“As a USchool student, I have learned how to effectively balance extracurricular activities, academics, and my well-being.”
Senior Sivan Ben-David is an NSU University School (USchool) "lifer" who began her educational journey as a Shark in junior kindergarten. In the past 14 years, Ben-David has proven herself to be a stellar student and individual, embodying USchool's mission of inclusivity and personalized excellence in academics, extracurriculars, and service. Her strong work ethic, instilled by her family at a young age, has led her to numerous impressive achievements, such as being named co-valedictorian for the Class of 2020.
Ben-David has been highly involved in various academic and extracurricular activities throughout her time at USchool. She currently serves as co-captain of the varsity Speech and Debate Team and special events coordinator for the World in Distress Club, which collects items and raises money for people in need both locally and internationally. Ben-David is actively involved in the International Thespian Society as the senior representative of District 13 and in USchool's Theater program, appearing in various roles over the years in both school musicals and plays. She is a member of the National English Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society, and Social Studies Honor Society. Additionally, Ben-David is a member of the Vegan Club and dedicates her time to helping Middle School students succeed in various subject areas as a Shark Peer Tutor.
As board member of the Writing Fellow Leadership Team, Ben-David conducted research and collaborated with Nova Southeastern University professors and students, as well as USchool's English Department, to draft and complete an original research paper, alongside her team members, on the important connection between reading and writing. Titled "Drafting your Da Vinci: How the Lost Art of Annotation is the Key to Improving Analysis," the research was presented in a 75-minute panel discussion at the International Writing Center Association's annual conference in the fall of 2019. Showcasing her talent as a writer, Ben-David has been published twice in our Literary Magazine for her poems titled "The Abyss Within the Soul" and "Untitled."
Finding ways to use her passions and gifts to make an impact in the lives of others, Ben-David runs an after-school theater program, called STAGES (Special Theater Group for Every Student), designed for young adults with developmental disabilities who share a love and appreciation of the arts. For the past three years, members have been coming together every Thursday to sing, dance, and perform in an inclusive environment.
"Getting to watch them share their passions every week is something I am so grateful for," Ben-David said. "It is the most rewarding and wonderful thing in my life."
Acknowledging her ambition and willingness to help others, Ben-David was recently named a nominee for the Miami Herald Silver Knight Award – one of the nation's most highly regarded student award programs.
"As a USchool student, I have learned how to effectively balance extracurricular activities, academics, and my well-being," Ben-David said. "I truly feel that I am prepared to handle the plethora of overlapping obstacles life may throw my way going forward."
Of all her accomplishments thus far, Ben-David is most proud of being among the top two percent of National Speech and Debate Association members nationwide to receive the Academic All American Award. This distinction is presented to high school students who have earned the degree of Superior Distinction, demonstrated outstanding character and leadership, completed at least five semesters of high school, and earned a GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.
Following graduation from USchool, Ben-David will set off to pursue a degree from University of Virginia's College of Arts and Sciences as a prestigious Echols Scholar, an honor only given to roughly five percent of the incoming class. Upon obtaining her graduate degree, Ben-David envisions herself moving to Washington D.C. where she hopes to work as an exhibit curator for the Smithsonian Museum of American History, using her passion for examining our country's past triumphs and mistakes to create a better future.
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