Palmetto High School senior Myrel Iturrey is getting a glimpse of what participating in government is like. Iturrey is a member of Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner’s Youth Advisory Council.
“We serve as the teen voice on municipal legislation,” Iturrey says. “We meet 10 months out of the year. We discuss what’s going on with recent Pinecrest legislation. Mayor Lerner’s been trying to push a dog park and she asked us what we thought, and we’re in favor of it.”
Iturrey says being on the advisory board makes her realize how much Pinecrest does for its citizens.
“There’s always a community event,” she says. “There’s a conscious effort to stay green.”
The group coordinated last year’s the Earth Day festival.
“It was a Sunday and it was a day we spent at Pinecrest Gardens where vendors came and sold organic products,” she says. “We had music. It was just a great way to get the community together.”
Iturrey was recommended for a seat on the youth advisory board by a counselor at Palmetto High School. She is one of 20 students on the board. Students from seventh to 12th grade are eligible.
Iturrey is familiar with how student government works, having been on the Palmetto Student Council throughout her high school career. She’s now secretary for the senior class. As secretary, her job is to let her fellow students know about senior class activities and the fees involved in participating in those activities, and she assists the other senior class officers in coordinating the events.
Iturrey is also vice president for service of the National Honor Society.
“Along with the other officers, we plan the community service,” she says. “Each month we have a meeting. Each service project pertains to that month. In October, we made Halloween bags for Miami children’s hospital.”
In November, NHS will organize a Thanksgiving basket drive. Iturrey is also vice president of fundraising for the Television Production Class and she produced the Mr. Panther fundraiser.
“It’s a male pageant,” she says. “We try to find a male student who best embodies the school’s values. It’s been Palmetto’s only sold-out event six years in a row.”
There is a grade point average requirement to be Mr. Panther. The winner acts as an official greeter when dignitaries come to the school. The Mr. Panther contest includes an opening video and sponsorship commercials. This year 42 students tried out.
Iturrey is also the public relations officer for Key Club. She’s been a member of the community service club since she was a freshman and also served as the freshman representative.
She is active in Mu Alpha Theta, the English National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society and the Social Science National Honor Society.
Athletics is also part of Iturrey’s high school experience. She plays mixed doubles on the badminton team that won the GMAC last year. She’s considering playing singles this year as well.
This summer, Iturrey worked as an intern in the Marco Rubio campaign and she was a summer intern with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
“We investigated the role neuro transmitters play in the locomotion of spinal-cord injured rats,” she says. “I’ve always had an interest in the sciences. I’m not sure what I want to study, but medicine is in the range of possibility. I wanted to get a feel for that area. The best way to do it was to get a hands-on internship.”
Politics is also in the range of possibilities for Iturrey’s future.