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Bernie is adorable and hilarious. His energy is through the roof! No wonder why he was his high school's prom king, his university's homecoming king and a dancer for the Matadors (a half time dance troop for the Chicago Bulls). He has a winning personality and uses his weight as his selling point. The name Bernardo is Germanic in origin and is said to mean, "Brave as a Bear". However, Bernie feels that a more appropriate definition for the name Bernardo would have been "Heavy as a Bear". "This way I could attribute my large size to my namesake rather than a lack of motivation or self-esteem on my part," he says. Bernie grew up in a single-parent household but says his childhood was in no way tragic. "My mother instilled in us a tremendous sense of self worth, stressed the importance of education, insisted that we always be kind to people, and would always remind us that only through hard work can you achieve your goals and dreams," says Bernie. He is currently pursuing his Masters degree in Instructional Leadership and five days a week, Bernie teaches English as a second language to parents in Chicago's Little Village Community. "I have never said no to an opportunity and am continuously seeking ways to improve not only my life but also the lives of my loved ones and to those in my community," says Bernie. Even though he is healthy Bernie is worried for his future. "My greatest fear is that my obesity will be the cause of an early death and I will be unable to attain the many goals I have set forth for myself," says Bernie.