By: Jen Russon
The Miami Herald 2021 Silver Knight Awards recognized 30 students in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties after 65 high schools nominated their best and brightest across various categories.
Coral Glades High School nominated 13 seniors for the prestigious award, and four picked up Silver Knight Awards, and three more students received Honorable Mention.
Principal Mark Kaplan said each of these students gave up their time to impact the community.
“I am extremely proud of all of our nominees and winners because the Silver Knight Award is for giving of yourself to others. There is nothing more honorable than that,” he said.
Murtaza Hussain won for creating Fostering Futures 4 Youth, which grew to more than 600 foster care youth, plus students at his school and second graders at Westchester Elementary.
He incorporated kid-friendly financial literacy games. Murtaza is a 2021 Coca-Cola Scholarship Regional Finalist and 2021 Gates Scholarship Semi-Finalist.
Gloria Greenfield won for her work creating Journals for Joy to give others a voice. She partnered with 4Kids of South Florida foster care agency and received support from her church and community to buy $500 in journals, pens, and other supplies for children. Gloria was president and editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, The Prowl, and president of the journalism and creative writing clubs. She also contributed to Coral Springs Talk.
Valentina Celis won after teaching her calculus team when it competed in statewide math competitions through Mu Alpha Theta, the national math honor society. With the help of other team coaches, she instituted weekly practice sessions, assigned questions for homework, and conducted mock simulations of the new testing procedures. As her school’s tutoring director, Valentina also volunteered at Safety Town, a hands-on safety education program sponsored by the City of Coral Springs and Kiwanis Club.
Alex Hernandez realized Coral Glades was not equipped with feminine hygiene dispensaries in bathrooms, nor were they available at the nurse’s office. As president-elect and president of the school’s Girl Up club, an initiative of the United Nations, Alex created the Period Project to collect free pads and tampons to place in classrooms. Alex also created a GoFundMe page, sending boxes of personal hygiene products to several cities in Latin America. In addition, through Education Rocks, Alex raised funds for two students in developing nations to attend school.
Brian Gonzalez, (Athletics), Emma Summers, (Drama), and Madison Stauffer, (Social Science) received honorable mentions, as well as $500 each, and an engraved plaque.
As Silver Knight winners, each of the Coral Glades seniors received $2,000, a Silver Knight statue, and a medallion presented by American Airlines.
“The Silver Knight committee obviously saw what we did at our school,” said Principal Kaplan. “Coral Glades is a special place filled with great kids who care about the community around them, and will change the world for the better.”
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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