The Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards is one of the nations most highly regarded student awards programs. The purpose of this Awards program is to recognize outstanding students who have not only maintained good grades but have also unselfishly applied their special knowledge and talents to contribute significant service to their schools and communities. The Silver Knight Awards program was instituted at The Miami Herald in 1959 by John S. Knight, past publisher of The Miami Herald, founder and editor emeritus of Knight-Ridder Newspapers and 1968 Pulitzer Prize winner.
The program is open to high school seniors with a minimum 3.2 GPA (unweighted) in public, private, and parochial schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties
. Students may be nominated in 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. Each school may nominate one student per category.
Nominees from all schools appear on a designated day to be interviewed by a panel of independent judges. Each panel of judges selects one Silver Knight and three Honorable Mentions in that category. Names are not revealed until the Silver Knight Awards ceremony. Silver Knights receive $2,000, a Silver Knight statue and a medallion presented by American Airlines. The three Honorable Mentions are presented $500 and an engraved plaque. The cash awards are made possible in part by the generous support of American Airlines, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.