The Leopard

Paulina Vazquez, Opinion Editor

I was born on May 25th, 2004 and will be turning 18 this year. I am currently a senior and this is my third and last year in journalism at East High School. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah by Mexican immigrants.

I come from a big family of six and am the oldest of four sisters. I am a first generation student. Being the oldest girl in a Mexican family comes with a lot of expectations and responsibility. My dad only reached 3rd grade and my mom 9th before dropping out, but they have always encouraged me to never drop out and to even reach a higher level of education past high school. Since I am the oldest, I’m the one responsible for reading legal documents, helping translate, and helping with making appointments and signing up everyone for school. However, I’m not complaining. This responsibility brings me closer to my mom and siblings and has partly prepared me for the real world ahead of me. I am so proud of myself for doing all the things I have done without any help from my parents, who know little to no English, and from no older siblings or older role models in general to guide me.

I have always loved animals deeply. I suppose this probably stems from the fact that my mom, who is also a huge animal lover, has brought all kinds of animals to my house. Currently we have birds, cats, dogs, fish, turtles, a hamster, a bunny, chickens, and dogs. I love all of them, but mainly focus on the birds since I am the one in charge of them. When I was younger I wanted to be a veterinary doctor but realized that was probably not the smartest move considering I am allergic to all kinds of fur. 

When I have free time I like to spend time watching videos. I especially have an interest in true crime.I have been watching true crime documentaries since I was around 11 (which was probably not the appropriate type of media for me to be consuming at that age, but whatever) and have not stopped ever since. I find true crime to be fascinating and I love to learn about it. I also like to spend time learning about skincare, eating snacks, and playing video games.

By the end of this school year, I hope to become a CNA (certified nurse assistant) and get a job at a hospital while also going to nursing school to become a RN (registered nurse.) I have always loved the thought of helping people in need and hope that I can help people, especially those who only know how to speak Spanish. I hope to be there to make people’s lives a little easier while going through medical issues, which I know from experience are difficult and scary times. I hope that the career path I go down is fulfilling and makes myself and my parents proud.


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Paulina Vazquez