Friday, February 20, 2015

Tampa Police Officer Serves as Inspiration behind Award-Winning Performance

Officer Michael Gambrell joined Dominque Ernewein, her father and school principal Shannon Butler at a school board meeting that recognized all of this year's award winners. 

The Hillsborough County School Board honored Dominque Ernewein, an 8th grade student at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School and Tampa Police Officer Michael Gambrell during an award presentation for this year’s LEAD (Lead Empower Advocate and Dream) contest.  The county-wide contest encourages students to use creativity to express how a local African-American leader inspired them. 

Dominique was one of nine LEAD contest winners who created an artistic interpretation of how he or she was inspired by a local African-American leader.  She submitted a video of a dance number she choreographed as a tribute to Officer Gambrell, her mentor and former school resource officer at Orange Grove.  While assigned to the school, Officer Gambrell worked to ensure Dominique and her schoolmates excelled inside and outside the classroom.  He encouraged the students to use their artistic abilities as a healthy way to cope with transitioning from elementary school to middle school and adolescence. 

Officer Gambrell mentored Dominque for three years.  After the presentation ceremony he shared, “it feels great to know that young students recognize police officers as positive role models and influential people in the community.”

Officer Gambrell was recently assigned to the department’s Police Athletic League.  In this new role, he continues to serve as a role model helping young kids and teenagers to excel in academics and sports, while teaching them how to make good decisions that will keep them out of trouble.

In celebration of Black History Month, nearly 1,000 Hillsborough County students in grades 3-12 entered this year’s LEAD contest.  The students had the option to submit entries into three categories: Literature, Performance, and Visual Arts.  

By--Janelle McGregor, TPD PIO

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