By Claudia Gonzalez ’20
The profound feminist takes her place in front of the classroom. Her eccentric personality shining as bright as her neon yellow sweater, and everyone in the room has their attention on her. Who is this powerful, intelligent young woman in front of the room, you might ask? It is none other than sophomore, Ximena Flores.
Flores is the kind of person who craves education and values awareness. This is how she manages to dominate a conversation about politics or current events so well. “Knowledge is power,” she says, “people won’t take advantage of you if you know what life is about, you’ll get an amazing job, try to help people […] knowledge is ultimately everything to me.” However, Flores choses to use her knowledge to help others by spreading awareness to help others achieve fundamental rights. Her activism includes being apart of organizations that reach out to girls that have faced rape, laws that will help immigrants, as well as bullying and beyond. “I want to also be politically involved in laws and women and minorities, people from LGBT. I want to be very involved in helping other people achieve the rights that they deserve, and the liberty that they deserve,” said Flores.
Flores also values self expression, mainly through art form. “I write a lot […] writing helps me process a lot of things. I think writing itself is beautiful, you get to express yourself in ways that you never really knew existed,” Flores said. “I’m really into surreal art, and so I focus a lot of my drawings on reality and fantasy.” Flores’s interests span from greek mythology to paints, “I talk a lot in class, I always love to share my opinion,” Flores said.
Flores is a very outspoken individual, and her outgoingness is contagious to her peers and friends. Sophomore, and best friend Loribeth Godinez, shared that her first impression of Flores was that Flores was a very vibrant and positive person that she wanted to be around. “In chemistry, a lot of students are afraid to ask for help, but she is really outgoing and says ‘not to be afraid,’ she is really […] motivational” said Godinez.
Flores always encourages her peers to speak out, and not to be afraid to express themselves. “I think that expression and talking about how you feel is really important, especially among teenagers,” says Flores, “There are so many people in my grade, and I bet the school, who don’t like talking about how they feel and how they […] hide it, and we have so much to say.” Flores is collecting poems, stories, and phrases from the sophomores they have composed themselves, and hopes to make them into a book and maybe one publish it.
Flores has been encouraging expression in herself too, especially outside of school. “As a freshman I was so confused about what to do, I wasn’t […] as focused on my passions and my goals, […] homework was all I was thinking about. That didn’t let me focus on myself and what I wanted to do.” said Flores. However this year, Flores is more confident about focusing on herself, her goals and passions, and what she wants to achieve personally.
Career wise, Flores mainly hopes to pursue philosophy in college and eventually become a philosopher. “If I do become a philosopher,” Flores says, “I don’t know what to do with philosophy, but I do really like thinking a lot about how the world works and what living is really like,what is the purpose of life and why are we here.[…] In all what even is good or what even is bad, who gets to choose what is moral or what isn’t moral?” Women studies also have Flores’s eye too. She hopes that this education will help her on how to achieve women more rights across the country.
Maybe life isn’t so clear sometimes and maybe yes it can be stressful, unfair and unjustified, but that is why Flores chooses to speak out and express herself the way she does, because it is her way of expressing herself and it is her philosophy.