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Jaretzi Jaime

From a Morton East Student to a Future Cosmetologist 

By Leslie Barajas 

Photo taken by her brother, Roy Jaime.   Jaretzi Jaime doing her Vals in the traditional Quinceanera.

Photo taken by her brother, Roy Jaime. 

Jaretzi Jaime doing her Vals in the traditional Quinceanera. 


Jaretzi Jaime is a junior at J. Sterling Morton East High School in Cicero, Ill. Jaretzi is part of an after-school program called "Corazón" and is in their leadership program, which is a group in which the chosen members focus on training young adults to develop and further enhance their leadership skills and practice them in their own communities. Something very extraordinary about Jaretzi is that in 5th Grade she already knew a bunch of hairstyles by watching YouTube videos, which is one of the reasons why she wants to go to cosmetology after college. She can speak, write, and read perfectly in both English and Spanish.  


During the start of Jaime’s anxiety, she struggled and found it challenging to keep up with her goals in life. However, after letting time pass, she overcomes those obstacles she had and now believes in herself.  


“Knowing I matter more than my anxiety helped because I faced a lot of challenges with my anxiety, but now this year, I have proved to myself that even if I do have anxiety, I am able to reach all my goals. I also started believing in myself because I always doubt myself, so I had to remember that I can reach everything that I commit myself to,” Jaime said.  


Growing up was great for Jaime. Her bond with her family was one of the best and she has a good relationship with both of her parents and had effective communication.  


“It's very good actually. I get good along with them. I have a different relationship with both of them, but we get really along, we laugh, we talk, and I feel very comfortable talking to them, and trust them with anything and I'm sure they feel the same way with me,” Jaime said.  


Losing family members can be exceedingly tough times for someone, but Jaime still strived and let her become stronger. 


Jaime shared, “I lost my grandma. We were really close. I lost her on December 31st, 2012. It was really painful, but it helped me grow and become the person I am today.”  


She looks up to her family traditions because she grew up with them and became important, as they are always managing for her to always think positively and never look at the negative side of things.  


“Dancing has been an important tradition with my family that has passed down because we all like to dance. I was in cheerleading and my brother has done dancing as well. Also, ‘nunca me de por vencida’ is one of my family's traditional wordings, as I’m always facing a lot of troubles with myself. By believing in myself, that was one sentence that they always told me just to believe in myself and you're able to reach everything that you want,” Jaime stated. 


Her role model is her brother because his guidance makes her feel motivated to keep on going even through challenging times. 

“My older brother has been the biggest influence in my life. I really admire him. He’s been through a lot. He graduated from high school, then college, and now he is a teacher. I see him as a role model, and even though he faced a lot he managed to prove to himself and everyone else that he was able to do everything that he wanted. He taught me to advocate for myself and to never remain quiet and to speak up because my voice and I matter,” Jaime said. 


If Jaime ever had the chance to go back in time and see her younger self, she would love to always remember to never give up because the outcome would be worth it. 


“Even though growing up can be difficult, I will look back and be proud of myself and all of my accomplishments because I was able to reach where I wanted," Jaime said.  


Mrs. Smith, a junior English teacher at Morton East, can confirm that Jaime is one committed student and never gives up. 


Smith said, “Jaretzi is dedicated, and steadfast in her commitments and pursuits. She has an extremely strong internal drive to reach her goals and is guided by her own set of principles that she does not waver from.” 


Jaime’s friends speak highly of her because of their impressions and relationships with her. Alejandro Lizama, one of Jaime’s friends, had some wonderful words to say about Jaime.  


Lizama said, “I am proud of her for always staying determined and always trying her best in school. She is constantly working to achieve the best grades she can! My biggest hope for her is that she achieves all her goals in life so that all her challenging work with school can pay off one day because she deserves it so much!” 


After graduating high school, Jaime plans to pursue a career as a cosmetologist and have her own business with that. Jaime sees Morton East not just as a school she attends, but also as a great support system that guides her through her mental health situations. She is thankful to all the staff members at this school for helping her along the way and making her feel better at school since she is not as anxious, which makes her feel proud of being a Morton Mustang!