A name known around the world

All in a Name: Paris


Daniela Contreras

Two girls with a name that evokes dreams of travel.

Paris is an unusual name, even at Armijo where only two people have it: Paris Brinkley and Paris Thompson. Thompson’s younger brother also has an unusual name: Barack. Yes, he was named after Barak Obama, after the former President. Thompson herself was named after her mother’s friend because it was on a list of baby names that her parents were discussing. Brinkley got the name because “my mom thought it would fit me well as a baby,” she said.

Brinkley has never met anyone else with her first name, but Thompson met someone who shared the name in middle school. “It was the first Paris that I had ever met,” she said.

When they meet her, Brinkley often has people ask her if she’s from the famous French city or if she’s visited. She’s always wanted to go.

Both girls have relatives at Armijo. Brinkley’s cousin Kaliyah will graduate with her in 2026. Thompson’s brother Paris will graduate in 2024. “My older sister graduated last year, her name is Olivia Thompson. I have a younger brother who will attend Armijo soon, his name is Bryson. My mom graduated from here, too.”

While the girls share the first name, they are very different. Thompson is part of the school’s volleyball team and is in the Leadership class. She hopes to try out for more sports in the spring. Brinkley, on the other hand, is not currently involved in sports or other extra-curricular activities.

Brinkley plans to go to college, perhaps Berkeley, and dreams of being a lawyer while Thompson wants to start at a community college. “It will take many years of school to work in Public Health as a Gastroenterologist. I’ve wanted to be one all my life,” she said.

If she could create her own name, Brinkley said that she wouldn’t. “It’s who I am,” she said. “There’s no changing that, honestly.”

Thompson, on the other hand, considered adopting the name Nobody. “No reason why,” she said. “I just want to be known as nobody for once.”

But it’s not worth considering because she recognized the uniqueness of her real name. “Just add three letters to Paris and you have paradise!” said Thompson.