Many Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returned from war with physiological and physical injuries. However, others come back home from war encouraged from their experiences to make a difference. Iraq veteran and Miami native, Mathieu DePaula, returned from war inspired to make a difference within his community and create positive opportunities for the youth.
Since his return to civilian life, DePaula is pursing his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine from Miami- Dade College; and his career goal is to work with youth or college athletes. He is the proud first generation American of immigrant parents ( A Cuban Mother and a Dominican Father), His parents inspired him to work hard and achieve his goals.
DePaula currently impacts the community by coaching volleyball to highschool kids from 12-18 years old. He began coaching for the love of the game. Since he began coaching Depaula noticed has noticed a change within the inner city youth through grades. Several of the girls have gotten scholarships and have been accepted into college.
His main goal is to get the girls out of the inner city stigma that they won’t achieve greatness. Many people look at inner city kids as a downgrade but in reality a majority of talents come from the inner city. The girls will continue to participate in tournaments during the Summer until the season starts up again in August.