As a student at Coral Gables High, new graduate Mathew Gonzalez was involved in football, wrestling, and track and field.
He played running back for the football team. While he was second string behind one of the country’s top running backs, he did get on the field to play. The Gables team won the district championship and made it to the third round of the playoffs before losing to the eventual state champions.
“We beat Columbus for the first time in seven years,” he said.
In track and field, Gonzalez was a sprinter, running the 100 and 200.
Gonzalez was in the Law Studies academy for his four years at Gables.
“I picked that academy because I want to become a cop,” he said. “I remember as a little kid, there was a shootout in the neighborhood. I’m a curious person and I went outside and they started showing me everything and I always wanted to pursue that.”
Each year the law class had a different focus. This past year it was on civil rights.
“I actually took that class because it teaches you about the laws and your rights,” he said.
“I thought it would be helpful with law enforcement.”
Gonzalez was in the Big Brother/Big Sister program. The program encouraged him to focus on getting good grades and doing well in school. Early on he had a Big Brother and then transitioned from a big brother to a mentor.
“My mentor is a manager of his department,” he said.
He’d work with his mentor on helping set-up audiovisual equipment for conferences or meetings.
“He sets up the room, if they need Power Point, or if they need projectors,” Gonzalez said.
He said working with his mentor helped keep him out of trouble and on a good path.
Gonzalez paid attention, took upper level classes and graduated with an A average.
His goal now is go to the police academy after getting his AA from Miami Dade College.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld