Rafael Gonzalez graduated from Coral Gables High in the top one percent of his class. Now he is preparing for his next big thing — college.
Gonzalez will attend The Citadel Military College of South Carolina.
“I wanted to do something military for a while,” he said. “I’m going to go in wanting the military experience, get it and see if it’s for me.”
He’ is taking mechanical engineering so if he doesn’t enter the military, he’ll seek an engineering job.
Gonzalez earned a full scholarship to The Citadel. He applied for West Point but was waitlisted because of a paperwork glitch. At The Citadel,
Gonzalez can take ROTC from any of the military branches.
While at Gables, Gonzalez created a community service project to tutor middle school students in computer science.
“We helped them in HTML coding,” he said. “To see if they have an interest in computer science. The point was more to teach them beginner ideas in computer science. It’s pretty important to teach them young. Computer science is going to be fundamental to everyone.”
Gonzalez said the middle school students liked learning about computers.
At school he was a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society. As a math whiz, he participated in math competitions and helped tutor fellow students. He also was a member of the National Honor Society.
Gonzalez was on the school bowling team for three years.
“A friend of mine started the team my sophomore year. I’m co-captain,” he said. “This year we were runner-up to go to the state competition.”
They placed third in the District Championships and third at the GMAC’s.
He was in the Speech and Debate Club, this year as the coaching coordinator.
“I taught my style of competition to the competitors,” he said. “We did well. I do a debate called Lincoln Douglas where we debate philosophical issues.”
For fun, Gonzalez plays competitive Ultimate Frisbee.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld