Itzell Flores - Grand Prize Winner

For the past seven years, College Admissions Assistance, LLC (CAA) has held a contest for its graduating senior class to win one of five scholarship prizes. Itzell Flores, from Farmington, Minnesota was announced as CAA’s $1,500 Grand Prize Winner in this year’s scholarship contest. CAA spoke with Itzell a few days before her big high school graduation party and told us how proud her parents are of her accomplishments.   “They get excited about everything I do!,” she exclaimed. “When we were setting up for my party, my mom told me ‘I’m just so proud of all you’ve done!’”   Itzell found inspiration in both of her parents saying they are the hardest working people she knows. Their lessons kept Itzell going when she had a schedule full of responsibilities during her senior year. She said her grades actually improved over the year and is very proud of that accomplishment.   “Since the summer of my freshman year, I’ve been working at Educational Resources Processing Center,” she explained. “I have worked there every summer.”   When she was ten months old, Itzell and her family moved from California to Minnesota. Now following in her brother’s footsteps, she will be attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in the fall, which is about 40 minutes from her hometown. She told CAA that she will miss Farmington’s calm and humble nature but is excited to live just off campus with her brother and to meet new friends at UMN.   “I’m excited to see what it’s like to live on my own and to set my own class schedule,” she said. “I haven’t been in Minneapolis much but am anxious to get to know it better.”   At UMN, Itzell will major in child psychology and her ultimate goal is to become a doctor, which has been a childhood dream. She told CAA that she is flexible about her career pathway but knows that caring for people is in her future. Itzell says she advises that anyone planning for college research all of their options.   “Explore what you want to do and don’t be scared to try new things,” she said. “Also, stay focused in school!”   The University of Minnesota was always Itzell’s first choice and said she loves everything about the school. “There is a lot of diversity on the campus and the environment is just amazing,” she said. Although she is not quite sure what activities she will participate in at UMN, she plans to keep busy.   Playing the saxophone since middle school, Itzell stayed very busy with her music in high school from marching band and pit orchestra to All-State Band and a church jazz band. In addition to her commitment to music, Itzell also participated in Link Crew, National Honor Society, Student Council, and was on the Junior Board of Directors.   Itzell told CAA she couldn’t have done any of it without the support of her parents who have always been there for her. She also found support from CAA and said they know what they’re doing when it comes to college planning.   “I was always busy so the emails and checklists really helped me stay on track and reminded me of the work I needed to get done,” she explained. “They give an assurance that your questions can be answered and that’s helpful. College is a big deal and CAA helps you feel like you’re doing it right.”