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Rafael Garcia makes a Splash!

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Rafael Garcia makes a Splash!

Rafael Garcia, 7th grade, was Santa Rosa County’s Student Volunteer of the Year for 2018.

Rafael Garcia, 7th grade, was Santa Rosa County’s Student Volunteer of the Year for 2018.

Rafael Garcia, 7th grade, was Santa Rosa County’s Student Volunteer of the Year for 2018.

Rafael Garcia, 7th grade, was Santa Rosa County’s Student Volunteer of the Year for 2018.

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It is common to wonder what teachers’ lives are like. Well, by volunteering, Rafeal Garcia, 7th grade, gets a little glimpse into their world.

Rafael’s mother is the vice principal of Oriole Beach Elementary School (OBE). When getting out of school each day, Rafael rides the bus to OBE to help any teachers who may just need a little help that afternoon. When doing this, he was noticed by Santa Rosa County and soon became recognized for his kind actions. He was recently named the Santa Rosa County Student Volunteer of the Year.

The best part however, is the fact that Rafael goes to Gulf Breeze Middle School. He is a role model for all students in his school, and GBMS is proud to recognize him for how he has changed the community for the better.

Rafael says, “I started volunteering in the beginning of 6th grade.” Rafael recalled thinking of this idea. He knew many teachers needed help and decided to present this to his mother. “I asked my mom about it, she thought about it and loved the idea.” He normally visits Mrs. Bailey (a kindergarten teacher at OBE) or anyone who needs help that day. It normally takes 40 minutes each day.

He does not have a favorite class to volunteer for, because he usually volunteers in Mrs. Bailey’s class, but he enjoys doing what he does. He likes volunteering for kindergarten the most, because “they are lots of fun.” Helping children who are sad become happy because of his kind actions is the most rewarding part of all.

He goes to Mrs. Bailey’s class every day or is somewhere else where help is needed, so he is “never not volunteering.” He helps needy teachers with “whatever they need help with… It could be finishing a project or just playing with the kids.”

It is outstanding what Rafael is doing, and his actions help shine a light on how much teachers do. It is necessary to recognize them along with the students at GBMS who, like Rafael, go above and beyond to make the community change for the better.

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Rafael Garcia makes a Splash!