MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Kay-Ann Henry and Christina Dulal don’t go to the same school. They don’t even live in the same county. But they have one big thing in common. They are both 2017 Silver Knight award winners!
“You have brought us together through your academic achievements as well as your commitment to service,” Miami Herald president and publisher Alexandra Villoch said at the awards ceremony last week.
The stand out students were among a group of Miami-Dade and Broward’s 30 best and brightest at the annual scholarship presentation.
Kay-Ann, a student at Miami Carol City High School, won for journalism.
Christina, a senior at Miramar High, took home the award for general scholarship.
Both were incredibly humbled and honored.
“I really didn’t expect to win the Silver Knight award,” Christina said. “I was ecstatic. Very surprised.”
“I didn’t feel like my project was enough because it was kind of simple. So when I won I was so surprised and really in awe,” Kay-Ann explained.
Kay-Ann, an immigrant from Jamaica, created “It’s LIT” a program designed to improve literacy, organize book drives and offer tutoring sessions and pre-college workshops.
Her blog, Humans of Carol City, spreads success stories among students and teachers.
“My project came out of passion for journalism and literacy. I looked around my community and saw the students didn’t know how to express themselves through writing,” she said.
“When a student sees a tremendous need in their school and decides I’m going to fill that need, that’s a Silver Knight,” said Alexandria Martin, Kay-Ann’s AP Language and Composition teacher.
Past Miami Herald El Nuevo Herald Silver Knight winners include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
Christina is now part of the prestigious club for encouraging students at her high school to study science and engineering.
“I really supplemented their education with things they wouldn’t have received otherwise,” she said.
Now she’s encouraging future generations of Silver Knights to keep dreaming big.
“Even if your dreams are bigger that what you think you can accomplish, you’ll constantly work for it with ambition and persistence,” Christina said.
Christina is off to Notre Dame in the fall and plans to major in physics.
Kay-Ann will be attending the University of Miami to study journalism.
To view the complete list of winners and their award-worthy projects, visit the Miami Herald.