Tanque Verde High School Junior Saturnino “Satu” Pajkos has always stood out. A history buff and wise beyond his years, his teachers took notice of him immediately.

“I think he’s destined for political office,” said Jeremy Samoy, a TVHS teacher.

Satu has spent the last six moths serving on Gov. Hobbs’ Youth Commission an initiative that gathers bright young Arizonans to work on pressing issues like distracted driving, domestic violence, mental health, substance abuse and education.

Samoy has known Pajkos since he was a seventh grader. He welcomed him into a class lecture Pajkos’ sister was attending at the time. It was a special lesson about the American Revolution.

“He must’ve stayed 30 or 40 minutes after asking questions and touching some of the artifacts,” he recalled.

Samoy was one of the people who encouraged Pajkos to apply for the commission when he entered high school.

I was like, ‘This is Satu in a nutshell,'” Samoy said. “I mean, hes very civically engaged, he is concerned about the community, he is already very active more active than most adults I know.

Pajkos serves in the education sector. The team is working on expanding student financial aid resources for college a very relevant issue as the University of Arizona plans aid changes for future students because of its financial crisis.

“If we can help students be able to learn more, go to school, get these resources they need, itll really help in the long run,” he explained. “Well be able to see these efforts in 20, 30 years.”

Pajkos’ fire for community service was first ignited by his parents. His dad is a first generation American who immigrated from Mexico when he was only 18.

He just really taught me the value of putting in that hard work and working for something that you want to achieve,” Pajkos said.

“And on my mothers side, theres just a different call to service. I mean, I have ancestors who have fought in nearly every American war.”

This deep-rooted patriotism and affinity for the American Dream inspired him to pursue leadership roles early on.

Next month, Pajkos will apply to serve another term on the commission.

We are the next generation of leaders and doctors and teachers and entrepreneurs, so we bring this different perspective to the table. Were able to offer these insights from the everyday life of the classroom,” Pajkos said.

Many of the commissioners also work outside of school, so they see first-hand the struggles of students, the struggles of youth, the struggles of Arizonans.

His hope for the future is to pursue international relations and then return to high school, but this time as a teacher to help shape young minds.