Victoria Vargas-Forest is 18 and was born in Anchorage. She is of Hispanic descent with family backgrounds from Mexico, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. She is “Latina on all sides” and, at the same time, a proud Alaskan who loves Alaska. Victoria is an example of a “ courageous girl”: a young woman who has overcome all the difficulties that have come her way, as a Latina and as a woman. “There’s no dream that can’t be fulfilled,” she says. She is living proof. Her goal is to become a lawyer.
Victoria Vargas-Forest has an above-average IQ. She doesn’t want to put a figure on it, out of modesty and because she has never stopped to calculate it. Not that it worries her at all. But with total certainty her IQ (Intelligence Quotient) exceeds the index 115 over the maximum of 120-129, which is the highest level in the current intelligence indexes.
This has allowed her to always do very well in her studies and to have an excellent academic record. So excellent, that she has been able to complete college level courses while in high school, with two years of law courses at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, because she wants “to be a lawyer.” Quite a feat of effort. And of study.
“And why do you want to be a lawyer?” we asked her. “Because I want to be useful to the community. Above all, to my community, which is the Hispanic community,” Victoria answers without a moment’s hesitation.
“I believe that being determined, has helped me a lot to overcome the difficulties that have come my way,” explains Victoria. “All kinds of difficulties because I am a girl and because I am Hispanic. The United States does not provide equal opportunities to the different communities that make up its population. The proof is that Justice does not behave in the same way with white Americans as it does with Latinos and African-Americans or Asians, for example.”
Victoria resorts to statistics: “the majority of those convicted in trials are people of color or Hispanics, and not because you are African American or Latino you have no gene that drives you to criminal behavior to a greater extent than whites.” This girl speaks crystal clear.
“That’s why I want to specialize in criminal law,” adds Victoria. “Because I feel like my community needs me and there are very few practicing Latino lawyers.”
“Have you felt discrimination for being Latina?” we ask again. “I certainly have,” she replies. “For being Latina and for being a woman. But none of this has slowed me down in my path of striving to achieve my goals. The studies are very hard, especially at the University. But when I finish here, I will move to Seattle, Washington, with my grandfather Hugo, and continue my legal studies there; I will get my law degree and do an internship. I’ll work in a law firm, save money, and then I’ll come back to Anchorage, to my Anchorage, to my Alaska... And I’ll settle down here. I’ll also get my law license so I can practice law in this state and open my own practice.”
“You have very clear ideas,” we tell her. “America is a land of opportunity, even if it doesn’t always give the same opportunities to some as to others. But there is no dream that cannot be fulfilled. With determination and effort, you can,” she replies.
She is a woman, 18 years old, born in Anchorage and as American as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, or Abraham Lincoln. Or as Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, or Mercy Otis Warren. Her name defines her determination and trajectory, an example for anyone looking to make their dreams a reality. She is Victoria.