Hialeah Gardens Senior High School has nominated eight students for the Silver Knight Scholarship awarded by The Miami Herald. Nominees from all schools with be interviewed by a panel of judges and the winning Silver Knight nominee will receive $2,000, a statue, and a medallion presented by American Airlines. Three honorable mentions are presented $500 and an engraved plaque.
Hialeah Gardens’ nominees include Adrian Perez for science, Ashley Algaze for foreign languages, Bryan Cereijo for journalism, Gabriela Segovia for athletics, Jacklyne Vargas for speech, Juan Albrecht for mathematics, Richard Guzman for Business, and Veronica Heredia for Social Science.
Perez has taken the responsibility of initiating the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Club, where students find an outlet for competing in the different disciplines. He has singlehandedly implemented the club and organized the competitions with other schools through SECME and the Astronaut Challenge. He also tutors students in math.
Algaze has always had a love for animals and through the Agriscience Academy at Hialeah Gardens, she has been able to learn and teach others different ways to treat and handle animals. She has taken part in projects such as, producing compost, growing organic crops, and helped in the yelping of different farm animals. Students have been able to be exposed to different aspects of farming through her training and she has expanded the program by educating students and igniting a passion in them as well.
Cereijo has spearheaded the College Readiness Program at Hialeah Gardens. His goal has been to educate the Hispanic community in higher education. He found a need for parents and students to learn the ins-and-outs of higher education and provides workshops to educate them of scholarships and different colleges available. He has created the program from inception to fruition by creating presentations and inviting special guests to take part in the program. He has been on America Teve and continues to pursue journalism through photography and writing for publications.
Segovia took it upon herself to continue the 9/11 memorial at Hialeah Gardens. She expanded the memorial to include members of the community and Hialeah Gardens Middle School. Segovia made time in her full schedule of rigorous course work to coordinate and delegate in order to bring awareness to 9/11 and educate the student body of the significance of that event in history.
Vargas found a need in her church for members who needed translation services. After experiencing the obstacles that her parents had to overcome due to language barriers when they first came to this country, she decided to make things easier for those that have immigrated to the United States who may not speak and/or understand English. She provides translation services through headsets that the audience wears where she translates the service for them.
Albrecht came to the United States from Cuba last school year. In one year he has proven his excellence in mathematics. In Cuba, he was close to an uncle who suffered from cerebral palsy. As part of the Spanish Club, he was able to contribute to the community through that club in many ways. However, his spark came when he participated as a coach for the Twelfth Man Football and Cheer Camp for disabled children in Miami Dade County. His love for his uncle in Cuba reinforced his perseverance in helping these kids achieve and exceed their full potential.
Guzman started and developed the Billionaires Club at Hialeah Gardens. His goal has been to educate students about financial literacy and promote responsibility within the student body. Not only does he run and expand the club, he also engages the community by inviting speakers to help his club members obtain real life training for the future. Guzman also maintains a rigorous class schedule and has overcome many adversities that have only propelled him forward in his endeavors.
Heredia initiated and implemented Operation Support Our Troops. The team that she has created collects donations and prepares care packages for troops that are currently deployed overseas. She was able to expand this project to Hialeah Gardens Middle School and her church. During the first year of the program she was also battling cancer, but her tenacity was unwavering and that year she was able to make sure that the troops received their care packages and their appreciation for all that they do. Today, she is doing well and maintains a high GPA while also continuing the project and already thinking about ways to expand it in college.