Salutatorian to hold off on college for gap year

Francisco Villafranca plans to work in Nigerian orphanage

SAN ANTONIO – While most Business Careers High School Class of 2016 graduates plan to head off to college in a few months, the class salutatorian has other plans.

Francisco Villafranca, who is graduating with a 100.6 grade point average, plans to take a gap year to travel overseas with the nonprofit organization, Student Travel And Exposure South Africa.

"I just decided I want to work with my hands a little bit," Villafranca said. "I want to see what it's like on the other side of the world. So I decided to volunteer in Nigeria."

Villafranca, 18, wants to work with children at an orphanage in Lagos.

"They have large orphanage homes, and it's really sad because a lot of their parents died from HIV or AIDS," Villafranca said. "I just want to go out and help them as best as I can, and especially to see what it's really like over there. You hear all this stuff, but to see with your own eyes, it's really different."


Villafranca said he hopes the once in a lifetime opportunity will help him decide between attending medical or law school.