GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Family is one of the most important things to a Southwest Middle High School student.

Lluviayleen Sosa is an eighth grader and the school’s student council president. Growing up, her family faced many hardships that helped them grow together.

“My mother had cancer when she gave birth to my brother and my father was deported when I was a kid. It was definitely a hard time in my life, but I feel like it’s kind of my success story now because I overcame that,” Sosa said.

Now, she is a straight-A student passionate about history and science. Her classmates voted her to be the school’s student of the month in December.

“It feels really good because it’s a representation of all my hard work and how it paid off in the end. Because I really do try in school, and I definitely think that I worked hard for it and I’m really grateful for them nominating me,” Sosa said.

The school has a dual immersion learning environment, where students and teachers speak in both Spanish and English. Sosa’s primary language is Spanish, and she did not learn English until third grade.

“Spanish has helped me grow a lot. It helps me communicate with family members who live in Mexico, obviously and definitely in English, I can express myself a little more with people because I like to make sure people know what I’m talking about,” Sosa said.

After high school, Sosa wants to go to college and major in criminal justice and get a doctorate degree. But, for now, she is focused on graduating high school and making her family proud.

“My father didn’t graduate from high school and none of his family members did, so I’d be the first high school graduate and that’s always changed my perspective of things,” Sosa said.