“[My aunt is] my role model … She was there with me through some crazy stuff.” 

In+this+photo+Angelia+Brede+just+graduated+and+took+this+picture+with+her+friend.

Angelina Brede

In this photo Angelia Brede just graduated and took this picture with her friend.

Interview audio

In May of 2021, Angelina Brede graduated to become a teacher at just 22 years old. She lived in Michigan in a small town called Mount Clemens where she lived with her older sister and mother.

She never really had her life planned out or knew what she wanted to be until she discovered that she really liked reading and writing, so she went to college and started with journalism.

She eventually graduated and also met someone that is special to her, a girlfriend. Throughout her life, she had figured out that she’s only attracted to women.

After living in LA for two months she’s gotten attached to it. It’s different from her old town.  In LA there are mountains everywhere, it’s busy and loud and has a lot more people. But if she could go back to Michigan she could so she could be more involved in her little nieces’ lives since they are so young.

She didn’t really have a plan to go with since she didn’t really have someone to support her. Her mom wasn’t really ever there for here but her aunt was, and that’s all the support she needed to understand what she wanted to do.

 

Transcript:

Mariana Melendez: Where were you born from?
Angelina Brede: I was born in Michigan in a small town called Mount Clemens.
MM: Do you miss your old town? 
AB: Yeah I miss some parts about it, I miss like…LA is very busy and has a lot of people and my town in Michigan is very quiet and yeah I miss like it being quiet, yeah.
MM: So you like quiet places?
AB: Yeah yeah.
MM: Tell me something about yourself that always surprises people?
AB: Um…[laughs] wow that’s a good question… I would say it usually surprises people to find out that I’m not straight [laughs] yeah.
MM: [laughs] What’s your sexuality?
AB: I only like women. 
MM: Um, was it hard coming out to people?
AB: Yeah it was, it was really hard just cause a lot of people think a certain sexuality is supposed to look a certain way and that’s not usually the case and it been hard because I’ve only recently like come to terms with it myself and it’s been hard like sharing it with other people, especially like, I want to be open with you guys as my students but like I don’t know how to bring it up um so I don’t know what reactions there will be so yeah that’s been difficult.
MM: Do you think if you tell people that you’d be accepted?
AB: Yeah I think generally the response has been good so far. Um obviously, there are some people who aren’t accepting of that like but for the most part it’s been good yeah.
MM: How old are you?
AB:  I’m 22.
MM: 22, wow so you’re young .
AB:  I know [laughs].
MM: [laughs] Do a lot of people tell you that?
AB: Yeah they do tell me I’m very young. I would say that’s other thing people are surprised to find out, that here is like, how young I am as a teacher or they’re surprised, like, new people I meet to even find out that I am a teacher cause they’re like “What! How are you already a teacher, you’re like my age.” 
MM: When did you graduate? 
AB: I graduated in May, so like six months ago I think, not that long ago.
MM: Are you the youngest teacher, like in the whole school?
AB: Mhm..yeah cause I think it works differently here. In Michigan where, like you only have to go for the four years of college to to be able to become a teacher but I think in California you have to do an extra two years. So the youngest teachers in like where I live here are like 24. But yeah, its different in Michigan.
MM: Do you like being in Los Angeles? 
AB: I do. Yeah, I like it a lot. Like I said, it’s super different then what I’m used to. And like we talked about in advisory today, um diversity and like getting to know different people and going to different places I think is important and like breaking out of your shell because like I grew up in a super, well, middle of nowhere area where everyone’s the same and everyone is Republican and there is just like no different views. I think LA is a total change of pace from that based on like, even ethnically, like everyone from where I was from was white, um then politely like, obviously not everyone is Republican here, like everyone has a bunch of different views and just the area, the weather, what it looks like outside, like mountains being everywhere, it’s totally different. It’s a lot more busy. I like it a lot. I like both places for different reasons. 
MM: Would you like to live here? 
AB: Yeah um, I have only lived here for like two months. It’s only been two month which has honestly been crazy but I could see myself staying here for a really long time.
MM: Would you wanna go back to Michigan?
AB: Honestly, after being here I don’t think I could just cause like it’s only been two months, like I said, but I’m so used to everything LA already has to offer and I feel like I’m already attached to the city and attached to this school and I feel like I will be in this school for a long time.
MM:Do you miss any people from Michigan?
AB: Yeah I miss my mom and I miss my sister but I really miss my little baby nieces because they are so young. Like one is two and the other one just turned eight and I feel like I’m missing watching them grow up so I wish I wish they were here [laughs].
MM: Like you wanna be more included in their life since they’re so young?
AB: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
MM: Do you have any favorite foods? 
AB: Um yeah I would say Italian food is my favorite food. I really like pasta but recently coming to LA I’ve tried a lot of street tacos and those are quickly becoming one of my favorite things.
MM: So like you’re getting into Mexican food?
AB: Yes, yes like they are authentic because in Michigan they don’t have any authentic food like, they just have Taco Bell [laughs].
MM: I know a lot of people that like, come to LA and they start to like Mexican food.
AB: Yes that’s another reason I don’t think I could leave [laughs].
MM: [laughs] Because of the food?
AB: Yeah, yeah.
MM: Is there anything that gets passed down?
AB: Um no, not really since my family is white and it’s a small family we don’t have any cool culture so it’s whatever.
MM: You said you have a sister right? 
AB: Mhm.
MM: You only have one sister?
AB: Yup. I have like a half brother that I never met, apparently cause my dad had like another kid with another lady before my mom, but I’ve never met him.
MM: Are you the oldest or is your sister?
AB: No I’m the youngest.
MM: Ohhh is your sister older than you?
AB: Yeah.
MM: How old is she?
AB: She’s 28, she just turned 28.
MM: If teaching didn’t work out, what would be your second option?
AB: I would be doing what you’re doing right now. Like in college I was working for the school newspaper and I loved it. I would like interview people a lot. Like I would just interview, just like other students or I would interview people who work at certain businesses then I would write stories about it. I’m probably assuming that is what you’re going to do with this so yeah, I’d be doing that, like journalism probably.
MM: What about, like a lot of people say they’d wanna be a doctor when they grow up. Did you ever consider becoming a doctor? 
AB: No, I to be honest, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do at all. Like I didn’t have a goal. I wasn’t, like, I’m going to go to college one day and I’m going to become this. I just kind of followed the people around me and what they did because I had no idea what I was going to do and like all my friends started applying to college, then I was “Okay I guess I’ll do it too” and then I did it. And then I was like “Oh my god, I made it this far and I’m almost gonna be an adult. I should probably decide what I’m going to do.” And like in high school, I don’t really have a favorite subject, like everything felt the same to me, and in college I figured out that I was really bad at science and math so I should probably do something else and then I realized that I like to read and write so I was like “I’m going to do this” and I decided to become a teacher, but I like really didn’t know what I was going to do like until college and already there.  So I never wanted to be, I never really had a, like, I wanna be this one day as a kid.
MM: So it was like a last minute option?
AB: Mhm well no, like yes and no. Like I wanted to so something I liked. It just took me a little bit longer to figure out that it was teaching. Like I didn’t know I wanted to, actually I sort of knew I wanted to be a teacher in high school. I was like, “I’ll be like a substitute teacher sometimes.” Um, I sort of  knew I wanted to be a substitute teacher in high school cause I was like, “Oh my gosh that would be so fun.” Then I got to college and then I was like “I might as well just do the full thing” and then here I am but yeah, I really like it, it’s been good.
MM: Do you like all your students?
AB: I do and I was like nervous, so nervous to do this like cause all of my student teaching, like when you become a teacher you need to be a student teacher first, then you’re just basically in college but still teaching a class at the same time and the real teacher just kind of watches you the whole time. But my student teaching was all online so I  didn’t get a chance to, like, get to know any of the kids. Really I was just teaching Romeo and Juliet to a bunch of screens so I was like nervous, um, but its been even better than expected.
MM: Is online teaching better or in-person teaching?
AB: In-person but I will say I know how to online teach, like confidently, like I know how to do it cause that’s where I started [laughs] but I still am getting used to in-person teaching. I wouldn’t say that I’m super great at it or anything yet cause its my first year but in-person is definitely better cause I get to see you guys in person.
MM: Who has been your role model for your whole life?
AB: Um, I would say the first person that came to mind is my aunt and that’s cause as a kid I like went through some really hard spots. My mom couldn’t be there for me and, like, I didn’t have, like my mom was my only parent growing up so I had to like stay with my aunt a lot of the times.  And she was, she had been through some crazy stuff  in her childhood too and, like I thought we could relate on a lot of levels and she had been through a lot of horrible things and still turned out to be a great person. So I knew that, like with her as my role model I could do the same thing and yeah, I would definitely say her cause she was there with me through some crazy stuff.