The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

Seniors vie for knighthood

GROUP PHOTO: Krop’s Silver Knight nominees pose next to Activities Director Michelle Russell and Principal Lee Krueger following the announcement their nomination.

     Every year, Miami-Dade and Broward County schools nominate seniors for the Miami Herald Silver Knight award. Each nominee is chosen for the service they provide to their school and community.

     Senior Maya Gruenberg, nominated in the Art category, started the Creative Kids program, which teaches kids ages 6-12 art skills. She was inspired by her family to create it.

     “I have a little sister who’s 7 now, and I loved teaching her art,” Gruenberg said. “So, I was a math tutor who could teach people well, why not start it?”

     Senior Maya Hickey, who was nominated in the General Scholarship category, worked with other students to compose three bills and went to the State Capitol in Tallahassee to advocate for them. The bills aimed to provide childcare for working families, clamp down on hate speech and provide compensation for wrongfully jailed people. However, at the Capitol, they struggled to get their message out.

     “A lot of words definitely fell on deaf ears, but we still made an impact, with us getting the hate speech bill more signatures,” Hickey said. “But on the other bills, when we were talking to Republican representatives, they just didn’t want to hear what we had to say.”

     Nominated in the Athletics category, senior Abel Profeta has worked on a variety of projects for the school and the community.

     One project is Island Huggers, an organization he runs in which students conduct trash cleanups on various islands throughout the Biscayne Bay area. The organization has “adopted,” or taken responsibility for the cleanup of three islands in the area, collecting thousands of pounds of trash throughout the years.

     In addition to this, Profeta is the president of Chadash Teens Miami, an organization in which members go to nursing homes and play bingo with the seniors.

    “We give them someone to care for them and help them out, because a lot of times they don’t get visitors and the support they really need, so our visits are what they look for,” Profeta said. ”It’s really nice to engage the community like that.”

     While doing this, Profeta has also pursued baseball, a passion of his since he was 4, winning many sports games for Krop and rising to become a team leader. He has put a lot of time in the sport, training on the weekends and after most school days, committing around several hours a day to the sport.

     Additionally, Profeta started a chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club at Krop.

     “I’ve always had a passion for business,” Profeta said. “During my freshman year, I wanted to join the Future Business of Leaders of America Club, but there was no one to sponsor it. So I talked to Ms. Russell and eventually we got a sponsor my sophomore year. It’s been nice to be able to grow a large business community here at Krop.”

     Social Studies nominee senior Uziel Isman started Getting Started Voting, an organization dedicated to registering more students to vote, with Isman being motivated by a lack of excitement to vote amongst the students.

     “I realized that Krop’s registration rates were super, super low for the amount of kids we had that were eligible,” Isman said.

The organization does presentations on how to register in every junior and senior English class, pre-registering students, and the organization has spread to 10 schools.

     Evan Seder, Krop’s Business nominee, served as president of Key Club, conducting community service projects, including making PB&J sandwiches for the homeless, designing cards for kids in the hospital, and making fleeces for the women’s shelter.

     He obtained a National Academy of Finance (NAF) degree, taking two business classes in Krop and completing an internship in accounting this year.

     Science nominee Jack Tchira sold traditional Venezuelan pastries in order to fundraise for organizations that help the community, including for Maccabi, or a Jewish community service organization, and in particular a drive by that organization to aid communities in rural Mexico.

     He also started an Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) club at our school.

     Journalism nominee Jianna Ramirez is the Editor in Chief of the Yearbook, serving in that role for two years.

     “This was after Covid, so I didn’t really know what my job entailed, how to build the yearbook, and how to manage my section, but I just figured it out as I went,” Ramirez said.

     She also participated in Spread the Love, an organization that involved pen-palling students with IDD, a mental disorder affecting a person’s physical, emotional, and/or intellectual development.

     Vocational-Technical nominee Spencer Smith worked in the Communications Technology program here at Krop, and as captain of Krop’s track team.

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