Peter Flores’s list of accomplishments includes everything from doing volunteer work in the Appalachia, to studying film at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, to gaining acceptance to the University of Notre Dame for the fall. One might think all of that would make him a little conceited, but the Jesuit High School senior is constantly trying to improve himself.
“I would say that I’ve gained a better understanding of what self-gift and self-sacrifice are,” Flores says of his experiences. “It’s one thing to pray St. Ignatius’s prayer for generosity, ‘To give and not to count the cost.’ But it’s an entirely different thing to live it. I am not all the way there yet, but I’m working on it.”
Just through Jesuit, Flores is involved with the cross-country and track and field teams, the student council executive board, Christian Life Community, the Peer Support group, student ministry and Big Brother. He is also deeply committed to his work with the Pro-Life Club – he has served as president, attended the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. and was a runner-up in the Pro-Life Oratory Contest.
One thing that sets Flores apart from other students is the diversity of his hobbies and interests. Outside of his activist work, Flores is involved in his school’s Ultimate Frisbee club – which he started – and with filmmaking. Since the fifth grade, Flores has created films starring his friends. During his junior year of high school, Flores studied at NOCCA in its Media Arts program, where he learned about audio, film and video production.
Flores says his most rewarding volunteer experience was this past summer, when he volunteered in the Appalachia. Through helping others, Flores says he learned a lot about himself.
“I thought we would go there and change these people’s lives by the physical work that we were going to do. What I found out was that the greatest work we could do was to sit there and talk with them, that being there for them was far more important than the actual work we were doing.,” he says. “The most surprising part about the service project was that I came back feeling like I gained so much more than what I had given. The people of Fries, Va. had shown me a better way to love and be loved.”
As for future plans, Flores will be attending Notre Dame in the fall to study philosophy, and then hopes to pursue a film career after he graduates. He wants to continue in his activism by promoting pro-life values and “do whatever is possible to improve the quality of life in the New Orleans area and really, I guess, anywhere I am.”
“I really think on a very basic level getting involved in your community is something that touches the very core of what it means to be human,” Flores says. “We are designed to give back, and so community work seems to just be intrinsically human.”F,