You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Gardens valedictorian unsure of career path, but wants to help people


When his high school graduation is over, this Palm Beach Gardens High School valedictorian isn’t planning on taking it easy for the summer before heading to college in the fall.

Jason Dee has decided to attack his college years just as he did his time in high school – with eagerness and determination. So determined, in fact, that he is heading to the University of Florida to start classes in June.

“It’s not necessary to take a long break,” said Dee, 17. “I’m excited to go.”

Dee lives in Palm Beach Gardens with his parents, George and Jenny Dee, and his sister, Lauren, 14, who also attends Palm Beach Gardens high. Lauren is following in her brother’s footsteps by taking over a club that her brother started from scratch a couple of years ago. Members make leather bracelets, and the proceeds from the bracelets helps cancer patients pay for living expenses.

Dee created the club because he wanted to make a difference in his community.

“The summer before my sophomore year, I shadowed my aunt who is an oncologist, and I saw a lot of cancer patients, and they had a lot of problems,” he said. “I was surprised how many other problems can arise from cancer. The treatment is expensive. There were some patients who had kids, and I know it must’ve been hard for the kids to have to go through that as well.”

Dee is no longer part of the club because he’s wrapping up his high school career, but his sister has graciously taken the lead.

Dee is also in the Palm Beach Gardens High honor society clubs, and he’s part of the Palm Beach Gardens Green Team, where members collect litter on neighborhood streets once a month. He’s also proud to be a volunteer at Ignatius Food Pantry. He doesn’t spend his time volunteering because he needs the community hours for graduation. He’s surpassed that, he said.

Dee does it, he said, because he simply likes to help people.

He also likes to be ahead of the curve.

Dee has not only been working on his high school diploma the last four years, but he’s also had a goal of receiving an associate’s degree by the time he goes to college. He plans to receive the degree from Palm Beach State College soon after he graduates.

Becoming valedictorian of his class wasn’t really on his radar, he said, because he was so focused on earning his A.A. degree. But when he found out he was in the running, there was no question that he wanted to secure the spot. And, fortunately, for Dee, he did.

He will graduate with an unweighted grade point average of 3.97.

He isn’t sure what career he wants to tap into, but he knows he wants it to revolve around medicine by majoring in chemistry.

“It’s really interesting to me how medicine relates to everything that we deal with in daily life,” Dee said. “And medicine also involves with helping people.”

Dee admits that he’ll miss high school. He likes the social events and his friends, but he’s ready to venture out of his comfort zone and explore the college world where opportunities are endless.

And Dee will likely take advantage of each and every one.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

JUST IN: Six area Fantasy 5 winners this week; payouts top $500,000
JUST IN: Six area Fantasy 5 winners this week; payouts top $500,000

Six winning Fantasy 5 tickets have been sold since Sunday in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, bringing the lucky players a combined $519,942.52 in prizes, Florida Lottery records show. The two most recent winning tickets were sold Thursday in Port St. Lucie and Boca Raton, the Florida Lottery said. All four winners statewide claimed $47,701...
Arguments today in PBSO appeal of $22 million Dontrell Stephens award
Arguments today in PBSO appeal of $22 million Dontrell Stephens award

A federal appeals court will hear arguments this morning that will determine whether a jury verdict against a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy for shooting an unarmed West Palm Beach man will withstand judicial scrutiny. Attorney Summer Barrancco, who is representing sheriff’s Sgt. Adams Lin and the Sheriff’s Office, will try to...
Police considering manslaughter charges in Grenfell Tower fire
Police considering manslaughter charges in Grenfell Tower fire

Police said Friday that they are considering manslaughter charges in the Grenfell Tower fire in London, adding that the blaze started in a refrigerator freezer, the BBC reported. >> Read more trending news  The police investigation is focusing on how the fire began, how it spread and who should be held responsible, Detective Chief Superintendent...
“Hello Sunshine” theme for West Palm gateway art
“Hello Sunshine” theme for West Palm gateway art

West Palm Beach will greet you with rays of morning sunshine, starting next year with the city’s latest Art in Public Places addition. The city commission this week approved five gateway works of outdoor art, together titled “Hello Sunshine,” by West Coast art collective Aphidoidea. Each of the city&rsquo...
Johnny Depp: ‘When was the last time an actor assassinated a president’
Johnny Depp: ‘When was the last time an actor assassinated a president’

Johnny Depp knew his comments to his British audience were going to spark controversy, even as he said them. The actor was speaking to an audience in a British theater Thursday when he made a vague reference to John Wilkes Booth assassinating a president, The Telegraph reported. >> Read more trending news Depp was taking questions at the Cinemageddon...
More Stories