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 madison 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.