Clara Frank

Often, when we are learning about a new person, we focus solely on their personality and interests. What we neglect to inquire about, is what and who their influences were during their childhood and adolescence. Who surrounded this person, why are they the way they are today? If one aspect of their life had been different, would we be talking to the same person?

Clara Frank is an overall positive person who has experienced many more unfavorable moments than one would hope. This ranges from experiencing homophobia at a young age to the absence of her father throughout her life. It speaks loudly about her character that even after the heartache she’s endured, she has hope for a better future and puts her all into making sure that happens. 

Her father played little to no parental role during her entire childhood, and eventually cut off contact with Clara when she was 14. The primary adults in her life became her mother and grandmother. 

With Clara’s optimistic outlook, the question arises of how she was raised to see the world. “The people who I grew up with are very pessimistic and see a lot of bad in the world… they have a hard time finding ways to be happy… in just living,” she shared.

While it would be expected that being surrounded by pessimistic people during adolescence would condition another generation of pessimistic tendencies, that is not the case for Clara. Clara believes that growing up so close to unhappy people encourages her to prioritize her happiness. 

“I just want to be happy,” she said. “Because I see how miserable not being happy is.”

Clara focuses on being happy by openly enjoying the things she likes, despite the opinions of others, taking classes to ensure her future happiness, and spending time with her boyfriend. She’s just begun her senior year, and is enrolled in five AP classes. She and her boyfriend have been together for a year and a half.

She aspires to go to college at the end of this year and study to become a forensic psychologist. While this is not a profession that is commonly talked about, Clara has been surrounded by aspects of it her whole life, from the media around her home growing up, and through personal research as she got older. Her dream schools are UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Occidental College. 

Clara didn’t grow up close to people who went to college after high school and had successful careers. However, her mother did go back to school during Clara’s sophomore year and is currently working towards getting her bachelor’s degree. Clara’s overwhelming effort to create a future for herself that she is both proud of and comfortable with early in life is extremely admirable.

“Their lack of drive to do better motivated me to do better,” Clara offered, speaking about her mother and grandmother.

Previously mentioned was Clara’s boyfriend of over a year. They started dating in February of her sophomore year, and have shared many memories together since. This is Clara’s first heterosexual relationship. 

Clara openly identified as a lesbian throughout middle school and her first two years of high school. During her sophomore year, after reconnecting with her now boyfriend, she realized that that label no longer fit who she’d grown into. She believes that sexuality is very fluid, and what may fit a person's identity at one point in their life, may not fit forever-- and that’s okay!

Being open about her sexual identity at such a young age, bullying and homophobia were unfortunate events that she was introduced to much too young. The first homophobic comment directed towards Clara was when she was 13.

Clara also spoke about why she came to the conclusion about her identity so early in her adolescence. From the time she was a baby, continuing throughout her entire life, Clara’s mother and grandmother spoke poorly about men at home. They often put all men into a general group and this influenced Clara’s views of men from a very young age. 

“I was so trained into thinking men were so awful, that I just didn’t want anything to do with them,” she said. “It definitely impacted my formative years… I feel like it restricted my male friendships too.” 

Clara doesn’t blame her family for how it impacted her. She knows that along with the negative views inherited from her family, she also shares many pleasant experiences with them. She chooses not to dwell on things that have already happened and cannot be changed. 

A very personal interest that Clara and her mother share is a love for Taylor Swift’s music. Clara grew up listening to each and every album with her mom, and it has kept them connected through all times of their lives. Growing up surrounded by this music has definitely influenced her music taste today. 

Clara Frank is a beautiful example of what it means to embrace where we come from and find the positives in wherever that may be. She has found joy in her everyday life and is looking forward to seeing where new joy will arise. She was influenced and impacted by all of the significant people in her life, and often those who were less significant.

We are all made up of positive and negative experiences, every person we’ve spoken to, and all the things we’ve learned. Not everyone can find themselves so gracefully through the fog of other people’s mistakes or the influences of others. Clara Frank “has taken the pieces broken off other people, polished them up, and become an incredibly unique mosaic.” 

Clara Frank | April 5, 2024

Clara Frank | March 11, 2024

Clara Frank | January 31, 2024

Clara Frank | January 31, 2024

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Clara Frank | December 20, 2023

Clara Frank | November 17, 2023