Aurora Flores-Wolsky

As Interviewed by Nathan Elias, March 8, 2018

Aurora Flores-Wolsky: In Her Own Words

My first language when I grew up was Spanish, because my parents did not speak English. That was my first language. I learned English when I attended school. I was very embarrassed to speak, so I pretty much didn't actually communicate in English until maybe the third grade, I spurted out some words.

So one time, I had this teacher, and we met with the teacher individually. She wanted to meet with all of her students to ask them questions about a particular book we were reading. And so she asked me questions, and I answered all of her questions. And she told me, “Wow, you really know what’s going on,” and I thought “Wow. Did she think I didn’t understand, did she think I didn’t speak English, did she think I didn’t understand English, did she think I didn’t have thoughts, did she think I didn’t know what was going on and had a good opinion because of what I looked like?” and I thought “Well hopefully that’s not the case.”

You have to stay positive, because if you go out into this world thinking that everybody hates you because of what you look like and who you are, you’re never gonna get along. You’re never going to get a job. And so we must attack life as “Yes. There’s good and there’s bad. There’s people that are always going to hate us because we’re a little darker, we don’t sound like them, where we’re from, how we dress.” And now, my thought is “So what?” We’re all different. This country is a conglomeration of a whole bunch of people, a whole bunch of different types of people.

And that’s what makes America special. All of us being different, coming together and getting along. Yeah there’s going to be problems but can we get along and make this country worth living in. A place where it's safe, we can have a family, we can get educated, we can work, we can enjoy our job, we can go home, have dinner and peace.

So, I went to school and I learned that some teachers looked at me different because of who I was and all I said to myself was “You need to prove to them that you’re a good student. That you’re a good kid. That what they see in the outside, what they think about the outside is not what matters. What matters is what is inside.