“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Matthew 20:26-28 (NLT)
Calvary Christian Academy is on a mission to build up Christian leaders who understand that they are never too young to make a difference and be used by God. During their leadership growth journey, students are encouraged by their teachers and other school leaders to look to Jesus’ example of servant leadership.
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” – John 13:14-17
While many students at CCA have experienced the blessing that comes with serving others through school-organized mission trips, outreach opportunities, and personal community service involvement, six students in CCA’s Class of 2022 have gone above and beyond to organize high-impact service projects that have not only extended Christ’s love and compassion, but also reflected their uniqueness as the individuals He created them to be.
“This year's CCA nominees are stellar”
For this reason, they were selected to represent CCA at the 64th Annual Silver Knight Awards
presented by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. On May 26, they were honored at a formal ceremony alongside other extraordinary seniors from Miami-Dade and Broward counties who have also demonstrated a compelling commitment to service and their communities.
“This year's CCA nominees are stellar,” said Melodie Womble, CCA’s Silver Knight coordinator. “They bring the heart, hands, and feet of God into the equation. They are not looking for the earthly rewards, but for ways to serve in the name of Jesus.”
Continue reading to learn about the service projects these stellar students (now graduates!) have championed:
KATHERINE DOOKHAN Category: Science
When the initial wave of COVID-19 impacted the globe, Katherine and her brother Zachariah (a CCA sophomore) felt led to help vulnerable populations by starting a non-profit organization called “Two Kids Helping Society.”
Over the last two years, Katherine has dedicated over 200 hours to empowering youth by implementing programs that promote literacy, healthy environments, and safe atmospheres. Some of her efforts include a book/PPE drive for a hospital in Trinidad and Tobago (where her family is from), a Reading Buddies Zoom program, and a breast cancer awareness program for the homeless in our community. As an aspiring physician who has engaged in service from a young age, Katherine plans to continue to help those in need through her non-profit while she continues her educational pursuit at Nova Southeastern University.
MADISON DURANDCategory: English
Madison – an avid reader, published writer, and Barnes & Nobles employee with an affinity for hardcopy books – credits much of her success in life to reading and having reading material easily at her disposal. The fact that all students don’t have this same access to literature weighed heavily on her heart, which prompted her to take action.
Madison harnessed her passion for children’s literacy development to construct and paint eight mini libraries that have been installed in strategic locations throughout South Florida in partnership with local government entities. The free books in these mini libraries were collected from book drives she helped coordinate as a member of CCA’s National English Honor Society. To make sure that these libraries continue to be replenished while she’s in college and that this legacy of literacy continues, she has passed the torch to the incoming NEHS leadership team at CCA.
ANGELINA ISPIRCategory: Art
When the art center at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital shut down due to COVID-19, Angelina made it possible for pediatric cancer patients to still have access to art supplies and the opportunity to engage in art therapy. In partnership with CCA’s National Art Honor Society (where she served as president) and the Children Battling Cancer organization, she organized an art supplies drive titled “Let’s Create.”
With the donations she solicited from CCA students, Angelina was able to create gift baskets that were sent to Joe DiMaggio patients with an interest in art. She hopes to see this relationship between the hospital and CCA’s NAHS continue to flourish and expand in years to come while she studies graphic design at Pennsylvania State University.
JORGE HERNANDEZ⭐️ Honorable Mention Winner
Category: General Scholarship
Having witnessed the deterioration of Florida’s beaches firsthand over the years, Jorge and his family used the extra time that resulted from the lockdown of 2020 to brainstorm ways to protect them. This was when their non-profit The Trash Pirates was born. Jorge has played an active role organizing close to 30 beach clean-ups with approximately 1,500 volunteers, which has resulted in 5,000 less pounds of debris on South Florida’s shores.
This Purdue University-bound student worked with his father to engineer a lawnmower-like machine that scoops up sand into a sifting mechanism, collecting small debris fragments that are prone to breaking down into harmful microplastics. Jorge has also organized summer camps through the City of Dania Beach to teach the younger generation the importance of having a stewardship mindset. He ultimately hopes to instill in them the same passion he has for preserving God’s creation so they can one day rise up as environmental advocates.
As an Honorable Mention winner in the General Scholarship category, Jorge was awarded with a plaque and a $500 scholarship from the Herald Charities Foundation. Read more about his project by clicking here!
BROCK PEYTONCategory: Music & Dance
By participating in annual Veterans Day and Memorial Day concerts at the Covenant Village retirement community since his freshman year, Brock has been able to witness the power of music and the emotions it can evoke in our nation’s heroes. Though COVID ended up putting these concerts on hold, he was determined to continue to safely honor these veterans who had become socially isolated. He used his influence as CCA’s Tri-M Music Honor Society president to start “Cards for Veterans” – a program that gave high school students at CCA the opportunity to write handwritten notes of encouragement to Covenant Village’s veterans and show them that their service truly meant something to the younger generation.
Having recently been accepted into the United States Military Academy West Point, Brock plans to preserve the very freedom that these veterans and all veterans have fought for. Thank you for your service to our community and country, Brock!
SOPHIA REVISCategory: Social Science
Upon recognizing a lack of awareness in her community of Florida's indigenous people, Sophia set out to educate others on the history of Lewis Landing Park in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale, specifically the artifacts that were discovered there and traced back to the Tequesta Indians.
As part of her Gold Scout Gold Award project – the highest award any Girl Scout can earn – she worked to install signage that informed park goers about this history, which she funded using money raised from selling Girl Scout cookies. On one of her three signs, Sophia added a QR code that links to a website she created
. The website includes research she conducted about the Tequesta Indians and findings she discovered from interviewing Robert Carr, a local archeologist who recovered the Tequesta artifacts at the park. Sophia dedicated more than 100 hours toward completing this project and obtaining approval from the City Commission and Parks & Recreation Department. If you plan to visit this park, keep an eye out for her signs!
Congratulations to these six servant leaders for not only recognizing needs and opportunities around them, but for going a step further and using their unique interests and gifts to address them.
May their incredible stories and initiative inspire you to use your time, talents, and treasure to also make a profound impact in your community. Pray about how God would want to use you to be a vessel of His love and glory to a world that is longing to experience it.
If your child is a CCA high school student with a demonstrated, authentic passion for community service and a minimum GPA of 3.2, email Mrs. Womble at MelodieW@CCAEagles.org for more information on the Silver Knight nominee qualification process.