A couple of years ago, Coral Gable High senior Howard Senior traveled to Puerto Rico with his youth group. The 25 teens from First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables worked there for a couple of weeks at a church.
“First of all, we assisted them in running their own summer camp,” he said. “We painted a couple of murals. We did maintenance on the church and painted a couple of walls.”
The trip changed his life.
“The great thing about the trip, it allowed me to be introspective because there were a lot of long car rides,” Senior said.
He saw that the kids in Puerto Rico didn’t have the same prospects he does.
“By being born in the U.S., in Miami, and going to Gables High, I have great opportunities,” he said.
He came home and applied himself to his studies.
In 2014, he traveled to Washington, IL, on a mission trip.
“We thought it would be a good idea to go up there and build swing sets for the families that lost their homes in the tornadoes,” he said.
They conveyed the concept to the community, which thought it was a great idea.
“Our team built 11. We got to deliver them all,” Senior said. “Sometimes the children were there and we got to see how happy they were.”
The program was run by the local Methodist church.
At school, Senior is student government secretary of state. He also is in the National Science Honor Society, a new club for Gables.
“We plan to go the Science Bowl, he said. “We are also going to have teams participate in the Science Fair.”
He is treasurer of National Spanish Honor Society, a board member for the National Honor Society and copy editor for Cavs Connect, the online school paper.
Senior has applied to Northeastern, MIT and Harvard. Also on his list are Boston University, Brandeis, Northwestern, UF, UM, UC Berkley and Babson. He wants to double major in finance and chemistry or physics.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld