Palm Beach Atlantic University played host to nearly 600 high school seniors from Palm Beach and Martin counties on Thursday for the nominee interviews for the 2011 Pathfinder scholarship awards.
A total of 60 judges from various disciplines interviewed 591 students in 18 categories, including drama, forensics/speech, literature, history, community involvement and mathematics.
The students will be recognized during the Pathfinder awards ceremony on April 26 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. The four seniors in each category who are judged to be the best and brightest will receive scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $1,000. The Palm Beach Post sponsors the Pathfinder awards.
“I was nervous at first but I’m kind of glad it’s over,” said Roselyn Espino, 17, a senior at John I. Leonard High School and a nominee in the literature category. “Whether we’re picked or not, it’s an honor to do it.”
Jennifer Cataldo, the Pathfinders sponsor at John I. Leonard High, said she looks forward to the awards process each year. “It’s their chance to shine. They’re winners no matter what,” she said.
The scholarship interviews took place in Vera Lea Rinker Hall, the Greene Complex and the Warren Library. Four PBA faculty and staff members were among the judges. Jim Swick, assistant professor of mathematics, was a judge for mathematics; David Jacobs, assistant professor of music, was a judge in the music/instrumental category; Dr. James Mitroka, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, was a judge in the science category; and Sheryl Estrada, web content producer, was a judge in the foreign language category.