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2018 Spring Edition

DIVERSITY POSITIVE EXPERIENCES ACROSS CAMPUS


InsideWEST FEATURES 4 6 9 10 12 14 17 18

Behind the Scenes Diversity Defined Humble Tip: Inspirational Insight Mountain Medalist Dedication. Teamwork. Heart. Iridescent My Own Little Corner Style by Design

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West Students put on a familiar 80’s “Breakfast Club” face embracing ways to define diversity HYPED TM magazine is a trademarked concept created to provide students with hands-on publication experience. This edition’s features, photos and design are provided by Pocono Mountain West High School participants and professional coordinators. Inquiries? Please contact HYPED 570.517.1792

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scenes behind the

Paul Steinruck West Coordinators Creative Writing Photography Graphic Design Kim Mancini

Be a Latisha Griffith K-Shawnn Ballard

Paige Krause

Omar Jeffers

r ou f o t Be par

Kristi Jones

Caybrie Morris

Jamie L. Conlin

Contact Kim Mancini KMancini@PMSD.org 4

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Spring 2018

Medina Williamson

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Ken Gilbride notes, “[It’s] a mix of different ideas, philosophies, cultures.”

defined

Adding, “Everyone else is experiencing a little bit of what everybody else has to offer.” What are the benefits of having a diverse population in our school?

By Latisha Griffith

Odom states, “Diversity helps to widen your ability to relate to others and have respect for other point of views, as well as, have experiences with people of different racial or ethnic backgrounds.” Ron Curry shares how in-school experiences ease outof-school interaction saying, “Students leave school and have a culture shock and they don’t know how to react to it.”

Merriam Webster dictionary defines diversity as “The condition of having or being composed of differing elements.”

Lisa Greeley agrees and the advantage is, “Meeting new people and getting to know how to work with different personalities and interests.”

While chemically speaking, elements possess unique properties making them distinctive; though all are part of the periodic table and building blocks of life. The same can be said about the individuals at West High School who make the school’s environment exceptional. A variety of different features beyond race or religion like personality and perception, play an important role.

Student Jamie Lynn Conlin points out her perspective of diversity after transitioning from Charter School to West in seventh grade. At first challenged by Charter’s formal atmosphere, she kept her hair in a tight bun describing the manner as “overly” polite. Coming to West, she met new people and realized that she may appear formal becoming more comfortable socializing, she began opening up.

The whole idea of diversity is to create a comfortable and inclusive atmosphere. Though leaders are typically faced with this task; defining “leaders” expands from administrators, athletic coaches and educators; to classmates and school club coordinators.

Describing the experience as, “Crazy that I felt more free,” she adds, “Joining the West student body really helped with that.”

Let’s share insight to what these professionals and pupils view as thoughts to ensure all feel accepted. As Principal of the West High School, one of the first things Dr. Mark Wade does to build the culture of school is to know everyone’s culture as part of the community. By doing this, one learns more about each other and can identify with more folks. While Kim Alejo, Class of 2018 President, communicates with others avoiding to single anyone out or push others beyond their comfort zone. Varsity Cheerleading Captain, Lisa Greeley, bonds with her 40 team members to become more familiar with them. Student Council President, Ron Curry, takes time to learn how other people live and how differences make a person unique. As Hall Monitor Ken Gilbride helps to create an inclusive environment by embracing and accepting the differences through incorporating them to have broader ideas and a better base of knowledge.

noun the condition of having or being composed of differing elements a rangle of different things

What does diversity mean? Jennifer Odom responds, “The difference among people relating to race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender and religion.” Spring 2018

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While there are benefits to diversity, there are some difficulties. Commonly acknowledged is the reality of people not being open to create an understanding with others. In addition, when one is trying to interact with others just bringing one perspective or opinion to the table can cause trouble when trying to relate to others. How do we seek a solution to avoid future complications?

Through the support of our sponsors, we are proud to share another insightful edition of West High School’s HYPED magazine made by & about our students

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Gilbride suggests, “Speak with each other and try to understand and accept that the way others think is the way they think; and the way others do things is the way they do things that doesn’t make it right or wrong.” While the environment at West High School or anywhere is not perfect; students and staff make an accepting, comfortable experience. As a graduating Senior, the four years I, Latisha Griffith, spent around brilliant peers has expanded minds to think more diversely.Sharing hardships, successes and generally learning to have consideration for others teaches us how to appreciate everyone around.

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Spring 2018


A Knack forInspiration

Motivational Speaker Jason Lewis “Humble Tip” Takes Student Inspiration to Great Heights

By Latisha Griffith

Pocono Mountain West High School experienced an energetic February 15 assembly called “The Beautiful Tomorrow” followed by youth interaction intended to ignite a reaction to learn more about our guest’s message of empowerment... What is a "Beautiful Tomorrow? “I grew up right outside of the Washington DC area in Capitol Heights, Maryland, and I did my Undergraduate degree in Health Promotions and my Master's degree in Health and Wellness. After I graduated, I was continually playing with the idea of how I can impact my community and be a light–so, I thought about music. Performance Arts is an easy way to infiltrate society and encourage people. Over time, I developed something called “The Beautiful Tomorrow Assembly” where we focus on encouraging, empowering and inspiring young people. Regardless of what adversity they may have experienced in their life, regardless of what dreams, goals and aspirations they want to achieve, they can achieve them and they can have a beautiful tomorrow. That is the message we hope to push.”

There is an article called the “Hope For Tomorrow” on your website. What is your Hope for tomorrow? “Much of my “Hope for Tomorrow” is in you and the gentleman behind the camera. You all are literally going to mold and form and turn this country into what we hope it can be and evolved into. So when I look into your eyes and I see you guys already getting involved in your show

business situation right here and I see the effort, the energy and enthusiasm that you have, that is where “Hope of Tomorrow” is, in your eyes, in his eyes, and in the energy you provide us.”

What effect do you hope your music has on students and people who listen to it? “My desire is for my music to encourage, empower, and inspire young people. I know I keep saying that so it can come off very cliche’ but if somebody hears my song and they don’t think that they can do better, like straight up: What’s the point of me doing this? Everybody else has different goals, and everybody else has a different desire, but for me, for Jason Lewis, for Humble Tip, I really desire for people to be better than when they first heard my music. That’s the same desire I have for my life.

According to your website, you attended Liberty University how has Liberty University given you the platform to continue or start your hip-hop career ?

“ They [Liberty University} have been incredibly supportive. They have blessed me, encouraged me, motivated me, and pushed me. I have made incredible lifelong friends at that institution. That’s why Spring 2018

I encourage young people. When you go to college [you] maximize that opportunity. It’s not just about the education. The education is an opportunity to explore; to evolve mentally, academically, and socially.”

You started off with a group called Strictly for Jesus or SFJ? “My faith dictates heavy on how I move. Everyone else has a different motivation, but for me, my faith dictates a lot of what I do. When I was at school, I connected with gentlemen who had a similar belief system and a similar worldview. They wanted to impact the community. We clicked up because we just wanted to serve and we just wanted to be about business and it was incredible.”

What made you pursue your undergraduate and master’s degree? “I learned, if you don’t have a degree, half of the time you’re going to have to beg for a job; if you have an Undergraduate degree you’re going to have to ask; if you have a Masters they’ll ask you to work for them; and, if you have a PhD, they will ask you how much do you want to get paid. When I heard that hierarchy of academic accomplishment parallels with financial stability [I knew I had to] get a Master’s degree.”

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N I A T OUN

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B al la rd B y K -S ha w nn ar Je ff er s P ho to by O m

From the start to the finish line Pocono Mountain West High School’s Diego Mendieta, never gives up on a goal. Since 2014, the Senior has been swimming for the ultimate achievement of being a state champion at the end of high school. Currently, he’s holding five Pocono Mountain West High School records and over 30 medals. Asking, “What a swimming athlete truly thinks,” Mendieta responds, “¨To be a swimmer takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication. No one wakes up one day and says to themselves today I am going to swim professionally it is something you have to be passionate about and love what you do.¨ Dedication is reflected in his routine that includes a strict diet consisting of 1,000 calories per meal, 3 times a day, containing 300g of carbs and 150g of protein. Rarely getting a break, with practice six days a week and only Sundays for sleeping-in, he believes all will add up and help him achieve his goal. ¨Swimming is one of the hardest sports because it involves moving your whole body and trying to relax in the water at the same time,” he explains, adding, “You don't want to move your arms and legs slowly, but you also don't want to fight the water.¨ He admits his proudest moment as a swimmer will be when he is able to look back at what he has accomplished in his career and see how far he has come. As a new-found understanding of what swim-athletes go through creates a greater respect; intentions are to share Mendieta’s pride and extend the same admiration and interest in all athletics.

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P

ocono Mountain West’s cheerleading team continues to make history, reinforce traditions, and create lasting memories with breathtaking routines. This year was no exception. The team won districts and made it to finals at State Competitions placing 5th in the Co-Ed Division and marking the 7th time in a row West won Districts. Head Varsity coach Marcy Behr commented, “Each team has had similar characteristics, dedication, teamwork, heart, and excellent work ethic, which contributes to their success each year.” When asked “about” any standout signs, she said, “Our routine was one of the best we put on the mat this year.” Adding, “It had more advanced tumbling upping the difficulty skills with stunting and just a overall jam packed routine.” The four senior “team” captains: Amelia Bray, Lisa Greeley, Taiya Miller and Alicia Williams; were each asked, “What message do you want to leave for the underclassmen”?

Greeley grinned, “You only have four short years and sooner or later it will come to an end, so enjoy every moment on that blue mat with your second family.” Taiya told, “Push yourself and don’t allow people to hold your hand along the way.” Alicia added, “Just remember to have fun and don’t let anyone spoil the love you have for this sport.” These intelligent ladies led the team, and will leave a spark behind them. Amelia Bray is attending Drexel University in the fall to major in their accelerated Physician Assistant program. Lisa Greeley is attending Penn State University to major in Special Education. Still undecided, Alicia Williams wants to also major in Special Education. Tayia Miller will attend Kutztown University to become a clinical psychologist. With all the success West Cheerleading team has accomplished this year, they remain a family, encouraging students to try out for the team in late spring annually.

Amelia responded, “I wish Pocono Mountain Cheerleading Team the best of luck next season!”

Want to be a part of

Pocono Mountain West Cheerleading Contact Marcy Behr

mabehr@pmsd.org

Spring 2018

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I

t n e c s e rid A

aus ig e K r By Pa m e o P

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I wonder who it is, that I am. If I am visible or invisible. An iridescent violet or fire red burning the skin. Am I dark, or am I light? What do I sound like? Rain hitting the tin roof at 2am or thunder shattering through the abyss sky. My skin is it bright like the stars, or warm like the sun? Do freckles kiss across my face? Or do I run bare like snow? My eyes, warm like honey or dark like the Mediterranean sea? My lashes long as snowflakes fall on them? Or short better to see my bold, fierce eyes. Should I be shy, and sit in the back of the classroom? The one person nose deep in a book. The person who puts their head down from staying up until two in the morning talking to herself in her mind. Constantly thinking,�What am I doing?� Should I be the bubbly individual always awake for conversation? Doing everything when it needs to be done. The one so overworked their falling asleep six at night.

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Or, is it possible, that I may just be both? Consistently running around trying so hard to get it all done. Being awake till two in the morning asking, “What am I doing?” Always lost in a book or in my own mind. Always appearing like I want to talk but, really telling you to leave me alone. Some days being bubbly others, not so much. It’s this little game I seem to be stuck playing. I’m searching for myself, blind. When I look in the mirror I see a girl with red and brown hair, curly and cascading down her back. Skin warm like the sun, kissed with freckles. Eyelashes short, but easy to see her honey brown, golden flecked eyes. Lips small yet, full that tend to whisper many different grey sided things. As I sit and admire myself in that mirror the world goes slow, but I still look as my breath fogs up the glass. I whisper, “Who am I? What am I?”

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My mind speaks as I do saying, “You could be anybody.”

Spring 2018

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Everywhere I look there’s someplace new to see. Everywhere I look there’s someone new to meet. Everywhere I look there is something different than me. And I think to myself, this is diversity. Then I ponder in my own little corner of self-reflection, what’s so unique about me? Is it that I’m a woman? No, half the people on Earth are female. Is it that I’m Caucasian? No, that makes me a majority. Is it that I’m Hispanic? No, that makes me a majority of the minorities. Is it that I am a Caucasian/Hispanic woman living in today’s North America? Still no, there are tons of people that fall into that description. Is it that I am a “me” and from my perspective there is only one “me?” I think this is what makes people truly unique. From anyone’s point of view there is only ever one “me.” Should it matter that my mother has darker skin than me? Should it matter that my father has lighter skin than my mother? Should it matter that my best friends have different religions than me? Should it matter that people are different? No. People have a right to be unique. Some are born unique while some make themselves unique. Being the same is boring. Everywhere I look there’s someplace I’ve seen. Everywhere I look there’s someone I’ve met. Everywhere I look there is something familiar. And I think to myself, this is still diversity. I see a piece of myself in everything. Then I ponder in my own little corner of self reflection, if I don’t accept others, how can they accept me? How can I accept myself? Why be racist when I can be kind? Why be sexist when I can be fair? Why be judgmental when I don’t like to be judged? Why be anything other than the best “me” I can be? And why try stopping people from being the best “me” they can be? In my own little corner, I observe this fantastically diverse and wonderfully unique world. Then I stand up and join it

Corner My Own Little

A Poem By Medina Williamson

Spring 2018

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style

by des


sign

By K- Shawnn Ballard

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A passion for creativity comes naturally for Pocono Mountain West

Senior Omar Jeffers. Captivating HYPED readers with fascinating photos under the instruction of Photography Teacher Paul Steinruck; his cover and feature images have struck a cord by capturing concept and innovation. While photography continues to be an important part of his life, fashion-forward aspirations extend beyond the classroom.

“I want people not to just see a shirt with a logo,” he says. Design intentions give hope to those less fortunate and give inspiration to achieve goals understanding anyone can be and do anything. Style still important, colors are consistent with the latest designs; while clever phrases find facing readers grinning after.

“From Another World isn't one specific item. It’s a brand that will, hopefully, go with everything we strive to do.” says Jeffers co-creator and head of From Another World clothing brand.

Sharing plans to pursue clothing expansion after graduation; Jeffers admits entrepeneurship is in the cards. Focused on self-employment, college is under consideration following graduation.

Conceived Sophomore year originally as an idea for soccer players, Jeffers now has a vision to start a movement. More than clothing surrounding sports, photography, music, and more; the brand thinks outside the box pushing creativity beyond and making the world bold and beautiful.

Accepting an invitation to return with an update after achieving status as a “Major East Coast line,” he hopes others embrace opportunities in and around school.

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Spotlight on Student Creativity Using Skills to Expand Beyond the Classroom ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

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PMSD West Spring 2018 HYPED Magazine  

Enjoy another outstanding view into Pocono Mountain West High School as these amazingly talented students share creative writing, photograph...

PMSD West Spring 2018 HYPED Magazine  

Enjoy another outstanding view into Pocono Mountain West High School as these amazingly talented students share creative writing, photograph...