Stephanie Guzman wouldn’t change a thing about her quinceañera. Her parents went all out to celebrate her birthday almost a year ago and she still remembers everything to the last detail: the entrance in a limousine, reception at a Los Angeles hotel, the dream cake and, of course, a dress fit for a princess.
But the most important thing for this young girl from Long Beach, California, was being able to share this special day with her friends and family, who totaled to 300 guests and came from all parts of the city. “It was an incredible day. Being surrounded by all those who love you isn’t possible every single day. It’s something I will never forget,” recalls Stephanie.
Then it was time for the highlight of the night, the father-daughter waltz dance. “I had been dreaming about it since I was a little girl and the best part was that my dad not only danced but started singing one of our favorite songs too. And I must say that he wasn’t too bad,” she jokes. “I was very excited to hear him sing ‘Tus quince años’ by Arkangel R-15. In that moment I thought about all the sacrifices my parents have made for my sisters and I and realized I have much to thank them for.”
Stephanie’s mother is a housewife and was not able to have a quinceanera in her home country Honduras due to lack of economic resources. So when she arrived at this country she decided that her three daughters would unquestionably have a quinceanera and the opportunity for a higher education, something that Stephanie is definitely taking advantage of. “I’m very proud of my achievements in school because last year I got straight A+. I will continue my education to have more opportunities and a better job. I don’t want to end up working in McDonald’s.”
In fact, Stephanie dreams of becoming a psychologist, specifically a marriage counselor, in order to help families with problems. “I am lucky enough to have a very united family, but I see how much children of divorced parents suffer and I want to help.”
Meanwhile, Stephanie spends her free time tutoring math and reading to kids in her little sister’s school. “I do it because I know I’m helping them with something very important for their future.” The rest of the time she does small gigs as a model and plays soccer and volleyball with her friends.
She also enjoys watching movies and says that since she saw “The Pursuit of Happiness” her favorite actor is Will Smith. “I really like how the main character never stops believing in himself and keeps fighting for what he wants in life. It’s a good lesson that helps you appreciate what you already have.”
When it comes to the problems facing teenagers today, Stephanie says she tries to stay away from them. “I don’t do drugs or like gangs; I don’t want to waste my life doing that. Some teenagers in my school smoke, but I think it’s a really bad idea. Drugs make you do things you wouldn’t normally do and gangs only bring you problems and drive you away from school.”
Our cover girl also spoke about the people she most admires and said that besides her parents, she looks up to her older sister. “She became pregnant when she was only 17 and although it was very hard, my sister didn’t miss a single day of school. She finished high school and today has a great job,” says Stephanie. “Before having children it’s best to be self-sufficient and find the person you will spend the rest of your life with.”
Stephanie Guzman is now 16 years old and although spending time with her friends and family is what’s most important to her, she does not deny her true life dream. “My other dream is to get married, though first I have to find a cute guy who is educated and has goals,” says between laughs. Her persistence and tenacity will surely help her achieve it.
Name of school: Millikan High School, Long Beach
Date of quinceañera: January 23, 2011
Number of party guests: 300
Venue: Golden Sails Best Western, Long Beach
Transportation method: Limousine
Dress description: champagne color with a sweetheart neckline and embroidery. Many foldings and train
Party theme: Princesses
Court of honor: five chambelanes and four damas
Cake description: vanilla with banana and chocolate strawberry. Shaped like a water fountain and a staircase with chambelan figurines
Waltz song: “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
Surprise song: “Stand by Me” by Prince Royce
Party favors: Crystal containers with chocolates, 3D illuminated crystals with her picture
Her favorite moment: Father-daughter waltz dance
Favorite singer: Romeo Santos
Tip for future quinceañeras: Don’t waste your money on unnecessary things such as decoration
Cover dress: courtesy of Luna’s Bridal
Photography: Patty Monroy from Max Pro Elegance Photography
This post is also available in: Spanish