Coral Gables High School senior Joseph Villafane has earned more than 1,000 community service hours. Many have come through volunteering at his church where he has worked in the children’s ministry since he was 12. “I have a group of assistant leaders under me,” he said. “They are 13-14 and they work with the younger kids.
I have about 24 of them that work under me.”
He and his assistants plan events such as the annual lock-in and trips to a Vero Beach campground called Life for Youth retreat.
He also volunteers with the Coral Gables Museum where he works as a docent. Last year he co-founded the Museum Project.
“It’s a youth club and is open to high school students,” Villafane said.
The group has expanded, also volunteering in the Greater Miami community.
“We want to make an impact,” he said.
The group is working on a mobile exhibit.
“A lot of kids don’t have the option to go to the Coral Gables Museum. Why don’t we bring the museum to the kids?
That’s one of the projects that I’ve become passionate about.”
They are working on where the mobile museum might go.
“We’re thinking about taking it to schools, or community organizations like Ronald McDonald house,” he said. “The kids are stuck in the house all day.”
At school, he is president of Future Business Leaders Association and is the FBLA district historian/reporter.
He has competed for FBLA in “Introduction to Business Communications” both his freshman and sophomore years and made it to the state level. In his junior year he competed in “Business Calculation” and also made it to state.
Villafane is the treasurer of both Key Club and Student Council, and vice president of the National English Honor Society. He has applied to Columbia, University of Chicago, Williams College and Colby College.
He is looking at political science and economics for a major.
“More than anything I would like to go into the foreign service to become a diplomat,” he said.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld