Korina Hernandez

Immaculate Heart High School | Los Angeles, CA | 9-12th Grade

Inspirational Family Member
Delia Alpez

My grandma, Delia Alpez, was the first person in my family to vote. She was born on October 24, 1944 in El Salvador. She came to the United States in the 1957 as a missionary when she was 18 years old. She got her beautician degree in California but did all of her other education in El Salvador. She stayed in the United States and became a citizen in 1981.

By the time she was a citizen, all six of her siblings were in the United States. My Grandma does not really remember exact details of her first time she voted but she does remember that she voted during the 1984 presidential elections. My grandma then became a daycare provider for children for 35 years. She then closed the daycare two years ago and moved to Yucca Valley about two hours away.

My Grandma now helps at a retirement home a few times a week in the desert. She never faced any problems while voting and in society and she told me she feels very lucky that she did not. She is very happy she never had to deal with discrimination throughout her life.

Historical Figure I Admire
Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator

Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator also known as Cleopatra was born early 69 BC. Her father was the ruler of Egypt Ptolemy XII. When she was younger she was taught many Cleopatra ruled Egypt successfully. After her father died in 51 BCE, she ruled with her two brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, and with her son Ptolemy XV and Caesar. She ascended to the throne when she was eighteen years old. In 49 BCE she was forced by her brothers to flee Egypt to Syria. While she was gone she raised an army and returned to face her brothers’ forces and gained her throne back. Throughout the years Cleopatra had many encounters with Julius Caesar. Caesar travelled through Europe with Cleopatra and was seen as a Pharaoh by her subjects. Both had a mutual respect towards one another and had a son in 47 BCE but Caesar did not claim him as an heir. After Julius Caesar was killed, Cleopatra married Mark Antony and had three children. Cleopatra died in early August of 39 BCE at the age of 39 when she committed suicide after Octavian defeated her forces and Egypt fell under Roman rule.

Cleopatra had a very complicated ruling. She ruled Egypt and other territories as an absolute monarch. An argument between Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII led to a civil war. She reconciled with Ptolemy XIII Cleopatra with the help of Julius Caesar. Later she had one of her brothers executed to allow her son Caesarean as co-ruler. Later in her reign she formed an alliance with Mark Antony against Octavian. They joined their armies and fought Octavian’s army in 31 BCE. They later fled to Egypt because Octavian was triumphant in the battle. As a result of their defeat, both Mark Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. 

William Shakespeare later on wrote a play about Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s relationship called “Anthony and Cleopatra.” 


What the Project Means to Me

Researching and asking my grandma helped me understand her life.

She loves helping people no matter who it is which is why she decided to have a daycare. She helped families and children for many years and it was her joy. She always voted to better the community whether it be city, state, or country wide. I will always admire that she cares for everyone no matter what.

She has inspired me to be more caring and generous towards other people. She also taught me that you have to care for others before yourself and do it for the good of others not for a reward. She has taught me many good life lessons that I now realize connect back to her life. With the things I know about her I now know how important it is to vote. Not only is voting and being a citizen a huge privilege but also that we should not take it for granted. She told me that no matter how old I am I have a voice and one way to show it is by voting.

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