Monsignor Edward Pace High School senior leads by example
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Madeleine Gonzalez is a busy young woman.
She’s 19, a senior at Monsignor Edward Pace High School, is a member of the National Honor
Society and has donated more than 1,000 volunteer hours on behalf of animals, literacy and women and children in shelters.
But she’s also a civic-minded student who wants to see more women become decision-makers in government.
As vice chair of the
Miami Beach Youth
Commission, Gonzalez organized a symposium in Miami Beach for high school and middle school girls to hear from female leaders within government.
Speakers included former Miami Beach mayor Mattie Herrera Bower; Commissioner Micky Steinberg; Miami Beach Police Capt. Mimi
Pfrogner; Margarita Kruyff, assistant director of Environment and Sustainability in the city and Michele Burger, chief of staff for the Miami Beach mayor and commission.
“There are a lot of men in government, but I wanted the students to see that women are making a difference, too,” Gonzalez said about the event held last August. “They really enjoyed it.”
Pre-registering high school students to vote before they graduate is a civic engagement project she is doing to earn a Gold Award in the Girl Scouts.
So far, Gonzalez said she has helped 40 students register online and in person at her school.
Classmates will receive their voter registration cards in the mail when they turn 18 and may be eligible to cast ballots in
Gonzalez plans to study business and marketing at Florida State University, where she will be enrolled in the fall.
She also wants to continue raising awareness about civic activities while in college.
“I hope to open doors for students to be more involved in government and [gain] a better understanding how it works,” she said.
Her ambitions include owning her own company one day and said she’ll know more about that goal as she pursues her education.
Her father, Jorge Gonzalez, manager of Bal Harbour Village, is an alumnus of Pace and graduate of the University of Miami. He wasn’t able to convince her to enroll at UM.
“I like FSU, because I want to study away from home and create my own college experience,” she said.
Gonzalez has earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award for the past eight years; is a member of the Spartan
Ambassador Society and captain of the swim team, according to Surella
Rodriguez, an administrator for the high school in Miami Gardens.
While Gonzalez was a member of the Miami Beach Youth
Commission, it convinced the city commission to regulate the sales of
e-cigarettes and other
tobacco products in the city, Rodriguez said.
The group also organized a job fair for teenagers.
Gonzalez has left her mark on the school and in her city, Miami Beach.
“She is changing the perspective on youth activism by getting involved with civic education and community outreach,”