by LINDA FRABL | photos by Mark Hopkins Photography

Latina Leader

student_aparicio1Arleth Flores Aparicio, a senior at Rancho Buena Vista High School, is living proof that hard work does indeed pay off. As a proud Latina, Arleth embraces her heritage to achieve her dreams, and even works to help other minorities realize their own potential.

As the founder and president of her campus’ chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.), Arleth advocates for the political empowerment of her fellow Chicanos and Latinos. She explained, “I frequently speak about policies and practices that impact our community and promote higher education.” Arleth also participates in afterschool AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) classes, a global nonprofit program that aims to close the achievement gap for minorities through college preparation activities. She was even honored as this year’s AVID Senior Standout.

Name: Arleth Flores Aparicio
School: Rancho Buena Vista High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Zuhey Aparicio and Carlos Flores Martinez
Siblings: Aimee and Alexis Flores
Favorite Local Spot: Skybound Coffee + Dessert Lounge

student_aparicio3Never one to rest, Arleth stays busy as the Vice President of Key Club International, and she keeps fit through water polo and swimming. Arleth also has a one-day-a-week all-day International Baccalaureate (IB) Theory of Knowledge course, an internship at Tri-City Medical, and a 16 hour/week job as a server at Tei Café. She manages all of these different commitments while maintaining a 4.02 GPA. Arleth admitted, “My work ethic is my greatest talent.”

Describing how she begins her day offers a glimpse into Arleth’s drive. She stated, “Because of the noise level in our home I am unable to concentrate. Therefore, I set five alarm clocks every night to ensure I get up at 3 a.m. so I can spend quality time reading, writing, and completing assignments. I’d rather focus my energies this way, versus struggling every night with the noise.”

“My work ethic is my greatest talent.”

Her college goal is to major in political science and minor in public policy, and then become either a California senator or an assemblywoman. She is well on her way, as she is currently the only female and only Latina who is a District Student School Board Representative for Vista Unified. She was also accepted into the Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Project (CLYLP) in Sacramento last year, where she participated in a mock hearing on the assembly floor. Arleth proclaimed, “Personally, I haven’t seen many people of color or people from minority groups in top-rank government roles, so I want to represent minority groups and contribute a different view.”