Angie Del Carmen Hurtado Rivera, Latina
I’m Angie Del Carmen Hurtado Rivera and I'm 16 years old. I'm a first-generation Mexican-American. My parents are from Mexico, and I was born and raised in Worthington, Minnesota.
The story of my family landing in Worthington started with my dad and mom writing letters to each other all the time. My dad had been in the states before my mom--he'd travel back and forth. He lived in California for a few years while he was a teenager. And eventually, my parents married, and my mom and dad moved straight to Worthington. My dad moved here with his parents since they had family in Worthington.
Growing up in Worthington, on the one hand, it's calm. I guess it's better than living in a city because you don't have to worry all the time about, you know, a lot of things that could happen in the city, but also there's not a lot to do. As a high schooler and pre-pandemic, I used to join a lot of clubs. There's still one club that I am excited to start and keep active during the pandemic, and that is AOK, the art club, and we focus on community service. I got our club to get an advisor because the former advisor couldn't do it anymore. I wanted to make sure that everyone had access to reusable masks because I saw that the only free masks were disposable, and I was like, that's going to be so bad for the environment. Our first community service project was to make reusable masks by hand, and we donated them. We only got to make 50. It was exhausting. It was like five of us that were actively producing them. The spaces we used to make them would be at John's, at the arcade in town, Zombie Martian Robot Arcade, or the Unidos office. Another project we might look into is helping Mrs. Holinka from the high school on a mural downtown. She reached out, and we hope we can help her with that. I love art and community service. I'm passionate about helping other people.
I also paid attention to the 2020 election. I started seeing it on the news, and then I got wrapped up in it and I think it’s important to pay attention to politics. If there are certain laws getting passed or a local, state, and a national election is happening, it’s going to affect me. Many of my friends are also really politically engaged because they're people of color and/or part of the LGBTQ community. It's really important to us. I don't understand people that don't care about politics. I'm always really shocked when someone says they don’t care about politics.
I wish we had more spaces in the community to chill with my friends. We need spaces that allow us to have conversations, to do homework, and to just be in the presence of our friends, and that feels welcoming. While school is a place to be with friends, I don't feel like it's an appropriate space to talk about important things that matter to us, like race, identity, or politics. The closest incident I can think about is when someone didn't stand for the pledge, and someone behind them said, "why didn't you stand?" And then the other person just responded, “cause I don’t have to”. And that’s the closest I've ever seen political confrontation happen in person. Outside of school, social media is extremely politically charged. You see posts on stories on both sides of the political spectrum, especially when there are bigger things that happen which challenge the way we view things. With the BLM (Black Lives Matter) protests a while back, so many people were debating every day or unfollowing each other, and I never see this happen face to face.
I think AOK is perfect for me because I want to get involved with nonprofit leadership or sociology. I believe AOK with community service is a good outlet for that. The thing is that there's the chance that I could always change what I want to do. And then I run out of time and then not have any experience for that. I want to learn more about history and psychology. I wouldn't have any experience for that, if I hadn’t I started taking a psychology class that I'm taking right now. Yeah, that's my main interest is like history psychology and like humanitarian stuff.
I plan to go to college. I hope to go to the Twin Cities to attend college. I want to go but money's always an issue with student debt and anything else that can happen. I would get a lot of degrees. I would go to school for history. I would go to school for sociology, for anthropology, for psychology. I would get a lot of degrees and study a lot of different subjects, that would be my dream if money weren't an issue. I just really love learning. I’m taking a literature class right now that’s making me learn to love literature. It makes me want to write books in the future. One of my dream careers is to also be a professor.
I just know that I want to do something where I can be creative and help people. I think I might even want to switch careers a few times. I don't see myself staying in one thing for a long time because there’s so much I want to learn and experience.
Hopes for Worthington’s future:
I think about Worthington, and I see two paths it can go down in the future because, at this time, I feel like it's a divided community. Worthington will either keep getting diverse, and it'll keep growing with rich cultures, and everyone's going to have to learn to appreciate each other’s differences, or everyone will get even more divided, and there'll be a lot of hatred.
Worthington is an example of how the United States is going to become. We're sitting here; we're looking at an example of the future. What's important is getting people educated so that people don't think negative things about immigrants in our community.
Immigrants want to work; they want to support their families. They're just like anyone else, trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, but many people don't see that. I think it's important that we educate people and have community members helping each other.