The Pines Charter Silver Knights: Conquering Obstacles

Kara Warren, Staff Writer

  The Silver Knight Award, instituted several years ago by John S. Knight, is given to honor and recognize students who actively give back to their community, while being able to uphold a strong academic record. Students from all grade levels are able to participate and win certain categories that acknowledge their accomplishments. With an assortment of talented and bright individuals at our very campus, there is undoubtedly a large amount of competition for these awards. And as the countdown begins for the school’s nominations to be released, the anticipation continues to accumulate throughout the student body.

   As the sponsor for Silver Knight, Ms.Velez recognizes the importance of acknowledging Charter’s hard-working students and their accomplishments. As she hopes it will motivate them to continue to grow and inspire others. “Students in previous years who’ve won, have shown leadership skills while participating in their community by creating various projects and initiatives. It’s the impact we’d like to see more students offering to their community, on a local, state, national, and even global level. There is lots of hope for this leadership streak to continue, as this year we’ve received candidates who’ve begun projects locally, that’ve expanded to parts of the world like Africa, England, Haiti and even further than we could’ve imagined.”

   Ms.Velez continued to speak about the current nomination process that will be taking place during the month of December. “This upcoming month, we will be presenting the school’s nominees for each category. We have so many students that’re working tirelessly to make an impact on others and it’s a great opportunity to be able to show what they do in such a large showcase. We’re very excited to present these candidates, as they’ve met the criteria and will hopefully inspire others to make the same mark they have on their district.”

   One of the new members, Sonia Ally, admitted she’s grateful the award was being offered because a lot of students may be balancing several responsibilities, and now have the opportunity to be recognized for their efforts. The sophomore was inspired by her sister, Nina Ally, who was nominated for the Silver Knight in her senior year. “Watching her get congratulated made me want to learn more about how I could get involved and be a part of specific fields in the community– regardless of the reward. Being able to work with people that love what they do to help others is inspiring. But I think the best part of the award in general is being involved in a  group of people my age who want the best for each other.” 

   Although she is unsure of what category to apply for, Sonia admitted she was happy to be included in the club altogether. “As a sophomore I’m not sure as to what my ‘thing’ is so far. I can find new attachments and devotions which makes me so confused on what I should give focus to. But the perfect thing about Silver Knight to me is that no one is forcing you to get into a box and stick with it. Everything you do with the category you pick is because you want to, no one else.”

   As December approaches, students will begin to be considered for nominations. Fortunately, Ms.Velez has confidence in each of the candidates as the criteria have been met since students have gone above and beyond with their applications. But from the newspaper staff, congratulations to this year’s nominees: Revi Adi (Social Science), Jayna Brunner (Science), Stella Dioguardi (Athletics), Jasmine Morales (Speech)!