Mercer Islander wins AJC Max Block Award

Alberto Gonzales - Contributed Photo
Alberto Gonzales
— image credit: Contributed Photo

Mercer Island High school senior Jose Alberto Gonzales has been selected by the American Jewish Committee of Seattle for a Max Block Award. The award honors high school students who advance the principal of justice and equality for all.

Gonzales, who came to Mercer Island High School as a junior, quickly became a leader, according to his counselor, Susan Sutherin. He was tapped as a Bridges (student advisory program) leader, and earned a 3.88 GPA despite a challenging course load.

His work through the schools’ International entrepenuer class brought him into contact with a school in Ghana. He later became the CEO of the class business, Mercer Trade, Inc.

Gonzales was voted a captain of the MIHS football team. He helped Mercer Trade partner with a non-profit, Washington CASH, Community Alliance for Self Help, a Seattle-based organization that provides low-inome entrepenuers with education and funding through micro-finance loans.

“As an immigrant to this country, I have faced many difficulties and challenges that the majority of my peers have never had to deal with,” he said. “However, I have not let these challenges slow me down. I encounter every obstacle with a positive attitude and persistence to overcome it.”

The awards will be presented at an evening reception on May 10 at the Stroum Jewish Community Center.

For tickets and information, go to


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