On Wednesday, Sept. 18, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Adam Habona was selected for Parkland’s “Mayor For A Month” program. Habona serves as Second Vice President of MSD’s Student Government and Co-Executive Director of March for Our Lives Parkland.
“Mayor For A Month” is a program that gives middle or high school students who are interested in government an opportunity to shadow Christine Hunschofsky, the Mayor of Parkland, for a month. The students attend commission meetings and local events as mayoral guests. The selected students also have the chance to partake in open discussions with Hunschofsky and are formally introduced at each city commission meeting.
“The Student Mayor Program seeks to provide young people with confidence, support and recognition that will hopefully allow for additional opportunities for them to become involved in their community and develop as leaders,” a statement from the City of Parkland said.
Any Parkland resident, regardless of enrollment in public, private, charter or home school is eligible to apply for the Student Mayor program.
“I wanted to have a way for students to become more involved in local government and just learn more about local government. I felt like a lot of the programs that were out there were, you know, great photo ops, but they weren’t really learning what a mayor or a member of the commission does. So I wanted this to be something where students could really learn how city government works and what we do in our jobs,” Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said.
One responsibility of Habona and the other Student Mayors is to receive a link to the commission agenda on the Friday before each meeting (which typically takes place on the first and third Wednesday of each month). The students then meet the Tuesday before the commission meeting to go through the whole agenda and all the items that are to be discussed on the commission the following day.
“I learned that although serving as Mayor may be extremely fun, you must not forget your job, which is serving the people, something our Mayor does a fantastic job at. After attending an early morning 5K run, I also learned that interaction with the public is both a large and important part of the job,” Habona said.
Throughout the month of October, Habona enjoyed shadowing Mayor Hunschofsky and learning about the things she did on a daily basis. He balances out school, extracurriculars and life along with being the Student Mayor by prioritizing and organizing all his assignments regularly. Habona vocalized that hard work is necessary with an important position like Student Mayor.
“[Adam is] somebody who is very engaged in local government and is always trying to learn more and be of service,” Hunschofsky said. “He has a lot to offer to any community he lives in and it’s been such a pleasure to have him as a mayor for the month.”
Students are evaluated on their submitted applications and picked for the program based on their interests. Friends of Habona and adults alike have agreed that Habona is a role model with a great personality.
“[Adam is] like a teddy bear. He’s fun to be around and will always help you,” senior Mason Hall said.
Habona’s actions and communication with others have been witnessed daily. Not only is he one of many outstanding MSD students to be selected as a Student Mayor, he is a man on a mission.
“[Adam is] always so outgoing, kind, and hard working. Adam is honestly one of the funniest people I’ve met and I know he’s going to do amazing things,” senior Angelina Brier said.
When participating in an arduous program, a student must have the right mindset and work ethic for the job. Habona recommends the program for those interested in government.
“Yes [Habona recommends the “Mayor For A Month” program], but only if you have an interest in government or politics. This program will literally put you in the seat of an elected official and open your eyes to the things they do on a daily basis.” Habona said.
Habona plans to take his experience as a Parkland Student Mayor as a stepping stone into politics and local government. He will also use his experience to determine a potential major for his upcoming year in college.
For additional information about the Student Mayor Program, Carole Morris, Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Parkland, can be contacted at 954-757-4114 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next deadline to submit a “Mayor For A Month” application is Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2020.