The Pathfinder Awards 2021


The nominees for the 2021 Pathfinder nominees features the most talented and brightest students of the class of 2021 in WBHS.

Caroline Zavulunov, Social Media Editor

     The long awaited 2021 Palm Beach Pathfinder nominations are here. The Pathfinder High School Scholarship Awards are presented each year to high school seniors in Palm Beach and Martin counties who have exhibited outstanding achievement in 16 categories. 

     Each year, more than $171,000 in scholarships are awarded to 54 of the most outstanding and brightest high school seniors in Palm Beach counties. It is one of the largest high school scholarship programs in the state of Florida. Moreover, it is one of the most “equitable and democratic, extending eligibility to all public and private high schools within the two-county area,” states the Palm Beach Post.  

      The Pathfinder Palm Beach Post website explains, “In a complex and rapidly changing world, a good education is the best way to ensure a life of excellence, growth, and creativity. This basic tenet applies not only to the individual, but also to the community. A community-led by people with foresight and the ability to think through problems – the fruits of a good education – is one that will prosper through the best and worst of times. The Palm Beach Post has chosen the astrolabe as the symbol of the Pathfinder Scholarship. This ancient nautical device was used to help sailors navigate by the stars, just as the knowledge gained from a good education will help our nominees chart the courses for their own lives. We are confident that, in doing so, each of these talented students will provide leadership and direction for others in the future.”

     I asked some of the WBHS nominees about their experience with pathfinders and how the application process went. Paige Gelenski, nominee of the pathfinder for Community Involvement, said she found out about Pathfinders when her guidance counselor mentioned it to her. When asked about her experience applying for it, she mentioned, “It was really interesting. I had to go back through my years of volunteering and community service hours to get all the information that I needed. It has been great to look back and see what I have accomplished. It really made me realize that I had made a huge impact whenever I went to help the community.” Another nominee, Minuet Greenberg for Computer Engineering said that he had to first decide which category she wanted to apply for. “I decided my accomplishments best fit the category of computer engineering. I contacted a teacher to nominate me and she said she already had for the science category. I explained that I wanted to actually pursue the computer engineering category, and she changed her recommendation.  Afterwards, I created a resume, modeled closely after my common app.  I further elaborated on my extracurriculars relating to my category, going in depth about the projects I worked on and my leadership positions.  I also included 2 short essays about my role as a leader in STEM and my interest in computer science.  I also had to find pictures of my involvement, which wasn’t easy because most of my extracurriculars are digital,” said Greenberg. 

    When asked about how being nominated for the pathfinder will help with their future career and/or goals, many nominees that were interviewed said it helped go towards their ambitions and college career. Gelenski mentioned she sees her future career being helping in the community; she wants to be an athletic trainer and her goals have become more defined and more determined to achieve them because of Pathfinders. Carlo Roukous, the nominee for Forensics/Speech said he has been recognized for his speech and debate skills. Casey Dilliard, nominee for Vocational, said he was able to add this to college resumes that should help throughout his college career, and Sydni Torrero, nominee for Communications said, “As a result of being nominated, I hope to be considered for an important scholarship. This opportunity could help with my future endeavors in the field of Communications. The Pathfinder nomination is an achievement which can be highlighted in my personal resume and will hopefully steer me towards a career in Broadcast Journalism.” Another nominee, Jessica Jaruszewski that was nominated for Sports said being nominated can help get closer to her goal of becoming a nurse or physical therapist. 

    Here is the official list of the nominees in each category of the class of 2021:

Academic Excellence: Shayna Cohon

Art: Hailey Hosang

Business: Adam Goldman

Communication: Sydni Torrero

Community Involvement: Paige Gelenski

Computer Engineering: Minuet Greenberg

Foreign Language: Mia Hernandez Soto

History/Political: David Knight

Literature: Isabelle Galan

Math: Braeden Denny

Music Instrumental: Derek Janoff

Music Vocal: Lauren Boyle

Reach for Excellence: Reagen Bell

Science: Daniel Sanchez

Sports: Jessica Jaruszewski

Vocational: Casey Dillard

     Some final words from two of our 2021 nominees:

   “Being a pathfinder has made me open up more about the community. With my category I know that I am making a difference and it has impacted so many lives. I plan to continue my journey through community involvement throughout college and my life. It is a part of me that I can never let go of. It makes me the person I am today. Thanks to pathfinders I found a deeper meaning in what I do for the community and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next years of community involvement.” – Paige Gelenski

    “It is an honor to be recognized as a pathfinder nominee and represent WBRHS in 2021!” – Sydni Torrero

     Finally, some advice the nominees have for future applicants is ask lots of questions, give as much information as you can about yourself, try your hardest, and don’t give up. They also want future applicants to know that what matters is that they display their passion for and aptitude in the specified category, and that putting yourself out there and giving something a try really pays off. Shayna Cohon, nominee for Academic excellence said, “I know for myself, going into this process I truly did not imagine that I would receive any pathfinder nomination. I was very pleasantly surprised and honored to have received such a prestigious nomination as Academic Excellence. When you work hard and give something your all, the results are just extra! Everyone should take that step out of their comfort zone, because you never know what will come of it!” Thus, Juniors it’s never too late to start, start thinking about how you could be a nominee for Pathfinders next year and have your talents and achievements recognized.