Cooper City H.S.'s Kimberly Slinkosky named Orange Bowl Beigel-Feis-Hixon Valor Award Scholarship Recipient for 2020
Miami Lakes, Fla. – The Orange Bowl Committee announced that Kimberly Slinkosky, a student-athlete from Cooper City High School, is the third recipient of the Orange Bowl Beigel-Feis-Hixon Valor Award. Slinkosky, who was nominated for the award by her flag football coach, overcame a severe concussion that has left her with post-concussion syndrome. She persevered and went on to earn all-state honors in flag football and all-county honors in soccer, while captaining both teams, excelling academically and performing 1,340 volunteer hours in the community.
This annual award honors Marjory Stoneman Douglas coaches Scott Beigel (cross-country coach and geography teacher), Aaron Feis (assistant football coach and security guard) and Chris Hixon (wrestling coach and athletic director) who lost their lives protecting their colleagues and students in the senseless tragedy that occurred on Feb. 14, 2018 at the Parkland school. The award is designed to salute an outstanding South Florida student-athlete who exhibits valor and courage in the face of adversity, and consists of a $10,000 scholarship.
“The Orange Bowl Committee is proud to announce Kimberly Slinkosky as the third recipient of this significant award, which honors the memory of these courageous and heroic individuals from Stoneman Douglas,” said Orange Bowl Committee President and Chair Jeff E. Rubin. “Kimberly’s ability to persevere on a daily basis, while also being a leader as a student-athlete and a classmate, makes her very well deserving of this scholarship.”
After being cleared by doctors to resume athletic activity, Kimberly returned to soccer and flag football, leading both teams to consecutive titles as the top scorer, MVP and all-star candidate. This spring she was named a Miami Herald scholar-athlete, a finalist for Class 9A-6A female athlete of the year and runner-up for Florida Dairy Farmers’ Miss Soccer.
“Post-concussion syndrome has left me with trace deficiencies,” said Kimberly. “I still get headaches and blurred vision. It is difficult for me to focus or read for extended periods of time, like on standardized tests. Loud noises, flashing lights, and heat can be overwhelming. For a long time, I felt anxious and frustrated because I couldn't do the things that had always come so easily. By constantly pushing myself and keeping in mind that ‘everybody goes through something it’s all about perseverance,’ helped me to become the resilient athlete that I am today. I have no idea what the long-term effects of my injury may be, but I do know that I can accomplish anything if I put in some extra time and effort.
“From this experience it motivated me to play for not just myself,” she continued. “I knew I was given this athletic ability to use it as much as I can no matter the situation. I try to use my talents to the best of my ability, further bettering me as a person and an individual.”
In addition to being a standout athlete, Kimberly is a member of the National Honor Society, the student government treasurer and the CFO of Prevention and Maintenance of Adolescent Anxiety, as well as a member of numerous clubs at Cooper City. She was a participant in the Miss Florida Teen USA Pageant as Miss Cooper City Teen. Kimberly is ranked toward the top of her class with a weighted 5.173 GPA and will attend the University of Florida. Included among her volunteering with a multitude of organizations, is work with children with Autism and Down syndrome.
According to her flag football coach, Al DiLiello, “Not only is Kimberly a remarkable athlete but she is an even better teammate. It is sometimes difficult for young girls to transition to high school. Whether it’s the pressures of fitting in or the different maturity levels of our student-athletes. Kimberly has always made the young players feel comfortable in their own skin as well as part of the team. As our Captain we meet with her frequently to assign responsibilities, discuss strategies and were impressed with Kimberly’s organizational skills as well as her ‘can do’ attitude. Kimberly’s character and determination assures her a successful career in what every industry she chooses.”
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