Silver Knight Nominees 2021

Congratulation to the following students who have been nominated for the Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards!

Victoria Del Toro (Science):
Over the past year, Victoria co-founded a service project under the “I See You Foundation”. Most of the activities benefit the homeless, underprivileged students, and hospitalized children. Through selling “I See You Foundation” merchandise, she raised over $500 for pediatric cancer research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has made and delivered care packages to nurses at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital as well as collected hundreds of school supplies for an underprivileged elementary school in Jupiter, Florida. In addition to these community projects, she partakes in a big role in feeding the homeless of Downtown Miami. In collaboration with “Choose Love Foundation” and “I See You Foundation”, she delivers home cooked meals to the homeless on Tuesdays. The mission of the foundation is to bring hope, compassion and love to others in need and that is something she will continue to fulfill with her service project for years to come.

Anabella Gugliotta Alberti (World Languages): 
Over the past year, Annabella co-founded a service project under the “I See You Foundation”. Most of the activities benefit the homeless, underprivileged students, and hospitalized children. Through selling “I See You Foundation” merchandise, she raised over $500 for pediatric cancer research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she made and delivered care packages to nurses at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital as well as collected hundreds of school supplies for an underprivileged elementary school in Jupiter, Florida. In addition to these community projects, she partakes in a big role in feeding the homeless of Downtown Miami. In collaboration with “Choose Love Foundation” and “I See You Foundation”, she delivers home-cooked meals to the homeless on Tuesdays. The mission of the foundation is to bring hope, compassion and love to others in need and that is something she will continue to fulfill with my service project for years to come.

Alexandra Howard (English):
Alexandra’s service endeavor, called Masks Around Miami, makes homemade, fabric masks, collects masks, and delivers them to homeless individuals across Miami-Dade County. She has given masks in South Miami, Downtown Miami, North Miami, Hialeah, and continue to give more throughout other places in Miami-Dade. One aspect of this project was to persuade individuals who live in Miami-Dade, by posting on Instagram: @masksaroundmiami, to hand out masks to the homeless population living in their area. With the assistance of others who live in Miami-Dade, the effectiveness of this project can successfully happen. Additionally, posting on social media captures individual’s attentions and inspires them to take initiative in their communities and help homeless individuals during the pandemic. Other posts that she has published describe how many homeless individuals are commonly a victim to the coronavirus’ effects and how it is imperative for residents of Miami to assist them. Another aspect of this service endeavor is to voice the needs of homeless individuals during this pandemic. Conducting interviews to highlight the struggles of homeless individuals and creating and distributing masks via Masks Around Miami helps prevent the spread of coronavirus throughout the homeless population in Miami.

Sophie Linale (General Scholarship):
After yearning to help students in the Bahamas for many years, Sophia started Brightening Bimini, during her freshman year. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, children in Bimini were left with resources even more scarce than before. In an effort to help those kids in any way possible, Sophia began fundraising through GoFundMe and raised over $5,400. She also began gathering school supplies, backpacks, and water bottles, and coordinated a group of friends to help assemble the bags and prepare for the trip, delivering more than 300 bags of supplies at the local school. She then began collecting books for the school’s library.  Her goal was to create an entirely redesigned library, and she began to collect thousands of books to do so. However, a hurricane hit the island again, leaving the city with no safe docks available. Then the pandemic began and a travel ban was in place. Without students in school, no deliveries were being made, and the school now had no use for the thousands of books collected. Therefore, she began to look for new opportunities to help underprivileged communities closer to home. After several emails and phone calls, she decided to set my efforts towards helping the students at Theodore R. and Thelma A. Gibson Charter School. The school had no library, and teachers did not have resources of their own to create in class libraries. Students were relying solely on class read-alouds and PDF documents to learn how to read, and were struggling to do so. Therefore, she made the decision to create libraries within each classroom. In conjunction with the school's recent purchase of the Accelerated Reading System to help boost literacy, she began labeling the books by their reading level and category. Simultaneously, she began building bookshelves for each classroom. In addition, she created bags with supplies for each teacher including notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, and paper clips. Due to the difficulty of teaching virtually, she provided several microphones for teachers to utilize during blended learning. The founding of Brightening Bimini gave her the opportunity to pursue my passion for service and help a community that she adored.

Julianne Rodriguez (Digital & Interactive Media):
During the pandemic, Julianne went through a journey like no other, putting her building and programming skills to the test to protect the health and well-being of our most vulnerable members of society, the elderly. Many Senior Living Facilities and Hospitals had prohibited family visitations to prevent exposure and limit the transmission of the virus. Lack of technology or degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, afflicting the seniors made it difficult for them to communicate and connect with their families, at a point when they needed them the most. It was from that moment that she envisioned and created “Empathy,” the telepresence Robot. In weeks, she designed, built, and programmed a Telepresence Robot that can be remotely maneuvered into Assisted Living Facilities and provide the virtual interaction needed to communicate. Through programmed controls, hi-res cameras, and microphones this innovative technology has reunited many families in South Florida and will continue to safely bring people closer together during this time.