Steve Higgins and Carson “Eddy” Edwards, two Jamaicans living in South Florida, received special awards of recognition on Martin Luther King Day, January 27, 2022, for their outstanding and valuable service to their communities. They were presented with the awards at the inaugural “Rise with Perspective – Living in Gratitude Today” symposium organized by Nouchelle Hastings in Davie, Florida. The symposium’s mission is “to show how living in gratitude today can improve your mental health and self-esteem, so that you can create a life you love.”
Steve Higgins, a resident of Davie, was thanked by Mayor Paul for “sharing his golden voice” and for bringing his service to the elderly, the sick, and children in need. Higgins, a tenor, Jamaican cultural ambassador, and musician, who fostered joy at many events through his music during the COVID-19 pandemic, was also presented with a proclamation from the Davie Jazz Society for his contributions. He has performed for frontline medical staff at hospitals, at children’s homes, at civic functions, and throughout the broader South Florida community. Higgins is the founding director of the South Florida Caribbean Chorale and chair of the nonprofit Partners for Youth Foundation. He also volunteers as guardian ad litem for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County.
Eddy Edwards serves as marketing director at Riddims Marketing. He is a radio personality, vice-chair of the Partners for Youth Foundation, and CEO of the Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, the host of the largest annual food festival in South Florida.
As Martin Luther King Day is the sole federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service, a day meant to encourage all Americans to volunteer to make improvements to their communities, Hastings noted it was the perfect time to recognize the dedication and commitment of people living in gratitude today for their selfless acts of kindness.
Fifteen residents of Broward County were honored at the event, which also included motivational speakers. The awards were given under the auspices of United States Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and were presented by Judy Paul, the mayor of Davie. The event was staged by a team of gratitude champions and hosted by Raphael Walters, executive director of the Davie chamber.