By Ambika Narula
In recent years, Montgomery County has gone through some changes. New roads, communities, and companies have become added features to the county we love. However, regardless of the new changes, the county remains a special place in many resident’s hearts.
Shanila Raghubir, born in Takoma Park had experienced her life in Moco in different places such as Silver Spring, Wheaton, Burtonsville (Paint Branch High school), and Layhill. As a resident, she is grateful to experience the diversity that county offers.
“My favorite part of Moco is the diversity – the fact that we are right in the middle of DC and Baltimore, you can choose where you want to go. It’s a small area, everyone knows everyone, or you will find someone that has mutual friends,” she said.
Throughout her life, Raghubir has challenged herself to advance in her career and learning opportunities. At the moment, Raghubir works as a “cold hire” as a legal assistant at Anderson & Quinn-Litigation law firm.
However, before her time at the firm she worked in administration at several hospitals over the span of 10 years. Her line of worked included taking people’s insurances, payments, looking at eligibility, benefits, etc.
“I learned a lot about stuff, I didn’t know what happened on the “back end,” and how difficult insurance companies are,” she said.
As a legal assistant, Raghubir can use her knowledge about insurance companies when it comes to appeals, regulations, and laws. Raghubir expressed a passion for legal assistance, “It’s different every day,” she exclaimed excitedly.
Raghubir parents came to Moco as immigrants and struggled. As a result, they have come become the most influential people in their daughter’s life.
“The fact that they survived so well and established themselves a little bit in America, says a lot,” said Raghubir.
Shanila Raghubir is a proud Moco resident and is grateful for its opportunities. “Even if I ever have to move, to another county or even another state. Moco will always be my home,” she said.
by Ambika Narula
Unable to impress girls at the age of 12, Oscar Quintanilla refused to quit the guitar. Today, he has written over 50 songs and dreams of becoming a pop star. Quintanilla not only plays guitar but also bass, piano, and mixes music. A second-year student at Montgomery College, Quintanilla is pursuing a business degree and has a passion for music making.
“I think when you want to pursue music or any arts you should always have a backup plan, Business always seems super cool to me… because you can’t really drift away. It’s straightforward; I like that,” he said. Quintanilla plans to use his business degree to secure his finances and to market himself in the music world. Quintanilla may be working towards a business degree, but he has his heart set on becoming a world-famous pop star.
As a full-time student also making time to work and practice music, Quintanilla considerers himself as a busy person. “It’s hard sometimes, you get anxiety, and there’s so much to do. It’s all about time management and priorities,” he said. In high school, Quintanilla used to practice for about six hours a day. Today, it’s closer to one or two hours.
Quintanilla believes that being a musician is the hardest thing. “You’re always thinking about it, always wanting to do it, in class, at work… Music makes moments more realistic than what it is,” he said. Quintanilla’s passion drives him to keep going and persevere. His love for creating music is his ticket out of reality.
Every musician has their likes and dislikes. Quintanilla hates competitions and has a slight fear of performing in public. “I like the attention, but I don’t like to be seen,” he said.
Even though Quintanilla is pursuing a business degree in addition to his passion for music, there are many other musicians out there struggling to pursue music degrees. Quintanilla offered some advice for those struggling. “Don’t worry so much; doors will open with music. You won’t have to open them,” he advised. As a high school senior, Quintanilla received admission to the NYU School of Music but was worried that he would fail without a backup degree.
In addition to studying and music, Quintanilla teaches guitar to kids at his church. “It’s a little nerve-wracking because the kids pick up your traits and I’m not a professional,” he said with a chuckle. Quintanilla calls his creations “O-pop,“ meaning Oscar-pop.
According to Quintanilla, his music writing is often done at 3 am or whenever creativity strikes. “My goal is that I just want to make music, and be better than yesterday,” he said.
Oscar Quintanilla aspires to become a famous pop star with his musical creations of O-pop. His passion for business and music will help him achieve his dreams in the music world.
Link to Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/oscarquintanilla
My name is Ambika Narula! I was born in Rockville but grew up in Germantown for a majority of my life, before moving to Clarksburg where I currently reside. I am a Clarksburg High School graduate, a former Montgomery College student and now a multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park. A bit about me is that I am a writer, and currently Editor in Chief of UMD’s Odyssey Online. To me, MoCo has always been my home, and I’m proud to be apart of this county, seeing it grow and learning more about it every day.