Lynnwood High School senior Venecia Lucio sits with her saxophone in school’s theater Nov. 8. Lucio has led fundraisers as part of her work with Colores Unidos, which celebrates Latino and Spanish-speaking cultures. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Lynnwood High School senior Venecia Lucio sits with her saxophone in school’s theater Nov. 8. Lucio has led fundraisers as part of her work with Colores Unidos, which celebrates Latino and Spanish-speaking cultures. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Lynnwood High’s Venecia Lucio in tune with helping out

Senior is involved in ASB and Colores Unidos, a group that celebrates Spanish-speaking cultures.

LYNNWOOD — Lynnwood High School senior Venecia Lucio, 17, is a student leader who has led several fundraisers as part of her work with Colores Unidos, which celebrates Latino and Spanish-speaking cultures, including a benefit for hurricane relief that raised more than $1,400.

Question: How long have you been an ASB officer?

Answer: It’s my first year. As treasurer, I count the money and make sure the school’s money is balanced with everything else. I have to sign off on a lot of paperwork.

Q: What’s your first class?

A: I teacher assist for (honors) pre-calculus. Actually math is one of my weaknesses. So for me to get help through that, I talked to my pre-calc teacher about getting extra help. So he does honors pre-calculus first period and then I take regular pre-calc fourth period just so I could have everything in my head two times. Because I do believe that math is important for my future and for college.

Q: Does that make being treasurer difficult?

A: Counting money, making sure we’re in the right budget, and just balancing — that doesn’t scare me. But pre-calculus math, that puts a lot of pressure on me.

At home it’s my mom and two siblings. I’m the oldest. They look up to me. And my mom has standards and expectations I need to meet. I do put a lot of pressure on myself to meet those expectations. I try to make my mom proud, keeping my grades to A’s and B’s. For the past three years of high school math was always my weakness. So I always tried extra hard in my math classes. She understood that it’s hard for me. I would go get help and tutoring. I still would end math with a C, but I did work hard for that grade and she sees it.

Q: You are a musician.

A: I’ve been involved in music since fifth grade. … Whenever I play jazz music, I go into a different world. Music is important to me. I know I’m important, but once I’m in the music classes, I feel like I have a big role — which I do; I play lead alto (saxophone). I feel that music has created a part of me, like — what’s the word — like I am more independent. With music you don’t get good just blowing out a note. You have to put in work and practice, and it’s not easy.

Q: You say leadership class has helped you in a similar way.

A: My freshman year I wanted to run for ASB. But I was very shy. In middle school I was open and talked to a lot of different people but once I hit high school it was a different world and I doubted myself. So I just kind of like put myself down and said “OK, I’m just going to follow the crowd.”

Q: Two seniors helped you gain confidence and run for treasurer.

A: They were very supportive. I guess I felt better about myself, knowing that I will take someone else’s place who was successful. I know if they can do it, then I can do it.

Q: What else do you do, outside of school?

A: Well, I am the oldest. I have a 14-year-old brother. He is in middle school at Alderwood. He is very involved in sports, so that means I get to be the Uber. And same with my sister. She is 4 years old, she goes to preschool. I help a lot with that part because my mom works for all of us. I help my mom out a lot with babysitting or taking care of my sister, and making sure my brother does his things and making sure I’m guiding him right through life. … Sometimes I act like his second mom, because of how much we’ve grown together… My mom made sure we stuck together and always have each others’ backs. …

Our childhood was not a usual childhood. We had to move house to house. … It wasn’t until maybe a year after my dad left where we had a stable home, and felt safe. So that was a struggle. It still is, but not as much as it used to be.

Q: Do you feel you look at life differently than your peers because of that?

A: I feel like I do, only because I have a really big heart to a lot of people. When I see someone hurting or when I see people that need help or my friends where I know they could do better — I always offer to help, I always try and fix things. (On the other hand) I tried to do things on my own and not ask for help. … This year is when I realized I need to stop being stubborn and actually ask for help. I feel that’s the reason where I’m at.

Q: There’s a middle school bilingual leadership summit held each year at LHS. You help with that, but you also were part of it.

A: One of my mentors in life right now is Ellen Conley (from Alderwood Middle School), and in middle school she gave me paperwork to go to La Chispa leadership summit. I went and I was mind-blown. It was seventh grade, and it was my first time being exposed to so many things. (After attending again in eighth grade) I was like OK, this is great, we need to do something. How about we start a club? It was a really good outcome. … Since that, that’s when I knew that that’s one of my passions — helping people out, not just Latinos or Hispanics, but everyone who is willing to put in time to get help and things.

It wasn’t until my junior year — it took me two years to get out of my comfort zone — I joined the Colores Unidos here at school. … Now I’m actually a leader, a mentor to middle schoolers. I was like, whoa, this is happening! My middle school year I thought those kids were really cool and really important, and now I’m going to be one of those kids.

Q: Also through Colores Unidos, you put on a fundraiser for hurricane relief in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

A: I’m like OK, we got this, let’s do this. There were many obstacles that came in our way and that was very stressful. But when I want something good to happen, I don’t let those obstacles get in my way. I find a way to go around it, over it, through it — something — because this is not just important to me but to the community.

Q: How does it feel to be at this stage in life?

A: It feels like I didn’t think I’d be where I’m at right now, only because — I guess this is for everyone. When you’re a freshman, you doubt yourself a lot. I never thought I’d be in ASB. I never thought I’d be important in music. I never thought that I would make an impact at Lynnwood High School through Colores Unidos. I guess it just amazes me, because I know what I can do now.

Melissa Slager: mslager@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3432.

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