Veronica Hernandez is the new Cover Girl for the San Fernando edition of Quinceanera.com Magazine. She is a good student who avoids getting into trouble and aims to achieve her goals no matter what it takes.
The influence by her parents’ culture in undeniable, whether it’s the characteristics, the food or the telenovelas she watches every night, all of which are far from the customs practiced by her classmates in South Gate High School. Despite all this, she considers English her first language and the one in which she can express herself the best. “The first language I learned at home was Spanish, which I speak well, but I speak more English because of school,” she confesses.
Her name is Veronica Hernandez. She is 16 years old (about to turn 17) and considers herself a good girl. She doesn’t like getting into trouble and stays away from alcohol and drugs. She likes to stick to a group of friends she can relate to when it comes to future goals, forming a family, studying hard, and getting a college education. But now she has taken a detour from her daily routine by becoming a cover girl for Quinceanera.com Magazine, which she considers “a very exciting experience”. To achieve this win, she had the support of several family members who helped her gain a wide number of votes, nearly 300 in total.
It was that same kind of support she received when she celebrated her Quince two years ago, despite the fact that she had no intention to celebrate it due to lack of resources. “That is why I really appreciate the effort my parents made. The money, the stress, and the fact that they didn’t hesitate to do whatever it took to have a party like the one I had,” she explains.
Her Quinceanera was planned in just two short months and with a small budget because she never really wanted a party. It was something that was decided overnight. “My mom was never able to have a Quince and she wanted to live the experience through me. After it was decided, everyone encouraged me to have one.”
In honesty, she says she thanks God for allowing her Quince to happen, even though it was a lot of stress and cost her parents a lot of money. “That’s why we couldn’t really get exactly what we were looking for. We got my dress a day before the party and we did what we could to pay for it.”
This experience led her to alter her mindset; determined to do anything for her parents after she graduates from college. “Before I used to think more about myself, but now I’m convinced that I will help them because they really deserve it. I have to return some of everything they have given me.”
Her Quinceanera ceremony took place at a church in Los Angeles, followed by a party that, in the end, had a little bit of everything including mariachi, a surprise limousine, tamborazo and a DJ, courtesy of a friend. It was a celebration for 150 guests.
Veronica is aware that she can give advice to future Quinceaneras on how to plan their party. She also hopes that her 10 year-old sister celebrates similarly, although she fears her rebelliousness may not allow it. “She’s the type who wants to adopt kids and never get married,” said Veronica.
As for her own future, the first Quinceanera.com Magazine Cover Girl of the year hopes to follow a traditional role. “I see myself married and having kids, but not yet. First I have to graduate from college, maybe from medical school or study something related to public relations.” She’s torn between the two different fields and doesn’t know which one she will follow. Since her parents never had the chance to attend college, Veronica is feeling the pressure of making sure she attends. “It’s kinda hard because they encourage me to do my homework but they don’t really know what comes next.”
College is a goal she hopes to achieve after overcoming current obstacles typical of American public schools, such as friends who she used to talk to but started to avoid because of their bad habits. “They wanted to go out at night, smoke, and do things like that. I wasn’t interested in any of it.”
Despite all of that, she says she loves going to school. “I’ve always liked it,” she said. In addition to this she is directly involved in several programs. “I have to deal with a lot but I want to see things through. I want to go to college and build my career. If I have to get loans I will. I think it’s a great investment in my future.”
This is Veronica. A young girl with a fighting spirit, clear goals, and a charming smile, and someone who is curious about life and wants to have a better life than her parents.
This post is also available in: Spanish