Palmetto High School junior Bernardo Kleiman is a master organizer. He was looking to do a community service project that would raise money for the Child Fund while also doing an event related to his passion: cars.
So, he approached the Village of Pinecrest about the possibility of organizing Pinecrest’s first car show. He received a positive response and the show took place April 23 at the annex parking at Suniland Park. It featured mostly antique cars and rare cars, including a 1933 Chevrolet.
“We expected about 500 people but we had a turnout of about 2000,” Kleiman says.
The event was sponsored by Williamson Cadillac and Shula Burgers.
The car show’s success was fueled by Kleiman’s drive.
“I contacted people with antique and rare cars,” he says. “I drove around Pinecrest and looked around. I knocked on doors and gave them the flyers.”
He also perused antique car websites and contacted anyone he found in the Pinecrest area.
“I contacted people and interacted with all kinds of interesting people,” he says. “I thought it would improve my ability to deal with people. I want to go into business one day.”
The show had 56 registered cars but more than 100 in total. Of those, 47 were antique and the rest were rare or new. Featured in the show were not only the 1933 Chevrolet but three cars out of the Mad Max movie.
“We had people come with their cars that weren’t registered,” he says.
His goal is to become an investment banker. And since his passion is cars, he wants to invest in cars, sell them and get new cars.
Kleiman personally likes modern cars and because the turnout was so good, he’s proposing another Pinecrest car show in the fall.
This time he wants to raise $5,000 from the show to donate to Child Fund.
“My goal is to have the car show be four times bigger,” he says.
His target date is November 9.
At Palmetto, he’s the vice president of the Pinecrest Bridge to English Program.
“We tutor ESOL kids every Tuesday after school for an hour-and-a-half,” he says.
The children are tutored in Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.
“This year we had 40 students and 15 tutors,” he says.
Kleiman speaks English and Spanish but is in the process of learning Mandarin.
“In order to communicate with the Chinese, and do business in China, the right approach is to learn Chinese and speak to them in their own language.”
He’s a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, the Social Science Honor Society and the History Bowl.
“I’m a big history geek,” he says.
He’s a member of the new Palmetto Vex Robotics Club.
“We’re learning to code in order to create the robots,” he says.
The next step is to build robots for competitions.
He plays for the Coral Estate Strikers Travel Soccer Team, which is ranked second in the nation. He’s played soccer since he was three.
This year played badminton singles for the Palmetto team. It was his first year playing the sport.
This summer, he’s participating in a business entrepreneurship program at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Previously he attended summer leadership programs in New Mexico and Vancouver at the UWC International School.
Kleiman is building his college list. It currently includes Dartmouth, UC Berkley, and Babson College in Boston.
His life goal is to become an investment banker, and since his passion is cars, he wants to invest in cars and build a collection.