Here’s a fun piece about overcoming obstacles!
I wrote this for my journalism class and gained a new friend from it 🙂
Find something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. This is what has inspired 2016 Royal High School graduate Alexis (Lexi) Sanchez to overcome her financial setbacks and by pursuing her passion of art, has been able to overcome anxiety and become less shy.
“The best [part] is probably how much I’ve opened up these past couple years,” Sanchez said. “I’ve discovered new passions and have had a lot of fun trying new interests.”
Sanchez is currently 18, a freshman at Moorpark Community College and has declared art as her major. She lives in Simi Valley with her parents, and two dogs. Once she finishes her required credits for an Associate’s degree, she would like to transfer to an art school in California. Moorpark has offered her many opportunities to grow her artistic ability as well as a boost in her confidence. It has also provided her access to a quality education without spending a fortune, and convenience so she can remain living at home.
Sanchez realized her artistic talent when she was around eight years old, but was unaware how she could achieve success from her hobby when she grew older. At 17, she took several classes at her high school and excelled in her ability to create unique pieces. During her senior year at Royal High School, Sanchez made the decision to attend Moorpark College when it became unclear how she would pay for her tuition. When most acceptance letters were being sent out to her friends, she was devastated not to be able to announce where she would be attending in the fall. Sanchez spent a majority of her final months of high school in a deep depression due to the uncertainty about her future and the setback caused by her financial situation. She stopped socializing at school, hanging out with her friends, and fell behind in a few of her classes. Sanchez felt lost and distracted by the overwhelming choices she was being forced to make. Choices like what she would do after graduation, where would she live, and how was she going to continue her education. She went on temporary hiatus from her art during this time because she did not have any motivation to continue creating.
“The worst would probably be when I had really bad depression,” Sanchez said. “ It got in the way of a lot of things ”
Friends and family of Sanchez became concerned for her and suggested a community college, which was ruled out due to it being too close to her home in Simi Valley. Eventually, Sanchez came to her decision to attend Moorpark in the fall of 2016, but was faced with the same financial problems. She was able to obtain a job at the Newbury Park Kohl’s, where her brother had previously worked. She uses the wages she earns for classes, books, and other essentials. Although her current job is not closely related to the art field, working and engaging with different types of people has given her communication skills as well as encouraged her to come out of her shell and be more outgoing. Sanchez can get anxious when meeting new people, but she is confident that working in retail is helping her conquer her shyness.
At Sanchez’ job, she helps customers at the cash registers, in the fitting rooms, as well as running the returns from customer service. She also goofs off with fellow co – workers and engages in lively conversations. Thomas Foster, assistant manager at Kohl’s, hired Sanchez over a year ago and commends her on her accomplishments made during her employment.
“Lexi is certainly an asset to our staff,” Foster said. “I’ve seen her grow and mature through the customer interaction and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her on a personal level as well.”
When she returns to the sales floor, a coworker, Omar Lopez, helped her clean the clothes out of a messy fitting room as they shared a conversation about their plans for the upcoming weekend as well as a band they both like.
“Her chosen actions, words, and creations are quality,” Lopez said. “ She is shy and timid yet chooses to overcome anxieties in exchange for her personal growth and maturation.”
Sanchez considers Lopez to be one of her very good friends. They bonded over similar interests in anime, humor, and other types of entertainment. Lopez was a large part of Sanchez’ decision to attend Moorpark, as he attended Ventura Community College and advised her on the benefits of the school. Lopez transferred to California Lutheran University on a full music scholarship and graduated during spring 2016.
Sanchez has not let her financial position stop her from achieving her dream. She instead chooses to view it as an opportunity to branch out and experience all of the new opportunities that college has given her. A few months into spring semester and Sanchez is overjoyed that she chose Moorpark. She expressed how she felt filled with anxiety and panic about potentially having to move out and be on her own if she were to attend a four year university directly out of high school.
“As vague as it sounds, I wish I knew more about life in general,” Sanchez, said. “ You’re kind of thrown into adulthood not knowing how to handle it and I guess I could say I wish I did know how.”
Sanchez’ art style is intricate, detailed, and hard to categorize into one specific style. Sanchez has experimented with graffiti, pop -art, contemporary, cartoon, anime, splatter, etc. She explains that she does not have a specific art style that defines her. Most artists are famous for particular techniques or pieces. Sanchez hopes to find her art style in the future, but enjoys exploring new mediums as she progresses through her life.