Palmetto’s 2022-2023 Silver Knight Nominees: Abigail Lambert for Journalism and Tong Jing for Mathematics

Mia Shields and Ava Stuzin

JOURNALISM: Abigail Lambert

Miami Palmetto Senior High senior Abigail Lambert’s service project, Project Digit (digit and internet growth in time), aims to educate students about digital literacy. 

“…Digital literacy is someone’s ability to navigate the internet and all technological skills with safety, efficiency and productivity,” Lambert said. 

During COVID-19, Lambert wanted to create a project that would help others navigate a digitally oriented world. 

“…It was a productive use of my time [and] it was just another way to interact with a different part of the student body that I do not normally get to build relationships with,” Lambert said.

Being a part of Girl Scouts, Lambert also wanted to complete her Gold Award — the highest award available to all Girl Scouts — acknowledging one’s dedication and power to improve the world for others.

“Since I was little, I wanted to earn my Gold Award for Girl Scouts. And this project kind of serves two purposes. One, I needed something to do that would not only occupy my time productively but also benefit other people. Plus, I earned my Gold Award for Project Digit. I have always wanted to do something to give back to school,” Lambert said.

Originally, Lambert collaborated with Achieve Miami to help elementary school students use Chromebook applications and complete school online but later reconstructed it to fit high school needs.

“Mrs. Farkas and I noticed a lot of students did not have digital efficiency or skill, so she asked me to help her teach it to the rest of her students…I [have] trained three juniors in the curriculum, and we presented it kind of like a HIP-styled program where we led presentations to a class, ” Lambert said.

Outside of Project Digit, Lambert is an active member of the Pinecrest community. Inside school, Lambert serves as President of Student Council, Editor-In-Chief of the Palm Echo and is a member of the Social Science National Honors Society and National Honor Society. Outside of school, Lambert volunteers as a camp counselor at Camp Jenny and is president of Tutoring for Tomorrow. 

After hearing about Silver Knight from her Advanced Placement English Literature teacher, Ms. Spivak, she became interested in the rigorous process.

“…[Ms. Spivak] said it really helps you grow as a person before you go to college in your professional habits, so I applied more for the experience of going through the process — the interviews and the extensive application) — and to get to know other students in my grade that have similar vicious ambitions that I do,” Lambert said.

After hearing she had been nominated for the Silver Knight Award in Journalism, Lambert was excited.

“I did not expect anything when I applied. I just did it because I thought it was a great opportunity. When I heard that I got the journalism category, it was really exciting because it gives me the space to expand on that part of my life,” Lambert said.

After graduating, Lambert has plans to pass down her project to a group of juniors who she has trained and incorporated into the project.

“I also built a website for [Project Digit] so the curriculum is accessible for anyone who wants to use it, so it is sustainable in that way too,” Lambert said.


Mathematics Silver Knight nominee and Miami Palmetto Senior High School senior Tong Jing created his project, Coding Kingdom, to help tutor students in AP Computer Science A and Computer Science Principles by publishing classic coding problems.

His love for computers began after watching former President Barack Obama deliver a speech his father translated about the need for innovation and computer programming.

“[Obama] gave a speech, and I watched, but I did not know English, right? But I watched and he was saying we need more students to innovate to go and study programming because it is going to be the next big measure. And we have to import all of our students, we need more of our own students going into this, our own Americans to go and work in these computer science professions. So I did not know what he was saying. But my dad told me and I was like, ‘wow, could I like, study coding?’ Like, this is like Obama’s telling me to go to college,” Jing said.

Being born in China and not speaking English as a first language, Jing developed a passion for math as it acted as a universal language.

“I looked at numbers, [and] it is a universal language. In China, we still use the same numbers and the same math. So I was more drawn to math rather than language arts,” Jing said.

Excelling in mathematics, Jing saw a high demand for help needed for his peers struggling in certain math lessons.

“So as a student, in Southwood’s accelerated math and science program, I found older people struggling to understand foundational math concepts. I would always respond to other’s help. And it is great, I started the school’s math club. So in the math club, I would offer free tutoring for all students in all math topics. I had a group of tutors,” Jing said.

In addition to the math club, Jing founded a Discord server — a communication platform —  in his freshman year called Math Palace after he saw people struggling in his pre-calculus class. In this server, he would review previous math lessons and provide one-on-one tutoring. Jing went on to expand on other math topics and even other courses including science and history.

After not placing his main focus on coding in his discord server, it became apparent that his fellow peers and classmates needed help. This led to the creation of Coding Kingdom.

“So around 11th grade I started Coding Kingdom because [a friend had] asked me if I could help her with coding because she said that she was going to take AP Computer Science. And I was like, ‘oh, yeah.’ So I realized that like, academically, we need the coding section [added to the discord], but we were pretty much full with the main four topics. So I founded Coding Kingdom,” Jing said.

MPSH Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles teacher Malena Quintela was an important mentor to Jing, giving him all the opportunities and inspiration to help him help others in Computer Science. 

“Quintela was a big role, she was the one who was my Computer Science teacher and gave me all of these opportunities. [She] was also the one who recommended me to apply for Silver Knight, she [was] like ‘Look, you have these projects, and you are the president of Mu Alpha Theta,’” Jing said.