Rock Island High school senior Aline Niyogusenga has been chosen to serve on the Illinois Education and Career Success Network’s Student Advisory Council.

She is one of 14 students from across the state that sit on the council and the first Rocky student to do so, according to a Monday school district release. She represents the entire Black Hawk region (Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties) by giving input at the state level on ways to better help students navigate the education system.

Students on the Student Advisory Council get the opportunity to contribute to recommendations to improve educational experiences and outcomes for students across Illinois, leadership development opportunities, access to Success Network leaders from around the state, and opportunities to learn about diverse careers in the education sector, the district said.

Aline is on Rocky’s Student Council, Student Ambassador, Cultural Appreciation Club, National Honors Society, and African American Heritage Club.

Students have to fill out an application to apply. If their application is chosen students then have an interview with a board over zoom. The board then decides which students are selected to be on the council.

One of Aline’s teachers encouraged her to apply.

“She strives to reach her goals and always treats others with kindness. Whenever I or her classmates need help, she always volunteers to assist us,” said Jennifer Johnson, an AVID teacher at Rock Island High School. “Additionally, Aline possesses a growth mindset and is always eager to learn and challenge herself. She also devotes her time to making our school and community better.”

The council meets virtually three times a year for an hour and a half. This year, the council is focusing on sharing tools to help students prepare for life after high school. Students are given assignments throughout the year to work on.

Aline says she’s loved being able to collaborate with students from across the state.

“It’s been fun. It’s really interesting to see how they do their school system and how it’s really different from my school system and how I can take from what they do and bring it here or vice versa,” she said.

At the end of the school year, students on the council can attend an in-person Success Network’s annual conference. Students receive a $100 stipend per meeting as part of their participation.

On the group website, Aline wrote: “I participate in Student Council, Student Ambassador, Cultural Appreciation Club, National Honors Society, and African American Heritage Club. All these clubs and organizations help me to be a leader not only in my school but also in my community. They allow me to help people from different backgrounds and keep a smile on everyone’s face.”