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Angela Ang

A City College student is pursuing happiness one field at a time even after being expelled from high school. (nice lead!)

Joanna Hurtado, 18, is a freshman at San Diego City College. She is taking a journalism class this summer while pursuing her nursing degree. She loves to write. But Hurtado says she dreams of becoming a dance choreographer and an elementary school teacher, too, and plans to join the Peace Corps after college. She says she likes the feeling of accomplishment.

It hasn’t always been easy for Joanna. She was expelled from 8th eighth grade when she stabbed a classmate who was repeatedly harassing her. For the next three years, she went to different high schools outside the National School district. Hurtado says she doesn’t regret what happened, because it allowed her to graduate earlier; her unusual schedule enabled her to take on more units per semester which led her to graduate when she was only 16 years old.

Now, Hurtado is pursuing a nursing degree because she wants to help people, particularly the elderly. Hurtado’s 24-year-old sister, Elizabeth Arroyo, influenced her to pursue nursing. Arroyo has a satisfying career as a nurse, is happily married to a Marine, and will soon be moving to Japan. Hurtado would like have a life as happy and fulfilling as the life of her hero and close friend.

However, in contrast to her sister’s calm personality, Hurtado describes herself as “out there,”, outgoing, and energetic. Her eyes light up as she recounts learning to dance in middle school with encouragement from her two older sisters and cousins. Her passion is break dance and hip hop. Hurtado says she feels happiest when she is dancing. She is now teaching her 12-year-old niece to dance.

Are there any other fields she would like to pursue? Hurtado remembers her auto mechanic certificate. The dark-haired girl straightens up and beams. She says she might want to become an auto mechanic someday, too.

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