A senior at Curie High School, Angel was recently selected by the Chicago Board of Education as Honorary Student Board Member for the 2014-2015 School Year. He already serves on the first-ever CPS Student Advisory Council, and is the student representative on Curie’s Local School Council. Yet despite his experience, Angel was hesitant to apply.
“It was scary to think of representing so many thousands of students just with my voice,” he said. “But then I realized that everything I’d done in the past had been preparation for this opportunity.”
This includes Angel’s place on CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s Student Advisory Council – a diverse group of high school students who meet regularly with the CEO to provide a student perspective on the District’s needs and accomplishments.
“That experience really helped get me ready for this,” said Angel, “especially talking with Ashley Gordon, last year’s Student Board Member. Seeing what she’d contributed made me want to do the same.”
Ironically, Angel was with his fellow SAC members when he learned he’d been selected for the spot on the Board.
“I was shocked and speechless,” he said. “I’m just so excited to have a second year to serve CEO Byrd-Bennett and the students of CPS.”
Angel’s interest in public service began at Orozco Elementary, when he took a school-sponsored trip to Washington D.C.
“We were learning about the structure of government,” he said. “I’ll never forget that trip to Washington, because seeing what we were studying in action ignited my passion for policy and public service.”
When he addressed the Board of Education in October, Angel spoke about the impact he hopes to have, especially with regard to expanding technology and restorative justice practices within CPS schools.
“Restorative justice gets to the root of problems rather than just sending students away,” he said. “And technology becomes more important with each generation, so I feel it’s important to make it a part of our everyday learning.”
When he graduates from CPS this spring, Angel plans to study political science in the hopes of becoming an education lawyer and eventually holding public office.
“I’m so proud that CPS has been the foundation for what I will do with my life,” said Angel. “The education I’ve received here is the best. I couldn’t have achieved what I have without it.”