This month's student representative to the County Board of Education is 17-year-old Zulema V., who attends Monarch School in downtown San Diego.
Zulema is a well-liked and gifted student who is already taking college classes at San Diego City College as a senior in high school, Principal Joe Wiseman said.
"She was resoundingly picked for this honor because she truly stands out," he said. She is a student leader with an impressive grade point average.
Monarch School is a partnership between the San Diego County Office of Education's Momentum Learning program and the nonprofit Monarch School Project.
Zulema has been at the school since 5th grade and shared glowing words with the County Board of Education about her experiences there.
"Monarch School has always been there for me when I needed it, and it has made me the person I am today," she said. "Without it, I don't think I would be as far as I am today or get as far as I'm going."
Zulema loves history and art, especially abstract painting. She hopes to attend Academy of Art University in San Francisco this fall and someday become a professional artist.
Even with the time she spends on art and schoolwork, Zulema has found time to intern at a local architecture firm and help cater events at Monarch School.
Zulema said she is looking forward to her senior year and leaving a legacy that future Monarch students can aspire to.
Photo: Zulema with County Board of Education Member Mark Powell.