Shorecrest senior Brenna Dukes '21 was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy Scholar Citizens Award by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. The purpose of the award is to honor high school students from throughout Pinellas County for embodying the values and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through their commitment to community service, volunteerism, social justice and civil rights.
Brenna was nominated by Diego Duran-Medina, Shorecrest’s Director of Service Learning. “Brenna is a great model for what it means to practice social responsibility,” said Mr. Duran-Medina. “I have had the pleasure of working with her both inside and outside the classroom, and her passion for helping others and advocating for justice is truly remarkable. It is wonderful to see her recognized for her hard work and service.”
Brenna is a member of Shorecrest’s Global Scholars Initiative (GSI)
, which allows students to focus on international studies during their high school years. GSI is a point of distinction within the curriculum as students are competitively selected for this enhanced learning option. GSI members’ coursework is elevated by additional study in foreign language and social studies along with a capstone project presented at the conclusion of their senior year. Students who successfully complete GSI requirements earn a special endorsement on their diplomas attesting to their work. Through GSI and her eighth grade Passion Project, Brenna arranged for speakers from Selah Freedom
(a leader in human trafficking awareness) to present at Shorecrest.
Passionate about civil rights and political activism, Brenna has organized voter registration
drives on the Shorecrest campus and led a student group for National School Walkout to protest for gun reform. She participated in the Climate Change Rally
at City Hall and has championed the adoption of reusable water bottles in the Experiential and Lower Schools through her work in the Shorecrest Environmental Club. She is also a member of SPARC
and Thespian Troupe 3140.
Beyond the Shorecrest campus, Brenna was appointed to the Pinellas Youth Advisory Committee of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. Through this committee she earned a merit-based scholarship towards a mock legislature camp in Tallahassee. During the 2019-2020 school year, Brenna was selected for Youth Leadership Pinellas
, designed to educate high school teens on community resources and issues, develop excellence in leadership, build teamwork skills, and foster involvement in community services. Her humanitarian efforts were recognized by the St. Petersburg community in 2020 when she was named an Anne Frank Humanitarian Award Winner by The Florida Holocaust Museum
The University of South Florida will celebrate recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy Award during a virtual award ceremony on Thursday, January 21.