Senior, Christopher Columbus High School
Then in middle school, Christopher Columbus High School senior Daniel Gonzalez created a nonprofit charity with his brother in 2013. The nonprofit, PlayerToPlayer, sends soccer uniforms and equipment to those in need, both locally and abroad. The idea was born when Gonzalez – a player for the school’s varsity soccer team – realized he had many old cleats he’d grown out of laying around the house. Through PlayerToPlayer, he has been able to collect old gear from local schools and teams. They also have a box at the Soccer Locker of Miami where people can donate equipment. He has even partnered with uniform distributors, so that if a jersey is misprinted it can be donated as well. Gonzalez also works with the nonprofit organization Hope for Kasai to send cleats and uniforms to Africa.
With a perfect ACT score of 36, Gonzalez is a finalist for both a National Merit Scholarship and the Morehead-Cain scholarship at UNC Chapel Hill. He is also waiting to hear back from colleges like Stan- ford and Yale.
WHAT HE SAYS
“When you see kids playing soccer barefoot, it puts it into perspective,” says Gonzalez, who was recognized at a City Commission meeting in January for his work at PlayerToPlayer. “That was an experience I never really thought I’d have,” he said. “It really showed me that what I’m doing does matter.” Though most of his donations go abroad, he is currently working with a former soccer coach to bring equipment to kids in Liberty City.