“What I enjoy most about being a youth commissioner is the fact that I get the opportunity to help entire communities. I have the opportunity to make a change for the betterment of the community that I grew up in. I enjoy the fact that I get to work hands on with people my age to make our voice, the voice of the youth, heard in our government showing that although we are non-voting members of society, we impact more than anyone else the course of our county’s future.”
“It’s important for young people to become active in their community and make a difference in helping others,” Sosa said. “Cesar Castillo is a bright young man who has become a role model for other students through his leadership, knowledge and civic participation. I’m proud to have Cesar representing the youth of District 6 and look forward to his continued dedication in the years to come.”
Gonzalez and Castillo, along with the 28 other teenagers who make up the Miami-Dade County Youth Commission, were appointed directly by the county commissioners. Teens like Natalia and Cesar may be noticed for their outstanding civil service and leadership qualities and then asked to send in an essay and meet and interview with the commissioners.
The group of 30 young commissioners meets every third Thursday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at the Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department Building located at 275 NW 2nd St. in Miami. Meetings are open to the public and both Natalia and Cesar invite any concerned youth or community member to attend and voice their opinions.
“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders,” Gonzalez said. “Our voices matter!"