The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

November 9, 2013

A special Quince: One girl's trip of a lifetime

WOODWARD, Okla. — When Jocelyn Flores turned 15, she knew her Quinceañera would be special.

She had planned many years ahead for the Latin celebration that marks a girl’s 15th birthday.

But Flores didn’t know her Quinceañera celebrated last April would make her famous.

“It’s a rite of passage for girls who are becoming adults,” Flores said. “You wear these big dresses and you celebrate a Mass, and it’s really a big deal.”

A few weeks after Flores celebrated her Quinceañera at Woodward’s St. Peter’s Catholic Church, she was flipping through her Seventeen Magazine and found a casting call.

“They were looking for girls who had had their Quinceañera, and they said if you would like to appear in the magazine to upload a photo in the online magazine,” Flores said. “I just thought they would take that photo and post it if I won.”

She said she remained silent about entering the contest, even to her mother Estella. That was until she got the first call back.

That was not even the beginning of what ended up being a fully paid three-day trip with her mother to New York City. The trip was almost a fantasy, she said. It included accommodations, food, nails, hair, makeup and a full photo spread in the magazine as well as eyes for a new career in the industry, Flores said.

The November issue of Seventeen Magazine, complete with Flores’ photo shoot and her two new friends Ashley and Katalyna, who make up the “Quince Court,” hit the newsstands Oct. 22.

For those with an online subscription, the spread appeared Oct. 15, she said.

But it wasn’t all as easy as it sounds, Flores said.

After she had uploaded her photo, she was contacted two weeks later by Seventeen’s creative director’s assistant. She was then sent a form that asked her many questions about herself, how she planned her Quinceañera and what advice she might give other young girls.

After passing three interviews, she was asked by the staff at Seventeen magazine to create a video explaining why she should be chosen and what advise she had for other young girls as they became women.

The whole process took a little more than a month, Flores said.

In late summer, she was whisked, with her mother, from the front porch of her Woodward home to the airport. Next stop, New York City.

Flores said the transition from her small Woodward upbringing to New York City in the middle of the night was a little overwhelming.

“It was scary when we first got there because there was so much traffic, people drive so crazy,” she said. “When we got to the hotel, I went to sleep right away.”

When the mother-daughter pair woke, they were within walking distance to Hearst Tower, the location of many of the publication giants’ well-known magazines, such as Glamour.

From her experience, Flores said she has gained an interest in the magazine field.

But for now, the tiny Woodward sophomore glides through the halls of her hometown high school, content to help her mother prepare meals for the family and dream of her new career interest.

“I am interested in working in that field,” she said. “You can tell they love what they do. I loved modeling ... seeing all the dresses and picking them out. I definitely want to work in that field.”

Van Horn writes for the Woodward News.

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