Miami Palmetto High School senior Ruben Behar is looking forward to a stellar year. After being the Vice President of his class for two years, this year he was elected Senior Class President.
“I want to bring school spirit to an all-time high,” he says. “I want to get as many students in the senior class to be as involved as possible. Along with my cabinet, we are going to make this year fun and memorable for everyone to enjoy every moment of our last year together.”
Ruben is a three-year letterman on the varsity lacrosse team and expects a strong season this spring.
“If any season is going to be a winning season, I think it’s going to be this year,” he says.
At the same time, Behar is committed to working with two of his friends on their community service project, Clean Aqua. He is the vice president of graphic design, creating flyers and designing merchandise.
“It is important to get our message out and promote our merchandise to raise funds which allows us to run our events and community clean ups,” he says.
Clean Aqua has hosted six or seven events, including one that brought numerous beach clean-up groups together for a massive event at Matheson Hammock. Helping the environment is important to him.
“I grew up as a boater, cleaning up the ocean and waterways,” he says. “Every time I see trash, it breaks my heart.”
He enjoys the camaraderie at the Clean Aqua events.
“It’s nice to see that people care and want to show up and participate in these events,” he says.
Behar is also involved in community service as part of JServe, a group affiliated with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. They plan a Day of Service.
For the most recent Day of Service, one group worked to plant and weed the Helping the Hood Garden.
“They grow fruits and vegetables for people that have limited access to nutritious food or live in food deserts,” he says.
Behar is a member of the Temple Beth Am Social Justice Teen Fellowship Committee.
“We’ve been tackling a lot of different social injustices in the world and connecting them to Jewish values,” he says.
Some of the issues covered include unfair housing regulations, and gun violence in the schools.
Committee members spent a week in Guatemala where they worked on building a science wing at a local school using sustainable materials such as old water bottles and tires.
He is the vice president of fundraising for the BBYO local chapter and has been named the Miami Region Vice President of fundraising.
At Palmetto, he is a member of the National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society, the Social Studies National Honor Society, the PAWS Club and the Finance Club. Last spring, he won the Junior of the Year award from the Capstone Forensic Investigative Academy.
This summer he did an internship at City National Bank in Coral Gables in the private wealth management area.
He was also selected, from nearly 5,000 applicants to an intensive weeklong program at USC in Los Angles hosted by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Youth Leadership Institute.
“The Hispanic Scholarship Fund program gave us a lot of insight and guidance for the college application process and beyond,” he says. “It was a lot about setting yourself up for success in the future.”
His college list includes the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Michigan, Tulane, UPenn, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Duke, and Vanderbilt. He plans to major in Business.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld
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