The lights dim and the murmurs of the excited audience die down. Through the speakers a voice welcomes everyone to the 58th ceremony for the most prestigious community service award in Broward and Miami-Dade county: the Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards.
High school seniors convened at the James L. Knight Center May 18 to celebrate their achievements. In order to be nominated for a Silver Knight award, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and complete an application detailing how they have used their talents to benefit the community. They must then participate in an interview with a panel of judges.
The first part of the ceremony recognized students who earned an Honorable Mention. Three nominees from Broward county and three from Miami-Dade county placed for each category and each winner received a plaque and $500. Three Heritage students won Honorable Mention awards: Senior Paola Ortega for Athletics, Ryan Galvankar for Mathematics and Grace King for Digital Design & Media.
One Heritage student, however, won the prestigious Silver Knight Award. Senior Jordyn Fitch received the award for the English & Literature category of the competition. Her project involved helping students in public schools raise their scores in the verbal sections of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and Florida Scholastic Assessment (FSA). As a Silver Knight, Fitch will receive $2000 and 2500 American Airline miles for a plane ticket to anywhere in the continental United States, courtesy of American Airlines.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Heritage nominees met up with Silver Knight coordinator Mrs. Adrianne Shienvold and principal Mrs. Elise Blum. The group exchanged hugs and took photos, wrapping up the 2016 awards night.