Lilia Duque takes on leadership throughout VHS campus


Lilia Duque ’23 (right) photographed with her family including Sela Duque ’26 (far right). Photo by: John Carmen

Kendall Garcia

 Duque’s leadership on campus started during her freshman year

Lilia Duque ‘23 has been a part of VHS’s Associated Student Body for the last three years, she’s also a part of the varsity girls soccer team, “The What?” improv troupe and is the co-president of the Latino Rights Club which she co-created with Mateo Navarro ‘23 and Sinthia Cardenas ‘23.

Duque said, “I am [the] improv troupe’s captain. In ASB, I am the director of community and inclusion, in drama, I have ‘the torch’ which is a theater position of leadership. In the Latino rights club, I am the co-president.”

Duque spends much of her time on campus helping others and promoting inclusion for all. She devotes a lot of her time to making VHS campus a positive environment.

“As improv troupe captain I organize and plan rehearsal schedules, and make sure everyone gets there at a reasonable time. It’s the same thing for ‘the torch’ as well, just making sure things go smoothly. In ASB, I hope to be putting myself in things and putting [on] things out on the campus that help others [and] be seen.” said Duque.

Lilia has worked tirelessly to create a positive atmosphere for all students. Having an identity at VHS allows one to feel a part of the ‘family.’  I feel that Lilia was instrumental in the Banda concert which created an atmosphere of pride for many students, faculty and community here at VHS,” said Karen Reynosa, VHS Chemistry teacher.

Duque, Navarro and Cardenas put together the Latino Rights Club last year, because  there was a shift in the Latino and Hispanic population on VHS campus. Over 50 percent of the VHS student body is Latino or Hispanic. Yet up until last year, the school had nothing to offer for Latino or Hispanic rights. The students thought that it’d be best to put some kind of club out there for these students. They wanted the club to help include these students on-campus and make them feel like they belong. 

A photo of the baile that Duque put on in 2022 with the Latino Rights’ Club and ASB. Photo by: Lilia Duque

Duque said, “The club does activities that help make the campus a place where students that are like us can come and enjoy and appreciate and feel like they are a cougar themselves. [In the club] we’ve done some really cool projects around campus that have helped build that sort of community, we had a movie night and we’ve had a bunch of other projects. Along with ASB’s help, I was able to [put together] the bailé on campus last year which was like a school dance that had Hispanic music. That club is helping do more things like that for the school.”

I think that [the Latino Rights Club]club has given many students a sense of belonging and increased self-esteem here at VHS. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, it allows more empathy for others. We can also support and belong to many groups simultaneously,” said Reynosa.

Duque’s club has over fifteen members. The Latino Rights club meets on Fridays during Lunch in room 51. 

Duque’s main goal is to make sure that everyone has a voice.