At the February Special Presentations, Vice Mayor Patricia Fairclough, accompanied by members of the City of Homestead’s Mayor’s Youth Council, noted “We are definitely in great company with so many youth here at our City Hall.” Vice Mayor Fairclough, Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Council, was there to help the members of the group, 8th-12th students who reside in the community and serve as liaison to other community youth, make a special request of the Homestead City Council.
“Last year, [the Mayor’s Youth Council] visited Philadelphia, the ‘Birthplace of Democracy’ [in the U.S.]. This year, we endeavor to go to Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama, to learn about the Civil Rights Movement,” Vice Mayor Fairclough explained, adding the group was there to “…bring forth the ask to bring the trip to fruition.”
Vice Mayor Fairclough introduced Ashlee Sealy, an 11th grader who presented the Youth Council’s request to the City Council. “We believe the exploration of historically significant areas contributes to our obtainment of knowledge,” explained Sealy. “As your leaders of tomorrow, we ask you to do the honor of providing funds for our educational trip to Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama . . . so to you we make our plea to help us achieve a greater understanding of our nation and interact [with] and positively influence the lives of our peers.”
Following introductions of Youth Council members, Vice Mayor Fairclough invited community members who were interested in supporting the group and its annual trip to contact her at email@example.com or at (305) 224-4454.
Mayor’s Youth Council members in attendance at the Special Presentation included: Ashlee Sealy, 11th grade, Medical Academy for Science and Technology (MAST); Nicole Velasquez, 12th grade, South Dade Senior High School; Anthony Garcia, 11th grade, Westminster Christian School; Samantha Roiz, 8th grade, First United Methodist Christian School; Renee Sealy, 10th grade, MAST; Briana Chirinos, 11th grade, Terra Environmental Research Institute; Jeffrey Martinez, 11th grade, Terra Environmental Research Institute; Ivette Ramos, 11th grade, MAST; Rachel Abreu, 9th grade, Terra Environmental Research Institute; Fiorella Puentes, 8th grade, Air Base K-8 Center; and Sasha Farid, 9th grade, MAST.
Other members of the Mayor’s Youth Council who weren't in attendance for the presentation included: Claudia Verdecia, South Dade Senior High School; Rebekah Valle, Everglades Preparatory Academy; Rebekah Abreu, Terra Environmental Research Institute; Stephanie Chibas, Coral Reef Senior High School; Kayla Jannie Montizaan, Miami Arts Charter, Homestead; Sierra Taylor, South Wood Middle; and Maximo Valdes, Center for International Education.
The purpose of the Mayor’s Youth Council is to complement academic studies by increasing the student’s knowledge, voice and communication, and to involve them in practical hands-on experiences to promote volunteerism among both youth and adults in civic education and affairs. The selected students gain great knowledge through participation on local boards and committees. Members of the Mayor’s Youth Council make a difference are a voice for the greater good of the City of Homestead.