New Latina-focused show incoming: an as-yet untitled drama executive-produced by Selena Gomez for Freeform, reports Deadline, about a teen girl living in a low-income barrio who is “destined for greatness.” While the description that it’s set to be a “Latina Empire” sounds potentially dubious based on that brief description, we all understand they’ve gotta translate these pitches to sound lucrative lest they go undeveloped forever.
Besides, the show is based on the real-life experiences of 18-year-old Ana Cobarrubias, a Los Angeles-based high school senior pictured above. Last November at the Zimmer Children’s Museum Discovery Awards dinner, she delivered a speech so rousing that television producer Aaron Kaplan—who is also working on Nicki Minaj’s Freeform sitcom—approached her about the project. She will consult and is hopefully caking off this ish.
Cobarrubias’s speech in question can be viewed here. She starts off talking about how the stereotypes of her generation as lazy and narcissistic is bull, and then does an impression of her mom: “Today’s kids are ruined! Girls these days can’t even warm a tortilla!” Her mom is maybe my mom? She goes on to discuss her experiences as a young activist, trying to mobilize her schoolmates for activities like a beach clean-up:
I really believe being a part of Youthink and the recruitment that I did was the reason I got elected as Senior President of my school [cheers]—yeah, that’s right, okay. That and bribery of course! You can’t forget that, it’s a given.
I will graduate high school in the Spring and I plan to pursue my studies in cinematic arts where I will use my studies and my passion for change to create films to explore what really happens in low-income neighborhoods and who we really are. When I see me? I know I’m not a ticking time bomb. I know I’m more than the general expectations of dropping out of school, getting pregnant, going to jail. I see a strong, confident person who is more than the expectations others have of me.
As you can see when you watch it, which you should, Cobarrubias is smart, witty and inspiring, and it’s understandable why Kaplan would want to pick up her story. While the series is still in the planning pages (they’re looking for a writer, says Deadline), and there’s still time for something to go haywire (sorry, I try not to get my hopes up about the outcome of these things), it’s very clear that no matter what happens, we’ll be hearing Ana Cobarrubias’s name again, for a long time to come.
Image via Getty