Council Members

Megan Atkinson

My name is Megan Atkinson. I have been on the Florida Youth Council since 2009. I currently live in Citrus County, Florida. I am a full-time student at the College of Central Florida. When I’m not studying I enjoyed going to the beach, trying new and exciting foods, and listening to music; my favorite bands include Avenged Sevenfold, Sugarland, Paramore and Fall out Boy. As a leader, I have organized many local fundraisers such as car washes for nonprofit organizations.


Shevie Barnes

Hi there! My name is Shevie Barnes. I reside in Cape Coral, FL. My most recent works as a leader have been as a middle/high school teacher in Jacksonville, FL. I was led to return to school to earn my education degree this is my most current goal. I earned my AA degree at Florida State College and now attend Western Governors University online. I enjoy reading, writing, singing, and sign language. I am a youth director for middle school class at my church and am working to create a disability awareness group in my area.


Derek Carraway

My name is Derek.  I am from Tallahassee.  I enjoy going camping, going to the beach, going to church, and spending time with my family and friends.  I also enjoy listening to country music.  I like watching TV, especially sit-coms and college football broadcasts.  I bleed garnet and gold.  I also like doing things on computers.  In fact, I recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Information Technology and I’m now currently hunting for a job.  In addition to being on the youth council, I volunteer in the media department at my church and also lead the scout group out of my church, which is a part of a national organization called Royal Rangers.  I’m in charge of all aspects of our local Outpost.  My involvement in all of these things keeps me busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way and it allows me to continue to grow as a leader and shows others I don’t let my disabilities stop me from doing anything I want to do!


Ruben Rocky Castro

Hello!!! My name is Ruben ROCKY Castro; I am currently living Orlando, Florida. I am presently in my second year of law school at Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law: Barry University. My goal in law school is to further my knowledge in ADA law in order to fight for the rights of others with disabilities who have no one to fight for them. When my nose is not in a law book or studying for an exam, I enjoy video games, movies, listening to music, and just going out to have a good time. This is my first year as an official member of the FYC and I look forward to being a part of this group of advocates as we strive to bring awareness and knowledge to our community about the world of disabilities.




Dakota Smoot

Hi there! I am Dakota Smoot and I am 21 years old. I love sports and my friends. I’m a poet and a gamer. My favorite shows are Naruto and Bleach. I also love trains! I live in Jacksonville, Florida on the north side. I attend Edward H. White school as a post-graduate student. While I may look like the average person, I’m not! I have epilepsy but you can’t tell by looking at me. I look forward to seeing new people every day and making more friends.


Josue Tapia Ortiz

Hello my name Josue Tapia and I currently live in Orlando Florida. I enjoy playing video games, reading history books and playing with my dog. I work at Petco as an assistant groomer working with dogs. I think I’m the only bilingual member on the council and the only Hispanic at that. Its fun to have that out the box opinion. I’ve been on the council for about 7 years and its been a great experience for me. I’ve met many people going through different paths of life with different disabilities and I heard their stories of triumph and hard work. I’ve enjoyed my years on the FYC and I hope to have many more making a difference.


Christina Waldron

My name is Christina Waldron. I live in Saint Petersburg, Florida. I am a bowling coach for a disabled bowling league, as well as serving as an alter server at my church every Sunday, I also co teach a group studying to make their first communion. I am a part-time student at saint Petersburg college. In the fall of 2012, I became a member of the Florida youth council.


Serena Wetmore

My name is Serena Wetmore and I am brand-new to the Florida Youth Council. I am a high school student in Jacksonville, FL. It might seem strange that at my age,  I am a fan of 1980s rock bands such as Foreigner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Styx. I also love to go to Universal, mostly because they have Harry Potter. I also enjoy playing iPad games such as “Clash of Clans.” This is great for me because I can’t work regular video game controllers. I hope to go to college to get a degree in marketing and also plan to do some advocacy as an adult. Sometimes people say I’m already an advocate because I am constantly looking to improve the way society views people with disabilities.