Class of 2021 Young Voices Media Project


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Carolyn Dorantes, born and raised in Salinas, California, is an ambitious incoming Junior at Rancho San Juan. Dorantes loves her city and stays connected through ASB, Interact, and a youth group known as La Cosecha. She is also a very active person and plays volleyball, she is always on the go chasing her dreams, her biggest pet peeve is people who walk slow when she’s got somewhere to be. Dorantes spends her free time reading, crocheting, or watching YouTube commentary videos. Dorantes is still undecided about her future career, caught between journalism and business, but she knows she wants to attend a four year institution after high school, preferably the University of Southern California. Carolyn Dorantes is driven by her desire to bring her parents’ dreams into fruition, she wants to make her parent’s migration to the U.S from Mexico worth it, but most of all, she wants to build a future where she can be content with herself.

Karen Dorantes (she/her) was born and raised in Salinas. From a young age, she has demonstrated ambition through her work — a quality she defines as her favorite of many. As a returning student reporter for the Young Voices Media Project, she has shown resilience these past two years. During the pandemic, Dorantes explored her passion for activism by spotlighting the Black Lives Matter movement in her writing. As an incoming junior at Rancho San Juan High, Karen looks forward to educating herself on old and new ideas of discussion. She enjoys absorbing knowledge, spending her free time at her favorite location in the city: Gabilan Library. She spends the most time with her sister, Carolyn, who was inspired by Karen to join the Young Voices workshop this year. With a passion for sharing other’s stories and being her best self, Karen is ecstatic about what this year has in store.

Sophia Espinosa is an incoming senior at Rancho San Juan, with a bubbly and outgoing personality. She is never afraid to get out of her comfort zone, as she is an extroverted person who is fearless when it comes to experimenting with the environment around her. Sophia was the first-ever captain of the varsity volleyball team at Rancho San Juan and is always there to make sure her team is organized and ready to go. In school, she is not afraid to show school spirit as she is an active member of Rancho San Juan’s ASB. Aside from being a leader within school and sports, Sophia is a leader amongst herself. She does her absolute best to make sure she is organized at all times. She takes the time to better understand her mind by practicing yoga, having a well thought out bullet journal, and focusing on the more positive aspects of her life. At a young age, Sophia has discovered that her biggest inspiration in life is herself, as she isn’t afraid of competition or any challenges that she faces.

Angela Rodrigez is a senior from Gonzales High School. She enjoys learning about history as well as writing. Some of her favorite hobbies include reading, watching TV shows — especially “Haikyuu!,” a volleyball anime — and playing guitar. One of her goals in life is to become an author, but she is also interested in law and becoming a therapist. She hopes to make her parents proud since they have sacrificed so much for her. If she could meet someone famous, she would meet Sarah Kay, a poet whose works she enjoys reading. Her favorite place to visit in Monterey County is Fisherman’s Wharf. Her most listened-to artists are BTS and Cage the Elephant, and her favorite movie is “Whisper of the Heart.”

Marcela Perez is an 18-year-old recent graduate of Soledad High School who has big dreams of one day working in medical research.  She will attend UC Berkeley in the fall to major in applied mathematics, as she really enjoys the math aspect of research medicine. After getting her degree, she plans on coming back to her community in order to give back the help that was given her. During her time at Soledad High School, Perez participated in both cross country and track all four years. Her bucket list dreams include going up in a hot air balloon, learning German, picking up the cello again, and, if he were still alive, interviewing Cesar Chavez about his experience during the agriculture boycott.  Her favorites include musician  Frank Ocean, the color green, science fiction, the movie “Back to the Future.” Her favorite place is her mom’s hometown in Mexico.

Jordan Montero, who just turned 17, has always had a love for writing and reading. She has an amazing ability to speak out her personal opinions without the fear of backlash. She is proud of joining the Young Voices Workshop even when she has a few other things on her plate. If she could have one superpower, she would choose to be invisible. One of Jordan’s favorite things about herself is being able to laugh in every situation, as well as making others laugh. She loves eating sushi while staying in and reading her favorite books. If she could move to one place in the world, she chose to go to London for European escapism. If she could, Jordan would choose to be 25 years old forever so she could stay young enough to live life but old enough to really experience it.

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