Africa fundraiser's co-founder named Junior Sungoddess

Erika Hval's BeadforLife program to fight AIDS and poverty gains notice.

Published April 1, 2007

A St. Petersburg High School senior who co-founded a campus BeadforLife program to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa has been named the 2007 Junior Sungoddess.

Erika Hval, who is in the International Baccalaureate program, will receive a $2,500 scholarship from AmSouth Bank, a $300 savings account from Sylvia Rusche State Farm Insurance and a total of $650 in savings bonds from area financial institutions including the Whitney, First State and SunTrust banks.

BeadforLife sells handmade jewelry from Africa, with proceeds going back to the African community.

Hval hopes to major in journalism in college. Her parents are Russell and Valerie Hval of Treasure Island.

First runnerup Brittany Wardell will receive a $1,500 scholarship; second runnerup Emilia Hoppes, $1,000. Both donations are from AmSouth Bank.

The Junior Sungoddess program is a part of the 86th annual St. Petersburg Festival of States, which runs through April 14. Hval will represent the city at various events during the next year, including the festival's Illuminated Night Parade on April 13.