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Sunnyside High School’s Olivia Puente.

How do you give back to a community that has given you so much? My involvement in student government began in middle school, although I have become more invested during my time in high school due to having been involved in leadership opportunities all four years. The activities I have taken part in during high school have helped me build confidence and develop the skill set that put me in position to be where I am today.

I am involved in varsity basketball, softball and volleyball. I am also involved in student leadership, Honors Society and Science Fair. And being involved in the Associated Student Body program has given me an opportunity to represent my school off of the field and court.

Before COVID-19, school was my second home. Many times, I was there well into the evening. I knew I was going to run for ASB president since my freshman year. My campaign began last April but I never would have thought that this is what my senior year as an ASB president would look like. With this being said, I have no regrets regarding my campaign, as this has been an amazing opportunity to give back to the school and community that has poured so much into our youth.

I was most attracted to the challenge of being an ASB president. I feel as though the biggest difference between previous years and this year has to be the amount of virtual leadership that has to take place. This was uncharted territory for our ASB Council.

It has been extremely challenging to continue being creative and giving students opportunities to stay involved using events and activities in which they are interested in participating. With many obstacles also came a lot of growth. In the last year, there have been situations that have pushed me past my limits and assisted in the development of my leadership, as well as my character. These include balancing online learning, a job, the college application process, scholarships and my leadership responsibilities.

Being in this position has allowed me to build many relationships in which I am able to get great advice and support. Nevertheless, it has been a blast working with the rest of our ASB Council and coming up with ways to give students as much normalcy as possible, while remaining safe and following health precautions.

I am hopeful that this remaining school year will have more in store for us than what we know now, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity to serve my fellow students in this capacity during 2020-21!