Growing up, Camilo Bacca was used to diversity in the schools he attended. So his move to Colombia was a shock.
“It was so much more homogenous — one culture, one way. It was shattering,” he says, adding that he hated it and came back to Florida to live with his grandparents in Weston. He took courses online through Florida Virtual School. “It was me and the dog all day.
It seems like a teenager’s best dream but it was boring,” he said. “When you have no choice but to homeschool, it becomes more of a prison sentence.”
He moved to Miami and ended up at Coral Gables High, which he said was the best choice for him. Since returning to the school environment,
Bacca has been happy. He is president of the Gay Straight Alliance, which he revived with another student.
“We thought the school needed it. I want to feel safe and I want everyone else to feel safe,” he said. “That’s been one of my gifts to the school.”
He is vice president of the creative writing club and historian of the English Honor Society as well as the photography editor for the online publication, Cavs Connect.
Bacca is an officer in the drama club and troupe. He has performed in the drama competitions in a variety of categories, including monologue, pantomime and duet acting. He qualified for state.
He is a part of the program called Project Leap, which has classes for lesbian, gay and trans youth. Bacca’s been with them two or three years.
He has taken a dance club and taken creative writing through the program.
For community service, Bacca volunteered at Urban Promise, an organization that provides underprivileged children with school care.
He is considering a dual major in college — English and psychology, and minor in sociology or gender studies. Potential schools include Boston University, NYU, Columbia, Tufts, Harvard, University of Chicago, Northwestern, Northeastern and Brown.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld