St. Brendan High School sophomore Caterina Villavicencio was recognized on Nov. 5 by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez as the recipient of the Mayor’s Shining Scholars’ The Unstoppable Scholar Award which recognizes students’ who have displayed extraordinary perseverance in moving forward in their academic career.
Villavicencio was November’s winner for Commissioner Javier Souto’s District 10.
In 2010, following in her teacher mom’s footsteps, she founded a book bag drive. Every summer she seeks help from friends and family to purchase school supplies for those less fortunate.
“My mom used to work at a school where students would come to school every day without book bags and supplies, and I knew I wanted to help them so they could succeed.”
Last year her donation surpassed 100 book bags filled with supplies. She also has sponsored a toy drive in Homestead and collected 130 gifts to distribute at various locations throughout the community.
Villavicencio was accepted recently into the Law and Global Business Academy at her school, which requires a minimum 3.5 GPAand character references from teachers.
This academy will offer her not only the opportunity to participate in her area of interest — the judicial system — by interning with attorneys or judges, but also help her build her business structure into her community service efforts. This coming summer she will intern at a law office to gain valuable knowledge and real world experience.