LaBelle High School graduate Daniel E. Santiago, Jr. has plans to someday live in a white house –
THE White House
Daniel started his own organization to get young people fired up about government and community-based organizations. Fittingly, it’s called “The LaBelle White House.”
Daniel, a political science major, struggled with a learning disability that clouded his ability to read and spell words correctly.
While in high school, he joined The Able Trust High School High Tech program, which is offered through Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida. HSHT Coordinator Barbara Ramos encouraged him to enter a speech contest for students with disabilities.
He advanced to regional competition and represented the southern region of The Florida Able Trust. Representing both Hendry and Glades counties, he won the contest,
Daniel also had paid summer work experience with the Hendry County Sheriff's Department through the Hendry and Glades' Goodwill High School High Tech Program.
“If I could be in it still, I would. I got to meet kids from all around Florida. I realized I’m not the only one with disabilities, but our disabilities are not going to stop us from achieving our dreams.”