Nohemi Gonzalez was "a Latina girl that strived to get ahead ... and who achieved many of her dreams."
Any loss of life is a tragedy. But it hurts all the more to see a young person cut down with such a promising future ahead of her.
<p> On the evening of Nov. 13, Nohemi Gonzalez was out with three friends at La Belle Equipe, a bistro and wine bar in north-central Paris.<br></p><p> The 23-year-old was studying abroad in Paris as part of her bachelor's degree in industrial design at California State University, Long Beach. She was enjoying her time in the city — her <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-1115-paris-csulb-student-20151115-story.html" target="_blank">first time</a> out of the United States — and had visited historic sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, according to her mother.</p><p>"She had a lot of dreams," Jose Hernandez, a man identified as her stepfather, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-1115-paris-csulb-student-20151115-story.html" target="_blank">told the Los Angeles Times</a>. He said that studying in Paris "was one of them."</p><p> <strong>Her life was cut short at the bistro that night.</strong></p><p> Gunmen in a black vehicle opened fire on people sitting on the bistro's terrace, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/13/world/europe/paris-shooting-attacks.html" target="_blank">killing 19 people</a> — including Nohemi — and critically wounding nine others, part of a horrific terrorist attack that has jarred France and people around the globe.</p><h2>Her mother remembers her as someone striving for success.</h2><p> Although Nohemi's mother, Beatriz Gonzalez, looked emotionally exhausted in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcpGtRArT3Q" target="_blank">an interview</a> published by the Spanish-language news outlet Univision on Nov. 15, she found inspiring words to describe her daughter.</p><p> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUxMTA0Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUzMTI5NX0.-cR8TWIzpE-xDqmJ_JgCrEiRKKD50pQCCE-wHUuSS0A/img.jpg?width=980" id="c4f31" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7c79d94dfc9d3d7910ec648de5746c0f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption"> Stepfather Jose Hernandez and mother Beatriz weep during a vigil for Nohemi. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images.</p><p> When asked how she wanted her Nohemi to be remembered, Beatriz answered, <strong>"as a Latina girl that strived to get ahead ... and who achieved many of her dreams."</strong> <br></p><p> Nohemi was born in the U.S., according to her mother, but her family came to California from Guanajuato, a state in central Mexico.</p><p>"I think the people who did this don't have any conscience," she told Univision. "Because of how many families they hurt."</p><h2>Nohemi was proud of her immigrant heritage.</h2><p> A class assignment <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-1115-paris-csulb-student-20151115-story.html" target="_blank">obtained</a> by the Los Angeles Times gives us a window into how Nohemi envisioned herself. </p><blockquote>"I am Mexican American and I also happen to be first generation born in the United States. I grew up in Whittier and had a very hard working mother that raised me to be extremely independent. If I had to describe myself in a few words I would say I am very high spirited, clean, orderly and self driven."</blockquote><p> Professors in the design department at Cal State Long Beach lauded her academic performance. She was "a very gifted student," Martin Herman, the department's chairman, told the Los Angeles Times.</p><p> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUxMTA0My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzU5MzcxMn0.bQdF9p9JtNj0kOs1tuD6V33nVcEMiYU_mYRdpMJBg9w/img.jpg?width=980" id="47078" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="08e67d5f38ab1d935111ea5a42e549f2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption"> Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Images.</p><p> <strong>Beyond her academic performance, she just seemed like a great person.</strong></p><p> "Nohemi was an absolute delight," said David Teubner, a professor of design at Cal State Long Beach. "She was funny and warm and such a kind person.... She was involved in everything."</p><h2>Her friends and family won't let her memory fade away.</h2><p> Nohemi's fellow students and community members gathered on Nov. 15 at Cal State Long Beach for a vigil to commemorate her life.</p><p> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUxMTA0NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjA5NDk3NX0.Fpk0cMnpevytogXl3Fk1W04XjWe8DNRjREZw6sMvx3M/img.jpg?width=980" id="f1335" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="10148dc5cade335ce4bf9eb4526c6f14" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption"> Students and mourners hold candles at the vigil. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images.</p><p>Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said she was an "exceptional young woman who worked hard and contributed greatly to [the] community." <br></p><p> <img armando="" babe.="" be="" ccuebghbil="" class="tweet-placeholder" data-content='Tim Mraz remembered his girlfriend. "She' data-tweet="https://twitter.com/_Jacobo_Armando/status/666058332688388097" halls.="" i="" jacobo="" ll="" love="" november="" pic.twitter.com="" roaming="" src="/assets/tweet-placeholder.png" still="" those="" you=""><br></p><p> Nohemi's cousin, Ellie Gonzalez, captured the raw emotion — and confusion — that many who knew her must be feeling now.</p><blockquote> "This is still a really big shock. I don't believe it's real, that this happened," <a href="http://ktla.com/2015/11/15/vigils-planned-for-cal-state-long-beach-student-killed-in-paris-attacks/" target="_blank">she said</a>. "I'm going to miss her and I love her so much."</blockquote>
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