Simone Nelzi Success Story

Simone Nelzi is a Success Story.

The "Where Are They Now?" feature spotlights graduates of CSC-funded programs and their successful transitions to or toward adulthood. This episode spotlights the impressive trajectory of one Simone Nelzi, a participant in the CSC funded and YMCA operated 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program at Hallandale High School between 9th and 12th grades, until her graduation in June 2015.

An internet search of Simone's name results in multiple hits, including her interview of ESPN sportscaster Mike Wallace and her byline as a Huffington Post contributor. In addition, she was vice president of the Student Government Association; a scholarship recipient from Ford and a reporter for Broward Teen News. Her social media pages shows active involvement with community charity projects and she has a webpage called "Diaries of a Journoholic".

"I was in cheerleading and in the drama club at Hallandale High," says Simone. "These are linked to the 21st CCLC program in that members of school clubs are encouraged to participate in the afterschool program that also offers academic assistance and tutoring. The drama club teacher also coaches leadership skills. You must demonstrate these leadership skills before you can perform on stage. When I got to that point, the drama coach encouraged me to join more clubs, and it seemed the other clubs wanted me in leadership roles, as well," she says.

Simone also credits the Director of 21st CCLC at Hallandale, Mr. Cromity, for advice he gave her when she needed additional guidance. But it is her focus and tenacity that make Simone very special.

How did Simone get to interview Mike Wallace of ESPN? She was in the TV production magnet program of Hallandale High when she attended a conference where Wallace was a presenter. She made sure she got his business card. When she was assigned a class project to interview someone, she called Wallace and he agreed.

How did she get a byline in the Huffington Post? As a 12-year-old fifth grader, she applied to be a Times Kid reporter and won. During the 2008 presidential campaign she interviewed some candidates by email: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney. Her resulting article "Campaign '08: One Kid's Perspective" was published by the Times and Huffington Post.

How did she become a reporter with Broward Teen News? She applied in 12th grade and was one of six chosen from a pool of 50-70 applicants.

Just as impressive is how Simone won a $1,000 college scholarship. She was informed of the opportunity only a couple of hours before the application was due. She requested time during one of her classes to write the application, submitted it and won.

Simone knows what it takes to make her dreams reality. She explains that her passion for communication began as far back as elementary school. Later, as a student at Attucks Middle School Magnet, she was required to try each offered program for 9 weeks before committing to one. When she attended the TV production track, she knew broadcasting was the career for her. It combines her love for writing and researching stories with on-camera reporting.

Other influences in her life that inspired her are her parents. "They encouraged me," she says. Research supporting 21st CCLC indicates the importance of parental involvement in students' success. Simone adds that her mom advised that broadcasting is an extremely competitive field and recommended that she get involved with other related activities to gain the experience she would need. 

Simone's advice to fellow students? "Balance is key. Be a leader and stay focused. Keep up with homework and studying as well as extracurricular activities. Help others." Simone has proven to be an excellent role model and is now at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Broadcasting and Communications. Not one to waste any time, she started her college career in the summer semester in June. Expect to see Simone on TV and other media in the not too distant future!

View other CSC Success Stories.

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2-1-1 Broward General Hotline | 2-1-1 Broward

2-1-1 Broward, an information & referral line, provides a 24-hour, comprehensive help line and support service for individuals seeking crisis intervention assistance and/or information and referrals to health and human services in Broward County. An impressive database of information is used to provide community callers with current, relevant information regarding a wide variety of services within the community. All calls are toll-free, confidential and anonymous from anywhere in Broward County.

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2-1-1 Broward Special Needs and Behavioral Health | 2-1-1 Broward

The 2-1-1 Hotline is Broward’s single source for information and referrals for children with behavioral health needs and disabilities. The hotline’s specialized staff focuses on helping parents, caregivers, agencies, and medical practitioners who serve the needs of children, find programming, support and hope. A case management component is also available for families in need of assistance accessing and navigating the special needs and behavioral health system of care.

Capacity Building
Capacity Building Mini Grants | Children's Services Council of Broward County

Infrastructure building support is provided to local child and family serving nonprofit organizations through our annual Capacity Buildings Mini Grants. Through a competitive grant process, local organizations are awarded funding for capacity building projects, professional business coaching and or fundraising support each year.
Primary POC: Adamma DuCille | aducille@cscbroward.org

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Community Builders| Children's Services Council of Broward County

Improving Lives Through Collective Impact through the Broward County Children’s Strategic Plan

Health & Safety Initiatives
Cribs for Kids | Broward Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.

In 2003, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report that estimated that the risk of infant suffocation increases 20-fold when infants and adults sleep in the same bed. In 2005, the AAP restated that co-sleeping is a growing concern and recommended that infants not share a bed during sleep.

Capacity Building
CSC Sponsored Trainings | Children's Services Council of Broward County

The CSC offers quality and affordable training workshops for professionals serving children and families in Broward County. Each session is led by instructors that are highly qualified and experienced in their field to provide an optimal learning environment. CEU’s are also offered for many of the completed courses. For a training calendar and to register, please visit our website at training.cscbroward.org.

Primary POC: Adamma DuCille | aducille@cscbroward.org

Health & Safety Initiatives
Drowning Prevention | Florida Department of Health in Broward County

Drowning Prevention is a collaborative community effort driven by the Drowning Prevention Task Force. In 2009, the Children’s Services Council allocated funding to support a full-time coordinator housed at the Broward County Health Department who provides insight and accountability for the implementation of the Drowning Prevention Action Plan.

The Faces of CSC

The impact Future Prep had on Sarah fomented her desire to give back to her community. Today, she is a Counselor for Memorial’s CSC-funded Youth Force program, helping other young people gain confidence and determine their own path for the future.
This program has touched me and made a difference in my life.
Thanks to the Children’s Services Council and the YMCA of Broward County, students have an opportunity to give a voice to issues that are important to them.