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FRIDAY REPORT

My Heroine

Students' tributes to their mothers and grandmothers poured in when LA Youth newspaper asked for submissions to an essay contest on "My Hero." This is a selection of essays provided to The Times by LA Youth, "the newspaper by and about teens," in advance of Mother's Day. They have been edited for space.

May 12, 2000

My hero, my mom, would have been 45 years old this year, but she passed away last September. Soledad Lujan was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and she accomplished many of her dreams. In Mexico, she only finished third grade, but she still helped her four children accomplish their own dreams.

She supported her first child, Hector, when he decided to join the volleyball team. Her second child, Rocio, she encouraged in school, resulting in her graduation with honors and four medals. I was the third child. She helped me by always pushing me to do my best. My reward was a graduation from middle school with a Five-Star Admiral certificate and a medal with honors. Her last child was Daniel. So far, he has many times been Student of the Month, and he plays many sports.

One thing I would have liked her to have before she passed away was a king-size bed that my dad never wanted to buy because it was too much money.

To be a hero you don't have to be Miss Universe or the actor of the moment. Just be the greatest person possible.

VANESSA LUJAN

Bell High School

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