Rosemead High School junior Xitlalic Palacios was such a talkative child growing up that her parents nicknamed her “periquito,” the Spanish word for parrot. Spurred on by her parents’ encouragement, Palacios has emerged as a strong public speaker, campus leader and engaged students.
Palacios, a first-generation college-goer, will use her leadership qualities to advocate for El Monte Union students after being sworn in as Student Trustee by the District Board of Trustees during a virtual board meeting on Aug. 5. Palacios is the first junior to ever serve on the Board.
“I want to be a conduit for our students and the Board of Trustees,” Palacios said. “I want to assure El Monte Union students that I am here with the intent of speaking for them, fighting for them and establishing a clear line of communication for them. During these unprecedented times, El Monte Union students need more support than ever. Thank you for lending me a platform to vocalize the concerns and needs of our students.”
One of Palacios’ first acts as Student Trustee is co-chairing a virtual student panel at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20. The panel will give students the opportunity to learn about the District’s distance learning plan for fall 2020 and receive an overview of sports and activities, clubs and planned virtual events.
Palacios – who has served on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council representing Rosemead High School for the last two years – has worked with the Family and Community Engagement subcommittee within the District’s Reopening Task Force to provide feedback on ways foster a safe back to school experience.
Palacios’ parents have played a pivotal role in shaping her activism, working hard to provide her the opportunity to attend school and encouraging her to get involved in extracurricular activities. For instance, Palacios is part of the Associated Student Body, volunteers for the Red Cross and serves as editor-in-chief of Rosemead’s journalism team, while also taking an interest in student welfare.
“At a time when our students are facing challenges as they try to stay motivated and hopeful during the uncertainty of a global pandemic, the high school student voice is critical now more than ever,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “Xitlalic will work to express the needs and wants of our students, expand relationships and bring her own initiatives to ensure our students are heard.”