Masking Hardship

By Ashley Parra and Daniella Suarez

Cassandra Patiño hasn’t had the easiest life. She appears to be the happiest girl in the world, but her smile only hides so much. At the age of 13 she was put into a foster home due to her rebellious actions. She has been through so much: the death of her parents and getting bullied at a developing age.

At age two, Cassandra’s mother died in a car accident. She was sent to the hospital, but ultimately passed away. Cassandra had to live with her dad and stepmom; they worked everyday so they hired a  babysitter. “ She was kind of crazy, by crazy I mean she tried to drown me in a kiddy pool.” Her father called the police, but when they got there her babysitter accused her father of driving Cassandra in a car without a car seat. Cassandra was removed from her father’s home, and her grandmother was given custody of her at the age of two. “A few years ago my father died because he was an alcoholic and he literally drank every single day. I was thirteen when he died.”

Cassandra no longer lives with her grandparents due to her rebellion. Living with her foster family isn’t easy.  She really enjoys her alone time; in her limited free-time she loves to read and listen to music. She’s rarely ever home due to having six class periods and choir after school.


Cassandra experienced bullying . “People knew my parents died so they would say that they died because they didn’t care for me.” She mentioned that even with everyone by her side, she felt alone and like nobody was there for her. She now lives with her foster family, but still has difficulties there. Despite her emotional difficulties in her personal life she still manages to do well in school. She is in Algebra 1 Honors and English Honors and maintains good grades.

Although she hasn’t had the easiest life, Cassandra still manages to stay positive. Cassandra’s answer to why she smiles every day is, “Usually a smile’s contagious so I try to smile as much as I can. When I smile I know that I might make someone else smile too.” Cassandra stated that she’s not always smiling because she’s happy, but to make everyone else happy. Even though she still experiences bullying and lives with her foster family she tries to make every day the best because she knows that “people have it worse than her.” Staying positive and having friends that give her hope will allow her to face trials in the future with bravery and persistence.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Joshua T says:

    Wow that a great thing to do for others especially when others feel bad you can help them smile!

    1. Cassandra Patino says:

      Yup 🙂

  2. Jose Sanchez says:

    How have you been Cassandra?

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