Recently elected to the District 2 seat, Alexandria Ayala is the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Palm Beach County School Board, and also one of the youngest.
She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Palm Beach County in the Village of Palm Springs. Her mother, an early childhood educator, moved Alexandria to Florida specifically so that she could benefit from the education system.
Alexandria attended the University of Central Florida, a choice she thinks is representative of something bigger than just education, (she studied Political Science and Journalism). UCF is relatively new compared to other universities, so she feels folks who choose it are interested in “creating history,” (a path she’s certainly on).
After college, Alexandria served constituents and worked on policy issues as a Legislative Aide in Tallahassee. She is currently a Legislative Aide for the Palm Beach County Commission.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Alexandria is a TRU Floridian through and through.
“The influence of different immigrant populations make it [Florida] so great. Every part of this state owes pieces of its identity to a different group of people, which makes it so interesting and culturally rich,” she said.
While Alexandria could have left Florida after college, a move to D.C. or New York City perhaps, she made what she calls a “conscious decision” to stay, despite professional incentives to leave.
“I chose to stay here because I love Florida. Florida has things to offer, unlike any other state. It’s warm...the beaches...the beauty, and the general resilience of the people give this state such a youthful spirit,” Alexandria said.
When asked about Florida’s sometimes negative and “weird” reputation, she continued, “We can’t let that be the prevailing narrative of the state. Everyone can’t buy into that. The potential of this state is limitless.”
In addition to her work as an activist in Palm Beach County, Alexandria has been a member of several community organizations including the Hispanic Education Coalition of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Advisory Commission on Women, League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County. She served as Vice President of the Palm Beach County Young Democrats, Florida Young Democrats, and is an alumnus of the New Leaders Council (NLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Glass Leadership Institute.
Alexandria is passionate about continuing to serve Florida. She is a proud product of the Palm Beach County School District and recognizes how lucky she was to have the advantage of a good public education. She ran for and won, her School Board seat to ensure kids have the same opportunities she did, and to see that teachers and staff are supported and have a voice.
She also understands just how significant Florida is politically, as a whole.
“Politics is not a dirty word,” Alexandria said. “You don’t like the partisan part of it. Being involved in politics and voting and participating is fun—it’s sexy, it’s cool. We need to reclaim politics—as young people—we can’t give up control. We need to give a sh*t.”
We’re excited to watch her career as she continues to champion communities, the school district, support women, and work to increase voter participation.
Alexandria is truly an exceptional example of a native Floridian doing good.