Edmarilys Alverio, 9, of Gibsonton, is bound to do great things in life.
So says Temple Terrace Mayor Frank Chillura, city council members and the city's police officers who lavished the Montessori Preparatory School student this week with praise and tokens of appreciation for doing the right thing.
The third-grader found $20 at her school in December. Rather than stuff the cash in her pocket, Edmarilys took it to a school administrator.
"She didn't hesitate," Temple Terrace Police Chief Ken Albano said at a recognition ceremony for Edmarilys at a city council meeting this week. "She turned the money in immediately."
For her good deed, Edmarilys became the first person in several years to receive the city's longstanding Do the Right Thing award, hosted by the Temple Terrace Police Department.
She received four tickets to the Museum of Science & Industry, gift certificates to Cici's Pizza, a T-shirt and a Do the Right Thing certificate.
The Do the Right Thing Award is given to a student in a Temple Terrace school or from Temple Terrace who shows good citizenship and selflessness.
Temple Terrace Community Service Officer Ken Stanton recently began visiting area schools to encourage principals and teachers to start nominating students again.
That is how Stanton learned of Edmarilys' unselfish act.
Edmarilys spotted the $20 bill on the school patio at 11 a.m. Dec. 12, shortly after about 250 people attended the school's winter concert.
"I took it to Ms. Lori" Chehab, the 9-year-old said.
Chehab thanked the third-grader and told her, if no one claimed it, the money would be returned to her.
Edmarilys received the unclaimed cash on Dec. 21, the last day before winter break. She still has the money and wants to open a bank account.
"We are extremely proud she took the (initiative) to take the money to Ms. Lori," said Edmarilys' mother, Magaly Alverio. "She was honest."
Chillura expressed a similar sentiment.
"It's such a great thing to see the youth of today doing great things," the mayor said. "Thanks for setting a great example for the city."