Youth councilor is a doer

Angelica Sarmiento Avendano


Of the Keizertimes

Angelica Sarmiento Avendano wants to help her community and is serving as the youth councilor for the city of Keizer. The McNary High School junior joins the city councilors twice a month as it meets to make policy in all areas of Keizer. 

Avendano was chosen over one other candidate for the post. To be named youth councilor she had to be interviewed by several of the elected councilors. 

She said her interview was scary, “Because it kind of felt I was on trial; I had to talk into the microphone. I was so scared. I hadn’t done that before.”

She is busy, too, with school activities including the All-City AVID program, swim team as well as playing violin in the advanced orchestra and symphony orchestra.

Avendano said that being the youth councilor opened up her eyes to everything that goes on in a city. “(At) my first meeting they were talking about traffic safety, and I didn’t know that was the city council’s responsibility,” she said. 

To advocate for the people of her age is the role Avendano takes on.  “To talk about what goes on in McNary and in other schools in the area. And that’s how I see myself kind of. To talk about what’s going on and what happens,” she said.

She believes other students should consider applying to be a youth councilor, or youth liaison to city committees. ”It’s a valuable experience. You get to talk to the council. You open up to more responsibilities. It allows you a new perspective on things.” 

Avendano pointed out that Mayor Cathy Clark is willing to help her with anything else she’s involved with, such as AVID.

Just like the elected councilors, Avendano reads the meeting agenda and information packet. “It’s a lot of issues that I feel I don’t know if my opinion on things like that would help. But usually I read it over.”

At home are father Saul Sarmiento, mother Miriam Avendano and a six-month-old brother

When she was 10-years-old Avendano really wanted to be President of the United States.  

As of now, she is interested in studying computer science, but also interested in going to law school.