Kristen Hunter-Flores, describes herself as, “Athletic, talkative, hyper and jumpy”. Her athletic and talkative sides come out when she discusses her passions. They consist of, “Writing and sports. I feel that writing even if it’s just journaling your thoughts can be relaxing and rewarding. I keep a journal and will write in it often just to self reflect on life. My passion for sports comes from playing soccer since I was five and coaching for many years. I love to watch sports on TV and in person to help with self care”.
As a result of her passions, Hunter-Flores was able to achieve the accomplishment she is most proud of which is, “Bringing the newspaper back to Ridgeview and bringing back Journalism Day to Kern County”.
Although this would not have been possible without some struggles, after all life is not always perfect. Hunter-Flores recalls three major challenges that affected her, “The first one was when I was younger. I went to grade school in the 80’s and was picked on and had to choose certain friends because of my ethnicity. Kids would make fun of my hair and I would have kids tell me you can’t play with us because you have black friends or white friends. The way I overcame this was standing up for myself and telling kids that if they didn’t want to be my friend that was fine, but I was not going to pick one race over the other.” When asked if she could tell her younger self anything, she responded with, “ I would not tell my younger self anything. Everything I have been through has a meaning and a purpose. It has made me a stronger person today. I don’t have any regrets.” Continuing on with her toughest challenges, Hunter-Flores said, “The second challenge was when I was going into college. All throughout school my mom had tried to talk to teachers to tell them I was struggling in school. No one paid attention until I started college at BC. They tested me and discovered I have a short term memory loss. I was put on an Educational Plan and given strategies to help me with school. I struggled my first year and almost wanted to give up. I remember at a certain point in the year I took a handful of pills wanting the pain to go away. I was struggling so much with school and wanted to give up on life. My mom found me right after and got me help to get through it. I did and am grateful that I graduated college. The way I got through this was help from my family. I knew I wanted to graduate college and become a journalist, so I had to just work harder than most people to get to my end goal. My last toughest challenge in my life is going through a divorce from my children’s father. We were married for 20 years and the marriage was difficult at the end due to him having mental health issues. The way I got through this was looking at my children and making sure that my decision is the best thing for them and that they are much happier in life and succeeding.”
As Hunter-Flores looks out for her children, she also mentions how her oldest daughter has been the best person in her life, “Alyssia has been through a lot since she was five. She also has a learning disability and has not let that stop her. She is going to college, working, and helping me with her sister. She is a very determined person and will not let anything get in her way”.
On the other hand, Hunter-Flores looks forward and back at the good things in her life. For example, one of her favorite memories being, “The first time I got to go down to Los Angeles and interview the Lakers. I was a Sophomore in college at Bakersfield College and I kept bugging my adviser and the Californian to let me put in a request in their media department. It was granted after many tries and I got to sit on the floor of the forum and the Staples Center and watch the team I grew up on play and go into the locker room and interview the greats such as Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Dennis Rodman, and Phil Jackson”. Thanks to her love of sports and writing, she mentions one of her most important goals is, “Before retiring is to become an Athletic Director for the district. You do not see many female Athletic Directors and I want to break ground in that area”.
To end it off, Hunter-Flores had a piece of advice she would like to give, “Never give up on your dreams and keep fighting. Things always have a way of working out.”