Latinx at LMu: carolina newton, women's water polo
Carolina Newton, a member of the women’s water polo team, embraces her Hispanic roots and proudly displays the hard-working ethics she has learned from her culture.
Newton was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and moved to the United States shortly after, at the age of 2. Though she grew up in Long Beach, Newton remains connected to her hometown by frequently visiting Mexico every summer and Christmas. “I have lots of family there,” Newton said. “I’ve had a lot of fun getting to practice my Spanish and driving up along the coast and getting to know different beaches.”
Within her family, sports have had a huge impact on Newton’s career. Newton’s mother, Diana, competed in track at the Universidad Jesuita ITESO, and encouraged Newton to become heavily involved in sports growing up. “At a very young age, my mom was like ‘I don’t care what you do, but you have to do a sport at all times.’ She pushed me to try everything and I did everything until I fell in love with swimming” Newton said.
Newton competed in water polo for four years at Woodrow Wilson High School. She is a standout water polo player and scholar, with accolades including Outstanding Offense Award CIF Female Student-Athlete of the year, As valedictorian of her high school, Newton attributes her strong work ethic to her father. Newton’s father, Sergio, grew up in a very small town in Mexico with 11 siblings. Though Newton’s father had little money to afford to go to school, education was a top priority for him and continues to be as he supports his own children’s education. “[My dad] appreciated so much how much his father instilled in him the value of school,” Newton said. “My dad has made it a huge point to always be like school comes first… whatever you need for school, I’m going to help you with that because of how he changed his life.”
In addition to her father, Newton is also inspired by the many Hispanics that embody perseverance. “Many have come from terrible situations and have made great things of themselves without the advantages that other people experience,” Newton said. “That mentality of not only working hard but working hard from ground zero and building up to something.”
Newton herself is a representation of such values as integrity and respect both in water polo and within her community. “I always like helping other people…I don’t see the point in being great at something but then at the same time not helping anyone get to your level or pushing people to do their best as well.” Newton said.
As this month highlights Latino Heritage, Newton expresses how much this representation means to her. Newton believes the Latino community tends to be overlooked and she stresses how important it is for her culture to be celebrated. This month helps many Latinx youths, including Newton, appreciate who they are, instead of being ashamed. “I didn’t like that my mom had an accent and I hated that I had tan skin because it just made me stand out and it reminded me of how different I was,” Newton said. “Ever since coming to college, I’ve realized how special it really is and how powerful the community is. I’m just so proud to have realized that now,” Newton said.