Scorps Spotlight 40: Zoe Gonzalez


Zoe Gonzalez, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees

As Cam High continues into the new school year, the seniors are getting ready to finally finish school and pursue higher education. Along with those students is Zoe Gonzalez, a Senior at Cam High. She participates in many extracurricular activities, and is an important voice in the community. She is a part of the Oxnard Union High School District (OUHSD) Board of Trustees and is Director of Partnerships for Justice in the Classroom. Her goal is to help students get their voice in school decisions, especially the students who represent the minorities.

Gonzalez, invested with the community, advocates the importance of ethnic studies in the classroom and wants to help better the schools from OUHSD. Justice in the Classroom is an organized student body that promotes curricular reform, diversity and inclusion in the classroom, training for teacher equity, the addition of more educators of color, and a complete rework on student punishment. Gonzalez and the Justice in the Classroom team were able to accomplish many achievements last summer, including an exponential growth in the student body collaborations with the OUHSD to provide more opportunities for student participation in board decisions. As part of the Justice in the Classroom, Gonzalez expressed her goals stating, “Most of my passions derive from wanting more diverse staff in all schools.”

Gonzalez, a trustee of the OUHSD Board of Trustees, shared her insight on the process to insight change in such a large community: “I learned about how long it takes to get something up there and all the steps for the board to see,” expressing upon the difficulty in suggesting a new policy to the board. She also learned how her position of power works on the board of trustees, and, consequently, what she needs to do to help get her goal- that being, the consideration and inclusion of student voices in OUHSD Board Decisions. As a person with much influence, her goal is to make sure everyone is heard since most of the big decisions are decided by teachers or district representatives.

Gonzalez also participates in other programs through OUHSD, such as ODC (Oxnard District Council), a meeting with all ASB presidents. She is a part of the Superintendent Student advisory council meetings, during which participants talk about issues that the district, as a whole, could improve upon. In addition to her participation in these meetings, Gonzalez was a part of the School Site Council during the 2020-2021 school year, being the previous vice president of the council.

Not only does Gonzalez manage her time commitments within her academic career, but she also currently works a part-time job at popular retail store, PacSun. Balancing a packed schedule can be tedious, difficult, and foreign for high school students, and even Gonzalez is still navigating through it herself. However, she has cracked one primary piece of the code: “Time management is key and by getting a support system… [you know] you are not alone [in your struggles.]” Having previously experienced negative strings of anxiety, Gonzalez said, “I really care about mental health. Although not well versed in it, I did experience anxiety and stress during the pandemic. You have to understand that through everything, you don’t have to suffer all of the time and not drown yourself with work. You really need to reevaluate yourself and ask, ‘Is what I’m doing impactful?’ Is what I’m doing something I want to be doing?’ Knowing when to get help from relatives, staff, or a trusted adult along with knowing yourself and your limits are important. Personally I left my job twice to help lessen my work load.” Clearly Gonzalez, a busy individual, has had her experiences with her own mental health and overcame them by taking time to recollect herself.

Gonzalez expressed her feelings on doing these extracurricular activities, elaborating, “The thing that drives me is being impactful, and being the voice for other people in need.” She also touched on growing up in Camarillo and how it impacted her decisions, saying, “Not seeing a lot of diversification of student leaders and people in charge is something that I want to change and want to be.” By wanting a change for herself and the community, she can show that people of Hispanic descent and color do not fit negative social stereotypes, and that she is much more than just what people see on the outside. “I think that its important as a Hispanic, Mexican, Salvadorian student, I want to show that I’m more than just what you see on the outside, that people of color can be leaders too.”

While heavily involved in the community to change for the better, Gonzalez also enjoys her off time and shared some hobbies that keep her entertained during her downtime. Gonzalez enjoys hanging out with her family and friends. She regularly participates in her self-care by taking breaks from all of the things she does. She also watches shows and films like “On My Block,” or “Pitch Perfect.” Illustrating her diverse musical tastes, she shared her daily listens, including The Beatles, Taylor Swift, and Joni Mitchell.

In regards to her successes, Gonzalez would like to thank her favorite person, Mr. Tapia, who catalyzed her journey to becoming such an influential person in her community.