Orange Blossom Festival court reveres Lindsay, family for learning opportunities

Four members of the 2022 Orange Blossom Festival court recount their high school achievements, look forward to what lies ahead

LINDSAY – Lindsay’s celebration of spring and the bloom of its boon crop will be held April 2 through April 9 this year with the theme “Out of This World.” The week-long celebration will begin with the coronation of the Orange Blossom Festival Queen and the formal introduction of four Lindsay High School seniors who will serve as her OBF Court Attendants.

This year’s attendants are Dexire Adame, Emily Gomez, Sandra Cisneros-Espinoza and Perla Zaragoza-Manzo. Below are their essays.

DEXIRE ADAME

I am a strong, ambitious and hard-working first-generation Latina, that comes from a household of two immigrant parents. I’m a proud Lindsay native that has flourished under the Lindsay Districts performance based system (PBS). I’m a teammate and leader to some, while being a caretaker and role model to others. Through the course of this pandemic, I have proudly served my community by becoming the first-ever youth representative for the local hospital district board. I have accumulated over 85+ hours of community service hours. Through this role, I have participated in various mask drive-thru events alongside distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to local businesses and homes in the community which were in need of this assistance.

Dexire Adame
2022 OBF Court Attendant

Throughout the entirety of my high school career, I have played varsity soccer, cross country, and tennis. I recently have had the honor of being named Homecoming Queen being a representative for the girls’ soccer team. I have received various athletic awards such as defensive player of the year for soccer. Accompanied by a leadership plaque for cross country. My passion for soccer began through Faustino’s youth soccer league dating back to the year 2013. I have since then continued my passion for the sport and plan to hopefully become valley champions with my soccer team.

At a young age, my parents heavily emphasized the importance of enrolling in as many educational programs and services as possible. This would result in my success in the completion of graduating high school with an entire year of community college completed. I also enjoy interacting with others and participating in various clubs such as TRIO, CSF, Spanish Honors Society, and FBLA.

My plans after high school consist of attending UCLA and earning a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies and education. A long-term goal of mine is to one day be able to build schools in rural parts of Mexico. But for now I’m planning on coming back to my community and become a learning facilitator steadily making my way to superintendent. I believe that my family has been my biggest support system and is the reason for why I strive to achieve. My goal in life is to one day come and serve the community that has served me.

EMILY GOMEZ

My name is Emily Gomez, daughter of Crystal and Cesar Gomez. I was born in Porterville, and raised in Lindsay. Being the oldest of four siblings means being a role model for them. It has helped me develop responsibility and leadership skills. The pressure of becoming the first generation in my family to go to college is stressful and not only am I the oldest sibling, I am the oldest grandchild. My grandparents, Francisco and Irma Barraza, talk to me about their difficulties growing up. Hearing our family’s stories and background is what motivates me to do good in school. It motivates me to set a good example for my younger family members.

Emily Gomez
2022 OBF Court Attendant

My parents have always encouraged me to become the best version of myself I could possibly be, personally and professionally. I admire my parent’s work ethic. Each day I watch them work hard to expand their business, Northwind Heating and Air, Inc. My goal is to make them just as proud as they make me. They’ve shown me to work hard for the things I want in life. At the age of 14 I began my own acrylic nail business. At the age of 16 I began a chocolate business where I made a variety of chocolate goods such as dipped strawberries, molded shapes, and hot cocoa bombs. Now I am soon to be 18 and I am working on creating a sublimation business where I will customize cups, shirts, etc. Living in such a small community like Lindsay, I am thankful for the support that I have received.

Throughout high school, even under the circumstances of COVID, I was able to participate in a variety of activities. COVID definitely was a difficult experience, but it taught me to take advantage of the opportunities you have. For us students I feel like it also taught us how to learn self management. Thankfully I was able to maintain good grades and still stay involved in outdoor activities. I have been playing volleyball since I was 8 years old, and I’m proud to say I played throughout my 4 years of High school. 

Another sport I enjoyed being involved in was basketball. I also had the opportunity to participate in school activities such as Powder Puff and Homecoming where I was able to create new friendships. As for clubs, I was involved in Spirit Club and Block L. I liked participating in events that would benefit our athletic program, the one I liked most was the Truck Hirayama Golf Tournament. I also spent my community service hours working with kids in the After School Program STARS.

After high school, I will be attending College of the Sequoias for two years, then transferring to a university to finish college. I plan on majoring in psychology. Long term wise, I see myself returning to Lindsay, and getting into a career where I am able to help the children within my community. I feel it is really important for children to bond with me in ways where we can relate. We would be able to share similarities such as being raised in a small community, being educated by the same school system, and also understanding certain household circumstances since we are in a low income city.

PERLA ZARAGOZA-MANZO

I am the daughter of Manuel and Juana, the oldest child in my family with two younger sisters; Juleisy and Dayana. I was born in Jacona Michoacan, Mexico and my family and I came to Lindsay, when I was just two years old. I came here to Lindsay when I was really small and I am forever grateful that from all the places my parents could have chosen to move to in the U.S. they chose Lindsay.

Perla Zaragoza-Manzo
2022 OBF Court Attendant

I don’t remember many of the memories when I was a kid, I just remember that three years later I started kindergarten at Washington Elementary School. I am currently a senior at Lindsay High School. I am part of FBLA and Drama club. I recently competed in the 2022 FBLA Central Section Conference and my team and I placed first place in Entrepreneurship. After graduating high school I plan to attend Porterville College for the first two years and then transfer to Fresno State. I plan on majoring in accounting and become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

My parents have always taught me to focus and take care of my education. My mom has always told me how blessed my sisters and I are for having the opportunity to go to school and learn for as long as we can and want. My mom was only able to study up to the 6th grade. She has also stated that we have a privilege to continue our education to get a chance to succeed and have a better life in the future. My parents have always motivated me and they have always been my motivation which has helped me be successful in high school. I know that with having them as my motivation I will be able to keep reaching my goals in the future. I know that with hard work, passion, persistence and determination anything is possible.

SANDRA CISNEROS ESPINOZA

I am 18 years old, and I was born and raised in the small town of Lindsay. During my time here, I have joined many clubs and organizations in my community to stay involved and take advantage of all opportunities.

Sandra Cisneros Espinoza
2022 OBF Court Attendant

I am the daughter of Juan and Nansi Cisneros. I have an older sister, Asusena, and two younger siblings Maria and Juandiego. My older sister always led by example and inspired me to do my best in school. I also want to be a good example for my younger siblings and encourage them to get a college education. My parents were born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States when they were both only teenagers. My parent’s dream for my siblings and I is to go to college to obtain a good education and have the freedom to pursue any career we wish. They are both farmworkers and although life was never easy for them, they always found a way to provide for our family.

During my past four years in high school, I made sure to be involved in sports, clubs, and organizations. I joined sports such as soccer, swimming, and tennis. I also joined many clubs throughout high school. I was the Key Club Event Chair and Club Communication Chair, where I helped organize community service events and club meetings. I was also the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Historian my junior year. In FBLA, I competed in the Central Section Leadership Conference all four years of high school. I placed in the top for three events and qualified for their State Leadership Conferences. This year I was fortunate enough to become the president of the National Spanish Honors Society to help represent my culture in my school.

In hopes of giving back to my community, I volunteered in multiple community service events through programs such as Key Club and the Lindsay Local Hospital District. These community service events involved distributing food, face masks, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies to the citizens of my community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I also volunteered at the STARS After School Program and the Lindsay Youth Soccer League, where I coached a team of kids (including my little brother). In my experiences as a volunteer, I’ve learned the importance of giving back to the community. I was able to see how even the smallest acts can help out my fellow peers and families in need.

I am also a first-generation student. Since my first year of high school, I have been in the TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) Program. I also joined the Cardinal Early College Academy (CECA) Program in my junior year of high school. These programs allowed me to complete college courses during high school through my local community colleges: Porterville College and College of the Sequoias. Thanks to this, I will have completed 13 college courses and a 4.13 GPA by the time I graduate.

After high school, my goal is to attend a four-year university to pursue a career in architecture. I have been in the Engineering Pathway at my high school for four years. I explored this interest of mine through the engineering program. By taking engineering courses, I was able to complete an internship through a program called Internnect which allowed me to work with a professional architecture firm to design a new library for the city of Porterville. This year, I took on a new internship opportunity with the city of Lindsay, where I work at our local city hall as an engineering technician intern.

Growing up in this beautiful town has allowed me to establish close relationships within my community. I’m incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve received over the past years. I hope to flourish my background in architecture and business to one day accomplish my goal of returning to my hometown and opening my own architecture firm. My dream is to provide internship opportunities for students interested in architecture to help them get one step closer to achieving their dreams.

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