By Jill Fox
Four exceptional students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were nominated for a Silver Knight Award.
A Miami Herald tradition since 1959, the Silver Knight Scholarship Program recognizes outstanding students who have not only maintained good grades but have also applied their special knowledge and talents to contribute significant service to their schools and communities.
The program has awarded $1 million annually to previous recipients, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and award-winning composer Bill Conti.
Students may be nominated in one of 15 categories: Art, Athletics, Business, Drama, English & Literature, General Scholarship, Journalism, Mathematics, Music and Dance, New Media, Science, Social Science, Speech, Vocational-Technical, and World Languages.
This year’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School nominees are:
In the Digital and Interactive Media Category, Kathuria has effectively left an impact on many lives by serving as the Florida District of Key Club International Webmaster. She has created and maintained multiple digital platforms that can be offered for free on a global scale and serve over 15,000 students across Florida.
To combat the lack of financial literacy among youth and bridge the gender gap within the business world, Kathuria created “The Wallet Project,” which has impacted 60+ girls globally and been published in magazines, such as Forbes.
In the fall, she will be attending the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business to pursue a degree in Business Administration. Parkland Talk wrote about The Wallet Project here.
In the Business Category, Rothenberg has competed in different events at the district, state, and international levels over the past four years. In March, she placed fourth at Florida’s Career Development Conference in the Start-up Business Plan category, qualifying for the International Career Development Conference competition.
In the fall, she plans on attending Tufts University and majoring in American Studies.
In the Speech category, Veerasammy has exemplified excellence through his leadership as the Public Forum & Congressional Debate captain and the competitive accolades throughout his four years in varsity debate. The six-time South Florida CFL Champion, said his dedication and passion for this activity motivated him to co-found “The Tree,” an online debate platform developed during the pandemic as a way for individuals to enhance their critical thinking and arguing skills continuing the drive for debating for so many.
In the fall, he will attend Emory University to study political science, with minors in finance and economics.
In the English category, Nikaj received a multitude of awards throughout her time at MSD, including second place in the 2022 Emerald Society Essay Contest. Her short story won first in the Stoneman Douglas Literary Fair and third at the Broward County Literary Fair.
She will be attending the University of Florida and is planning a dual major in English and Political Science.
In May, the students will attend the Silver Knight Award ceremony with dozens of other nominees from schools across South Florida. Each of the winners receives a $2,000 scholarship from the Knight Foundation, a Silver Knight statue, an AAdvantage 25,000-mile travel certificate, and the Silver Knight medallion presented by American Airlines.
The Silver Knight Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.