Silver Knight

Meet the 2014 Broward Silver Knight Award winners


Evan Haubner, North Broward Preparatory School

Evan Haubner

North Broward Preparatory School

Known as the “art kid” at his school, Evan used his talents for theatrical makeup, painting and stage performance to inspire young children. Over three years, Evan volunteered 600 hours at a theater summer camp where he helped 100 third-graders learn how to put on a show from start to finish. For his dedication, he received his school’s award for Highest Achievement in Community Service for two consecutive years. Evan’s artwork has been shown at art museums and his stage makeup has graced school and community theaters. He has received superior ratings in solo and small-group musical performances and he has been honored with five South Florida Cappies nominations.

Evan was named a National Merit Scholar Commended student and an AP Scholar with Honor, and is a National Honor Society member. He has been accepted at Columbia University.

Honorable mentions: Nadine Franklin, Western High School; Francesca Levy, Pembroke Pines Charter High School; Alexander Moore, Nova High School.


Joshua Ulino, Cypress Bay High School

Joshua Ulino

Cypress Bay High School

At age 13, Joshua was troubled to learn that an autistic friend couldn’t find a place to play ball. So Joshua helped start an athletic league for autistic children where they could learn baseball and other sports. Since then, he has spent about 600 hours administering the league and coaching players during Friday night practices. Joshua also has volunteered at events for Alzheimer’s patients and for kids with cancer and mental challenges.

As co-captain of Cypress Bay’s baseball team, and as an Academic All-Star, Joshua has excelled on the playing field and in the classroom. He was named an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Commended student. He has been honored as a Rotary Scholar and Senior of the Month, and has excelled in Debate competitions. Joshua is ranked in the top 1 percent of his class.

Honorable mentions: Patricia Sarah Albano, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Kalin Alexis Houston, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School; Caitlin McCluskey, Sheridan Hills Christian School.


Andrew Masciarella, North Broward Preparatory School

Andrew Masciarella

North Broward Preparatory School

In his sophomore year, Andrew’s desire to give back led him to start his own school service club. Through grants and a partnership with a national food retailer, his school chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities has raised $18,000. Good, but Andrew envisioned more opportunities so he used the franchise concept to help start two other chapters.

On campus, as a yearbook editor, Andrew revamped the publication’s advertising program, which brought in over $60,000. He is president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. Andrew plays the violin and sings at an assisted-living facility and at community events. Through other service organizations, he also has collected food for the homeless.

Andrew is also an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Comcast Leaders and Achievers scholarship recipient.

Honorable mentions: Justin Robert Etzine, David Posnack Hebrew Day School; Blake Bierman, American Heritage; Menachem Bandel, University School of Nova Southeastern University.


Keion Lenard Farmer

Stranahan High School

Keion’s goal: reuniting families. As a volunteer with A Child is Missing, he updates software, does research reports and provides technical support. He fact-checks information on missing persons and kidnapping victims and compiles statistics. Keion uses his technical savvy to help set up and prepare school library computers.

Keion also loves teaching as he’s ventured off campus to teach computer literacy to the elderly. At Stranahan, he tutors and mentors minority and at-risk freshmen.

Keion has been honored in National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship competitions and is a recipient of a Business Professionals of America award. He has taken a mix of AP and dual enrollment classes and has achieved honor roll status in all four years.

Honorable mentions: Paula Andrea Restrepo Clavijo, Nova High School; Nicole Christine Malanga, Everglades High School; Lance Oppenheim, Pine Crest School.


Katherine Santoro

Western High School

Though she has participated in nearly 40 stage productions, Katherine has made a name for herself as an arts advocate. In 2012, she was invited to Washington to speak to members of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts about the impact of budget cuts on arts funding. Now, her foundation, ArtsINSPIRE, fights to keep community arts programs alive.

Katherine serves as a Teen Ambassador for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, a summer counselor for Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre and an outreach counselor for Young At Art. She also performs at charity fundraisers and uses social media to promote the arts to her peers.

At Western High, Katherine is active in Student Government and the National Honor Society, while taking a mix of AP and honors classes. She has been named a Comcast Leaders and Achievers recipient, and is on her school’s Senior Wall of Fame.

Honorable mentions: Tatiana Bustamante, Pembroke Pines Charter High School; Laura Blank, Coral Glades High School; Hilary Michelle Cheren, Nova High School.


Saran Alexandra Morgan

McArthur High School

Frustrated with a school website that was often outdated, Saran taught herself how to code so that she could create a site from a student’s point of view. For the past two years, Saran has administered the website, written reviews and updates of school activities, and recruited other student writers to work on the project. A self-proclaimed “connoisseur of the written language,” Saran also has received awards for her poetry and works of fiction and is co-founder of her school’s Filmmaker’s Club. Saran volunteers at Fort Lauderdale Seventh Day Adventist Church, the YMCA and Relay for Life.

Saran tutors peers and is a member of the National English Honor Society. Named a National Merit Semi-finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction, Saran recently attended the Dartmouth Bound Summer Program.

Honorable mentions: Lauren Christine Ferrara, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School; Emily Griffith, Archbishop McCarthy High School; Bryan Godel, Western High School.


Persis Bhadha

Cooper City High School

As a sophomore, Persis was so moved by a program to feed hungry children that she started her own school effort. She enlisted the help of three major school clubs to unite with Feeding Children Everywhere, and has raised $10,000 to provide 40,000 meals.

Over the past two summers, Persis served as a research intern at the University of Florida and at a veterans’ hospital where she studied genetic engineering and prostate cancer cells. She also has volunteered at Memorial West Hospital and has tutored students through Peer Counseling, the Math and Science clubs, Key Club, DECA and Student Government Association.

Persis has taken all but one of her school’s AP classes and she has received a perfect 5 on nearly every AP exam. She was named a National Merit Semi-finalist, a National AP Scholar, a Carson Scholar and a Rensselaer Medal Award winner.

Honorable mentions: Sarah Dozil, Coral Springs Charter High School; Giancarlo Gambetta, Nova High School; Laura Mariah Herman, Pine Crest School.


Madison Clark

North Broward Preparatory School

Looking for a way to combine technology and community service, Madison started an online publication in her sophomore year to raise social awareness among her peers. She serves as editor-in-chief, has written more than 20 articles, edited 100 submissions and managed a staff of 35 students for the online magazine.

Madison also contributes to the Parklander Magazine where she has published 15 pieces, helped edit more than 25 articles and led a social media campaign.

At North Broward, in addition to her honors and IB classes, Madison is co-president of the Gay/Straight Alliance, president of the Film Club and a member of the National Honor and National Spanish Honor societies. After school, she tutors elementary school students at the Delray Achievement Center, where she has helped raise over $140,000 for the nonprofit.

Honorable mentions: Melissa Bosem, American Heritage; Kayla Haley, Academy for Advanced Academics; Victoria Dean Alvarez, Pembroke Pines Charter High School.


Dillon Biddiscombe

Pine Crest School

With a family history of poverty, lack of education and homelessness, Dillon was inspired to seek out volunteer opportunities at a homeless shelter. For the past three years, he has taught GED classes to at-risk adults at the Broward Outreach Center. He hopes to break the cycle of poverty through education.

In his freshman year, Dillon also started a Gear Up For Youth service organization to collect sports gear for kids who were unable to afford their own. The group has donated more than 500 pieces of equipment to Boys and Girls Clubs.

At Pine Crest, Dillon has taken a rigorous mix of AP classes and tutors students in math as a Beta Club mentor. He is also a member of the Rho Kappa Honor Society and the National Beta Club. He has been named an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Scholar Commended student.

Honorable mention: Ayomide Fatunde, Nova High School; Samantha Rozenblum, Calvary Christian Academy; Michael Patrick Guertin, Everglades High School.


Connor Yockus

North Broward Preparatory School

A gifted choreographer and performer, Connor wanted to combine his love of dance with philanthropy. In his freshman year, Connor founded Performance for Change and has since helped orchestrate and perform in 11 different charity events across the country. In total, he has helped raise more than $100,000 to benefit the March of Dimes, cancer research and victims of the Sandy Hook shootings.

Connor, who attends dance classes four nights a week, was named a YoungArts National Finalist in Dance. He received the Dance Educators of America’s Executive Directors’ Cup and a Fred and Adele Astaire scholarship. He is president of the Gay/Straight Alliance, managing editor of his school’s online magazine and co-captain of the varsity dance team. He tutors with the National Honor Society and has been named an AP Scholar and a National Merit Scholar Commended student.

Honorable mentions: Emily Maria McCready, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School; Eliza Chase Hurst, Pompano Beach High School; Rebecca Tutunick, Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School.


Kristina Thoren

American Heritage

This determined environmentalist saw excess waste at her school and found a solution that should benefit the campus for years to come. Despite an eye disease that makes it difficult to read, Kristina spent hours researching numerous possibilities. As president of her school’s environmental club, she started a multi-level recycling program that saves the school thousands of dollars and designed an educational program about recycling.

A budding scientist, she is researching how bacteria affect air and beach quality as an intern with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She has been honored by several national and international science organizations.

Kristina serves on Broward General Hospital’s Youth Advisory Council and has volunteered in Costa Rica to help renovate a school. She also has worked with the National Honor Society and Pre-Med Club.

Honorable mentions: Aaron Dagen, Western High School; Francesca Villacis, Nova High School; Jonathan Galka, North Broward Preparatory School.


Alyssa Zlatkin

David Posnack Hebrew Day School

Alyssa found her calling by working with disabled children through volunteer work in impoverished countries. Over two summers she spent four weeks in Ghana and five weeks in Nepal where she tutored and provided physical therapy to disabled children. She also helped build a school and worked as an intern in a medical clinic. Alyssa dreams of working as a doctor in a third-world country.

Locally, Alyssa volunteers at a children’s hospital and teaches yoga to at-risk youth. She has served as a pre-school camp counselor and volunteered at a senior center. She started David Posnack’s Key Club, co-founded the school’s Environmental Club and serves as a group leader for Best Buddies.

Alyssa was named an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Wendy’s High School Heisman winner.

Honorable mentions: Cameron Canton, Fort Lauderdale High School; Benjamin Schecter, Pine Crest School; Eshrat Kristina Nikrooye-Asli, College Academy at BCC Central.


Jahdziah St. Julien

St. Thomas Aquinas High School

Inspired to help middle school students find their voice, Jahdziah started a speech and debate team in her sophomore year at a neighboring school. In this club, Jahdziah and her fellow high school speech team members serve as peer mentors as they coach the younger students on research and public speaking.

At St. Thomas, Jahdziah serves as a liturgical minister in the Campus Ministry Program, delivers sermons and leads retreats. She has earned first-place honors at local and national forensics league tournaments. She has volunteered at a hospital to help with food service and to interact with patients, and at an elementary school media center. At St. Thomas, she is active in the library association and as a National Honor Society tutor.

Jahdziah has been named a National Achievement Semi-finalist and an AP Scholar with Honor.

Honorable mentions: Ashley Parigian, West Broward High School; Megan Anne Hirsh, Cypress Bay High School; Aditya Puri, J. P. Taravella High School.


Raul Garcia

William T. McFatter Technical High School

Bullied because of his weight, Raul took a hard look at himself in his sophomore year and decided to change. He altered his habits, dropped 70 pounds and decided his healthful transformation could help others. He formed a nonprofit, Failure Is Not Trying, and has inspired his principal and teachers to change their nutrition and exercise habits.

As part of his program, Raul has discussed healthy living on RadioMD, started a Healthy Shake station in his school cafeteria, and holds lunchtime and weekend workouts. He serves as president of nutrition at his school’s Health & Fitness Club.

An honors student and frequent school volunteer, Raul also has given his time to HOPE Outreach Center, Feeding South Florida and HandsOn Broward. He has worked with underprivileged kids and as a summer camp counselor.

Honorable mentions: Michael Matthew Maselli, Nova High School; Raphael Y. Mendez, Coral Glades High School; Mary Alao, Fort Lauderdale High School.


Tashay Campbell

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

On a mission trip to Honduras in April 2013, Tashay was struck by the isolation of orphaned girls. She started a service project to help cultivate friendships and language skills. Now, members of her school’s Spanish Honor Society write letters in Spanish to the orphanage and the girls respond in English, improving the linguistics of both groups. The school’s English Honor Society has donated books to help build a library at the orphanage.

Tashay has volunteered at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, is president of Love Coral Springs and serves on the Teen Political Forum. A Jamaican native, Tashay placed first in Impromptu Speaking at a World Languages Competition two years in a row. An AP and Honors student, she also has won several DECA awards.

Honorable mentions: Stephane Rosarion, North Broward Preparatory School; Eunice N’zikou, Hollywood Hills High School; David Ramirez, West Broward High School.