As Natalie King’s senior year in the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Reef Senior High comes to an end, she continues to receive much deserved recognition and rewards for her academics, leadership and community service achievements.
“I am simply amazed at the generosity of my community,” said King as she spoke of the three college scholarship awards that she received during a whirlwind week in May. As a Silver Knight nominee for World Language for Coral Reef Senior High, King was awarded Honorable Mention and a resultant scholarship. She was rewarded by the Miami chapter of P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international women’s organization whose primary focus is to provide educational opportunities for female students worldwide. King was also honored as one of 20 student recipients at The Rotary Club of Perrine/Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay annual Scholarship Award Ceremony.
The International Baccalaureate program at Coral Reef, a rigorous course of study linking the Humanities, the Sciences, Mathematics, Languages and Community Service, has prepared King for the next step after her high school graduation. In the fall, she will be attending Amherst College, located in central Massachusetts, and plans to study International Relations and major in Political Science. Her long-term goal is to work in the State Department.
“The IB program is known to be strenuous, but I’ve had a peer group that has inspired me and wonderful teachers at Coral Reef who have set me up for success,” said King. “The environment there has always been conducive to learning and open to considering and accepting other viewpoints. It’s helped to mold me into a global citizen.”
No doubt that King’s active involvement in the Model United Nations Club at Coral Reef has influenced her decision to study International Relations at Amherst. She was an active member all four years at Coral Reef, attending four to five Model U.N. Conferences each year. Throughout the years, she was awarded Honorable Delegate, Outstanding Delegate and Best Delegate and at the various conferences. “At these conferences, I would watch in awe as my peers would speak with such poise and eloquence as they represented their country.
It inspired and motivated me to pay more attention to international affairs,” King said. Since her sophomore year, King has been a school ambassador of HOBY, Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation, whose mission is to develop a global community of youth and volunteers dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. During her senior year, King was co-president of HOBY, as well as CleW organizer and facilitator.
“My co-president and I organized CleW, a one-day workshop held in January that was attended by 50 sophomores from Miami-Dade County public and private schools. We had a keynote speaker and held a ‘Community Service Idol’ contest,” said King. “The two winning ideas from that contest will be the next Miami-Dade community service project initiatives.”
King’s work with the Homestead Community Partnership for the Homeless earned her a Girl Scout Gold Award and her Silver Knight Honorable Mention. “I developed a “Book of Me” program for the children age 3-14 in this organization. I encouraged them to express their feelings and write about themselves,” King said. “The ongoing program sparked creativity, self confidence and self worth in these children. It’s wonderful to have such an impact on these young kids.”
It should come as no surprise that King received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for 3,000-plus hours. It may be surprising to learn, though, that she is a member of the Miami Fencing Club and was a qualifier and competitor in the Junior Olympic National Competitions in 2008 and 2009. King is also proficient in three languages, English, Spanish and French, and has played and studied piano since she was five.
“When something is important, you make time for it,” she said.