ESS 2021: Giving back helped student deal with loss
September 20, 2021
Isabella Francisco
Grade: 12 School: Westlake High School District: Conejo Valley Unified School District ACSA region: 13 Isabella Francisco follows the Golden Rule — care for others as they care for you. Isabella’s positive nature has helped her create strong connections to her school community and friends, so much so that she could rely on their comfort and assistance when she lost her father to cancer before her junior year. She admitted it was difficult to remain positive.
Fortunately, her counselor and other school staff lifted her up, and her involvement in activities like spirit cheerleading and in clubs such as the Surgical Club, Shelter Helpers Club and the Recycle for Relief Club gave her purpose. She has also volunteered for her church for many years and would adopt a family in need each holiday season.
You’ve been described as a natural leader and a kind soul. Where does that come from? I think that’s just how I am. I’ve always taken the approach of treat people how you want to be treated, so it’s good it’s paying off.
You lost your father to cancer right before your junior year. What was that experience like for you and how have you worked through it? The summer before junior year, he passed away. That was a really hard time because my dad was the most important person in my family at the time. I basically didn’t want to let that stop me. Obviously, I grieved. But I kept being involved in stuff. But it was a really hard time for a while.
How has your school community supported you through the challenge of losing your father? After losing my father, my counselor was very supportive. She would always say, “If you need anything, I’m here.” And that was a great thing to have. I never really vented to any of my teachers. But I remember my physics teacher and my English teacher at the time kind of distracted me and made me very interested in class. And of course, my friends at school were very kind and supportive throughout all of it.
Region 13 2021 ESS Isabella Francisco.
Region 13 2021 ESS Isabella Francisco.
Region 13 2021 ESS Isabella Francisco.
Contact Us
© 2021 Association of California School Administrators