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Jean Paul Melendez "JP" Humanitarian Excellence Service Award

The Jean Paul Melende "JP" Humanitarian Excellence Service Award was created by The Melendez-Westwood Family, to honor individuals who provide exceptional leadership and unfailing dedication to those in need. Their selfless efforts on behalf of others epitomize the legacy of the late "Jean Paul Melendez "JP", gone to soon but never forgotten. 

In 2007 a couple of weeks shy of his eighth-grade graduation, this young man was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the tender age of 14, leaving him legally blind, because the tumor was attached to the optical nerve and the pituitary gland. Even though it was a very hard situation, not only for him, but for the entire family, he never stopped believing that GOD had better and greater plans. It was a time of sorrow, uncertainty and endless nights hoping and praying to wake up from that nightmare! The reality was that it wasn’t a nightmare! We had to adjust our lives, to care for and learn to deal with this new challenge. He never saw the negative on any of this. He kept his volunteer job with the Sunshine Foundation, and other organizations that will allow him to participate regardless of his own disability.  He graduated from High School in the top 5% of his class with a GPA of 3.85 by taking Honors and advanced classes.  He went on to get accepted at the Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, where he was accepted into their pre-med program. Once again, GOD had other plans and after 3 years of being in remission the cancer came back and more aggressive than before. Always with his bible next to him, never stopped asking GOD to be his plans and no one else. Within 6 months he gained his wings! Not before leaving a legacy of kindness, benevolence, and self-sacrifice in service to others.

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