Coral Gables High senior Julian Elortegui work with his friend Mark Braun to collect polo shirts to be distributed to students who can’t afford school uniforms.
“We collected about a thousand,” Elortegui said.
Elortegui and Braun continued a drive that had been going on for three years, since their sophomore year.
“We wash and dry them and put them in a storage room,” Elortegui said. “When a student has financial hardship, they go to an administrator and take some uniforms.”
The polo shirt distribution is done on the honor system. It’s important for students to be dressed in uniform because the uniform policy is enforced.
This year, Elortegui is working to train a few underclassmen so the project continues after he goes to college.
When he is not collecting, Elortegui spends time on the board of several clubs, including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society.
That club hosts an international dinner to raise money for projects such as Flying High for Haiti, which has built two classrooms for Haitian students.
Outside of school, Elortegui and his friend started an Ultimate Frisbee team.
“It’s an intense and demanding sport,” he said. “It focuses on sportsmanship and the spirit of the game. It offers a nice sports alternative because it’s non-contact.”
He has traveled around Florida to be in tournaments. He likes playing Ultimate Frisbee so much he joined the Miami Ultimate Frisbee Team.
“I got the chance to play with high level club players,” he said. “It’s really fun to be playing with your idols.”
He is an athlete, who won a state championship in cross country and earned a national record, but an injury sidelined him and now he plays non-contact sports.
Looking to major in pre-med, he has considered a variety of schools including Pomona, UNC Chapel Hill, Tulane, Cornell, Dartmouth, Tufts, U Chicago, Carlton in Minnesota, U of Michigan, Occidental. Northwestern, Northeastern, Emory, UF and FSU.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld