When you drive a restored 1951 Chevy DeLuxe Fleetline there’s a certain amount of pride in knowing that you’ve endured the trials and tribulations of not only owning but driving a complete, ready-to-run lowrider. But sit down with Angie Flores, the owner of this Fleetline, and you may just find yourself more intrigued about her life story than her car.
Born in Nayarit, Mexico, Angie was raised in an adobe dwelling prior to arriving to the United States at just 2 years old. With no memories of ever being raised in Mexico, she does remember the later years when they migrated to the Le Grand farming community in Merced. With the intent of keeping their children in school, her parents and their entire family worked as seasonal workers in the fields and at just 12 years old (and in sixth grade), she found her summers occupied for the next two years. But the hard work created a discipline and work ethic that was unmatched. The one thing that was ingrained in their heads was that if they wanted something they’d have to earn their keep—and that included their school clothes.
In eighth grade she was selected for a program in which she went to school for four hours and worked another four. At the time she was categorized as an “at-risk youth” and she found the label troubling, as she viewed herself as the polar opposite. Not one to back down from a challenge, the label became Angie’s driving force to excel in school and she eventually graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in criminal justice. Upon completion, she decided to join law enforcement, wanting to work with troubled kids, so she landed a job at juvenile hall for a year before leaving to go back to school where she obtained her credentials in teaching. Since then, she’s been a kindergarten teacher (for the past 17 years) and has found solace in being able to identify and assist low-income immigrants.
When asked about the most satisfying parts of her job, she believes that it’s the ever-expanding challenges she faces each year. In part of helping these children she understands all too well that you must acknowledge their background and expose them to positive feedback and counseling during their formative years. She also understands that their perceptions are molded by what they see and learn and realizes that at the end of the day it is the adults they are surrounded by who act as their role models, which is why displaying a sense of care, concern, and acknowledging their achievements is a pivotal part in building them up as young adults.
As a one-time “at-risk youth” she vows to never have any of her students labeled in that manner, and while she proved otherwise, it has now become her life mission to make sure that none of her students ever have to experience what she went through. In addition to breaking the mold in the education industry, she also loves the fact that she dispels the myths about women and lowriding. As this Lowrider Roll Model, presented by Quaker State and Shell Lubricants, hits the corner of the block, the heads turn and the cameras snap as she brings school back into session letting the fellas know that lowriding is an equal-opportunity lifestyle that she’s proud to school the naysayers about.