Stephanie Levine is Palmetto Senior High’s nominee for the Silver Knight in the general scholarship category. Levine is not only a topnotch scholar, but a top-notch volunteer, having earned 1,500 community service hours.
She’s involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. She’s vice president of activities for the Science National Honor Society and the special events chair for Student Council. She is vice president of membership for the Social Science Honor Society in history and president of Interact, the community service club.
“I’ve been involved in it since my freshman year,” she says. “As an officer, I organize different activities each month.”
Club members organize Panthers Got Talent, the school’s annual talent show. The judges choose the top three acts and decide on the Best Showmanship Award for the person who most entertained the audience. The money raised by the talent show goes to charity.
“Last year we raised $2,000 for Miami Rescue Mission,” she says. “And $2,000 for the Ronald McDonald House the year before that.”
Levine has her own community service project called From Cover to Cover: Turning Readers Into Leaders. Her project promotes literacy locally and internationally.
“I started a book collection to collect books to donate to Africa. I created a library in Malawi in East Africa,” she says. “I collected about 3,500 books.”
She couldn’t send them all to Africa, so for the second part of the project she found schools in Miami-Dade that needed books.
“I took over 2,000 novels and distributed them to schools in need of better resources here,” she says. “Through Interact, we traveled to some of the schools and read to the students.”
The first part of the project was done during her sophomore year. The second half took place last year, when she was a junior and continues. One of the schools she went to for the reading was South Miami Heights Elementary School.
“When I went to read, I brought about 60 books and we handed them out to the kids afterwards,” she says. “We read Cat in the Hat. We went all out for it. I dressed up head to toe in the Cat in the Hat outfit.”
The kids especially liked the scene where she was trying to balance a cake and an umbrella and a fish in the bowl.
“I tried to act that out and I fell,” she says. “All the kids started laughing.”
She says you could see how excited the children were to have the teens come and read to them.
“We encouraged them to read and take education into their own hands,” she says.
Levine is also an athlete. She’s captain of the varsity tennis team. She has been playing tennis since she was six years old. The team won the 2015 GMAC Tennis Championship and looks to be a contender for the state championships. They have been to states for the past three years. Last year, Levine took second place in the state doubles competition. The team was fifth overall. She also competes year round in USTA tournaments. She is ranked in the state and nationally.
Levine manages to maintain her strong academic standing while also playing competitive tennis. Last year she was named the scholar athlete award for the tennis team.
Levine not only competes on the tennis court, but on the History Bowl team, the Envirothon team and the Fairchild Challenge debate competition.
For college, she is considering majoring in history and political science with the intention of going on to law school.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld