for State Representative, District 105
Pedro Barrios, a Republican, is looking forward to bringing a new voice and a new generation into the Florida House chamber. As Cuban exiles, the Barrios’ family life changed forever when they made the courageous move of packing their bags and immigrating to the United States in the early 2000’s for the opportunity of offering their son Pedro a better life. The family knew the difficulty and the struggle of starting anew in a different country in which barriers were many, but opportunities were boundless. First moving to New Jersey as a naturalized citizen and eventually settling in South Florida and calling it their home since 2003 because of its abundant diverse Latin culture.
Barrios finished his primary studies at Milan elementary school in the city of Hialeah and continued his high school studies at the Doral Academy Charter School.
The Barrios family, with their firm belief in God, knew everything was possible here in the land of opportunity. They never looked back and never allowed obstacles to get in their way. As a young child growing up, he witnessed his parents’ hard work pay off as they opened their own business, an assisting living facility for the elderly. This demonstrated to him that anything is truly possible here in America.
While obtaining his bachelor’s from Florida International University (FIU) Majoring in Psychology, he was shocked, and oftentimes angry at the increasing number of homeless living in the streets. This prompted him to start his career as a social service worker in South Florida. Barrios, opened HELPMEUP FOUNDATION, his own non-profit in order to make a difference in the lives of the needy. Within a span of four months, he fed over 400 homeless. After a year while trying to balance his career, education and his own business, he regretfully had to end his generous community contribution. However, he did not end there, Pedro would volunteer for Switchboard Miami, a suicide hotline in which within a span of 2 years he counseled troubled veterans and teenagers. As he continued to pursue a higher education, he eventually received his Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Barry University.
Looking to make a difference in his community, he has continued his social services by working with at-risk youth with criminal backgrounds and in community based programs at different locations such as Miami Bridge and AMIkids Miami as well as a private practice. While providing mental health counseling, he also encourages children to continue their school, to think positive and to always look to the future.
Barrios, has noticed the lack of government support, action and understanding in dealing with mental health issues by the Florida legislature and is oftentimes upset at the neglect by both chambers in regards to this issue. He sees the need for an advocate in the state legislature to enact policies such as reforming our foster care system for those teens who are about to turn 18 and are facing homelessness. He proposes an increase in Host Housings for them as long as they pursue their education in college or vocational school. Such a proposal will lead to the decrease in teen homelessness in our district and state. In addition, he proposes that foster care children continue in a permanent school regardless of the child’s foster parent’s location. This would result in a reduction of children running away and being sent to shelter programs in which they stay for 90 days and the cycle is repeated.
Barrios understands this revolving door affecting the psychological development of children and it encourages him to stand up and fight for our kids. Furthermore, he has been bothered by government inaction to restore Florida waterways.
This is the reason why Barrios has decided to run and represent District 105. To advocate for the community’s healthcare, education, environment and child service concerns, while maintaining low taxes for a business friendly environment in our community. These are just a few of the numerous matters he will tackle once elected.