A tragedy the summer of 1990 claimed the lives of four UF students: Sonja Jane Larson, Tracy Inez Paules, Christina Patricia Powell and Manuel Ricardo Taboada. This fund was created to honor their memory and to perpetuate their aspirations.
Sonja Larson, 18, of Deerfield Beach was a freshman who had planned to major in early childhood education. She attended Ely High School in Pompano Beach where she was a science and pre-engineering student in an advanced academic magnet program. Sonja was a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematical Society, Sorota (a service organization) and Key Club. She was a member of the softball team and manager of the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams. She was the youngest of her six siblings.
Tracy Inez Paules, 23, was a senior in political science who was planning to attend law school. She attended American High School in Hialeah, Fla., where she was president of her 1984 graduating class as well as 1984 homecoming queen. She was a member of the National Honor Society and played for the girls’ soccer and softball teams at American High.
Christina Powell, 17, was a freshman from Jacksonville. She graduated from Episcopal High School in Jacksonville where she was a “model student” and an outstanding athlete. She wrote for the school’s literary magazine and was interested in a career in architecture.
Manuel R. Taboada, 23, graduated from American High School in Hialeah and had been attending Santa Fe Community College before being accepted into the UF architecture program. In high school, he was a member of Sorota (a service organization), the National Honor Society, the Thespians Club and the Television Club. He played guard for the American High football team and was expected to become a member of the UF crew club tea