“The main reason I’m really actually going to college and like getting a career and doing this stuff is to make my parents happy…”


Maria Ponce

This is a baby picture of Carmen Ponce.

Interview audio

Carmen Ponce is 17 years old. She wants to accomplish what she promised her parents: culminating elementary and middle school, and graduating from high school and college. Becoming what she wants and succeeding.

She is a senior at California City High School. She wants to go to Cerro Coso Community College for two years and then transfer to the veterinarian school at UC Davis.

When she was younger she had to overcome many challenges. These challenges were emotional, physical, and mental. The most painful challenge she had to overcome was with her parents but she still would love to make then happy. Like every kid wants to.



Stephanie Ramirez: So what college do you want to go to next year?
Carmen Ponce: Well my first plan was to uh take the SAT and go to UC Davis, but as of right now my mind is set on a two year college first and then transfer to UC Davis.
SR: Where do you want to go to.
CP: The community college, well the well i’m taking college courses in high school right now, so I was thinking about staying in that college which is called Cerro Coso so it’s really close to there [California City] umm its in Ridgecrest [inaudible] there’s many campuses around there so they’re like 30 minute drives as from where I live.
SR: Umm what majors would you like to study?
CP: Um well when I transfer uh the major I really want to focus on is Animal Sciences. So then I can start of my, so then I can just transfer to my vet school at UC Davis.
SR: um so you just wanna become like a vet?
CP: mhm
SR: Umm what was it like growing up?
CP: Well since I lived most of my life here in L.A um growing up was not really that hard, but there was some major setbacks that I had to face. Like school, meeting new people, talking, [things] like that. Just the basic that everyone goes through.
SR: Like how was what was your experience during elementary and middle school at first?
CP: Well my experiences were pretty good cause i was you know the average student with the good grades –
SR: yea
CP: – A’s and stuff like that.
SR: Did it affect um when you had a sibling or cousins?
CP: Well since you know I’m the oldest out of all of you guys in general like my cousins and my siblings. It really did affect me a lot because you guys all like mostly look up to me so it set me like umm like uhh i don’t wanna say like a berdin, but like something that had to keep me in like oh set a good example cause your the oldest they’re going to follow after your footsteps, so yeah.
SR: So did you like Julio at first?
CP: Uhh yeah cause we we’re really close even until now we’re still really close, and well mostly through out our childhood it was just the two of us, so we would like play and stuff like that. so yea
SR: What were your parents like when you like first entered elementary?
CP: My parents when I first had entered elementary they were really umm like every regular parent they just wanted be to be good and be good in school, get good grades get like threes [interrupted by older cousion] and fours-
SR: So did you wanna make your parents happy?
CP: Yes, this is the main reason I’m really actually going to college and like getting a career and like doing this stuff is just to make my parents happy because ever since I was little I’ve always had this dream of me being the first one to go off and stuff. Yea its mainly to make them happy but its actually it’s also something that I really really want.
SR: Yea cause Chia didn’t go to college, but he graduated high school. Ok so who’s your favorite relative and why?
CP: Ok so [laughs] well as you named him already, Chia [Robert actual name] well he is my favorite one cause since I was little, he’s always been there he’s like, he’s actually like a brother to me not an uncle. So like yeah he’s always taking care of me, he’s always gotten me stuff, like he’s always showing me that love like a brother [inaudible].
SR: Umm so tell me like a story about your best teacher.
CP: Well the best teacher I’ve had was actually last year when I was taking chemistry. Mrs. Achziger she was my chemistry teacher and I was actually going to take advanced bio with her this year, but that wasn’t possible. um and she’s one of the best teachers I’ve had because she was a vet tech before she became a teacher. so she’s like actually taught me a lot of what to do and what like what other people are looking for when I start applying to vet schools and stuff like that. she’s giving me a lot of how do I say this advice.
SR: Like heads up?
CP: yeah
SR: um, um, who had the biggest influence on you in your life?
CP: The biggest I actually have three people. which was my parents[ mother and father] and my because they have always talked about oh your going to college, your going to college like you got to get good grades, you gotta do this. so that’s actually lead me to like being the actual like the good student with good grades and like um I’ve always liked to like over achieve but not to a point where I’m not going to achieve that so they are my biggest influences as of like getting my life together going to college getting my career and stuff like that.
SR: How do your parents and Chia show you that they care and like to try your best?
CP: They way they showed me that they care was like when they would see my report card and stuff like that they would reward me in a way that was like oh you’re doing really good like keep it up and um what was it middle school I think i wanted the iphone like the iphone 6 like everyone had it and they were like ok like make sure show me that you had good grades like show me that you’re able to achieve so you can get reward which i was iI was able to have good straight I don’t want to say straight A’s because I’ve never really been a straight A student like mostly A’s and B’s so like I was about yea I was about I was able to show them that I was able to work hard for what I wanted.
SR: So um what was the happiest/saddest moment in your life?
CP: Well I’ve had a lot of sad moments and happy moments so I really don’t know what to but like one of the happiest moments was actually having all of you guys here that’s one of my happiest moments because I wouldn’t dream of all of you guys are awesome you guys really are like I love all of you guys that’s one of my happy one of my happiest moments was the age [ I was when] all of you guys were born because I never thought of me having like so many families so many like cousins that actually that I love and they love me back so yea.
SR: Um tell me a story of your proudest accomplishments?
CP: Well one of my proudest accomplishments was I know this is going to be really boring is getting Principal Honors roll because I’ve always gotten mainly Honor role which is really good like you know its good but like I’ve always seen a few people with Principal Honors roll and I was like oh how come I don’t get it. I was finally able to achieve it and I finally got Principal Honor roll
SR: Aww. So what helped you get this far?
CP: Well what really helped me get this far was the support and love from my family like you well I talk to you sometimes about my plans and you’re like yeah go ahead do it and you yea my siblings my friends everybody like they helped me push me along the right path so I won’t get cut off
SR: yeah like do you think made wrong decisions but like fixed them in some type of way?
CP: I’ve made a lot of wrong decisions especially one in middle school yeah I’ve been able to like make myself stronger after that incident after that incident and I’ve made sure that that would never happen again and it will affect me and my career accomplishments.
SR: Did you believe you were going to make it to college
CP: Yea because ever since I was little I was like oh yea college, college, college so like my mindset was good, good grades so you can go to college and my mindset was always like oh your going to a 4 year a 4 year but that’s not really where I’m right now cause like a two year is better.
SR: Have you only applied to one college or more colleges.
CP: I have I’ve thought about applying to 4 years like UC Irvine,UC Davis,UCLA, like the basic but the most ones that are like not really community college I wasn’t really thinking about that but I said I was going to go to community college I’ve already decided where I want to go to
SR: how do you believe you made all of this happen?
CP: How do I believe?
SR: yea
CP: Well I believe I was able to make this happen through my hard work and through the moral support that my parents and my family has given me like faith even though I’ve had some bumps in the road but they’ve been able to help me come back and achieve higher and keep doing what I’ve been doing before
SR: Do you think your past affects you like in some type of way right now that like thinking oh like I did somethings when I was in middle and elementary school that helped me get here or that helped me become a stronger person?
CP: Well yea things well somethings that have affected me from the past is like my parents splitting up like that was a really hard time for me but that’s also showed me to be strong to not let the simple things get me like put me down but to keep achieving and around that time my uncle had gone to jail well our uncle
Both: Laughs
CP:- so that was also like a thing that actually really brought me down to to like a level to were it almost almost fell almost into depression but that helped me like push me to be like oh just because this doesn’t mean that you’re going to be sad actually instead of being sad for me my focus was on my school to keep me like distracted from the outside things so that was a way of like –
SR: escaping
CP:- yea escaping of like that like getting higher grades
SR:Do you think that there was this one time at school where you just like couldn’t concentrate and just broke down completely?
CP: well actually yeah one thing that really messed me up one of the times was that I went to school one day And when my parents split up my dad couldn’t really talk to us because I think my mom put a restraining order on him or something and he called me from like a friends phone and he told me I heard the hurt in his voice and actually when i heard that like I literally cried like I really cried and I never thought like out of all those people in the world that something like that would happen to us
SR: And the last question is are you proud of all of us .
CP: Of course I”m proud of all of you YOU guys are actually in good steps right know Im proud of Daisy, Julio, You, Evelyn, Cesar, Bryan, Brandon, even Dani she’s a little deva but I’m still proud of her like all of you guys are really good students like are over achievers.
SR: That’s It thank you