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Hollywood honors its 2020 graduates

Hollywood Coucilman Chris Osceola shakes hands with NSU University School graduate Chandler DeMayo during a graduation appreciation event for the reservation’s 2020 graduates. The event was hosted by the Hollywood Council Office on June 18 at the Classic Gym. (Kevin Johnson photo)

HOLLYWOOD — This year’s group of high school graduates from the Hollywood Reservation is going places, and in some cases, far away places.

For example, Cachalani Frank is headed to the base of the Rocky Mountains where she’ll attend Colorado State University. New York’s upstate region is the next stop for two grads. Chandler DeMayo will attend Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. and Alycia Cypress is headed to Syracuse University.

For some, staying within Florida’s borders doesn’t mean staying close to home. Krishawn Henry will be a Florida State Seminole in Tallahassee. Destiny Diaz is bound for Lakeland’s Southeastern University. Tiana Stubbs will attend Hillsborough Community College in Tampa while her sister December will be in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida, and her cousin Jessalyn Osceola will be at Jacksonville University.

Calvary Christian Academy graduate Italia Sisto, left, and University School graduate Destiny Diaz were among the graduates honored at the event. (Kevin Johnson photo)

Those remaining closer to home include Italia Sisto (Johnson & Wales) and Chasyn Yescas (Miami-Dade College).

Before they depart for their next level of education — whether far or nearby — Hollywood’s graduates were recognized for their hard work and accomplishments by the Hollywood Council Office, which provided gifts June 18 at the Classic Gym.

Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola congratulates Chasyn Yescas, who graduated from Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. (Kevin Johnson photo)

Normally, graduates are treated to a banquet with dinner and music, but the Covid-19 pandemic prevented a larger gathering from taking place.

“We’re used to doing banquets for these kids, so I kind of felt they got the short end of the stick when it came to graduation stuff, but it will help them grow and become stronger people,” said Councilman Chris Osceola, who greeted each graduate and had photos taken by Robert Kippenberger that were given to the students before they left.

Councilman Osceola said he hopes the graduates learn from the current health crisis about overcoming obstacles.

“My message to them would be this is one of life’s many challenges, and here you are, fresh out of high school and you’re already going through something that is very challenging and trying, not just for our families and the Seminole Tribe, but for the whole world, and you’re only 18 years old,” he said.

He urged the graduates to have fun, but also make good decisions.

“I’d like a lot of these kids to come back and help the Tribe move forward,” he said. “They are the future of this Tribe.”

From left, NSU University graduate Jessalyn Osceola and American Heritage School graduates Tiana Stubbs and December Stubbs enjoy their moment in the spotlight at the graduation event. (Kevin Johnson photo)
Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola and NSU University School graduate Krishawn Henry. (Kevin Johnson photo)
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at