It started 10 years ago when a Tampa Bay area doctor began giving back to underserved children.
For Dr. Dexter Frederick, a primary care physician at Bayside Clinic, passion to create the next generation of excellent healthcare professionals motivated him to found the B.E.S.T program.
“The B.E.S.T program is actually my story where I had the dream of becoming a doctor one day,” said Frederick. “B.E.S.T is an opportunity for me to give of service of what I have gotten through.”
B.E.S.T stands for Brain Expansion Scholastic Training. Frederick developed the program to put middle- and high-school students on track for academic success in service and health care.
The Tampa Bay Lightning crowned him as a community hero and donated $50,000 to the B.E.S.T. program.
“It’s people in the community that made me a community hero,” said Frederick. “Without sponsors, parents, volunteers and dedicated students, I would not be a community hero.”
Partnerships with local hospitals, resource centers, medical schools and community members help the program run smoothly.
Frederick’s knowledge, determination and professionalism attract many volunteers to help middle- and high-school students accomplish their dreams.
“Dr. Frederick is the man; he is the go to person for everything — for medical knowledge, for community knowledge,” said Tiffany Smith-Sutton. “He has a true passion to help the students, and that is what brings me to B.E.S.T to volunteer.”
Frederick is a native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has two daughters, but his wife insists that he has also fathered the B.E.S.T program.
Despite being busy as a primary care physician, he will always find time to serve and to give back to the community.
“It’s a need, it’s necessary and it should be done,” said Frederick.
Since the inception of the program, more than 100 students have graduated.
The program is in session year-round, and parents who seek to enroll their children must apply through the organization’s website.
Frederick holds parents and volunteers meetings every two weeks at Florida Hospital Tampa on Fletcher Avenue.
Jamaal Hardee, a USF medical student, has been working with Frederick and the B.E.S.T program since 2013. He praises Frederick for his mentorship and dedication to service and for ensuring children’s futures are bright.
“As a student physician, Dr. Frederick is a role model and mentor that teaches me the importance of giving back to the community,” said Hardee.
Anclote Key Preserve State Park is a group of four islands near Tarpon Springs that has a campsite for visitors.
The Tavo family, just beginning their 2015 spring break, camped on the beach of one of the islands, Anclote Key. Some of the family had been camping before, but never on an island right near the water.
The family rented a boat to get to the island and planned to stay for one night.
Camping is allowed only on the north end of the island. Other visitors can anchor their boats and spend time in the water near the island.
The Tavo family was excited for the adventure of the day– and they hoped to steer clear of the raccoons that are known to pester campers.
If any USF students are looking for a weekend getaway, Anclote Key Preserve State Park is an option.
Students can rent tents and other camping gear from campus recreation for low prices.
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In this Florida Focus episode: USF wants to bring its medical school campus to downtown Tampa; prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in a Bradenton triple murder; a 16-year-old boy faces charges for manipulating a girl into texting nude photos; a Bradenton man is facing charges for a crime committed 20 years ago; Florida is number one for Obamacare enrollments; a freeze warning will be in effect for most of the Bay Area.
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In today’s episode of Florida Focus: A drilling rig accident causes the Kennedy Blvd. Bridge to close; Pinellas Park Police have a bizarre encounter with a suspect; a terror suspect is sentenced in Pinellas County; USF honors Veteran’s Day with a chili cook off; The Blue Ocean Film Festival kicks off in St. Petersburg.