Yaima Gonzalez, in addition to be a CHCI Scholar, is now our Emerging Leader of the month. Yaima is the daughter of proud parents Martha and Pedro Gonzalez. Yaima was one of the youngest in her graduating class and yet she impacted the world around her in an unimaginable and unforgettable way. She is not only a perfect example of what hardwork, dedication, vision, and focus lead to but also is a source of inspiration for her generation. Yaima is of Cuban descent and currently lives in Tampa, Florida. She spends her time doing things which benefit not only herself but her community.
Yaima graduated from Howard W. Blake High School with honors as the Salutatorian of her graduating class. She was named a Tribune Scholar ranking in the top three percent of the City of Tampa and State of Florida graduates of Class 2006. During her time in High School, Yaima took over seven Advanced Placement Courses in addition to taking extra classes online every summer from freshmen to senior year through Florida Virtual School. Based on her academic accomplishments, Yaima has been honorably recognized by the National Society of High School Scholars, Who’s Who Among High School Students, and the National Honor Roll.
In addition to all of her academic merits, Yaima has also contributed significantly to her home, school, and community. She was involved in various school organizations such as Student Government, The Freshmen Outreach Committee, and The Teacher Appreciation committee where she planned a summer teacher breakfast. She was also the secretary of her junior class and vice president of her senior class. In addition, Yaima was a member of Key Club International where she contributed over 500 hours of community service. She worked with various organizations such as Metropolitan Ministries, Ronald McDonald Charity House, Horses for the Handicapped, Habitat for Humanity, and many more. Yaima was a member of the National Honor Society since her sophomore year and became the secretary of the club where she organized various events such as fundraisers, rush for new members, and the induction ceremonies. Yaima never lost sight of her heritage and roots and thus became a member of the Spanish Honor Society.
Besides her respect and appreciation for scholastics and academics and her dedication to humanitarian issues, music is another critical component which makes Yaima’s life whole. Yaima has developed a talent and passion for singing. She has been a choral member since the first grade. She has experience in singing in over seven languages, including Hebrew, Italian, French, German, and Swahili. Yaima has been in many honor choirs whose attendance is based on an audition and sight reading examination. She has been a part of All County Choir, Festival of Voice at the University of South Florida, and the Chamber Choir. Yaima was part of a nationally recognized choir at Howard W. Blake High School conducted by Melinda Doyle. The Howard W. Blake Choir has toured in the state of Florida, New York City, and Washington D.C. The Choir has received superior ratings at the local, statewide, and national level. The choir has preformed complicated works such as Mozart’s Requiem. In addition to singing on choirs, Yaima also sings at her church and plays the violin.
At the age of fourteen, Yaima was the only high school student to be chosen on a panel by ABC Action News to read the 9/11 Commission Report and discuss it before it became available in stores. Yaima was also a Florida finalist for the United States Youth Senate out of thousands of applicants. All of these experiences were times of great enlightenment and times that she will forever cherish.
In the Fall of 2006, Yaima entered Boston University as a freshman. She will major in political science and philosophy. In her third year at Boston, she will enter under the BA/MA program where she will be working to earn her bachelor of arts and masters simultaneously by graduation. During her years at Boston University, she plans to relocate to Washington D.C. for an internship as a clerk for a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice. After receiving her degrees from Boston University, she plans to apply to Harvard University for Law School. Yaima intends on joining the Peace Corps for two years and opening her own foundation to give back to America’s future. Ultimately, she plans to work as a lawyer and be an advocate of education.
Past Young Leaders of Today
Daniel Hernandez Jr.
Armando Raul Mendez
Higinio Turrubiates, Jr.
Ana Rosa Martinez
Eugenia (Gina) Murillo
Brenda Lizzet Lopez
Elena Carolina Svetlana Arciniega
Rene Octavio Valenzuela
Rosangela Serrano Morales
Isaac Guillermo Lara
Angie Lizeth Cruz