A Cuban-born immigrant who came to the United States as a young boy and grew up in Miami, Gus Barreiro joined The Children’s Trust in 2015 as the public policy and community engagement liaison.
His journey to The Trust was one marked by a lifetime of public service.
While still a college student, Mr. Barreiro founded the Wisconsin Living Learning Center, a group youth home for adjudicated delinquent boys that served as a diversionary program from the criminal justice system. With a grant from the Department of Juvenile Justice, Mr. Barreiro remained in Wisconsin after graduation to continue operating the program – which became a model for the state – for nine years.
Upon his return to Miami, Mr. Barreiro ran for the Florida House of Representatives, ultimately serving in the Florida legislature from 1998 to 2006, representing the 107th district. During his legislative tenure, he chaired the special committee on the death of Omar Paisley and Martin Lee Anderson, both young boys who tragically died in state custody and boot camp programs.
In 2006, Mr. Barreiro received a Champions for Children award for public policy from The Children’s Trust, and in the same year he received the Ira Lipman Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for his dedication and hard work in juvenile justice.