The student representative on the San Diego County Board of Education in October was Leslie, a senior at Monarch School.
Leslie is on track to become the first in her family to go to college. She has her sights set on attending a four-year university to pursue a career in the medical field. Her top choices include CSU Bakersfield, CSU San Bernardino, and Fort Lewis College in Colorado.
She has been working since her freshman year, which she said has taught her the importance of being responsible.
“Learning how to provide for myself has taught me to be a strong, independent, Latina woman,” Leslie said.
Monarch School staff members say that Leslie leads by example and is an asset to have on campus.
Leslie credits several Monarch School staff members, including Chuy Nuñez, Alfredo Gallegos, Cecilia Rodriguez, Cathy Campos, and Mark Rounds, with helping her with everything from learning English, to everyday school challenges, and overcoming obstacles in her personal life.
As she pursues her own dreams, she advises her fellow students to follow their own and to never give up.
“Try to become the person that you want to be – you don’t have to follow the cycle of your family,” Leslie said.
Monarch School is a K-12 public school serving the needs of children impacted by homelessness. The only school of its kind in the county, Monarch is a unique public-private partnership between the San Diego County Office of Education and the nonprofit Monarch School Project, a 501(c)3 organization; the County Office provides teachers and an accredited education, and the Project supplements this program through academic and enrichment programs including an afterschool program, expressive arts therapy, and counseling.
Pictured: Leslie with Board President Paulette Donnellon