MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Frances Ann Mateo, 17
Frances Ann Mateo’s many interests and talents, coupled with her giving spirit, kept the Palm Beach Lakes High School valedictorian hopping year after year. She studies hard but also enjoys acting, singing and playing volleyball, soccer and tennis.
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What do you do when you want to get away from it all?
When I want to relax I watch Korean dramas (like soap operas). They are very innocent and cutsie and make you grin from ear to ear.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Marilyn Monroe. She always appeared very confident and was all about embracing yourself.
Who inspires you?
My parents, Albert and Gina Mateo. They’ve given up a lot for us (she has an older sister in college and younger brother) to be able to come to America. I still remember what it was like in the Philippines. I’m thankful for all the sacrifices my parents made. My work ethic comes from them.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Being able to handle juggling everything and still being able to do well.
What was your most humbling moment?
When my sister was going into her third year of college and I realized, despite all my hard work and accomplishments, that I might not be able to go to college because of money. It would be a financial hardship for my family.
What’s your fondest childhood memory?
It’s customary for parents to give children a party for their birthday when they are 7, 18 and 21. My parents threw me a party when I was 7 and bought me a beautiful white dress and white shoes. It’s such a happy memory. I remember twirling and dancing in front of everyone.