Oreanna Villanueva, 12, is a Nashville native with a heart for her culture and her community.
“The community here is wonderful,” she said. “There are many different cultures around this community. Our city is full of them, and I want to learn more about them.”
A seventh grader at STEM Prep Academy, Oreanna said she loves the diversity and how she feels safe in Nashville.
“I also like the opportunities that are here,” she said. “I’m working to go to Vanderbilt University. I’m not sure what I want to study yet but I’ve heard there are so many opportunities there, and you can study for your dream job.”
Oreanna’s family is from Mexico. She said she has been lucky enough to go back and visit twice a year. While there, her family supports an orphanage and donates toys and their time to the children in that community.
“Mexico is very celebratory.”
Oreanna dances in Nashville with a group called La Mision ConArte Troop which translates to “The Mission with Art” in Spanish.
Dancing Mexican folk dances since she was seven years old, Oreanna said it’s fun getting to show people the culture and who she and her family are.
When Neat Nashville asked her about the big changes going on in Nashville over the last few years, Oreanna said they were just “okay.” She said right now a lot of people she knows are worried about the presidential race.
“Some kids don’t have enough money to go to college and other schools, and there people who want to change that,” she said. “That’s one of the main reasons people move here – for bigger opportunities and for a better life.”
Oreanna said she’d like to see more people given the same opportunities as others so that everyone has a fair chance. She said there are so many clubs, fundraisers, and organizations that help give back to the local Mexican community and more people should support them.
“A community is a group of people coming together to celebrate each other, have fun and have a social life with each other.”
Thanks for reading Nashville!
Neat Nashville is partnering with Festival of the Nations to bring you an even more diverse sense of community. This week, we will be highlighting a few individuals around the city who were involved with the organization. Festival of the Nations is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to bring unity through diversity to Nashville and beyond. For more information on them visit their Facebook, Instagram, and website.