Meet the dancer
Monserrat, from Santa Ana, California, is 13 years old and is currently studying in 8th grade. She has been dancing on the Passion y Tumbao Project of OCAC since she was 5 years old but took a break after 2 years and came back at 11 years old. She is a 2x World Silver Medalist in 3 salsa divisions with Passion y Tumbao. Her interests outside of dance are art, drawing, science, and Astronomy. Monse loves to find photos online that others have drawn and then recreate them. “When someone has a birthday, I like to draw something on his or her present or make his or her birthday card by hand. I enjoy drawing because I can express my feelings through photos by finding different photos and then drawing a copy of them. I also like to learn about science, but more specifically I like to watch shows that talk about Astronomy. For the future, I am thinking about interior design or something in the field of Astronomy.”
Why does she need a scholarship?
Monse would love to attend Fairmont because she feels it would benefit her education because she will get more help, and it will give her a higher education. By going to Fairmont her mother feels Monse will have a better chance to go to a great university which will lead to more opportunities to excel in life. This opportunity will possibly allow her in the future to help her brother who has ADHD and a social and learning disorder that will limit his future opportunities. Her mother says that without this scholarship, financially they cannot afford for her to go to Fairmont. Monse’s mother feels that most kids like Monse will never get an opportunity to go to a world-class school like Fairmont.
Monse’s mother knows that Monse really wants to attend Fairmont because in the past she was not open to switching schools. Monse says, “Whenever my family would mention moving to another school district, I would cry over and over again about leaving my school and my friends. For this school, I am willing to leave my friends and not know anyone. Being shy, it is not easy to go somewhere to start over with no friends. I will have to leave my best friend since kindergarten. My friends and I do not worry about how we look or how we have to fit in. It has kept me out of trouble. We do not care to be cool. I know that this thinking will be acceptable at a school like Fairmont.”
The reason Monse likes dance is because it gives her a kind of unexplainable feeling. It helps with her confidence because she is normally very shy. She says, “For me to be able to go on a stage to perform or teach others around me to dance takes me out of my comfort zone. I am not used to putting myself out there. I have done gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, and tball in the past, but because we were really young, we did not perform a lot. What I do with Latin dancing is different because we perform and compete at a high level. In addition, I have never been a skinny person, and dance has helped me keep my weight down, so I can be confident about who I am.”