As told by CKI member Cristian Tello 

“My Dad was loved by many different people – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – all who had so many loving memories to share during his recent memorial service. In his lifetime he had a lot of love for others and treated everyone with kindness – whether it be customers at work, neighbors or someone he never even knew but who needed help – he was there to offer assistance with rebuilding, repairing or just offering kind words of support.”

Cristian credits his spirit of service to others to his Dad who was supportive of his involvement in CKI because he could see that CKI made a positive impact on his son’s attitude to help other people.

Education was always an important theme in their home.  At the age of 17 his father came from Colombia on a student visa to further his education and he was able to remain to live out his ‘American Dream’ thru hard work and helping others.  Before his passing, Cristian’s Dad was elated that he was able to attend both his sons’ graduations from FAU. Cristian tells us – “I was so stressed getting prepared for my graduate degree and sometimes doubted by own capabilities – but my Dad was always there for me – he would call me every day – and his personal belief in me got me thru that stressful time.”

Cristian graduated in May of 2019 Cum Laude from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Certificate of Peace, Justice and Human Rights.  During his years at FAU Cristian was active in the FAU CKI as club editor, treasurer and president.  He participated in a number of community service efforts with his sponsoring Kiwanis Club including Relay for Life, Christmas in July and club fundraising efforts such as sponsoring the refreshment kiosk for the City of Pompano Beach concert series. He also volunteered with the Lott’s Community Garden, Kids, Inc. book readings and was an Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence (INIE) volunteer and received a number of awards including Outstanding Delegation Award for Representation of Burundi and a First Place finish as a FAU Delegate for the National Model United Nations

Currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in International Affairs at Florida State University, Cristian is also serving as the CKI Panhandle Division Lt. Governor. 

Thank you, Cristian, for sharing your impactful memories of your Dad who encouraged your commitment to service to your school and community.  We wish you well as you continue your life’s journey.

Written by Gwen Leys, Florida Kiwanis Foundation Secretary

2024 Golf Tournament

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