By: Jen Russon
The 2021 Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards recognized 30 students from Broward and Miami-Dade counties after 65 high schools nominated their best and brightest in various categories.
Coral Glades High School nominated 13 seniors for the prestigious award, and four won the Silver Knight awards, and three other students received honorable mention.
Principal Mark Kaplan said each of these students gave their time to make an impact in the community.
“I am extremely proud of all of our nominees and winners because the Silver Knight Award is for giving yourself to others. There is nothing more honorable than that, ”he said.
Murtaza Hussain won for creating Fostering Futures 4 Youth, which has grown to over 600 young people in foster care, as well as students at his school and sophomores at Westchester Elementary.
It incorporated kid-friendly financial literacy games. Murtaza is the 2021 School Major, 2021 Coca-Cola Scholarship Regional Finalist and 2021 Gates Scholarship Semi-Finalist.
Gloria Greenfield won for her work creating Journals for Joy to empower others. She partnered with the 4Kids of South Florida foster care agency and received support from her church and community to purchase $ 500 in newspapers, pens and other supplies for the children. Gloria has served as president and editor of her school newspaper, The Prowl, and president of the Journalism and Creative Writing Clubs. She has also contributed to Coral Springs Talk.
Valentina Celis won after teaching her math team at 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 homework questions and performed mock simulations of the new test procedures. Like his school Tutoring Director Valentina also volunteered at Safety Town, a hands-on safety education program sponsored by the Town of Coral Springs and the Kiwanis Club.
Languages of the world
Alex Hernandez realized that Coral Glades did not have feminine hygiene dispensaries in the bathrooms, nor were they available at the nurse’s office. As elected president and president of the school Club Girl Up, a United Nations initiative, Alex created the Period Project to collect free napkins and tampons to place in classrooms. Alex also created a GoFundMe page, sending boxes of personal hygiene products to several cities in Latin America. Additionally, through Education Rocks, Alex raised funds to enable two students from developing countries to attend school.
Brian Gonzalez, (Athletics), Emma Summers, (Drama), and Madison Stauffer, (Social Sciences) received Honorable Mentions, as well as $ 500 each and an engraved plaque.
As Silver Knight winners, each of the Coral Glades Elders received $ 2,000, a Silver Knight statue and a medallion presented by American Airlines.
“The Committee of the Silver Knights obviously we saw what we did in our school, ”said principal Kaplan. “Coral Glades is a special place filled with great kids who care about the community around them and who will change the world for the better.”
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Jen Russon has been a writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, writer and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.