Rochelle Awuah Sparks Change As FUHSD Student Board Representative


On weeknights, most Cupertino High School students are doing homework or driving to a boba shop. Meanwhile, senior Rochelle Awuah is doing her civic duties at bi-monthly 8 p.m. board meetings for the Fremont Union High School District.

As the FUHSD student board representative, Awuah voices students’ concerns in the district’s five high schools: Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook and Monta Vista.

Awuah’s responsibilities entail monthly board reports compiling information from each of the Intradistrict Council representatives regarding campus-specific news and student opinions. Awuah then conveys such information with the Board of Trustees.

“I thought it’d be important to share student voices within the different districts. Since I feel I have a lot of outreach within Cupertino, I felt maybe I could do that with IDC as well and then have a collective voice,” Awuah said. “Even though 10,000 students is a lot of students to try to be a voice for, I felt I would do a pretty good job of trying to listen and make everybody happy, comfortable and safe in their school environment. So that was the sole motivator.”

IDC splits topics between four committees: mental health, outreach, events and equity. Specifically, equity plays into each subsection as Rochelle, IDC and the Board of Trustees brainstorm how to increase student accessibility in policies and events. The laptops provided to students at no cost to families, efforts to improve the affordability of school dances and fee waivers for physical education uniforms are all instances of the prioritization of equity in the district. 

Another initiative Awuah took part in was the implementation of wellness centers across the five schools. Wellness centers aim to increase student mental health by providing mindfulness activities, puzzles and information on counseling services.

Awuah advocates for intersectionality and considers various perspectives when supporting many issues. Awuah is given an honorary vote and provides her input on the topics.

At the beginning of the semester, August 2022, Coalition For Social Justice FUHSD, an external organization, created a widespread social media post on Securely, the newly implemented software mandated by the district to control student data and prevent digital distractions during school hours. The post raised concerns regarding students’ right to privacy.

Largely unbeknownst to students, Awuah discussed potential issues of Securely with the board in Summer 2022, taking different student backgrounds into account in trying to find the best solutions.

“I have the accessibility or the money to buy a personal laptop, and I get the privilege of having privacy when I go home,” said Awuah. “But those other students don’t, and when issues come like that. It’s like you’re at a crossroads because no matter what you do, it’s like, there’s no solution.” 

Outside of her work with FUHSD, she is an actor for Cupertino Actors Theatre and co-president of the Black Student Union. Her efforts throughout her four years earned her the Optimist International Youth Appreciation Award, highlighting her contributions to the Cupertino community.