Angelica Guevara

Adolfo Camarillo High School | Camarillo, CA | 10th

Inspirational Family Member
My Mother

The first female voter from my family is my mother, Rebecca Guevara. My mother was born in the United States after my grandparents came here to the United States for a better life. My mother was born on August 29, 1971, making her a Virgo and currently the age of 48.

My mother was born in Ventura, California. She attended Hueneme High School, just as her older siblings did. When she was old enough, she picked up a job at a local frozen yogurt shop, Foster’s Freeze, and immediately started to save her money. She saved up eventually for a car and after high school, she went to community college, Oxnard College. On top of her taking classes, she also started working in an office. This office was a mom-and-pop shop for computers and other technology devices. My mother received her associate's degree. My mother later worked for the Oxnard Building and Safety. My parents got married at the age of 27. They did not marry young because my father, a musician, was busy touring and my mother was working, trying to build a life that her parents were never given the opportunity to live. My mother was able to buy her own brand new car with her savings by the age of 20. Going forward, my father got an office job at Monsanto but he did not quit his music altogether. They got married in 1997 after eight years of dating and three years later had my older sister.

My mother still continues to achieve greater things and she works hard to give us the childhood that she never had. She and my dad made sure that we wouldn’t have to grow up in poverty. My mother has recently moved out of her old job and she works now as supervisor for Oxnard’s Environmental Resources. As the youngest, I can say that she does a lot for my family. My mother has accomplished a lot, far more than anyone in her family has ever accomplished, she worked hard all her life to get to where she is now, and I can see in the future that she will continue to accomplish greater things. 

Historical Figure I Admire
Eleanor Rathbone

Eleanor Florence Rathbone was born in London in the year 1872. She was born into a prominent political family. William Rathbone, Eleanor’s father, was a Liberal member of the British Parliament. Eleanor was the second to last of the ten children that Emily Acheson Lyle raised. She grew up in Liverpool and was taught at home. She later convinced her family to allow her to attend Somerville College in Oxford. There, she was known as “the philosopher” because she studied philosophy. After her studies at Somerville College, she moved on from philosophy and worked with her father as an investigator of the industrial and social conditions of the city of Liverpool. She helped her father but he died later in 1902. The next chapter of her life still included her interest in social reform and women’s rights, but she focused these matters in Liverpool, which had social, economic, and political problems. Eleanor noticed this and became interested in the predicament of widows under the Poor Law. As she investigated this situation, she learned that a mother could not support her children and she felt the weight of this heavy situation.

Eleanor wrote a book in 1924, The Disinherited Family, that introduced this subject. Sixteen years later, she published The Case For Family Allowances. This book brought her to legislation and then, five years after publishing it, a law on family allowances was passed. However, her accomplishments did not stop here. Eleanor continued to strive for more change. Earlier in her lifetime, she became a volunteer for the Liverpool Central Relief Society. The Liverpool Central Relief Society dealt with impoverished families and they helped them overcome their poverty. Eleanor was even elected as an independent Liverpool city council member. With this position, she indulged her interest in housing problems resulting from World War I. Apart from doing this, she also participated in the women’s suffrage act where she held the position of president. With this position, she worked more on legislative reforms for women.

In 1929, Eleanor Rathbone ran as the first female member of the British Parliament. In the British Parliament, Eleanor represented the Combined English Universities, which she represented for twenty years. Her focus during her term was that she wanted to expand the voting privileges of the women in India. Additionally, she wrote Child Marriage: The Indian Minotaur, which corresponded with this issue. She published this in 1934, just five years into her position.

In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler was a dictator, and he wanted to get rid of the Jews, which is what led to World War II. After the war, Eleanor helped the surviving Jews. She even wrote two books titled, Rescue the Perishing, a commission report in 1943. The following year, she published, Falsehoods and Lies About the Jews. Eleanor Rathbone died in her home city, London, on January 2, 1946. 


What the Project Means to Me

Having researched these amazing women like my mother and Eleanor Rathbone, I have realized everything they have had to go through. It puts a different perspective, seeing everything that they have gone through, compared to the things I do. It even makes me grateful because they had to fight for some of the things that I may take for granted or that I do not put too much thought into. I am grateful because I know that, in a few years, I will be able to have the luxury of voting. I know that I will not have much trouble in doing so because of women like my mother and Eleanor Rathbone.

I think voting matters on all levels: local, state and federal. Some people think that voting locally does not matter or that it will not change anything, which is why they chose not to vote. This fact, however is not true. Their votes do matter. If they do not like their current government, then it is only right for them to vote and make a change. They need to show their representatives what they think about their government, and their governmental officials. It matters to vote on the state level because for the same reason as it is to vote locally and even federally. Henceforth, on every level, it is important to vote and make a change.

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