Michelle Tampa Flores

Escondido, CA | Sophomore | Molecular Cell Biology

Post-Graduate Aspirations: Thinking about pursuing a career in Dentistry with a specialty in OMS

What is your relationship to service?

I think for the most part, the relationship to service part always starts out being a little more superficial. People always say that I’m doing this because it goes well with your transcript and a lot of them are trying to get into college. But I think after that, it developed more into what I wanted to do to give back to the community. I feel that with a lot of the organizations, people do what they want to do and then they leave (and it doesn’t matter how your community ends up). Whereas when you’re a student there, your relationship with service should be how you improve your community the way that you know best. That’s how I started doing more work within my high school because that’s kind of what I like to do.

Why Rotaract?

I think it was because first I knew people in the club already. I went to the first meeting with my friends … It was appealing to have people that I know, but also it was nice to know that there was a variety of different services. You could go international or local. They weren’t pressing people to come to every single event, which was nice because Cal can be so busy. It was also more of an intimate setting because you got to work with certain people all the time, especially with families.

What do you think makes Rotaract unique?

The variety of people, there’s not everybody who are from one major or looking to go into one career. A lot of clubs are based on what you want to do in the future and also what major you are in. Whereas in Rotaract, it doesn’t matter what you’re majoring in. What matters is what you want to do.

What committees are you in? Why did you decide to join them?

Local and international. I would go to the international events. My favorite event was Vida Warehouse, where we sorted medical supplies. However, I was mainly involved in local committee. So I officially only joined Local Committee. The International Committee, I went to their events and liked that although I wasn’t helping people in my community, I was helping other people. And for Local, I liked that there were certain projects that I can participate in like SquashDrive tutoring program for long-term and other short-term projects, working for organizations you will help for a day but know that that organization is well-based in the community. So it’s not like you’re coming in as one day and you’re leaving. You have the opportunity to extend relationships with that organization.

If you could snap your fingers and appear somewhere, where would it be?

I’d go to my parents’ hometown.They live in the rural parts of Mexico, so it’s in Guerrero. I haven’t gone there in 11 years. It’d be nice to see both of my grandparents. So my grandpa from my mom’s side and my grandma and grandpa from my dad’s side. I think I still have my great-grandma who’s still living. She has like one green eye and one blue eye. It was so weird, I just vividly remember meeting her.

What’s a movie that you watched recently and enjoyed?

I watched Bird Box with my family–with my sister first. I watched it in English first and then I watched it with my parents in Spanish. It’s pretty cool to watch it watch it twice and just see what I missed the first time…The first time watching it with my sibling was intense because I didn’t know what happened. It’s not really a scary movie, but it was suspenseful. For me, it was very intense and my sister reacts very loudly. The second time, I was watching it with my parents. We had already seen it, but listening to it in different languages there are certain things that are said differently so they either come across as more intense or less intense, so that’s what I liked. But there are certain things I noticed, like certain scenes. I was a good movie and I felt adrenaline. It was different from what I usually watched (Christmas movies).