Meet the Candidate: Vice President Daniela Velasquez

Daniela Velazquez

Courtesy of Daniela Velazquez

Daniela Velazquez is Preps Student Council Vice President for 2020-21.

NOTE: Student Council elections for Passaic Preparatory Academy will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 22. All eligible high school Prep students are encouraged to vote. The Boulevard staff will offer information on the candidates right up to Election Day to help voters make an informed decision.

All candidates for Student Council will run unopposed. This includes President Amari Gawthney, Vice President Daniela Velasquez, and Secretary Jeylin Rivera. Elections will be held June 22.

The Boulevard Online reached out to the candidates to ask a few questions. Read their answers below and watch their candidate video, above:


TBO: Why is Student Council important to you?

Daniela: It allows me and my fellow peers to develop a connection with administrators. In doing so, we are able to utilize our voices and opinions to initiate beneficial projects and improve the overall status of the school. On a personal note, joining Student Council allowed me to engage with amazing individuals from different grade levels and gain insight on the issues each grade faces. We are then able to create solutions as we develop our leadership skills and make the community safer and more united.


TBO: Why did you decide to run for office?

Daniela: I was given the opportunity to be the Vice President for the 2020-21 school year and I realized that I truly enjoyed taking on the responsibilities. I was able to lead meetings, have discussions with intelligent individuals, and organize projects. As the Vice President, I greatly improved my articulation skills as well as my organizational skills. Joining meetings with advisors and hearing the interests of the students only strengthened my passion to help others. It was a great learning experience and now that we are returning to the school building, I know the projects that we could not see in action during the 2020-21 will occur in the 2021-22 school year! I hope that students put their faith in the new Executive Board, and trust that I and my fellow peers will continue to hear them and represent them.


TBO: What’s the most important thing you will do in office?

Daniela: My primary focuses for the next school year are fun and raising school spirit. 2020 and 2021 have been tough years for everyone. Many of us lacked a healthy amount of socialization and we can not ignore that student participation was low. It was understandable considering what was occurring. However, I would like the upcoming year to remind students that life can be fun and doing things one enjoys should be incorporated into personal schedules for a healthy lifestyle. We will continue to focus on our academics, but we will also focus on making the transition into in-person classes easier. We will do this by organizing school traditions, organizing more student dances, and making the school more colorful.


TBO: How would you feel about starting classes in-person in September? 

Daniela: A part of me is nervous about returning to in-person classes, but the majority of me is excited to return to in-person classes. Many students, including me, learn best when a teacher is present in the room and when students are around. Something about the environment motivates students to engage in deeper learning. Not to mention, we will be able to begin events like dances, in-person Prep Rallies, and teacher-vs.-student games. Furthermore, more individuals are vaccinating themselves. As the CDC states, the vaccines are designed, and have proven to be effective, to prevent COVID-19. As long as we maintain certain protocols, I think we will be safe. All in all, I am quite optimistic that the future holds better things for us. Let’s make the transition a smooth one!


TBO: Do you think unvaccinated students and teachers should have to wear masks?

Daniela: For the safety of others, unless a health condition advises them to avoid wearing a mask, I do believe that unvaccinated students and teachers should wear masks until we are sure the virus is no longer a threatening issue.


TBO: How do you feel about some teachers refusing to be vaccinated?

Daniela: Considering the vaccines were introduced to the world unexpectedly and understanding other factors, like religion, discourage vaccines, I understand why teachers would refuse to be vaccinated. However, I feel and suggest that teachers should reconsider their decision one more time after doing thorough research about the vaccines available. Understanding the effects of the vaccine and what might result if they do not get vaccinated along with keeping up with the news, I would argue, are crucial when deciding whether to get vaccinated or not. We are all in this together so it is important that we remain informed and try our best to minimize and eliminate the damage of the virus.