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Building on dreams

Posted: May 30, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: May 30, 2012 1:30 a.m.

Carla Simental loves to build and ‘take control,’ which is why she says architecture is a perfect fit for her.

 

Raised by a single mom while moving around the Santa Clarita Valley some 30 times in her young life, Golden Valley High School graduate Carla Simental is now prepared to plant both feet firmly on the ground.

And given her scholarship to attend California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo to study architecture, she’s well on the way to laying a firm foundation.

The hard-working 18-year-old has snagged her high school diploma with a 4.36 grade point average and cemented a place in college this fall.

When she arrives at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo — her “dream college” — it’ll be with plans she’s already drawn up for her future dream home.

“I am so fascinated by buildings. I love it,” she said in an interview. “I actually designed my own dream home.

“My mom and I looked at homes they were showing in the Fair Oaks (Ranch) area and I liked some of the models there.”

Still, Simental said, she would redo the building plans a bit — like add a game room because, she said, “I wanted my own comforts.”

Simental feels as comfortable wielding an eraser as she does drawing designs for buildings.

“I would have changed things on the Eiffel Tower,” she said. “I like to take control.”

While attending Golden Valley High School, Simental was torn between architecture and directing movies.

“It’s all about pursuing what you desire,” she said.

“I hope this article motivates students to believe that despite whatever struggles they’re going through, they have a chance to be a success.”

Pursuing either a path to becoming a film director or a path toward architecture has not been easy one for Simental.

But she has not been alone on that journey.

“I live with my mom. She’s a single mom and we’ve been together through everything,” she said.

Her mother, Guadalupe Chapman, has been rearing her daughter on her own since Simental was 5 months old.

“She’s been there for me in order to avoid any bad circumstance,” she said. “If she feels the neighborhood isn’t good, we’re out of there.

“And there’s been many circumstances where my mom has felt it was inadequate.

“She sacrifices a lot for me,” Simental said. “I couldn’t ask for a better mom.”

Her mother works so that she doesn’t have to, Simental said, concentrating all her efforts on school work.
Simental received a scholarship from the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

“The way I’ve always reached everything is just by doing little things,” she said. “You can’t get your huge goal just by jumping toward it; you have to aim for little goals that will build up to the major goal.”

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