amazon’s New Release list in both Teen & Young Adult Social Issues and Parenting Teenagers categories. Makaila was also named National Ambassador for The Great American No Bull Challenge, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of bullying. She started her modeling career at age 14 when she was discovered by an agent at the mall. She also recently landed her first lead role in a major motion picture in the upcoming film Sweethearts, currently in pre-production.
WithumSmith+Brown PC officials promote Winter Garden resident Erik A. Halluska to senior manager.
Erik A. Halluska of Winter Garden was named senior manager of WithumSmith+Brown PC. He was promoted from manager. Erik graduated from the University of Southern Florida with a degree in accounting. He specializes in providing audit services to clients in the agriculture, not-for-profit and time-share industries.
Congratulations to the following Southwest-area residents on their recent academic achievements:
• Victoria Doud of Celebration and Jeremy Samuels of Winter Garden were welcomed to The Citadel’s Class of 2020, the largest recorded freshman class in the history of the college.
• Leigha Green of Dr. Phillips received a Master of Business Administration in management and strategy, and Joel Serna of MetroWest earned a Bachelor of Science in business management from Western Governors University.
• Dr. Phillips resident Tanner McLellan graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in construction science and management.
• Alan Sincic of Southwest earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing in fiction from Western New England University.
For her Silver project, Girl Scout Cadet Taj Mack of Troop 1069 offers recycled tennis ball containers to fishermen to store used fishing line.
Taj Mack, a Bay Meadows Elementary School student and cadet with Girl Scout Troop 1069, completed a Silver project with her sister, Tia. They collected empty tennis ball containers from Dr. Phillips residents and transformed them into collection bins for fishermen to use to stow their used fishing line. The bins serve as an economical way for the fishermen to keep the used lines out of the oceans and lakes to prevent harming sea animals.
Southwest resident Nicole Parellada, a first-year Doctor of Medicine student at The Commonwealth Medical College, received the first symbol of her new profession during the school’s eighth annual White Coat Ceremony.
“Some doctors succumb to the temptation to think of their white coat as a shield or a barrier or a status symbol … You won’t be one of those doctors,” said TCMC Dean Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., during the ceremony. “You will come to see this white coat, not as a symbol of status, but as a reminder that your role is one of service: to the community and to your patients.”
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