Morton East High School
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Francisco Ruiz Gonzalez
Seeking Freedom for Society
By: Reynaldo Melchor
Photo taken by Ruiz's friend.
This photo was taken at Corazon Community Services.
Francisco Ruiz Gonzalez is an 18-year-old senior and soon-to-be graduate who goes to Morton East High School. Ruiz enjoys his free time reading Mangas and wanting to get ideas for his own stories and enjoys playing video games. Ruiz was also part of the theater and the JSA (Junior State of America), where he talks and debates about politics and fun topics and attends conventions to spread their ideas while also helping the community, while also being a student of the month in January. He also believes that everyone has a purpose in life and that it is not the end of the world. We can get rid of the curses from the past. Never thinks giving up is an option, he will fight and does not stop until he gets it.
When the school announced that we were all going back in person after a full school year of online learning, Ruiz found things that were not the same as they were before.
''The whole mask thing and rules that were set in place, like sure we're back to normal, but the masks I felt put a toll on people since they could not bring out their fullest potential,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz had a rough relationship with his parents and siblings during and after the pandemic, so it was difficult for him and his mentality, but he managed to put it aside.
''A lot has changed with my mentality and the way I felt around my parents and my siblings. I learned how to put aside the past and focus on what's ahead," Ruiz said.
The one person Ruiz always looked up to was his older brother. He is a man that means hope, inspiration, and motivation in his life.
''My older brother really has really shown me that with hard work and determination, if you start from the bottom, you can work your way to the top and show that you are a hard-working talent," Ruiz said.
Ruiz likes to read Mangas and write stories while also playing video games because he does not like video games. In his free time, he explores outside.
''I love it too; just enjoying nature and thinking about philosophical ideas that really shape my character," Ruiz said.
For Ruiz, all he ever wants is for people to stop discriminating against others and we should be able to live together. We all have a purpose in life for a reason on what we believe and care about.
''I want to bring peace and end all the hatred here and around the world. I want to show and tell people that we have a purpose in life and that it is not the end of the world. We can get rid of the curses from the past and tell ourselves that it is okay to live life. I know it hurts but there is a purpose to it,'' Ruiz said.
Mr. Frankfother, an English teacher here at Morton East, can agree that Ruiz has impressed him with his willingness and effort. He always puts himself out and engages with other students and his enthusiasm is unmatched.
''Francisco was the first student to really like reporting; he is naturally inquisitive and reflective. I like teaching because he likes learning. And I haven't even started to tell you about his growth in reading: Five grade levels in one semester, outstanding,” Frankfother said.
A friend of Ruiz, Haven Ramos, mentioned how outstanding of a friend he is and how he is an extremely hard worker with his peers. Ramos continues speaking highly of how much work and effort Ruiz has made. Always try to give the best advice and guidance.
''He has a way of words, in the sense that if he tells us something serious or important, he somehow finds a way to make us go 'wow' but still appreciates what life advice he has for us," Ramos shares.
After graduating High School, Ruiz plans to go to Morton College for two years and then transfer to DePaul or to UIUC to major in political science. He is a guy that likes to engage with other people and loves to talk about great ideas while having the advantage of being in programs talking about politics just like JSA. He is very thankful and grateful for his teachers at this school that have supported him on this long journey and for his friends and family who have always been by his side.