BK News

Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Drive

Afghan Drive 

It was more than just a collection.  

Last week, students came together under the leadership of student Rose Montana ‘22 to collect items for the Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) initiative through Catholic Charities. The initiative opened on Sept. 1, 2021, and will run through March 31, 2022, to ensure the safety of those fleeing Afghanistan. Catholic Charities is expecting to resettle 150 Afghan parolees in our community during this period and plans to add an additional 150 refugees in 2022.  

Bishop Kenny students donated a variety of items including bathroom supplies, beddings, rugs, lamps, kitchen utensils, dishware, pots, pans, cleaning supplies, and more. Enough items were collected to fill two SUVs and a school bus! Special thanks to Rose Montana for organizing the drive and to all those who stepped up to help make it an incredible success. We continue to pray for those in and fleeing from Afghanistan.  

October Student of the Month:  Paul Barakat

Congratulations to Senior Paul Barakat, Bishop Kenny’s October Student of the Month. Paul was selected for Most School Spirit. He prides himself in going to most athletic events on campus and enthusiastically helps lead the rowdy BK student section at any event you might find him. Paul says, “I love Kenny sports! Having a great fan base is like having a 12th person on the football field or a 7th person on the volleyball court.” 

Paul takes the enthusiasm he brings to sporting events to every aspect of his life. In his words, “I believe you have to give everything in life 100%. You can’t give it 50%. You’ve got to go all out!”  

Paul has been a member of the Wrestling team since his freshman year, and he pushes himself and his teammates to be their best each day. He is also a member of the Diversity Student Union. Paul puts his faith into action by volunteering at his home parish, St. Maron Maronite Catholic Church, and the Lebanese Red Cross. Paul would like to attend Florida State University and study Mechanical Engineering.

National Merit Semi-Finalist:  Natalie Otero

National Merit Competition  
Bishop Kenny High School is proud to announce that Natalie Otero, Class of 2022, has been named a National Merit Semifinalist in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  The 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program finalists will be confirmed in February in 2022. 
Natalie maintains a rigorous academic schedule with a 4.5 GPA.  She is actively involved in the greater Jacksonville community and has accumulated an incredible 718 service hours.  Natalie is involved in many extracurricular activities at BK as a member of the science, Spanish, history, and FCCLA clubs, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the National Merit, Rho Kappa, and Math Honor Societies. She serves in leadership positions for the National Honor and National English Honor Societies. Natalie is also a captain of the Cross-Country team, the senior head of morning announcements. and a Girls State Member of House of Representatives.   
Natalie says, “As a child, I grew up hearing stories about how my grandparents came to the United States from Cuba with nothing, not even speaking the language. The fact that my family found success through their determination and hard work has always been an inspiration to me. I want to make my family proud not only in my achievements but also in how I achieve - through my hard work, just like my family before me.”  Natalie would like to attend the University of Florida and major in biology with plans to pursue a higher degree in the medical field. 
Congratulations are also extended to seniors John Cratem, Megan Cunningham, Sinan Khudhur, Jordan Rill, and Ria Saldajeno, who were also recognized as Commended Students in the National Merit Program. This distinction was also based on their outstanding PSAT scores.