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Cathy Valadez

Cathy Valadez is senior at the Watertown High School and will graduate in June, 2013. She was born to Mexican parents in Illinois, and has one sister and one brother. Cathy moved to Watertown from Illinois when she was 4 years old. She moved to Mexico at 13 and returned to Watertown one year later, where she started her freshman year at Watertown High School.

Cathy is an ambitious and motivated high school student. She is a member of FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), a non-profit organization that works with community service and is an integral part of the consumer science curriculum. She also takes nursing classes such as Health Services CNA and Health Observations in preparation to study Nursing after high school. Cathy has attended prom and is involved with planning the Children’s Fair as well as spaghetti dinners.

While living in Mexico, she recalls helping plan her older sister’s Quinceañera, a traditional “coming of age” celebration that marks a Latino girl’s introduction to womanhood on her 15th birthday. Cathy remembers school in Mexico as being much different than in the U.S. It was explained that students wear a uniform so that it is not possible to identify those students that came from money and those that were disadvantaged strictly based on the clothes they wore. She also remembers that female students could not dye their hair or paint their nails. Home life was stricter as well. She sees that people in Mexico are more united. “TV” she says, “is less important. There is more bonding time, more people-time”.

Cathy continues to attend Spanish Mass in Watertown and she keeps in contact with friends in Mexico that she hasn’t seen since middle school. Having lived in both cultures, she feels she has a greater appreciation of the need for charity and continues to give to those in need when she can. Enrolled in a Philosophy class, Cathy discussed the immigration issue and its effects on children with a speech entitled Immigration Dilemmas. Cathy says, “It is a challenge to understand different cultural perspectives and very rewarding when you do.”

When asked why she would make a good choice for Queen of the Fiesta 2013, Cathy explained, “Both cultures have a big impact on my life. My personality is made of Mexican and American cultures combined.” We are honored to have Cathy represent Fiesta Cultural LatinoAmericana 2013.

We are very happy to learn that Cathy is on her way to beginning the next chapter of her life. This fall, she will enter the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. Cathy will be returning to Watertown occasionally and will be involved in community service and Fiesta Cultural.  We wish Cathy the best in her bright future!