Flagler Palm Coast High School football player Mikhail Zysek said he felt like a model when he was doing a photo shoot to be on an AdventHealth billboard.
Zysek, Matanzas High School football player Dakwon Evans and Seabreeze High School volleyball player Mollie Martin are each pictured on an AdventHealth billboard on I-95 in Flagler and Volusia counties promoting the hospitals’ orthopedics departments.
The athletes recently met with AdventHealth executives — Zysek and Evans at AdventHealth Palm Coast, Martin at AdventHealth Daytona Beach. They each received a mini replica of their billboards.
“Thank you guys for all you do for the community, being true examples for other students,” Denyse Bales-Chubb, AdventHealth Palm Coast’s president and CEO, said to Zysek and Evans.
I never thought I’d ever be on a billboard, especially at this age. This is an experience I’m never going to forget.”
— DAKWON EVANS, Matanzas football player
Zysek thanked Bales-Chubb and Clifton Scott, chief operating officer for AdventHealth's two Palm Coast hospitals.
“Our trainer, Ron (Steinwehr), does so much for us, helping us with our injuries,” said Zysek, a junior who plays wide receiver on the football team and is also a soccer player.
“I never thought I’d ever be on a billboard,” Evans said, “especially at this age. This is an experience I’m never going to forget.”
AdventHealth has a close relationship with the local school districts, providing athletic trainers to Volusia and Flagler high schools and health screenings for students.
The billboards are a celebration of that relationship.
It’s really cool to have people call me and say, ‘I saw you on a billboard,' before I even saw it.”
— MIKHAIL ZYSEK, FPC football, soccer player
“It’s really cool to have people call me and say, ‘I saw you on a billboard,” before I even saw it,” Zysek said.
Martin, a senior, said seeing herself on a billboard has been a rewarding experience.
“Not everyone gets the opportunity as a high school athlete to be put on a billboard for a major hospital around the world,” she said. “It’s been fun.”
Martin said she remembers the day the photographers came to her school. They pulled her aside and started photographing her individually.
She (the photographer) sent me the picture that was going to be put on the billboard, and that’s when it felt so surreal that it was going to happen.”
— MOLLIE MARTIN, Seabreeze volleyball player
“She (the photographer) sent me the picture that was going to be put on the billboard, and that’s when it felt so surreal that it was going to happen,” Martin said.
Her friends at school and even other students she doesn’t know well have come up to her at Seabreeze and asked if she was the player featured on the billboard, located less than a mile south from I-95 exit 268 onto West Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach.
Martin’s parents are hoping they can receive the billboard once the campaign ends.
AdventHealth Daytona Beach holds a special place in Martin’s life as well because doctors saved her father’s life in 2018 after he suffered a widowmaker heart attack.
“The survival rate for those aren’t very high, so for them to push him through and save his life meant the world to me,” Martin said.
Evans, a senior, said he wasn’t sure if he’d ever play football again after suffering a fractured collarbone during his junior season. But he came back as a senior to help lead Matanzas to the playoffs. He hopes to play football for a junior college, graduate with an associate degree and transfer to a four-year school.
Martin plans to attend Daytona State College, but she’s still deciding what career path to follow. Martin, who was crowned one of Seabreeze’s homecoming queens this year, said she is considering majoring in nursing or business management and hospitality. She’s been in the Allied Health Academy program at Seabreeze High School all four years and has worked at Rose Villa Restaurant since she was 15.
“I’m torn between the two because I love giving,” she said. “I love helping people.
As for volleyball? She’s spoken to DSC’s coach and plans to attend a tryout practice in the spring.