Nastia Katchalova, 16, of Lakeland, was recently named to USA Gymnastics’ 2021 Junior National Tumbling Team and will compete in the world competition in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November. “This year at three of my competitions I have hit first place at each of the three qualifying competitions,” she told Bay News 9. More
Gabriel Dindy, a senior Lakeland High School defensive lineman, is more than a hot prospect being recruited by the nation’s top college football programs, Fox 13 News reports. He’s also an entrepreneur; he co-founded Beyond Our Best, which he describes as a “fitness movement,” with his sister, Destiny, a personal trainer. | Rivals.com profile | Beyond Our Best
Nathaniel Kendrick, a young Lakeland entrepreneur, discusses how his career choices were affected by his father’s sudden passing and how he pivoted from accounting to a digital consulting firm to a new venture with vegan cupcakes.
Aron Yichye knows what it’s like to struggle financially. He is all too familiar with how it feels to suddenly lose someone you love dearly. He was the new kid in school, learning a new city, making new friends and building a new comfort zone. More
Andrea Oliver chats with Lakeland Assistant City Manager Emily Colón about public service, what drew her to Lakeland, her role in Lakeland’s city government, and managing through COVID-19. Since the conversation was recorded in late March, Emily has been given more responsibilities and a new title: Assistant City Manager and Manager of Innovation & Strategy.
Several of Lakeland’s Black community leaders are working toward establishing the African American Historical Museum of Lakeland and have been gifted property to house the museum. More
For May, mental health awareness month, Andrea Oliver talks with mental health counselor Morgan Whitaker Smith of Peace River Center about the effects of the past year on mental health, how to take care of your own mental health during difficult times as well as how to recognize and manage mental health disorders. If you or someone you know needs support, you can find resources at Peace River Center.
U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin of Lakeland got an unwelcome distinction this week when Axios reported he is among the five freshman House members who have missed the most votes this session. But Franklin said today that all of the votes he missed were taken during a quick trip to Lakeland for a major announcement and none were on issues where his vote would have been decisive. More