Central’s Pathfinder Nominees 2022

Marissa Ortiz and Sydney Chin

Congratulations to the following seniors for being nominated to represent Palm Beach Central for the 2022 Pathfinder Awards. These awards, sponsored by The Palm Beach Post, recognize outstanding students in Palm Beach and Martin counties. These extraordinary students will advance to compete against other nominees in 17 out of 18 categories.


History/Political Science Category

Billie Brightman

Planned University: The George Washington University

Major:I plan on majoring in journalism because I have enjoyed watching the news for a long time and want to be just like the anchors I have been watching. I think reporting the news in a factual and sophisticated manner is something that is very important. In college, I hope to learn the skills necessary to make this happen.” 

Career: Broadcast Journalism

Inspiration: “My mom is my best friend and my biggest inspiration in life. We teach each other new things every single day and never have a wasted moment. Her motivation and trust in me has made me go a lot farther than I could have without her.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “It is not necessarily an accomplishment, but what sets me apart from others in my category is how involved I am in learning about history. Although it is not required, I am enrolled in AICE US History A Level and US History from 1877 as a dual enrollment class at the University of Florida. I enjoy both courses and would take even more if I could!”


Foreign Language Category

 Sofia Campos

Planned University: University of Central Florida

Major: Industrial Engineering

Career:I want to be an engineer and I would like to get my Masters in Business so I can eventually become a manager of a large company.”

Inspiration: “My parents have both inspired me to be where I am today because they have always pushed me to be my greatest and not let anything set me back in my studies and life goals.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “My biggest accomplishment is managing to stay focused in school no matter what the circumstances were that were happening in my life. I am so proud of myself for graduating top of my class and keeping my grades together.”





Technical/Agricultural/Vocational Category

Quentin Cates

Planned University: University of Central Florida

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Career:I want to be an entrepreneur, but have an engineering degree to fall back on. I think this career is the best combination of my interests, leadership skills, and creativity.”

Inspiration: “The main people who inspire me are my family, my mom in particular. She holds three degrees so far, and is working on a doctorate. My parents got divorced when I was two, so she has found a way to raise a child as a single parent while working as a teacher and paying for college through FSU. She does an incredible job supporting me in my endeavors.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “My biggest accomplishment to set me apart from others in my category is having a wide variety of technical skills. From Microsoft Office to three programs of Autodesk modeling, I have extensive program knowledge that helps me succeed in engineering and design.”


Communications Category

Sydney Chin

Planned University: University of Florida

Major: Aerospace Engineering

Career: “In the future I hope to work on designing rockets for space travel. I’m particularly interested in propulsion and sustainability as well as the role of journalism in communicating these scientific ideas.

Inspirations: “The person who inspires me the most is Mary Jackson, the first black, female engineer at NASA. Her hardwork and dedication has truly opened the door for budding female engineers like myself and I can only hope to be half of the woman she was.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “My greatest achievement in the communications category is being the Editor-in-chief of The Bronco Beat school newspaper. It has been such an amazing experience discovering my voice as a news writer and subsequently helping others find their own voice through writing.”


Mathematics Category

Arunima Deogade

Planned University: University of Florida

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Career: “The career path I want to follow is medicine because I want to give back to our community by treating patients and continuing to use my math and science skills. I would like for my specialty to be pediatrics as I want to treat those that are young. Specializing in pediatrics also gives me a lot of room to specialize in other fields while still being a practicing doctor, like neurology.”

Inspiration: “I know this is a common answer, but my parents have really inspired me to become the person I am today. My parents were born and raised in India, so when they moved to the United States, they experienced difficulty getting used to this country. They overcame this with time, but they still have dealt with many challenges, like job security and health problems. Seeing them overcome everything that they’ve been through inspires me to push myself further.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “I feel like the three years of research on Caenorhabditis Elegans [Roundworm] that I have done, which applies to treating neurodegenerative diseases, will set me apart from the others in my category. I have presented this research at our school and local science fairs, where I won a couple of awards, including the Yale Science and Engineering Association Science Fair Award and 4th Place in Cellular/Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair.”


Music Instrumental Category

Jas Fennell-Hawkins

Major: Music Performance with a minor in Psychology

Career:I would like to follow a career in music therapy. This is because I could combine two things I am most passionate about (music and psychology) and use it to help people.”

Inspiration: “My mom has inspired me to be where I am today because no matter what decisions I make she is always there to support and cheer me on.” 

Biggest Accomplishment: “I believe that my biggest accomplishment that will set me apart from the other candidates in my category is the leadership skills that I have exemplified throughout the course of my high school career.”






Literature Category

Sarah Garfield


Planned University: University of Florida

Major:I plan on studying with a double major in Biology and English to continue uncovering the interconnectedness between literature and science.  Both are fundamentally the same because they aim at understanding the world through creativity and imagination.”

Inspiration: “The obvious answer would be my family and friends because they all carry themselves with kindness and compassion, and I try to follow in their footsteps with those values every day. A literary inspiration would probably be Kurt Vonnegut because of his beautiful works of satire.  He wrote, ‘Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow…,’ which inspires me to keep creating.  Bill Hader and Nick Kroll are cool too because laughter and comedy are needed during breaks.”  

Biggest Accomplishment: “I believe the main accomplishments that set me apart from the other literature Pathfinder candidates are being the creator/editor-in-chief of the Palm Beach Central Review Literary Magazine, having multiple poetry/short story pieces published, and using my literature knowledge in the field of science to publish my own independent research project to the Journal of Emerging Investigators.”  


Science Category

Tejasvi Kari

Planned University: University of Central Florida or University of Florida

Major: “Environmental Science because there are a lot of specific branches within the field, so I’ll be able to explore different career paths.”

Inspiration: “My grandma has inspired me because she is very hardworking. She wanted to learn English, so she read lots of books and practiced speaking it, and now she speaks it really well.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “I got 2nd at Districts in 10th grade and 11th grade and 1st this year. Last year I got 4th at states and 3rd in the International Science Fair hosted by Arizona State University. I’m in the Earth and Environmental category [this year] and my project is on oil spill cleanup.”





Forensics Category

Tristan Krammel

Planned University: University of Central Florida

Major: English

Career: “I want to be a writer. I adore creative writing, but I first plan on seeking a more stable career in the industry. I think being a journalist would be really fruitful and fulfilling for me, and it uses many skills I’ve already been honing for years. The best careers leverage both your passion, ability, and are built atop years of practice.” 

Inspiration: “I feel like I’ve been shaped not by one or even a handful of people, but an unknowable mass of many. Our life is a vast array of interactions. Each interaction, even if seemingly insignificant, may have a massive impact on our life. The conversations and relationships I’ve had with many teachers over many years is what I think to be what most accurately shaped my current passions and what drives my desire to succeed. Even outside of school, there have been figures throughout my life that have taught me things such as gardening or training that have reshaped how I think and have broadened my perspectives. Something about teaching is so intimate that it is bound to have an impact on the student.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “In Speech and Debate, I have won many trophies both this year and in 11th grade. I think my greatest accomplishment yet was placing second place for Oral Interpretation in the December tournament. That’s the highest I’ve scored in Varsity debate yet! I think it’s an accomplishment that I’m still so passionate and excited to continue practicing and perfecting my performance. Each time I sit down (or stand up) to perform, I feel renewed motivation and focus that drives me forward. In order to best fulfill our talents, we have to be excited to better our craft.” 


Drama Category

Amelia Marshall

Planned University: University of Central Florida or Florida Gulf Coast University

Major: “Forensic Science. The topic itself fascinates me. Having the ability to analyze criminal evidence, depict causes of death, and being able to assist in criminal investigation is just absolutely mind blowing. And it captivates my interest. I’m not entirely sure when I actually became interested in the topic, but when I realized it was a major that I could go into I knew right away that it was something I wanted to pursue.” 

Career: “In a perfect world I would love to be a performer for the rest of my life. Performing has just given me an outlet of creativity that I wish I could keep throughout the rest of my life. Being able to take an audience to a completely different world, even if it’s just for a few hours creates a feeling that is indescribable. However, we do not live in this perfect fantasy world, and so I would honestly go into Forensics as a career. It may not give me the same WOW feeling that performing does, but it is still something that I am genuinely interested in, and think is really cool.”

Inspiration: “I think one of the major people who have inspired me is my mom. As corny as that sounds she was the person who introduced me to theater, and kept my interest in it. She supported the productions I was in, and got me excited to perform in high school. It’s something that has been in my life for so long, and has created a huge impact. Another person would have to be my sophomore year history teacher Mrs. Verticchio. I really appreciated her being there to push me to get things done. I would definitely say though that she did a lot more for me then it may seem.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “I think an accomplishment that would set me apart from the others in my category would be the status I hold in our theater district competitions. For the past three years, I have obtained a Critics’ Choice in at least one of my performances. A Critics’ Choice is the highest honor a performer can earn at competition, and it’s only given to one performer in each room. And I just think it’s really cool to have earned it three years in a row, and I know that that’s something not a lot of other performers can say, which is why I believe it sets me apart from others in my category.”


Community Involvement Category

Wendi Masis

Planned University: University of South Florida

Major: Business Management

Career: “I aim to be an Immigration/Family Lawyer. After achieving my bachelor’s degree in Business Management, I plan to attend law school. I feel a connection to this branch on a personal level, and it is an area that I would like to make an impact on and help people in this community.”

Inspiration: “My mom has been my main inspiration to push me to where I am today. I have wanted to be just like her and continue to have a determined mindset even after small successes. She is a very hard worker who doesn’t settle. Alongside her, I have had a few teachers who have inspired me to continue having big goals and aiming for higher than I think I can achieve, who have inspired me by believing in me no matter what.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “My biggest accomplishment is the rank I have achieved. I have earned my AICE Diploma and achieved the class rank of 16. I have also been able to balance being a leader in a few of these organizations and keeping my grades up. I am also a class officer in Student Government, President of Rho Kappa, and Historian of Mu Alpha Theta alongside being a member of National Honor Society and The Dance Marathon Committees. Aside from school work and community service, I am also a part of the cross country and flag football teams at school.”


Academic Excellence Category

Christopher Mears

Planned University: University of Florida or University of South Florida

Major: Biomedical Sciences

Career: Surgeon

Inspiration: “My parents are definitely the most significant inspiration I have. They have always been very supportive and have pushed me to be the best version of myself, whether it be academically or in any other aspect of life.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “While I have not yet graduated high school, I have still managed to obtain an AA degree from Palm Beach State College.” 






Sports Category

Liliana Remillard

Planned University: “Georgia Institute of Technology because they are ranked top 10 in the country for engineering and I would love to pursue a career in STEM. The campus is also beautiful and I could really see myself going there. They also have club diving and dance marathons that I could participate in.” 

Major: Aerospace Engineering

Inspiration: “My dad has been my biggest inspiration since I was little. He is an engineer and growing up I would always be interested in what he was doing. He inspired me to follow his same path and always encouraged me.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “My biggest accomplishment is placing 9th in the state in diving. This was a huge accomplishment for me because when I started diving freshman year, I was not very good and did not even make states, but I worked hard and senior year I was able to accomplish this.”




Musical/Vocal Category

Chayse Rivera

Planned University: Palm Beach State College

Major: Fire Administration

Career: “[I want to go into the] Fire Administration program because I want a stable career to have enough money to fuel my dream to become a singer. My career path is to be on Broadway because I want to be a professional singer. I want to be someone who is able to inspire people with music and is able to really pull out human emotions through my voice.”

Inspiration: Desmond Amofah and Kenneth Rivera

Biggest Accomplishment: “I have been in two theatre productions where I have been a main role with multiple solos. I also earned a superior in the District festival which is the second highest award you can be given.”





Business Category

Rushik Sakamuri


Career Path: “I want to be an economist. I want to conduct research in many different facets of economics and apply my research to problems that I have noticed to be personally affecting the lives of many people. Changing lives while learning about things that truly intrigue me would be my ideal career path.”

Inspiration: “Both my parents have inspired me to be where I am today. Their continuous dedication and support . . . has motivated me to make them proud. They told me to pursue whatever career that I am interested in and not to think about anything else.” 

Biggest Accomplishment: “I believe that my biggest accomplishment that will set me apart from others in my category is my first-hand knowledge of the impact of the financial and economic impacts of cancer and my direct involvement with a business/non-profit organization that helps finance families that have been affected by childhood cancer. I have learned about and used marketing/business techniques that I hope to further develop and use for good causes that hold a place in my heart.”


Computer Engineering Category

Hadika Saqib

Planned University: Florida Atlantic University

Major: Double major in Biological Sciences and Computer Science 

Career: “I want to pursue a career as a Pediatric Dentist. This is because since I was young I was one of the few people that actually enjoyed going to see the dentist and looked up to them. I want to be able to create that same positive experience for kids at the dentist like mine did for me. Although I’ve wanted to become a dentist for a very long time, my interest in computer science has been growing greatly and if I do decide to focus more on computer science, I would love to be a software engineer.”

Inspiration: “I would say my biggest inspiration would be my mom. I am so grateful for her and everything that she has pushed me to do. It was always my mom that would motivate me and the only one that really believed that I could do anything that I set my mind to. If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be even applying to college.”

Biggest Accomplishment: “I think my biggest accomplishment that sets me apart from the other people in my category are my certifications that I have in my area. In computer science/engineering, I have two certifications already received and a third one pending. I received my first one in 7th grade and it is a CIW certification which shows how I am experienced in web design. The other certification is Revit which is an engineering program. I truly believe my certifications and demonstrated success in the area currently expresses my unique dedication to computer science and engineering.”


Art Category

Elizabeth Wenke

Planned University: University of South Florida

Major: Environmental Science with minors in Art and Creative Writing

Career Path:It is my dream to create cool stories that people will enjoy based on the characters I draw.”

Inspiration: “My friends, but specifically my best friend Billie, who pushes me to do my best and step out of my comfort zone. She always inspires me to continue to do what I love no matter what and is one of my biggest supporters when it comes to my art.” 

Biggest Accomplishment:Overcoming my own self-doubt and the feeling that my art is not good enough is one of my biggest accomplishments. I always struggled with recognizing the fact that my art was actually worth something because I was constantly thinking that what I did was never good enough. It took me years to overcome this feeling and finally be able to look at my art and say that I am proud of what I can do.”