Portraits on Assignment

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Leslie Mateo, 17, of Santa Ana was recently accepted to USC and plans to study mathematics, business and wants to learn Chinese. She has been dancing at the The Wooden Floor program since the age of 8. Here's an excerpt of an essay she wrote, "Now I have developed a voice, not only in dance but as well in school. I'm not afraid to speak up if I don't understand something or when I need help. It's something that I am proud of myself, that now I can finally become and express who I am." She plans to attend USC in the Spring of 2018. <br />
(Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)