Coral Gables High School senior Jose Melendez likes to help others. He mentors youngsters at an after school program at First United Methodist Church in South Miami and he tutors his fellow athletes at Gables.
Melendez goes to the Branches of South Miami two or three times a week.
“Once they’ve finished with their homework, I talk to them. We teach them about different cultures,” he said. “We provide them with recess. We talk to them about God. We’re helping mold these kids into young men.”
He loves working with the kids.
“I’ve created a bond,” he said.
When he had to take a break so he could play football, the kids were quite happy to see him come back.
“I’m very glad to be a part of this,” Melendez said.
“These kids enjoy seeing me and they like being around me.”
At school, he helps his football teammates by tutoring them during study hall. He approached the coach about providing the free tutoring.
“Anyone who needed help could come to me,” he said. “I’m happy that my tutoring services are helping out my team. I’ve been going in three times a week. I help them out in essay writing, in math, science, grammar, ACT, SAT testing — pretty much what they need.”
Melendez is a member of the National Honor Society, English National Honor Society, International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Support Our Sports Club. “We try to promote any sports going on,” he said.
“We’ve been making advertisements for sports, recently basketball.”
Melendez was an offensive back and played on special teams this year. Gables had a strong year, winning the district championship.
“We brought the spirit back to Gables,” Melendez said.
Next year, he plans to attend a state university to study communications/journalism. He was accepted to UCF, FSU, FIU, Santa Fe and Tulane.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld