City of Doral Youth Advisory Board: Taking action for the city they call home.

City of Doral news

Para leer en Español

By: Maria Alejandra Pulgar

Back in December 2012, fresh out of the elections process, Councilwoman Christi Fraga envisioned the creation of a Youth Advisory Board for the City of Doral, and defined it as “a group of youth in the community that want to make a difference because this is their future, this is their home”. She looked forward to start preparing a new generation of leaders for the city with young people that understand government and care enough to give their time and effort to public service. The results of the initiative exceed all expectations.

The City of Doral Youth Advisory Board was created through the unanimous approval of the Council of Ordinance #2013-02 during the Council Meeting of February 13, 2013. After that, a nomination and application process was opened and concluded last May with the appointment of Frank Lam, Eduardo Torres, Emily Bello-Pardo, Jessica Agudelo, Gian Andres Boria, Sebastian Aranguibel and Genesis Vasquez, who were selected to serve the community through this committee.

It is really impressive to see these young adults in action, following parliamentary procedures, organizing their activities and providing progress reports on the assigned tasks. All of them are proficient in at least two languages, have over the top GPAs and have impressive resumes that include business ventures, honorary societies, participation in clubs and organizations and  countless hours of voluntary work, as well as recognitions from elected officials and their high schools or colleges.

These extraordinary young citizens shared their reflections on the changes they have seen in the city since moving here and their views, hopes and projects for the future of the city they call home and proudly serve.

Frank Lam: “I would like to see more community involvement”

A bright student, with truly impressive credentials and plenty of recognitions throughout his academic years, Frank Lam looks forward to pursue a degree in Business. He moved to Doral in 2006 and since the beginning liked the many activities and events that the city offered where “people can go and actually enjoy in the community”.

The main changes that have impressed Frank in these years have been the improvement of the parks and the appearance of “more businesses and more privately owned enterprises; the city has grown financially and has expanded infrastructure.”

His main wish for the future of Doral is to see “the city to grow more to be an urban city than a suburb. I love Doral! I would like to have citywide events where the community gets more involved.”

“As a student, as a resident and as a member of the board I am able to actually live firsthand the impact your work can have, I am able to see what myself and other students like me are looking to do, to improve the quality of life. Being involved I am able to see the results and I can bring that back. Considering I am applying to a big university if I am able to come back and start my own business here in Doral that would be great.”

“I would like to see the city continue to grow. I would like to see the overcrowding of the schools solved, see a new school being built, dedicated to the arts. And I would like to see more community involvement.”

Eduardo Torres: “The city is developing the right way”

Eduardo Torres serves as Chair of the Youth Advisory Board. His command of parliamentary procedures is remarkable. He has plenty of experience, as he is the President of the Future Business Leaders of America club at Ronald Reagan Doral Senior High School.

He has been living in Doral since 2002 and in his opinion the city “has changed magnificently. It is very impressive how a small community grew so large. I wouldn’t change anything and I think the city is developing the right way.” 

What he likes best about Doral is “the way the whole city is connected. It is very community oriented. I envision Doral as one of the greatest locations everybody knows about”.

Through his service on the YAB, Eduardo looks forward to “connecting the city’s youth. Create more events and more involvement, having that perspective for the youth.”

Gian Andres Boria: “I am expecting it to be one of the greatest cities”

GIan Andres Boria moved to Doral at 4 years old and the main change that has impressed him about Doral is the increase on businesses, schools and the amount of immigrants from so many different countries. “It is growing everywhere and it keeps on growing. I am expecting it to be one of the greatest cities in the world.”

Although he likes very much the parks and schools, he expects that more schools are built very soon and that streets are improved and become safer for pedestrians and cyclist. “I would like we have another high school so it is not overcrowded.”

Emily Bello-Pardo: “Open doors towards all immigrants”

At such a young age Emily Bello-Pardo has accomplished more than many older people and has received well deserved recognitions, including the “Doralian Women Youth Leader” award in March. She is the oldest member of the YAB and currently is working on her Master’s degree at FIU.

A seasoned spoke person for several organizations and having been interviewed countless times, Emily makes a point on expressing that these are her “own personal positions, and do not necessarily reflect the ones of what the board stands for. We are the YAB but are separate individuals that get together to talk about the issues of the city and try to contribute to the city in different ways. It is an important aspect to clarify. My opinions do not reflect those of the board.”

She moved to Doral in 2007 and thinks the growing process of Doral has been very interesting and hopes it continues to be that way to allow prosperity to keep coming to the city. “We are going to make it a successful city. What I like best about the city of Doral is the people, the potential for so many different things that the people in this great city have. Not only we have the best immigrants from so many different countries, but I think the best assets of the city are all the skills people bring with them to make the city of Doral grow. “

Her vision for Doral is that “the city keeps improving itself and it keeps having open doors towards all immigrants in Latin America being able to bring them here and give them opportunities.”

Definitely Emily’s greatest contribution to the YAB is her broad expertise on organizing activities to encourage the participation of the community on issues that are important and that have high impact. “I would like to be able to contribute to the city using the experience that I have in so many different aspects. Whether it is my college experience, my community experience, my non-profit organization experience.”

Jessica Agudelo: “It is a very family oriented city”

Jessica Agudelo is no stranger to community involvement and activism. Although she moved to Doral 3 years ago, she is very impressed on the growth of businesses in Doral: “I have seen a lot more of small businesses that continue to pop up every single day.”

“I like this is a family city. We have parks for the families; it is a very family oriented city. There is not much that I would change.”

“Through the YAB I want to inspire others to take on leadership positions. As long as I can inspire someone to be better and to try something new that means the world to me. I want to make sure everyone knows that they have potential and they can use it and anything is possible. In ten more years I would like see Doral annexing more lands, more space so we can have more parks, more residencies, and more schools; more things for families to enjoy.”

Sebastian Aranguibel: “I want the city to be fun and enjoyable”

An excellent student and musician, very respectful and proper, Sebastian has represented RRDSH with the Debate Club in many competitions. He moved to Doral 4 years ago and likes of the city that “it is very clean, very neat, and very peaceful.  You can enjoy the city, ride your bike and go anywhere. I don’t even drive; I ride my bike and go to most places.”

Traffic safety and cultural development are the main issues that Sebastian would like to see addressed in the city: “I guess the city is organized in a way that sometimes creates a lot of traffic. Maybe we could change planning in a way people can get some other routes, and find a way that is not always everyone taking the same roads while others roads are empty.”

Through YAB Sebastian wants to increase the promotion of cultural events:” I want to have things like concerts in the city, cultural events, and art exhibitions. I want the city to be fun and enjoyable. The city is fantastic! There haven’t been that many events where all young people of the city can come together to enjoy themselves. Mostly when young people want to have fun they go outside of Doral.”

“I want Doral to be a place where they can stay where they can have fun instead of going to Miami Beach. I want there to be things for them to do here in Doral.”


It is the involvement and participation of young people like the Youth Advisory Board members what will set the example and spark the interest of the community to serve with their time and talents for the betterment of the city we all call home. It takes a village to raise a child and it looks like that the Doral community has made a great job providing a nurturing environment for the talents of these young adults to thrive. The active participation of the community in the future will make their projects and vision for the city of Doral come to fulfillment. 

—————– En Español —————-


Comité Juvenil de la Ciudad de Doral

Tomando acciones para hacer una diferencia


Youth Advisory board City of Doral newsPor: María Alejandra Pulgar

La Concejal Christi Fraga impulsó la creación del Comité Juvenil de Doral como un grupo de jóvenes de la comunidad que “quieren hacer una diferencia en la ciudad que constituye su futuro y su hogar”. El mayor deseo de Fraga es preparar una nueva generación de líderes, que conozcan y comprendan los procesos de gobierno y que tengan  la conciencia de la necesidad de trabajar activamente por la comunidad. Los resultados de esta iniciativa han excedido cualquier expectativa.

El Comité Juvenil de Doral (YAB por sus siglas en inglés), fue creado durante la reunión del Concejo en Febrero 2013 a través de la Ordenanza #2013-02. El proceso de nominaciones tuvo lugar en Mayo y concluyó con el nombramiento de Frank Lam, Eduardo Torres, Emily Bello-Pardo, Jessica Agudelo, Gian Andres Boria, Sebastian Aranguibel y Genesis Vasquez como miembros del comité.

Estos extraordinarios jóvenes ciudadanos compartieron sus reflexiones sobre la evolución que han visto en la ciudad desde que se mudaron aquí y también sus deseos y proyectos para el futuro de la ciudad que constituye su hogar.

Frank Lam: “Quiero ver mayor participación de la comunidad”

Residente de Doral desde 2006, los cambios principales que han impresionado a Frank en los últimos años han sido las mejoras en los parques y la aparición de “muchos nuevos negocios y firmas privadas. La ciudad ha crecido financieramente y expandido su infraestructura”.

Su principal deseo es “ver la ciudad crecer como centro urbano. Quiero que haya eventos donde la comunidad pueda participar. Como estudiante, residente y miembro de este comité puedo experimentar de primera mano el impacto de trabajar por la ciudad. Al involucrarme en los procesos puedo ver los resultados directamente”.

“Deseo que la ciudad siga creciendo. Que se resuelva la sobrepoblación en las escuelas. Quiero que se construya una escuela nueva, que esté enfocada en las artes, pero sobre todo quiero ver mayor participación de la comunidad”.

Eduardo Torres: “La ciudad se está desarrollando adecuadamente”.

Eduardo Torres es el Presidente del Comité. Ha vivido en Doral desde 2002 y en su opinión “la evolución de la ciudad ha sido magnífica. No cambiaría nada, pienso que la ciudad se está desarrollado adecuadamente.”

Lo que más le gusta de Doral es “como todo esta interconectado, orientado a desarrollar la comunidad. Mi visión para Doral es que se convierta en una localidad de referencia para todo el mundo.”

A través de su participación en el YAB, Eduardo espera “involucrar más a la juventud de la ciudad. Crear eventos que estimulen la participación y poner la perspectiva de la juventud en las actividades.”

Gian Andres Boria: “Quiero que sea una de las ciudades más importantes”

Gian Andres Boria vive en Doral desde los 4 años de edad. El cambio en Doral que más le ha impresionado es el incremento de los negocios, de las escuelas y sobre todo la gran cantidad de inmigrantes de tantos países que han llegado a través de los años. “Hay crecimiento por todas partes, es un crecimiento continuo. Yo quiero que Doral sea una de las ciudades más importantes del mundo.”

Su parte favorita son los parques y escuelas, sin embargo espera que se construyan más escuelas pronto y que se mejoren las calles para hacerlas más seguras y transitables para peatones y ciclistas.

Emily Bello-Pardo: “Las puertas abiertas para todos los inmigrantes”

Galardonada el pasado mes de marzo con el premio “Mujer líder juvenil de Doral”, Emily es la mayor de los miembros de YAB. Hizo énfasis en destacar que las opiniones expresadas constituyen su posición personal y no necesariamente reflejan las de comité.

Vive en Doral desde el 2007 y piensa que el crecimiento de la ciudad ha sido muy interesante. Espera que ese crecimiento constante continúe de esa manera para beneficio y prosperidad de la ciudad. “Juntos haremos de esta una ciudad exitosa. Lo que más me gusta de Doral es su gente, el potencial  que tienen para hacer muchas cosas diferentes. No solamente tenemos los mejores inmigrantes de muchos países diferentes, sino que estos traen consigo excelentes habilidades y conocimientos que constituyen los mejores activos para hacer que la ciudad progrese.”

Su visión para la ciudad es que “Doral siga creciendo y mejorando, siempre con las puertas abiertas  para recibir a todos los inmigrantes de Latinoamérica y darles las oportunidades que pueden o no haber tenido en sus países de origen.”

Jessica Agudelo: “Es una ciudad muy familiar”

Jessica Agudelo vive en Doral hace 3 años. “He visto el crecimiento de la actividad comercial continua de pequeños empresarios. Me gusta ver que Doral es una ciudad muy familiar.  Realmente no hay mucho que cambiar en la ciudad.”

“A través del YAB quiero inspirar a los jóvenes a tomar posiciones de liderazgo comunitario. Me sentiré satisfecha con saber que he inspirado a alguien a mejorar y participar en nuevas actividades. Quiero que todos los jóvenes sepan que tienen potencial y que pueden utilizarlo para beneficiar la comunidad, que todo es posible.”

“En los próximos 10 años espero ver que Doral pueda anexar más terrenos a la ciudad, para tener más espacio y construir más parques, escuelas y residencias; más espacios para que las familias puedan disfrutarlos.”

Sebastian Aranguibel: “Quiero que la ciudad sea divertida y agradable para la juventud”

Residente de Doral desde el 2009, Sebastián disfruta mucho de andar en bicicleta por la ciudad “me gusta que es una ciudad muy limpia, organizada y pacífica; y que es posible llegar a todas partes en bicicleta.”

Sin embargo, la seguridad en el tráfico es uno de los aspectos donde encuentra oportunidades de mejora. También el desarrollo de opciones culturales y de diversión para la juventud. “Quiero a través de YAB promover la realización de más eventos culturales: conciertos, exhibiciones de arte, etc. Quiero que la ciudad sea divertida y agradable para la juventud. Que no sea necesario salir de Doral para encontrar sitios donde los jóvenes puedan divertirse sanamente.”

Los miembros de YAB se encuentran preparando el evento “College Madness” para traer información sobre aplicaciones a universidades y ayudas financieras para los estudiantes Junior y Senior de la ciudad. Tendrá lugar a fines de octubre, y es la primera de las muchas actividades que planifican para incrementar la participación de la juventud en los eventos de la ciudad.

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