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Hometown Heroes Make the Holidays

For more on our Heroes of Charter... see Pgs. 14-15

Nadira Danticat - Content Sarah Barrocas - Content Cristina Feliciano - Layout Sofia Alfonso - Layout Managing Editors Chatter Daily News Evan Samuels Web Managing Editor Brittany Evelyn - Content Sarah Barrocas - Layout Business Managers Mr. J. Harris - Layout Mr. F. Fagen - Content Mr. J. Harris - Video Advisors Mr. P. Bayer Principal David Cha-Kim News Editor Alexa Infante Student Life Editor LJ Lemmers Technology Editor Cristine Alayon Sports Editor Cristina Feliciano Features Editor Maria Acosta-Rubio Clubs Editor Ainsley McCormick Community Outreach Samuel Eliacin - The CHAT Eric Hernandez - Web Photo Editors Katie Perez Graphics Editor Content Staff: Jordan Alberti, Florencia Azcurra, Sofia Azcurra, Paolo Barrera, Roselle Curiel, Mason Feldman, Matthew Hernandez, Janae McDonnough, Frank Mora, Christopher Nappi, Andres Perez, Amanda Rodriguez, Diego Salazar Layout Staff: Jose Bozo, Tomas Eiletz Bottaro, Sarah Barrocas, Esteban Gangotena Photography Staff: Julian Barcelo, Justin Dourvetakis, Omar Loutfi, Giulia Marcondes GRAPHIC STAFF: Nicole Mercadal, Micheal Perez, Justin Pierce, Taylor Causey, Katie Perez

The C.H.A.T. is an official publication of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School (PPCHS). The content of our newspaper is not necessarily the opinions of our advisers and administration. The C.H.A.T. staff welcomes any comments to the editors and/or staff. The C.H.A.T is a publication of C.H.C (Charter High Communications) sponsored by the Communications & Technology Department of PPCHS. Pembroke Pines Charter High School 17189 Sheridan Street Pembroke Pines, FL 33331 Phone: 954-538-3700 Email: Twitter: @_theCHATter The CHAT welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed. The staff reserves the right to edit letters for poor taste, libel, and space. Drop off letters in room C113 or send an email to


The C.H.C. Staff

Student Life: The Night Where Jags Unite Boys Cheer on the Powder Puff Girls

By the Grade: Freshmen: New Year, New Me Having Fun with Physics

Features: Heroes of Charter: Camila Penso, Gabriella DaSilva, and Antonio Peetom Quoteboard: Who is your hero in Charter? Are you a Hero to anyone?

Pg 4



Sports Pgs: 20-25 Sports Pg

Clubs and Electives: Pg 18

nt Life

Clubs & Electives:


Firefighters rally for Relay for Life

November-December Gaming Review

A Sight to See: PPCHS Winter Fantasy

Flying Humans Coming Soon



You calling us an underdog? We’ll see about that

Treat Yo Self This Holiday Season

Seniors Rejoice on Signing Day

Christmas shopping dilemmas?



Classic Christmas Carols: Will we ever get tired of them?

Remembering Zoe McGowans, Charter Starter

Beauty and the Beast with a Twist

The CHAT Editorial: Student’s Stance on President-Elect Donald Trump

Second Quarter, Stressful and Shorter LJ Lemmers


Technology Editor

he shortest quarter of the year approaches, only 29 days to be exact, and students are prowling around trying to get grades in. Having days off such as Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving break, and Winter break, gives students little time to attain a satisfactory grade. There isn’t much time and students have to start off the quarter strong in order to relieve the stress that this quarter will bring upon many students later on; especially during midterm season. Many students have expressed their concern for the short quarter. Some already need to bring their grades up and are already feeling the stress of the second quarter. “This quarter is very hectic right now for me and difficult. I am trying to bring up my grades already and there isn’t very many tests. I have to a get good grade to be able to receive adequate grades this quarter,” said senior Chloe Stephany. Another student felt that the county should have divided the first and second quarter up evenly so students don’t have to rush this quarter and hope their grade do not suffer. Some students here in Charter feel that the quarter can work in favor of both sides. They feel that depending on how students start the quarter off will determine how the students will feel. “The second quarter can mess up a lot of people because they have no time to get their grades up or it can help people’s grades if they a get a good grade on the test. It works either way. This quarter can either help you or hurt you,” said senior Bianca Maduka. Midterms will be taken before the Winter Break. Many students have showed that they are excited for taking it before the holidays. Students are happy to get them over with and not have to worry about them over the holiday vacation. “It feels stressful because everything is coming out at once, but it is a good thing that we finish everything now and don’t have to worry about midterms during the holiday,” said senior Paulyanna Severe. Teachers have also given their opinion on the short quarter. They are trying to take the pressure off the students and make sure that they have enough chances to boost their grade up. The teachers want their students to feel as comfortable as possible this quarter. “It is very tough on the students this quarter, so I try to take some of that pressure off of them. I try to put it as many grades as I can to help the students receive a good grade in my class,” said Spanish teacher Mrs. Ciafre. The second quarter is an incredibly short one. There are many days off and students don’t have time to relax. Students must make sure that they get every possible assignment in so that their grades do not suffer. It might be stressful, but we will be successful.

Boys Cheer on the Powder Puff Girls LJ Lemmers


Technology Editor

t was a night where the roles were reversed as many Charter students participated in the annual Powder Puff flag football game. Power Puff is an event where the girls who usually do the cheerleading are the players, and the boys who are on the field are doing the cheerleading. “I felt very good about Powder Puff. We had a successful crowd and were able to raise funds for the scholarship. I look forward to doing it next year and making it even better,” said SGA advisor Mr. Curry. The red and blue teams were the stars of the night as they got ready for the game. The boys who were the cheerleaders were dressed up with their shirts tied up. Some went beyond and tied their hair up in pigtails. At the start of the match, they performed their routine and looked like actual trained cheerleaders. “The event was really good this year and a lot better than last year,” said senior Chanoan Sumonthee. Referred by senior Chanoan Sumonthee, the clock turned to 6 pm and the game was underway. With a few minutes into the game, the red team got the first touchdown of the night. However, the blue team responded quickly and was able to tie the game. When either team got the touchdown, the boys cheerleading showed their school spirit as they ran onto the field celebrating with the blue and red teams. The first half ended with a score of 7-7. “We just winged the cheerleading and it worked out even though it was the first time we all did this. It was more than words cheerleading out here and I had a good time. Glad to be here and be a part of something for a good cause,” said senior Mark Rigg. During halftime, the band went on the field and performed. Another change from this year is that they had more exciting activities and booths available to those who attended. Film Club allowed students to take pictures with Polaroids. Animation nation had face painting. Key Club had a ring tossing game and winners would receive candy. Red Cross was selling chips and raffling a shirt. Many students had fun participating in the activities. “I am astounded that so many people came to support the scholarships and were excited to see so many people come out,” said junior Toni Martin. The second half started off and it took 5 minutes for a game changer to happen. With a nice teamwork play, the red team was able to score another touchdown making it 14-7. The blue once again followed up with another touchdown to tie the game. Two minutes were left in the game and the red team threw an interception and the blue team received the ball again. The blue team threw a game winner as they scored a last minute touchdown to win the game 21-14. “It was a lot of fun and competitive to play out there. I am happy that we won the game and it was a good time playing with my friends out here,” said senior Hanan Hessin. Powder Puff is an annual event that is funded to support the Trenton Saunders scholarship. The students of SGA helped out a lot especially senior Caroline Abramovici to ensure Powder Puff runs smoothly. Great job to the clubs that also helped out set up the event. It was a team effort that could not have been possible without the help of everyone. Thank you to all that came out to watch and support the event. Powder Puff: The boys cheered on the Powder Puff girls. Photo Donated by: Yearbook


Genius of H M

Alexa I

Student L

aster of several genres, Yale Univ cellence in Fiction, and so much more, with her brilliance on Wednesday Novemb thor took time out of her busy schedule to the River of Grass. Her visit was coordin spired after reading her novels. Students ha ed by studying her literary pieces, as well Danticat talked to students about her life, in the floor for questions from the audience. S her life as she immigrated from Haiti and sp her big break when she was 14 and won 2nd Although she did not win first place, she kep her after reading her work, and ended up pub ory” at the age of 25. This book was later se is married to Fedo Boyer and has two daugh America, she still often travels back to Haiti, next day. She explained that because she wa go of Haiti and adapting to the United States considers it her home. This is inspiration for her novel “Farming of the Bones,” which tel life as a Haitian women living in the Domin Next she read a section of her most re when her mother was sick in the hospital was always fascinated by twins and the de feels that “twinning” has a further meani “If you want to read something but can’t find it world- change it. If there is something that nee When writing a story, this creative ge thing she has the opposite. Danticat is co equips herself with a notebook and a phon ever. “I always move genres,” she says, only blocks you further. If I get stuck be it’s’ not ready at the time. I usually w Danticat is truly an inspiration to all. “I wa Listening to her talk was so amazing for me. as a writer. I gained way more than I expected work,” said Junior Maia Hunter. Although she other authors. She always reads while she is w from whatever she is reading at the time. It is h a style, a tone, and a theme for what she is w “I loved seeing Mrs. Danticat finally els since junior year and been immersed i cupy different genres. I also love her beca helps a bit,” said senior Chris Allegria. ble. It was a treat to be enjoyed by all ful to be in the same room with this gifted

Her Genre


Life Editor

versity graduate, winner of Medal of Exauthor Edwidge Danticat graced PPCHS mber 30th, 2016. This world renowned auo come and talk to around 300 students in nated by the Phelps sisters, who were inhad been preparing for her highly anticipatl as preparing several questions to ask her. nspiration, success, and growth, then opened She began with a presentation that outlined spoke about her career as an author. She got d place in a writing contest for 17 Magazine. pt contact with an editor who reached out to blishing her first novel, “Breath, Eyes, Memelected for Oprah’s Book Club in 1998. She ghters, Mira and Leila. Although she lives in , even stating that she was traveling back the as the oldest, she had the hardest time letting s. She still holds Haiti close to her heart and r many of the stories she writes. Specifically, lls the story of protagonist Amabelle and her nican Republic during the Parsley Massacre. ecent novel, “Untwine,” a book she began l to keep her busy. She explained that she deeper connection they share, however, she ning and described her mom as her twin. it- write it. If you see something wrong with the eds to be done it is yours to do,” Danticat says. enius rarely faces writer’s block, if anyconstantly overwhelmed with ideas so she ne so she can write down her ideas when, “I think that claiming you are blocked with a piece, I just give it time. Maywork on something else and come back. ” as super excited to hear that she was coming. She gave a lot of info on her as a person and d both as a writer myself and an admirer of her e inspires others, Danticat herself is inspired by writing. Her pieces attain structural inspiration her mentors in the library that help her to adapt working on, as well as helping her “unblock”. attend our school. I have read her novin her writing styles and her ability to occause she is my best friend’s aunt, so that a. Danticat’s presentation was unforgettawho attended. PPCHS is endlessly grated writer as she shares her love for writing.

Genre Genius: Edwidgh Dandicat visited the River of Grass to inspire young writers. Photo by: Justin Dourvetakis

Shopping on Thanksgiving? It’s Thanksgiving: The Most Overa Problem. rated Holiday Sarah Barrocas

Nadira Danticat


Manging Editor

Iiliest’s that time of year again: famcome together, both near


and far, to congregate around the dinner table and give thanks. The aroma of a freshly baked turkey, newly turned mash potatoes, and steamed gravy bring all families, friends, and even acquaintances together. This special evening, unlike many other holidays, is not spent on the need to satisfy others with monetary, and oftentimes useless, gifts but is rather shared by appreciating one another’s company and expressing gratitude towards life’s little gifts. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday for the pounds of food that we ingest fill our stomachs and the endless amounts of love consume the room. While this American holiday is celebrated by many, the true spirit of such a landmark is diminished by the egotistical and selfish attitude that perpetuates from such a “holiday” called Black Friday. This deplorable celebration, immediately following a meal shared by family band friends, supersedes the authentic spirit of Thanksgiving. “Thanksgiving is still important because in today’s generation it is often times that people forget to appreciate life’s greatest gifts, so I believe there should be at least one day throughout the entire year that we remember to give thanks. Thanksgiving has gradually lost its meaning, and it makes me sad that people are so consumed with other aspects of their life that they forget to be grateful for the little gifts,” commented junior Joseph Tinghitella. Black Friday has not only tarnished the thankful holiday spirit but has also become a holiday of its own. Like other established holidays, Black Friday takes place on a pre designated date every year- the morning after Thanksgiving. This notorious "holiday" takes precedent over the spirit of not just those who shop but also the employees who are scheduled to work. Target stores will open at 9pm Thanksgiving night, three hours earlier than the commencement of the actual shopping frenzy. Likewise, Walmart, Sears, and Toys R Us will be opening up its doors at 8pm Thanksgiving night. Newly employed senior Tony Madera said, “When I first applied to Hollister I never anticipated having to work a shift on Black Friday. And because I am also newly employed, I understand why they would pressure the novice into one of the busiest business days of the year, especially because I am naive and wouldn’t have known any better nor had another choice, but I can’t deny the fact that I am very disappointed that my Thanksgiving dinner with my family will have to be cut early.” Black Friday infringes on the holiday spirit by crazing congregations of people to fight for the latest deals and steals. Those who actually participate in this foolish event are more concerned on planning for the future by capsizing on the opportunity to buy inexpensive gifts for Christmas rather than living in the moment and appreciating the gifts that life has given us in the present. A holiday created by our ancestors as a day to give thanks for what we have has transformed into a consumerist ritual where we purchase more items that we don’t need. Thanksgiving offers tradition, family and contentment; Black Friday offers smart phones at drastically reduced prices. It is Consumerism. It wants more. It always wants more. Nothing is sacred to it; nothing is valuable. So, now, Black Friday has eaten Thanksgiving alive. We have slightly altered this American tradition, instead of attacking the food on the dinner table we now trample over each other to get our hands on Best Buy’s cheapest appliances. Why give thanks for what you have when there’s so much you don’t have? That’s the new meaning of Thanksgiving: count your blessings, and then buy some more blessings and count them again, because after the one day we offer thanks for all the things we were blessed with, our deprived society goes out to buy more. Photo by: Eric Hernandez

henever I tell people that Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday I am met with looks of dismay. Not enjoying the holiday is equivalent to saying that I hate America and I hate family... Neither is the case. It’s always the same response: “But...what about the food?!” I mean point taken, food is great. However, as a vegetarian, naturally, a day that celebrates the corpse of large, once-feathered bird does not bring me delight. Sure, there’s macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes (given the gravy is not meat-based), and of course, dessert but they’re not kidding anyone. We all know the turkey is the star of the show and I know it too. That and other reasons, which I will gladly discuss, is why I think Thanksgiving is overrated. I love spending time with my relatives. However, it is no surprise that Black Friday has superseded the holiday in a major way. Rather than sit around at a boring dinner, why not leave a little early to hit the shops? Honestly, there is probably more bonding to be made over a 50% off sale than over a bowl of cranberry sauce. Christmas time is a very tight time for many families. The ability to get presents for loved ones and not leave with an empty wallet is something that should be cherished, not punishable. And savings aside, the anticipation of getting gifts a month early makes the joy on your family’s faces even sweeter. “I go Black Friday shopping every year. It just makes sense. My family and I eat early and then we go to the mall and get gifts and clothes because it is so incredibly cheaper during this time. There is no point in waiting when we can easily get shopping done early and save so much money,” said senior Andrea Roman. People who find what I’m saying to be deplorable can have their opinion, but the fact is that the majority of the Americans agree with me. According to the National Retail Federation, over 102 million people left their homes on Thanksgiving weekend to go shopping on Black Friday weekend last year. They also reported that 59% of Americans shopped on Black Friday weekend and spent 67.6 billion dollars (the most of any year). With these numbers rising despite malls like Mall of America making bold moves by closing on the day, it is no surprise people skip straight from Halloween to Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving can be a really great time to be with family and rejoice over what we are truly thankful for. We totally have no way of doing that on any day of the year. Sarcasm aside, it can be a really nice time. However, everyone gets all dressed up and fancy….to sit down and eat. What’s the point? Your grandmother is just going to go on and on about how you were as a kid anyway; there is no outfit in the world that can make older relatives see you as the age you really are. Additionally, there’s always going to be awkwardness and tension when one member brings up any given political issue. With the horrific way this election played out, there is no doubt going to be a myriad of fights this year. Sales aside, we just really have to consider what Thanksgiving has to offer. It’s not much. There’s good Halloween movies and Good Christmas movies, but all we get for Thanksgiving is A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Free Birds. Same goes for music; there’s spooky Halloween songs and amazing Christmas carols, but no Thanksgiving music to relish the time. Thanksgiving is just the unwanted friend that everyone pretends to like, but deep down no one enjoys. Children are even taught about how lovely the first Thanksgiving was with the Pilgrims and Native Americans eating in harmony. For some reason, they aren’t taught about Thanksgiving 1637 when 700 men, women, and children of the Peqout tribe were murdered by English settlers and all the massacres that followed. However, despite appearances, I still hold Thanksgiving in high regard because it means no school for a week and for that, I think we are all a little thankful. Photo by: Eric Hernandez


Student Life

The Night Wh

Ainsley M




Show: The band showcased their excellent saxophone players.

Photo Donated by: Yearbook

Photo by: Julian Barcelo


he Latin dance team dazzled, the Jazz band jammed, and the drum line al Show. The River of Grass theatre was filled with supportive families, friends, a line has planned the multicultural show, but this year it was taken over by the es. The variety of performances were loved by all, and as each student brought fo  The crowd clapped along with the beat of the jazz band, the opening act and most prominent showed her passion for singing as she sang “Love You I Do” with the music by the band. “Band great experience performing, and I’d do it again,” she said. Next, the jazz band and Andrea Rom belted out her best notes while the jazz band played their instruments and danced along. The wh two opening acts, Mr. Daugherty, the band teacher, handed the mic off to the hosts for the night,  Up next came Brianna Banarsi and Kerrice Ashley who performed a Caribbean style dance. T and Tobago, and Kerrice for Jamaica. Upbeat music played as both girls waved flags around a melody, “Como de Flor.” The audience swayed from side to side as each and every person soake kicked and pivoted in their jazz-style dance. They danced to the songs “Feeling Good” and “Th nervous to perform with his dance class, but as soon as he touched the stage he immediately “ telling me that I did really good.” The class was dressed up in light-washed denim and black, a but with a multicultural twist. After that, Latin dance team took the stage and wowed the aud   At each school event, students hope to be able to catch a glimpse of the much-loved the stage as he talked about love, respect, and fitting in. The audience cheered as he le Stephanie Parent performed “La Medicina.” The girls danced along to the song as they and she would play it all the time: at parties and family events. That inspired me to s Paulyanna. Representing five different types of cultures were a group of five students, And the poem “Human Family” by Maya Angelou. The group spoke from their hearts, each  Each year at the multicultural show, Bollywood dancer Briana Banarsi performs. This year, she much-loved Bollywood dance, and as she spun in circle to the beat, the audience cheered her on. K aray and Adrian Torres sang. Then, the Latin dance team danced their second dance: the salsa. “Th sync and looked great,” said senior Tyler Gruber, who has been a member of the Latin Dance Tea “Lola’s Mambo.” Featuring saxophone player Abnel Mario; this song was a crowd favorite. Abnel   Just as people thought the night was over, the much-loved PPCHS Drumline stormed their fists in the air and stand up to dance. Everyone could tell the drummers were hav hyped, the crowd gets hyped, everybody gets hyped,” said junior Alaina Bell. Nobody w al multicultural show was not just any multicultural show, it was a night of singing, dan

here Jags Unite

Student Life




rocked out on the night of November 1st during the 15th annual Multiculturand loved ones cheering on their favorite performers. In the previous years, drumPPCHS Jazz Band who kept the night going with various songs and performancorth some of their best talents, the night was a never-ending show of entertainment. group of the show, as they performed against an indigo backdrop. Sophomore Muriel Morales d has specific singers, and Mr. Daugherty asked me to sing this song with the jazz band. It was a man performed “Better When I’m Dancing,” a song that made dancing along irresistible. Andrea hole theatre felt the energy increase immediately, and began to clap to the beat. Following these Eddie Hernandez and Brianna Vasil, as they promised that the night would be one to remember. The girls were dressed up in colors representing their Caribbean country; Brianna for Trinidad and showcased their cultural pride. Following their dance, Madison Daugherty sang a beautiful ed up her stunning voice. Following her sentimental performance, Ms. Norton’s dance class fan he Water Dance.” At the beginning of the night Ms. Norton’s dancer, Ludrichard Edouard, was “got into it” and danced his heart out. He said, “People came up to me after the show and were adding a “cool” vibe to their cool dance. Then, Leyla Bolivar-Echegaray sang the song “Hero,” dience with their Bachata style dance. Their stunning black outfits added to the drama of it all. performer, Nico Raimont. This night, he came forth with a rap about culture; he ruled et forth his passion into the show. Following Nico, seniors Paulyanna Severe and Chloey showed their love for their Haitian heritage. “La Medicina is my mom’s favorite song sing it. I could connect to it and it was a song many other Haitians would know,” said drea Roman, Sonia Khan, Sofia Storti, Sinan Govaria, and Kiana Ferdowsiepour, who read reading a couple of stanzas from the poem, and each speaking in a different language. was adorned with a long and flowy lavender skirt. It was her fourth and last year performing her Keeping the upbeat vibe going, the Jazz band played “La Vida,” as students Leyla Bolivar-Echeghe best part of the night for me was definitely during the second dance. Almost all our flips were in am for two years. As the night began to come to a close, the jazz band performed yet another song, l put all his energy into his instrument and made everyone in the audience want to get up and dance. the stage. The audience immediately had a boost of energy as people began to pump ving an exhilarating time as they closed off the show. “Drumline is always fun. You get wanted to leave, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The 15th annuncing, and cheering that opened up everyone’s eyes to the love of all types of cultures.

Multicultural Show:

The band’s trumpet players played a good supporting role for the lead singers. Photo Donated by: Yearbook

Photo Donated by: Yearbook

Multicultural Show: The Latin Dance Club performed excellently. Photo Donated by: Yearbook

Photo by: Julian Barcelo


Student Life

Why are you thankful to attend Pem Freshman Kimberly Burkett


’m thankful to be in Charter because it’s an opportunity to attend a nice school. We have the opportunity to be in a school with an amazing environment that is full of great educators. Our school is built on a better platform compared to many other South Florida

Sophomore Julian Schenker


have to be honest that this school has given me some of my closest and most special friends that I could ask for. Everyone may not believe this, but I feel like I do have a family in Charter. That’s why I’m thankful to go to Charter.”

Freshman Lourdes Ramirez


am thankful to be in Charter because the teachers that work here are amazing and they go out of their way to help their student succeed in their education. Charter has also presented me with a lot of extracurricular activitiexs for me to participate in after school.”


Junior Goodn


’m thankful to go to Charter be tunities I have, such as the HOSA c can gain experience and exposure to teachers are so nice and they actuall busy work and ignoring you. If you need and they behave like they wan

Sophomore Damani Jackson


am thankful to be in Charter because Charter is more financially secure than many other public schools and better prepares us for college. In addition to, because I have been in the system for so long I have met some of my closest friends here in school.”

Photos by: Eric

Student Life

mbroke Pines Charter High School? Senior Radeem Fisher

Freshman Valerie Arevalo

’m thankful for all the nice people and role models that I’ve had the chance to meet. The wonderful education has supplied me with everything I will need in college and looks amazing on college applications!”

’m thankful to be in Charter because I’ve met a lot of close friends and I have created good relationships with the administrators in our school. This school will help me prepare for my future before I go to college in the next three years.”

ness Okwaraji

ecause of the abundance of opporclub, NHS, and debate, where you o the real world. In addition to, the ly care, rather than just giving you u ask, they’ll give you the help you nt to teach.”



Junior Paige Septien

Sophomore Donnell Stewart

'm thankful to be in Charter because it provides a great academic program. The close relationships we have formed with not only our counselors but also administration helps us students figure out our next path in life post-graduation.”

am thankful to be in Charter because of all the people I have met in school. The friendships that I have formed and the people that I am close with has eased my transition into this school and has allowed me to better like the campus and the people in it.”






Charter’s W


Ainsley McCormick


Community Outreach

alking up the U building during the rush of transitioning to the next class is a terrible trek for some students. Fear of getting pushed around by the intimidating mob of students or being late to class has put some notoriety on the U building stairs. Two freshmen have been trying to make the transition easier for everyone by holding the doors on the social studies side of the U building. Ninth graders Rafael Noriega and Brandon Diaz are trying to make the lives of students leaving (and entering) U building easier with their small act of kindness. The two freshmen started holding the doors for students during the second week of school in an attempt to ease the congestion of U building. “I try to help wherever I can, so I just thought I could help by holding [the door] for everyone,” said Rafael. Having the same 6th period class as Rafael, Brandon took the opportunity to accompany his close friend in holding the doors. “I’ve known Rafael since middle school at West campus, so when I saw him holding the doors I thought I’d join him,” said Brandon. Since the duo began their righteous routine back in August, they haven’t gone unnoticed. According to Rafael, “By the fourth week [of school], people started noticing what Brandon and I were doing.” As a result their door holding post outside of U building, they’ve met many new people and new friends with the students passing by. Besides making the transition to class easier, the freshman friends’ act has been a positive for many. “With all the awful things going on in the world, it’s really nice to see that there are still nice people being kind to others,” said sophomore Bernardo Macarena. The passion to help others goes beyond just holding doors within both Brandon and Rafael. The boys aim to finish their entire freshman year holding the doors, and even welcome the thought of going further. “If I had other classes where I could [hold the doors] without being late, I’d definitely try to hold the doors in other buildings,” said Brandon. They also acknowledged the goal of finishing their entire high school career, and inspiring others to hold the doors where they can’t. “I think it’d be a nice way to help people if [Brandon and I] got other students to hold the doors to other buildings,” said Rafael. The volunteering and service doesn’t end at their routine at U building though. The friends actively assist within the community, with Rafael lending a hand to students who need help in class, and Brandon being involved in service projects outside of school with his dad. Something as simple as holding the doors open for students rushing to class has rippling effects that have radiated around to those who both walk and don’t walk through those doors. These two freshmen have done an act of kindness in hopes to help out in the student community, and even aim to be an aid in as many ways as possible. Hope in the future lay with

Freshmen: New Year, New Me Ainsley McCormick


Community Outreach

or freshmen coming into the school year, the summer after eighth grade is a jumble of emotions, expectations, and anxiety. With the first two quarters of their high school career under their belt, all students in the class of 2020 have matured differently. Some students have hit the ground running this first semester, while others have taken some time to digest the new environment. Nonetheless, the freshmen’s first semester of their 2016-2017 school year has taught them a thing or two about the do’s and donot’s of high school. For some freshmen, the first two quarters have been a culture shock. The pace of a high

Stick Your Nose in the Books: Many freshmen have begun to realize how much stress can actually weigh them down throughout their four years in high school. They came to their senses and will try to work really hard in the upcoming semester.

Chivalry at its Finest: Rafael Noriega took it upon himself to be the gentleman he is and hold the door for all of the passing students.


Chivalry at its Finest: Brandon Diaz waits beside the U building door to hold it as his peers pass by him.

school level, or even college level, course can sometimes overload a student’s plate of responsibilities itself. In addition to putting in hours in class, clubs and other extracurriculars demand hours outside of school as well. Freshman Meril Manoj says, “It’s hard to balance advanced classes and involvement in clubs and such.” A long first quarter of new challenges, new classes, and new clubs has left some freshmen more stressed than they imagined. Movies and media depict high school as a “Mean Girls”-esque experience, creating anxiety and excitement for incoming 9th graders. Unfortunately for students like Meril, the first semester doesn’t always live up to the expectations. “[The first semester] hasn’t met the hype yet. I’ve been disappointed,” she continued. However, some freshmen have reacted different to the high school experience. There are those who aimed to adapt quickly to high school, and some who are indifferent about the tedious transition into their high school careers. “School is school. I didn’t really have any expectation except to work,” said freshman Ventura Torres. Already used to long nights preparing for school or working on homework, these students haven’t had much trouble taking on the workload that high school requires. Despite the long hours of writing and studying for all students, a positive attitude is essential. From maintaining a high GPA and racking up volunteer hours to planning about college, all freshmen can agree that a high schooler’s to-do list brings anything but anxiety and stress. Although the change of scenery is tough, members of the Class of 2020 are starting to also realize that there is fun amidst the long hours spent at the library or long nights of no sleep. Because of a multitude of more opportunities, new peers, and guiding mentors, the high school experience isn’t as rough as it seems. “I know it will get better,” said freshman Victor Navarro. As the second quarter wraps up, the “freshies” get ready to close out their first semester as a high schooler. Although some groans in disappointment at the new practices in high school culture, the new experiences at PPCHS have matured the 9th graders into students they didn’t envision at the start of the year.

Photos Taken By: A

A Dazzling Day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Ainsley McCormick

The Most Magical Place on Earth: Every student at PPCHS has that “little kid” feeling in them once they step through the Disney gates. The sophomore class had the opportunity to spend some time with their favorite pals Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

E ager sophomores couldn’t wait to bite into a turkey leg, pose in front of Cinderella’s Castle, and ride every roller coaster on their class field trip to Magic Kingdom. The class

of 2019’s school field trip this year took place in Disney’s Magic Kingdom on November 10th, 2016. A full day of running around with friends and enjoying every inch of the park left students in love with their class field trip. The buses, filled with students who couldn’t wait to arrive at the park, pulled out of the school parking lot at 5 a.m. As the buses pulled into the Disney parking lot, excited students were already pushing their way off the bus. Students, teachers, and chaperones sprinted to the monorail and ferry to make their way to the park gates. As soon as each person stepped foot into the park, Christmas decorations could be seen for miles. “My favorite time of the year is Christmas time so it was so cute to see all the decorations and the tree out front! Disney and Christmas are two of my favorite things,” said sophomore Jasmine Perez. The 60-foot-tall Christmas tree was popular among all the students, and photos of it were on almost everyone’s Snapchat story along with the “Walt Disney World” geofilter. Just past the entrance is the most popular area for students to spent a majority of their time in, Tomorrowland. The “out of this world” roller coaster, Space Mountain, is a muchloved ride among everyone, and some groups went on it as many as three times! For some kids, like Kevin Zak, it was their first time riding Space Mountain. “It was great to experience along with my friends,” he said. Just past Tomorrowland was the newly renovated Fantasyland, featuring the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which had a long line throughout the whole day as kids waited patiently to get on. Past that was the Disney’s most famous ride, It’s a Small World, an adorable boat ride showcasing children singing in all different languages. Throughout the day, seas of white shirts could be seen making their way towards the ride that would eventually soak every student, Splash Mountain. Kids opted to ditch the ponchos and instead, embrace the cold wave of water that hit their faces after the 5-story drop. Those who chose not to ride waited on the bridge with a perfect view of every group that rode it. Unfortunately, Thunder Mountain was closed for refurbishment, but that didn’t stop kids from having a great time. After using up all their energy screaming on Splash Mountain, turkey legs were a popular snack for students to eat. Girls and boys alike bit into smoked turkey legs as they continued to walk around the park. As they day began to wind down, students made their way back to Main Street to purchase souvenirs in the shops and purchase any last-minute snacks. Since it was dark, the street was lit up with Christmas lights, and the castle was alternating between a deep blue and magical purple color. All the sophomores met in front of the Mickey shrub at the entrance of the park for a final group photo. Everyone was all smiles leaving the park that night, and immediately knocked out during the ride home. As the busses arrived back at the school, students hugged their friends goodbye, thanked the chaperones after having a great day, and promised themselves they would never forget all the memories from the day at Disney.

: Aijah Harper

A Helping Hand Feeds the Hungry Ainsley McCormick


Community Outreach

amilies patiently wait in line to be given food for a meal at Joseph’s Storehouse Fort Lauderdale as sophomore Alex Mora stands behind the counter with a smile drawn across his face while he passes out cans and boxes of food. Joseph’s Storehouse is an organization in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that provides families in need with free food. They believe there is “No recession in God’s economy,” according to the Joseph’s Storehouse Facebook page. Volunteers are needed to keep the process going and to ensure that everyone who walks through the entrance leaves with nutritious, filling food items. Alex volunteers every Monday during the summers, but when school is in session he tries to go whenever he can. His typical day begins with arriving at the warehouse and stacking the shelves with cans of donated foods such as corn, green beans, and tomato soup. Then, filling the fridge with meats. The volunteers date new foods that have arrived and stack them behind the older ones to make sure that food never becomes stale or outdated. Joseph’s Storehouse commonly opens around 5 p.m., and families begin to line up to receive food items. Each family is given three items from each shelf. Since food is always free, the warehouse runs on donations. Families of all financial situations are welcomed at Joseph’s Storehouse. Those who have stable jobs but don’t make enough money to provide meals for their families are provided with food, as are people living on the streets. Alex began to volunteer at Joseph’s because of his church. He attends New Wine Ministries in Cooper City, and heard about this volunteer opportunity when it was announced to the youth looking for volunteer hours. Alex wanted to extend his goodwill past church and into the community so at the beginning of the summer of 2016, he began to volunteer at Joseph’s Storehouse. Alex volunteers when he can with his brother Frank Mora, a junior at PPCHS. As the warehouse begins to close around 7 p.m., around 45-50 families have been served. “Some people constantly say thank you, while others seem ashamed and don’t say much,” said Alex. The Storehouse is open on Monday and Sunday every week, and people of all ages are welcome to volunteer. After all the families leave, Alex is filled with a sense of pride for helping those less fortunate than him. “I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives,” he said. Alex continues to volunteer at Joseph’s Storehouse Fort Lauderdale whenever he gets the chance. “I like volunteering there because it makes me feel good inside. I feel like I’m changing the families lives. It doesn’t feel like volunteer work, so it’s just a good feeling of giving,” he said. Making a difference in people’s lives is what keeps him motivated to go out into the community and help those in need, and he seeing the smiles of peoples face as they walk out with nutritious food to eat makes it worth all the work.

Making a Difference: Alex Mora helps those in need by providing families with canned goods for their households.


Are You Ready for the SAT? Matthew Hernandez

High school students across the nation prepare for the SAT as if it were the last test they are ever going to take because of how significant it is. Tests like the SAT are a great Staff Writers

way to test students’ knowledge and discipline because the SAT and many other standardized tests are very tedious. Standardized tests are efficient at holding students and teachers accountable for all the work they have done over the course of the school year. Preparing for the SAT can be tough because this is a difficult and tedious test. A major key to success during the SAT is endurance because it has been proven that many students know the material, but are not able to finish in the allotted time for each section. It is important for students to pace themselves and be aware of the time because the last thing any student wants is to run out of time and not finish. Students take many practice tests prior to taking the SAT so that they can practice timing themselves. Junior Amanda Cabus said, “I went to two SAT tutors, Ms. Raimont for reading and Ms. Hernandez for math. When I first did a practice test I did not finish, and my tutors told me not to worry that the timing would come with practice. Each time I did a practice test I paced myself better and my timing was much better. By the last practice test, I was finishing with time to go back and check my work, and on the day of the SAT I confidently finished all the sections. I’d advise students to go to SAT prep classes because they do really help.” Another good tip for preparing for the SAT is attacking your weaknesses. Many students who are really good at reading and aren’t as good at math will try to do really well in reading and accept that they will do mediocre in math or vice-versa. Junior Brianna Adan said, “I was doing really good on the reading practice test with my tutor and not as good on the math, and instead of scoring in the 700s on reading and the low 600s in math, I kept doing math practice tests so I could balance out my reading and math scores. On the SAT I actually ended up doing really well on both the math and reading and I’m happy I took the extra time to improve my math score.” Junior Matthew Perez said, “I plan on taking the SAT soon, but I don’t plan on necessarily going to an SAT prep class because I am more of an independent learner. When I sit down by myself with a textbook in front of me, I am able to learn the material a lot faster and I understand it better. I have talked to some people who have scored well on the SAT without attending a prep class, so I am confident I can do this.” High SAT scores can translate into getting accepted into some of the top universities in the nation and even receiving many scholarships. Several high school students use this as motivation to perform very well on the SAT and prepare as best as they can. Before entering that testing room and taking a test which could decide their future, students need to ask themselves, “are you ready for the SAT?”

SAT Prep: This is the season where juniors begin to prepare for the infamous SAT/ ACT. These juniors are in anticipation of their academic fate.

Having Fun with Physics Matthew Hernandez Staff Writers

On December 2nd, 100 juniors and seniors had the chance to go to Busch Gardens with the physics department. All stu-

dents attending had to be at school by 4 AM on Friday so that they could arrive at the park early and enjoy the whole day. When the students arrived, they got to enjoy the 30-minute show “Physics in Motion.” Students were able to roam the park freely and ride all the rides they wanted to. Busch Gardens has some of the best roller coasters in the country with 6 of them being top rated rides. One of the newer rides at this amusement park is “Cobra’s curse” which goes as high as 70 feet in the air, travels backwards, and has several spins. “Falcon’s Fury” takes its passengers on a 300-foot drop at a speed of 60 MPH, while there are many other intense and joyful rides such as “Cheetah Hunt,” “Sheikra,” “Kumba,” and “Montu.” Along with many rides, Busch Gardens has many animal attractions and shows for people to see. The animal attractions allow people to see exotic animals face-to-face such as jaguars, cheetahs, flamingos, zebras, etc. Junior Alejandro Hernandez said, “Busch Gardens was fun and educational at the same time. This is what teachers want you to say but it is also the truth. We got to see a presentation on the G-forces acting on us at the rides, then experience it ourselves. This trip was a blast with all my friends because we really enjoyed all the rides and overall had a great time.” “Busch Gardens was a great experience because there are so many things to do there. You can see all the animals or go on the rides and it truly is a beautiful park to go see. It was


Physics (Ph)un: Bestfriends Natalie Jimenez and Lily Thomas enjoyed a quick snapshot during the annual Busch Gardens trip.

great to get away from school for a day and be able to hang out with all my friend at Busch Gardens. I can’t wait until I can go back to this amazing park,” said junior Jennifer Hernandez. Junior Kyle Frank said, “Busch Gardens was a fun experience all in all, and this is coming from a guy who doesn’t like roller coasters at all. My favorite part of the day was seeing all the animals you only see on TV and the internet. They were all as majestic and exotic as depicted. To name a few were the rhinos, giraffes, kangaroos, penguins, orangutans, cheetahs, and tigers. This trip was money well spent because we learned and got to experience a lot.” The students loved this annual trip by the physics department and would love to go back and enjoy the park. This park is filled with rides and sights that are entertaining and exciting to see. After a long day of riding roller coasters and sightseeing, the field trip buses pulled into the bus loop at the school at about 10 PM. Thank you to the careful coordination of Mr. Ram and the physics department, the Busch Gardens field trip can deem this year another success. Students were able to experience rollercoasters, and their correlation to the content they learn in Physics, as well as watch shows, see animals, and so much more. Although the juniors do not have their own class trip, this field trip allows a mix of both juniors and seniors to enjoy an educational day off. “It’s bittersweet,” junior Frankie Pizzo said, “I am so happy I went on this trip but I am sad it's over. I hope everyone else who takes this class can go to Busch Gardens and see the physics we learn in action and have a lot of fun!

Photos Taken B

Holiday Habits -a Last Hurrah Andres Perez


Satff Writer

his year marks the last time seniors will have the opportunity to enjoy many of the traditions that they usually do with their friends and family. As the holidays like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas come around, the reality begins to set in. It’s hard to believe it, but time is passing quickly for the seniors and now is the time to cherish good memories and make great ones for the future. In the moment seniors probably don’t realize what they have until it’s actually gone. With it almost being the midway mark of the school year, college is quickly approaching for seniors and that means huge changes. The big changes involve doing things on their own and leaving behind old traditions. The first of those traditions for many is “Friendsgiving,” a time when friends from school and out of school can gather before Thanksgiving and have a meal together. Senior Ana Colicchio makes time every year to always schedule at least one Friendsgiving so she can have a huge meal with all her friends and appreciate one another. “Out of everything I’m going to miss doing, getting together with my friends with a meal will always be a tradition I wish I could continue in the future,” said Colicchio. The traditions don’t end there for seniors as there is the day in which America goes crazy, Black Friday. Alyssa Wright and Erika Hammond spend the day before preparing for what always ends up being “a promising and successful shopping day.” Ever since they were 12, they would go shopping for hours hoping to get the stuff they were looking for. Now that they drive, they have kicked their parents out of the tradition and go themselves. This being the last time they go all out shopping on Black Friday together, Alyssa said, “I hope to make this a fun and memorable experience to look back on in the future. I want this year better than all of the others.” When one tradition ends, another one quickly approaches that accompanies Christmas—Secret Santa. Seniors Joe and Anthony Bombardire have organized a Secret Santa exchange between their friends for the past 2 years and plan to make the last year the most special out of all of them. They originally began to do Secret Santa because it gave them the ability to give to others, but also be a little selfish and get a present from a mysterious person as well. The brothers believe that organizing this event every year with friends will not only be a tradition they love and miss, but also something they would like to carry on when they leave high school and move onto college. The seniors at PPCHS will continue their high school traditions one last time before having to go to college. Luckily, the memories that they have gathered thus far will stay with them for many years to come and there are countless to memories yet to be made.

Holiday Festivities: Taken aback, senior Emilio Montanez accepts his Secret Santa gift from senior Analeza Newman.

Senior Saxophone Stardom Andres Perez


Satff Writer

he senior class has a lot of talented students within it, but one very talented musician many don't know about is Abnel Hidalgo. He has conquered the challenging obstacle of perfecting an instrument and that instrument is the saxophone. The saxophone isn't as common as it once was, but that hasn't stopped the love that Abnel has for the beautiful instrument. At the young age of 6, Abnel began experimenting with a variety of intruments. Once he picked up the saxophone, his love for it grew tremendously. He quickly learned that he was a natural, and the process on how to play the saxophone was all self-taught. Between church and school, he has learned the ins and outs of playing the instrument to the point of perfection. The confidence he has gained from playing at church and school has now flowed into his social media accounts. Abnel performs covers of his most loved jazz songs and he describes the opportunity as a way to “get creative” and express himself. He uses the saxophone to channel his emotions by “playing the blues if I’m sad or if I’m happy, I play a more melodic melody.” That saxophone to him is “a very beautiful instrument.” The inspiration that started this all was when Abnel heard old jazz recordings and loved the sounds that the saxophone made. He became very dedicated to playing so he practiced as much as possible so that now he can feel confident playing any jazz song of his choosing. Abnel’s family has supported his love for playing the saxophone. All through the process, his father has played a key role in Abnel’s progress. His father has pushed him to strive for a better understanding of the instrument and has encouraged him pursue a career playing the saxophone in college and beyond. His father has always told him “developing a skill takes time but keep playing and that skill will never leave you.” Abnel is reminded of his father’s intelligence and support every time he performs. Hidden talent is in everyone sometimes, all it may take is playing a couple instruments until you find the one that suits you best. Abnel has grown from simply testing a new instrument to playing it for pure passion. A possible career is evident and it all started as a way for him to entertain himself. The journey for him has just begun and the saxophone will forever be by his side.

By: Aijah Harper

Musical Genius: Hidalgo showcases his musical talents in what he considers to be his home at school -the band room.




espite our differences, Charter has grown to become one big family, and with family comes tradition. In an effort to join this special awe of the courageous experiences that our fellow students had. From Peetoom’s courageous battle with cancer to DaSilva’s harrowing tr continue this tradition as our legacy and highlight the moments our Jaguars have end Happy H The

DaSilva’s Hope for Haiti Endures Nadira Danticat

In a generation so consumed by getting into their dream schools and achieving the maximum amount of likes on social media, it is difficult to find a teenager who embodies what it truly means to be compassionate. However, Gaby DaSilva, junior, defied these misconceptions when she visited Haiti this summer for a service project. Since the earthquake in 2012, the people Managing Editor

of Haiti have struggled to return to their former glory, and DaSilva was a firsthand witness to this fact. Between the people she met and the structures she built, Gaby experienced a week that most Charter students cannot even begin to fathom. Her journey of philanthropy all began when her cousin raved to her and her mother about the amazing trip to Haiti her church was planning. Oasis Church in Pembroke Pines decided to do a mission trip to Haiti in an effort to spread wellbeing in an area that has been devoid of positivity for a long time. They collaborated with an organization called Tiaras. Founded by Lilibeth Garcia, Tiaras speaks to and touches the lives of both local and global girls. When her mother heard about the opportunity, she decided to go and take Gaby and her brother with her. Reluctant at first, Gaby was excited to finally make a real difference. Accompanied by a guide, she was in to Haiti for 5 days, traveling from Port Au Prince to St. Mark and Pignon. Needless to say, the facilities were different from those of Pembroke Pines. However, it was nothing compared to what she saw while volunteering. “It was one of the hardest experiences of my life,” said DaSilva. “I've seen poverty before, but never like Haiti. We saw families on the sides of roads, next to their shack and tent homes. I saw little kids so skinny, I could see their bones. I'd never felt so guilty and sad in my life.” Of course, it was not all bad and Gaby assured that many people in the country live in good conditions. However, her group was sent to impoverished areas. The most important goal of the week was to host the main Tiara event, but she did other charity too. While building bunk beds in the mission house for future missionaries to sleep in, she spent time with the kids from nearby areas. “I don't speak Creole but we somehow understood each other. I gave one of the girls a lollipop and she immediately tried to share it with me. It's not like she gets candy all the time like us,” she said. They also visited an orphanage that Oasis church takes care of in Port au Prince. There, Gaby pondered how people with so little could still be so happy. Lastly was the Tiaras event. Set in a church in Pignon, she and her group decorated the facility and organized the 300 dresses they brought for the girls. The night before the event, the girls came to choose their dresses, which proved to be chaotic yet successful. The event was amazing with everyone extremely happy. Then, a truly beautiful moment occurred. “At the end, all the girls started to talk to each other and get up from their seats. Suddenly, 300+ girls walked outside and onto the main road of the small town. They wanted to show off their dresses and tiaras! They started singing and dancing and walking Picture donated by: Gaby Da Silva throughout the whole town. People came out of their shacks and some joined in. It was like a movie,” said the junior. DaSilva’s trip was unlike any vacation she had ever been on before and for that, she is thankful. She realized that despite how cliché it seems, she had been taking things like food, shelter, and family for granted. After such an eye opening experience, Gaby

A Hero Conquers Life’s Complications: Camila Penso Evan Samuels


Managing Editor - Web

iagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, Camila Penso doesn’t let the disorder stop her from achieving her lifelong dreams. Her favorite subject is science saying that “it relates to what I want to be in the future.” She loves swimming, listening to music, and soccer, especially Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez. “I look up to James Rodriguez. He is a person with a great personality, he shares what he has, and he is always giving back to the community. I hope to be like him in the future.” Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects a person's movement and posture ( Due to how it damages to the developing brain, people are diagnosed in many different ways. It has the potential to affect the balance, muscle coordination, reflex, and muscle control of those with the disorder. By staying positive and not letting the disorder affect her, sophomore Camila said, “I don’t think [cerebral palsy] has really impacted me in any way. I’m happy with who I am.” Penso remains with a positive outlook on life to guide her through her problems, saying, “I’m a happy person. I don’t usually experience personal setbacks often but when I do, I just look towards the future and think that I can truly do anything I put my mind too.” She added, “I don’t really see myself as a hero in the eyes of others because I believe I’m the same person as everyone else.” She also has high expectations for the rest of her life, saying “My future plans are to become a neurologist or something related to health.” She added, “I don’t really have a support system exactly, but I talk to my family and friends sometimes when I am struggling through certain things. I mostly rely on myself to look at the positive things in life. I have people that love me and care about me, and I know they will be there anytime I need them.” Being happy is the philosophy Camila lives by and is always drawn back to a quote that her eighth grade history teacher named, Ms. Mitat, told her, “I have no doubt in my mind that you will be successful. Never stop smiling and never stop laughing.” It is clear that Camila Penso has dozens of people that are there for her whenever she needs them. She is a girl clearly focused on the future and, one disorder will definitely not stop her from achieving her lifelong goals. Though she may not realize it, she is an inspiration to many. The way she deals with such a big disorder can show us that anything is possible as long as you stay positive towards the situation that you are facing.


Post Lunch Chats: Penso, who lives by smiling, enjoyed the company of one of her classmates as she waited for the bell. Photo By: Samuel Eliacin


lty, the CHAT has decided to continue a theme from last year’s holiday issue, Heroes of Charter. While writing these stories, we were in rip to Haiti, the following featured students have embodied the compassion, determination, and valor that it takes to be a hero. We hope to dured during a time where gifts and midterms have become dominant fixtures. Enjoy! Holidays, CHAT

Peetoom Perseveres Through Toughest Innings of His Life Mason Feldman

Just as predicted, “Positive Peetoom” has returned to PPCHS. Senior Antonio Peetoom was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, and it was one of the toughest days in not only his life but everyone surrounding him. This disease is a fast moving type of cancer involving white blood cells. He was diagnosed in early December 2015, and it came as a Staff Writer

great shock right before last Christmas. During the district championship game in the spring season for the Varsity Baseball Jaguars, Peetom had the courage and was well enough to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Everyone in the stands stood up and applauded for a long time. It was such a great scene that there was tears on the field by players and in the audience by the fans. This holiday season is filled with happiness and a time for celebration as the major treatments and hospital come to a close. Now a senior, Antonio has endured and conquered cancer. Antonio left school during the second semester of his junior year to receive treatment. During this difficult process he was still able to continue his classes at home. Still being a part of PCB, some teammates visited him at his house, and he watched the games that he couldn’t attend via programs such as Game Changer and Periscope. Teammates including Christopher Nappi, Mason Feldman, and Julian Barcelo constantly visited him as they tried to keep his spirits high while he worked through the fight of his life. As the spring baseball season started without his presence on the field, all the players paid homage to him, displaying his #35 on their caps. Throughout this entire life changing process, his teammates stepped up to be by his side. During the season, Antonio was able to attend a few games and enjoy the atmosphere at every home game. Not once would the team, family, or friends forget that Antonio was part of them and he would return to lead them to many wins in the next year’s season. After receiving nine months of chemotherapy, other treatments and physical therapy, Antonio returned to classes in September. He also played on the Jags golf team, competing in several games. He is back on the baseball field practicing and conditioning with the team to get ready for the official spring season. Now Antonio is on a “maintenance” plan for the next three years. It consists of chemo once a month and chemo pills every day. The plan also includes steroids five days a month along with blood tests for monitoring his blood levels every two weeks. Antonio wants everyone to know he is doing well and working hard in school. Antonio stated, “Cancer is a hard battle. The way I got through my treatment was to try and live a normal life and not let cancer change my way of life.” He is looking Photo By: Eric Hernandez forward to enjoying senior year and being back on the baseball field. There are so many people who support and care for Antonio. One of the most important people in his life is his sister Sophia Peetoom who is a sophomore at PPCHS. Sophia stated, “Ever since his diagnosis, he has been the most positive person. He’s had a smile on his face the whole time and has handled everything with ease. This made the experience a positive thing for me and my entire family as well.” Teammate senior Lenford Powell said, “I feel like Peetoom is just that kid that makes us be humble. I love Peetoom and it gives me motivation everyday personally to keep him upbeat and to have him in the baseball loop. Peetoom has also motivated our entire team because he is fighting to get back on the field and we want to win him a state ring.” Always there for his players, Coach Iglesias said, “I can’t even imagine what Antonio has gone through. What I do know is that he is a fighter and he is going to be pitching for us in the spring.” The swiftness with which this type of cancer moves, and the treatments required, has put an additional financial burden upon the Peetoom family. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with the expenses not covered by insurance, such as lost time of work for his family, personal care needs, and expenses while he was in the hospital and at home recuperating. Prepared to graduate in 2017 with his class and get back on the baseball field, there is nothing standing in #35’s way to achieve these goals. Antonio is on track to attend college and be a very important part of the Varsity baseball team as the official season begins February 2017. Even on his most tiring days, he still worked as hard as he could even with the limitations presented by the illness and its timely recovery to complete his graduation requirements. During this most challenging and difficult path that he has been on, Antonio has never lost his smile, jokester ways, and compassion towards others. This is why positive Peetoom will persevere through the innings to come.

Back at it with the Battery Mates: Peetoom steals the show as he throws the first pitch of the PCB game against ELEV8 Academy. Photo By: Eric Hernandez


Features other randmnd has g y to m strong a her k up o in “I loo se she is sso much ositive u beca through still so p sense been et she is amazing dams life y till has anLindsey A and s umor.” – of h

“I look up to Ms. Oddy because she has always been a great mentor to me throughout my high school years. She’s always been there for me whenever I needed advice.” –Samantha Villegas (’17)

“As far as students go, especially with my SGA class, I try to not just teach lessons, but demonstrate good qualities of leadership. I lead and teach by example and model what I’m trying to teach. In many devalues I try to make sure I backup my teachings by actions.” –Mr. Curry

“I look up to the people who are respectful and kind human beings, because they are the true heroes in the world. I feel like everyone has the potential to be a hero.” –Matthew Wallace (’17)


I look up to Shreeyah Sign. She balances a lot of extracurricular activities, she is one of the top students in her class, she is a part of many organizations, and still makes time for her social life. I think that’s amazing and heroic.” –Hussam Patel (’17)

“I look up to the seniors on the varsity volleyball team. I got the opportunity to play on varsity this year, although as a freshman I didn't get a lot of playing time. The seniors show a lot of leadership on the court and bring up the team, and I aspire to be like them one day, hopefully soon.” –Carolina Gomez (’20)

rnship my inteteacher id d I “Whenked with a s. I have I wor Mrs. Drew her benameds admired me most alway she taught a teachcause at I know as kind perof wh was such a ers er and –Mrs. Rodg son.”

“My dad is the person that I look up to because he has values in my life that I hope to have in the future. My father is one of my greatest supporters in my life whether it’s in baseball or academics, which makes him my hero.” –Maxwell Romero (’19)

s. to Mr t a k up “I loo retty bad m I’m ps teaching is she i t one. She o a grea really enj i and I .” –Jada H class

“I look up to Ms. Alongi because she has an extremely positive attitude. Every time I'm in her class she motivates me to do my best and it has made me a better student over all.” –Diego Demenezes (’18)

“I me teache ntor newe and tr rs in charte r examp y to set anr they c le on skills try to an use and person be the bes –Mr. S I can be.”t chwar tz


“I loo becausk up to Dr. G smart e she is a lenn er an and bright te very me to d she in achachiev work hardspires ic dr e my aca and Desho eams.” –Cdemng (’1 urtis 8)

“Dr. Phillips is my Charter hero because she is a very wise person and she guides me to find out what I am going to be after high school.” –Emilio Montanez (’17)

Who is your hero in Charter? Are you a hero to anyone?

. uondo . Port ng and i t i r e w becom me toorganized s so ng in her i oy be ’19) inds (

“I would consider myself to be setting a good path for my sister. My younger sister is 7 years old. She looks up to me because I set an example for her on what to do. She always copies everything I do, but I love her.” –Valentina Orduy (’20)

“I look up to Ms.Papadopolo because every day in 9th grade she would always have a listening ear whenever I needed someone to talk to. She never let me go through anything alone and she’s to me –a hero.” –Alexa Binko (’19)

“I look up to Ms. Ohariz. I had her my sophomore year and even though it was her first year teaching, I learned so much in that class and she is truly one of my favorite teachers.” –Ross Mishler (’18)

“I loo becaus k up to my older Charte e she has siste AP ex r. She has taexperience r a k m e n s and m all of h in easy. a son to She always kes it look ser and I help me wh been the pe o world.”wouldn’t tra en I needed r–Aime de her fo it e Lasn r etski ( the ’19)

“Someone I've looked up to for three years now is Mrs. Altimore, she has always been there for and supported me and she is such a determined person who has such an amazing, caring personality.” –Janet Slavick (’20)


Firefighters rally A Sight to See: PPC for Relay for Life L

Jordan A

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Amanda Rodriguez


Satff Writer

ou may have had an experience with the fire rescue department when you were in elementary school, but that’s not the last you will see of them. Call it a little friendly competition, but these firefighters are raising money for Relay for Life. Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Charter, however, ensures to make it a priority to take a big part in Relay for Life in order to give back to the community and teach students good life skills that they can apply later in life. The organization accepts donations as well as volunteers to help them set up various fundraisers and projects. As if the fire department doesn’t already do enough, they want to be involved even more, “Our department loves to take part in activities to give back to the community, especially because our jobs already impact the community so greatly. It just feels good to give back even more”, stated the fire chief of the Miami-Dade fire department, Keith Tomey. His department specifically has been participating in Relay for three years. All the firefighters take part in Relay, but his executive assistant is the leading chair of Relay for Life for the fire station. The executive assistant is the one who thought of the bright idea to join the association in the first place. They keep a jar out for Relay for Life donations so that whenever someone walks into the station they have the opportunity to donate. Some of the workers who are on shift even volunteer to put in a little change here and now, helping in their total end result. On average, the Miami-Dade Fire Station raises roughly around $4,000 to $5,000 every year to donate to Relay. Keith stated, “We have done several different fundraisers in the past to try to help raise as much money as we can for this event. For example, this one year we held a huge garage sale at fire station and we competed against other fire departments to see who could raise the most money.” The firefighters enjoy friendly Grahpic by: Katie Perez competition, which is exactly why our school strives even harder to raise more money “What we do is separate from the fire department, but the end result is who can raise the most money. April 1st is when we will be face to face with them, trying to win competitive games”, stated Hanan Hessin, President of Relay for Life. While the station usually only attends at least two huge Relay events per year, our Relay club attends almost all of the Relay events that take place throughout the year. Not only is the fire rescue department taking part in this international organization, but other occupations are taking part as well. The radiology team of Memorial West Hospital, Team Bones, set up and serve breakfast to those who spend the night at Relay. The team captain was the assistant director of the department until they transferred, and then the role became available to anyone who wanted to volunteer as captain. The department consists of 150 people. Many of the workers there have either had family members who have fought this battle or were personally affected by cancer themselves, thus fueling the desire to put a lot of time and effort into this personal cause. Nancy Tomey, wife of Keith Tomey and nurse of the Memorial Miramar Hospital said, “Money aside, more than anything it’s really about helping the community and them seeing us and knowing as a healthcare team member that we are there for the survivors and family members alike.” Money and “winning” aside, it is refreshing to see various groups of people with completely different occupations come together to unite and work so hard towards achieving a common goal and raising money towards a good cause. The actions that we take to give back give people the opportunity to create a strong community in the hopes of one day finally finding a long lasting cure for cancer- a disease that has affected the lives of millions of people around the world and are in urgent need of a permanent solution.


ights, camera, action! Pembroke Pines Charter High School’s drama team will be hosting their annual Winter Fantasy show on December 15th at 7 PM. The show will be full of magical winter stories and mystical wonderlands. These stories will be narrated by our wonderful PPCHS’s very own drama teacher, Ms. Kidd, and her drama students inside the River of Grass Thursday night. Sophomore Lucas Vazquez says, “Winter Fantasy will be entertaining for people of all ages. It's a lot of fun to produce and I hope it is a lot of fun for students and their families to watch. We have been working extremely hard on our skits.” Winter Fantasy will have a little bit of everything. Along with drama, it will showcase band, art, and dance throughout Pines Charter. Sophomore Cristina Arguelles also said, “Last year’s Winter Fantasy was such a great


i p w a h

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Winter Wonderlan Best Budd

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Imagine a dance floor with a DJ, now imagine that with a holiday twist, this and more is what is given at the Winter Wonderland event. The holidays are just around the corner, and

every year there is a highlight of a club or a person doing something that shows the holiday spirit of giving. This year Best Buddies, a club whose goal is to establish a volunteering global movement that creates friendships, integrated employment, and leader development for the disabled community, is holding the Winter Wonderland event in the school cafeteria. The event will be held on December 2nd and is from 6-8 pm. The party will provide food, drinks, a winter themed dance floor an ongoing DJ, photo booth, and most importantly- holiday spirit. This happening will also have a dance off with the winner receiving a surprise prize. The photo booth is like no other, the booth has a winter themed back drop and props that can be used in a variety of different ways to make the photos unique. In addition, the occasion will have raffles, which the guests can win gift cards and baskets; this and much more will be available at this month’s Winter Wonderland. In order to enjoy this, attendees just have to pay a $5 attendance fee! The event promises to host a good time, but most importantly, the occasion is to give awareness on the disabled community. The club would have never had the opportunity to host the event if it weren’t for vice president, Hadley Rosendall. Hadley makes sure that everything is organized so that the event will run smoothly and fully embody the positive holiday spirit. “Last year’s party’s biggest highlight would most likely be the amount of people that came out to the event and supported the cause and also the dance competition,” said Hadley. She wants everyone to have a good time at the event, but really the main focus is to help raise awareness on the disabled community. Because the event is affordable for all students, every grade should definitely attend, not only students, but also friends of friends and family of course. All are welcome. One student who is eager to attend the event stated, “I love the holidays, and Christmas is my favorite holiday, because it is based around giving back which I feel is a massive part about the holidays, not just receiving. I think the Best Buddies Winter Wonderland is a wonderful event because it brings together the community to help the disabled community. The holidays are about spreading holiday cheer, and this event does just that,” said senior Aaron Sasenaryan. Aaron always wants to support people with disadvantages. He is a major advocate and voice for those who are a part of the disabled community, the blind community, and the mentally challenged community. It wouldn’t be a Best Buddies event if a member

HOSA Takes a Stand

CHS Winter Fantasy



perience and this year’s show is coming along great. We’re currently working on a skit that is certainly different than what we worked on last year. I’m pretty excited to perform this piece during the show.” In each of the art forms such as dance and visual arts, preparation for winter fantasy begins sooner than December. Although the skits and dances seem effortless and flawless, they take unbreakable concentration and skill. Students use the skills that they have been learning in class such as pantomime, characterization, teamwork, and technique. Winter Fantasy will be the perfect way to help you and your family get into that awesome Christmas spirit. Bells will be ringing and kids will be singing and dancing the winter away at Winter Fantasy. The show will last about an hour and a half to two hours, but there is no intermission so you get your money’s worth from entertainment guaranteed. The tickets to Winter Fantasy will cost $5, and I can attest to the fact that it will be the best money you ever spend. Don't miss out on Winter Fantasy. Save the date, December 15th.


nd: Hosted by The dies club



wasn’t going, this year a student from PPCHS is going, she was highly anticipating the event but could not attend last years. “I didn’t go last year, but it looked amazing. I really do want to go to Winter Wonderland. This event is all about making connections, you get to know the disabled community and give them a friend, that’s what I am most excited about for this event, meeting new people and making strong friendships. The main highlight I would say about being in the Best Buddies club is the regular visits we make to the disabled community, such as playing kickball,” said sophomore Sarah Rodriguez. The Winter Wonderland event will have a huge impact on the disabled community because participants will gain awareness about the struggles these individuals go through, encouraging onlookers to become inspired to help out and spread the word. The Best Buddies club hopes that type of impact because the club wants to help the disabled community in the best way possible. This is not the first time that Best Buddies held a Winter Wonderland event. A Winter Wonderland was also held on February 21, 2016, the event was held in Tampa in the gorgeous Double Tree Hilton Hotel. The event had entertainment, dessert, beverages, food, and photo areas. The bash being held in the cafeteria will be able to provide its attendees with more food, entertainment, and overall just a better time. The club wants to make the event bigger and better, and that is exactly what they are doing for the Winter Wonderland event on December 2nd. This holiday event incorporates the theme of Winter Wonderland: Best giving/doing something delightful for the holiBuddies providing food during the days. The event gives awareness to the disabled event. Photo by: Aija Harper community which increases the amount of donations that people will give to the club so that the disabled community will have a special holiday. The many members of this club put in countless hours into the club to make it impactful, this is done by the members setting up events like Winter Wonderland, buying necessary supplies for the events, and also guiding members so that everything turns out in shape. The Best Buddies club not only held this event; they have also held bigger events such as, the Ohio Kyrie Irving Basketball Challenge, Best Buddies Throwing Clinic, Foxwoods New Restaurant Best Buddies event, and much more. Every occasion that the Best Buddies club holds is professionally organized and made as well. The club tries it’s best to deliver fun and impactful events so that all communities can enjoy each event. From basketball players to Restaurants, Best Buddies has something for everyone to enjoy and be a part of something great.

Sofia Azcurra


Staff Writer

OSA is a club full of student connection and events filled with once in a lifetime opportunities. The club works as a whole to spread awareness and hope around the community. Members within the club speak out to crowds of people, building their social skills and raising money for different diseases. They speak for those who can’t themselves. The club encourages students to take chances and experience new things together. The club recently raised 300 dollars for breast cancer, allowing students to build new connections with the survivors. Sophomore Samantha Burkett said, “Raising money for breast cancer was such a blast! I learned so much in this club and it's only my first year in it. I have gained so many friends and skills from the club too.” The club hosts leadership events in order to raise money so members gain an idea of what the club encompasses and what qualities are essential in becoming an involved leader. Aside from leadership gatherings, HOSA also offers many more events for students to reach out to other people. HOSA organizes various school functions, including Charter’s annual health fair which allows students to witness and experience some of the efforts put on by many small and big medical businesses. The club plans everything, from organizing the slot times for selected science classes to which agencies are chosen to be on display. All Charter students are given the opportunity to participate and interact with healthcare professionals and have a chance of seeing what their planned career options are. Icebreaker meetings, organized by PPCHS’ club this year, are held with participation of all other HOSA county clubs, allowing external HOSA members get to know one another better. “By being part of HOSA, I’m constantly surrounded by people my age who have the same career interests as I do, so it’s definitely opened my eyes to new people and great possibilities,” stated club historian Chonnalin Sumonthee. The students build new friendships with the other clubs and see how each county club interact with one HOSA: The signature color another. The club also recently and ribbon for breast cancer took part in an activity where the awarness shown in the hallways. members were allowed to attend a Photo by: Omar Loutfi CPR class. All who attended and participated in the exercises were guaranteed a CPR certification. HOSA solely focuses on making sure students know what health is by interacting with other healthcare professionals and other student’s interest in medicine. Other events such as the annual beach clean-ups and its partner project with NHS to stand up against drugs throughout red ribbon week create a fun, learning environment. “HOSA helps all students interested in pursuing a career in medicine. The club talks about disease and the importance of preventing the spread of such infection. Other than health, the club builds active and close bond with others,” said senior club president Sofia Mohammad. HOSA develops their message by interconnecting fun and eventful activities with health information. An event that the members really enjoyed was selling buttons for the National Alliance of Mental Illness. This club participates in helping to assist the mentally challenged and hosts donations that let schools around the country participate in their charity. The aim of these sales was to help raise awareness for those who suffer from mental illness. All proceeds were donated to NAMI, an organization that focuses on providing aid for the mentally ill. All club leaders encourage new students to join every year. The club focuses on creating a friendly and healthy environment for the students, while encouraging everyone to build new relationships. HOSA engages the attention of Charter students by urging the importance of health and practice of medicine.


Evan Samuels Managing Editor - Web


List of Holiday Games

Thanksgiving Day Games: 11/24 Football (NFL/NCAA): • Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions 13 - 16 • Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys 26 - 31 • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts 28 -7 • LSU Tigers @ Texas A&M Aggies 54 - 39 Hockey (NHL): • Carolina Hurricanes @ Montreal Canadians 1 - 2 • Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators 1 - 3 Christmas Day Games: 11/25 Football (NFL/NCAA): • Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers • Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs Basketball (NBA): • Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks • Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers • Chicago Bulls @ San Antonio Spurs • Minnesota Timberwolves @ Oklahoma City Thunder • Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers New Year's Day Games: 01/01/17 Basketball (NBA): • San Antonio Spurs @ Atlanta Hawks • Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers • Detroit Pistons @ Miami Heat • Portland Trail Blazers @ Minnesota Timberwolves • Toronto Raptors @ Los Angeles Lakers Hockey (NHL): • Detroit Red Wings @ Toronto Maple Leafs • Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals • Philadelphia Flyers @ Anaheim Ducks

Seniors Rejoice on Signing Day Mason Feldman & Alexa Infante Staff Writer & Student Life Editor


On Wednesday, November 16, 2016 PPCHS celebrated the early signing of three senior Jag he wanted to play baseball and felt New York Institute athletes as they officially take their talents to of Technology, a Division I school in Long Island, was the next level in college. Julia Ramos, Alyssa the best fit for him as a pitcher. Signee Alyssa Pena said, Pena and Christo“It was a very exciting and pher Nappi have all relieving experience for all become committed the work to pay off. This is to college where just the beginning to the rest they will be able to of my life.” receive their degrees When asked about this while playing the special day Nappi stated, sport they love. Soft“I felt it went great seeing ball player Ramos alall of my family members ways had intentions and friends support me at to stay in Florida so the greatest moment in my she has decided to life. To be signed to play at attend the College NYIT means that all of the of Central Florida, work I have put into basea Junior College, in ball since freshman year Ocala. In addition and not doubting myself has to Ramos, teammate paid off.” Alyssa Pena is goThese athletes have put ing to be taking her in endless hours of hard softball talents to work, sweat, and tears, into college out of the a sport they have dedicated State of Florida. Allstars New Journey: Senior athletes begin their commitments to their lives to. After all these Pena has committheir desired schools, and as a result, the sacrifices, they have been ted to Bloomfield entire campus of PPCHS is there to support awarded the opportunities College, a Division them through it all. to continue their careers at II school, located amazing levels. This should in Bloomfield, New serve to assure them that Jersey. To cap off all of the commits gathered at today’s signing they are talented and deserving ball players. Once party was baseball player Christopher Nap- again, congratulations to these outstanding seniors as pi. Nappi put a lot of thought into where they embark on a new journey. We wish them the best


Graphic By: Justin Pierce

Which sport is Charter’s favorite to watch? Maria Acosta-Rubio Clubs Edtor

Twitter: @_TheCHATter • • •

High School Sports: 13% College Sports: 41% Professional Sports: 46%

Graphic By:Sofia Alfonso

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You calling us an underdog? We’ll see about that.. Cristine Alayon Sports Editor

hat defines an underdog? Is it the doubtful whispers in wd saying “they’ll never win” or is it the burden weigha team or individual who is expected to lose? Whatever ’s faithless. Underdogs are those who create inspiration hout the sports world and rise above through the mistrust st the gossiping crowd in the stands. The history of these live on and the history of underdogs continue to repeat ll this very day. g back in time to the greatest underdog tales creates reor those beneath, and will always stand as some of the ncredible times in sports history. One series in particu16 NBA Finals Warriors vs Cavaliers, was a nationwide menon for basketball fanatics. The remarkable Golden Warriors went into the NBA Finals series as a favorite ntinued midway as a favorite, almost taking the title at ne win away from the trophy, the Cleveland Cavaliers consecutive wins and claimed the status of the “2016 Champions.” They had never won a championship and ad never been a team in NBA finals history to come back 3-1 deficit. e memorable tales of teams coming back from deep aren’t only in the pros or seen on television. The stothese rebound games lie beneath the skin of Charter’s October 30th, 2015 was a heck of a night for the Pines r Jaguars varsity football team. It was the last game of son and on the Jags home turf, when the notorious Eaorth Broward Prep High School, took the field under the lights. The Eagles were expected to win by a brutal 27 as they came out on the first drive of the game scoring hdown. At that moment, it appeared the Jags would be out and have a slim chance of competing with NBPHS. game advanced, that “blow out” speculation no longer when the Jags were leading 34-27 in the 4th quarter. ne minute to go, the Eagles stomped their way to the red nly 15 yards away from possibly sealing the game. The Graphic By: Katie Perez ent quarterback snapped the ball and let it fly into the end or the win, but in the mist of the night came senior Joey ne (‘16) for an interception. The crowd burst into cheers as the game clock ticked away and Valentine saved the game. Current senior Javon Eaton (‘17) looks back at that night saying, HS was known as a top team, so it was out of the blue for us to win that game. We played hard, it was one of the best games we’ve ever played due to the circumstances. There was no we were the underdogs, and being an underdog in that game gave us that motivation to prove everyone wrong. And we did just so.” backs are the types of games sport fans have always craved, and comebacks are the pure definition of an underdog. Drifting over to the popular sport of baseball founded in 1869, mulomebacks have occurred from then to 2016. On November 2nd of this year, the city of Chicago erupted in cheers as the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series. They sealed the deal the Cleveland Indians after being down an infamous 3-1 deficit. It turned out not being so infamous after all for the Cubs as they battled back 3 games to conquer the trophy. It has been agging years for Cubs fans, winning their last World Series in 1908. The time came for these underdogs and they soared to Game 7 and took care of business. Moments like this show e typical theme of an underdog stands as, the so called “impossible” is proven more than possible, and the 2016 World Series Champs were the perfect example. ng from Jaguar turf to Jaguar clay, the underdog status of the Jaguars lived on. On the bottom of the messy, muddy, and orange-filled cleats of the Jags baseball and softball team, pieces ory remain. The month of April was a remarkable one for the two teams; the date of April 27th, 2016 was a day that went down in the record books for Pines Charter Baseball. In the us years, the Jaguars have never defeated the favorable Firebirds, Doral Academy High School. DAHS is known for their talent and their excellent hitting reputation. Going into the he Jags were the bottom unit and had a long shot at winning this game. That reputation took a turn when the Jags conquered the regional finals game against the Firebirds. The Jags dug in the top of the first inning, going down 3-0. This all changed when current senior Mason Feldman hit a 2 run homerun to come back 3-2. Four straight innings prolonged and neither cored, until Feldman came up to the plate again, bringing in another run to tie the game 3-3. One batter later, junior Jorge-Daniel Herrera singled up the middle, bringing in the game g run at 4-3. The mighty Jags held the Firebirds for the remainder of the game, “I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy. We knew they were a really great team so we had to go in fighting. As a we ignored all the snobby comments from the doubters and just did our thing. On my part, it felt good to contribute to the win by hitting a homerun against one of the top pitchers in the ” said Feldman. nuing their run on the diamond, the Lady Jaguar softball team experienced the same type of doubt in their success against St. Thomas Aquinas High School. April 7th, 2016, was the big or the ladies as it was the Big 8 tournament championship game. “We were expected to lose by everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE” comments 3rd baseman Julia (‘17). “STA was known to be great, their team was filled with division 1 top players in the country.” The whole game stained at 0-0 until current sophomore Eliza Gonzalez stepped up plate and smacked a solo home run right over the center field fence. “I remember it like yesterday,” Gonzalez states. “It was in the 4th inning and as I rounded the bases I couldn’t help in total shock. I was only a freshman and I was going up against one of the best softball teams in Broward County. As a team, the whole game we were determined to beat this prominent nd it was the best feeling to rise to the occasion and prove the skeptics wrong.” te the rumors around the halls, the PPCHS Jaguars have fought countless battles and one team in particular is the lacrosse team. Those who have roamed the halls of Charter have once bout this team and their imperfect seasons over the years. For the first time in the last four years, that burden had been broken. February 10th, 2016, the lacrosse team faced Piper High and defeated them 12-5. It was finally time for the Jags to break those rumors and win a game, “It was such a relief to finally win a game. The school usually speaks of how we aren’t a eam and that we would never win a game, but we proved them wrong. Even though that team was physically bigger and slightly intimidating, we came out on top. I remember the next school being so refreshing and kind of a ‘in your face’ moment to the school rumors,” said lacrosse player Jordan Cueto (‘17). hat defines an underdog? It’s not the whispers traveling through the bleachers of a night time game, nor is it the chuckles and smirks filling school hallways. An underdog is the one who as little, but comes out big. An underdog is the one who is shoved around, but comes out as being respected. An underdog is the one who doesn’t sleep countless nights, but proves that estless nights were worth it. A perfect example of an underdog is the Pines Charter Jaguars and their ability vanish the lingering doubt. Whether it’s on a field, court, classroom, or even to day life, these stories exist. Without an underdog, the inspiration in the sports world wouldn’t be there to encourage those beneath to dig to surface. Keep whispering and gossiping, t phase them, it just motivates those who have the desire to win. The Pines Charter mascot isn’t just a jaguar for any ordinary reason. Just like a jaguar triggers its claws, speed, and ity to wreck out in the wilderness, the Pines Charter Jaguars trigger the same when they’re faced to wreck the underdog status.



2016-2017 Boys Basketball P

Addison Alufohai

ines Charter basketball is finally back in swing and the Jaguars will be looking to bounce back this season after a subpar season last year. One of the Jags up and coming stars who will have to take a lead role in the team this year is junior Addison Alufohai. Alufohai has been playing basketball since he was seven years old and started his journey at the YMCA. He also spent many years playing travel and playing on the middle school and JV basketball teams. The junior forward will have to step up and increase his scoring workload if the Jags want to be successful and he knows it. Alufohai said, “Last year was really fun, but as a team we didn't accomplish what we wanted, which was to go far into the playoffs. This year our goal remains the same and we’re going to strive to make it to states. I know in order to do so, I will have to score more and I'm ready for the challenge.” Alufohai was not a starter for the team last year, but still played a key role coming off the bench and was especially detrimental on the defensive end of the floor. He will also need to keep up his defensive prowess as the Jags lost their season steals leader from last year, alumnus Matthew Johnson. Alufohai has said that he has been working on his “mid-range game” and “shot off the dribble” to improve his game for this season. “This summer I put in a ton of work in the gym just working on my shooting mechanics and my shot off the bounce. I really feel like anyone can spot up shoot but a consistent shot off the dribble can really raise my game,” said Alufohai. He also has said that the team has been working very hard to improve their defense off the ball and their ball movement. Alufohai and the Jaguars will have to be on their A game as this 2016-2017 season approaches, and the good thing is, is that he’s ready for the test.


Bryce Davis

t age six, basketball was merely a “something to do” type of game for senior Bryce Davis. He would join his neighbors who were always up for a pick-up game and slowly but surely, his fascination for the game grew as he began practicing his jump shot on his childhood hoop. Now the captain of the Pines Charter Varsity Basketball team, Davis has proved himself one to be watched on the court. Ever since he started to take the game seriously, the point guard had an agenda to reach his goals. “I try to train differently from the pack by out-working them. I play basketball every day; and whenever I get bored after homework, it’s back to the gym for more basketball. And I get bored a lot,” joked Davis. Like any athlete, Davis has had those moments where others try to discourage him by saying he’s not good enough. “Yes, people have tried. But it doesn’t phase me. There are always people who have negative vibes, but I use it as fuel to be better,” said Davis. However, the one person that Bryce can always count on to support him, is none other than his father. He said, “My #1 fan is my dad. He’s left work early many times just to catch my games. It means a lot to have the strength and support that I get from my family.” Davis has been working hard for his last season. Those nights staying up until midnight playing ball will finally pay off as he hopes to get noticed by scouts. As he looks at different colleges, the lively games on the Charter court will soon turn into fond memories. “It is my last year and I realized that everything is coming to an end. I have the sense of urgency to win a state ring this year because of that.” Davis has the grand desire to leave his mark on Charter and showcased his talent. What started out as a hobby, is now his life, and Davis has a bright athletic future in the university of his choice.



Malik Hardy

enior Malik Hardy has been on the come up ever since stepping on the basketball court his freshman year. His love for the game began at age 10 when he and his older brother competed on a daily basis during his childhood. From playing at home, he took his skills into travel ball in 4th grade and continued throughout high school. NBA player Carmelo Anthony and Malik’s parents have been his role model through the years, as they always showed him how to work hard and be respectful. Hardy then carried those life skills into PPCHS’s basketball gym. The senior point guard enjoys every second of the game. “My favorite part of basketball is how competitive and challenging it is. It also teaches you lessons and helps you create really great friendships,” he said. Hardy played on JV his freshman year and soared right up to varsity the rest of his high school years. The journey there was not the easiest. Malik said, “I just practiced every day and long hours to try to create new moves and improve my shot.” The all-star has definitely proved his talent last season, averaging 11 points per game. The intimidating PG on the floor is looking to change the course of the team this year. “Last season was disappointing since we lost in the 1st round of playoffs, but we have a strong team this year and if we improve our chemistry, we can go deep into the playoffs,” he added. Currently, Malik is a captain of the 2016-2017 basketball team and cannot wait for his last high school season to begin. Although it is his last ride here at PPCHS, he will be striving to end it off on a good note. The 6’1 Pines Charter phenomenon hopes to play division 1 basketball in the future and there is no uncertainty that his goal will be accomplished.

All Photos By: Jus



2016-2017 Girls Basketball T


Cristine Alayon

Arianna Jimenez

he sport of basketball was instilled into the mindset of junior Arianna Jimenez when she was young and ever since, she refuses put a basketball down. Because of her family and friends, Jimenez has made her way onto the PPCHS varsity basketball team and become a player to watch out for. Arianna Jimenez was first introduced to basketball by her father at the age of six. Her father would take her out to the park to shoot hoops and created a foundation for Arianna to build on in the future. Ever since then, she has continued to watch and play basketball with her friends and practice to be the best she can. From those years of developing her game, Jimenez said her favorite part of the game has been, “The amazing feeling I get on game day and being able to do what I love for the school I go to.” As Jimenez began her high school basketball career, she made the varsity team as a freshman and has learned valuable lessons from the upperclassmen she played with her first two years. Now that she is a junior, she has earned a starting spot on the varsity team and is determined to prove her worth to her teammates and coaches. The superstar is positioned at shooting guard and is striving to double her previous average of 7 points per game. The game of basketball has taught her one very valuable lesson so far and that is “Win or lose just have fun playing what you love.” A plan for basketball after high school isn't set at the moment, but she isn’t putting away any hopes for it in the future. One thing Jimenez will miss from basketball is “The team and all the friends I have made from the sport I love” she added. With the basketball season quickly approaching, Arianna hopes to leave a mark on her PPCHS basketball career by contributing in bigger ways than ever before with her new starting job on the team. The instant love she received at the age of six for the game has blossomed in ways that she couldn't have ever imagined and it looks like it’s all starting to pay off.

enior Cristine Alayon is going to be playing in her senior season this year for Pines Charter and is looking to bring hardware back for the Jags. This is her fourth year on varsity and second year as team captain. Already, Alayon has gotten interest from two schools: Saint Leo University and Chatham University. As of now, she plans to attend FSU for academics and possibly even continue to play there. On the court, Alayon is a dynamic guard that can score at will and plays excellent defense on and off the ball. “I’ve been around the game for a while now. I’ve played in national tournaments and on some of the biggest floors in the country with scouts packed in the stands. I love the game and the thrill of being an offensive machine,” said Alayon. In her first game of her senior season, Alayon dropped 26 points out of the team’s 34 total points. The Jags may have lost, but it was still a very impressive performance from Alayon. Off the court, Alayon is a great writer and the Sports Editor for the newspaper. “The CHAT is just like being on the court. It requires a team effort to put together an issue and it is all hands on deck as no one person can do it by themselves. Being able to work as a team on and off the court is a natural feeling for me,” said Alayon. At age six, the athlete found basketball and realized it was her passion. Ever since, her game has done nothing but improve. Now as a senior in high school, Cristine has taken that passion far and has met great people through the sport, “One thing I’ll miss is the Pines Charter basketball program and game days. When I look back, my favorite part of it all was winning Districts for the first time in PPCHS girls’ basketball history. Whenever I enter the gym, I look up and see that banner hanging with so much pride” she said. Cristine might miss Pines Charter, but Pines Charter will definitely miss Cristine.



Kayla Parrilla

familiar face representing Pines Charter basketball on the hardwood is junior Kayla Parilla. Since the age of five, Kayla has had a basketball in her hands and a love for the sport in her veins. She grew up a point guard, and currently plays as the point guard spot for the PPCHS girls’ basketball varsity squad. Her life has been busy with the game of basketball ever since she fell in love with it. Despite her 5’3 frame, she is a quick guard with a scoring mentality. “My favorite moments are when I score, and the crowd gets louder because it gives me the confidence to score like that the rest of the game,” said Parilla. Thanks to Dwayne Wade, Kayla was exposed to the NBA and the game of basketball. From the moment she learned about him, Kayla has been a fan of his ever since. As a role model in her basketball career, Kayla looks up to her friend Jenna Deemer, who is a point guard at LSU, and WNBA phenomenon Skylar Diggins. Like Wade, Deemer, and Diggins, Kayla is both a play maker and scorer. “I’m always getting my teammates the ball and creating scoring opportunities for my teammates. As point guard, I specialize in handling the ball, being vocal, & controlling the tempo of the game,” said Kayla. Not only can she control things on the offensive end, but she can hold it down on defense, averaging 2.2 steals a game. The right-handed point guard has been playing in a Jaguar jersey as a part of the Pines Charter basketball team since the middle school days. Parilla has also played outside of school to keep her skills sharp outside the PCB gym. This is her third year playing with her fellow varsity Lady Jags, and it’s a privilege she passionately focuses on. “I used to play travel basketball, but decided to end my travel basketball career so I could focus on my junior year,” she said. Parilla seeks to dominate the court this year with her teammates and looks to help the Jags to many victories with her talent.



2016-2017 Boys Soccer C

Christopher Sanchez

hristopher Sanchez, a senior varsity soccer player at Pembroke Pines Charter High School, has been entertained by the game of soccer since the age of 6. As captain of the varsity team for his final year of high school, he expects the team, including himself, to perform at their highest level and to never give up. Throughout his lifetime career, Sanchez has been a committed competitive athlete for the West Pines United Club and has also only fulfilled the position as a center attacking midfielder- it is a position that he has performed well and given all his effort and dedication to on the field at PPCHS. The most important factor in Sanchez becoming a soccer player was his father. Other motivation put upon Sanchez came from his friends and family, but mostly his father’s inspiration pushed him to continue in the sport. Sanchez said that his dad told him to “Always play your hardest and no matter the circumstance, strive to be the best.” Although this is the Sanchez’s last high school season, he hopes to continue playing soccer in college and beyond. He stated, “It would be a dream come true if I am able to play for the Venezuelan national soccer team.” The professional player that Sanchez has grown up watching and idolizing is Barcelona Captain Andres Iniesta, who also plays for the Spanish National Team. Sanchez has contributed a great amount to the varsity Jags over the years. As the future approaches, the road to the next level will be a tough one, but with Sanchez’s poise and talent there is no doubt he will be seen playing on a national television one day.


Francisco Ortiz

enior Francisco Ortiz has been playing for the PPCHS school soccer team since his freshman year of high school. Despite his so called “lazy” attitude off of the soccer field, once Ortiz steps foot on the turf a switch turns on and his defensive skills come into play, making any opponent fear him. His defense in the back field is a big asset to the Jaguars defense, thus helping the team win crucial games. His 4 years of experience have shaped him into becoming nothing but a better player. Ortiz has already expressed that he wants the team to go further than they did last year from their previous defeat in the district semifinals: “For the season, I hope that we do better than last season and hope that we all become a close family and enjoy our time together,” said senior Francisco Ortiz. Throughout his high school career, Ortiz has developed many memories that will resonate with him for forever. His favorite memory was when he started his first game for the season four years ago. Starting as a freshman he said it, “was something I will never forget, it was one of the best teams I’ve ever played with.” Ortiz hopes to attend the University of South Florida and major in physical therapy. He would like to work for a sports team, such as soccer or basketball, because it would be both a fun and educational experience. He also said that he loves helping people and would love to pursue this practice while still continuing his love for sports. Francisco’s time at Charter on the turf will always hold a special place in his heart and he aims to end it off on a great note this soccer season. The superstar seeks to lead his team to victory and leave it all on the field for his last high school season.



Yannick Blackman

unior Yannick Blackman is a star-studded soccer player who has devoted his whole life to the sport he loves. Blackman started playing soccer at the age of five and was influenced to play soccer because of his father and older brother. “I started playing soccer because my dad and my brother both played soccer and I wanted to carry the family tradition on as long as possible,” he said. Yannick has fallen in love with soccer and has played on many recreational teams and several travel teams. He has travelled with his teams to many tournaments, even claiming a victorious title in a few of them. Blackman is now the starting center-back for the PPCHS varsity soccer team and is seen as one of the leaders of the team: “Being a leader out there is great, having control out on the field during the game and during practice is fun and it is always good to help out the younger guys. As a leader, I need to help guide the new players so that they can feel comfortable when it is their turn to step up out on the field,” he said. The speedy athlete has high hopes and expectations for the soccer team this season, even though they don’t have as many experienced or veteran players compared to last year. Blackman said, “This year we are a bit of a younger team, last year’s team had a lot of seniors on it, but it forces some of us older ones on the team to step up and fill those shoes. I expect us to have a very good season and hopefully win many games.” Yannick favorites the idea of meeting new people through soccer and continues to have a deep passion for the game. He has developed an endless amount of friendships in his many years of playing soccer and hopes to create many more. Blackman is passionate about playing this sport until he physically can’t play it anymore because soccer is not only a game to him, it is a way of life.

All Photos By: Jus


2016-2017 Girls Soccer A


Alai Araujo

s a freshman, JV is typically the appointed level for incoming middle school athletes, but that wasn’t the case for freshman Alai Araujo. It’s Araujo’s first year in high school and she has already made the PPCHS’ girls varsity soccer team as an attacking midfield player. Her love for the sport started when she was around five years old. As a young girl she was in ballet, but it didn’t seem to peek her interest. Araujo and her younger sister would always play around with a soccer ball in their backyard so she decided to put down her ballet shoes and pick up a pair of cleats instead. Instantly she fell in love with the game of soccer and has been playing ever since. Araujo has not only participated in national soccer camps nut also travels around the country with her Weston soccer club. The athlete played in middle school, however she commented on her transition into high school and stated, “Going into high school tryouts, I was nervous because it was a new experience, but once I started playing I forgot about everything. I ignored the stress and just focused on playing the best that I could.” It has been a couple of games into the season and Araujo is now more comfortable with her performance and presence on the field. The older girls on the team whom she looks up to has assisted Araujo as she is learning to settle into the soccer squad. The all-star copes with her fears with encouraging words and motivation from her teammates that cheer her on in the sidelines. She remains focused during game time and avoids bringing negative energy onto the field. Araujo’s hopes the Lady Jags will make it to districts this season: “With the way the seasons going, if we keep working hard I know we can make this year a great season,” she said. With 3 more years left of high school to go, the freshman figure will continue to carry the Lady Jags to victory for years to follow.


Ashlyn Correa

very time junior Ashlyn Correa shoots a soccer ball, she always scores. Ever since the age of three, Correa has confidently and proudly taken the soccer field with the number 21 stamped proudly on her back. With two parents who have loved sports all of their life, Ashlyn was practically born into the sports world. She has played for various soccer clubs, including West Pines and Boca United, but no matter the team she played for, her love for soccer stayed consistent. “Although skill and talent is very important, I think what makes me such a great player is my work ethic. Hard work always beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. I think back to why I’ve made it so far and it’s because although there are many players with more skill than me, I have such a high work rate and I will be the hardest working player on the field,” Correa said. Correa establishes her dominance on the field as center defender and midfielder. After trying out for PPCHS’ varsity team her freshman year, Correa was able to accomplish something not many players had- she was awarded the position as a starter on the varsity girls’ soccer team. “Nothing beats my freshman year season when we made it all the way to the state finals. That feeling was by far something greater than any other feeling I’ve ever felt. High school soccer will always be my absolute favorite part of high school,” she said. With two full years under her belt and a new season under the works, Correa has already made countless friends, memories, and has left her mark on the PPCHS soccer program. “Soccer means absolutely everything to me, and is one of the most important things in my life. Soccer has given me the opportunity to meet so many of my closest friends and some very amazing coaches,” she adds. Even though she is only a junior, Ashlyn Correa has showcased her skills as a talented soccer player, as well as her passion and love, as a long time athlete of the game.


Morgan Robertson

unior Morgan Robertson is your average teenage girl with one slight discrepancy: she is a monster on the soccer field. First starting her soccer career at the mere age of three for the Miramar Strikers, her love for competition has never hindered and she has never stopped playing, especially when she finally came to high school. As attacking midfielder and forward, she has been on the team since freshman year and has proved to be an essential asset alongside her teammate and best friend, Ashlyn Correa (‘18). Apart from the school’s team, she plays travel for Boca United ECNL, which entails a lot of traveling from state to state, “I’ve learned to balance my commitments by bringing most of my work with me when I travel and just managing my time well,” said Robertson. In addition to soccer, Morgan is in multiple AP classes and enjoys listening to music in her free time. Soccer is more than a sport to Robertson, and the passion shows on and off the field. She comments, “The most rewarding part is having younger girls on the team look up to me and being able to inspire them.” Robertson has her own inspiration as well, citing Charter alumna Rachelle Smith (‘15) as her own. Smith served as captain of the varsity team during her time as a Jaguar and has continued her success as a Gator at the University of Florida, already winning her first Southeastern Conference finals two years in a row. With her future looking bright, it would be no surprise if Robertson reached the same success as her role model, Rachelle.



Beauty and the Beast with a Twist Ainsley McCormick

Kids of all ages will crowd around the theatres on March 17, 2017 to watch the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Unlike Community Outreach

Graphic by: Justin Pierce

the original Beauty and the Beast, released in 1991, the new movie will not be animated, but instead features actors who portray all the roles. The characters such as Cogsworth, the mantel clock, Mrs. Potts, and the teapot, are in the movie as animations, however they look real to the eye and give a very different effect from the original movie. Actress Emma Watson, best known for the role as Hermione in Harry Potter, will be playing Belle. Belle is a sweet, caring young lady who refuses to be mistreated, undermined, or controlled by anyone. Her confidence leads her to befriend the beast and eventually fall in love with him. “I personally love Emma Watson. I think she is beautiful and a great role model for younger girls, and I’m sure she will be great as Belle. I feel as though any actor or actress strives to fully encompass the style of the character, and I’m sure she will make Belle her own,” said junior Maia Hunter. Students are excited to see this new, innovative movie because it brings something different than the classic animated movie to the screen. The much-loved story they grew up with is now taking on a new form for everyone to enjoy. “I am a big Disney fan to begin with, so I feel that it is exciting to see this fairytale that I grew up loving come to life with real characters,” said sophomore Alexia Metts. The new movie will give viewers a fresh point of view, and the amazing effects will make viewers feel as if they are actually in the movie with the characters. However, some students, such as junior Justin Montoto, are not in favor of the live-action movie and think it takes away from the classic story. “I like the animated version better because it’s a classic and sometimes a new version isn’t as good as the old. I also feel the actors won’t be able to give off the same excitement as the animated version did.” Whether it be live action or animated, everyone can agree both will be uniquely enjoyable. The movie will bring joy, happiness, and familiarity back to those who know and love the story of Belle and the Beast. Whether a fan of the original movie or the new version, this is a story that all are sure to enjoy.

Classic Christmas Carols: Will we ever get tired of them? Maria Acosta-Rubio



Clubs Edtor

ovember begins with Halloween decorations and Tim Burton movies slowly fading as holiday music and 25 Days of Christmas on Freeform takes its place. “All I Want for Christmas is You”, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, “White Christmas”, and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” are among the many songs that are on constant repeat in millions of homes and stores until the end of winter. These songs find their way into daily playlists at the beginning of the season, completing the festive feelings that the holidays bring. But what is it about these catchy tunes that make people dance around in red and green pajamas every single year? “I think we just really get in the spirit of Christmas. The songs are sort of a holiday anthem, which is why so many people love to sing them. My favorite Christmas classic would have to be “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. The carols make me feel happy inside, it gives me a feeling that everything is okay,” said sophomore Justin Dourvetakis. Perhaps the reason for their success is the fact that these classics share similar sentiments. For example, most Christmas songs tell the listener what they’re trying to say in a sweet and upbeat tempo. Christmas carols don’t hide the underlying message of the song, rather they tell the listener exactly what the song is about. These songs elaborate on feelings that anyone can relate to during the holiday season. In the song “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, the lyrics “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”

Grahpic by: Michael Perez

are famous for their relation of how adults may be remembering their own childhood memories during the holidays. A classic song like Crosby’s allows anyone to apply his or her own personal ideas and feelings, making the song more memorable for the individual. “It is pretty basic, but one of my favorite holiday songs is “Jingle Bells.” The song just gives a strong and catchy melody that makes me feel lighter. It always makes me feel joyous and happy, even though it doesn’t bring back a specific holiday memory. I think the fact that songs like these always have a happy melody to it helps with the festive feeling,” said freshman Janet Slavick. Many students like Slavick agree that Christmas carols create a blissful mood, even if a certain memory isn’t linked to that feeling. The tempo of Christmas carols, such as “Jingle Bells,” also play key roles in why many students constantly find themselves singing the same

tunes during the holidays. Whether it’s because of the catchy rhythm and beat, the way the message is straightforward, or because it reminds students of a holiday memory, Christmas carols never seem to lose their charm. From the 1818 song “Silent Night” composed by Franz Xaver Gruber to the 2011 “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber, Christmas carols have been creating an ever more festive atmosphere just in time for the holidays.

‘Tis the Season to Binge! Brittany Evelyn


Graphic by: Nicole Mercadal

Business Manager - Content

or all the Netflix lovers out there, winter is the perfect time to catch up on your favorite shows and even discover a couple new ones! Put the ‘win’ back in your winter break by exploring new shows, or possibly some throwbacks. Whether you love horror, comedies, or dramas there is something out there for you. Here are a few that are sure to spark your interest! Black Mirror: British television anthropology series, Black Mirror, depicts the dark side of life and technology. The sci-fi series explores a twisted, high-tech near-future where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide. As the title suggests, the “black mirror” is the screen that has come to control our lives. Each episode focuses on a different theme by sharing a story through various protagonists. Sense 8: Strangers Will, Riley, Capheus, Sun, Lito, Kala, Wolfgang, and Nomi telepathically experience each other’s lives. Upon experiencing a tragic death in the form of visions or dreams, the group finds themselves growing mentally and emotionally connected. As the strangers seek an explanation as to how and why the sudden connection occurred, they come face to face with danger. Each episode reflects the views of the characters interacting with each other, while investigating their backgrounds and what makes them so special. New Girl: After breaking up with her boyfriend, Jess, a quirky young woman, moves into a loft with three single guys. Nick, Schmidt, and Winston try their best to help Jess understand and tackle the ways of the world. Torchwood: The Doctor Who spinoff follows a group of investigators employed by a secret organization. Set in Wales, the team specializes in crime and alien technology that has recently inhabited Earth. Captain Jack Harkness, Curious PC Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato, and Lanto Jones take on the responsibility of exploring the world of Torchwood. The Killing: Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, Seattle homicide detectives, find themselves affected by the murders they investigate. On what is supposed to be her last day on the job, Sarah receives a call that forces her to postpone her departure. As the series progresses, the lives of those affected by the cases become intertwined. Jane the Virgin: Jane, a religious young woman, finds her life taking a sudden and unexpected turn after learning her doctor has accidentally artificially inseminated her during a checkup. Jane struggles to balance the new changes in her life and finding true love. The story follows Jane and her growing family as they cope with the drama that unfolds.

Bests of the Year Sofia Azcurra Staff Writer


is Adventures by Pierce the Veil is really deep album. It puts my mind at ease and it is really exciting, since I’ve waited four years for this album to come out. When it finally came out this year it really made me ecstatic.” w-Sophomore Emily Martinez


show that recently came out and that I have [been] dying to see this year has been Designated Survivor. When I finally got to see it, I realized how deep my passion towards pursuing law is. I especially like to see how all the government branches work. It’s really cool to see who the next President on the show gets to be and how the show progresses after that.” -Senior Lesline Charles Photos by: Giulia Marcondes


eadpool was by far the best movie I have seen this year. It really made me laugh and has cool action scenes. This movie especially breaks the fourth wall by addressing the audience. I think that’s what made it so thrilling to watch.” -Junior Curtis Deshong


November-December Gaming Review David Cha-Kim News Editor

● Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (November 4th; PS4, XBO, PC): While the Call of Duty series has surely lost its place at the top of the throne of first-person-shooter video games is doing everything in its power to reclaim its position. However, fans have not been pleased, yet again, with over two-million dislikes on the YouTube channel’s launch trailer. Fans are no the COD installments becoming more and more futuristic yet IW is focused on outer space, zero-gravity movements, and a plot based so far in the future that Earth has been stripped of its beta had decent ratings but there are not expected to be a lot of actual sales, even with the including of a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare remaster, due to the creators yet again not meeting the (YouTube). ● Watch Dogs 2 (November 15th; PS4, XBO, PC): The much anticipated sequel to 2014’s hit Watch Dogs by Ubisoft will hit shelves on the exact halfway mark through the month of November. Like its prequel, Watch Dogs 2, will be a third-person perspective open world action-adventure video game. WD2 will be set in San Francisco, feature on-foot and vehicle transportation, and will plot-wise be focused around the protagonist Marcus Holloway- a hacker aiming to take down the city’s surveillance system (Gamespot) ● Final Fantasy XV (November 29th; PS4, XBO): In Western society, Square Enix is more famous for its Kingdom Hearts series due to its collaboration with Disney, but what many do not know is that Kingdom Hearts was a collaboration between the Disney franchise and Enix’s original Final Fantasy game series. Final Fantasy XV will attract a larger Western audience than ever before, bringing a more modern, realistic, dark, and mature feel than previous Final Fantasy games in a large open world, mixing both realistic settings, characters, weapons, and even automobiles with the elemental aspects of the fantasy genre that FF fans are used to. The story is based in the kingdom of Lucis, with Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum, rightful heir to the throne, going on a quest to reclaim his homeland which his father righteously ruled, with the aid of his three lifelong friends (Kotaku). ● Super Mario Run (December TBA; iOS): Super Mario Run will be an iPhone and iPad version of the best-selling video game franchise of all time and will be the first official Nintendo game released on any smartphone. The exact release date remains a surprise but it has been confirmed to be released in December, and the App Store gives an option to notify Apple product owners when it releases. The player will be able to control Mario as he automatically runs from left to right, touching the screen to make him jump (the longer the screen is touched, the higher he jumps), and will guide him over gaps in the stage onto enemies and into coins to collect them all in order to safely get Mario through the level in the fastest possible time (IGN). Graphic

Designing ‘Switch’ of technology Diego Salazar


Satff Writer

or countless years, consoles have been the same concept; it’s always just an updated design and graphics. But sometimes companies revolutionize technology, such as PlayStation and Nintendo. PlayStation introduced PSVR which brought a new view to gaming. As for Nintendo, they have changed the game for many years by making a dual screen on the go handheld and a console that tracks your movements. Now Nintendo is introducing another piece of technology, the Nintendo Switch. This new piece of hardware is a console of the same power of a PS4 and Xbox One, and even some PC’s! The design is like the Wii for the console, and the controllers are like the Xbox One, Wii and Wii U. The console and controllers have a matte finish with some glossy touches as well. What people are talking about the most is the fact that it can be played at home or wherever you go. This is done by removing the console from the cradle and attaching the sides of the controller to the sides of the console. This new feature is getting tons of positive feedback from the public, and the Switch was also the #1 trending video on YouTube when the trailer was released to the public ( This new piece of tech has gotten plenty of students in Pembroke Pines Charter High School excited. Some students have been Nintendo fans ever since they were little kids, and some are now Nintendo fans because of the Nintendo switch. “It’s interesting to see a console that will allow us to play both at home and on the go without the need of another device, like the PS4 and the PS Vita. The new games coming out for it, such as, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros should also help the Nintendo Switch to be a top selling Nintendo device,” said senior Kaleb Wells. Kaleb has been with Nintendo for plenty of years, and now since the announcement of the Nintendo Switch, he feels the same special way he did when he first got his first Nintendo console, the Nintendo 64. Nintendo has gained plenty of fans, not only for their fantastic pieces of hardware, but also for their unforgettable characters. Some characters include the brave Mario, the charismatic Luigi, and of course, the lovable Yoshi. Some students in PPCHS are still going strong with Nintendo and own most of the oldest and newest pieces of hardware from Nintendo. “I think the Nintendo Switch could’ve been made with some sturdier hardware. It looks like if I drop it the screen will shatter, this is a big concern for a console I can basically take anywhere. Aside from that one concern, it looks awesome,” said senior Jabari Henry. This new console that Nintendo is going to release would have definitely gone on plenty of peoples Christmas lists, but sadly it’s not, the console doesn’t come out until March 2017. But when it does finally release, it will revolutionize gaming history!




Flying Humans Coming Soon LJ Lemmers

Technology Editor

s, Infinity Ward ot pleased with resources. The e fans’ demands

By: Katie Perez

Graphic By: Katie Perez


otta Blast! Many kids around the world would watch as Jimmy Neutron flew high into the sky with his jetpack. What once was seen as an imagination will be a reality to many who want to touch the sky. Jetpacks will soon be available to the public starting spring 2017. JetPack Aviation has created the world’s “true jetpack.” The company claims that their jetpack looks and functions like jetpacks seen in fictional movies. The jetback is essentially a backpack with two turbine engines attached to it that propels the user into the air ( “It can be a great edition to society, but there might be some drawbacks to it. I would love to have a jet pack and it would make traveling easier,” said senior Hussam Patel The JB-10 Jetpack requires no license to fly. To power the device, either gasoline or kerosene fuel needs to be used. The movement is controlled with two joysticks. Flyers will be able to fly up to 10 minutes and reach speeds of 60 mph ( It can also travel up to a maximum height of 1,000 ft. per minute. For 40 years the creators of this device have been working to make this aviation dream become a reality. Since the 1970s, they have been testing with all types of propulsion systems to make a stable jetpack. For the past 10 years, however, they have been working on developing the JB-10. Aviation still hopes to improve their engine technology, develop a parachute system that can handle the very rapid, low deployment, and auto stability systems (computerized technology that improves a vehicle's stability by detecting and reducing loss of skidding). “There are some improvements that still need to be made when making technology at a high level like this, but it would be cool to see people flying in the air. I would love to see myself get a jetpack and use it to travel to my soccer games or outdoor activities with my friends,” said junior Errol Spence. The device is ready to be sold to “well qualified buyers” that must be trained prior to its usage. However, the day when people can start flying these jetpacks will be not be seen for quite some time. In early October, JetPack Aviation is hoping to raise $377,380 on the crowdfunding investment platform ( JetPack Aviation says the JB-10 JetPack will be shipped in either April or May of 2017. People who want to buy the product must visit an electric tethered training facility that is made by the company to train to use the jetpack, so they can be trusted ( It will be sometime before people will be flying with jetpacks out in public. However, with more research and develop into this project, 2017 will bring in a new era of technology as people live their dream of soaring high in the sky. The future is here with us and here to stay.

Graphic By: Katie Perez

Electronic Deals During the Holiday Steals Sarah Barrocas Editor-in-Chief

Samsung Galaxy s7 The new Samsung Galaxy s7 unlocks a galaxy of technology that transform the typical smartphone experience to a whole new level. Put web browsing, apps, games and more in the palm of your hand with a bigger and more stunning screen that completes the Galaxy’s overall slimmer design. With its 12.0MP camera and microSD card slot for up to an extra 256GB memory, capture tons of content like a professional with dual-pixel technology, offering faster autofocus and low light sensor, and store it all in one place. Combine its water resistancy, longer lasting battery, and expandable memory and you have a device that’s more than a smartphone. The galaxy s7 comes in 32GB and is available in black onyx or gold platinum (colors). $672.00

9.7 inch iPad Pro Although it's considered a tablet, the newly introduced IPad Pro surpasses the power of a traditional PC. Powered by an A9x third-generation chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the new IPad Pro is the most advanced portable computer that our world has yet to offer. With a 5MP FaceTime HD camera, 12MP iSight camera, and M9 coprocessor the tablet features the most advanced Multi-Touch Retina (diagonal) display. In addition to, the portable electronic is only 6.1 mm thin, weighing less than a pound, and includes Touch ID and Apple Pay; a feature that is included in the IPhone 6 and IPhone 7. Add the pixel-perfect Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard- items each sold separately- to transform the already advanced IPad Pro into a more capable, versatile, and portable tablet. $599.99-$699.99

XBOX One S This holiday season, gift a gamer’s dream with the newly refurbished XBox One S. The new station features 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray, a High Dynamic Range (HDR), 40% smaller console, and up to 2TB (terabyte) of storage. Enhanced content streaming transforms the XBox One S from a gaming console to the ultimate all-in-one entertainment system. $299.00 Playstation VR Discover a new world of immersive gaming and entertainment experiences with the Playstation VR. The Playstation VR is a virtual reality head-mounted display developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. 3D audio technology makes sounds sharper and clearer while an advanced display makes the virtual environment feel incredibly lifelike. $399.99 Beats Solo2 Wireless An update to an iconic earphone, Powerbeats3Wireless Earphones feature up to 12 hours of battery life. Add in Fast Fuel, which offers an hour of playback after one 5-minute charge, and these water-resistant wireless earphones are ready to fuel any activity at a moment’s notice. $199.95


Treat Yo Self This Holiday Season Christopher Nappi and Ainsley McCormick Satff Writer and Social Media Chair

As families, friends, and loved ones come together to enjoy the holidays, the stress of making a meal that all will enjoy also ensues. These holiday snacks are delicious, easy, and loved by all. Enjoy these treats with a group of friends in all but one easy and scrumptious bite. These recipes are the ideal treats to share this holiday season.

Christmas Reindeer Brownies: INGREDIENTS • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pans • 1 1/2 cups sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 3 large eggs • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 teaspoon fine salt • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder • 2 cups regular semisweet chocolate chips • small chocolate-flavored candy chews, such as Tootsie Rolls • red or brown candy-coated chocolates, such as M&M's • mini vanilla wafer cookies • mini marshmallows • mini semisweet chocolate chips • mini peppermint candy canes DIRECTIONS Graphic By: Nicole Mercadal 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans. 2. Stir together the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Stir in 1 cup of the regular chocolate chips and divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. 3. Use your fingers to shape each half into a shape for the reindeer's ears and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining regular chocolate chips for 20 seconds. 4. Use a dab of the melted chocolate to stick a red candy-coated chocolate onto each of the vanilla wafers to make noses and set aside. 5. Cut each mini marshmallow. Insert one mini chocolate chip, pointed-side down,, cut side of each marshmallow piece to make eyes and set aside. 6. As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, sprinkle the top of each brownie round evenly with half of the remaining regular chocolate chips and let stand until the chips melt, about 5 minutes. Spread the chocolate. 7. Cut each circle into 8 equal triangles with a knife. 8. For the ears make two holes on the top of the head and stick in both candy canes. Cornbread: INGREDIENTS • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal • 2 1/2 cups milk • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon salt • 2/3 cup white sugar • 2 eggs • 1/2 cup vegetable oil DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand for 5 minutes. After, grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. 3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Ready in: 15 minutes


Graphic By: Nicole Mercadal



aintaining a Christmas budget is diffi In order to have a debt and stress free Chri the items you buy by making it easier to see for other gifts well…less tempting! The next step is seeing how comfortable yo part is always knowing when to stop at your sit around until next Christmas comes- this “I think it depends on the person to determ I find it easy if I have a list and preplan, it shouldn’t spend,” says freshman Leonardo A When buying gifts for friends and family, m a present to. Keeping it short and simple h and friends or neighbors should follow. Remember that original budget you made son on the list you made to know how much a budget for each person can help you reach left over. “I believe people can maintain a decent Ch idea would be a shopping list with names adding up the total of each gift you plan to g a good budget range”, says sophomore Chri Which store you choose to shop in plays a that some shops sell more expensive items those you’re buying the gift for should als buying that gift. This type of organization c mas budget. Having a plan beforehand and making a lis presents for loved ones. This budget doesn’ wish to purchase for the upcoming holidays

Most M



“ hen I was younger I asked my paren first IPhone 4. That was my most memorab my maturity was concerned, and I could no “It hasn't happened to me where I ask for a g be my first car. It was a retired crown Vic po me, but a week later it broke down and we s freedom.” - Anthony Madera, senior. “My group of friends got me this Build-Ait Star Wars themed, a franchise I adore. Th A-Bear. For me, it's the thought and effort t “It always happens on Christmas where I g gifts. I usually get mad or sad but won't say thankful. Maybe the person buying you a gif I’m not fond of I have to remind myself th those always end up being the best gifts, the

Christmas shopping dilemmas?

Florencia Azcurra Satff Writer

ficult considering all the sales and holiday cheer stores give off. istmas, simply begin with a budget! Having a budget can limit ee what your options are. This also makes all those temptations

ou are with spending and prioritizing your expenses. The tricky ur limit price. Only buy stuff you know you'll use and that won't s is a huge factor when maintaining your budget. mine whether it’s easy or not to maintain a budget. Personally, t allows me to shop without worrying how much I should and Acosta. make sure to create a list of every person you would like to give helps. People like parents or siblings should always come first

e? Now make an additional and secondary budget for each perh you’re spending on each gift for that specific person. Creating ch your budget and you could probably even have extra money

Christmas budget by being organized and having a plan. A good of those people who you want to buy special things for, and get, so you know how much the price will be and give yourself ristina Velasquez. a big role in how to maintain a Christmas budget, considering s than others. The list you made before that has the names of so have what gift you are buying for them and where you are can help anyone stay on a steady pace in reaching their Christ-

st makes it not only easier but also simpler for buying affordable ’t only go for presents, but for anything else you or your family s!

Graphic By: Justin Pierce


Sweater Weather Down South

Maria Acosta-Rubio

Paolo Barrera

Clubs Edtor

nts for some video games. Instead, they surprised me with my ble gift because it was a big turning point in my life, as far as ow socialize with my friends easier.” – Chad Epps, sophomore gift and get a different one. But my most memorable gift has to olice car. It was my brother’s first car and it got passed down to sold it to a scrap yard so that was a memorable week of limited

-Bear for my birthday. It was amazing because they had made hey had picked up on the fact that as a kid I never had a Buildthat really made that gift memorable.” - Monica Kan, senior get a gift I don’t want, so I think those are my most memorable y or show anything. I mean at the end of the day you have to be ift didn't have the money, you know? Whenever I get something hat there's people who don't get anything. To be honest I think he ones you don't expect.” – Kelly Gonzalez, junior.

Graphic By: Justin Pierce

Staff Writer


s autumn slowly transitions into winter, temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere drop, cold winds start to blow, and the holiday spirit starts to set in. In South Florida though, a realization of winter comes from multiple 60 degree days or simply a glance at the calendar. Up north, winter weather calls for thick coats and gloves to handle the freezing snow. The sunshine state’s temperature hasn’t dipped into the negatives since Tallahassee experienced -2 degrees Fahrenheit in 1899, and because of this, a South Florida winter typically means “sweater weather”. With that said, there are some exceptions in the form of Floridians that layer on coats and sweaters; trendy winter wear in South Florida is often light compared to fashion in other states. In addition to chilly temperatures in schools, meteorologists are predicting that temperatures outside will drop as well. This normally means the black charter sweaters, long sleeve polos, and long khaki pants become a more frequent sight around campus along with school colored cardigans, hoodies, and long sleeve class shirts. Since it doesn’t get as cold down in Florida as it does in other places, some students take on the 50-70 degree weather with shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt. “I can handle the drop in temperature, so I stick to the shorts and t-shirts I’ve been wearing throughout the other seasons,” said sophomore Sebastian Sevilla. Unlike Sebastian, some guys transition to longer tops, like sweaters and baseball tees, and longer bottoms, like the popular Adidas pants and jeans. Thick socks and jackets come in handy during the winter season as well. Cooler weather calls for you to spend more time inside, you can throw on your college hoodies and a pair of joggers. On the other side of the gender spectrum, however, the wardrobe of the female students doesn’t change as much either. Similar to the guys, winter fashion just means an extension in clothes’ length and coverage. “Now that sweater weather is coming, my wardrobe has changed from shorts and crop tops to long sleeves and pants. Just because this is South Florida, it’s still going to be hot by noon,” said junior Maria Amon. Female winter fashion sees the expansion of the popular Adidas pants, the social media famous, fuzzy socks, and the wide variety of PINK apparel. Just because South Florida’s winter season doesn’t dip as low as it does in the snow states, properly staying warm is a Floridian priority as well. On campus, school colored apparel is a must until the thermometer hits under 60 degrees, in which dress code appropriate wear is allowed. Off campus, short shorts and tank tops won’t be able to hold off the cold breeze that comes during winter time, therefore exposing skin isn’t advisable. Bundling up is different for everyone, but a warm jacket, or sweater of moderate thickness, is normally all it takes to take on cooler weather. Elsewhere in the nation, UGG boots and gloves get slipped on, as well as knit beanies and layers of warmers to battle the snow. Inhabitants of the Sunshine State get the advantage of warm Florida sunlight, therefore a lesser need to hide in a band of winter weather apparel. So as the temperature in the nation drops, South Floridians prepare for sweater weather.


Editorial: Student’s


he entire process of the 2016 presidential election, including the nasty, vicious campaigning, the results of the Electoral College and popular vote, as well as the split reaction so-called ‘politicians’ and their passionate supporters, the media’s inaccurate predictions of the outcome of both the Presidency and the Congress, and now even riots protesting the p the country. The radical right is ecstatic, while the more moderate right feels these results are justice for being shunned and belittled for their conservative beliefs by the more radica against one another.

Why Trump’s America Might Not Be So Great Elizabeth Garrison Freelance Writer

History is like a pendulum, and I believe that our country just took a swing backwards. Our country has made great strides towards progress over the last eight years from electing the first black president, to legalizing gay marriage, to securing health care for millions of Americans. As a proud young Democrat, I was beyond excited for my generation to witness the continuation of this tremendous progress by electing the first woman president. But as the results came in and I listened to Donald Trump’s acceptance speech, my dreams were shattered. Regardless of your politics, you cannot deny that Donald Trump ran his campaign on marginalizing and ridiculing hardworking Americans due to their race, gender, sexuality, disability, or ethnicity. Whether you believe he will actually act upon these offensive sentiments or not, he was rewarded for perpetuating bigotry with the presidency. He did not win the election in spite of his ignorant comments; he won because of his ignorant comments, and our generation will have to deal with the consequences. For the first time, we got to witness and comprehend the entirety of the political process. From social media, to political mudslinging, to boots on the ground political activism, we saw the full extent of what drives a flourishing democracy and the challenges of transitioning power from one party to another. But we also saw the devastating impact the election results had within our own communities. The morning after the election, I embraced my Muslim, Hispanic, African-American, and LGBTQ friends with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart. They no longer felt safe in their own country; democracy had failed to protect them. I felt shocked, frightened, and powerless. With a Republican president, Republican majority in the Congress and Senate, and Supreme Court nominations up for grabs, I fear that the checks and balances that are so essential to the function of our government will no longer exist. Some argue that the government will work properly now that everyone agrees, but effective policy isn’t about agreement; it’s about compromise and accountability to the American people. Donald Trump’s vision to “Make America Great Again” brings up the question: great for whom? Women who want control over their own bodies? Immigrants seeking a path to citizenship? Future victims of senseless gun violence? Not so great for them. Right now there is no clear mechanism to ensure that minorities will be protected and heard in Washington. In the economy, the government is supposed to serve as a moderator by ensuring that businesses remain fair and Picture By: Justin Dourvetakis competitive and that the basic needs of the people are met when capitalism fails to address them. However, Trump’s priority is to build an economy that works for the top one percent, not for the working class. Trickledown economics and cutting taxes for the wealthy with the false hope that it wil stimulate job growth led to the economic recession in 2008. Trump plans on implementing these same policies and ignoring the severe economic consequences. Finally, Trump’s dismissive attitude is a huge concern for me. If he doesn’t respect or agree with someone, he refuses to work with them, ignores their opinion, and resorts to persona attacks. An effective president takes into account multiple perspectives and rationally thinks through the different alternatives rather than only accepting ideas that reaffirm their own close-minded narrative. Trump has a skewed sense of reality and lacks proper judgment. He believes that global warming is a hoax, although it is one of the most pressing issues tha needs to be addressed in order to protect the environment and our children’s future. He labels Syrian refugees as terrorists when in fact they are victims who have been screened by over 200 different organizations, fueling the fear that ISIS is built upon. He makes one false statement after another, only to deny it later on. He has yet to earn my trust and my respect, but my hope is that he will surprise me and be capable of effectively executing the duties of Commander-In-Chief. But as of right now, highly doubt it. While I am not happy with the results of the election, I believe we should set our differences aside to support our new president. If this election has taught me anything it’s that love does not always trump fear and hatred, but we must continue to fight for what we believe in. It is only a matter of time before the pendulum swings forward again, and our voices are heard.



Business M

Anti-Trump Protests Following the 2016 election, protests haves plagued the nation. Those who oppose President elect Donald Trump have taken to the streets, as well as social media to voice their opinions. Demonstrations in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have continued following the outcome of the election, as people express fears of bigotry and violence towards minorities. Protesters are upset about Trump’s views on the topics of health care, the environment, and LGBT rights, among other things. (CNN)

Denver Becomes First U.S. City to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Results on November 15th confirm that Denver’s ballot on the allowance of social marijuana use at certain businesses has passed. The measure will require businesses, such as cafes, yoga studios, art galleries, and bars to acquire city-issued permits to create consumption areas. However, before businesses start applying for permits the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses must develop rules and regulations for the system. (Fox News)

Bill to Kill E

Democratic duced a new bill on No mine the winner of the on the popular vote. College is an outdated that needs to be change Americans that their v unlikely that Boxer’s b quires two-thirds majo sentatives and Senate With a Republican cong to pass through the legi

Stance On Trump

mong Americans after Trump’s victory, all show truly just how divided our country is. Controversial comments and scandals, straight-up hatred and disrespect, name-calling between ident-elect have all contributed to how much of a mess this election really has been. The left is heartbroken, shocked, disappointed, but above all, concerned and scared for the state of embers of the left. Though we are clearly moving forward as a society and a country, the political parties that our first president warned us of continue to divide us and turn Americans

Point-Counterpoint: Trump Won Big League Ryan Pujols Freelance Writer

A reality TV star with no political experience beat someone who has spent the last forty years of their life trying to become president. Think about that for one second; that is how big of a failure Hillary Clinton really is. This, of course, is just one of the many colossal failures that the Democratic Party suffered in this election cycle. The Democrats lost the majority in not only the House but in the Senate as well. Republicans run the country, and it is a Democrat nightmare. As a Republican in a liberal society, it's been hard to deliver my message because the moment you disagree with someone, you're labeled a racist, homophobic, islamophobic bigot. That's what they call you when logic and facts aren't on their side. They also tell you that if you succeed at anything in your life, it must be because of some faceless benefit called white privilege. The party of “tolerance” isn't very tolerant if you disagree with them. My belief that the reason Trump won was because maybe all of the non-racist, non-homophobic, non-islamophobic people in the country got sick and tired of being labeled as oppressors and decided to vote for the opposite of the Democrat candidate. Typical of a liberal response, all of the sore losers took to the streets to protest the results of the election. I have yet to understand the purpose of the protest because Trump won fair and square. The protestors and the #notmypresident movement members are all hypocrites; these are the same people who said that Trump saying he might not accept the results of the election will put our Republic at risk and should make him disqualified. When Republicans lost in 2008 and 2012 we didn't block traffic, burn American flags, and protest down the street; we went to the booth and had our say there. We acted as adults, unlike the cry babies who need therapy dogs because they can't fathom the results of the election and can't believe that their sub-par, crooked criminal-like candidate lost. Republicans believe in Americanism, not globalism. Why shouldn't America always come first? We are not there to hold the world's hand when there is a problem. Republicans also don't want a president who apologizes to our enemies and bows to our allies. We believe that Obama is a weak leader and that Trump is the antithesis of that. “Redistribution of wealth” as Hillary nicely puts it is just another name for socialism. Nobody has the right to take someone's hard earned money and give it to someone else who doesn't work as hard. If you earned it, then you should be able to keep it. The left’s brilliant idea of higher taxes on the people who employ others has led to many jobs being cut in order to keep the same levels of profit. Because of Obama’s genius plans, the national debt has doubled to $17 Picture By: Justin Dourvetakis trillion and the US is nearing the point of no return. Trump, with his prestigious business background, is the only person with a chance to bring us out of this hole that Obama has so gladly put us in. Donald Trump believes in maintaining the right to bear arms. In case people forgot, the right to bear arms isn't there to allow you to protect yourself against the common criminal (although most people use it for this reason), it is there to allow you to defend yourself against a tyrannical government. The founding fathers were genius in the way that they wrote the constitution; even though Democrats would like to disagree. The same Democrats who are protesting the results of the election, are the ones that helped propel the rise of Donald Trump. Trump is the response to the politically correct, triggered, safe spaced, micro aggressed, progressive society that the liberals have proudly made. Instead of campaigning for Trump in 2020 by protesting in the streets, come together as Americans and make amends with those with whom you disagree with. If America has any chance of surviving the hole that Obama has put us in, it is time to come together and mend the deep, divisive wounds.

d Review



- Content

ctoral College

nator Barbra Boxer intromber 15th that can deteresidential election based iming that the Electoral nd undemocratic system Boxer hopes to guarantee counts. This aside, it is will be passed, as it rein the House of Reprethree-quarters of states. s, the bill will be difficult ive branch. (CNN)

Army Corps Considering Rerouting Dakota Access Pipeline

Venezuelan Opposition Drops Trial against President Maduro

President Obama claims the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline, costing over $3 billion. The project would stretch across four states and change the landscape of the U.S. oil supply. This news presents itself amid months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, as well as members of Native American nations. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the Corps, claiming the changes would not only threaten the economic and environmental well-being of the tribe, but also damage the significant historic, religious, and cultural sites. (CNN)

The opposition-led National Assembly announced in November that it will suspend the symbolic trial against Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. The opposition also canceled anti-government marches in an effort to ease the country’s political crisis. The charges against Maduro are based on the idea that he has neglected his presidential duties. (Euronews)



Great Barrier Reef: Dead or Dying? Amanda Rodriguez Satff Writer


he Great Barrier Reef of Australia is the world’s largest coral reef system and both a scientific wonder and a beautiful landmark for tourists. Unfortunately it may not be around for much longer. Headlines incorrectly pronounced the reef “dead” and the news quickly spread throughout social media. Many people started mourning for the reef, wishing they saw it before it was gone; others were just shocked that such an amazing ecosystem “no longer existed.” With the media going crazy over such terrible news, scientists and fishermen in the Pacific area were met with confusion. The reef is not actually “dead” yet, but it is in fact in serious trouble. The reefs between Townsville and Lizard Island were being observed by a group of researchers, and the results left them very concerned. Professor Baird, one of the researchers said, “There is a slim chance that the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef could rejuvenate” (cnn. com). What they found out was that about 80-100% of the coral is now lifeless without colour. The reason the coral looks like this is also the main reason for its major health decline, coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when there are abnormal environmental conditions resulting in the symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae (tiny photosynthetic algae that give coral its colour), to be expelled leaving the coral colourless and dead. There are other factors such as black band disease, water clarity, temperature, and people not being cautious of the reef like for example, cruise ships running into it, pollution, etc ( The death rate is in a fast incline, while the birth rate is in decline for these delicate organisms. Other reefs are being affected as well, like the ones in Florida. “I have been going on the boat ever since I was little and I love looking at how beautiful the coral is, and I hoped to one day be able to go and see the Great Barrier Reef, but now I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to,” said Junior Kelsey Tomey. The coral can recover if the temperature drops to a one that is more suitable for the algae to come back into the coral, but that would mean citizens, researches, and fishermen need to take action to save this struggling ecosystem. It would takes decades for the coral to recover and if it were to recover a big change would need to happen real soon, but since that is unlikely to occur the coral might as well be pronounced dead. Mr. Kapela, our school’s AICE Marine teacher said, “Because the conditions for even the healthy parts are not good, it makes it even harder for the damaged part to regrow and come back to life. My grandchildren won’t be able to see much of any coral due to the fact that it is too little too late.” For our future generations’ sake, we need to truly become aware of our footprint on this earth. Human damage to nature has only gotten worse and we have to make a drastic change because the devastation we have caused and continue to cause every day is almost irreversible.

Graphic By: Katie Perez


Graphics By: Nicole Mercadal


Remembering Zoe McGowans, Charter Starter Nadira Danticat Managing Editor


Never Forget Zoe: PPCHS came together in this difficult time in rememberance of Zoe. Picture By: Aijah Harper

n October 24, 2016 the Charter family was shocked by the loss of beloved freshman Zoe McGowans. Born in 2002, Zoe was cherished immensely by her friends and family. Her love and warmth was always tangible. Though she was only at the high school for a short time, she had been a member of the Charter family for all of her life so the news of her passing sent shockwaves and sorrow to many campuses throughout the city. A lover of anime and One Piece in particular, Zoe was an accomplished artist. She regularly drew and painted every night. Her sketchbook was filled with everything from flowers to her favorite anime characters. Art aside, she also loved Cupcakke, a rapper from Chicago, and playing Zelda and Super Smash Bros on Wii U with her sister Aja. “She always went on walks too. She’d sit in a little park in front of the neighborhood and sometimes I’d see her and sit with her if I was driving home,” said Aja. Zoe is survived by her parents Raymond and Johann McGowans, her sister Aja, and her beautiful cat Bubby, as well as numerous family members. A GoFundMe account ( has been set up by the family to fund the Zoe McGowans One Piece Foundation. The family requests anyone to donate any monetary value possible because even the smallest amount can help and make the difference. Although her time here was short, Zoe will always be thought of in loving memory as the quiet girl with an oversized sweatshirt and beautiful soul.

EDITORIAL: Fidel Castro - Gone but Unforgiven Victoria Max Freelance Writer


t’s not often times a death is celebrated, but the death at question here is the death of a brutal dictator. The death of a man who oppressed his very people for nearly five decades. The death of a man who regularly used firing squads, a man who held political prisoners, and a man who established concentration camps- camps he put the very people of his country in. A man who separated and tore apart families. Fidel Castro isn’t a humble leader or an activist for equality, he isn’t a man who should be glorified for the life he lived. Fidel Castro should be remembered for the monster he proved to be. After Castro’s death, many people on the left, even some Cubans, have chosen to come out and speak, speak on the so-called “good” he’s done. They’ve mentioned how Cuba’s literacy rate has never been so high, how Fidel improved public health care, and how he sent aid to numerous countries abroad. But what those people won’t tell you is how Cuba’s literacy rate is nothing but a number, and how students are forced to go to school and study a specific subject so they can be placed in a specific job - a job they have no say in choosing. They don’t tell you that the people they force to become lawyers and doctors are also forced to devote their life to working for the Cuban government. They also forget to mention that students must be cleared by the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution before they are allowed to take any university entrance examinations. Students demonstrating good political standings in relation to their Communist beliefs receive a letter of approval allowing them to take college entrance exams, while students with a “poor” political standing may be “blacklisted” from furthering their education. Not only are the Cuban people forced to adhere to an immoral ideology to get into school, but after they do they have no say or choice in what they can do with their education. People speak of the healthcare Castro pushed, but forget to mention the horror show that are Cuban hospitals. The hospitals are bare, not even stocked with essentials such as blood pressure machines and sanitary needles. In George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece Animal Farm, the idea that “all animals are equal” is soon changed to “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This is also true of the Cuban healthcare system. The healthcare system is not some masterpiece rooted in equality. Sure healthcare is free, but medication? It’s costly and scarce and the majority of the Cuban people rely on their family members in the states for medicine as basic as Advil. The doctors are underpaid, the system is unequal, and the hospitals are horrific. But at least they can take credit for having a low infant mortality rate, right? Wrong -the regime is very keen on keeping infant mortality down, knowing that the rest of the world looks to this statistic as an indicator of the general health of a country. Cuban doctors are instructed to pay particular attention to prenatal and infant care and a woman’s pregnancy is closely monitored (The regime manages to make the necessary equipment available when it suits their needs). If there is any sign of abnormality, any reason for concern — the pregnancy is “interrupted.” That is the ongoing euphemism for abortion. The abortion rate in Cuba is sky-high, perversely keeping the infant-mortality rate down to use statistics to hide the truth from the outside world. So even though Castro’s own country suffered and starved under his regime, he didn’t forget to send aid to other countries- ensuring his political ties were strong just in case he ever needed to call on his friends in Russia or North Korea to further push his communist agenda. For any single person to come forth and praise Fidel Castro for any of the “good” he's done for the country of Cuba is a blatant disrespect to the millions STILL suffering under the regime and the Cuban people as a whole. May the Cuban people continue to celebrate the demise of a monster and may the country of Cuba move forward with the hopes of one day again being the free, beautiful country they were before communism and the Castro Regime destroyed the lives of millions. Graphic By: Katie Perez


The CHAT December issue 2016-17 issue # 4  

The CHAT Special Holiday Edition, Pembroke Pines Charter High School

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