When most freshmen were making their transition from junior high to high dchool, Frances Jiménez was transitioning from the Peach State to Minnesota. While preserving her roots in Georgia and ancestry from Puerto Rico, Frances has maintained a rigorous curricular sched- ule, held multiple leadership roles in extracurricular activities, and saved time for her passions—photography, cello, and anthropology.
Growing up in Kennesaw, Georgia, Frances’ favorite memories revolve around the childhood games from her neighborhood. “I remember being young, playing Capture the Flag, Hide-and-Go-Seek, and drawing ‘Chalk Cities,’” said Jiménez, who tries to maintain her levity through her series of puns and jokes, while continuing the sense of Southern hospitality she experienced in Georgia.
When Frances’ mother began working in the Univer- sity of Minnesota’s school of nursing, their family kept in touch with their Puerto Rican roots. “I mean, my family like totally celebrates our Puerto Rican traditions every day. We eat paella all the time and go salsa dancing on the weekends. I’m kidding, but we do try to take trips to visit my grandparents, uncle, and aunts pretty frequently,” said Jiménez.
Since the transition, Frances has thrived at BSM, participating on both the speech and debate teams, the latter of which she co-captained. Frances’ experience on the debate team included many highlights. “When Adam Bamonti won State his freshman year, he performed a heel click as we were walking out of the school,” said Jiménez. But throughout all of the fun memories, Frances enjoyed watching other teammates grow and develop. “I really enjoyed helping out and getting to see other kids begin to enjoy debate and realize it’s not too nerdy.”
Although Frances was very successful throughout her debate and speech careers, she holds the lessons learned closer to her heart than any award. “I’ve really enjoyed Speech. It’s taught me a lot about speaking in front of people and [my category] Great Speeches has taught me to be really analytical and taught me about the way people are persuaded. And if you have to be locked up in a school for an entire Saturday, why not be with a bunch of crazy Speechers?” said Jiménez.
Even with her classes and extra-curriculars, Frances has fostered a passion for photography. “When I took my Photo I class sophomore year, I realized how well it can depict human life in a way that other art forms can’t. You have the lense of the artist, yet it’s very life-like and connected to how the rest of the world sees it. Photography can capture moments that go easily unnoticed,” said Jiménez, whose talent was noticed at last year’s Scholastic competition.
Not only did Frances earn the honor of a Gold Key through one of her photos during her junior year, but also she was chosen to study at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on campus for a two-week period of time. Delving into a studio photography class, she learned techniques involving lighting, digital photography, and photoshop. “It was so much fun to meet people from across the Twin Cities and the States, but I really enjoyed developing and defining my photographic voice, or what I wanted my pictures to speak to or about,” said Jiménez.
Other than photography, Frances has a passion for wearing mustaches. “I don’t know if we started it, but you know hipsters have mustaches. And last year when we were doing our APUSH Decades Project, we bought mustaches at Ragstock for two dollars. And then Frances ‘shaved’ the best pun for the Apotheosis posters,” said Frances’ friend Sian Last.
Next year, Frances will attend Bowdoin College in Maine, hoping to continue into the Peace Corps post-undergrad. “I know anthropology is a really tough field to get a job in, but I, at least, want to study cultures and continue widening my vision of the world. My trip through BSM last summer to the Dominican Republic helped me recognize that I really enjoy serving others and experiencing other cultures,” said Jiménez.