Silver Knights Announced… Oh, What a Night!
CCA’s 11 Silver Knight nominees completed their arduous application process on March 1, when they appeared before panels of expert Miami Herald judges in each of their respective categories.
More than 30 seniors competed for the honor of representing CCA. Following an extensive review of applications, teacher recommendations and community service, those chosen included Jessica Byrd in art; Shawn Lashbrook, athletics; Suzi Trick, drama; Rebecca Vitkus, English; Juliana Matthews, general scholarship; Kristina Florio, mathematics; Johnny Jones, music; Aaron Richter, new media; Hannah Carignan, science; Victoria Montesarchio, social science; and Katie Gottfried, world languages.
Each of them had a positive interview session and several were able to share their faith in very relaxed conversation, which was impressive to the judges. Our knights stood out among the other candidates, cheering for every name called for his/her interview, whether CCA or not—the waiting room was energized with their presence.
Silver Knight is a prestigious honor bestowed on high school students in Dade and Broward Counties by The Miami Herald. Colleges across the country recognize winners for their scholarship, community service, leadership and character. The process includes extensive scrutiny of applications and rigorous interviews. A winner and three honorable mentions are awarded cash prizes and the distinction of being a Silver Knight. Winners will be announced at a gala in May at the Knight Center in Miami.
Katie Gottfried’s story about how her mother battled and defeated cancer and the loss of a close friend to the disease fueled Katie’s passion to participate in the nationally-sponsored Race for Life events to raise money and awareness to fight cancer.
Judges not only wanted to know “how” Jessica Byrd had accomplished some of her special art techniques, they also stopped her mid-way of showing a short portion of the video she had prepared to raise awareness about trafficking, and wanted to see the entire presentation from the beginning.
Johnny Jones shared his efforts for his Waterworks project that provides fresh water to communities in Rowanda. Judges were interested in his concert to raise money, his slogan to increase awareness, and his upcoming opportunity to earn money selling his CD’s from his opening act for Christian singer, Jeremy Camp.
The technology panel kept Aaron Richter sharing about how he repairs old computers for the Second Hand Thrift store for people who would not otherwise afford the technology; how he works behind the scenes solving tech challenges at CCA, and the fact that he earned a prestigious professional license usually earned by college graduates after they enter the work force.
Suzi Trick impressed judges when she shared that Christians do not judge; they love, in response to a judge who asked her if there was a challenge with the fact that she helped prepare a video that won an elementary school a $100,000 award from Ellen DeGeneres. Over the years, Suzi has helped this Title I school with a uniform drive and book drive resulting in many students receiving books they could call their own.