Dermstore Chats with Step Up Teens Kimberly, Cindy and Elena

BY Joann Row · May 5, 2017

We at Dermstore are fortunate enough to witness the remarkable role relationships play in driving individual success. This is why our corporate sponsorship with Step Up, a nonprofit organization that inspires and empowers girls from under-resourced communities, is directly in line with our core values. It is our hope to build a strong network of resilient young women through career-focused programs and mentorship.

Recently, we were graced with the presence of three inspiring Step Up teens, Kimberly Martinez, Elena Sanchez and Cindy Cañas, to share some bites and light conversation about their upcoming graduations. Read on to get to know the girls and what they’re up to now that college is coming up.

Meet: Kimberly Martinez, Teen Honoree*
Age: 17
Grade: High School Senior
School: Gertz Ressler High School

“I’m ready to start moving towards my dreams and help my family.”

Graduation day is coming up quick. How do you feel about starting university?
I’m curious and excited! I have been craving independence and can’t wait to see what I’ll accomplish while being on my own. The obstacles are what excite me the most – learning as I go along by improvising new ways to take on challenges. I’m ready to start moving towards my dreams and help my family.

Who inspires you to stay motivated?
My role model is my mother. No matter what she goes through, she never gives up. She works as a cleaner for a building and I know how difficult that job must be. She works long, hard hours to provide for me and my sisters. When my older sister moved out, my mom and I looked after each other. Now, it’s time for me to help her.

My mom inspires me to be independent and strive to be whatever I want to be.

What’s your top school and what do you want to major in?
Cal Poly Pomona is my number one. I’m going to double major in communication studies and child development.

Do you have an idea of what career you’d like to go into?
My goal is to be an early intervention specialist. But I also have a passion for wedding planning, so I hope to be able to do both in the future!

Where do you see yourself five years from now? And, if you can picture it, ten years?
Five years from now, I see myself graduating or having graduated with my double major from Cal Poly Pomona.

In ten years, I see myself with a masters in child development. I also see myself as an early intervention specialist and trying to start my own business as a wedding planner.

*Kimberly Martinez has been selected as this year’s Inspiration Awards teen honoree for her active dedication and meaningful participation in Step Up’s youth programs and activities.

 

Meet: Cindy Cañas
Age: 17
Grade: High Scool Senior
School: Gertz Ressler High School

“I want to create ads that share a message of positivity and female empowerment.”

Graduation day is coming up quick. How do you feel about starting university?
I’m ready to go to college. My older brother went to University of California, Irvine, and he’s the only one from my family that’s graduated from college. He’s definitely one of my role models and makes me feel confident that I can do the same.

Who inspires you to stay motivated?
My mother. She works really hard and tells us she’ll keep working so my siblings and I can pursue whatever we want to in life. Even though she’s always giving, she also as a very relaxed approach to everything. She wants what’s best for my dad, brother and I. She’s a force of positivity and support.

What’s your top school and what do you want to major in?
My top schools are Cal State University, Dominguez Hills and UC Merced. I want to major in communication or media studies to learn more about advertising.

Do you have an idea of what career you’d like to go into?
My dream job is in advertisement. I’m not entirely sure which branch yet but I want to make that area a staple in my career.

Once I graduate, I see myself interning for a brand and learning more about advertising. After that, I would want to be full-fledged advertising professional. Digital advertising is changing the way we view ads, and a simple change in color, model or styling can change the whole direction of the message.

Ideally, I would want to working in the style of advertisements that focus on teens. I want to utilize the technology we have to make more positive ads. There is a lot of negativity in images out there today. Plus, I want to create ads that share a message of positivity and female empowerment.

Meet: Elena Sanchez
Age: 17
Grade: High School Senior
School: Gertz Ressler High School

“I aspire to be a lawyer that will help those who are defenseless.”

Graduation day is coming up quick. How do you feel about starting university?
I’m nervous about going into college. My older sister is a University of California, San Diego alumni and I really want to follow in her footsteps. What makes me nervous is that this will be the first time I’ll be alone. But I see what my sister did, going to school while working, and it makes me realize I can do it too!

Who inspires you to stay motivated?
My role model is my older sister Idalia Sanchez. I saw her attend Pasadena City College and transfer to UCSD. She was able to do all of this and juggle working at the same time. She is so independent and helps my parents out. It motivates me to go that extra mile. I’m the youngest of three girls and my mom spoiled us with love.

What’s your top school and what do you want to major in?
My top four schools are UC Riverside, University of San Francisco, Willamette and Cal Poly Pomona. I want to major in political science, pre-law or criminal justice.

Do you have an idea of what career you’d like to go into?
My dream job is to be a lawyer. I aspire to be a lawyer that will help those who are defenseless, people who do not fully know their individual rights and opportunities. I learned so much about law in my A.P government class.

Our teacher Mr. Vazquez really showed us everything that is going on in politics, and what a lot of people aren’t exposed to. It makes me want to learn more and go deeper into political law. I’m amazed at how politically divided the houses are, and how religion plays such a role.

I see myself in a career that provides political or legal guidance.

Joann Row

Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Joann Row developed her professional writing chops in the world of local news, but soon the fashion and beauty industry came calling. She was a longtime content contributor to several Forever 21 campaigns... Read More >

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