Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
When Jocelyn Flores turned 15, she knew her Quinceanera would be special.
She had planned many years ahead for the Latin celebration that marks a girl's 15th birthday.
But Flores didn't know her Quinceanera celebrated last April would make her famous.
"It's a rite of passage for girls who are becoming adults," Flores said. "You wear these big dresses and you celebrate a Mass and it's really a big deal."
A few weeks after Flores celebrated her Quinceanera at Woodward's St. Peter's Catholic Church, she was flipping through her Seventeen Magazine and found a casting call.
"They were looking for girls who had had their Quinceanera and they said if you would like to appear in the magazine to upload a photo in the online magazine," Flores said. "I just thought they would take that photo and post it, if I won."
She said she remained silent about entering the contest, even to her mother Estella. That was until she got the first call back.
That was not even the beginning of what ended up being a fully paid three day trip with her mother to New York City. The trip was almost a fantasy she said. It included accommodations, food, nails, hair, makeup and a full photo spread in the magazine as well as eyes for a new career in the industry, Flores said.
On October 22, the November issue of Seventeen Magazine, complete with Flores's photo shoot and her two new friends Ashley and Katalyna, who make up the "Quince Court", will hit the news stands, she said.
For those with an online subscription, the spread appeared October 15, she said.
But it wasn't all as easy as it sounds, Flores said.
After she had uploaded her photo, she was contacted two weeks later by the Seventeen's creative director's assistant. She was then sent a form that asked her many questions about herself, how she planned her Quinceanera and what advice she might give other young girls such as herself.
After passing three interviews, the staff at Seventeen magazine asked the finalists to create a video of themselves explaining why they should be chosen and what advise they had for other young girls as they became women.
The whole process took a little over a month, Flores said.
In late summer, she was whisked, with her mother, from the front porch of her Woodward home to the airport. Next stop, New York City.
"We had a connection, though, in Chicago and the flight from the city to Chicago got delayed," Flores said. "We were supposed to get into New York City at 6 p.m. and we didn't arrive until 11:00 at night."
Flores said the transition from her small, Woodward upbringing to New York City in the middle of the night was a little overwhelming.
"It was scary when we first got there because there was so much traffic, people drive so crazy," she said. "When we got to the hotel, I went to sleep right away."
When the mother-daughter pair woke, they were within walking distance to Hearst Tower, the location of many of the publication giants well known magazines, such as Glamour.
"We got lost but then we saw this lady who worked at Glamour magazine and she was so nice and told us it was just three blocks away," Flores said. "We went up to the floor Seventeen was on and got to meet everyone and then we ate and had to start getting ready for the photo shoot with all three of us-"The Quinceanera Court".
From her experience, Flores said she has gained an interest in the field of popular publication.
But for now, the tiny Woodward sophomore glides through the halls of her hometown high school, content to help her mother prepare meals for the family and dream of her new career interest.
"I am interested in working in that field," she said. " You can tell they love what they do. I loved modeling . . . seeing all the dresses and picking them out. I definitely want to work in that field."