When the AIDS epidemic was in full force, Olivia Aguado was a student at Wheeling High School and asked her counselor if she could do something to educate her peers on this deadly virus. The counselor consented and Olivia put on several informational presentations for her classmates. “I was passionate about public health education and talking to my peers,” she said. That small gesture sparked a career.
Olivia then enrolled in Northern Illinois University to pursue a degree in community health and, after earning her degree, started working at the Lake County Health Department educating others about public health issues. She continued to work there for 10 years until her husband took a job in Texas and relocated the family. Flash forward five years, Olivia found herself back in CCSD21, working in Cooper Middle School’s health office.
Cue the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I instantly knew I wanted to do more to help prevent and control this global pandemic that affected everyone,” Olivia adds.
A newly created position, public health liaison, allowed Olivia to tap into her passion and help others in need. In this role, she engages and empowers families to promote health and safety to the district’s students and families. “We know that healthy students make better learners and academic achievement bears a lifetime of success,” she notes.
With her calm demeanor, she builds trusting relationships with families and supports them by providing programs, promoting safety and improving community health.
Thank you, Olivia! District 21 is privileged to have you.