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At the April 18 Special Presentations, Councilwoman Patricia Fairclough was joined by members of the City of Homestead’s Mayor’s Youth Council, clad in red shirts and khakis. Councilwoman Fairclough, Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Council, was there to celebrate the members of the group, 8th-12th students who reside in the community, to share the experience of their exciting spring break trip. During four days, the group traveled to different social media headquarters and visited the San Jose and San Francisco Youth Commissions, along with enjoying well-known sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
Councilwoman Fairclough introduced Maximo Valdes, the newly elected mayor of the Mayor’s Youth Council for the 2018-2019 school year. After thanking Mayor Porter, the City Council and City staff, Valdes said, “Along with my fellow student council members, I was given the amazing opportunity of traveling to the cities of San Jose and San Francisco. Not only was this an extremely eye-opening trip, it was an empowering trip. As a Council, we have not only learned the power of our voices, but the power behind our actions and influence as the youth of today and the future of tomorrow.”
Valdes added, “I’d like to thank our wonderful committee liaison Patricia Fairclough for her leadership, knowledge and guidance. She’s constantly challenging us and has [held] this position for the last five years and has truly impacted the lives of the youth in Homestead.”
Councilwoman Fairclough said, “These students planned this trip from the beginning to the end by themselves. I charged them with fund-raising for this because where they went it was very costly. I’d also like to [express] gratitude to Anthony Garcia, former mayor of the Youth Council. He really, really led this group into a high fund-raising effort.” She noted this was the most money they’ve raised since she had been the liaison for the group.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors, Councilwoman Fairclough said, “Thanks for investing in these students so they can go on and learn and obtain authentic learning experiences by traveling each year to different places.”
The group handed out certificates of appreciation to: Mayor Jeff Porter, Vice Mayor Stephen Shelley, Councilwoman Jenifer Bailey, Councilman Jon Burgess, Councilman Larry Roth, Councilman Elvis Maldonado, Airboat in Everglades, CenterState Bank, Life Pointe Church: Buy a Tree Change a Life,Code One, This is for the Kids, Inc., Homestead Rodeo and Everglades Preparatory Academy.
The group also thanked the chaperones who accompanied them on the trip: Flor Arzuaga, Randy Chirinos, Selena Meeks and Laura Galvin.
Mayor’s Youth Council members who went on the trip included: Maximo Valdes, 10th Grade, Franklin Feliz, 10th Grade and Samantha Roiz, 9th Grade - Cambridge Center for International Education; Anthony Garcia, Senior - Westminster Prep; Rachel Abreu, 10th Grade, Brianna Chirinos, Senior, and Jeffrey Martinez, Senior - Terra Environmental Research Institute; Adam Latiff, 9th Grade - John A. Ferguson Senior High School and Tyler Cruz, 10th Grade - South Dade Senior High School
Other members of the Mayor’s Youth Council included: Maura Pinder - Coral Reef Senior High School; Sasha Farid, Ashlee Sealy and Renee Sealy - M.A.S.T Academy; Sydney Leifermann - Miami Palmetto Senior High; Stephanie Chibas - S.A.S; and Kayla Montizaan - Miami Arts Charter- Homestead.
About the Mayor’s Youth Council:
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. Members of the Mayor’s Youth Council make a difference are a voice for the greater good of the City of Homestead.
Councilwoman Fairclough invites community members who are interested in supporting the group and its annual trip to contact her at email@example.com or at 305-224-4454.