LYNWOOD —Anastacia Nwosu, a sixth grader at Helen Keller Elementary School, presided over her first City Council meeting Feb. 3 as the city’s second kid mayor. She will serve as kid mayor for the month of February.
The brainchild of Lynwood Mayor José Luis Solache, with full support from his council colleagues, the kid mayor program will give 12 Lynwood Unified School District students the opportunity to serve as the junior mayor of the city. Each will serve for an entire month.
One kid mayor is nominated every month by each of the Lynwood Unified School District’s 12 elementary school’s teachers.
To be nominated, a child must be in the fourth through sixth grades.
Nwosu was chosen from more than 200 fourth through sixth graders at Helen Keller Elementary.
Solache is excited about the program. Not only will each kid mayor attend city events with him, but he or she will also receive a $400 scholarship.
For the program, the mayor has elected to cash out his monthly health benefits for the year to personally fund a scholarship for each of the 12 student mayors selected. The mayor calls the scholarship “college seed funds” that will be available to the students once they turn 18 years of age.
After receiving her proclamation and badge at the Feb. 4 meeting, young Nwosu was asked by Solache to share with the audience some of her plans.
“I plan to be the U.S. president one day, and this will only help me get there,” she said.
“We can’t wait for that day,” Solache responded to loud applause from the audience inside the City Council Chambers.
Having served on the Lynwood school board for 10 years, Solache said he knew his program would help inspire students in the district to work harder and pursue higher aspirations, but to hear a student actually say that being selected as kid mayor is her first stepping stone to one day being resident of the United States is the best thing a student could have ever said about the kid mayor program, Solache said.
“Our community effort will help ensure that our students reach their dreams,” Solache said on his Facebook page. “We will all be ready.
“This just shows that our youth need our support. They need to be reminded that if they work hard and follow their dreams, that anything is possible,” Solache said. “Someone believed in me and my parents always told me to follow my dreams. Growing up, my dream was to one day be mayor of this great city, and here I am. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”
Nwosu was a natural sitting at the dais. She conducted the first 20 minutes of the City Council meeting smoothly and articulately.
With proud parents walking behind her as she exited the meeting, Nwosu said the first thing she was going to do as kid mayor was to go tell her friends at school the next day about her new job.