Filipino high school senior becomes new LAUSD student board member

LOS ANGELES — A Filipina high school student has made history, after she was selected to be the student board member that gives a voice to some 700,000 students in America’s second-largest school district.

From humble beginnings in Tondo, Manila, Frances Suavillo moved to California just 9 years ago.

After excelling in and out of the classroom, she’s now heading to the boardroom.

The Carson High School senior is now the newly sworn-in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) student board member, representing some 700,000 students in America’s second-largest school district.

In the program’s five year history, the aspiring diplomat is the second female and first Asian American chosen for this post.

“Its a lot of work and its a lot of commitment and you have to put aside a lot of your own opinions and listen to the students those are the people you represent you’re not representing yourself. 700,000 students in the district you have to communicate their needs are what they feel is important. Not just what you feel is important for you.

Perfecting her English and speaking skills as a middle school student, she rose to become A 4.3 GPA high honor student at Carson High School.

She also formed a club to help homeless residents in Los Angeles county, while volunteering for various charities.

Her parents work in the hospice industry, and Frances believes that education can be the key to achieving dreams.

“I grew up around the idea that education is powerful and it’s one thing that can get you out of poverty out of dark times in your life and I saw those situations in the Philippines growing up watching people go through, you know how it is back home, fighting just to go to school even public school. I’ve always had this idea if I keep my head in my books and I pursue education as my number one goal I’ll be able to achieve a lot more.”

Last summer, she did a summer program at one of her dream colleges, Harvard University, but is now eyeing other Ivy League schools.

“I studied economics, it was eye-opening because I realize the academics is important in college — but it’s also the environment around it and I just felt like Harvard wasn’t the perfect place for me, but now I’m looking into Yale because I got to visit Yale in the east coast as well. UCLA is also a top choice of mine, and Brown University.”

And as she begins her watch representing her fellow LAUSD students, she’ll be sending out her college applications, excited to see where her commitment to education and serving others will lead her next.

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