LBCC student strives to one day be an Olympic ice skater.

By Jon Peacock / Staff Writer

People who know Yesica Villasenor have said they admire her dedication, work ethic and zest for life.

LBCC student Villasenor, 19, is and has always wanted to be a figure skater.

Her morning starts at 5 a.m., she takes the bus from Compton to Lakewood Ice. The trip takes her about one hour and 30 minutes. At 7 a.m., she steps on the ice, begins practicing her edges, spins, jumps and strides. After skating, she heads once again to the bus and toward the LAC. Class finishes and on most days she heads to work and then home. The day may seem like a lot for most people, however for Villasenor, it’s just another day.

It all started when she was 3, watching Michelle Kwan at the 1998 Olympics. Ever since then she had always told her dad that she wanted to skate, that she wanted to be an Olympian.

When she was young she would help clean doctor’s offices and such during the night to save up for figure skating lessons. When she could, during the day she would assist her father in landscaping houses.

When she was 11 her dad signed her up for an 8-week skills session, as an introductory on how to figure skate. After the eight weeks, her dad thought she didn’t love it and didn’t sign her up for a follow-up.

On Christmas day, when Villasenor was 14, her dad got her a laptop and a flip-phone as presents. However, she told her dad she didn’t want the presents, she only wanted to skate.

At age 14, Villasenor decided that she would give up her social life to follow her dream of figure skating. Since then it has been only skate, school and work for five days a week, every week.

After reading a paper by Villasenor about her life, Ms. Krai, her Counseling 1 teacher, wrote on her assignment, “What a life you have led thus far. I have no doubt that you will go far in this world Yesica. I will watch for you at the Olympics and cheer you on.”

Themistocles Leftheris, her figure skating coach of one year, said she has a good work ethic, she is really organized with her schedule. “On the ice, she’s always there to work and learn.”

Villasenor’s dad is one of the only people who supported her dream of becoming a figure skater. Since his death in September she has been in a constant struggle, always being reminded of her dad. Her dad was always the one who would take her to the rink and cheer her on at the competitions.

Villasenor is sponsored to skate by her high-school counselor, Patrick Estis. He makes a donation every four weeks.

Villasenor is working two jobs and doesn’t have much time for anything else. She speaks American Sign Language, Spanish and English and hopes to continue studying ASL at LBCC. Her dream is to one day be an Olympian, but she simply hopes to one day make it to nationals.