Alcovy High School and NCCA STEM Institute junior, Francisco Alvarado, has achieved a distinction by being chosen as one of only 69 students in the state of Georgia to serve on state school superintendent Richard Woods' esteemed 2023-2024 Student Advisory Council.
This council provides a unique platform for students to actively participate in shaping educational policies, discussing vital issues and serving as ambassadors for their respective schools. Throughout the year, these student advisors will engage with Superintendent Woods, offering valuable feedback on the impact of state policies in the classroom and addressing various education-related matters.
Alvarado expressed his reason for applying for the unique opportunity.
"This was a great opportunity; it was something I didn't want to pass up on, especially since I want to be more involved in my community,” Alvarado said. “I thought this would be a great way to reach out and take the next step."
This year's council members were selected through a rigorous process, which included writing essays on diverse educational topics such as curriculum, graduation requirements, assessments, teacher recruitment and retention and access to resources in rural areas.
Alvarado emphasized the importance of addressing mental health issues within the student body.
"I think you can never stop talking about it,” Alvarado said. “It's one of the most critical problems any school system faces and addressing it and learning from the students themselves is one of the best ways to solve the issues for the well-being of the students.
"It's really an honor to be accepted to serve. I'm really excited and looking forward to meeting the other people on the council and networking with people I know will help boost my status as a member of the community and as a student. So many opportunities have opened up because of this, and I'm very grateful."
In addition to his service on the Student Advisory Council, Alvarado is a student who has completed or is currently enrolled in numerous Advanced Placement courses, including biology, seminar, world history, US history, pre-calculus, computer science and language.
He is actively involved in TSA and has held officer positions every year. Furthermore, he is engaged with FBLA, the Hispanic Student Union, as well as the Newton County Community Coalition and the Youth Action Team.
Francisco's aspirations include graduating from a four-year university with a major in computer engineering.
Woods praised the value of direct student involvement in shaping education policy.
"Georgia's public schools exist to serve students, and it is absolutely essential that we receive feedback directly from those directly affected by statewide policies,” Woods said. “Every year, my Student Advisory Council is an incredibly valuable resource for me and for my colleagues at the Georgia Department of Education as we make decisions that will directly impact the classroom. The students selected for this year's Council are a prestigious group representing schools across the state, and I look forward to working with them to expand educational opportunities for all of Georgia's children."
NCCA STEM Institute Principal Chad Walker commended Alvarado’s achievements.
"Francisco Alvarado's selection to serve on the 2023-2024 Student Advisory Council is a testament to his dedication and leadership within our school community,” Walker said. “We are proud of his accomplishments and look forward to seeing the positive impact he will undoubtedly make as a representative of both our school and the district."