By Troy Wilde
June 28, 2016
Phoenix, AZ – Anna Flores is hoping to use her college education, centered in journalism and law, to become an advocate for immigrants pursuing the American Dream.
Anna, who was born in Nogales, Arizona and raised in Phoenix, says, “In my community I’ve always been surrounded by people who are under-represented in our political system and our judicial system. A lot of those people, being from a Latino community, were immigrants or were undocumented. I’ve faced firsthand the type of struggle and strife that they’ve had to go through because of their identity as an immigrant. They often don’t have enough money to pay for a lawyer and are not well versed in what type of rights that they have, and the things that they can do to make their living situation better.“
Anna, age 20 and a graduate of Carl Hayden Community High School, is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is planning on attending law school at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU with the long-term goal of becoming an immigration attorney.
Anna says she would also work as a journalist if can she can be advocate, “If I’m given a voice and I’m pursuing a career in journalism, and also given the opportunity to use journalistic tools, I will always take advantage of that – to be able to voice the concerns of what I consider to be my people.”
Once upon a time, journalism grads would get jobs as reporters, editors, writers, producers and other gigs at newspapers as well as television and radio stations. Anna explains how the Internet and digital age has changed things radically, “To be a reporter now you have to know how to do everything. You have to know how to work a video camera, a photo camera, you have to know how to work a recording device, you have to know to mic people, you have to know how to interview and you have to know how to edit. All of these different factors and components are no longer divided among many people. You literally have to know every single detail of the job to be a good journalist because all of these mediums are now blended into one because of the digital age.”
Anna is among the group of hardworking young people who have earned a scholarship through College Success Arizona, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. The students also receive specialized mentoring services through the organization’s Success Advisers, or mentors.
Anna says the scholarship made college possible, “First and foremost, without the financial help I wouldn’t be able to go to school, I just wouldn’t be able to. There is no way my family would have been able to help me pay for it. The money that is provided by College Success goes straight into me being able to go to school and then do a good job at it.”
Anna has high praise for her Success Adviser, Barbra Scrivner, and the system of support:
“The mentors have helped me become more versed in what college should be and become aware of the opportunities I should be taking advantage of. It also provides a support system which I know that if I were to have trouble, or find myself too stressed out, I know that there is another layer of support there for me. I am able to go and talk to my mentor and ask questions that I may not feel comfortable asking people at my college.”
Anna has some advice for middle and high school students considering college, “One of the hardest things to do is just to keep up the motivation and keep up the dreams – so I would say try to keep the fire of your dreams alive. If you try to minimize your accomplishments and your goals, then you will land in the place where you’ve settled. So I say go high, go for the best and go for what you think you can accomplish.”