Page 1

Autism: Putting the Pieces Together at PPCHS Pages 21-25

Student Life



A Burst of Color on Campus: U Building gets a Makeover

Past Charter standout athletes: Where are they now?

Blackfish: Dark Secrets Hidden in Shallow Waters

Pages 3-4

Pages 17-18

Pages 26-27

The C.H.C. Staff Joshua Alleman Editor-in-Chief Melissa Sullivan Editor-in-Chief Victoria Alvarez Assistant Editor-in-Chief Jake Dreilinger - Layout Kyle Moss-Solomon - Video Managing Editors Chatter Daily News Maria Bozo Web Managing Editor Business Manager Mr. R. Simon - Layout Mr. F. Fagen - Content Mr. R. Simon - Video Advisers Mr. P. Bayer Principal

Jake Dreilinger News Editor Chelsie Ramos Student Life Editor Anthony Kelleher Technology Editor

Table of Contents

Student Life..............................................................................3,4,5

A Burst of Color on Campus............................................................................4

By The Grade 9th.....................................................................6,7 Freshmen Take on PPCHS Clubs.....................................................................7

By The Grade 10th...................................................................8,9 FCAT is ‘Write’ Around the Corner...................................................................9

By The Grade 11th...............................................................10,11 Juniors Gear Up for the College Tour...............................................................11

Chelsi Chang Entertainment Editor Troy Bottom Sports Editor Gabriela Garcia Features Editor

By The Grade 12th...............................................................12,13 Seniors Spread their Wings and Get Ready to Fly................................................13

Looghermine Claude Lifestyle Editor Andrea Bellorin Clubs Editor Alexys Nowak Proof-reader Carli Stander Photo Editor Armando Urena Graphics Editor Carmen Pettersen Cartoonist CONTENT STAFF: Brett Alayon, Matthew Deno, Tyra Green, Shakayla Lee, Maribel Maignan, Aaliyah Pasols, Melissa Pierce, Lauren Ramirez, Nicholas Rivera

Clubs & Electives............................................................14,15,16

Annual Talent Show will Dazzle the Crowd.......................................................15

Sports.................................................................................17,18,19,20 Where are they Now?..................................................................................18

Features.......................................................................21,22,23,24,25 Austism: Putting the Pieces together at PPCHS...............................................22-25

LAYOUT STAFF: Troy Bottom, Emily Deese, Jacob Morgenstern, Fernando Plata PHOTOGRAPHY STAFF: Peter Dourvetakis, Rebecca Gonzalez, Jonathan Harris, Alexis Monge-Rodriguez, Sydney Silverberg, Juan Tellez

Lifestyle.................................................................................26,27,28 Blackfish: Dark Secrets Hidden in Shallow Waters...............................................27

GRAPHIC STAFF: Matthew Perez, Daniel Vidal CHAT VIDEO NEWS STAFF: Christopher Fernandez, Matthew Fernandez, Andres Gonzalez, Genesis Vesco

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 Instagram: @thechatnews 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

News............................................................................................29,30 Saving Our Schools: What it’s all About...........................................................30

Entertainment.....................................................................31,32,33 Selfie Olympics: the Modern Games of 2014......................................................32

Technology..........................................................................34,35,36 Which One are you Rooting 4: Console Wars.....................................................35


Chelsie vs. Chelsi:......................................................................................37

Letters to the Editor.............................................................38,39

Letters to the Editor:................................................................................38-39

A burst of color on campus: U building takes on a new look Continued on page 5...

Inside Student Life...

Student Government President takes on the White House

Prom prep preliminaries

Senior gives back during the Season of Giving

Student Life January 2014


A burst of color on campus: U building takes on a new look


Cultural Division Public Art and Design Program selected Suzi K. Edwards to transform the theatre into something beautiful. “It was the most complicated project I have ever done” said Edwards in a recent interview with the SunSentinel. Edwards describes art as a challenge, “for me, art is an adventurous exploration into image and technique. I love the chalKings and Queens: The new artwork on U Building features various and colorful lenges of mixing designs, including royalty. Photo by: Rebecca Gonzalez media and creStrolling into school Monday morning ating something exciting and new” (Sufrom a long winter break, students were Her work doesn’t stop surprised by the new burst of color that in Pembroke Pines, she has designed for rocked our campus. U building which is the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo also known as the Suzan B. Katz Theatre, Florida, The John & Rita Lowndes Shakeunderwent a large transformation dur- speare Center in Orlando and many more. ing winter break that replaced the salmon The theatre mural is just one more piece colored concrete walls with colorful tiled added to the list of many artworks she has mosaics. The new installation titled “All created. “I like it, the mosaic highlights the perthe World’s Stage” was designed by artist Suzi K. Edwards of West Palm Beach and forming arts side of our school, it gives our makes the home of the jaguars an art stage campus a little excitement,” says sophomore Jayson Benjamin. The mural is filled for the whole city to see. After finalists submitted their ideas to with life and color, looking closely you enhance the theatre entrance, the Broward can see bits of your childhood. Edwards’s

main goal was to depict what the theatre is as closely as she could. She grabbed her inspiration from The Wizard of Oz as you see Dorothy and Toto traveling along the yellow brick road. Other pieces of the mosaic were also inspired by “The Mikado” and jazz performers. It took two years of planning and deciding on a design that would fit the setting of the theatre as well as represent it. “The concept is very interesting, I love the stars on the pillars,” says the drama teacher Mrs.Kidd, who calls the River of Grass theatre her second home. On Saturday January 11th, 2014 a ribbon cutting took place at 1:30 p.m. at the Suzan B Katz theatre to celebrate the new theatrical glass mosaic that brightens up the walls of the theatre. Following the ribbon cutting, Pembroke Pines Theatre of Performing Arts (PPTOPA) celebrated its Twenty Year Anniversary with a Gala beginning at 2:00 p.m., where fifty percent of the tick- Look closely: The U building makeover has designs based off of the ets sales were donated to Relay famous movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. Photo by: Rebecca Gonzalez for Life of Pembroke Pines. The multi-colored pattern is the final prod- Pembroke Pines. It symbolizes creativity, uct of a 10-year plan to incorporate public inspiration and visual art, and will live on art at the theatre; the $100,000 art project to be a major staple in our community. is an important feature of PPCHS and all of

Prom prep preliminaries begin to picture themselves looking a certain way. The thought of wearing For four years, the Class of 2014 has an- a beautiful gown is really growing on ticipated May 17th, 2014. After seeing many of the senior girls, causing many countless pictures from past students and to start a healthy diet to prepare for the hearing numerous stories about students’ anticipated dance. once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the senior “Don’t get me wrong, I love my body, class has patiently waited for this night to but I want to make sure I’m in the best arrive. As the days go by faster and May shape for prom. I want to be comfortcomes nearer, seniors are beginning to pre- able and happy, so changing my eating habits to much healthier foods and adding more exercise into my schedule will help me get to my desired look. It’s all about feeling good in your own skin,” said senior Natasha Chew. Some of the foods that Chew has added in her diet have been salmon, nuts, and different types of salads. For example, instead of using salad dress- Famous PPCHS “promposal”: Last year, this memorable “promproal” set the bar high for all future PPCHS jags ing, which can sometimes be awaiting to ask their dates to the dance. Photo by: Natalia Cevallos heavy on a salad, she uses lemon juice. Its small changes nior Katie Giraud has already made her ap- them, such as Mr. Tux, the male jags still like such that add to a diet and pointments for morning and midday, which have time. But, one thing that has the clock make all the difference. However, leaves room for her to get ready afterwards ticking is the famous “promposals”. For years, Charter has been known for dieting is not the only thing that and to take pictures with friends before the its famous and unique “promposals”, each girls set their mind to when they dance. With appointments being made, another one getting better and better each year. begin to prepare for prom. Although the date might seem important factor when preparing for prom From interrupting the morning announcefar away, May 17th is approach- is dress and tux shopping. Both the male ments to pop the question, to standing in ing faster than many think. With and female jags have already begun their the middle of a pep rally with a huge sign, this in mind, many lady jags have hunt for the best dresses and tuxedos, but and to asking in the middle of the PPCHS cafeteria, the Jaguar “promposals” are already begun to make their hair, not many have made final purchases. makeup, and nail appointments “I’ve already started to look at prom maga- known to be successful. Many lady jags for that Saturday morning. Places zines and search designers online to see look forward to the day when a fellow sesuch as Mac, Sephora, Macy’s, what kind of dresses I like best. Looking nior asks them to the dance, and now that Dress shopping: Class of 2014 senior girls begin to look through Dillard’s and many more are alat all my choices and marking down what I the days are dwindling down, the time has magazines for prom dress ideas. Photo by: Rebecca Gonzalez like gives me a better idea of what to look finally arrived. It’s officially “promposal” ready beginning to fill up spots. pare for one of the top events of their last “I decided to make my appointment early for when I do actually go shopping for the season. As the countdown to Prom 2014 begins, year in high school: prom. From dieting because I didn’t want to have to worry perfect dress,” stated senior Katie Giraud. For the male jags, it’s important to start PPCHS is in for a long 5 months of dress to making appointments to shopping, the about finding a place to get everything class of 2014 is getting ready for a night done later. Even though I haven’t been looking around for tuxes, especially if and tux shopping, appointment-making, dress shopping yet, it’s calming to know planning to rent one. If a senior waits too and “promposal” planning. With so much to remember. When girls begin to picture themselves in that I am already set for my makeup and long to choose one, he might come into ahead of them, the Class of 2014 is setting their perfect prom dress, whether it be pink hair appointment. It takes a weight off my trouble with getting one. However, with so aside their college applications and picking and sequined or black and sleek, they also shoulders,” said senior Jada Hemming. Se- many months ahead and many places to get up their prom tickets. Victoria Alvarez ASSISTANT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Sofia Lalinde:

Student Government President takes on the White House Gabriela Garcia FEATURES EDITOR

While on the hunt for scholarships, Sofia Lalinde (’15) never thought that she’d stumble upon the road to the White House. This coming March, Lalinde will represent PPCHS and the state of Florida as a United States Senate Youth Delegate at our nation’s very own capital, Washington D.C. Currently in the midst of her junior year, Student Government president Sofia Lalinde figured it was time to think about her coming future and apply for scholarships. When she came upon the website for the United States Senate Youth Program, she figured she would apply for the scholarship since she met the requirements. To even be eligible, all applicants had to be a current junior or senior in high school and hold the positions of President, Vice President or Treasurer in their school’s Student Government or Student Council board. “The program is merit-based and highly competitive. I had to fill out an application that held 3 short essays,” says Lalinde. “After that, ten students of the state were selected to move up to the following round and were scheduled for an interview through Skype. Three judges from the The Florida Law Related Education Association in Tallahassee asked us eight questions addressing topics relating to politics, government, and current events.” In December, Lalinde received the exciting news that she was one of the two students from the state of Florida selected. This beaming junior was ecstatic to hear she would receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship through the Hearst Foundation as

well as the title of a United States Student Delegate. The Hearst Foundation is also paying for Lalinde to join her 104 fellow student delegates from across the country in Washington D.C for Washington Week. “During Washington Week, we’ll be hearing major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense and directors of federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and President Obama,” shares Lalinde. “Each session with elected officials includes an in-depth question and answer period. We will also be taking guided tours of different institutions such as the FBI educational exhibition, Pentagon, Capitol Building, and more.” Just as much as she’s looking forward to meeting and speaking to President Obama, Lalinde is also excited to be in the presence of other fellow student leaders who have common interests like her. PPCHS’ Student Government Association will certainly reap the benefits of having a president who spent a couple of days with other leaders across the country. Lalinde plans on bringing fresh ideas to her organization from conversing with students from across the nation. Hosting a student from USSYP is sure to bring only good things to PPCHS. Lalinde is set on not only benefiting SGA but also the entire Charter system. “I will be taking advantage of this opportunity to bring information for Save Our Schools up to D.C, where I hope to take a few minutes with the senators and the Head of the Department of Education to call attention to the situation that we Char-

SAT Scores:

portance of giving back to others but often don’t know how they can impact the lives of others. This past holiday season, Nicole Pollard had a goal of putting a smile on the faces of hundreds of homeless people throughout the South Florida area. In an attempt to give people struggling with difficult situations a break from reality, Pollard organized a service project in which students would create holiday cards for the homeless. “These people are usually too busy worrying about their living situations to feel the joy that everyone else experiences during the holidays,” Pollard said. “I went to a shelter to pass out cards, and everyone loved them. They couldn’t believe that someone had actually taken time out of their day to make something for them.” The giving senior brought together students from all grade levels to decorate and design the cards with caring messages that would brighten the moods of those struggling with difficult living situations. “It’s amazing that she [Pollard] Leaving her mark: Senior Nicole Pollard strives to make brought together so many people to design gifts for people who usually don’t a difference through her holiday card project. Photo by: Peter Dourvetakis expect to receive anything,” senior Chris Freire said. “There are so many There has been a dramatic increase in the number of homeless people throughout the country as the economy has worsened the past several years. Approximately 634,000 citizens in the United States are currently homeless. These people rely on the selflessness and care of others in their communities to help them get back on their feet. Many students at PPCHS strive to give back to the community and help those that need it most. Some do it for their own personal gain Involving the Jaguars: Pollard’s service project allowed students to while others do it for the create holiday cards for the homeless. Photo by: Alex Monge sheer joy that it brings to those in need. Se- people in our area that are homeless, we nior Nicole Pollard, former Girl Scout, has usually walk right by them without paybeen giving back to the community since ing any attention to them. By doing this, she was very young. During the holiday we are showing that someone cares; there’s season, many people remember the im- people out there who care about them.”

Lauren Ramirez STAFF WRITER

Melissa Sullivan EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Student Life January 2014

ter students are facing,” says Lalinde. “I on studying abroad for a semester or two only hope to have a positive impact. I’m and getting really involved. Though she working hand in hand with SOS to make claims the future isn’t certain, her dream the perfect presentation.” job would be to work in the United NaLalinde’s passion for international diplo- tions, giving her a chance to represent the macy and public service is what ultimately United States as a diplomat and to travel drove her to work so hard for this program. the world. Aside from attending local and national Though since her success has been makleadership suming so much mits, she has also noise, it’s hard to had hands on ignore Lalinde’s experience with modest ways. international serShe recognizes vice community. that she wouldn’t This summer, be nearly as sucLalinde vencessful without tured on a trip her loved ones. of a lifetime to “There is no India for leaderdoubt in my ship and service mind that withpurposes. Her out my mom’s understanding strong guidof the concepts ance, consistent of commitment pestering and and perseverincredible wisance are what set dom that I would her apart from not be the girl I your average am today, or be crowd. Lalinde where I am now” truly loves to she says. learn, and sets The CHAT wishvery high peres Lalinde the sonal and acabest of luck in demic standards Making her way to D.C.: Junior Sofia Lalinde became a stu- this incredible for herself. Duke dent delegate, and is now preparing to attend Washington Week journey to come. University and to meet President Obama. Photo donated by: Sofia Lalinde Make sure to any competitive make the state of college in the Northeast are at the top of Florida, Mr. President, and us proud! Lalinde’s plans for her future. She plans

Nicole Pollard:

Senior gives back during the Season of Giving


How much do they affect your future? The graphite of a number two pencil glides across the next bubble in the answer sheet as the anxious 11th grade student takes his first SAT. His foot taps nervously on the ground and his brow furrows in frustration. The pressure to succeed clouds his thoughts and images of rejection letters pop up in his mind as prominently as if they were in visible thought bubbles floating above his head. He remembers the stern words of his teachers “this test will determine your future” and the words echo through his mind like a broken record. There is one inevitable question that crosses every students mind, even if it is only for a moment: Is it all worth it? The seemingly endless nights of studying, the thousands of vocabulary words and math equations to memorize: How much do SAT scores really affect our future? SAT stands for scholastic aptitude test; the exam is designed to measure a student’s overall knowledge in order to give colleges a better idea of where a particular student is academically. Although it can be argued that the test is not an accurate representation of a particular student’s knowledge or academic ability, it is a wellknown fact that colleges regard the scores as such. “The system is so twisted” complains sophomore Andrew Walters, “colleges don’t see you as a person; they see you as a number: your SAT score.” Although many students throughout the nation feel this way, the Huffington Post reports another perspective on the subject. According to the Post, many colleges are starting to put less of an emphasis on the SAT scores. Well regarded colleges such as New York University (NYU) are allowing students to omit their SAT scores from their application so long as they replace the score with that of an IB, AP, or other comparable standardized test. “Generally speaking, the SAT is not very important,” Marilyn McGrath, director of undergraduate admissions at number one ranked Harvard College explained to USA Today, “It helps us calibrate a student’s grades.” Several other admissions officers at top colleges expressed agreement with McGrath.

Jarrid Whitney, executive director of admissions and financial aid, told the magazine “The SAT is just one part of the entire package. It doesn’t drive our decisions.” This information leads into yet another question: If admissions directors at prestigious universities are saying the SAT isn’t as important as we are led to believe, then why do the students that get into those colleges all have amazingly high scores? A possible answer to this question was brought forth by sophomore Max Pfau, “It’s simple: even when admissions officers are only looking at things like class rank and GPA, those who get in just based on that are going to be smart. The high SAT scores just go right along with it.” “I don’t think kids should stress as much about SAT scores as they usually do” says sophomore Emily Marin “they can always see where they need improvement and retake the test after studying in those areas.” This is another thing to consider when thinking about SATs. With SAT Score Choice, a student can take the SAT as many times as they would like and only release the scores they want colleges to look at. This takes some of the pressure off the student because they can now take the SAT to get a feel for the test and see how they can improve and then retake it to get a higher score once they know how to better prepare for the exam. “SAT scores are meaningless” declared senior Dymin Richardson, “they might help you get into a good college, but they in no way reflect your actual intelligence.” As it turns out, many students feel this way. Many students feel that SAT scores are labeling students either “smart” or “not smart”. “Most of the juniors are freaking out over SATs, but they really need to relax” junior Emily Rangel says. Although every student should try their hardest to pass the SAT, it is not something that is worth the stress and anxiety piled onto each student’s shoulders by the harsh words and condescending tones of parents and teachers. “This test will determine your future” might not be something that is entirely true. So study hard test-takers, but don’t go crazy.

Page Name Month 2013


Freshmen take on the PPCHS clubs David Cha-Kim STAFF WRITER

This year’s freshmen were opened to a wide variety of clubs at the beginning of the fall semester. They were given opportunities to join student clubs and organizations that weren’t available to them in their years at middle school. The variety

of clubs at PPCHS is brand new to freshmen and the quantity of choices was overwhelming for some students. Several ninth graders had trouble deciding which club/ clubs to join and stay a part of. Many of the clubs in high school require

more commitment from the students, and need their members to be active, reliable and consistent. Some clubs are more demanding and require their students to go to more events and spend more time with the club outside of school.

Now that the second semester has rolled in, most students have a pretty decent understanding of the clubs and what they stand for. See Freshmen Clubs, Page 7

7 Freshmen take on the PPCHS clubs David Cha-Kim STAFF WRITER

By the Grade 9 January 2014

Before I graduate, I want to… Maribel Maignan STAFF WRITER

Freshmen Clubs from Page 6... Freshmen like Johanna Moise support a cepting. lot of the clubs that they’re not a part of Many high schools have students that are yet, and plan to join them next year. “I bullied due to their sexuality, and the Gay think Best Buddies is a good club because Straight Alliance does their best to ensure it gives people with special needs the op- that PPCHS is not one of those schools. portunities they deserve and a great way to The GSA gives the students of PPCHS a make friends.” chance to come together and create an alBest Buddies is a non-profit organization liance between the straight and gay comthat allows students to establish friendships munities. with those who have physical and learn- “GSA is good for our school because it aling disabilities. It helps teens with special lows students of different genders and difneeds to develop leadership qualities and ferent sexual orientations to be themselves prepares them with each other,” for the future. says freshman The most popuLJ Lemmers. lar club this year “The GSA for freshmen and makes people all other students feel more comwas Key Club. fortable about This year’s first themselves and meeting in the how people view library auditothem.” rium was the Another popular most successful club for freshin their history, men this year with an attenis DECA. Aldance too large Latin Dance Club: Freshmen Karines Ayalya-Trias and Leon- though students ardo Girardi show off their dancing talent in the Latin Dance to seat even half Club. Photo by: Juan Tellez in the ninth of the students grade have sevpresent. eral years ahead Key Club was a common club choice of them before they start their professional for freshmen because they became aware careers, it doesn’t hurt to get a head start. to the fact that every student needs forty “I think clubs such as DECA serve to inhours in order to graduate. Participating still within students the value of future in Key Club is a great way for students to planning and preparation. I plan to remain earn volunteer hours while still being able in DECA until my senior year”, says freshto spend time with their peers and help the man Tobe Osakwe. “I’ve only been in community. DECA for a small amount of time and I’ve “I think Key Club is beneficial because already learned so much. I plan to be a part it provides students an opportunity to get of DECA up until the day I graduate.” their volunteer hours while helping the DECA gives students who are interested community and its people,” says fresh- in a career with business and finance an man director of Key Club Jordan Faren- advantage by allowing them to begin planhem. “I have a great time at our events and ning their future education and careers. knowing they benefit our local community They are taught the basics and fundamenmakes them all the worth going to. I would tals of business and what they need to know like to remain in Key Club in order to con- if they one day hope to pursue their busitinue doing these events and continue to ness career. DECA also teaches students improve my skills at becoming a leader that planning for the future and can help within the club.” them to personally become more organized A controversial topic in our world today is and efficient as students and members of gay marriage and relationships. Although society. the United States and people around the Freshmen hope to be as active in clubs world are putting a lot of effort into elimi- as possible because they know that it looks nating discrimination towards the gay good on a college application, but more community, there are still hundreds of importantly because their actions can crethousands of people who aren’t comfort- ate a positive impact on the world and able with themselves because of the way themselves. they are treated by people who are unac-

High school comes with many opportunities, and there is a variety of things to choose from; whether its sports, clubs, or just getting good grades, there is plenty of time to achieve success as a student. It’s normal for the freshmen to not know what the rest of their high school careers will be like, but it seems as though some of PPCHS’ freshmen have already set their goals of what they want to complete before their four years are up. Unlike many other students, there are

can’t do that unless I practice. That’s why I want to take drama next year to help prepare me for what I’m up against when I leave Charter,” said Franky Saavedra. “I want to become a sports journalist when I’m older, so I want to join the newspaper class next year. I’m already in Journalism but newspaper will be the next step in my plan for greatness” said freshman, Camilo Grijalva. Whether it’s acting, sports, or journalism these freshmen are sure of what they want to be and the steps they need to take to make it there. Not only is school the most important thing to these students, but there are still additional nonschool relating goals waiting to be completed before these freshman graduate in four years. “I can’t wait Freshman Goals: Freshman Camilo Grijalva plans to take his skills he acquired in jour- to get a car and drive to school, nalism into newspaper for his sophomore year. Photo by Sydney Silverberg that extra hour of sleep will those who don’t just want to accomplish be heaven,” said freshman, Natalie Lausomething but instead go above and be- rent. “I want to be a DJ so I have to get a yond for their future. job preferably at Whole Foods, and work “Before I graduate, my biggest goal is to many hours so I can buy all the equipment make the varsity baseball team and get a I need,” said freshman, Javan Martinez. scholarship to a great college,” said freshThe seniors play major roles in the lives of man, Mason Feldman. Mason isn’t the some freshman also. only one who has his head in the game. “Allison Tomey, who graduated in 2012, Freshman Dorian Soto has already planned is my inspiration because she took the zoout what he’s going to do for the rest of ology class and said it was amazing, and his high school career. “Not only do I want since I want to be a veterinarian one day I to join the basketball team, but my most want to take the class also,” said freshman, important accomplishment will be to make Sydney Balester. varsity so I can hopefully get a scholarship. “My cousin Eddie is the captain of the LatYou know what they say, ‘Ball is life’, but in dance team and when he leaves I want to to me it truly is life,” said freshman, Dorian be captain, which will be my junior year,” Soto. said freshman, Leonardo Girardi. Sports are not the only thing students are There might be four years of high school focused on, but also the goals that are set left for these freshmen, but what’s four intended to help with the non-athletic as- years when it’s already planned out? These pects of their future. Some other students freshman have their goals set and now need extra help to make it after high school they’re ready to tackle each one head on too, like electives which will help them in before school ends. Whether it’s sports, what they want to be when they leave in clubs, or getting good grades; high school 2017. is full of opportunities and there is a varia“My dream is to become an actor, and I tion to choose from.

Page Name Month 2013


FCAT is ‘write’ around the corner Looghermine Claude LIFESTYLE EDITOR

Since 3rd grade teachers have been stressing the importance of every FCAT test. Weeks and even months in advance, prepa-

ration for testing starts to take place in schools. Students have to learn test taking strategies, take practice tests, and write

millions of pieces in preparation for the days ahead. With all the weight put on the FCAT in earlier years, it’s a surprise to me

that in 10th grade, I haven’t really heard much about the Writing FCAT. See FCAT on page 9...


By the Grade 10th January 2014

FCAT is ‘write’ around the corner FCAT from page 8... Looghermine Claude LIFESTYLE EDITOR

With FCAT Writing only five weeks away, sophomores have started to notice that their writing may not be up to par. With the large amount of information that sophomores need to learn during the school year,

quick techniques to help brush up on some essential skills for the test. • Plan beforehand. Once you receive your prompt, don’t start writing right away. Take a few minutes to plan out your

Preparing for FCAT: Sophomore Scott Thrasher, just like every sophomore, is preparing to take the FCAT writing test that is only five weeks away. Photo by: Peter Dourvetakis

there might not be enough time to squeeze in review on expository and persuasive essays. Even if students only have 5 minutes of free time, they can take advantage of

thesis, topic sentences, and body paragraph ideas in a simple graphic organizer. Planning can keep you focused on answering the prompt and getting all the key points

across. • Choose your word choice carefully. Word choice can either hurt or help you with your score. You might want to use ‘supercilious’ or ‘’ in your essay, but if you can’t use the word properly in a sentence, it can hurt the comprehension of your paper causing you to lose some points. On the other hand, if you can fluently and eloquently write with complicated language, you could greatly improve your score. • Use transition phrases. Try to stay away from transitions like ‘first’, ‘next’, or ‘last’, as they are elementary type words. Instead try ‘consequently’, ‘in essence’, or ‘furthermore’, to help the essay flow better. • Make sure to check your paper. If you have the time, read over you work. Double-checking your writing can help you discover spelling, capitalization, punctuation and usage errors that you might have missed when you were writing. Even with these tips, teachers should be implementing FCAT writing skills into their lesson plan. I think that a little bit of review every day could really help out a

Photo by: Peter Dourvetakis

lot. Maybe during the last 5-10 minutes of class, 10th grade English teachers could review key points about expository and persuasive essays in order to jog the memory of their students. Another helpful addition to regular teaching could be FCAT style essays to be written over the weekend by the students. I’m hoping that the school learns from this and realizes that students can’t only write analytical, synthesis, and argumentative essays if they want to pass the FCAT Writes. It may be time to implement some set weeks for FCAT Writing teaching because the students definitely need the instruction.

Inner voice of Veronica Gayoso ing classes at held various plays and musicals that allowed her to participate in. Veronica doesn’t have a favorite type of Every day, PPCHS students walk past music that she likes to sing but it’s whatcountless familiar faces in the halls of ever fits her voice best. She sings a lot of the school, yet know nothing about them. Spanish songs and has done Some may have hidden covers of Bruno Mar’s talents, weird things they “Talking to the Moon”, a lot can do with their body or of Taylor Swift songs, and maybe even have a world Maroon 5’s “Payphone”. record under their belt. A Gayoso comments, “Singlot of the Jags don’t know ing has given me the opanything about most of the portunity to meet amazing people that they see walkpeople and has given me ing through school and each the confidence to be able to day, however, every year, perform in front of others.” the annual Talent Show Her sister, Juliana, still gives students a chance to continues to take lessons see exactly what interestfor perfecting her voice and ing things that their fellow participates in all the musiclassmates can do. PPCHS cals her school has to offer, holds many students with and Veronica is continuing various talents, including to put soccer first particisinging. Sophomore Veronpating on the varsity team ica Gayoso, a known soccer and her club in West Pines. player here at PPCHS, has There are many other kept her singing talent hidstudents in all the various den for many years. grades who have secret Gayoso is part of the varsisinging talents, and most ty soccer team but she also people now post videos to has a secret singing career YouTube to showcase those that most people don’t know talents. Gayoso doesn’t about. Singing has taken up have any upcoming perfora lot of her time, and so has mances scheduled because travel soccer, so Gayoso she is taking a break from made a decision about a that part of her life, but there year ago about which she is a number of sophomores was going to choose to dedi- Gayoso’s voice: Veronica Gayoso reveals her hidden talent of singing. After keeping her talent a secret for years, Gayoso is ready to let it shine! who can sing very well and cate her time too. In the end, Photo by: Peter Dourvetakis might be performing at the she chose soccer but is still very dedicated to singing and practices whenever she has all her previous experience and all the new formers” group, which allowed her to per- upcoming talent show. If you would like lessons she was taking she decided to try form at public places like Pembroke Gar- to check out some of the hidden talent that the time for it. It all started by Gayoso’s sister, Juliana, out for a competition on a Spanish TV net- dens, Las Olas, Bayside, and many other is to be revealed at this year’s talent show who began singing with a studio group, work. She made it to the live rounds and special venues. Along with performing at come out on January 30th, 2014 and suptaking vocal lessons and performing at ended up in third place. Veronica stated, “I those public place, the studio she was tak- port your fellow Jaguar classmates. Hayley Hartwell STAFF WRITER

public places. After a year or two, at the age of ten, Veronica began taking classes and performing with her sister and they both switched to a studio that focused on acting and dancing on top of singing. With

was overjoyed to get third place because that was a big accomplishment in my singing career, after that I felt way more comfortable on the stage and with myself.” After this, she became part of the “star per-

Page Name Month 2013


Juniors gear up for the College Tour Shakayla Lee STAFF WRITER

As January begins and the weather cools, things are heating up for the PPCHS underclassmen. While seniors are readily receiving acceptance letters from their dream colleges and welcoming an upcoming change, juniors are gearing up for a trip that will guide them to a clear percep-

tion of the right college for them. As juniors approach the last leg of their high school careers, there comes a time where the search for what college campus lies within their future begins. Jumping from page to page they find themselves spending hour virtually touring their potential

universities online. In reality, a few smiling faces on the homepage of a college website with a quote that reads “I absolutely love my time here” doesn't allow for clear evidence in deciding whether that campus is one that you are willing to spend the next four years of your education

on. However, for a select group of juniors the opportunity to put down the mouse and step onto the grounds of some of Florida’s top Universities is here with the PPCHS College Tour. See College Tour, Page 11...


By the Grade 11th January 2013

Juniors gear up for the College Tour College Fair from Page 10... From January 21st to the 24th, fifty juniors will load a charter bus and explore the academic variety that campuses have to offer within the state of Florida. There will be four faculty chaperones, Ms. Ellis, Mr. Velasquez, Mrs. Calero, and Ms. Ravolo, to accompany the students on the trip. The universities that students have expressed the most interest in have been chosen, such as: Flagler College in St. Augustine, University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida State University in Tallahassee, University of Central Florida in Orlando, University of South Florida in Tampa, and Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers. The annual tour was previously ran by senior guidance counselor Mr. Greenbaum, and has now been taken over by senior English teacher and BRACE Advisor Mrs. Peacock. “Although this is my first year going on the trip, I know that actually College Tour: Last year, juniors visited the best colleges in Florida, including FSU. being on the college campus that you may have researched or have truly see if the vibe of the school matches making that big decision.” set to be your dream college does make their interests. There are certain things that The tours began the year the PPCHS first a huge difference in student’s eyes,” says students won't be able to test through a opened its doors, and with much success Mrs. Peacock. “On campus they have the computer screen such as the weather, the has continued over the years. “I’m excited ability to talk to administration on a one- size of the university, or how busy the cam- for this trip. Mrs. Peacock and I encourage on-one basis, interact with students, and pus may be which are important factors in all of the upcoming students to take advan-

tage of this opportunity when they come upon this time, and develop their own opinion about Florida universities. Choosing a college should be based off of your personal preference not the school football team, the colors or where all your friends are going,” stated Mr. Bayer. While traveling to different colleges can be a learning experience, there is no denying that the time spent is filled with good times. As whispers fill the halls with anticipation of the upcoming trip most juniors attending are sharing one emotion- excitement. “I honestly cannot wait to visit all the Florida colleges that I may end up going to and just have a great time. With the Bright Futures scholarship available for students staying in state, it’s good that I have the opportunity to see what all my options are,” stated Danny Meltzer. There’s no question that the juniors are on the path to deciding their future, and filling in the shoes of a senior in the upcoming months. The college tour will open the PPCHS juniors’ eyes to what to expect when sending out those ever important college applications.

Memories ensconced in a ring Aaliyah Pasols STAFF WRITER

Ring ceremony: Juniors’ wait to put a ring on it is over. Photo by: Rebecca Gonzalez

On January 15th, 2014, the excitement was in the air at PPCHS. As students got home after school, they began to prepare for one of the most important days of their junior year. Girls put together their final outfits and got all dazzled up to strut onstage, while guys went out to purchase their classiest shirts and shoes to glide down the stage with. And after all the shopping and preparing was done, students were on their way to the River of Grass theatre to experience a once in a lifetime ceremony. The doors to the theatre opened at 7:00 P.M, and students’ hearts raced with a mix of nervousness and anticipation. The inside of the River of Grass theatre was decorated in glamorous red and white colors, with balloons and streamers adding the finishing touches. A big inflatable ring was attached to the right entrance to the stage, serving as a kind of arc for the students to walk through. In the middle of the stage, a table was placed with balloons that bared the school colors red and white on either side. Sitting at the table were class officers: Leon Morgan, Noah Levy, Sophia Vargas, and Alexis Tolentino. Also seated

at the table was class president Mollie Bayer and Principal Mr. Bayer. Parents, siblings and teachers alike all filed in with smiles on their faces, ready to prepare for the emotional whirlwind that was the ring ceremony. As the lights dimmed and people took their seats, the night was about to begin. Leysha Caraballo kicked off the night by singing the National Anthem. Up next was Mr. Bayer as he took center stage to make a speech that would stay with Charter students for a long time. He talked about his own class ring and how he’d gotten one 30 years ago exactly on that day. He discussed the meaning of the rings and how proud everyone should be that they are able to wear one. Mollie Bayer was next up to the mic as she talked about the class of 2015. “Our class of 2015 has come a long way. I think our class has the most school spirit, so I’m proud of all of you,” class president Mollie Bayer said onstage as the crowd clapped

Morgan took turns calling up the students. Once called, students had to walk up the stairs and under the inflatable ring arc, to receive their rings, among three other objects. Students were also handed a cap and gown box, a book for classmates to sign, and red and white flowers. “I was the first one to be called Ring ceremony: Juniors class President Molly Bayer gives a speech to her fellow after the class offi- classmates. Photo by: Rebecca Gonzalez cers received their rings. It was pretty cool because they told tures with their rings and their friends, as us that when you walk under the inflatable well as going around trying to turn their ring with the ring in your hand, you au- rings. “At the end of the ceremony, it was tomatically transition from a lower class- said that there’s a tradition for class rings. man to an upper You’re supposed to go around and have classman, and 15 people turn your ring around on your become one of finger. The first 14 have to turn it towards the leaders of our your pinky finger, but the last one to turn school,” Eliza- your ring has to turn it towards your heart. beth Leal (’15) That 15th person has to be someone really said. And as stu- special to you so you can always have that dents walked onto memory attached to your ring. I chose my the stage and re- boyfriend,” junior Jessica Flores shared. After all of the rings were turned and the ceived their rings, something did memories made, students were on their seem to change. way home, with their rings hugging their There was a kind fingers tightly, and the pictures stored on of magic in the their cameras. “It was such a great night. air that everyone I was there with my parents, friends and could feel as par- girlfriend and being able to receive my ents cried, friends ring with such important people to me was laughed and a good experience. I had a lot of fun,” Reno Ring ceremony: Juniors Taylor Alfonso and Christian Puljos finally recieve their teachers congrat- Mannucci (’15). The ring serves as a capclass ring. Photo by: Rebecca Gonzalez ulated students. sule of high school years. Now these stuand hollered. It was an event that was crucial to making dents will always be able to remember the After all of the speeches, stories and junior year a memorable one. lovely times they had at PPCHS. The class laughs, it was time for the rings to be given With the rings safely secured on each rings hold friends, teachers, events, kisses, out to the excited students. Ms. Ellis hand- student’s finger, it was time for cake and laughs, tears, and of course, that undenied out the rings to the class officers, and drinks. The refreshments were courtesy able Jaguar pride. The ring ceremony will then it was time for the officers to give the of Herff Jones and were much enjoyed by definitely be one memory at PPCHS that rings to the class. Mollie Bayer and Leon everyone. Students continued to snap pic- won’t fade away.

Page Name Month 2013


Seniors spread their wings and get ready to fly Anthony Kelleher TECHNOLOGY EDITOR

As the second semester starts for all students at PPCHS, it is the beginning of the end for seniors. This will be their last semester at Charter because their journey as a high school student is approaching completion. Most seniors will be receiving their last few admissions

decisions from colleges, both in-state and out of state. Senior Deanna Alford was accepted in to Georgia Tech and says “I am so excited that I was accepted into one of my top school choices. My initial reaction was a minute of silence and then I was crying tears of joy and I

kept rereading the letter over and over again. I went to visit the campus and I fell in love with the school, atmosphere, campus life, and especially the students because the students are always willing to take challenges and I am that type of student also. I am going to be majoring in

chemical engineering but I also want to put my passion for music into my education so I may double major or minor in music. I have applied for some scholarships and I hope that Georgia Tech can be a possibility in the near future,� See College Futures, Page 13...

13 By the Grade 12th January 2013

Seniors spread their wings and get ready to fly College Futures from Page 12... As the second semester starts for all students at PPCHS, it is the beginning of the end for seniors. This will be their last semester at Charter because their journey as a high school student is approaching completion. Most seniors will be receiving their last few admissions decisions from colleges, both in-state and out of state. Senior Deanna Alford was accepted in to Georgia Tech and says “I am so excited that I was accepted into one of my top school choices. My initial reaction was a minute of silence and then I was crying tears of joy and I kept rereading the letter over and over again. I went to visit the campus and I fell in love with the school, atmosphere, campus life, and especially the students because the students are always willing to take challenges and I am that type of student also. I am going to be majoring in chemical engineering but I also want to put my passion for music into my education so I may double major or minor in music. I have applied for some scholarships and I hope that Georgia Tech can be a possibility in the near future,” Many seniors have already been accepted to some in-state schools such as FIU, UCF, FSU, and also some out of state acceptances such as Fordham University in New York, Western Carolina University, Uni-

versity of Alabama, Northeastern, M.I.T. and others. With college acceptances trickling in, the fact that the senior class of 2014 is going to be graduating soon and the flock will soon be divided is becoming a harsh reality. Seniors will be taking on different paths, in hopes of a successful future. Whatever decisions are taken by each student, one thing will be the same for all of the class of 2014; their lives will forever change after graduation. Senior Melissa Gianello says “I was recently accepted into MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and I am going to be majoring in the mechanical engineering program. MIT has been my dream school since I was 6 years old. I love the atmosphere of the school and there is great people around and I feel I would fit in very well with this school. When I first found out about my acceptance, I started crying tears of joy since all of my hard work has paid off. I haven’t committed yet because I am waiting on decisions from other schools but I am really excited about this acceptance.” Some seniors will join the military, some will go to college, some will work, and some will follow their dream, but they will all be faced with the choice of what

to do for their future. By leaving the state of Florida and moving to cities and towns all over the United States, seniors will be extending themselves out of their comfort zone. Senior Desiree Scott says, “I was accepted to the University of Alabama and I was excited and so proud that my hard work has paid off, but due to the expensive out-ofstate tuition rates I will not be attending. If possible, I encourage all seniors to apply to out of state schools or even out of this area so you can get a different experience besides that of South Florida.” Some seniors choose to remain in state because of the high cost of out of state schools and the vast opportunities available in this state such as Florida Prepaid and Bright Futures. Some seniors vie for the option of leaving South Florida but not leaving the state, to attend schools like UF, FSU, UCF, UNF, etc. Senior Briyana Valls, who recently committed to FSU says, “ I committed to FSU because I like that it is not too close to home but close enough that I can visit my family and they can come visit me. FSU has always been my dream school from the start. The medical program is excellent up there. One of the things I like about FSU is its strong school spirit amongst its stu-

dents, alumni and staff and I also love how beautiful the campus is.” FSU and other state schools are a viable option for those students who want a college experience without breaking the bank or going too far from home. As said by Dr. Seuss, “Oh the places you’ll go…” is the mantra for these soon to be graduates. As the acceptances keep rolling in, the decision on where to spend the next four years of these student’s lives becomes more and more difficult and narrowing down choices becomes more stressful. Senior Natasha Viloria is taking a big leap and moving to California after she graduates. “I am so excited to go to school at California State San Marcos, I have a ton of family that live in California. I have always wanted to go for the weather and to follow my dream of becoming a singer and actress. I expect to learn a lot and the harsh reality of a struggling artist, but I am ready for the challenge and no one and nothing is going to get in the way of my dreams. I am extremely fortunate that I am able to start living my dreams right out of high school.” Thanks to PPCHS’ great academic profile, the class of 2014 is sure to be successful no matter the path they lead, the mountains they climb and the journey they take.

Seniors travel across the U.S.

Graphic by: Armando Urena

Page Name Month 2013


Annual talent show will dazzle the crowd Aaliyah Pasols STAFF WRITER

Students flock into the theatre, all different shapes, sizes, and races, eager to have a turn onstage. The spotlight flicks on and strikes onto center stage as each person walks on and off, enjoying their time in the

limelight. Music bounces off the walls of the theatre, students sing, and kids wiggle in their seats as teams perform impressive dances. All of these students are different and unique, but surely have one thing

in common: A talent. Every year, drama club puts together one of the most anticipated events at PPCHS: The Talent Show. Any student can sign up and audition for a chance to be able to perform at the River

of Grass theatre for the annual show. Auditions for the upcoming show started on Monday, January 13th in the River of Grass theatre afterschool. See Talent Show, Page 15

Also in Clubs:

Fashion Club: Reuse and Recycle

Sophomore ready to go down in Charter history

Tagging along for a great time

Annual talent show will dazzle the crowd


Clubs January 2014

Aaliyah Pasols STAFF WRITER

Talent Show from page 14... The talent show features a wide variety of acts, but the most popular tend to be dancing, singing and acting. However, there are always a few surprises up Drama’s sleeve, and some performers really stand out and shock the crowd. Regardless of the “wow factor”, each student puts their all into it and rehearses determinedly to be able to pull off the best show that they can. It’s a show worth seeing because all of Charter’s true stars will be there showing the audience what they’ve got! The ticket sale price is $5 and the profits will go to the Drama class and club to help pay for this year’s big musical. Currently, Drama is gearing up for the big show. Auditions are coming up, and students are already rehearsing and getting together the materials they need to pull off a spectacular performance. “Some kids from Drama and chorus are already preparing for the auditions by selecting the right ma-

terial for them and practicing. They want to be able to be a part of the show and give a great performance,” Advanced Drama student, Hayley O’ Brien (’15) shared. Drama recently went to Districts to perform pieces that they had been rehearsing for weeks. There were group acting scenes, group pantomimes, and even some single scenes and monologues. Many contestants walked away champs with Superiors and Excellents in many categories. Now some of those winners are performing their pieces again in the talent show to give the student body a chance to view these top-rated performances! “I’m doing a group acting scene for the talent show. We previously performed our piece in Individual Events and were awarded Superiors. I can’t wait to perform it in front of the students because I’m very proud of the scene,” O’ Brien shared. Furthermore, as the Drama club and class

School of Talent: Last year, senior Victoria Morin put on a great show for PPCHS. Photo by: Peter Dourvetakis

prepares for the upcoming show, the excitement and anticipation is increasing day by day. “I am very excited to see the talent show this year. It’s great to see people come out of their comfort zone and perform something different that they usually wouldn’t perform. It’s a really great experience,” senior and advanced drama student Stephanie Torres expressed. The talent show this year will be better than ever with fresh, enthusiastic new club members and class members that will bring something new and unique to the show. Dancers, singers, actors, and artists alike will take center stage to entertain and wow the crowd. It’s an event that’s definitely worth marking down on the calendar. The talent show date is Thursday January, 30th. Come out and watch your fellow Jags roar their loudest! And remember: practice makes perfect.

Sophomore ready to go down in Charter history Maria Bozo WEB MANAGING EDITOR

Being enrolled in Charter ever since she was ten, this student is one known by her classmates not only as a friend, but also as a leader. She is always the first person there when anything needs to get done. From the time she was ten years old, she has displayed the necessary characteristics for an effective leader. Sophomore Brianna Beach exemplifies what it is to be an active member at PPCHS. With only two short years of being in high school, Beach holds several leadership positions and has made a large effect on everyone around her.

she made the long-term commitment to become a scout and achieve her goals there. It was not a surprise to anyone who knew Beach when she won both the bronze and silver awards for Girl Scouts. Currently, she is working to achieve the highest honor in the Girl Scout world: Gold Award. When Beach walked through the doors of high school, it did not take long for her to beat out the competition and take the title of

Model Student: Sophomores Yasmeen Metellus and Looghermine Claude support their classmate Brianna Beach. Photo by: Juan Tellez

Model Student: Sophomore Brianna Beach stands out amongst her peers. Photo donated by: Mr. Fagen

It all began in the fifth grade when Beach decided to run for Vice President in at Pembroke Pines Charter School FSU Elementary. Little did she know that this would be the beginning piece of what her leadership would turn into. Next up: Girl Scouts. In the sixth grade,

Sophomore Historian. There, she works with fellow Sophomore Class Officers: President Camila Lopez, Secretary Ileana Perez, Treasurer Looghermine Claude, and Sophomore Senator Taylor Horan to fundraise and make sophomore year a memorable one for the entire sophomore class.

As Historian, Beach takes pictures to build a visual record of the Class of 2016. “I’ve known Brianna for so long and she’s always been so hard working. It’s great that she is so involved in school. I wish her success,” says sophomore Yasmeen Metellus. It didn’t take long before Beach was asking students for signatures to make a petition to start her own club, Model United Nations. According to, “Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the U.N. General Assembly and other multilateral bodies.” As President and Founder of the club, Beach spends hours ensuring the success of Model UN. In addition to her Vice Presidency in fifth grade, Girl Scouts, Sophomore Historian, and Model UN, Beach also dedicates her time at Young At Art in Davie, FL where she is the Lead Volunteer. As well as Young and Art, she is involved in her Church Children Ministry. Last but not least, she

is the fundraising committee chair for the PPCHS Book Club led by Horan. “I started getting involved in leadership out of pure curiosity, honestly. After I started, I began to find a need to keep volunteering and helping out and I haven’t stopped since then. I enjoy leadership for the same reason that an athlete competes; I have a passion for clubs and leadership. I find myself always looking for an outlet, and that is that leadership and clubs mean to me. Being someone that makes a difference in the lives of children, classmates, and the community as a whole is something I take great pride in,” says Beach. Beach is an exemplary student of PPCHS. With her endless leadership positions, she is on the road to a successful future. PPCHS is proud to call Beach one of its own and looks forward to see what other contributions she will make to the school.

Clubs January 2014


Fashion Club: Reuse and Recycle

Keeping up with NHS


Andrea Bellorin CLUBS EDITOR

Many of us are aware of the saying “reuse, as throwing a plastic bottle into a blue conreduce, recycle” but we still throw away tainer. Our goal for fashion club was to precious fabrics every day. Each year, 26 spread the idea of recycling textiles and get billion pounds of texour school to go green tiles are tossed into in fashion,” says Secthe garbage bin and retary Alyssa Rogers. never used again. In Reducing textiles reefforts to unite the duces landfills, saves world of style and money, and helps recycling awareness, sustain cleaner water PPCHS Fashion club systems in Haiti and has looked beyond the other undeveloped art of outfits to the recountries. After going cycling of prints and to H&M or Forever has challenged Pines 21, you replace shirts Charter to a Go Green and pants that are project. worn out with the new “At first I thought that ones you just bought, this Go Green projinstead of disposing of ect would be a great these unused textiles, way to earn volunteer you can help save the hours for myself but planet under the Go I realized that getGreen campaign. The ting the whole club Go Green with Fashion: Fashion club hopes to donated clothing will involved could be inspire everyone to keep their clothes instead of be reused by other very beneficial to the throwing them out to help the environment. Photo people around the whole school,” says by: Sydney Silverberg world or recycled into Fashion co-president new material. Around Danielle Fallin. the school, Fashion club will be collecting The Go Green campaign works with local clothes, shoes, bed linen, purses, and belts communities to increase the levels of vari- new or unused of all sizes. ous ways to use textiles. Any organization Many clothing lines are moving beyond that does the green campaign at their facil- the barrier of just designing clothes. Puma ity could win a cash prize if they have the has created a whole line of biodegradable most textiles donated. Apart from earning sportswear to help the earth. The Go Green some extra cash for their school, students charity recyclers have “a vision of a world will be participating in a hands-on activity with ZERO waste.” Now with the help of with their community. “I don’t think stu- Fashion Club they are uniting everyday dents realize that not only plastic and paper trends and styles for a great cause. can help our earth, clothes, and shoes and basically everything else you wear has the ability of helping the planet just as much

Day after day, our school’s very own National Honor Society strives to better our community in various different ways. Whether it be school events, promoting awareness on a certain issue, or just being a good citizen, the community would be left with a gap without it. NHS is a nationwide organization in the United States and has hundreds of chapters in high schools. The beneficial club promotes scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Besides helping students strive and stand out in their community, this club also helps students fulfill and exceed their required service hours needed to graduate or to get the silver cord. By constant community volunteering, students are able to meet their specified service hours required monthly by the club. Recently, our school’s NHS club attended a very heartwarming event. Food Day, which took place in late November, is a nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Created by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day is powered by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders, organizations, and people from all walks of life. “Originally we went to just help out because they needed volunteers. It was nice to see that the children wanted to learn about all the vegetables,” said club Vice President Alex Rose.

NHS was in charge of setting up the entire event which took place in the Miramar Community Garden. What makes this garden special is that it was actually created from people that live in the Miramar community. The children and parents have helped plant the community garden. If you volunteer there you can take home the food you planted. During the event there were many things going on. One game was named “Name the food mile”. Oranges were set up and you had to guess where each one came from. Some came from local farms, California, and even New Zealand. Another was “Plant your own seed” which was to teach people and plant various seeds such as tomatoes, lettuce, squash, etc. In the meantime, there were representatives from the organizations teaching the kids all about the plants and foods. “The event was informative. The kids learned different types of recipes to make different foods. Teaching the kids about different plants was good too because it’s good to know about that,” said NHS member Hope McNally. NHS club members continue to exceed in their leadership qualities. Events such as Food Day truly prove that the club is worth its recognition. Our school will continue to keep up with the club for any upcoming events and cherish the work they do within our community.

Tagging along for a great time Nick Rivera STAFF WRITER

As enjoyable as it can be to volunteer for used to donate to locations such as Chilorganizations, it can grow to be tedious. dren’s Harbor, which is a foster home that Everyone needs a day off every once in a we volunteer at often. Even though this is while. That’s exactly our first year, I hope what the PPCHS we can do other Key Club is doing fundraisers like this on Friday, February because it truly is 14th. As a club that beneficial for everyis known for helping one. It is something organizations in the that will be a lot of community, it may fun and it helps raise seem strange that the money for the club,” club will be traveling says DCON Comto Laser Quest rather mittee head Chinelo than Children’s HarOsakwe. bor or Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. For a small fee, The reason -- to remembers can share ward their dedicated a bonding experimembers with a night ence with people of fun. Beginning at who they will likely 11:30 p.m., members be sharing the club will begin to arrive with for years. DurGraphic by: Armando Urena ing their lock-in, at the Laser Quest located in Sunrise to meet up with othclub members will ers in the club. There is, however, a twist. get the chance to play unlimited laser They will not be leaving until 7:00 a.m. the quest. Much of the money raised will be next day. going towards Key Club’s annual District During winter break, many students Conference (DCON). At DCON, Key Club learned that they would not be going to La- members get the opportunity to travel to ser Quest on January 2nd, like previously northern Florida to meet up with other Key planned. Their disappointment turned to Club members in Florida. “I’m excited to joy when it was announced that the event learn leadership skills and spend time with would be rescheduled. This would allow my friends and our school club at DCON for more members to attend, who would this year,” says junior member Todd Mcnot have been able to attend before, to join Bride. The trip includes a stay at a hotel, in the fun. multiple workshops, and a formal ball. “It’s almost like a lock-in at Laser Quest, At the end of the day, the event is just and it really is supposed to be a bonding another way for the leaders of Key Club to experience. It will also be really beneficial show the members that they care and are to the club because the money we raise will proud to have students who are dedicated lower the price of DCON and will also be to helping others.

Food Chioces: NHS gave everyone a great time while teaching them about different kinds of food. Photo by: Alex Monge

Variety of Food: NHS is growing food instead of buying it to have healthy and affordable food. Photo by: Alex Monge

Past Charter standout athletes: Where are they now? Troy Bottom and Matthew Deno SPORTS EDITOR AND STAFF WRITER

Year after year, a few PPCHS athletes trade their maroon and white uniforms for a spot on a college roster. This great honor is something a select few can achieve and thanks to Pines Charter’s strong athletic program, Jaguars year after year are given the opportunity to pursue their respective sport at the next level. The school’s philosophy for athletics is solely based on improving every athlete’s ability and getting them ready to compete at a high level in college. Athletic director, Mr. Bruns, and assistant director, Coach Kelly, along with the coaches from each sport, have transformed many student-athletes into incredible college stars.

“It makes me feel very proud knowing that I have affected the lives of many student-athletes here at Pines Charter. I am glad to see that they are still competing in their high school sport at college,” Mr. Bruns said. There is still one question left to ask: Where are they now? Well, many former athletes at Pines Charter have gone on to college and had success, but there is a select handful that have gone above and beyond. In football, there are four athletes that have made a huge impact at Charter and continued that impact in college. Their names are Jonathan Rigaud (’09), Neil Morrison (’13), Jeremy Donaldson (’12), and Carl Volny (’05). Neil Morrison is now a freshman at the University of Albany and plays safety for the football team. At

Charter, Morrison was an impact running back who was named the team’s Offensive MVP in his senior year, despite suffering a season-ending injury after three games. He averaged 9.0 yards per carry and served as a team captain in his last year. “Being a part of the football team at Charter was something I will never forget,” stated Neil Morrison. “We had some rough times but all the training and struggle actually made me a better athlete for sure.” Once recruited by power-house schools like Michigan and Miami, former Charter football standout Jonathan Rigaud was making waves at John Hopkins University. The now John Hopkins graduate, was a standout for the football team and led them to the playoffs three out of the last four years His senior year he was nation-

ally recognized and won the honor of Division 3 football player of the year. Jeremy Donaldson was the premiere back for the 2011 Jaguars team that made the playoffs for the first time in Charter history. After much interest, Donaldson took his talents to Edinboro University where he joined former teammate Keith Regis, who he shared carries with in his senior season. The last football star is CFL player Carl Volny. Volny, 25 years old, is now a Canadian football running back for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after being drafted with the 32nd pick in the 5th round of the 2011 draft. He also played football in college at the University of Central Michigan for four years.

See Where they are at on Page 18

Inside Sports...

Lacrosse Top 6

Past Charter standout athletes: Where are they now?

Football is over; attention turns to the court and rink

Adrian Dunbar

Sports 18 January 2014 Where are they now from page 17...

me become a better player in college because a have learned so much from my coaches and whenever I was down my teammates would In these next two sports, there has been plen- always bring me back up,” comments Sacraty of talent here at Pines Charter, which are mento. baseball and softball. Their names are Aramis On the hardwood, the Basketball team has Garcia, Julie Brito, and Christina Sacramen- produced some big wins and great talent. to. Aramis Garcia, a junior catcher for the Justin Satchell who really delivered the Jags Florida International Golden Panthers, has a spark when they needed it departed after turned many heads. He was a solid 2012-2013 season. He drafted in the 20th round of the was a sharp shooter that could 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by also bring down rebound after the St. Louis Cardinals, but derebound with his large frame. cided to play college baseball The 6’6 Satchell went on to be instead. As a senior at Charter, a Missouri State Grizzly, leavhe was named team MVP as ing another void for the Jags to well as All-County First-Team fill. A year before Satchell left, by the Miami Herald and the Charter took another blow with Sun-Sentinel. He finished his star guard Amari Bryant graduhigh school career with an ating and going to play at Texas incredible .414 batting averState. age. In softball, Julie Brito has Last but certainly not least made a strong impresis swimmer Marc Rojas, sion in both high school who won a state champiand college. She is now onship during his time at a junior first baseman for Charter. Rojas went to Inthe softball team at Barry dian River State College; University. Brito started where he went on to win her impact right away as a national championship. she won the starting job After this major accomat first base in her freshplishment, many major man year at Barry. In high Fear the spear: Marc Rojas, the first Jaguar schools took notice and on bring a state title back to Pines Charter, is school, she was a two- to October 16th, Rojas swam heading to Tallahasee. time All-Broward County Photo By: his way from junior college pick and a career .400 hitand into Division 1 aquatics ter with the Jaguars. Last but certainly not with a scholarship to Florida State University. least is Christina Sacramento, a sophomore Many students decide to play sports during pitcher at St. Thomas University. While at their high school years, but most don’t conPines Charter, Sacramento was a four-year tinue it into college and the pros. That is not varsity starter who proved to be one of South the case for Pines Charter athletes. With the Florida's most dominant pitchers with a the foundation for success already built and the ability to excel in the biggest games. An ex- expertise of the coaches and athletic director, ample of that would be her performance in many student-athletes at Charter are given the Pines Charter’s 1-0 victory over Niceville opportunity to pursue their sport in college. in the 2012 state championship game. She With so many students still dominating at the proved almost unhittable by striking out 18 collegiate level, it just goes to show that the and allowing just one hit. athletic program of Pines Charter is a gateway “Playing softball at Charter has really helped to the next level.

Freshman puts icing on the cake

senior level. Farinella is a four time regional qualifier and is the first from her figure skating club A graceful sport filled with elegance and to make it to regionals. Having eight years beauty. It’s a form of art that rwwequires of skating experience helps when it comes balance and patience. Ask freshman Marisa to performing in big competitions. Sharping Farinella about her passion and she would her skills and working on her routine over tell you all about this stylish sport. One of and over again, Farinella will continue to the major sports of the Winter Olympics, improve and tamper with her performances figure skating is enjoyed by many, including each and every time. Farinella. Just like with any other sport, Farinella Farinella started figure skating when she feels a rush: a rush that is unmatched by any was six years old when her mom encouraged other. A wave of adrenaline washes over her to give it a try. Her mom was a roller- athletes while they perform, and figure skatskater, so they “traded wheels for blades,” as ing is no different. To keep their composure stated by Farinella. She started figure skating and balance, figure skaters need to be able to at the Panthers Figure Skating Club in Coral skate and perform their routines; one mess Springs, where she was joined by her up may ruin that balance. Each friend. Since then, Farinella has sport requires stamina; each been enhancing her skills, sport requires a brain made practicing her balance and fit for that sport. For keeping her composure, Farinella, she needs all so she can one day to think about how fulfill her dream of she lands, and what figure skating in the move she needs to Olympics. But until perform next. She then, she skates at the puts together her Pines Ice Arena. routine with the help “There are many of her coaches, and it Grace on ice: To most, figure skating is an unfam competitions in figis her responsibility to iliar sport; But for Marisa Farinella, it is her ure skating, some bigremember that routine. life. Photo donated by: Marisa Farinella ger than the others,” said “It’s not easy,” said Farinella. “Last year I parFarinella. “There are a lot ticipated in a big competition of competitions and in order in Detroit. Regionals are held there to do well in Regionals, I need to and in Chicago. I want to continue to make it perform well.” as far as I can in these competitions and one At the end of the day, Farinella tries her day make it to the Olympics.” hardest, and her work pays off. She is able While performing in competitions, the scor- to perform her routine with ease, and shows ing varies depending on level. The higher in that she is a top contender. By no means is level, the more rigorous the scoring gets. In figure skating an easy sport to learn, but for the higher levels, the judges start scoring Farinella, it is her passion. A dream that she contestants with a set of points based off needs to chase. For now, Marisa Farinella is of choreographic, music, and skill. At the focused on one thing, her dream. Farinella end of the two rounds, the short dance and is hoping to make her dream a reality, and the free dance, the person with the highest if she continues to improve, she might just amount of points. Farinella participates at do that. the junior level, which is one level shy of the


Nicholas Kokenzie

Many athletes dream of being successful in the sport they love. Senior lacrosse player Nicholas Kokenzie at PPCHS has this dream, but he realizes just dreaming will not get him there. Kokenzie has been playing lacrosse since his sophomore year after his transition from football. Kokenzie emphasizes the importance of the friends he’s made over the years and he truly believes they’ve created a family. This season, the senior is expecting to hang up a banner in the gym to honor a potential district championship. Kokenzie really believes he needs to approach this season more “meticulously” because it is his final season as a Jaguar and he also thinks he must really step it up and show Pines that PPCHS is the real deal in lacrosse. Time to show the fans what you got Kokenzie. “Hopefully I will be accepted this year to at least a division II or division I school. My strong points include the constant ability to drive the ball and score. I really open up the field and create opportunities for my surrounding teammates,” Kokenzie stated.

Senior Adrian Dunbar is excited to return for his third year playing lacrosse for PPCHS. Since sophomore year Dunbar has been playing a sport that he finds exciting, fun, and just an all-around good time. He loves the atmosphere and the pace of lacrosse as much as he loves the family and camaraderie that comes with playing the game. An optimist, Adrian has high hopes for the upcoming season of lacrosse. He believes that the team will go far this year with a strong defense on their side. Even if they don’t make it as far as he hopes, Adrian is still very eager to be playing. Adrian, who plays defense for the team, is focused on helping the newcomers this year. “I hope to help the newer people out on the field. I want to help them feel comfortable with throwing and catching the ball. I want to work them around and assist them in actually taking shots and progressing as the season goes on,” he says. Adrian says he will not be continuing to play lacrosse when he heads off to college, but he has decided to continue his other passion: mountain biking. Adrian is a semiprofessional mountain biker who is ready to show what he’s really made of. He’s going to have that chance when he heads off to Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina with a scholarship to continue his other sports passion.

Lacrosse Danny Moran

Junior captain Danny Moran has been playing lacrosse since the fourth grade. His dad played in college, and his brother played while attending high school at Pembroke Pines Charter. In his family, the game of lacrosse plays a huge role. Moran had played other sports growing up, but he enjoyed playing lacrosse the most. “It’s not really one specific thing that does it for me, it’s just the all-around atmosphere,” said Moran. “The bonds you build with your teammates, the intense gameplay and scoring goals is pretty awesome!” As a team captain, Moran has taken on a huge load. He is a role model to the newer players and sets an example. Being one of the most experienced players on the team, Moran also teaches what he knows to the other players. “I try my best to set an example for the other players,” states Moran. “I try to push people to perform their best, and try and help keep the team organized and functioning well. I need to improve myself as an overall athlete and as a lacrosse player.”

Tony London

19 Sports January 2014

FSU Takes the Crown: Noles win championship The goalie is considered by many to be the most important position on a lacrosse team. Along with being the leader of communication for the defense, he is the last line of defense that stops the other team from scoring, which could cause a lost game. Starting goalie Anthony London has been taking on this position for three years “and nobody else has even offered to be a backup,” says London. Being influenced by his brother Joey to play the sport, Anthony picked up the difficult position that needed to be filled. “I started playing goalie because our first goalie quit right before the game, so somebody had to step up and play it. My first game was played with only one day of experience and needless to say it wasn't easy,” London continues. As for college Lacrosse, its still an option for the 5’9 goalie. “I love the sport, but it would take up too much of my time in college,” says London. As for this season, London states: “My ultimate dream, which hopefully will happen this year, is to score a goal as goalie. It's not by any means common for the goalie to go ‘coast to coast’ and score on the other team, considering it is very risky to leave the crease for a long period of time. I came close last year, but unfortunately, the shot missed its mark.”

e Top 6 Amon Banks

Most successful sports teams consist of one player who is the anchor of the team, the guy you can always count on. For the Pines Charter lacrosse team, that person is senior and co-captain Amon Banks. With his great stick checking ability, it is hard for opposing players to score any goals on this defender. Thanks to a friend who convinced him to join the team in his freshman year, Banks is now poised to have an outstanding 2014 season. “I like lacrosse because it is a great contact sport to play after football season is over. It allows me to stay active for the whole school year,” comments Banks. Banks also has a unique way of getting extra motivation. His twin brother, Amir, is on the team as well, creating a competitive sibling rivalry like no other. The brothers always argue as to who is the better player, and it results in both players giving more effort on the field. In terms of improving, Banks feels that he needs to strengthen his basic mechanics, such as throwing and catching. Once he perfects these skills, he can become an almost unstoppable threat.


After sixteen outstanding years with the BCS (Bowl Championship Series), college football is finally changing their future by implementing a four-team playoff system. For Tallahassee fans, they clearly were pleased with redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston winning the Heisman trophy and

36-9 blowout loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl, UCF was the clear-cut second-best team in the state of Florida, for college football teams at least. At Sun Life Stadium for the Orange Bowl, the Clemson Tigers took down the Ohio State Buckeyes 40-35 in a nail-biting shootout that proved to instantly please all Florida Gator fans (hence the Buckeye’s coach being Urban Meyer). However, the 4-8 season for the Gators

“As a fan at a young age it was exciting to watch the Seminoles cap off an undefeated season. -Nico Bastidas

Amir Banks

In November of 2013, senior Amir Banks ripped off his football pads and prepared to quickly ice up his bruised body and get ready for another season of colliding into other bodies at full speed, this time with lacrosse stick in hand. A linebacker on the football team; Banks will try and instill that same defensive mindset into his lacrosse game. Banks picked up the sport in his sophomore year and his physicality on the gridiron translated well into lacrosse and allowed Banks to stand out amongst the other D-poles. Alongside him is twin brother Amon banks who has helped make a duo on defense that will leave opponents battered and seeing double, literally. “There’s that little rivalry for sure between my brother and me” said Banks laughing. “He has me in the stick work category but I feel I can hit harder.” The team will definitely look to utilize Banks as 3 of the top six players on the team made this list of top players. Banks speed, agility, and power will be an important asset to a team desperately trying to reach a winning season.

leading the Seminoles to their first National Championship since 1999. With the Auburn Tigers losing 34-31 in one of the most memorable BCS games, the SEC’s (Southeastern

didn’t please their fans, at all. Junior UF fan Tanner Redding said, “It was a very disappointing season. They need to work on the O-line and I think they need to bring back the big plays. They have the talent and prospects, but they just need better coaching and executing.” Last year’s Heisman trophy winner played in his final college game with a 52-48 comeback victory over the Duke Blue Devils in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. With “Johnny football” and Terry Bridgewater from Louisville entering the NFL Draft, fans all over will be anxious to find out which QB will go as the number one overall pick. In the Valero Alamo Bowl, the Oregon Ducks and QB Marcos Mariota put Noles named Champion: The Seminoles have been named National Champions a beat down on the Texfor the third time in their schools history. They will be the last BCS champion as Longhorns and rucrowned as the NCAA transitions to a playoff system. Graphic By: Danny Vidal ined head coach Mack Brown’s last game as a Conference) of seven straight national titles Longhorn. Just days ago, former head coach came to an end. As for the rest of the bowl of Louisville Charlie Strong was hired. games, teams across the nation attempted to Poor Georgia, a team decimated with inprove that they should be considered a force juries and a team that basically had a game to reckon with come next season. in the bag at Auburn, but lost on a hail mary Senior and FSU fan Nico Bastidas said, “As in the final seconds. The Bulldogs woes cona fan at a young age it was exciting to watch tinued as their star QB Aaron Murray went the Seminoles cap off an undefeated season down with an injury just before their bowl with such a thriller in the National Champi- game matchup against the Nebraska Cornonship game. I’m excited to be a part of it huskers. Remember, if the Bulldogs own two next year when I move to Tallahassee.” players do not run into each other at Auburn, Head coach Nick Saban surely didn’t have FSU may have been playing someone else. his Tide “roll” the way he wanted them to af- Two other SEC powerhouses in LSU and ter a heartbreaking loss to Auburn in the Iron Missouri both took down their bowl oppoBowl. Matters worsened for Alabama when nents in Iowa and Oklahoma State to wrap they were convincingly beaten down 45-31 up yet another successful season. by Oklahoma and a true freshman quarterNow that everything is said and done for back; however, that game showed the nation the 2013-2014 college football season, what how legendary coach Bob Stoops is. Across lies ahead for next year? Well, FSU will have the country the 100th Rose Bowl game took Jameis Winston with a shot at achieving place, Michigan State battled Stanford in a back-to-back titles. Alabama will certainly defensive classic as the Spartans ended their be in the running with their stellar defense unforgettable season with a 24-20 victory. and coach Nick Saban. As for the rest, who ALL HAIL THE KNIGHTS! Doubt that knows? It seems as if the seasons are more anyone saw this one coming. UCF topped interesting year by year, and that’s why colthe sixth ranked Baylor Bears 52-42 in the lege football lovers are college football lovTostitos Fiesta Bowl completing an im- ers. Now that the BCS is over, a new chapter pressive 12-1 season. With the Hurricanes begins. However, the anxiety remains.

Sports 20 January 2014 Matthew Deno STAFF WRITER

It’s that time of year when many sports fanatics are bummed out and don’t have a clue as to what to do with themselves. Yes, it is the end of football season, but most people tend to forget that there are two other sports, basketball and hockey, swinging into full gear. With almost half the season in the books and both all-star weekends rapidly approaching, there have already been many memorable moments and exciting stories in the 2013-14 NBA and NHL seasons. As the Miami Heat, the two-time reigning NBA champions, try to achieve a three-peat, all other teams are jockeying to dethrone them. This year has been particularly odd as the Western conference is clearly superior over the Eastern conference. Besides Miami and Indiana, there aren’t any teams in the East that are true contenders this season. The Atlanta Hawks, the third best team in the East, have a mediocre 19-17 record. If they were in the West, they would currently be the ninth best team, which shows the huge gap between the two conferences. MVP candidate LeBron James and the Heat are yet again off to a great start and have recently

Kali Hazera (‘16): Cross Country

Football is over; attention turns to the court and rink picked up key wins versus top teams like other in the regular season, thus creating the Indiana Pacers, their Eastern confer- more rivalries,” comments freshman and ence rival, and the Portland Trail Blaz- JV basketball player Bryce Davis. ers. Speaking of the Blazers, who are led Switching gears over to the ice rink, this by second year guard Damian Lillard and season has already had many exciting veteran forward Lamarcus Aldridge, many events, but still to come is the biggest of consider this team to be the most surprising them all. The hometown Florida Panthers of the season as they held the NBA’s best are having a lackluster start to the year as record earlier in the year and are continuing to beat quality opponents. Recently, there has been speculation that the league will be getting rid of divisions and just have the Eastern and Western conferences, as it would improve the quality of games and teams who don’t normally play against each other during the regular season would get a chance to do so. According to, NBA deputy commissioner, Adam Silver, said on a radio show that the league’s competition committee would consider eliminating divisions, but it is not yet certain. “If the NBA removed divisions, I feel that it would benefit the Nothing but net: Both the NHL and NBA are halfway done with league because there would be their respective seasons and fans prepare for another exciting finish. more opportunities for contend- Graphic By: Danny Vidal ing teams to play against each

Sweet Sixteen

Jordan De Leon (‘14): Football

Nick Sacramento (‘16): Golf Alexys Nowak PROOF-READER

For years, high school student athletes around the world have been putting in the effort at every game and practice to help their team go far. Making it to districts, regionals and even states has proved to be an exciting moment for a team, but at some point, the athlete must focus on themselves. At the end of the season, based on the stats that coaches have sent into the SunSentinel, athletes are selected to a first or second county team or given an honorable mention. Either of the three options are incredibly respectable, and the athletes can use their accomplishments as fuel for their future. They can place this information on their resume if they wish to play the sport in college, and they could possibly be selected to be on the All-State team, depending on their performance. At Charter, there were a total of sixteen athletes recognized for various Fall sports. From football all the way to golf, the Jags individually showed what they could do and earned themselves a spot in the lime light. Making the first All-County team is not an easy task, but junior Carlos Paneranda showed that it could be done through hard work and dedication. Not only did Paneranda make the first team for cross country, but his time was the second fastest of all the

Nikki Brito (‘14): Volleyball

Andy Iglesias (‘14): Cross Counrtry

other athletes who made the team. This is an incredible feat for the junior athlete; he was only one second away from tying the fastest time, and two seconds away from being number one. Paneranda only started the sport two years ago as a freshman, and is already up top with kids who have been running their whole lives. If he could accomplish all of this within only two years, he will be unstoppable in the future. The Cross Country team was the only team to have three people selected for All-County teams. Senior Andy Iglesias and junior Danny Paneranda were both selected as a part of the second team. Three other members of the team- Justin Ortiz, Kristinn McNair and John Medina- each received an honorable mention. From the girls Cross Country team, Kali Hazera and Leysha Carballo also received an honorable mention. While making the first team is the ultimate goal for a striving athlete, making the second team is commendable to say the least. From the varsity volleyball team, senior Nikki Brito was selected for the second All-County team. Brito had never been selected for a team before, but had received an honorable mention. Now in her senior year, all the work has finally paid off as she has gained recognition from fellow teammates, family members and other supporters.

they have the second fewest points in their respective division and conference. The teams with the most points in the league now are the Anaheim Ducks in first, Chicago Blackhawks in second, and the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues tied for third. On New Year’s Day, the 2014 Winter Classic kicked off when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs battled it out at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. At the beginning of February, many players looking to represent their home country will be heading to Sochi, Russia for the biggest event of the year, the 2014 Winter Olympics. Although this is a time where fans get to see their favorite players show off their pride for their country, there could potentially be some negative impacts on NHL players because no other professional sport that lends its athletes to Olympic competition has their players take a break during the season to participate in the games only to resume after the Olympics have finished. “Being able to participate in the Olympics is something professional hockey players should look forward to. They shouldn’t be worried about having to leave in the middle of the season because it is only for a short amount of time,” sa

Carlos Penaranda (‘15): Cross Country

Brittney Bruns (‘14): Volleyball

“I was very surprised when I found out that I was selected because I wasn’t expecting to be placed with the other girls who made it as well. They are extremely talented, so I was honored to be given that title,” said Brito. “I was just striving to be a better player in general throughout the entire season, and make sure that my team made it as far as possible. The fact that I got selected was unexpected but a definite reward for my hard work.” Freshman Juan Lucas from the swimming team was also selected to the second All-County team. As a freshman, this is a huge accomplishment that will lead a great path for the rest of his high school career. With high hopes of reaching states before the end of high school, Lucas’ list of goals continues to grow. With experience under his belt, there is no doubt that he will continue to pose as a threat in the waters. While only four Jaguars were selected to be on an All-County team, there were plenty of other athletes who earned themselves honorable mentions in the paper. From the volleyball team, seniors Brittney Bruns and Gabriela Garcia were given honorable mentions in the paper. Even with an injury, Garcia still proved to be a threat on the team, leaving no choice but to be recognized. Bruns, who joined the varsity team last year, has proven she can work her way to the top through her hard work on and off

the court. Sophomore Lilliana Calero was the only swimmer to receive an honorable mention. The same goes for sophomore golfer Nick Sacramento. In a sport that does not attain as much hype throughout the school, it is difficult to stay determined. Nick did just that and he found himself representing his school in the paper. On the offensive side of the football team, Troy Bottom and Jordan DeLeon were both mentioned in the paper. Senior Dylan Fernandez was mentioned for the defensive side of football. As athletic director for the school, Coach Bruns could not be more proud of his athletes. “It’s a great accomplishment to see our athlete’s names in the paper, and to see that they were recognized out of so many others. They should definitely feel proud of themselves and what they have done for our school’s name,” said Coach Bruns. The athletes selected for a team will now compete with that team in hopes of being selected for a state team. The athletes who were also mentioned have now gotten their name out there. They can only move up from there. With the passion that Charter students have in every aspect, there is no doubt that there will be just as great of a turn out when the Spring sport sections are made.

Inside Features...

Autism hits home at PPCHS

Fund autism one footstep at a time

Features January 2014


Autism: Putting the Pie Autism hits home at PPCHS

to others. Autism is one of the many things also has a son who is some of the members of the PPCHS family perger’s, also on the a Autism has become increasingly prominent have had to struggle with. Many have no idea perger’s, however, is m across the world throughout the past several that these people have even been affected by by the difficulty to int years. As of 2008, autism affects 1 in 88 chil- the disease in some way. History teacher, things make him what h dren in the United States (Center for Disease Mrs. Hughes’ life was changed when her son it affects more of his soc Control). Now more than ever, autism is af- was diagnosed with autism. “My son was intelligence,” said Thom fecting the lives of thousands of people, in- diagnosed with autism when he was 3. He cult. Sometimes his tea cluding the families of those diagnosed. had many of the classic signs -- lack of eye trated because he will ta While walking around the PPCHS campus, contact, no verbal communication, lining up just his way of dealing students notice each other but often times objects, and spinning,” said Mrs. Hughes. cesses things differently don’t notice what their fellow classmates “From the time he was only a year old I knew as many activities as po something was ‘off’ and immediately make friends and push h took him for evaluations. He started speech when he was a year and a half, and I had him in every program imaginable. One of the keys to autism is early intervention. At this point, my son is in a regular elementary classroom, but he definitely has to work harder than other kids. He doesn’t have many friends and doesn’t feel comfortable around kids he doesn’t know. It doesn’t impact our daily life as much as Autism hits home: Students support Autism Awareness through in the past because I don’t think an Autism walk last year. Photo donated by: Anne Thomas about it. He is who he is. But Touching stories: Mrs. Thomas and he and advisors may be going through outside it hasn’t always been that way. When walk. Photo donated by: Mrs. Thomas of these beige and white walls. Charter is we were at a store and an aisle had too many Autism affects familie often compared to a family, where everyone people, I couldn’t go down it. Or when we year. However, it isn’t is very close and together. However, some- were checking out, it HAD to be a specific someone’s life that they times even families fail to see beyond the lane -- even if that lane wasn’t open! Publix “You are not impacted surface. Here at PPCHS, everyone has a sto- was actually quite accommodating in open- someone with it, you’re ry. Every person has their daily struggles to ing checkout lanes just for us.” sensitive to the situatio face, but often times don’t make them known Senior Guidance Counselor, Anne Thomas directly,” said Mrs. Tho Melissa Sullivan and Victoria Alvarez


Q & A with Questions by: Gabriela Garcia FEATURES EDITOR

In order to gain a better understanding of those affected by autism, The CHAT sat down with Colin Webb, a junior Jaguar who has had autism for the majority of his life. We are extremely grateful to Colin and the ESE department and their willingness to help.

Family bonds: Colin Webb and his family enjoy a trip together. Photo donated by: Colin Webb

Q: How old are you? A: I am 17 years old and I’m in the 10th grade. Q: What are a couple of words you’d use to describe yourself? A: Serious, someone who wants to be alone, but I’m also okay with having friends as well. Sometimes, I just can’t handle some stuff,

some loud noises. I usually prefer peace and quiet. Sometimes, I know how to deal with things, like in case people get rude. Q: What do you think is your greatest quality? A: Me? I have an imaginative mind. I come up with stories and I even have a big dream. Q: What is that dream? If you don’t mind sharing, of course. A: I’m okay with sharing. I dream of seeing what’s out there in space. Something that’s farther than our solar system. Maybe even farther than our galaxy. I just believe that there are multiple forms of life. Q: Do you like coming to school? A: Yea. Because I want to learn. Q: What is your favorite subject? A: Math. It seems like the easiest subject for me. Q: Why do you think that is? A: Oh math as my favorite subject? Well, usually, when I do math problems, it seems like a cake walk to me. Q: Really? What kind of math do you like? A: I haven’t really made up my mind about that yet. Q: What do you do in your free time, Co-

lin? What’s your favo A: I like to wonder wha Q: I understand you A: Yeah. I also like to a Q: So do you know w be when you grow up? A: I want to be an astro Q: So you like the planets. A: It’s part of my dream Q: Where do you s five years? A: I haven’t really th that yet. Q: Do you know w want as part of your f A: Hmm... I think may a telescope. I’m not rea I’m just wondering if want a telescope. I wou want it to see the stars. Q: Of course. Who hero? A: My mother. She h with my homework, b importantly, she teach how to deal with thi help me with my autism

eces Together at PPCHS Autism: Through a parents’ eyes

diagnosed with Asutism spectrum. Asmostly characterized eract socially. “Tiny he is diagnosed with, cial behavior than his mas. “It’s very diffiachers become frusalk back to them; it’s with things, he proy. We try to put him in ossible so that he can his boundaries.”

er son at last year’s Autism

es and friends every until autism touches y feel the true impact. d unless you know e not really aware or n until it affects you mas.

Faran Fagen ADVISER

Also this past year, we were blessed with our second child, Blair, who turned 1 on Jan. 11. Blair points, crawls, makes good eye contact and is just about ready to walk. Our pediatrician says she’s advanced for her age. In the end, both our children are growing and learning -- and we're thankful for that.

Our son, Spencer, was delayed from the start, and at age 3 he received the diagnosis of autism. At first, my wife Kara and I were scared for Spencer’s future. But the diagnosis opened up doors to treatments we didn’t have access to before. We increased occupational, speech, and behavior therapies to every day of the week except Sunday. Soon after the diagnosis, we thought Spencer, who barely spoke, would never have a conversation or be able to hold and feed himself with a fork or spoon. Fast forward three years. Spencer is in a typical kindergarten class with support, something my wife and I didn’t deem possible three years ago. He gets pulled out of his class for therapies, and has good and bad days. Some of the difficult days can be disheartening, such as when he has an outburst in class. But then the next day he’ll ask questions or make comments that get all his classmates laughing. Or, they’ll bug Spencer for the answers on a math quiz. The main thing is Spencer has the ability to learn, he just learns in different ways than his peers and it takes him longer. In the end, we have to remember that he's our little boy and Father and son: Communications teacher, Mr. Fagen and his son, Spencer enjoy a day at the beach. Photo donated by: Mr. Fagen he’s still only 6 years old.

Colin Webb

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Q: What is autism to you? A: To me, autism is like both a gift and a curse. As a curse, I view it as like having a dry sense of humor or not being able to get a joke. At least, that’s what my experience was. But as a gift, I actually became very imaginative and very smart. Sometimes I can focus on two things at once. Q: Do you see yourself the same way as others? A: Hmm… No. I imagine myself as my own person. But not like a one of a kind. Q: What is your goal? A: To colonize with another alien race, so we can learn about them and they can help us and maybe in return maybe we can help them. Q: What are some struggles that you have? A: Sometimes not getting a joke... that’s one problem I have. But I don’t remember any other problems actually, not at this time.

Fun in the mud: Colin Webb and his brother ride four wheelers and enjoy their vacation. Photo donated by: Colin Webb

Q: That’s alright. Is there anything else you want to share with me, or anything specific you want to put out there? A: Usually when I try to joke around it comes out horrible, my sense of humor is just dry. Q: Would you like to share a joke with me? A: I’ve only come up with a few jokes that people actually find funny. Q: Is there anything else? A: I don’t have anything else to share right now. Q: Okay. Colin, thank you so much.


Features January 2014

Features January 2014


Autism: Putting the Pie Best Buddies breaks barriers Lauren Ramirez STAFF WRITER

One in every 691 children in the US is born with Down syndrome, and one in every 88 is born with autism. Millions of children across the globe are living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Fortunately, a club at PPCHS is willing to lend a helping hand to these children. The club called “Best Buddies” is hard at work thinking of ways to not only raise money for these causes, but also to bring awareness and to spend time with the children affected by the disability. “We don’t like to think of it as a disability,” says club president Jillian Marrero. “These kids are able to accomplish anything they set their minds to. Through Best Buddies I have the opportunity to provide people with optimism and hope, which are some of the best things you can do for someone.” According to Marrero, the club is in the midst of planning a party for some disabled children “to give them something to smile for”. The party was originally supposed to take place in the holiday season, but had to be moved to better accommodate the organization Best Buddies is working with. According to the Best Buddies International Organization, their mission is to “establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with IDD.” Their vision however is very different; it is simply to “put Best Buddies out of business”. This means that, regardless of the organization, every child and adult with a disability will have someone there for them. This, while being ambitious, is a vision that everyone associated with Best Buddies hopes to

see become a reality. If anyone is interested in helping the Best Buddies Organization, a great way to do so is by making donations on 81 cents out of every dollar donated to the organization goes directly towards improving the programs that help people living with IDD, the rest of the money goes towards fundraising and administration to help the organization continue to grow and thrive. “Best Buddies is a great club for our school to have,” says sophomore Monica Moljo. “The club helps others and contributes to making the world a happier place for children who are struggling. Best Buddies is an amazing organization that impacts the lives of so many people on a daily basis.”

Best Buddies lends a helping hand: Mrs. Santiago, sponsor of Best Buddies, helps bring awareness to Autism. Photo by: Juan Tellez

Joshua Alleman EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

What is autism? “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD,” states the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Autism has many different forms and levels of severity; it can occur in all ethnic groups and at any age. “Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 8 will have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 30, 2012). Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females.” What causes autism? The exact cause of autism is unknown, but scientists think that genetic, metabolic, neurological, and environmental factors contribute to the development of ASD. How is autism treated? Currently, there is no available cure for ASD’s. The closest thing to treatment is the use of behavioral therapy and interventions that are designed to meet the specific needs of the child; these often help to drastically reduce the behavioral issues and they bring about substantial improvement. Medications are also often used for treatment of specific symptoms, including anxiety, depression, ADD, or OCD. Medications are also used to treat or lessen severe behavioral problems and seizures.


Chelsie Ramos STUDENT LIFE E

Autism has ta all over the wor unanswered que However, the w hasn’t given man thousands have more awareness this development Foundation hosts support. The Pem System is one th and decided to p of a walk to ga What was decid walk, at each PPC to high school. O campuses had th money for this w A simple $2 wa PPCHS students The ticket allowe walk around the minutes of SSR, dulging themselv “Students were music as they w with their friend cause,” said ESE “It is a good way a load-off from s raising awarenes in the school auti dents to indirect as well. “All of t

The science b How is autism diagnosed? ASD is often diagnosed in children up to two years old by identifying some of the following indicators: 6-12 Month Markers: o Infrequent eye contact o Failure to orient to name o Does not smile in response to smiles from others o Social and emotional passivity o Fixation on objects By 12 Months: o Poor or no eye contact o Failure to orient to name o Poor imitation o No babbling by 12 months o No gesturing by 12 months • By 16 Months: o No single words by 16 months o No pointing to objects or events of interest in an effort to share By 24 Months: o No spontaneous two-word phrases o Loss of any language or social skills at any age

eces Together at PPCHS autism one footstep at a time


aken hold of many families rld, leaving them only with stions and many hardships. world of autism is one that ny answers to the questions been asking. To help bring and funds to the research of tal disorder, the Dan Marino s annual walks to encourage mbroke Pines Charter School at has joined the foundation, ut their own spin on the idea in more for the foundation. ed upon was a school wide CS campus, from elementary On January 23rd, all the PPCS eir own autism walk to raise worthy cause. as all that was required from s to participate in the walk. ed each student the chance to school’s track, for the full 30 instead of spending time inves reading. able to enjoy DJ cEi playing walk around the school track ds raising money for a great E specialist Ms. Ostendorf. y for them to be able to take school while supporting and ss for autism.” Participating ism walk also allows the stuly benefit their fellow peers the money being raised goes

straight to the Dan Marino Foundation, and give donations to the school systems team then the Foundation is giving back 25% of on the Dan Marino Foundation website. Stuwhat we raise back to our school’s ESE de- dents, faculty, and family members are all partment,” stated Ms. Ostendorf. welcome to donate to the team by using the PPCHS junior Shaun Enos jumped on board and bought his ticket to participate in the cause. “I was excited about the walk. It was a lot of fun, while also helping raise money for a really good cause. It is also great how some of the money is going to come back to our school too,” stated Enos. However, as much as the experience is important, it is nothing compared to the heartwarming feeling that a student will be able to feel Autism Walk comes to PPCHS: All Charter campuses will be holding an Autism Awareafter taking part in the walk, ness Walk. Photo by: Peter Dourvetakis and know that they just helped benefit those link . around them. “I’m hoping that the walk at school will not “A lot of people go through life with a tunnel only raise funds, but also lead to more donavision, and they see things on their terms only. tions and sign-ups for the official Dan Marino So this gives them the opportunity to have the Foundation Walkabout Autism walk on Saturdoor open for them, and allows them to see day January 25th at Sun Life Stadium,” exthat there are so many different people that claimed senior Kelly McColman, a member have different needs and disabilities,” said of the team organizing this event. Ms. Ostendorf. “And it also shows that some- A small task of just walking around a school thing as small as this walk and by just donat- track for half an hour can greatly impact many ing $2 and a little bit of their time, students in a positive manner. Just like Mrs. Ostendorf can really make a huge impact on others.” said: “Beyond students being excited to get The walk at all of the PPCS campuses is just out of a class for a certain amount of time, we a small part in a big picture. However, they want them to reach inside themselves and see can play a major role if many participate, and what is behind all of this and giving back.”

behind autism Other indicators that are often analyzed later in life: o impaired ability to make friends with peers o impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others o absence or impairment of imaginative and social play o stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language o restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus o preoccupation with certain objects or subjects o Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals. “Children with some symptoms of an ASD but not enough to be diagnosed with classical autism are often diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified). Children with autistic behaviors but well-developed language skills are often diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. Much Graphic by: Daniel Vidal rarer are children who may be diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder, in which they develop normally and then suddenly deteriorate between the ages of 3 to 10 years and show marked autistic behaviors,”

What are the signs of autism? The main and most recognizable sign of autism is impaired social interaction. “As early as infancy, a baby with ASD may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time. A child with ASD may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement,” Children with this disorder may not respond to their name and might avoid eye contact with others. Since they often have trouble understanding social cues such as facial expressions and tone of voice, they have trouble with empathy, or understanding and reciprocating the way someone else is feeling. Autistic children usually start speaking later in life and often engage in repetitive movements or actions, such as twirling, spinning, or self-abusive behavior, which includes scratching, biting, or head-banging. “Children with characteristics of an ASD may have cooccurring conditions, including Fragile X syndrome (which causes mental retardation), tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. About 20 to 30 percent of children with an ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood,”



January 2014

Page Name Month 2014


Blackfish the documentary: Dark secrets hidden in shallow waters Melissa Sullivan and Maria Bozo EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND WEB EDITOR

Most children look forward to the day that they finally get to visit Shamu, the large, magnificent orca at Sea World. The theme park, which attracts thousands of tour-

ists each year, portrays orcas as being friendly and cuddly creatures through numerous products such as stuffed animals, t-shirts and even Christmas ornaments. Contrary to common belief, orcas raised in captivity are held in small tanks,

separated from their families and destined to a life full of constant training and reprimanding. The recently released documentary Blackfish directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, shows the truth behind the lives of orca whales that live in

captivity at aquatic centers such as Sea World and how they interact with their human counterparts when pushed to their limits. See Dark Secrets, Page 27...

Inside Lifestyle...

Is sleep really that important?

Should students learn CPR?

Blackfish the documentary: Dark secrets hidden in shallow waters Dark Secrets from Page 26...

27 Lifestyle

January 2014

napping a little kid away from her mother. I can’t think of anything worse than that. The worst thing that I’ve ever done is hunt that whale.” Sea World constantly reassures the public that its trainers, as well as its animals are safe from harm while interacting with

he has been through. lief that animals should not be held in cap“Blackfish has opened my eyes to how tivity but proves just how little we know Melissa Sullivan abusive captivity is. I’m thinking about about orcas, despite how much they have EDITOR-IN-CHIEF making a film with the Animal Rights Club been studied over the past several years. to help spread information to students at Although I once looked forward to the trips Being born and raised in Florida, I grew PPCHS on the dangers of animal captiv- to Sea World with my family, I will never up just a few hours south of Sea World, ity,” says sophomore Monica Moljo. again visit the park. These animals are bethe famed theme park that In 1991, Tilikum killed trainer Keltie ing imprisoned and treated cruelly. Why featured hundreds of difByrne. The death of the trainer was said should they have to suffer just for someone ferent marine animals. My to be her own fault, despite the level of to make a profit? family would often travel training she had and the precauto the park and enjoy days tionary measures she had taken. full of dolphins and whales In 2010, head trainer Dawn Branjumping and flipping out cheau was brutally killed by Tiof the water to entertain likum. This attack, unlike the atus. Little did we know that tack on Byrne nearly two decades by watching these majesearlier, brought new perspective to tic creatures, we were conanimal captivity and the safety of tributing to their downfall. trainers that interact with the aniIt is clear that orcas are mals. Tilikum is not some crazy, giant creatures, weighing killing machine. He was taken in at a ton and reaching from his home and separated from up to 26 feet in length, his family when he was just two and require spacious enyears old. As anyone would, he is vironments to prosper in. reacting to his separation through From my first visit to the Dark Secrets: Orcas in captivity are showing society the awful treatment they aggression. park, it was obvious to me are facing. Photo by: alex Monge “Tilikum has spent more than a that these whales were bethe enormous creatures. The documen- quarter of a century swimming in ing contained in areas much smaller than tary proves how false these claims are by circles, in a space that critics say what they were accustomed to, but I never introducing the case of Tilikum, a male would be equivalent to keeping a thought about how they were affected or orca captured in 1983. While at Sealand in human being in a bathtub. Wouldn’t how they got there. Victoria, Canada, Tilikum along with sev- you get resentful, angry, even a In a heartbreaking interview that brought eral other orcas was confined in a small 20 little rageful and psychotic if you me to tears while watching the film, former by 30 foot dark container. They were not were kept in a bathtub-sized tank diver John Crowe explained the process stimulated and were often deprived of food forced to swim in circles for more of kidnapping baby orcas from their fami- to perform more commands. Tilikum has than 25 years,” states animal activlies. “I lost it. I just started crying. I just since then become increasingly aggressive ist Jane Velez-Mitchell ( Blackfish: Students watch Blackfish in shock as they learn how couldn’t handle it,” he said. “Just like kid- due to the emotional and physical distress The film not only reassured my be- orcas are being treated in captivity. Photo by: Alex Monge

In doctors we trust


Every single day, there is opportunity for someone to potentially get hurt or sick. A simple doctor’s visit can turn into receiving news that nobody wants to hear. No matter where you are, and despite precautions taken, luck is luck, and sometimes it may not be in you favor. However, when the time comes that surgery is the only answer in order to get you healthy again, nobody wants to rely on luck to get off the operating table good as new. It seems as if it has gotten to this point nowadays. Over the years, there have been ample amounts of cases of surgery gone wrong. Despite whether or not a surgery is minor or high demanding, a patient goes into the hospital that day nervous to say the least. Their friends and family members wish them good luck and wait for them on the other side. But what if they never come out? It sounds incredibly harsh, but this is what has been happening far too often. If we cannot trust our lives in the hands of a certified doctor, who can we trust? While there is no exact number of surgery mishaps known, scientificamerican. com states that on average, about 210,000 patients a year experience conflicts during procedures. This is an incredible leap from 2010, when it was said about 189,000 people experience complications. You would think that over the years, doctors would learn from these errors, especially the ones that are nationally publicized, but it only seems to be getting worse. One patient, Josh Nahum, was one of 99,000 patients to acquire a bacterial infection just when doctors believed he was recovering. If 99,000 people go through this every year, there is obviously something wrong with the system. One PPCHS student, sophomore Lulu

Salem, went through a similar experience. She was rushed into the hospital at four in the morning, needing emergency appendicitis surgery. “I was petrified to say the least,” said Salem. “I had no clue what was going to happen considering it was such a shock. The doctors told me that if I have waited two more hours, my appendix would have ruptured and which could have caused bacteria to go to my heart. Luckily I made it in time.” At such a young age, it could be a traumatic experience to even step foot into the operating room. Nahem was a 27 year old who took the risk of sky diving and found himself in trouble, but other cases turn out to be out of everyone’s hands. Think of our seniors, 18 years old and living their lives with pure joy and focus on their futures. Well, for most seniors that is. 19 year old Blake Fought from Pittsburg, Virginia was hospitalized with an illness that required him to be set up to an IV for fluids. All was well until the IV had to be removed. The doctor sent a nurse to remove the IV, which seems fine until you hear the nurse was not certified for this procedure. Blake asphyxiated and died, right in front of his parents who were waiting to take him home. It baffles me that someone could be as irresponsible as to “practice” on a patient she is supposed to be helping. The doctor above her should have also known about her lack of capability and done the duty him himself or had someone who was able. Now, all because of a lack of common sense and responsibility, a teenager was lost in front of the ones who care the most about him. Salem had heard about this story and said, “I could not believe that someone would be so irresponsible

as to treat someone they are not capable of treating. I am so lucky that I had doctors in which I could trust, but I always wonder ‘what if it went the other way?’ With hearing so many of these stories, it is scary to think that I should feel relieved rather than it just being a normal procedure.” This story also hit close to home for sophomore Frances Acevedo, who had ACL surgery last year. After injuring her knee in a soccer game, Acevedo knew there would be surgery necessary. She knows exactly how it feels to be nervous about a procedure, no matter how serious it may be. “I went in knowing that it could possible turn out badly, but I did have trust in the doctors. Hearing stories on the news makes me realize just how lucky I am that everything went okay. The doctor even told me

that there was a chance I couldn’t walk again with my knee being weak, and I felt like he shouldn’t have to say that. To me, it mostly comes down to responsibility of the doctors. Rather than using a disclaimer before a procedure, they should just make sure it’s done correctly, not get the patient even more nervous,” said Acevedo. Thousands of people are affected by mistakes of doctors every year, and the students at PPCHS know the feeling. Whether something went wrong or not, there is fear and panic in the eyes of a patient when they hear the word “surgery” come out of a doctor’s mouth. The saying “we learn from our mistakes,” needs to be implemented in the medical field more often, or who knows where we will end up once we enter the operating room.

Graphic By: Armando Urena

Lifestyle January 2014



A high percentage of people across the globe don’t get the necessary amount of sleep every night. People all around the world and of all age groups are putting their health at risk when they sleep less than they should. Studies show that teenagers are the age group getting the least amount of sleep in almost all parts of the world. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only 15% of teenagers are getting the necessary amount of sleep, which they consider to be 9 ¼ hours every night. Many high school students, including those at PPCHS, find themselves deprived from sleep throughout the school week. With extracurricular activities, homework, and waking up on time for school the following morning for five days a week, the majority of students don’t get the recommended amount of sleep every night. Most people do not realize that sleep deprivation can cause serious damage and think the only significant effect is fatigue throughout the day. It affects one’s appearance, mood, and performance, even in simple everyday activities. A lack of sleep is not good for your mind or your body and can cause serious mental and physical effects, some of them even permanent. A group of scientists and scholars at Uppsala University in Sweden have been studying the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain. (Huffington Post). After conducting the experiment, the group made a connection between a lack of sleep and brain damage. After two groups of men were experimented on, one group getting

Is sleep really that important? more hours of sleep than the other, the University concluded that with the members of the group which received less sleep, there was higher blood concentration of two certain chemicals in the brain: NSE and S100B. These chemicals are the same ones that increase in the brain after a person experiences head trauma or a concussion. A high enough increase of these chemicals lead to permanent damage on the brain. Nerve cells, unlike other cells in the body, do not reproduce or heal themselves, so any damage to the brain is irreversible. Although the increase of NSE and S-100B

in the brains of the experimented men wasn’t as high as someone who had experienced a concussion, going multiple nights with little sleep for an extended period of time can eventually lead to a high enough amount of these chemicals in the brain, which can then lead to brain damage. “I can’t force myself to go to sleep any earlier than I used to. I fall asleep at the same time every night and since I have to wake up early every morning for school, I only end up getting a few hours” says freshman Christopher Alegria. Some ninth graders are having a hard time adjusting to the new

high school schedule and are accustomed to waking up an hour and a half later. “I unfortunately do not get nearly enough sleep each night, especially on weekdays,” says freshman Tobe Osakwe. “I spend time doing homework, as well as spend time with my family and I wake up at 5:30 so it’s difficult to fit all of those things and sleep as much as I need to each night”. However, it’s not only ninth grade students who have trouble adjusting to the schedule at PPCHS who have problems getting a decent amount of sleep per night. Senior Nicole Pollard, also feels that she should be getting more sleep than she than she currently is. “By the time I finish everything I need to do for the day, I don’t have much time left for sleep,” Pollard says. Pollard, who before the winter break organized an event for students to create Christmas letters for the homeless, has a lot of extracurricular activities everyday along with her homework and it’s difficult for her to sleep as much as she needs and wants to. Although many students aren’t able to fit as much time into their lives as others, everybody should try to get as much sleep as possible. It’s beneficial to one’s health and Graphic By: Matthew Perez their physical and mental performance.

Should students learn CPR? One factor that may hold students back is the misconception that it can take a long time to learn CPR. The truth is quite the It’s a common gesture seen in both televi- opposite. According to, a sion shows and movies. Cardiopulmonary simple course could be a short as a half resuscitation, better known as CPR, is a hour. Certification can be earned in about way to get oxygen transferred through the four hours. Aside from courses that could body for someone who is going through usually be found at a local hospital or a cardiac arrest, a condition where the heart nearby community center, The American stops beating. Performed through methods Heart Association has dozens of YouTube such as the kiss of life or resuscitation, videos teaching and promoting CPR, each those who use CPR can potentially save lasting only a few minutes. someone’s life. So why doesn’t everyone As teenagers, we are at an age where we know how to perform CPR? should all be trying to learn CPR. Truthfully, there is no set age limit for someone to learn CPR and in theory. Anyone can learn it, even young kids. Others just don’t know where to start. By simply searching on the internet, you can find a one-day weekend course near you. Within a few hours, you can be certified. “I don’t know CPR, but I absolutely think students should learn it. I hope Future Life Savers: A student’s decision to learn CPR gives them the knowledge to assist in potentially saving someone’s life. Photo By: Jonathan Harris that I will learn Nick Rivera STAFF WRITER

it soon. I hope I never have to use it, but should I have to, I want to be able to save s o m e o n e ’s life,” says senior Jake Silverberg. In most high schools, there is a requirement to take a physical education course before graduation. The most common course PPCHS Students Learn to Save: Sophmore Logan Mckinney practices his CPR skills to taken at benefit him in the future. Photo By: Jonathan Harris PPCHS is HOPE. A countless amount of to use CPR. Because they haven’t, I don’t students are beginning to take the course think they would see any reason to learn online, and as a student who is taking it it, but if they did witness someone who online, I know that it teaches a lot about needed CPR I think they would be more problems that can occur with the heart. motivated to learn,” says sophomore Julian During the second segment, or semester Brown. In truth, everyone has a reason to learn of the course, there is a requirement to be CPR certified. However, there is a way for CPR. The simple answer is that it saves students to avoid a trip to the hospital to lives. It is impossible to tell when somelearn by doing an alternate assignment. one may have cardiac arrest, especially The unfortunate truth is that many students considering that about 88% of them occur will chose to do this alternate assignment, at home ( CPR is a skill simply because they are too lazy, or would that stays with you for a long time, so there is no downside to learning CPR at a young rather avoid learning CPR. “I don’t think students have been exposed age. It’s always better to be prepared than to any situation in which they would have to be sorry.


Page Name Month 2013

Saving our schools: what it’s all about

Lauren Ramirez STAFF WRITER

“Save Our Schools” is a phrase heard often around PPCHS, whether it be at a sporting event, on the morning announcements, or just around the hallways. Every student has heard of the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign, but not many know of the details behind it. The participation of students and parents in the Charter community is what will help SOS raise the funds it needs to accomplish the ultimate goal of saving our school from privatization. “Why does our school need saving?” asked sophomore Vanessa Osorio. Although this may seem like a simple question, it is vital

in understanding the importance of Save Our Schools. Many students seem to be unsure of the necessity of the SOS campaign, or don’t know what the campaign does for the school. The Pembroke Pines Charter School System is a bit different than a public school; charter schools only have a select number of available openings for new students and they have more freedom to provide students with the best possible learning environment. While this is beneficial in many ways, it is also something that limits the amount of government funding the school receives. According to staff member Mrs. Cabeza, the charter school system receives 40 cents less per dollar

than public schools in Broward County. Although 40 cents may not seem like a substantial amount, it all adds up to significant amount of money that the school needs but simply doesn’t have. Without this funding, Pembroke Pines Charter does not have the money it needs. This is why we have the SOS campaign. Fortunately, there are things each and every student, parent, and community member can do to help the school continue to run the way it has for so many years. According to an email sent out by the charter system, the easiest and most beneficial way to help save Pembroke Pines Charter is to donate money. The pledge form to do-

nate can be found at; every charter family is encouraged to donate whatever they can to support the cause. So far, the Save Our Schools campaign has raised almost 200,000 dollars for their cause according to PPCHS English teacher Mrs. Cabeza. This is an incredible success, but more money is still needed. “No amount of money is too small. It all adds up. We asked for $1000 per student, but we will take whatever each family can give,” states Cabeza in reference to the Save Our Schools taskforce.

See SOS, Page 30...

Inside News...

Gun laws to be stricter on mentally ill

Newtown lives on

News January 2014

30 Saving our schools: what it’s all about

Weekend Reviews • Plane skids off runway at New York’s JFK airport: On January 5th, a plane skidded into snow at JFK airport in New York. The plane had landed and was taxiing when it skidded off of the runway. No injuries were reported, however. By the looks of this situation, the polar vortex looming over the United States is affecting more than just the temperature. • Pines teen’s work earns her Nickelodeon award: South Florida local Miranda Fuentes volunteers with Surfers for Autism in Boca Raton. Her efforts in this organization allowed her to be awarded with a TeenNick HALO award in Los Angeles. Senior Kelly McColman states, “I remember watching the HALO awards when I was younger so it’s refreshing to hear that a fellow South Floridian got the chance to go to LA and accept such an accolade.” • Bullied teens seek free plastic surgery from a NYC non-profit: The Little Baby Face Foundation gives free plastic surgery to low income families for their children who have birth defects. However, some teens who are bullied for their appearances have gone to the organization to relieve humiliation. But is it really okay to surgically alter your face for the sake of not being bullied? • Fight over citrus canker payments may resume: Over 5 years ago, 60,000 Broward homes won a battle against the state in which they were to receive money for the failed campaign against citrus canker. Considering that they haven’t received any money yet, the battle is suspected to resume in 2014. Don’t be surprised if angered Broward residents are seen protesting in the streets. • Family spots missing man in cold weather news photo: On New Year’s Day, Nicholas Simmons went missing from his home. His family was unable to locate him until recently when they saw him in a photo as a cold homeless man looking for warmth. Junior Lauren Tripp states, “It’s a real miracle that something like this could happen. What are the chances that a member of your family could go missing one day and appear in front of your eyes the next day in a newspaper.” • As US freezes, heat wave prompts severe fire warnings in Australia: While the United States is experiencing a polar vortex, Australia experiences temperatures as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat wave has cause severe fire warning to be put in place in Western Australia. Sophomore Aminah Olaniyan says, “It’s ironic that we finally get to pull out our boots here in Miami, yet we lent our usual hot weather to Australia.” • Dennis Rodman and his mouth in North Korea: On January 7th, while being interviewed in North Korea, basketball player Dennis Rodman shared some hurtful comments about Kenneth Bae. Bae is a U.S. citizen being held by the North Koreans; Rodman claimed that maybe Bae actually did something against the North Koreans and implied that Bae should be where he is. Following this statement, Kenneth’s family opened up about being hurt by this and Rodman apologized. On January 8th, Rodman sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

SOS from page 29... “Mrs. Cabeza spearheads the campaign at our school,” says Assistant Principal Ms. Battle. “She is the one to go to with any questions or concerns about save our schools.” Attending school events that support Save Our Schools is another great way to help. The next Save Our Schools event is “Dancing with the Staff” on January 23rd, 2014. The event will be held in the River of Grass auditorium at 7 p.m. “Dancing With the Staff” is an event based off the popular competition style reality television program “Dancing with the Stars”, but in the school production the stars are being replaced with Pembroke Pines Charter High School staff members, and the professional dancers are being replaced with our very own students. The event is a great opportunity to have a fun night out while helping to support our school. Save Our Schools takes part in many events school wide. Not only will attending these events help support the school, but providing donations of snacks and other items to be sold at these events can help, as well. For more information about how you can help Save Our Schools through donations, contact Mrs. Cabeza at mcabeza@ members of the PPCS “Anything that can be community have volundone to help save our teered their time in order school is something that to help the Pembroke we should do. We can’t Pines Charter School just wait around for other System, according to people to do it for us. It’s our school, so we have Another way Save Our to be the ones to keep it Schools has been raising alive,” said sophomore money is by attending Saman Govaria. Govaria sporting events for the was in charge of running school. Having people at a bake sale fundraiser to these events that can talk benefit Save Our Schools to charter families about through the PPCHS stuthe situation Pembroke dent government assoPines Charter is provciation. “The bake sale ing to be a great way to was a success”, Govaria spread the word about says, “We had a lot of Ask Them How: All day Friday, the staff Save Our Schools. The people not only buying at PPCHS wore Save Our School shirts to campaign has also held baked goods, but also try and get more and more people to donate successful family nights just making donations to to the Save Our School cause. at places like Park AvePhoto by: Jonathon Harris our school. It was incrednue Gymnastics, and they ible.” are planning to hold more due to the sucThere are many people that can be con- cess of these fundraising events. tacted for more information on Save Our It is possible for anyone to play a role in Schools. At the Pembroke Pines Charter saving our school. Even just by promoting High School there are several teachers and and encouraging others to donate, students faculty members involved with the cam- are playing a role in making sure PPCHS paign such as Ms. Cabeza, Ms. Romero, remains the learning environment each and Mr. Lawrence, and Mr. Velasquez. These every student has grown to love.

Newtown lives on

loved ones, while at the same time respecting each family’s individual journey and It’s been about one year since gunman, unique experiences,” as stated in the Sandy Adam Lanza, walked into Sandy Hook Hook website. elementary school, grabbed a gun, and “It’s great how the families made a webpulled the trigger, killing twenty six peosite in remembrance of the victim’s, now ple in his midst. As the time for grieving they can truly live on forever,” said junior slowly came upon the people Bianca Maximus. of the United States, the famiThe website has a bunch of special lies of the victims announced a features. There is a message box new website they put together where anybody can write an email in remembrance of the young to the victim’s families. The webchildren and adults murdered site also has a special spot at the during that cold Friday mornbottom of the page where a reader ing in Newtown, Connecticut. can either donate money to the My “The Sandy Hook shooting Sandy Hook Family Fund, or check is the worst school shooting out the Sandy Ground Project page. that’s ever happened, I don’t The shooting was a major heartunderstand how a person can break to the families and friends of just go out and kill twenty six the Sandy Hook victims, and the people, especially children,” website will forever be there to tell said sophomore Myles Marithe story of the students and teachon. ers who lost their lives that tragic The website is set up with a In our Hearts: In memory of the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary, there has day. The families hope that this been a website put together for them. Photo by: Sydney Silverberg green background, and a huge website will be a way to show peoheart in the middle of the page filled with family is different and has their own per- ple that some small measures of good may all the victim’s names. Clicking on a name spective on how they want the page of their be returned to the world, and every year on will directly change the page and there will loved one to be. “By creating this website, the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootbe the story of the victim’s life who passed we hope to offer an opportunity to com- ing anyone can look back at this website in this terrible tragedy. “MySandyHook- municate with our families and honor our and be reminded of that. Maribel Maignan STAFF WRITER allows us, the 26 families, the opportunity to honor our loved ones in a way that feels right to each individual family,” according to MySandyHookFamily. org. The stories of the victims are completely different from each other because each

Gun laws to be stricter on mentally ill Matthew Deno STAFF WRITER

On January 3rd, the Obama administration revealed changes to two gun law procedures that would bring more mental health records into the background check system for gun purchases. These are the first new proposals on weapons violence since a sequence of gun control bills failed to pass in Congress last spring, according to the Baltimore Sun. The planned changes, however, fall short of the determined plan the administration launched early in 2013 in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut and are expected to be finalized by the end of 2014. As of right now, most gun sales are not covered by background checks, and it seems unlikely that Congress will revisit that issue any time soon. According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the changed procedures would make it clear that people who have been ordered to receive outpatient mental treatment, and not just those involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility, are prohibited from buying any type of guns. If this rule was in place in 2007, it may have prevented gun purchases by Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech student who killed 32 people in a

campus rampage. The ban would continue to not apply to people who voluntarily seek treatment or check themselves into a hospital. Still, supporters for those with mental illness have tried to restrict the reporting rules, saying they unfairly denounce people who are not violent. “I feel that this rule should have been in effect a while ago, as it probably would have stopped the occurrence of many mass shootings around the United States.” comments freshman Luke Spencer. The second change would clarify federal rules on the privacy of healthcare records, the Los Angeles Times also reports. Officials in some states have cited those rules as one reason for not submitting mental health records to the background check system. The change in procedures also gives states and other agencies that track mental health commitment records clear permission to submit names to the background check database, but it does not lengthen the list of who must report or what information gets submitted. Treatment records and other detailed information would still remain private. These new

changes have been mostly welcomed as a promising sign by many gun control advocates, who have been pushing to restart the debate. “Having a mental illness should be a key part that is factored into gun background checks. I think that is perfectly fine for someone’s medical records to be pulled up before they are allowed to purchase a gun,” comments junior Anesia Gordon.

Graphic by: Matthew Perez


Page Name Month 2013

Selfie Olympics: the modern games of 2014 Hayley Hartwell and Alexys Nowak STAFF WRITER AND PROOF-READER

Two girls are walking down the hallway and all of a sudden they stop in their tracks. One of them yells, “selfie!” and whips out her phone. The girls strike an instant pose and then examine the picture to make sure it’s up to par. This has become common knowledge around the world. Everyone knows that when in a situation with a close friend, a selfie must be taken. Did it really even happen if there are no pictures? Not today. But now, the level of sefie extrem-

ity has risen to heights nobody could ever imagine. With the Winter Olympics right around the corner, Twitter users decided to jump into the spirit and make taking selfies into a sport. These were not normal selfies, however. In November, one clever user decided to be funny and post a picture balancing himself on his door commenting on how everyone needed to get the full view of his outfit. Teens, adults, celebrities and more find themselves running to the bathroom and taking photos brushing their teeth and more than likely, climbing the door like a koala. Charter Students ran into

this recent trend toward the end of December, and it continues on. People stayed up all night just to view the games and others even participated themselves. Students woke up to a timeline filled with interesting and creative selfies. Tweeters balanced on their door and some even managed to look as if they were levitating. It even went as far as taking photos with feet instead of hands. One user, in an attempt to be creative and risky, threw his iPad in the air and snapped a “no hands” photo. Eventually, people began to use props to enhance the creativity of their post; almost

becoming like a real competition. One of our seniors decided to join in on the games, spiking great reactions from his followers. Freddy Guerrier, who is always outgoing, tweeted a selfie in his bathroom on January 2nd, 2013. He balanced on the door with his full outfit for his followers to see, and hit the “share” button. Immediately, he got many reactions. Many people had never even seen the idea until Guerrier contributed his picture.

See Selfie Olympics, Page 32

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Selfie Olympics

Award shows 101

Hoots and hollers for Drake and ballers

Entertainment January 2014


Selfie Olympics: the modern games of 2014 Selfie Olympics from Page 31...

Hayley Hartwell and Alexys Nowak STAFF WRITER AND PROOF-READER

“At first I saw everyone posting pictures and I thought it looked ridiculous and I would never have done that. As I saw more and more pictures I decided to try it out for myself, even though I thought I was going to break my door. Once I did it and saw more pictures I realized how entertaining it really was,” commented Guerrier. Junior Shafeek Glover was one person who saw Freddy’s post, and it was the first time he was exposed to the phenomenon. Glover then decided that he wanted to be a part of the Selfie Olympics as well, and got his camera ready. Glover’s picture was a classroom inspired picture; he took ideas that he had seen separately from other users and combined them to make his own. He put American Girl Dolls in little chairs on his bathroom counter, a board on the towel rack and hung on his door with a pair of glasses. “I saw all the other people posting pictures that included making fun of girls who take pictures posing in the mirror, so

that’s where the American Girl Dolls came from. I hung from the door because that seemed like else everyone was up there,” said Glover. The “Olympics” have not died out; people still continue to post pictures daily hoping to earn feedback and recognition. Some people do it for the pure joy, and others sit in their bed with their phones laughing at all the competitors. However, everyone has especially been enjoying the celebrities that have joined in on the games. picked ten celebrities that they felt made the biggest impression with their selfies. Miley Cyrus was one of the top picks; she posed in a pink wig that matched her pink, floral outfit along with her floral print phone case. There was also talk about Justin Biebers posts. The simple fact that he would even participate in something everyone else did was enough to bring him to the top ten. Sophomore Frances Acevedo was not only entertained by the games, but was also extremely shocked at how many celebrities joined in. “At first I thought that the games would just be a one night thing, like what

usually happens on Twitter, but I realized a full blown competition that does not that wasn’t the case. Apparently it has been seem to be slowing down. As more people going on for a long time before,” said Ace- find different ways to express their imagivedo. I thought that Austin Mahone’s post nation, a bond throughout the world of was really funny because he was just pos- Twitter might just form. Now, it seems as if ing with a toothbrush in his mouth. Other taking pictures striking unusual poses may celebrities tried to be provocative or mod- turn out to be just as popular as snowboardel-like, but he just acted like himself.” ing for a score. It’s safe to say that if there actually were prizes for who had the best selfie, the competition would be insane. Twitter users around the whole nation went out of their way to pull themselves onto their bathroom doors for the mere fact that it seemed funny at Charter takes the gold in Selfie Olympics: Senior Freddy Guerrier had his whole TL the time. Now, laughing when he posted this photo. Photo donated by: Freddy Guerrier it has turned into

Hoots and hollers for Drake and ballers

shown up at EHS to support him and watch him play. “He texted me asking me whether or not I had a game on Monday. I told him I did and sent him the address. He wanted to stop by and watch me play before he flew out the next morning,” Haanif shared. And what a great game for Drake to sit in on! The Jags came out on top with a win of 75-64. Although they were at first losing to the Gators, the mighty Jags were resilient enough to bound back after halftime and steal away the win. And between the dunks and dribbles, Haanif was glad to look up and see his cousin in the crowd. “It felt good to have him come out and actually watch me play, especially with how busy he usually is,” Cheatham expressed. Many students were confused as to why Drake was there, but they weren’t complaining. “I walked into the gym and saw Drake there. I started freaking out because that’s like the last place I would’ve expected him to be, and I’m a huge fan,” Elizabeth Leal (’15) gushes. A lot of other students had the same reaction as they

snapped pictures and captured videos of him at the game. These were then posted all over Twitter and Instagram, causing the gym to get even more crowded as people showed up to see if Drake was actually at the game. With the bleachers all full and Drake’s presence helping to rile up the crowd, the scene turned into a very lively one. Cheers, hollers and screams were not only aimed at the famous rapper, but at the players as well as the students rooted for their teams. Jags came out as the victors, causing a feeling of pride to spread throughout the team as they walked off the courts as champs. At the end of the game, Drake was exiting the gym surrounded by body guards, but many fans walked beside him as they took pictures. Despite being chased out of the gym, Drake enjoyed the game and said that he actually “had a lot of fun.” A winning game and an appearance by Drake? This game will definitely go down in Charter history.

and useful lesson which is worth watch- McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, ing,” says movie-goer Valeria Montes. and Jean Dujardin. With all these actors What most people didn’t know is that ac- on one movie set, success is only bound to cording to Box Office Mojo, is that Disney happen. movies tend to sell the most and become Like many others, a key factor in a hit most popular due to their extremely suc- movie is a promising line of well-known cessful industry along with their reputa- actors. Anywhere ranging from Mark tion. This is most likely due to the lessons Wahlberg to Megan Fox. These actors call learned while watching Disney movies. Little children alongside their family view these movies and learn a great deal about romance, values, friendship, and various other crucial life lessons. Nothing can be more valued than watching a meaningful movie while being entertained all at the same time. Another hot box office movie is The Wolf on Wall Street. The movie is about a New York stock broker which refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case that includes mob infiltration into Wall Street and Graphic by: Danny Vidal the corporate banking world. Perhaps what made this movie score num- attention to prospecting viewers and attract ber two was the movie’s lineup of nothing the actor’s fans. but talented actors. They include the one “My favorite actor is Leonardo DiCaprio. and only Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew I think he plays his roles well and is a

great actor. I automatically want to watch a movie with him in it because I know he will play his role well,” says fan Emily Nakhleh. An additional attribute is plot. It’s all about the plot. Plot is most often about a conflict or struggle that the main character goes through. The conflict can be with another character, or with the way things are, or with something inside the character, like needs or feelings. While watching a movie, the audience awaits rising action to maintain their movie “high.” But, if the movie is constantly in rising action, it is said that the audience will grow tired of the movie, according to Empire Online. Taking into consideration all these factors, a successful movie deserves much recognition. Whether it’s the starring actors or mesmerizing landscape, every audience has its varying preferences. We might not know exactly what makes movies sell, but we do know one thing. A movie with racy scenes and Oscar nominated actors is sure to make some noise in the box office.

However, besides the Jags taking home a win that night, something else was just as equally exciting. On Monday, January 6th, the PCB game Haanif Cheatham, a junior and PCB playstarted out like any other. It was an away er was undefeatable that night. The PPCHS game in which the Jags were taking on team was hustling and scoring as big as the Gators of Everglades High School. usual, but Haanif really helped to turn the game around as he upped the ante by scoring a total of 32 points. And while Cheatham was getting attention for his great shots, he was put in the spotlight for something else…. Sitting in the crowd at EHS that Monday night was Haanif’s cousin: famous rapper Drake! Humble at it’s finest: Rap star Drake sits amogst the crowd as if he is not one of the Drake had Aaliyah Pasols STAFF WRITER

most famous performers. Photo by: Alex Monge

What makes a movie sizzle Andrea Bellorin CLUBS EDITOR

The history of film has evolved throughout the years in many different ways since its beginning in the late 1880’s. From silent films to now IMAX films, the film industry’s transformation deserves nothing but a standing ovation. When movie goers leave the movie theaters exclaiming how great the movie was, many people believe otherwise. With current popular films such as Frozen, The Hobbit and The Wolf of Wall Street, the box office is roaring with nothing but excellent ratings. But what makes these movies so popular to the audience? The current highest ranking box office movie, Frozen, has an astounding domestic gross of $296,691,729 so far and still growing. The Disney animation Frozen is about a kingdom that is trapped in an eternal winter by a prophecy. Main characters Anna and Kristoff team up on the grandest journeys to find the Snow Queen and put an end to the icy spell. The movie itself is romantic, selfless, and timeless. “I was dragged to watch the movie with my mom and my little sister. When I watched the movie I actually really liked it and thought it was better than some of the classic Disney movies. It teaches a really nice


Award shows 101

Entertainment January 2014


The beginning of a new year marks the beginning of the award show season. Whether students are looking forward to seeing their favorite stars rock the red carpet in sky high heels and long glamorous dresses or anticipating seeing their favorite TV show take home its long awaited Emmy, students look forward to watching their favorite award shows year after year. For someone who is new to this world, the world of award shows and celebrities can be very confusing. Here is your guide for the 2014 Award Show Season: The People’s Choice Awards: Unlike most award shows, winners of The People’s Choice Awards are decided solely by the public. Because of this, the awards show has a more laid back atmosphere. This year’s awards show took place on January 8th, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. and aired on CBS. Winners included Sandra Bullock, who took home six awards for her various movies, Justin Timberlake who won Favorite Album, and Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev won for Best Chemistry. Brittney Spears took home her first PCA for Favorite Pop Artist, while Demi Lovato who won Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Music Fan Following.

The Golden Globes: The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards aired at 8:00 p.m. live on NBC on January 12th, 2014. The Golden Globes recognize excellence in both film and television, both domestic and foreign. Winners are chosen by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. This year, they were hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Winners included Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for American Hustle, Breaking Bad for Best TV Series, Drama, and Frozen for Best Animated Feature Film.

The Grammy Awards: Every young singer dreams of winning a Grammy someday; it’s the most respected award a record or person could win. This year it will be held on January 26th and will be broadcasted at 8 p.m. on CBS. The 56th annual award show will have many special performances including Stevie Wonder and Daft Punk. In addition to their joined performances, Metallica will give their first performance in 23 years. Kendrick Lamar, Pink, Merele Haggard, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers will also perform.

The Academy Awards: The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars is the most prestigious award for movies. The winners of the Academy Awards are decided by The Academy, which are more than six thousand artists and professionals who play a part in bringing movies to life. This year, they will be hosted, once again, by Ellen DeGeneres, the talk show host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They will be held on March 2nd, 2014 (a week later than usual to avoid conflict with the 2014 Winter Olympics on Sochi) and will air on ABC live at 8:30 p.m. Last year, a big winner was Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Lining’s Playbook at the tender age of 22.

The Emmys: The Primetime Emmy Show is the highest honor in the world of Television. Emmys are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, so viewers have no say in the outcome. Only the Academy will vote unanimously to decide a winner in each category. This year, they will be hosted on the last week of August on NBC to avoid interfering with football conflict. Last year, big winners included Breaking Bad for drama series, Modern Family for comedy series, and The Voice for reality-competition program. Graphic by: Armando Urena

An endless tumble downhill Looghermine Claude LIFESTYLE EDITOR

Tumblr. It’s one of the more popular teen social networking sites for expressing yourself. You can write about how you feel, post pictures of things you like, and even share to others the music you enjoy. The website is, for many, a platform to

ballerinas tend to be favorites, but there are also lots of user-generated pictures, ‘real girl thinspo.’” Alongside the pictures are food diaries and motivational JPEGs, their mantra the hackneyed, ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.’” “I always find my dash filled with images of super skinny women and arms covered in cuts and blood. The images are super graphic and I know that they could t r i g g e r someone to start cutting or to go back if they have Blogging for help: Bloggers often post photos on Tumblr with hopes of receiving feedbak that will help their situation. Photo by: Juan Tellez just recovshow the world who they really are. But ered, and that’s why I’m so bothered by could the person that you portray yourself them. The thing I don’t like the most is that to be on the internet be a playing into an people post it like it’s nothing or that it’s okay, when they really need help,” says juinternational epidemic? Thousands of blogs on Tumblr advocate nior Melissa Romero. Not only are multiple blogs posting and as being self-harm, depression, suicide, and eating disorder blogs. Some are even writing about disorders, but multiple compro-ana (pro anorexia), pro-mia (pro buli- munities on Tumblr are accepting them. mia) and thinspiration blogs dedicated to Bloggers seem to look past the real issues the promotion of disorders that are harming surrounding cutting, burning, purging, many teenagers, especially young women. and extreme dieting, and allow people to They post graphic pictures and persuasive believe that by harming their bodies they texts that encourage the eating disorders are doing the right them. Just like in bullyand are dedicated to helping others be thin. ing, by being a bystander to the problem, Kelly Bourdet from you are ultimately helping it to continue. says “go to any pro-ana Tumblr and you’ll Tumblr has been known to address naget lost in a sea of thinness: models and tional issues and cause changes in millions

of people’s minds, but they just haven’t been providing enough help to those with eating disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts. “I really want to help the people I follow that post about cutting themselves or not eating, but I don’t know how to talk to them about it or help them. I wish that Tumblr would help out and give people some places to find help,” says junior Chloe Fabien. Luckily, Tumblr is trying to put a stop to the glorification and promotion of selfharm and eating disorders. On February 23rd, 2012 Tumblr posted a draft of a new policy they’re implementing about self-harm blogs. The policy has two parts to it. Part One states that users are not allowed to post content “… that urges or encourages readers to cut or mutilate themselves; embrace bulimia, or other eating disorders; or to commit suicide rather than, e.g., seek counseling or treatment for depression or other disorders,” ( Part Two says that Tumblr will start showing PSAs on searches for keywords. This means that if someone tries looking up posts on Tumblr

for things like “anorexia”, “thinspo”, or “purging” a post would show up on their screen with language like: “Eating disorders can cause serious health problems, and at their most severe can even be lifethreatening. Please contact the [resource organization] at [helpline number] or [website],” ( With the implementation of the new policy as well as a new awareness awaking within bloggers, the adoration and acceptance of mental and psychological problems in teenagers on Tumblr should die

Graphic by: Joshua Alleman

down. Bloggers need to realize that those who harm themselves need to seek out help and recover, not see writings and images that may provoke them to continue harming themselves.


Page Name Month 2013

Which One are you rooting 4?


Ever since the release of the newest gaming consoles—the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4—people have been dying to get their hands on them. In the first month

and a half of sales, it was extremely rare to see any stores have them in stock. A new wave has washed over the world. The next generation of gaming consoles has revived

the long-time ‘console war,’ and each side is competing for dominance over the market and to get the most customers. In the end, there can only be one winner, and the

Inside Technology:

Driving Phones steer us into the future

world is split between these two amazing consoles. See Console wars on page 35...

Technology January 2014


Which One are you rooting 4?

Console wars from page 34... Throughout the age of technology, it’s been a tradition that console wars have occurred between two or more of the top gaming companies upon their dates of release. Members of societies choose sides and bear arms full of words and arguments used to prove that their side is the best. Judging these consoles can’t solely be based off of opinion, but also what each console has in store for its users. What games are available? How much storage does each console have? What features are present? What makes gamers want this console over the other? From the start, PlayStation 4 has a wider variety of games, not to mention that they have more games on the launch day. The Xbox One, though, has released future dates for games, like Titanfall and Minecraft: Xbox One Addition. These two consoles both share many games, like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The Xbox One presents 500 GB of storage for games and apps, while the PlayStation 4 has 500 GB of storage that can be user-replaceable. “I got the PS4 because it was a bundle with a few games I want, like Killzone,” said sophomore Matias Matias. “My friends also got the PS4 and I am able to play with them. If I got the new Xbox One, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the experience as much without my friends.” While the Xbox One presents new fea-

tures, like the Kinect 2.0, Skype, and Netflix, the PS4 offers a variety of its own special features. The new DualShock 4 controller that features a touchpad and enhanced rumble feedback, the enhanced graphics that makes game clips feel like a movie, and the ability to stream old PS1, PS2, and PS3 games via the Internet are some of the newest characteristics found on the PS4. The features of both the PS4 and the Xbox One draw crowds worldwide, and choosing one is like choosing between Coke and Pepsi. One person might like one console, while another person might like another. “I’ve had the Xbox for as long as I can remember,” said freshman Juan Ardila. “I like the live TV feature the Xbox One has.” On a worldwide scale, the PS4 is selling more units and is winning the world abroad. The PS4 appeals to the gamers, particularly in Europe, because of its amazing graphics and its cheaper price. In countries that are having economic difficulty, buying a cheaper console would be easier. The Xbox One, though, is winning in America, if you compare the two by the amount of units

‘Snapping’ back into action

sold in the same time span. Many American gamers are hooked by Microsoft’s award winning exclusive games, like Halo franchise, the Gears of War franchise, and the Dead Rising franchise. The current console war will rage on until the next generation of consoles is released.

Graphic By: Daniel Vidal

In the end, there can only be one dominant gaming company. The Xbox 360 won the last console war, but in this new generation the winner is up for grabs. No matter which console wins, one thing is certain: the future is here and it’s in the form of the Xbox One and the PS4.

Driving Phones steer us into future

Melissa Pierce STAFF WRITER


A New Year’s surprise from Snapchat: 4.6 some people are still very much aware of million usernames and mobile phone num- the amount of privacy they really have. bers have been leaked onto the Internet! Junior Stefano Diogurati states, “I don’t Does that mean that Pines Charter selfies think promising to improve security after are scattered around the web? Not in this a hack is enough for Snapchat. New techcase. According to, pic- nology comes out every day; Snapsave lets tures and other information were kept safe; you save your pictures making it easier for only phone numbers and usernames were hackers to get what isn’t theirs. Considerreleased. But how could a rising social me- ing that I use Snapchat every day, someone dia network experience could follow what I such a breech in secuam doing at all times.” rity at such an early But what if there stage? is uncertainty about The Find Friends feawhether or not someture on Snapchat that one is a victim in this allows one to find a particular hacking friend through their incident? Many webphone number was the sites and databases crux of the issue. Hackhave surfaced for this ers could use this feajob in particular. One ture to match names to can check if their inphone numbers (digiformation has been Acleaked by going on cording to security firm the Gibson Security AdaptiveMobile, the (GS) Lookup or by areas affected most segoing on Snapcheck. verely by the Snapchat org (http://howto.cnet. mishap are in Califorcom). If a person finds nia and New York with their information has Colorado, Illinois, and been leaked, it is recFlorida right behind. ommended by CNET Avid Snapchat user, to change their passsophomore Christopher Snapchat back up: Snapchat has been hacked word considering that and is now back for teens to send pictures to Smith, expresses his friends. Photo by: Rebecca Gonzalez they can’t do anything view on the probabilabout their informaity of hacks occurring: “I think that this tion already being open to the public’s was bound to happen. Every type of social eyes. media has its flaws. There are determined Snapchat is in the midst of ‘snapping’ people online and everything gets hacked back into action after a devastating breech nowadays; I’ve even heard that the XBOX in security that began on New Year’s Eve. has been hacked before. It’s a real security Hackers were able to use a feature within breech because strangers have access to Snapchat to access and release the useryour private information.” names and phone numbers of over four Immediately after Snapchat was hacked million people. Users can check if their into, representatives from Gibson Security information has been leaked by going on responded. They were first to discover the a variety of different websites and Gibson attack on Snapchat and bring it to the atten- Security representatives have voiced that tion of the public. Gibson Security has stat- they are releasing an update to improve the ed, “We will be releasing an updated ver- application and prevent future hacks. Daily sion of the Snapchat application that will Snapchat users, regardless of whether they allow Snapchatters to opt out of appearing were affected by the hack or not, are well in Find Friends after they have verified aware of how secure any social network their phone number. We’re also improving really is. Snapchat is building itself back rate limiting and other restrictions to ad- up from this downfall so early in the New dress future attempts to abuse our service” Year, for it will see to the improvements in ( Despite this, operation and security.

One of the greatest forms of technology in this day in age is the cell phone. With the ability to read fingertips and be controlled with the wave of a hand, cell phones can do it all. But there is one major drawback: you can’t drive your cell phone… or can you? During the New Year, Apple and Android have been rumored to partner with car companies such as Audi and BMW to incorporate their software into their cars. Beginning in June of 2013, Apple announced that they would be incorporating iOS into new models at its Worldwide Developers Conference ( iOS in the car would center on an iPhone being the control of the car. Many features would be available, although most would require a connection to an iPhone device. Announcements for iOS in the car came out in collaboration with new models for 2014 and 2015 Hondas. Google’s approach has been slightly different. In a conference earlier this year, Google announced that they would be partnering with car companies, such as Audi and Hyundai, in an alliance called the Open Automotive Alliance to create cars with Android software inside. Unlike cars with iOS, android software will be incorporated into the car without the need to connect a device right away (USAToday). Features that regular Android users take advantage of, such as google maps, will

already be inserted into the cars. With driving laws, such as being illegal to text and drive, the incorporation of cell phone software into cars can raise many hazards. However, most concerns are eliminated with an always listening voice control built into both iOS and Android cars. Because the car is always listening, there is no need to press a button in order to say a command ( The iOS and Android cars will be using Siri and S Voice as the voice controls. There will also be modifications to the software in order to prevent any distracted driver, and example is that video playing apps will be disabled. “I have an iPhone, so this is something that interests me. In emergencies, it would be nice to know that I would be able to safely be able to make a call or send a text. One thing that I would be worried about is cost. I would expect an increase in charges due to the fact that I would be using my phone on a completely different level,” says senior Lucas Aguirra. With some models already out, it is an exciting advancement in both phone and car technology. With improvements to the cars expected to come every year, pretty soon we may witness these motorized cell phones in our student parking lot. One thing is for sure, this is going to change the automotive world forever.

Driving Phones: Junior Robert Rojas awaits the new phone innovation. Photo by: Peter Dourvetakis


Technology January 2014

Psych of txting: does texting change the way we think? Looghermine Claude and Lauren Ramirez LIFESTYLE EDITOR AND STAFF WRITER

Texting has become sort of an addiction. Just look at the facts. Every day six million texts are sent in the United States. That number reaches two trillion at the end of the year ( Since people are tex-

Teens with phones: Teens are texting as often as ever. Photo by: Jonathan Harris

ting so much, and so often, it’s no surprise that the casual activity is changing humans psychologically. People are becoming more open and expressive behind the screen, and they use it to forge or break relationships with others. With texting, humans are changing the way they interact with each other, as well as how they present themselves to the world. Every teenager has heard their parents

yelling at them saying something along the lines of “You won’t put that phone down!” But what many teenagers wonder is “What is so bad about being on my phone so often? Staying connected with my friends is a good thing, right?” “What’s fascinating is what people are willing to say in texts that they would never say in person. Somehow it’s OK to be a little more revealing, forthright, and feisty than it is when you’re talking face to face,” says an article from In an interview with Forbes, Dr. Alan Manevitz, a psychiatrist, said that people are more willing to reveal “the thoughts that they have or the choices they’ve made” by text rather than face-to-face communication. Dr. Manevitz uses texting with his patients, and he saw that his patients were able to give their feelings real time and said things to him they normally wouldn’t when in his office. For some reason people feel more comfortable shielded by a glowing screen. This perceived invincibility is portrayed in some teenage behavior. Texting can influence the minds of teenagers in ways never before imagined. 75% of teens own cell phones, and according to CNN, the average teen will send over 50 texts per day. Studies have proven that teens who send more than the average number of text messages per day are 10% more likely to have behavioral issues and lower grade point averages. Texting is also proven to increase the reported cases of bullying in teenagers. The ability to talk to someone without having to speak to them in person or see their reaction provides an easy way for teenagers to say harsh words and not worry about the result of their actions. “It’s like it’s

The obsession is real: Freshman Bridget Casellas is addicted to texting. Photo by: Carli Stander

not real,” says senior Dymin Richardson, “Since you don’t see people’s reactions to your words, it’s almost as if they had no reaction at all.” Another change to come about because of texting is the ongoing connection with it. People are constantly texting others. They wake up, and check their texts. Throughout the day, they check their texts. Before they sleep, they check their texts. “Out [at] dinner, at parties, or at family gatherings, their phone is always at the ready so that they can get and return the incoming flow of messages,” says Even just around PPCHS students can be seen pulling out their phones in the middle of conversations. Some people are so connected to their devices, they imagine hearing the cell phone vibrate even though it didn’t happen. On several popular social media sites such as Twitter and Tumblr, teens have begun to refer to this “hallucination” as textaphrenia. As it is written by one popular Tumblr post, “Textaphrenia: thinking you’ve heard or felt a new text message vibration when there’s actually no

message at all.” Not all aspects of texting are harmful, texting is a great way to spread useful information and an easier way to stay keep in touch with friends and family. “A friend of mine moved out of the state, I was upset at first but thankfully I am still able to keep in touch with him through texting” said sophomore Sasha Sarran. Texting also helps parents to stay in touch with their kids while they are not at home. “If you’re hanging out with your friends, it’s awkward to stop and talk on the phone with your mom, it’s easier to just send her a quick text telling her where you are or what you’re doing” says sophomore Saman Govaria. Texting may be harmful to friendships, but it can also keep friendships alive. Texting may keep teens disconnected from their family, but it can also connect families. Texting is something that has become a part of daily life, and whether it is a good thing for society or not, there are no signs of it going away.

Chelsie vs. Chelsi

Be true to yourself – and the music Chelsie Ramos STUDENT LIFE EDITOR

The music booms in the background. The crowd roars and screams along to the song being played. Flashes from cameras fill the air. Then in the back, mumbling along to the music, you find people posing for the perfect candid picture. They shout out the chorus of the songs only, and then quiet down as the rest of the song roars on. These types of people can be found in all types of music events ranging from Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals to country music to even mainstream music. When fans go to music events and concerts, they expect to find others like themselves, who are there because of their love to that genre of music. They don’t wish to have those who just jumped on the bandwagon because it was the cool thing to do. The bottom line is that when it comes to music events and such, people should go because they like the artist and genre, not just simply to snap a picture and be able to say that they attended the event. For some, music speaks to them and is their outlet so they take much pride and defense over the music events and concerts that they go to. Events such as Life in Color, Ultra Music Festival and specific DJ concerts are some of the biggest events that can be found under the EDM music festival list. These festivals are filled with thousands of loyal fans who religiously follow EDM DJ’s. This is the same for artist in all other forms of genres. The artist go on tour, spend weeks and weeks away from home to play music for those loyal fans that have helped them become who they are. Concerts are meant to give fans the chance to see their favorite artist perform and the opportunity for the artist to feed off the excitement and passion from the audience. This cycle however doesn’t always work out properly if a good portion of the people attending the concert isn’t loyal fans. The energy is just not the same anymore, because what was once a grouping of people with a common interest and taste turns into just another day. When it comes to music, like many things, everyone has their own taste. Not everyone will agree on who is the greatest artist, or the best genre, and this reason is simply because everyone is an individual, with their own opinions. However, when a person gives into what everyone else is doing, and goes to concerts and music events just because it is the “cool” thing to do that weekend, then they lose their individuality. No longer are you being true to your interest, instead you are giving in to peer pressure

just to be part of the “in-crowd.” Staying true to yourself and being your own person is the most important thing in the world. Attending an event that is of little or no interest to you could lead to other unfavorable things. If you are not a true follower, chances are you will stick out like a sore thumb. You will eventually find yourself drifting from the crowd, trying to entertain your-self in other ways, or maybe just purely end up feeling ill or out of place. EDM events such as Ultra Music Festival and Life in Color are prime examples of this. Others could be the yearly Chili Cook Off, a country music event, meant for loyal country fans. A day where country singers from all over descend upon C.B. Smith Park, they expect to find fans who will be able to get into their music. Not others who will just wander around and getting themselves into trouble, which could very likely happen if you are to attend an event you have no interest in. To top it off most events have a limit on the amount of tickets that can be sold and when people decide to attend purely because of a need to fit in, they are not realizing that they are preventing the true fans from attending. It is a horrible moment when a fan goes to buy a concert ticket to their favorite artist, band, or DJ to only find out that it is sold out. It is even worse when they see people, who they know are not fans, at the event. This is what happens often, and it is a vicious cycle that ends up not benefitting either party. If a person knows that they are not a true fan to a music genre or artist then why bother and go? Why take away a spot for someone who cares deeply about the artist? What would be the benefit of going anyway, to take a picture for a social media site? Or would you go to have a story to tell your friends and peers? None of these are truly good enough reasons to not allow someone else to go. So when artist like Jay Z and Justin Timberlake come on tour it is a big deal and thousands of people hope to be able to attend the concert, while many will not be able to do to the amount of tickets that can be sold. When the concerts or events come with major headliners many people want to go because that artist is the biggest at the time. However, since Jay Z is one of the biggest rappers, everyone who wants to be anyone thinks that they should go, even if they don’t now a single song. Same goes to artist like Justin Timberlake. When Timberlake announced his first ever tour in years this past spring, thousands of fans rushed to get tickets. Yet, those “old” fans who didn’t know a single song still bought tickets and took the spot of a true fan. The fact is that music is a special thing, so live events and concerts are even more special to the loyal fans. To not be able to go, or have to be surrounded by music wannabes, is not something that a fan would want to have to do at one of these events. Every person has their own music taste, so why not spend money and go to the events that you feel the most passion for. This would allow you to be a part of the crowd and cheer on the artist, as you sing along to the latest released single. This is what a concert is supposed to be like, not the crowd mumbling along not knowing the correct words.

Go because you can – for the experience Chelsi Chang ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Call it hype, call it “following the crowd,” call it whatever you want. But going to popular events such as Ultra, EDC, Life in Color, Dada Life, Coastline and Coachella doesn’t necessarily make you a follower. Yes, some people do go because they simply want their Instagram followers to see paint splattered pictures of them in the midst of a crazy crowd but does their motive for going really matter? Too many people are so quick to judge who goes and for what reason. If someone wants to go to EDC to embrace the “PLUR” lifestyle because their friends want to, why judge them? If they have the money and means to go, no one should have the right to stop them from Sometimes, many of the artists that host or attend these events are so underground that if you don’t go you won’t even know they exist. This music centered events open newcomers to new artists and new kinds of music and possibly help them find other artists that matches their musical tastes. Although music is one of the main and most important things about these events, simply dancing, making new friends and enjoying the company of the people who went with you is a big part as well. I remember going to Sunfest with no real clue about what the event really was about and at the end of the night I came home with bright pink and green paint all over my body and a great night filled with great memories. It’s a great place to let loose with friends and try something new. Living in a small and—some would argue— sleepy town like Pembroke Pines, going to the same hot spots every week can get a little mundane. So if you get the opportunity to do something a little out of the ordinary, go for it! Just because you may not know all the words to Passion Pit’s newest single or you may not even know who Diplo is shouldn’t stop you. Sometimes, it’s more about the experience than anything else. Also, what’s great about these festivals is that its gives you the chance to get a little creative. High waisted shorts, Do-It-Yourself bedazzled bras, flower crowns and full blown costumes are oddly the norm. People plan their outfits days, even weeks in advance for these events and if you can, why not join in on that fun too? I’m a firm believer in trying everything at least once, so if you can escape being an average high school student and enter a world that is so far from a typical day, I say do it. People from all over the world come to these events, so celebrity sightings aren’t

so uncommon. For example, the famous Coachella, which takes place in Indio, California, has welcomed famed guests from Jessica Alba to Victoria’s Secret model, Alessandra Ambrosio to Spring Breakers star Vanessa Hudgens. Another reason to go and have a great time and maybe even snap a picture with a famous face. One of the best things about these events is the variety. Different people. Different stages. Different days. So, if you didn’t like day one of Ultra, there’s always tomorrow where a new crowd full of excited teens in out of this world costumes and loud colors will—no doubt—swarm. These events are made to cater to thousands of people from around the globe, meaning people with all different types of music tastes and outlooks. The variety usually works out in your favor. Odds are, there will probably be one artist in the lineup that will make you throw your hand up in the air and bellow their lyrics with the stranger standing two feet away from you who may be just a big a fan as you are. Another great thing about music festivals is that some of the bigger ones not only have multiple stages but awe inspiring art showcases and carnival rides. It’s like Disney World with louder music and less clothes. What it really is, is a time to experience something. Its gives you the opportunity to branch out and try something you may have never thought you would have liked. With so much going on, you can imagine there is a lot to see, hear, smell and taste. I think what’s important is not to categorize events like EDC as things that only a certain type of person can go to. When it really comes down to it, the odds of you seeing someone you actually know amidst the masses of painted, dancing teens is fairly slim. It’s one of the few times, that you can slip into something you would never wear on a trip to your local Wal-Mart, and just let loose. Who cares if Dada Life isn’t something that fits ‘you’? No one there knows and most importantly, no one there cares. The only thing that I think is really important is that you’re going because you want to go and not because you want a perfect picture for your followers to see. Take a few cute photos but most importantly, enjoy the night. Dance, laugh, mumble the words if you have to (it’s usually house music anyhow, so who’s going to notice the difference?) and allow yourself the simple joy of being a different, maybe more outgoing, version of you. Take the time to make the experience worth it, and if you hate it, at least you tried. But not going because you don’t want someone to tell you that you’re stupid for trying something that doesn’t “look like you” deter you. Just remember: it was their first time too at one point. So, go experience your first time at one of the festivals and make your own decision on whether or not it’s worth it. It’s almost like a rite of passage to attend at least of these events, get blasted with some paint screaming at the top of your lungs with a few thousand strangers. So if it even remotely sounds fun to you, go. Don’t let any pedantic house music connoisseur tell you that you can’t go because you don’t know the DJs or artist. The truth is, that same person is probably going to go and encounter an artist they don’t know either. Enjoy the experience, even if it’s a one time thing and snap a few great Instagram photos if you’d like.

Letters to the Editor

January 2014


Letters to


Dear Editor, You guys continue to write great articles and put out a great publication, so congratulations on that! The articles are usually a topic of interest, and are compelling for all of us students to read. I always find the student profiles surprising and intriguing, as it is always cool to find out something new and a talent that some students might have here at Pines Charter. In the “Sports Profile” page you guys do a great job of explaining a little about every player, and some fun to know things about them. The only suggestion I think I have is perhaps write an article about a more obscure sport here at Pines Charter, one with less exposure, or profiles on student athletes in those sports. From, Christian Fontane

Dear Editor, While being a huge sports fa the whole bullying case began of the Miami dolphins. While r game,” I realized how it doesn between kids, but it happens pound men. Many people don’t realize ho and can kill them from the ins article didn’t just talk about the also. What the Nebraska team put tears to many people’s ey come true. Letting him run in biggest smile on a young boy w Even though there may be ba good in what people do it truly are. From, Robert Wendalnd

Dear Editor, The December issue of CHAT of stories to choose from. Not was also entertaining to read. the newspaper is the bulk of t this time there was more varie I had fun reading the cele Loogermine Claude’s article, nocence, was very informative to say. I t’s kind of funny how as eac lence is allowed in their movi ing their innocence fairly quic From, Kelseah Pierre

Co-Editor in Chiefs Joshua Alleman and Melissa Sullivan Photo by: Carli Stander

Dear editor, I really enjoyed this issue of “The C.H.A.T” it was fun and festive with articles on the New Year and Christmas. My favorite section of this issue was the Lifestyle section because it gave reviews of good restaurants to go to like the fun new vegan restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale called “Sublime.” My sister is a strict vegetarian so every time we go out to eat she’s forced to watch us chow down our meat and chicken, so my family has been searching for a good vegetarian restaurant. I also liked the fact that this section supplied me with fun new recipes for the holidays including the red velvet Oreo cupcakes which look mouthwatering so I’m definitely trying those. I also liked the features section because I love seeing other’s opinion, so I enjoyed this section because it offered things like resolutions from my peer’s in point of view. Overall, this issue had many interesting stories and I enjoyed reading it very much. From, Ana Tholenaar

Dear Editor, I found the article on “How B PPCHS” very interesting. It rea Charter is really about and how for people to recognize our bas more. It also gives credits to t that make it so far and have w about the scouts that have visi at our players. I think that’s a v because they all have choices a school they’d like to go to for c I think it was a good thing that because it’s a way for talente they’ve got and not waste their said in the article “These men of greatness that the basketball scribes the team perfectly. From, Patrice Ralstonw

the Editor


Letters to the Editor

January 2014

er Issue

an, I was really saddened when n to arise from the locker room reading the article “More than a n’t just happen in the classroom in locker rooms of grown 300

ow bullying can affect someone side out. I really liked how the e bad in the people but the good m did for that little boy probably yes as the made a boys dream n a 69 yard touchdown put the who was in need of a smile. ad in the world when I see the y amazes me and how lucky we

Dear Editor, Your work on the CHAT Newspaper has truly been incredible and I hope you keep up the great work. Each and every story that I read manages to catch my attention and completely dominate my mind until I have finished reading. The articles are also neatly arranged into appropriately titled sections that satiate my organized personality and my OCD. My favorite story in the latest edition of the CHAT Newspaper is the Chelsi vs Chelsie article. Both of their views were equally interesting to read and arranged in columns side-by-side in order for easy comparisons. This paper has truly been an experience and I hope it will continue to dazzle me for years to come. From, Addam Hall

T News was filled with a variety only was it informational but it Normally the sports portion of the newspaper all together, but ety. ebrity New Year’s resolutions. Gunning Down Childhood Ine and I agreed with what she had

ch generation passes more vioies. Children nowadays are losckly.

Boys Hoops Became a Power at ally shows everyone what Pines w it all started. It’s a good way sketball team and support them the guys and girls on the team worked really hard. It also talks ited our school and has looked very good opportunity for them and different varieties on which college. t Charter started a sports system ed young people to show what talent at all. The quote that was have helped carry on the torch l program has established,” de-

Managing Editor, Jake Dreilinger and Assistant Editor in Chief, Victoria Alvarez Photo by: Carli Stander

Dear Editor, The article “Blatantly blinded by beauty” is a very well written article. It came across a good point of how beauty gets in the way of someone’s personality. Like the article says, people should focus more for someone on the inside than who they are on the outside. The writer did make a good point on how people focus more on Alex Morgan’s, from the USA women’s soccer team, looks than her playing skills. I like how the writer gave more than one example and proved a point on how people really do think of others. It is also true that if we were blindfolded we would probably have a different group of friends and maybe even a different taste in music. It was smart to mention that society is blinded by beauty because it can finally show people that looks are not everything and that people should finally wake up and see people for who they really are not by the “pretty” face they show off. In my option this was a great article to read. I felt the writer was very empowering and true to her word. Job well done! From, Tiffany Verdera

The chat newspaper january 2014 year 14 issue #6  

The official Newspaper of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School. A CHC Production – Sponsored by the Communications & Technology Department...

The chat newspaper january 2014 year 14 issue #6  

The official Newspaper of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School. A CHC Production – Sponsored by the Communications & Technology Department...