Nikita Kulkarni is the Gulliver Prep Silver Knight nominee in the general scholarship category. Kulkarni is not only strong academically, she is also very involved in extracurricular activities at Gulliver.
“I’m part of a major club, Interact,” she says. “We volunteer at an Alzheimer’s home sponsored by Easter Seals. We visit once a month and talk to them, play bingo and other games, and we sing songs.”
Kulkarni also goes with Interact members to the homeless shelter in downtown Miami sponsored by the Chapman Partnership for the homeless.
“We have a soup kitchen and we cook and serve dinner,” she says. “Some of the members come and play with the kids. I’ve done that, too.”
Interact sponsors a fashion show at school to raise money for charitable projects.
“Last year I was the fashion show director,” Kulkarni says. “Basically you have to go to different stores and ask them to donate clothes. I was managing the entire backstage. We made over $7,000.” Her part in this year’s show is much smaller, with more background work than her usual leadership role. She also plays a big role as president of G-Paws, a club dedicated to promoting animal welfare.
“We have events,” she says. “We host the Purina animal walk and we participate in the Fairchild Gardens Howl-O-Ween. We have a booth for face painting and we donate all the money to the Humane Society.”
At school, the club has bakes sales to raise money to help save animals.
“I love animals in general,” Kulkarni says. “I kept reading about all these animals being released in the Everglades, which is why I joined G-Paws and the Environmental Club.”
As a member of the Environmental Club, she participates in coastal clean-ups, including the annual event at Matheson Hammock.
“We just generally promote green living and eco friendliness,” she says. “We gave small boxes to all the classrooms so they could put their papers scraps in there. Later, we collect them and put them into larger bins for recycling.”
Another organization Kulkarni is active in is Uniteen, a club that raises money to donate to a charity. This year the club will help a school in Peru. The club organizes a talent show and collects school supplies that will also go to the same school.
Kulkarni is one of the first members of Link-To, a new club that links juniors and seniors to incoming freshmen and other new students. They give the new students tours and answer questions.
“When I was a freshman, I was dead lost. I came from the academy, I knew a lot of people but it was a new campus and new people,” she says. “It took a while to adjust to the way things work here.”
Even with her involvement in all the other clubs, Kulkarni still finds time for the Art Honor Society. She is vice president of the club, which conducts sketchbook workshops for younger students.
“We’re going to be able to paint a mural on campus,” she says.
Kulkarni likes to paint and draw, and she is especially fond of creating collages.
“Collage is my favorite,” she says. “I’ve liked art for just about my entire life. I’m not planning on going to art school but I’d like to take art classes or art history classes at whatever college I decide to attend.” Kulkarni says she wants to study communications and is would like to find a bigger school in the east with a good communications program. She has also applied for admission to the University of Miami and the University of Florida.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld