By Alyssa Helsel
The word Hawaii, to most people, brings to mind a luscious island across the Pacific Ocean and the birthplace of Polynesian culture including the widely known Hula and Tahitian-styled dances. These forms of dances were born within the time-period of ancient Hawaii when the written language did not yet exist as a way to convey the literal meaning of a tale connecting their moves to the land, their culture, and keeping their mythology alive. Although the Hawaiian culture seems to lie elsewhere, across the sea, Senior Shana Vicente brings the life of Polynesian dancing to California.
Vicente began her dance journey by first joining the He Ohana Nani three years ago and ever since, she has enveloped herself within any Polynesian dance opportunity such as No Ka Nani, which she has been a part of for two years, and Tauivi Polynesian in which she has been a participant for three months. Originally, she claimed that joining was a little bit outside of her comfort zone but after much practice and hard work, Vicente grew more confident in herself and her artwork of dance. Vicente explained, “I have found a part of myself from just being in Tahitian. It helped me grow out of my comfort zone and explored the rest of what I could do being a Polynesian dancer. . .I would have never thought I would be one of the captains for He Ohana Nani and being placed as first at KAM [Ke Aloha Moku].” Before the competition, Vicente was found practicing after school every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and conditioned for two hours each day with her team and her director, Tauivi. But on April 20, 2019, the competition Ke Aloha Moku arrived at Great Oaks High School; here, dancers from an array of different schools competed by exhibiting dance movements they have learned over the course of the school year. It was on this day that Vicente took first place under the soloist category of KAM. As a soloist, Vicente had to freestyle her performance, not knowing what song she would be performing to or having a dance completely planned out. This way, judges would rate the performance on the unique moves and stage performance alone. Vicente drew inspiration from other Tahitian teams coming from different countries such as Japan, Mexico, and Thailand, she would also occasionally turn hip-hop originated moves and turn them into Polynesian dance moves. Vicente also watched competitions and dances on YouTube such as HEIVA i PARIS and Moena Maiotui to help her progress her dance moves. Few students can say that they had the honor of receiving first place under soloist for Polynesian dance but through Vicente’s persistence, she was rewarded with such a title.
Polynesian dance has been such an influence on her life that upon graduation, Vicente plans to continue her Polynesian dance career by staying in Tauivi Polynesian, which is a job she is passionate for. After the competition, she stated, “After winning my solo competition, I felt like not only I made my parents proud, but I also felt like I have accomplished something in life. . .I also felt like I have found a part of myself from just being in Tahitian.” Vicente’s pursuit in Polynesian dance has helped to shape her self-confidence, which led the way to stepping up and fulfilling a leadership position where she was co-captain for both Ohana Nani and No Ka Nani. She highly encourages other students to join in the school’s Ohana Nani dance team. Vicente remarked, “For the people that want to join Tahitian, I say go for it, don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and also don't be embarrassed if you can’t do a move because that was me in the beginning but I practiced and got better.” She explained that the word Ohana means ‘family’ in Pidgin and that, as the name suggests, she is very close to her teammates and would even consider some family. Vicente expresses her artwork in the movement of dance which has overall shaped her into being a more confident person and will help her through different strides of life.
Vicente holds her title of first place winner with much pride and has much support from her family. She still continues to help her teammates in their own aspirations of dance as well. Through the experiences she has gained through her years spent in Polynesian dance, she looks optimistically to the future and is excited to continue her dance career.
By Madison Vanesler
On campus, there are many students that struggle with mental health problems as well as suicidal thoughts. There is now a program on campus that is working towards helping people become more aware of this, which is the Teen Suicide Awareness Prevention Program (TSAPP). Selected students from Peer Leaders, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the Associated Student Body (ASB) were all chosen to be a part of TSAPP to help positively impact the school.
TSAPP first began to raise awareness by creating a video on the issue of suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues people deal with. In addition, they have explained that it is okay to ask for help if one is dealing with these kinds of issues. As of right now, the students are working towards raising awareness of suicidal thoughts and mental health through the program. One of the members of TSAPP, Senior Jaedyn Wells, stated, “We are going to try to raise awareness by also showing the signs of suicide or of people who have serious mental health [issues].” People who struggle with mental health issues such as depression, schizophrenia or suicidal thoughts often do not ask for help or tell anyone what they are going through, usually out of fear. However, if people do not ask for the help they need, it could become dangerous for them and so it is important that people offer help in any way they can and are welcoming and accepting to these students. Suicide occurs so often now that in Riverside county, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for teenagers. TSAPP helps students that struggle with these issues understand that they can talk to someone they trust about what they are feeling or going through in order to get the help they need.
For people who struggle with suicidal thoughts or other mental health problems, there are many different people or resources they can go to for help, such as a trusted adult, a parent, a counselor, or a trusted friend. This program also helps students know that there are people like them that are also struggling with these problems and can connect them with these people who can better relate to what they are going through. Mental health and suicide are very important topics that are often taken less seriously than they truly are and as a result, many people struggle with suicidal thoughts or other mental health issues and do not know where to go for help. Fortunately, with the help of TSAPP on campus, students will now better understand the importance of helping fellow students in their struggles with mental health. Additionally, it will aid the students who are dealing with these problems in learning to speak up and get help.
The TSAPP program advisors, on-campus counselors, Mrs. Elyce Mandich and Mrs. Carissa Teachout, went to the Inland Empire Directing Change Award Ceremony on May 2 for their film “Even you, Even me.” TSAPP was the only program from campus that went to this particular award ceremony. In fact, TSAPP getting the opportunity to go to the award ceremony shows that the program and its goal of raising awareness of mental health is important to many other people in the community.
Now that there is a program on campus working towards raising awareness of mental health problems and suicide, as well as teaching people it is okay to ask for help when they are feeling this way, members of TSAPP are hopeful that more students will be more comfortable asking for the help they need. Suicide and mental health awareness are very important in helping the people who need it to receive help and with TSAPP in place, it is much more likely that students will understand this.
By Elizabeth Clavin
Mr. Puma is a male pageant that is annually held on campus in March with the sole purpose being to exhibit the passions and talents of the senior class boys. The winner is chosen based on their ability to represent the school with integrity and morality, along with putting on the best show. This is a great opportunity for them to have a fun rest of their senior year, regardless if they win or not.
The line up consists of fifteen boys: Seniors Elias Enguancho, Justin Delara, Brandon Sandefer, Lucas Tomkins, Sergio Munoz, Matthew Ochoa, Gavin Powell, Stone Pellerin, Zack Elkhayat, Ismael Vizcarra, Josiah Davis, Miguel Cruz, Jerrico Boadilla, Diego Cruz, and Phoenix Gutierrez. Each contestant was required to submit a video of their talent and showcase why they should be the winner of Mr. Puma. The videos were approximately four minutes long. For example, Senior Ismael Vizcarra, a runner up, stated “I had to submit a video of my talent and why I should be Mr. Puma, it was fun and easy. It was about four minutes long and I chose to sing “[Yo] (Excuse Me Miss)” by Chris Brown, I even had a backup dancer and it was a great time.” Furthermore, the show consists of fifteen different talent shows due to their being fifteen different boys. It begins with a 1970s group dance, and then after their introductions, they will be introduced with their runway and walk in their formal wear. In addition, the contestants put on their talent shows, which last about four minutes each. Also, there are four different group dances cut in between their talent acts. Lastly, the show ends with a exciting trivia game which leads to crowning the winner at the very end. All in all, it involves quality time with friends, good music, and an entertaining show.
Each runner up has expressed their fondness and excitement for this event. Senior Josiah Davis, a runner up for Mr. Puma, stated “I am most excited for the group dance because you get to bond with all the other guys and basically become best friends with everyone that is competing for the title, and the choreographers as well. Overall, I am most excited for the performance and the whole show. In life you just have to put yourself out there, and this a great opportunity to do that.” In fact, this is a good opportunity for them to show not only their talents, but also their sense of humor. In addition, each contestant has chosen to run for various reasons. For instance, some have wanted to since the first Mr. Puma, or some were talked into it by their peers. Another case is Senior Miguel Cruz, also a runner up, who stated “I personally never planned or even thought of running for Mr. Puma just because it isn't really something I ever saw myself doing. However, I just really wanted to hang out and have fun with friends that were planning to run for it, and with the other boys that I have never even known before starting this.” All in all, all those who are participating and watching the show are eager to see how it will go, along with being excited.
To conclude, Mr. Puma will be held on Friday, March 8 in the gym from 6PM to 8PM. The boys are anxious to put on a show for all the viewers and they are thrilled for the crowning of the winner. This is an enjoyable opportunity for a fun night with friends, family, music, and great performances which will determine who represents the school the best. Students will not want to miss it and ticket sales will be soon/
By Alyssa Helsel
Most students are inclined to face the pressures of figuring out what they want to do after their high school career. However, this expectation fixed into society is a misbelief of what the reality of life truly is to some, proven by teachers Mr. Chris Morel and Mrs. Tiana Fox. Each on-campus teacher considers failures are good for they lead to success and exploring different opportunities assisted them in figuring out what they wanted to do as a career.
Growing up, Morel wanted to become an architect, which sprouted from his love of playing with Legos as a kid. However after high school, he coached high school football and worked at youth groups for different organizations instead, which inspired him to become a teacher. He then went to college to get a teacher’s credential, but found himself doubting if he truly wanted to be a teacher. So after college, he helped people get mortgage loans for two years and did loans for a family friend. Morel added, “I didn’t like it [his former job] but it solidified what I wanted to be, a teacher. If I didn’t explore that area, then I wouldn't be sure teaching was for me.” Morel’s advice for students is that they “try things but move forward. Then, reflect what it is that you liked about it.” For Morel, he eventually found what he wanted to do in life and considers teaching his passion, believing he has the opportunity to change students’ lives by helping them learn and grow. According to him, this would never have occurred if he did not pursue different opportunities.
Fox had thirty-one jobs before becoming a teacher on campus and completely changed direction in what she initially wanted to become but overall found her purpose in life in the pursuit of helping her students. After high school, Fox wanted to work with a news organization where she could go overseas and broadcast over different international points. This led her to having a double major at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in German and Communications. There, she worked for the Daily Nexus, where she did all forms of journalism including print, voice, and television. However, Fox learned two weeks before graduating that this was not what she wanted to do. Fox mentioned, “I didn’t know how to navigate that [the realization she no longer knew what she wanted to do]. . .I was so focused and goal-oriented before that and then all of a sudden, I was lost.” From there, she had multitudes of jobs, including working for a Rent-A-Car center, Sun Your Buns Tanning Salon, restaurants and more. However, nothing made as much of an impact as a tutoring company called Lindamood-Bell, where she aided students with their reading and comprehension skills. This inspired her to become a teacher. Fox stated, “I recognized through soul-searching and working to get to know myself better that I liked helping people. I truly think the best idea is to follow what you love. Be kind with yourself because a lot of people who fall under that category don’t know what you want to do; everyone around you feels like they know exactly what they want to do, when most people still don’t.” Fox has a hopeful stance on failure stating that it is the only way people can succeed. She also believes there is not really a finish line to life, and the beauty of life is that you can constantly grow then said, “I, myself, surprise myself to this very day. . . High school is not an end; it is a stepping stone to a new adventure.” Fox never considered teaching as an option for her future until she explored different job opportunities. Fox believes it was only when she was lost that she was able to find where she was meant to be all along.
Failure can have the possibility of manifesting itself into something greater. Having an optimistic view on failure is what encouraged Fox and Morel to discover what they wanted to do in life. Both teachers acknowledge that people do not always know what they want to do in life but still advise to continuously search because that is the only way for things to change and come to be.
By Vadison vanesler
Many people are unaware who the lead custodian on campus is, the head custodian on campus is Mr. Phonn Em. Em’s job as the head custodian is to supervise all of the other custodians and ensure that they are making the campus a clean place for students and staff to work. Em said that him and the other custodians have to make sure the whole campus is clean enough for the students and staff to occupy it. Em assures that the many cleaning routines all the custodians do get done and that the campus looks nice and clean for the visitors on campus, staff, and students.
Part of Em’s job is making sure that the campus is clean enough and suitable for the students and staff to come to do their jobs throughout the week. Em said, “I would love to have them taking care of their own trash.” There is a lot of hard work that goes into making sure that the campus is clean enough to be occupied by everyone on campus. Em said that his favorite part of the job is interacting with all the many different people he sees everyday on the job and working with people around him as he does his work.Em is married and has two kids, who are both boys. He loves his job because he knows that the hard work he is putting in to ensure that the campus is clean for students and staff is very efficient. He ensures that the school is sanitary and clean for everyone who spends time on campus throughout the school year.
The custodians ensure that the students’ and staff public health is excellent when they are on campus. There is a lot of effort put into keeping the campus a clean place. Such as picking up whatever trash doesn’t make it into the trash cans, cleaning, and making sure the bathrooms are stocked properly. Em likes working with people and that is why he enjoys being the head custodian. By many people, this job is not recognized as important, but the job the custodians do is fundamental to the well-being of the school. Custodians keep it clean enough for all of the people that work on campus.
Head custodians are responsible for telling all of the other janitors or custodians where, what and when to do certain tasks.Part of Em’s job as the head custodian is also supervising everyone else on his team to assure that all the jobs that need to be done and all the cleaning gets done. The custodians on campus go through a routine of cleaning operations to assure the campus is a safe, sanitary place for everyone who is regularly on campus and for visitors such as substitutes, parents and more. Em said, “I love my job ‘cause it makes it clean for everybody.” Em knows that by doing his job and making sure his co-workers are doing their job, they are making it a suitable work environment for all of those in the school.
In order for the students and staff to be able to be on the campus, the custodians have to clean it so that it is a sanitary place. All of the custodians work very hard to make sure that the campus is clean. By Em doing his job he is ensuring that the campus will be a clean work environment for everyone.
by michael angelo tan
The school’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) hosted their three-day annual event, Basic Leadership Training, which lasted from Friday, September 14, to Sunday, September 16. 123 first year cadets from several schools, such as Orange Glen High School, West Valley High School and Murrieta Mesa High School, attended the event. Cadets partook in numerous activities, which included, physical training, uniform inspections, water survival training, and team building exercises.
On the first evening, students were checked in, separated by gender and placed into their respective platoons for team bonding and preparation. The cadets were then led to the gym, where they put down their belongings and started studying their knowledge handbooks, which are essential for inspection. After they finished taking their showers, the cadets were sent to their racks and went to bed at around ten o'clock in the evening. Students were assigned shifts overnight, known as “firewatch”. This is where cadets patrol the premises and make sure that everyone is safely sleeping.
The next day, students were woken up at 5AM and marched down in physical training (PT) gear to the football field to begin physical exercise. The students were put under intense, physical training by Orange Glen’s Master Sergeant Keith Porter. Some activities included Marine Corps push-ups, sit-ups, and running. During this time, the NJROTC Parent Support Group (PSG) began to cook breakfast for all of the cadets.
Later during the day, students were brought over to the pool to begin the water survival training. Naval Science Instructor Senior Chief McGovern said, “Water survival is to prevent anything bad to happen to you. . .give them that skill to be able to tread water if they are in a situation where they cannot get out of.” McGovern elaborated on this and stated, “Another [activity] is when they use their pants to use as a floatation device. . .there is a way you can put some air into the pants and it turns into a flotation device.”
On the final day, all cadets finished off bootcamp with the “Pass & Review”, which is essentially a graduation for the cadets who attended all three days of Basic Leadership Training. Students formed up into their platoons, marched out onto the football field and practiced several times before parents came to watch their child promote. Students also received awards that they earned, such as the “Most Improved Cadet” and swimming qualifications. Freshman Eilene Paniagua commented, “It [Basic Leadership Training] is an amazing experience; You get to meet other cadets from other schools, and you get to learn a whole bunch of different things, and learn how to be a better cadet.” During the Basic Leadership Training, students in NJROTC from several schools around the area had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities in order to showcase their skills and gain new experiences.
By madison vanesler
The A.V.I.D student body is working on a student committee for A.V.I.D. This student committee will consist of two students from each grade, they will share the ideas of their fellow peers. The name of the committee is The A.V.I.D Student Committee. This committee will help A.V.I.D students be more involved in helping fund A.V.I.D, and improve the program with many new exciting and creative ideas from the students. A.V.I.D stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. A.V.I.D helps students prepare for college. The A.V.I.D Student Committee will help more students be involved to improve the program and find different creative ways to fund A.V.I.D.
Two students from each grade will be picked for the chance to be apart of the Avid Student Committee. Senior, Sophia Aulbach is a student in A.V.I.D. Aulbach came up with the idea to create this committee for students. She did this because teachers would go to meetings and talk about how to funds and improve A.V.I.D. The teachers would then go back and talk to the students to see what they wanted to do or add. The students picked to be apart of the A.V.I.D Student Committee will go to meetings with the A.V.I.D teachers to talk about different ways to help with funding and special events. One of the A.V.I.D teachers, Tiana Fox, said that Aulbach had the idea for the students that were picked to bring the information back to the A.V.I.D student body. “They could come to a meeting with us and then they could go back to their classes and then they could bring that information to the teachers so that the student voices would be heard.” These eight students would ensure that their fellow peers got more say in what goes on during the meetings and everybody’s ideas would be heard and acknowledged.
Mrs. Fox hopes that students will see this as a good leadership opportunity for the students, and the students ideas will be taken seriously by the teachers, peers and other staff members. Mrs. Fox states, “I think this is a great leadership opportunity, and an opportunity to have your voice heard and your ideas taken seriously.” The A.V.I.D Student Committee can give more students the opportunity and outlet to share their creative ideas.
The A.V.I.D Student Committee will give many students the chance to bring in new and creative ideas that will help fund and improve the Advanced Via Individual Determination program. Everybody in A.V.I.D will get a chance to have their thoughts and ideas shared. Students will also be more involved. This committee will bring in many new exciting ideas. It will also bring in many different thoughts, opinions, and outlooks on how to do certain things.
by alyssa helsel
Human trafficking is the modern-day form of slavery which broadcasts internationally. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Earlier in January, two men were found and arrested for holding two underaged girls captive andforcing them to do sexual acts. Occurrences of this illegal activity appear to be rare, but off of Rancho California Road, outside of Claim Jumper, a woman was approached by a man who repeatedly asked her on a date. She contacted the police and the man turned up to be a wanted human trafficker for holding a girl hostage for two years; this was made public on Temecula Patch May 17, 2018.
Sex trafficking has exploded in recent years, becoming an epidemic problem nationwide. The Sheriff’s Department created a specialized unit, with special training, called the Riverside County Anti Human Trafficking Task Force to hunt down traffickers. The majority of their cases consist of the victim escaping or a citizen notifying the police. Micheal McCreary, Deputy Sheriff for Riverside County, expresses that sex trafficking is, “increasing on a daily basis. I have numbers that are a few years old but they are so much larger now than back then.” In an article from the Police Department, there are “27 million slaves currently worldwide today.” When asked where the majority of these crimes take place, Deputy McCreary responded, “Honestly, this can happen next door to you. You can go on for years without the knowledge of it.” There is no clear way of telling whether a place is conducting themselves in business or not. The exterior surroundings may seem normal, but human trafficking can be conducted in houses, businesses, as well as other places that remain uncovered.
Deputy McCreary asserted that the greatest way to prevent acts like this is, “having a close, good family foundation. A lot of these cases,especially with young people, come from broken families. They might’ve had an abusive upbringing, or suffered some form of sexual abuse in the past, where they ran away and got caught up in the human trafficking or sex trafficking world because they are promised a better future.” Unfortunately, the majority of people who get swept up in human trafficking are underaged. Another way of preventing incidents like these are by trusting instincts or gut reactions. Victims are not usually allowed to come and go freely. Victims also act standoffish or lacks communication skills with other people. A large amount of human trafficking does not mean the victim is locked up in a cage.
Sex trafficking is much more common than many people think. It can happen within the friendliest of neighborhoods or the unexpected corners of streets nearby. If something does not feel right, police departments encourage citizens to call them because it is always better to be safe than sorry.
by alyssa helsel
Through dance, there is no apparent need for words; emotions and stories are conveyed through the tapestry of gestures and movements. Art reveals who a person is aside from everyone else. For Senior Ashlyn Watkins, her favorite form of self-expression is dance. Watkins has been practicing dance for fourteen years through the Temecula Dance Company, located near Temecula Old Town. In her more recent years, she has become the Captain of Varsity Dance, called Divas. The different styles of dance that she performs are jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet.
Excessive amount of training and leadership skills are required as Captain of Divas, the varsity dance team. Watkins stated, “Us captains have to choreograph many different dances for our performances. . .the styles range from tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet on pointe, contemporary, and lyrical.” After choreographing, she has to make sure the dances are well presented so her peers are on the correct beat of the music or doing the right dance move. Then, the captain moves onward to design the costumes. Her favorite two dance forms to perform are hip-hop and contemporary. Although, these two forms of dance are vastly different, Watkins explains that she likes these two in particular because hip-hop is more aggressive and energetic and contemporary is soft and can tell a story. Last year, her contemporary team won national champions at Star Systems Dance Competition Nationals.
While she is not planning on making dance her profession, she believes that self-expression through different means of art is important for a person’s individuality. She believes, self-expression is the main weapon society has towards an ever-growing spectrum of like-minded people. Dancing is how she demonstrates her individuality. She said, “the way you express yourself in the form of another language. That’s what I love about it.” Watkins also acknowledged that people who love what they do are the foundation for creativity, giving that individual their own voice. It is also through this act that a person has the capability of inspiring someone else.
She says that the hardest part about Varsity Dance is hearing the bell ring because it marks the end of class. She mentioned, “I fell in love with dance, so for it to end is the hardest part.” Watkins believes that even with a busy schedule, there is room to add in what she loves to do. She stated that it is through the means of time management that everything she has done can be made possible. Other hardships many other dancers like Watkins face are sprained ankles and fractured feet none of these are “out of the norm in the dance world.” As always, the comeback is greater than the setback for even through the trials and tribulations Watkins has been able to win many championship titles, compete at national levels, earn different scholarships, be a part of award winning dances, and receive top recognition from well known dance influencers.
By Michael angelo Tan
There are numerous activities that are offered by clubs for community service hours around campus. Students are required to complete community service with a total of forty hours in order to graduate and receive certain honors. If one obtains more than the required hours, they will receive special recognition at the graduation ceremony. Clubs that offer opportunities for volunteer hours include Key Club, California Scholarship Federation (CSF), Interact, and many more.
The president of the Key Club, Senior Isaiah Lara, stated, “The importance of community service is to ensure that students are well adapted to a wide variety of future activities, while still benefiting the community.” Community service does not only allow students to collect hours towards the requirement, but it also gives students the opportunity to give back to their community. Lara adds on, “One can get in contact to get community service hours by reaching out to any local business with a 501c [non-profit organization], so any local elementary school, middle school, even just by simply talking to one of the counselors at Chaparral.” A 501c organization is any corporation, unincorporated association or any other type of organization exempt from federal income tax.
One alternate way to receive hours is to offer help at various elementary schools, such as Nicolas Valley Elementary School (NVES) or Ysabel Barnett Elementary School (BES). Often, these schools hold events such as fall festivals or other after-school events that require student or adult help. Some of these events require one to run food booths, help set up for an activity booth, or supervise younger kids. BES is going to be running a harvest festival today, giving high school students the opportunity to volunteer for community service hours.
Upcoming events that students can partake in to obtain their required hours are the Canned Food Drive, the Temecula Quilt show, and many more. On campus clubs such as Key Club provide a various amount of ways to give back to the community. Recently, Key Club participated in the Temecula Quilt show, where students helped set up and aid in the show for approximately eight hours. Another upcoming event that students may be interested in is the canned food drive organized by Key Club, which is taking place from October 11 up until the first week of November. During the canned food drive, students can compete against other and the event can turn into a competition between classes on campus. For every five cans students bring in, they can receive one hour of community service with a maximum amount of up to twenty hours. The canned food drive takes place during the students’ third period class and results in a prize for the winning class or tied classes.
Students continue to look for different events in the community to make the world a better place; community service is not only to gain hours towards graduation, but to meet new people, make an impact on the community, and help others through the form of following rules or leading a group. By volunteering for these activities, it helps one build several key skills such as one’s communication, leadership skills, and decision-making skills. If one is desperately in need of community service hours, it is recommended that they join multiple clubs and speak to different club advisors for more information.
BY Louise kim
When it comes to shared hardship among students, sometimes the most powerful act one can do is share their story. Junior Amelia Barrios along with her brother, Nathan Barrios, recently created a foundation called the Barrios Foundation in the hopes of raising awareness on a serious struggle many students deal with: mental illness. Through her own story of dealing with mental illness and her strong desire to help others in need, Barrios is on a mission to educate students and staff in the Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) and show students they are not alone.
Barrios’ story behind this foundation started during her sophomore year. Both her mother and grandmother had dealt with some form of mental illness, and based on a genetic factor Barrios had a greater chance of developing a mental illness as well. During her first two years of high school, Barrios struggled with depression and even attempted suicide at one point, but at the end of her sophomore year she made a decision not only for herself but also for those around her. She decided to start a nonprofit organization. Her desire to help others was inspired by her father who suggested she share her story and make a difference. “You know as a high school student you think like ‘Maybe this is too big for me. Maybe I can’t do this,’” Barrios said, expressing her initial doubts, “but then I was like, ‘You can help people.’” Barrios decided to take on this project with her younger brother’s help, and after weeks of planning over the summer the Barrios Foundation was born. “I remember finally finishing up the website and then launching it and announcing it and it was just the most amazing feeling to have all the support from people.”
According to Amelia and Nathan Barrios, “[the] purpose of the organization is to raise awareness of mental illness within adolescents. . .and to raise that awareness within school systems.” Currently, the Barrios Foundation aims to get schools in the Temecula Valley involved in her organization’s movement. They decided to target their respective schools as their primary audience, with Amelia raising awareness for mental illness on campus and Nathan spreading the foundation’s message at Bella Vista Middle School and running the foundation’s webpage. Barrios took the foundation’s first big step when she presented her nonprofit organization in front of her Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) class. She then presented it to teachers and staff members along with social worker Mrs. Elyce Mandich on September 14 during a Staff Development Day. “It was definitely interesting to see so many of the staff really engaged,” said Barrios. The personal story she shared affected many staff members and even brought some to tears.
The Barrios Foundation is the start of something big, and Amelia and Nathan Barrios are excited about helping their fellow classmates. Barrios wishes for students on campus to get involved with their nonprofit organization. She plans on offering community service hours to those who get involved with the Barrios Foundation. “I want people to know about the foundation and what we’re doing because it’s so important that mental illness doesn’t stay taboo.”
BY INGRID HEIDEMANN
Marine Recruiters who visit the school are looking for hardworking individuals that want to serve their country. They come in hopes of educating students who are interested in the different types of career paths offered in the Marine Corps and how these jobs help people transition to the civilian sector after military service.
The purpose of recruiting students to the Marines is to create productive members of society. “Our job in the Marines is to make sure we return good quality civilians back into the community once they are done with serving their country,” said Marine Corps Career Counselor Mr. Enzo Soberanis. He is a helicopter mechanic and an aerial gunner who has been serving in the Marines for eleven years. Soberanis usually visits the school during lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays to give students more information on the Marines. Soberanis claimed, “I joined the Marines because I wanted to be a part of something great. The rich history and tradition of the Marines speaks for itself and I wanted to be a part of that.” Experienced recruiters like Soberanis help provide professional career insight that people considering the military will need in order to make an informed decision about serving.
There are a few steps one must complete before they are able to enlist in the Marines. Students must speak to a Marine recruiter about their personal reasons for considering joining the military. There is a recruiting office located next to the Navy Federal Bank across from school where students can speak to a Marine recruiter. A future recruit must take an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test as well. It is necessary to schedule appointments with recruiters and one’s parents to make sure students have approval to join the Marines if they are not yet eighteen. Students can also take a Pre-screening internet-delivered Computer Adaptive Test (PiCAT), which is an unproctored form of the ASVAB test. This provides recruiters with the ability to sufficiently determine if an applicant is capable of being a productive Marine before sending them to a military entrance test site or military entrance processing station. Senior Dakota Duffy said, “After taking the PiCAT, Soberanis told me my score, and I was able to set up an appointment to go to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) down in San Diego, so I took two days from school to go down to MEPS and swear into the Marines.”
While the Marines do offer opportunities for students to attend college, non-college graduates can benefit from being drafted too. Marine Recruiters provide professional development and the skills students will need in order be successful in life. They instill self discipline, leadership, and self reliance. All of this will make draftees more competitive and prepared for the real world.
BY DEJA PENDLETON
In the choosing of the Fab 5 this year Mrs.Christy Baron, Maddy Johnson, Dannah Tommalieh, as well as Mrs. Nicole Dayus came to an agreement on who should be Chaparral's newest Fab5 members.
Senior Christian Caudillo of the Fab 5 wanted to join from the excitement he saw from the previous year's group, “I wanted to be a part of that, I wanted to be a part of being able to lead people.” The process to becoming a Fab 5 included a video describing themselves as well as what would make them a good candidate for this years fab 5, Caudillo explains,“It was pretty stressful actually we had to make a video, then we had to wait after we made the video to get called in for the interview, we had to wait a week during that week I was nervous to see if I made it, and then I finally got that text it was a relief.” The chemistry between members is important in that they work as unit to unite Pumas, Caudillo expands, “It would not work without the five of us I am glad there is five of us to get each section loud it is not a one person job, it is a one time experience with having school spirit and being in high school, we will bring excitement, help others especially for those people who think that showing school spirit is embarrassing.”
Senior Jayda Williams of the Fab 5 has wanted to be apart of Fab 5 since her Freshman year saying, “seeing what the Fab 4 used to be and how they could control the crowd and get everyone to have fun I just thought that was so cool, and I wanted to do it because I felt like it was not as fun anymore and I am an outgoing person so I wanted to share my personality with everyone else. Williams has always been a school spirited Puma dressing up on almost all spirit days and participating in events. The process to become a member for Williams was a breeze she expands, “everyone I interviewed with was my friend and it was a group interview everyone that was interviewing me made sure that you were not nervous and that you were comfortable.” With her other four members Williams describes there family like nature saying, “we have so much fun together we are all like brother and sister, we always check up on each other, we joke around together the chemistry is so strong.”
Senior Ethan Villalta of the Fab 5 has always wanted to be a member of the Fab 5 saying, it looked super hype and like a lot fun.” Villalta has always been school spirited his first memories of being an outgoing puma was his Freshman year saying, “ for class distinction Freshman year I wore yellow booty shorts.” A man of humorous nature Villalta has ecstatic chemistry with his four other members saying, “we are very close, we work together like family.” The process in which it takes to become a member of the Fab 5 Villalta explained that the process was not difficult at all. For something we can expect from the Fab 5 this year Villata expands, “one word. Hype”.
Senior Alyanah Josephine Rosario commonly known as Ally J, saw an opportunity in showing her school spirit with joining the Fab 5 saying, “ I wanted to join the Fabs because I felt confident in knowing it fit my energetic personality.” Rosario has always been a spirited Puma with being school spirited throughout her years at Chaparral saying, “ I make sure every single day that I do my best to show pride in my school.” The chemistry between Rosario and the other four members is an enjoyable part of the job saying, “they each bring such a different but positive vibe to hype the crowd up.” In the process in which is included in becoming a member Rosario’s experience was nerving, Rosario explains, “I had to show my greatest potential during the interview.” For something to expect from the Fab 5 this year is energy every game, “Puma pride throughout the campus and our classrooms.”
Senior Kiani Brown of the Fab 5 has always been attracted to being apart of the school in a bigger way saying, “I wanted to be apart of Fab 5 because I love performing in front of a crowd whether it is choir or hyping the crowd up I want to do it, I also love making sure that no matter sport event that we are at that our Pumas feel a lot support and love. “Brown has always been a spirited Puma with being involved in choir as well as multiple clubs on campus saying, “I have always been a school spirited person for as long as I could remember.” The family like nature of the Fab 5 members is something Brown holds dear to her high school experience Brown expands, “The chemistry between me and the other four members is strong, we are like our own little family, they always make my day even if they do not intend to, I love them with all my heart and I could not imagine anyone else being apart of the Fab 5, I am blessed to have them in my life.” The process in which one becomes a Fab 5 was a no brainer for Brown saying,In my opinion no it was not as stressful as many may think it would be. I just knew that as long as I showed everyone interviewing what I could bring to the table.” In regards to what to expect for the rest of the year Brown says,“you can expect lots of fun and energy.”
BY RHYS WEAVER
A new addition to Show Choir has been implemented, and it is all men. Put together by choir director, Mr. Robert Hodo, Men’s Ensemble was created as an all men’s show choir club that will accompany Platinum FX in competitions.
Men’s Ensemble provides new aspects to show choir as well as different experiences from Platinum FX. The obvious difference is the male-exclusive roster of students that make up the group that differs from the multi-gender Platinum FX. New moves and choreography are taught within the group, making the men’s performances feel new and exciting. The sounds are deeper, the movements look more masculine, and the boys can cooperate easily with one another, especially because many have experience from Platinum FX.
The Platinum FX experience has its own redeeming qualities too of course. The group is comprised of both genders rather than just males, and its list of talented singers and dancers shines brightly with every performance, lighting up the stage. “Platinum FX isn’t just about dancing,” Sophomore Ian Sanchez said, “It becomes a second family that you work with and become friends with. You grow to love not just the moves or the songs. It’s the whole experience that makes it Platinum FX.”
With the addition of Men’s Ensemble, the men involved in Platinum FX will have new opportunities to compete against other men’s show choir groups in the valley. This makes practice and performances more exciting when it comes to the normal routine of Platinum FX. “Show choir is a great experience,” Sanchez said, “but Men’s Ensemble is different, which is why I joined. I just love competing, singing, and dancing, so I was like ‘Hey, might as well join so I can do more of what I love.’” Men’s Ensemble makes way for a group of guys that are passionate about show choir and want to do more with their talents.
The opportunity to get involved in Men’s Ensemble is still available if a student feels like they have enough passion and talent and are willing to participate they can stop by the choir room, room 279, to let Hodo know that they would like to join the club. Students can also attend any performances held by Platinum FX or Men’s Ensemble starting on the 25th and 26th of October.
BY EMILY PHAM
With flourishing beauty and a passionate heart, ambitious model Freshman Madison Siurek is currently anticipating what the future holds for her while she continues her passion for modeling. Her striving passion has allowed her to be recognized as one of the top twenty models for Teen Miss USA. She has to balance her talent and schoolwork, but Siurek will not let anything stop her from continuing what she enjoys to do.
Siurek began her modeling career at the age of twelve after she was inspired by her older sister who was once a model. She started her unique career by modeling for San Diego Dance Wear. At the age of fourteen, she began modeling for San Diego Fashion Fest and San Diego Fashion Week. To enhance her talented skills at modeling, she decided to challenge herself a bit more by applying to enter a beauty pageant. Siurek was then accepted to be a part of the beauty pageant, Miss Teen USA. Miss Teen USA is an organization where girls from the ages of fourteen to nineteen can thrive on their passion for modeling and develop the confidence they need to achieve their personal best in life. During her time with this group, Siurek has boosted her self confidence, made new discoveries such as different cultures that are used all around the world, and met a lot of new people new people, including role models she looks up to. Siurek explained, “My favorite part about modeling is meeting new people and experiencing different cultures as I travel around the world. I would meet new people everyday since I continuously travel to different countries; due to the continuously traveling, I would often be homeschooled.” She has been competing for a couple of awards and was recognized for “Best Photo in Miss California.”
Siurek continues to venture her modeling experience by taking part in a variety of photo shoots. She participates at an average of two photo shoots every week, and she believes that the shoots help even more with her being bolder and stronger as a person. Siurek has been participating in modeling for the camera since she was twelve years old. One of the photography companies she has worked with is Headshots Los Angeles. Ever since she became a model, she has always wanted to achieve more, such as competing for Miss Universe. As a model, her goal is to make a positive impact through volunteering, fundraising, and advocating within her community and around the world. She has high hopes for modeling to be her career when she is older. Siurek believes that she has the ability to make a change in the world, starting in her local community.
As an uprising model, Siurek believes that she has the ability to make a change in the world. Young girls like Siurek are becoming role models and big inspirations because of how they use their time to set out to assist the world.
BY INGRID HEIDEMANN
The United States has become the free country it is today thanks to the brave individuals who decide to stand up for what they believe in. Black History Month establishes a greater understanding of the vital roles that African Americans play in U.S. history. Historical figures such as Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph, and Mae C. Jemison made it possible for Americans to have the same rights no matter what their skin color is.
African American History Month originated from an event that took place during the second week of February which was called “Negro History Week”. This week was established between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays to encourage public schools to teach their students about the history of African Americans. After awhile, Negro History Week became more and more familiar to the public, and some mayors in the United States even made it a holiday. Black History Month was first celebrated in February 1970 at Kent State and officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976. February has been chosen as the designated Black History Month by every American president since then.
A strong supportive group that represents students of all races is the Black Student Union (BSU). Their goal is to maintain a place where students can be themselves as well as spread the importance of equal education and African American history. Club president Senior Jayda Williams said, “Whether you are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, etc., try to be open to learning more about culture and traditions and whose decisions and actions still have an affect on people of all races today.” If students are interested in learning more about African American history, they are welcome to join BSU where they will be treated with respect and educated on the aspects of Black History.
BSU also plans to host a few Black History Month events to celebrate. Williams explained, “We plan on doing a segment on K-PAW where each day a student talks about a different historical figure.” This means that each day of February a student from BSU will be featured on K-PAW, and they will get to choose a particular historical figure to talk about.
While some might consider Black History Month to be a celebratory event, others believe that the education of African American History should not be reduced to just one month. Actor Morgan Freeman claimed, “I don't want a Black History Month. Black history is American history." He believes that the men and women who stand up for equal rights for all American citizens should be recognized more often than it is now.
Even though it may only last one month, Black History Month is a monumental celebration that many men and women relish. If it were not for the brave and hopeful citizens who risked their lives to preserve the rights of all people, the world would not be as free as it is today. This annual observance stands as a representation of these people and the hard work they put into earning their freedom.