Honorable mentions: Nicole Toby Elimelech, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High; Catalina Vanegas, Miami Northwestern Senior High; Frank J. Oliva, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School.
English & Literature
Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
Alexandra has long been a volunteer on her own, working in Ghana and Vietnam. But she sensed apathy among her classmates. Her school's service club, Interact, had only eight members. In three years, Alexandra increased membership to 82 and helped spark more than 3,000 hours of community service. While Alexandra had to overcome dyslexia and didn't read until she was 10, she worked hard to excel. She is a gifted writer who was honored at Carnegie Hall for a personal essay. She won a superior rating from the National Council of Teachers of English. She was named an AP Scholar with Distinction, received the President's Volunteer Service Award, was a student advisor to the School Board and will attend the University of Chicago.
Honorable mentions: Mallorie Anne Thomas, Miami Country Day School; Oliver Hart III, Miami Killian Senior High; Adrianna Patrice Mozell, Miami Carol City Senior High.
Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School
Alexandra has volunteered hundreds of hours playing music for sick and underprivileged children and ailing senior citizens. She also organized and played in a concert to raise money for Haitian earthquake victims. But one of her most impressive projects was creating Books Across Borders, a book collection drive she started with her sister that shipped 5,000 books to children on three continents. In addition to rounding up books, Alexandra also raised money for shipping, often more than $1,000 per shipment. She was named a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction. She won the Music Teachers National Association state competition and placed second in the New World Symphony Concerto and the Alhambra Orchestra Young Artist Concerto contests. She was co-captain of her varsity tennis team.
Honorable mentions: Adam Joseph Gayoso, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High; Chelsea Cosner, Miami Palmetto Senior High; Shirin Razdan, Palmer Trinity School.
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School
Five years ago, Maximilian began raising money for a cancer ward for uninsured patients. He became concerned about their emotional state after chemotherapy. Growing up with three half brothers who lost their mom to cancer, he was well aware of the toll on families. Maximilian came up with the idea of a journal for patients to record their thoughts and experiences. The book, My Hat Off to Me, offers prompts in English, Spanish and Creole. His project spread from one hospital to four. His hundreds of hours of community service included collecting cellphones for domestic abuse victims. Miami-Dade officials declared a day in his honor. Maximilian's poetry has won first place at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition. He has received gold medals at Belen Jesuit for his achievements.
Honorable mentions: Amanda Christine Di Lella, Felix Varela Senior High; Regina Honorat, William H. Turner Technical Arts; Julian Alejandro Hernandez, Christopher Columbus High.
Miami Country Day School
A commitment to learning inspired Columbia to share her passion for education. As a sophomore, she taught seventh grade math to struggling students. In the Breakthrough Miami program, she worked alongside college students. Columbia founded PALS (Partners in Academics, Leadership and Service) to provide middle school students with more year-round opportunities. She donated $2,500 she received as a stipend to fund the PALS program. She convinced Miami Country Day to become a site for the Breakthrough summer program. Columbia has dedicated hundreds of hours to helping young people with disabilities through Best Buddies. She was captain of her varsity softball and track teams, president of the orchestra and a National Merit Commended Scholar. She received the Presidential Award for Service, and will attend Amherst College.