Orange County Government, Florida
15 May 2014
Timber Creek High School Students Shadow
Mayor Teresa Jacobs
Mayor Teresa Jacobs is joined by students from Timber Creek High School, winners
of the 2014 Mayor for a Day Challenge.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs recently spent the day with bright and talented student leaders from Timber Creek High School who won her 2014 Mayor for a Day Challenge. The students had the opportunity to shadow Mayor Jacobs and observe how various parts of Orange County Government operate.

The day started at Orange County Utilities with tours of the customer service department and one of the 11 Orange County water treatment facilities. Mayor Jacobs spoke to the students about the importance of sustainability when it comes to treating the County’s water supply.

After a tour of the Utilities Department, the students returned to the Orange County Government Administration Center and participated in Mayor Jacobs’ scheduling meeting. They then embarked on a tour of the Board of County Commissioners Chambers.

Mayor Jacobs was inspired by the level of enthusiasm and civic engagement exhibited by the winners of her competition.

“Many of the students who walk the halls of our high schools today will become community leaders of tomorrow,” Mayor Jacobs said. “I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to the administrators and students at Timber Creek High School for participating in this initiative and for being wonderful Mayors for the Day.”

The day concluded with a visit to the New Employee Orientation session where the students learned more about the culture of Orange County.

“I enjoyed visiting with Mayor Jacobs’ staff members and observing how they help the Mayor with her many responsibilities,” said Raven Fennell McCaskill, who is the junior class president at Timber Creek. “After being in the Board of County Commissioners chambers, I now plan to be the Mayor of Orange County one day.”

Now in its third year, the annual Youth Leadership Conference allows students to learn about county government functions, how best to participate in community initiatives, and how to strengthen their leadership skills. The Conference covers topics such as land use and zoning, code enforcement, community service and engages the teens in mock public hearings. The students taking part in the Conference were selected by their high school principals.

"It was truly eye-opening to observe what Mayor Jacobs does every day to keep the county running smoothly,” said Austin Williams, student body vice president at Timber Creek. “Her responsibilities range from keeping us safe from crime and preparing for natural disasters to ensuring that all county employees understand the value of a strong work ethic and a customer service-oriented attitude.”

A variety of photos from the tour are available for use by the media and are located on Flickr.