Who am I? I put my heart and soul into everything I do on the first try in any activities. My parents never held me back in any way whatsoever in any activities that I wanted to do. But, my first obstacle when I was 7 years old is a severe medical condition of eczema which slowed my physical activity whenever I started to sweat, then another obstacle came to light when my teacher noticed a speech impediment and sent me to a speech therapist at age 8. My parents never notice my lisp or stammer. The school staff noticed that I was also failing at every standardized academic assessment each year and it would best for me to receive special attention to help me along the way. This is where they placed me in an (IEP) Individual Education Program to work with a speech therapist each week and to help with my academics.
During my elementary and middle school years, I was devoted to learning new skills. My first inspiration was Michael Jackson. After his death, I was inspired by his dance moves and his on-stage entertainment. I started watching YouTube and tried to mimic his moves each day. My father started to videotape me in my attempt to master Michael Jackson's dancing moves. Then, I saw a Bruce Lee movie and I wanted to be just like him doing Martial Arts, so I took martial arts classes. I was happy watching dance moves from Michael Jackson and becoming Bruce Lee nothing mattered to me even with the struggles I have been facing most of my life. My father videotaped all my activities and I watch it so I can perfect my skill that I enjoyed doing. My father believes that I have a special ability and talent in whatever I set my mind too.
When I got to 8th grade my teachers were still concerned about my academics going into my freshman year in high school. More test was done and the psychologist, teachers, and staff signed off again and classified me with a learning disability in math, reading, and writing. My parents wanted me to go to a school with special education to help me with my learning disability and I wanted to go to a regular high school with my friends. I convinced my parents with the understanding if I did not do well that I would be transferred to the special education high school.
My disability was an underlining struggle through everything I do, but I learned how to overcome and use my strengths in my visual and aural learning style and adapted to the challenge. I wanted to try out for football because some of my friends encourage me to seek out my untapped skills with no experience in playing football. The motivation and drive came when I was required to have a 3.0 GPA to be on the football team. I tried out for the quarterback, wide receiver, free safety and finally settled into Kicking and Punting. I was committed to learning everything about kicking and punting skills. Then, another interest came into my radar it was the high school dance team. No male has ever joined the team, but for the love of dance, I tried out and made the team. Aside from the dance team, I'm a first- degree black belt in Kenpo for the past 12 years, and I play the drums, guitar, bass, and sing with my friends in a pop/rock band "DRAVUS."
I learned to lead and helped the dance team into the regional and state finals. I started to be more confident, creative, motivated and supportive. One of my goals was to start a passion project in the community I am compassionate in helping other young athletes who are inspired to become great kickers and punters. I started a free kicking and punting workshop at https://villarinokicking.com
After my passion project got started I was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as the final Athlete of the Week winner for the 2018 football season. I also received a STEM scholarship in the same year to become a student pilot and to mentor young pilots for the future. I have reached the pinnacle in martial arts as a black belt in Kenpo which is a term for a master in multiple martial arts and finally my love and joy of dance and music and achieved the ability to be a multi-instrumentalist and singer.
My dream is to get a good education and play at the collegiate level and beyond. My plans after high school are to work hard in receiving an athletic or academic scholarship and to major in business, marketing, music or entrepreneurship. I would like to organize and run my own business in the future as well.
My success in athletics, leadership, and community involvement on or off the field was "time management" and "being organized" I focused on hard work, and work ethics to achieve anything I set my mind to. I will continue with my passion project and I'm dedicated to giving back to my community. I have a fighting spirit on taking on challenges of succeeding in my academics taking on my first AP class in my junior year. By excelling in my athletics I will continue to compete every year with the #1 national kicking and punting competition camp in the country, and my dedication and love to my other extracurricular activities in dance and music will continue to expand.
I turned my obstacles into personal drive and passion and when I focus on those goals I rather you know me for my abilities, not my disabilities.
My journey and story at https://joshuavillarino.com