Zoe Fromer, Kirill Safin and Izaal Lakhia

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings made the following statement on the House floor on May 23, 2011, congratulating Zoe Fromer, Kirill Safin, and Izaal Lakhia of Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, FL on the Founding of Initiative Renaissance:

M. Speaker, I proudly recognize Zoe Fromer, Kirill Safin, and Izaal Lakhia of Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida as Hastings' Star Students. When state budget cuts to education forced their school to cut back on arts programs, these young people took the task of saving these programs into their own hands. They formed Initiative Renaissance, an aptly named organization that raises funds to restore classes such as drama, musical engineering and chorus. The organization's $100,000 fundraising goal would help improve arts facilities and expand the school's band and visual arts programs. Their mission has garnered national recognition and Initiative Renaissance was accepted into the Pepsi Refresh Project with a chance to win a $50,000 grant.

Zoe, Kirill, and Izaal's passion for attaining a well-rounded education demonstrates the folly of cutting funding to arts and education. All students deserve a public education that fully prepares them to compete in the 21st century.

M. Speaker, I am proud that these young people chose to fight to save their school's arts programs and applaud their dedication and perseverance to this project, which has undoubtedly been beneficial to the entire community.