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Shannon Sneade

Nevada Journalist of the Year Application Las Vegas Academy of the Arts

Above:

Interviewing the Superintendent Right: Playing around with Fellow Staff Members (Center)


Intro

About me

Self-Analytical Essay The moment I saw my name in the byline of our high school newspaper, everything I had hoped to someday be able to achieve became evident to me. Unbeknownst to myself, I had subconsciously been searching for a way to stand up for what I believe and to have a voice in society. And that want-a necessity rather-- to do just that was fulfilled in a little box of space encasing my first printed article. Not long after that moment, I discovered the community of student journalists, and I felt like I belonged. I was able to develop my voice and be an individual while still gaining support from others who understand me and who write for the same purpose. Seeing how each staff member worked together every year while achieving individual goals toward one final product was incredibly stimulating. As I quickly moved up in ranks of my school’s paper throughout my high school career, the passion I felt grew stronger. When it was my chance to finally step into the big shoes of editor-in-chief my senior year, I was determined to be the revolution. Being in a leadership position that influential came with a fair amount of pressures but also an infinite amount of possibility and creativity. Since I have always worked with a very small school newspaper staff, I fulfilled more than just the roles I was given. Among many other positions, I was a consistent writer and photographer. Often, I facilitated news production with the other staff members planning out each issue’s content and graphics. I have single-handedly raised thousands of dollars to pay for our self-sufficient newspaper. Be-

cause of these efforts, I was able to find a local printing company and begin printing the newspaper in color while increasing production, drawing more attention from the students. During my time as editor-in-chief, I have driven outsiders’ interests into the newspaper by creating interesting and well-presented content to the student body and administration of my school. I have guided my fellow staff members to become exceedingly hard working and dedicated. In order to draw more attention to the news my staff was presenting, I reformatted the traditional newspaper to a sleeker and more modern news magazine. I received wonderful feedback from students who had never previously picked up a paper, and my staff members were able to experience pride in the product they helped create. The opportunities I have already experienced have been incredible. I have gained field knowledge through freelance journalism positions, such as the Las Vegas Review Journal (LVRJ), Las Vegas Sun, and Zappos Downtown Newsletter, as well as awareness of the necessity of deadlines and communication. I write for the student section of the LVRJ called R-Jeneration, which is published in the paper every Sunday. In the program, we function as a collaborative staff while being mentored by professional reporters. I have written several online editorials for the Las Vegas Sun, demonstrating what it is like to be a teen growing up in Las Vegas. I also write a monthly column for the Zappos Downtown Newsletter, which connects Zappos and the outside

community with the younger generation at my school. More than anything, I learned invaluable life lessons that I would not have known had it not been for journalism. I learned to jump full-heartedly into what I believe, to listen to everyone’s story, to seek the truth no matter how challenging it proved to be, and to question every piece of information. It hasn’t always been easy, either. I’ve had to fight for my First Amendment rights, gain respect as a student journalist, and challenge authority when I believed something to be unethical. Through this process, I have gained tremendous knowledge as well as confidence. Perhaps the most influential force in this entire process was my adviser. The dedication she has toward writing, specifically journalism, is awe-inspiring. More importantly, this dear lady has done and will do anything for her students. She has created irreplaceable memories for every student who walked through her door, and she cares more than I had ever thought possible. My life would not be the same, nor would I be the same person without her. My ambition to become a journalist has grown and been strengthened by these experiences ever since I discovered my calling. I also believe my character has been greatly influenced by not only the field of journalism itself but the people I have come in contact with. This passion of mine, as small as it may seem to others, has shaped a vision of further aspirations in my life.

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HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

APPLICATION

DATE

February 25, 2014

NAME FIRST

MI LAST Shannon E Sneade

1105 Bear Cub Court

HOME STREET ADDRESS

Henderson

CITY

E-MAIL ADDRESS

NV

ZIP

89052

sesneade@cox.net

HOME PHONE NUMBER

702-361-3149 Maral and Jack Sneade

PARENT(S) OR GUARDIAN(S) NAME

Las Vegas Academy of the Arts

SCHOOL NAME

Las Vegas Academy of the Arts

SCHOOL STREET ADDRESS CITY

STATE

STATE ZIP Las Vegas NV 89101

SCHOOL PHONE NUMBER ADVISER’S NAME

702-799-7800

Carol Medcalf 702-610-2781

ADVISER’S PHONE NUMBER ADVISER’S E-MAIL ADDRESS

carol_medcalf@interact.ccsd.net Las Vegas Review Journal

HOMETOWN NEWSPAPER

1111 S. Bonanza Ave NEWSPAPER WEBSITE/NEWSROOM EMAIL mhengel@reviewjournal.com NEWSPAPER STREET ADDRESS

CITY

ZIP STATE Vegas NV 89101 Las

FOR HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN JOURNALISM?

Three years

IF YOU ARE CHOSEN AS THE JOY STATE WINNER, WILL YOU BE ABLE TO BE IN ATTENDANCE AT THE CLOSING AWARDS CEREMONY AT THE JEA/NSPA SPRING CONVENTION?

Verification: The examples submitted are the student’s original work.

Carol Medcalf Shannon Sneade _____________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Adviser’s Signature Student’s Signature

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Intro

About Me


Intro

Transcript

page 4


page 5

Intro

Transcript


Writing

Newspaper Editorials Published in the LVA Accolades October issue, my editorial addressed people’s dwindling interest in print media. I feel that it is important, as a student journalist, to address what is happening in the field and raise awareness to the importance of communication in today’s changing world.

Student newspaper still standing

opinion

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Issue 02 | Volume 21 |October 2013

Student newspaper still standing

Accolades

staff ‘13-14

Shannon Sneade •editor in chief

There is an influx of information like never before in today’s world. Unfortunately, much of this information is not validated; stories are often strewn all over the Internet by someone’s careless click of a button. Accredited newspapers are some of the few resources people have for reputable, up-to-date information. Unfortunately, most papers are geared towards a more mature audience and include information that does not pertain to the average teenager. Consequently, school newspapers prevail. News is being written by student journalists who know what appeals to their peers while simulating a business-like environment in the classroom. These journalists have the opportunity to interview fellow students within their school and tell their stories. They have the opportunity to find out what is going on within the school and make it public to the entire student body. And they have the opportunity to tackle every challenge along the way, thus learning more about their own characters as well as self-expression. On a less selfish level, school newspapers keep students in the know with news within the school and the community, allow them to get to know other students better, and make them more educated individuals as they familiarize themselves with current events. I am aware that a good amount of students do not read their

Adviser........................Carol Medcalf Editor in Chief.........Shannon Sneade Assistant Editor.........Shaun Richards Webmaster...........................Bri Alejo Business Manager....Shannon Sneade Columnists...........................Bri Alejo Juvi Ruffatto Logan Taylor Staff Writers.................Melissa Ayala Katie Berger Katie Bradshaw Kyleigh Brigman Lora Denkova Sam Dreitzer Alexis Herrera Paulena Kinel Katie Michaels Blake Mirolla Sydnee Morency Abigail Parnall Allison Strande Delenn Whitehead Deanna Woods Shelby York Illustrators.....................Juvi Ruffatto Sandy Wyatt

school newspapers, but I still hope that it makes a difference to people who do take the time to read it. However, it’s no secret to even news junkies like myself that printed publications are dying off. As much as it pains me to report, I cannot deny that newspaper sales have plummeted in recent years. Production of school newspapers only occur in two-thirds of schools around the country. The decrease in school newspapers specifically may have a more profound impact on professional newspapers than we had previously imagined. If a love for writing— specifically journalism— is not fostered in a classroom environment, how is it supposed to continue on to a professional career in journalism? Through funding from the schools, support from the community, student involvement, and dedicated, passionate advisers like our own, high school journalism will be able to make a comeback. Ideally, from there, this process will affect the professional journalism world and make people realize the importance of print media. There’s nothing wrong with the Internet as a source of information, but are we sure we want to rely on John Smith’s tweet about [something going on in the news]? *We appreciate students taking time to read the LVA Accolades. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please email us at lvaaccolades@gmail. com or stop by the journalism room in F20. Thank you.

Music really does soothe the soul Shaun Richards •assistant editor

If there is any one thing that my four years of at LVA have taught me, it is the power of music. Music truly moves and touches people in ways few other things can. It can alter moods, perceptions, and even our physical health. In an article from the Huffington Post, Mark Neikrug, a contemporary composer talks about the astonishing abilities of music. His most recent composition was titled Healing Ceremony. Originally, Neikrug composed the piece to soothe cancer patients. However, he quickly realized that his work had considerable impact on any ill person. Of the composition, he explained, “ I thought about the power music has over people; I wanted to write something that would change how your body feels—helping you calm down, handle stress, get in touch with inner feelings and inner thoughts.” Amazingly, much of the music in the world does exactly this. According to the Mayo Clinic, music actually has the power to lower blood pressure, re-

duce anxiety, and reduce the intensity of our pain, physically and mentally. Niekrug could not have been more correct when he stated, “[Music] is an antidote to your stressful feelings.” When considering the magnitude of music’s power, it’s important to remember that something so powerful can have a variety of effects on a person. There may be some types of music that to one person may cause feelings of sadness, depression, or even anger. If you find yourself hating life after listening to a certain song, stop listening. Or better yet, turn on another song that makes you feel as if you can take on whatever life hands you. Niekrug echoes this sentiment when he says, “People should be much more conscious of the power that music has upon all of them—meaning your body and everything that is going on inside of you.” Ultimately, music is truly a language all it’s own with the capability to affect and even change our overall state of well-being. Sources:

Student Calendar and Reminders

1

Willie Burgers Quad•Lunch

4

1

Lip Sync Event PAC 7pm

2

SAT Testing Frazier•7 am

5 6

2 2

Staff Development Day- No school NHSPE Proficiency Testing NHSPE Proficiency Testing

Jazz Master Class BBX 1pm-7pm

7

Homecoming Cafeteria• 6-9 pm

7

Student of the Month Choir College Day Sunset and BBX 7 am- 9pm

7

Senior Vocal Showcase BBX•3 pm

7

Piano Recital PAC•7 pm

8

NHSPEProficiency Testing

8

11

STUCO Fall Festival

Quad•2-4 pm

Veteran’s Day (No School)

For the month of • November Piano Guest Artist Presentation

12 13

PAC•8:30 AM-12:30 PM

Music Dept. Concert Smith Center•6 pm

14

Piano Institute BBX•7 am-2 pm

14

Fall Play Black Box •7 pm

15

Blood Drive Gym •7 am- pm

15 19 19 20 22

CCSD Honor Mariachi PAC•7 am-4 pm K.O. Choir Day Choir Rooms • 7 am-4pm Magnet School Open House PAC • 6-8 PM Middle School Theatre Day LT• 7 am- 2 pm Guitar Concert PAC •7 pm

23 26

Last Night of Fall Play Lowden •7 pm

Vocal Jazz Concert PAC •7 pm Thanksgiving Day (No School)

28 29

Family Day (No School)

Shannon Sneade •editor in chief

There is an influx of information like never before in today’s world. Unfortunately, much of this information is not validated; stories are often strewn all over the Internet by someone’s careless click of a button. Accredited newspapers are some of the few resources people have for reputable, up-to-date information. Unfortunately, most papers are geared towards a more mature audience and include information that does not pertain to the average teenager. Consequently, school newspapers prevail. News is being written by student journalists who know what appeals to their peers while simulating a business-like environment in the classroom. These journalists have the opportunity to interview fellow students within their school and tell their stories. They have the opportunity to find out what is going on within the school and make it public to the entire student body. And they have the opportunity to tackle every challenge along the way, thus learning more about their own characters as well as self-expression. On a less selfish level, school newspapers keep students in the know with news within the school and the community, allow them to get to know other students better, and make them more educated individuals as they familiarize themselves with current events. I am aware that a good amount of students do not read their

school newspapers, but I still hope that it makes a difference to people who do take the time to read it. However, it’s no secret to even news junkies like myself that printed publications are dying off. As much as it pains me to report, I cannot deny that newspaper sales have plummeted in recent years. Production of school newspapers only occur in two-thirds of schools around the country. The decrease in school newspapers specifically may have a more profound impact on professional newspapers than we had previously imagined. If a love for writing— specifically journalism— is not fostered in a classroom environment, how is it supposed to continue on to a professional career in journalism? Through funding from the schools, support from the community, student involvement, and dedicated, passionate advisers like our own, high school journalism will be able to make a comeback. Ideally, from there, this process will affect the professional journalism world and make people realize the importance of print media. There’s nothing wrong with the Internet as a source of information, but are we sure we want to rely on John Smith’s tweet about [something going on in the news]? *We appreciate students taking time to read the LVA Accolades. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please email us at lvaaccolades@gmail. com or stop by the journalism room in F20. Thank you.

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Affluenza buys “get-out-of-jail” pass Shannon Sneade • editor in chief

I wrote this editorial to show the absurdity of the Ethan Couch case. It was later discussed in sociology classes to show the separation between classes and raise the question of whether the law is biased to certain races.

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tion related to the pursuit of wealth and materialism. That doesn’t sound anything like Couch’s privileged upbringing and sense of entitlement his attorney spoke of. However, neither the judge nor the jury questioned the validity of this excuse, so the attorney simply ran with it. So let’s look into Couch’s “affluenza.” His parents are rich, and the kid grew up with plenty of money to spare. He lives a life full of privilege and empty of consequences, and it doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon. Although Couch pleaded guilty, and Judge Jean Boyd told the boy he was responsible for what had happened, the boy’s sentence is quite contradictory. The judge says Couch will receive treatment at the facility, and I can’t help but wonder treatment for what? Because affleunza isn’t exactly a psychiatric condition. Instead of learning that killing people gets the criminal thrown into prison for a long sentence, Couch has learned that wealthy families get special privileges and that there are no real consequences to his actions. The Couch family will be paying $450,000 per year for the 10 years Couch is living in the facility. But that seems like a low price to pay to escape ending up in prison for his crime. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/12/12/250490841/probation-forteen-who-killed-4-heres-the-judges-thinking http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/12/theaffluenza-defense-judge-rules-rich-kids-rich-kidness-makes-him-not-liable-for-deadly-drunk-driving-accident/ Opinion

For the next 10 years, Texas native Ethan Couch will live in a facility where he will have the opportunity to take art classes, participate in outdoor recreation, and socialize with people similar to him. All this and more with a beachside view. Did I mention he killed four people while driving drunk? Sixteen year old Couch and his friends stole alcohol from a nearby store on June 15, 2013. After engaging in underage drinking and raising his blood alcohol level to three times the legal limit, Couch got behind the wheel of his truck while his friends rode in the flatbed. Speeding down the streets of his hometown, Couch ran over a woman whose car had broken down, two people that had stopped to help her, and a passerby. The four people he hit were killed, and his friends in the flatbed of the truck were severely injured. Oh, and this wasn’t exactly Couch’s first offense. He had recently been caught possessing and consuming alcohol, but his mom paid the court fines, and he had to do a few hours of community service. Believe it or not, living at the top-of-the-line facility is Couch’s punishment for committing this crime. He could have been sentenced to prison for up to 20 years if it had not been for one thing: affluenza. The problem with this logic? Affluenza is hardly a real word, let alone a psychiatric disease. Affleunza is a term used to describe a social condi-

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GMO’s on way out of food sources Shaun Richards • assistant editor

Cheerios are the quintessence of childhood. As kids, that magic cereal proved worthy of the titles breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. Those happy little O’s have a way of silencing the fussiest of toddler and satisfying the hunger of most anyone. On Jan. 2, General Mills, the company that owns Cheerios as well as various other cereals, announced that sufficient steps have been taken over the last year to remove all GMO content from original Cheerios. For those of you in the dark on the GMO controversy, GMO is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organisms. These are administered to crops as a means to manipulate their growth. In other words, think of genetic engineering and apply it to the products we consume. Evidence of their use can be seen in most of the foods we eat as they enlarge fruits, vegetables, and other crops as well as enhance their coloration. While the Food and Drug Administration has deemed them safe for consumption, there is a great deal of evidence that would state otherwise. While the company did say that its other Cheerio varieties will continue to be made with GMOs, a decision made out of necessity according to the company’s statement, it would seem that General Mills has taken a step in the right

direction. As we ring in 2014 and New Year’s goals are made, it will be interesting to see which brands and stores attempt to eliminate GMO products altogether and which ones are actually successful in accomplishing such goals. Robin Shreeves, a writer for a site known as Mother Nature Network that reports on all things concerning the environment, stated in her recent article that in 2013, Kraft and Gatorade each removed harmful ingredients from their formulas. Furthermore, Whole Foods has announced that it is the intention of the company to have every food containing GMOs labeled as such by 2018. With the buzz surrounding the issue of GMOs, some skeptics are questioning the motives of these companies. Furthermore, people say that it was merely a choice based on consumer demands. To this I would say: Who cares? The masses have spoken, and companies are responding. To me, the motive behind the decision doesn’t much matter. In fact, I’m certain that it was a decision made with monetary gain in mind. But ultimately, as long as some form of change is underway, I am a happy camper with a bowl of Cheerios. Sources: http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/general-mills-makes-huge-gmo-statement

Affluenza buys “get-out-of-jail” pass Shannon Sneade • editor in chief

For the next 10 years, Texas native Ethan Couch will live in a facility where he will have the opportunity to take art classes, participate in outdoor recreation, and socialize with people similar to him. All this and more with a beachside view. Did I mention he killed four people while driving drunk? Sixteen year old Couch and his friends stole alcohol from a nearby store on June 15, 2013. After engaging in underage drinking and raising his blood alcohol level to three times the legal limit, Couch got behind the wheel of his truck while his friends rode in the flatbed. Speeding down the streets of his hometown, Couch ran over a woman whose car had broken down, two people that had stopped to help her, and a passerby. The four people he hit were killed, and his friends in the flatbed of the truck were severely injured. Oh, and this wasn’t exactly Couch’s first offense. He had recently been caught possessing and consuming alcohol, but his mom paid the court fines, and he had to do a few hours of community service. Believe it or not, living at the top-of-the-line facility is Couch’s punishment for committing this crime. He could have been sentenced to prison for up to 20 years if it had not been for one thing: affluenza. The problem with this logic? Affluenza is hardly a real word, let alone a psychiatric disease. Affleunza is a term used to describe a social condition related to the

pursuit of wealth and materialism. That doesn’t sound anything like Couch’s privileged upbringing and sense of entitlement his attorney spoke of. However, neither the judge nor the jury questioned the validity of this excuse, so the attorney simply ran with it. So let’s look into Couch’s “affluenza.” His parents are rich, and the kid grew up with plenty of money to spare. He lives a life full of privilege and empty of consequences, and it doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon. Although Couch pleaded guilty, and Judge Jean Boyd told the boy he was responsible for what had happened, the boy’s sentence is quite contradictory. The judge says Couch will receive treatment at the facility, and I can’t help but wonder treatment for what? Because affleunza isn’t exactly a psychiatric condition. Instead of learning that killing people gets the criminal thrown into prison for a long sentence, Couch has learned that wealthy families get special privileges and that there are no real consequences to his actions. The Couch family will be paying $450,000 per year for the 10 years Couch is living in the facility. But that seems like a low price to pay to escape ending up in prison for his crime. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/12/12/250490841/probation-for-teenwho-killed-4-heres-the-judges-thinking http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/12/the-affluenzadefense-judge-rules-rich-kids-rich-kid-ness-makes-himnot-liable-for-deadly-drunk-driving-accident/

Writing

Newspaper Editorials


Writing

Newspaper Editorials I was contacted by the online editor of the Las Vegas Sun, and he offered me the position of writing an online editorial about being a Las Vegas native student. I met with him, wrote pieces for him, and, although he was very satisfied, he never communicated back with me, so the idea simply fizzled. I did, however, learn the value in making my own opportunities.

Many people see Las Vegas, “Sin City,” as a getaway destination, a place to escape from the norm of other cities to a location so different from any other. But what these tourists do not realize is that many people live in this unique town, amidst opportunities that people in other cities may not have. This rings true especially for the youth of Las Vegas, people such as myself, who were born and continue to grow here. My name is Shannon Sneade and I’m a 17 year old high school student who was born and raised in Las Vegas. My parents mean the world to me, and they have provided me with endless support and encouragement throughout my life. My dad was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and my mom in Beirut Lebanon. Following their careers, my dad as an Information Technology consultant and my mom as a bookkeeper, together they moved to Las Vegas two years before I was born. I am an only child, and the three of us live in Henderson, a city on the outskirts of and only about a ten minute drive from Las Vegas. Another nickname for this city--possibly a more pertinent one--is the “Entertainment Capitol of the World.” I am fortunate enough to attend Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, a magnet school for the performing arts that has been named the 2013-2014 Outstanding Arts School in the nation by the Arts School Network. I firmly believe my school is as successful as it is because of its location. It is not uncommon for students to book gigs either independently or with accomplished musicians and artists around town. Without all these entertainment opportunities, the students of the Academy would not be nearly this successful. I am surrounded by wonderful friends from school, dance (which I have been involved

in since I was three), and church (I was born and raised Catholic.). For the most part, we are normal teenagers. We try to get together whenever we can, especially on weekends. We enjoy going to the movies, going shopping, spending time at each others’ houses, etc. To escape the triple-digit heat of summertime, we sometimes go to Mount Charleston, or we stay cool in the water of hotel swimming pools (My personal favorite are the resorts at Lake Las Vegas.). Similarly to virtually all young people, I engage in social media. I began with a Facebook account when I started high school, and now I have Instagram and Pinterest accounts as well. While my interest in Facebook is dwindling, I enjoy posting pictures of the events in my daily life on Instagram (@Shannonigans96). Pinterest, I must admit, is my addiction, and I love to utilize this online pin board to find cool crafts to do, outfit inspirations, recipes, etc. On all social media, I also follow local accounts that give me ideas of places to go and things to see. Feel free to follow me for some ideas of your own. I feel that it is important to start with one’s vocation while they are young. From this, a person can gain a certainty that this is indeed what they want to do, an irreplaceable experience. When I was offered a blog about my life in Las Vegas, I seized the opportunity. I cannot wait to write more about my experiences are and what I have been exposed to in this unique environment as I grow up. Through this column, I hope to further express to readers how it is as an adolescent in Las Vegas and give them insight to the unique opportunities I have been given in this place I call home. If anyone has questions or suggestions, feel free to email me at sesneade@cox. net. Thank you so much for reading!

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opinion

Writing

Newspaper Editorials page 2

Issue 01 | Volume 21 |September 2013

Jury decision brings public outcry regarding the Zimmerman trial

Accolades

staff ‘13-14

Shannon Sneade •editor in chief Trayvon Martin was killed in a confrontation between George Zimmerman and himself on the night of Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman was found not guilty on Juy. 12, 2013, the final day of the much-extended court case. During this period of time, people focused on what caused this death. Instead of turning to gun control like in the past, the majority made it a matter of race. Emotions immediately became involved as soon as the case was revealed to the public through NBC’s doctoring of the 911 call from Zimmerman, who was on neighborhood watch that night. The news station cut out the dispatcher’s question of the suspicious person’s race so that it seemed like Zimmerman commented on Martin’s ethnicity without being prompted. While many details of the event are fuzzy, there is one element that could have changed the entire event that night. The dispatcher instructed Zimmerman not to pursue the suspicious-looking man, but Zimmerman, armed with a handgun, did. This confrontation in dark of the night turned into a grisly fight and ended when Zimmerman shot Martin. Because the specifics are murky, a situation like this would have been one man’s

Adviser........................Carol Medcalf Editor in Chief.........Shannon Sneade Assistant Editor.........Shaun Richards Webmaster...........................Bri Alejo Business Manager....Shannon Sneade Columnists...........................Bri Alejo Juvi Ruffatto Logan Taylor Staff Writers.................Melissa Ayala Katie Berger Katie Bradshaw Kyleigh Brigman Lora Denkova Sam Dreitzer Alexis Herrera Paulena Kinel Katie Michaels Blake Mirolla Sydnee Morency Abigail Parnall Allison Strande Delenn Whitehead Deanna Woods Shelby York Illustrators.....................Juvi Ruffatto Sandy Wyatt

word against the other. However, because one of them is dead, we will never know. There were no reliable witnesses of the crime to determine whether the fight went too far or if it was truly an issue of selfdefense. I would like to believe that Zimmerman’s motive was not prompted by racial differences, but his comment, “These guys, they always get away,” makes me think otherwise. As a country we should be so past the times of racial discrimination, but it seems that we are not. It is the 21st century, a time when all Americans should be seen as equal, no matter what race they are. However, it seems to me like we have reverted back to a mindset more fitting of the Civil Rights Movement. There is so much gray area in this case that it is almost impossible to determine what the real motive was, but many people have centered the issue around race. Regardless of his root of aggravation, Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teen. No matter if he was motivated by ethnicity, self defense, or just a sudden impulse, the media blew the issue out of proportion. Therefore, because of these additional rumors and falsehoods, the court case took place over a year after the incident. If the details weren’t muddled by the media in efforts to concentrate the shooting on race, I wonder what the outcome would have been.

Healthy lifestyle habits lead to healthy future Shaun Richards •assistant editor Sagging eyelids, sugar cravings, and above all irritability are the usual signs of a busy life and sleep deprivation. With hardly enough time to sleep, it is a common complaint amongst teens that there simply is not enough time to exercise. Exercise is unquestionably time consuming. However, so is homework. In this respect, exercise is vital. Just as homework leads to good grades, which in turn lead to college acceptance and success in life post- secondary education, exercise paves the way to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Despite being in the midst of her hardest year of high school, junior Jordan Forest said of exercise, “Not only is it good for your body, but it also helps you mentally. Excercising is a great time to work out anger, stress, and whatever else you may be dealing with.” This dilemma is not unique to high school students. It is a common is-

sue with the majority of the American public. Kathy Kaehler, a personal trainer, who has worked with Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts, describes how she overcomes this particular dilemma. In a short blurb from her in the September edition of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, she states that she, a personal trainer, has difficulty finding time to get to the gym every day. She says that to remedy this, she simply makes a conscientious effort to do some form of physical activity during the day. For her, this varies from parking further away from the store’s entrance to doing sit ups or leg lifts during TV commercials. As teenagers, it’s important that we develop healthy lifestyle habits now. Making the decision to be active and then continuing to act on that desire is key to seeing a difference in one’s health. The small things truly do become the big things in life, so by making small decisions now about the state of our health, we can greatly impact our futures for the best.

Student Calendar and Reminders

2 4 5 5

Make Up Pictures Lowden•7 am-2pm Fall Dance Concert PAC•7 pm SAT Testing Frazier•7 am Fall Dance Concert PAC•7 pm

page 9

8 9 10 10 11

Open House PAC•5 pm Band Concert Lowden •7 pm College Dance Auditions PAC•7 am

Fall Play Black Box •7 pm College Dance Auditions PAC•7 am

Noche de Mariachis Cafeteria•5 pm

11 11 11 12

Fall Play Black Box •7 pm Jazz Concert Lowden•7 pm Fall Play Black Box •7 pm Senior Class Picture Main Steps•8:30

For the month of •October

15 16 16

17 18

Orch/Band Concert LT•7 pm

Visual Arts Show Sept.27-Oct. 19 Lowden Gallery

Orch/Band Concert LT•7 pm

Battle of the Bands Field

Senior Make-Up Pictures LT Gallery•7 am

Choir Concert PAC•6 pm Guitar Concert LT• 7 pm

19

24

Staff Development Day- No school

This court case was popularly discussed in the media, however I feel like each opinion was incredibly one-sided. Without placing direct blame on any one person, I addressed the ever-existent bigotry in our society and how so many people fed into it.


Writing

Newspaper News

Boston terrorism takes toll

Shannon Sneade

On the afternoon of Monday, April 15, as some of the last runners of the 116th annual Boston Marathon crossed the finish line, two roaring blasts were heard. At first, unsuspecting spectators thought the noises were the celebratory finishing shots of the race, but seconds later, it became clear. A terrible tragedy had occurred; two bombs exploded at the site of the race in a random terrorist attack. These bombs had been set up relatively close together previous to the explosion to intentionally affect spectators and participators of the marathon. Both bombs were made of the same material (pressure cookers, plastic bags, bullets, and nails) and exploded within a couple seconds of each other. Three people were killed in the attack, hundreds were injured, and 183 were hospitalized, 13 of which required limb amputations. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics were already on the scene and therefore were responsible for saving numerous lives after the bombing. Victim Ron Brassard who lost his leg was interviewed by Anderson Cooper from the hospital; he said that he is angry but will not let this event change him emotionally. “You can’t let people control your life like that. You just can’t,” he said of the tragedy. A police chase began late at night

on Thursday, April 18, after a series of crimes in the Boston area including car theft, robberies, and the killing of an innocent MIT University police officer. The suspects turned out to be two brothers, raised in the United States but born in Chechen, Russia. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot by the police on the night of Thursday, April 18, after both brothers were involved in a shoot out with the police where one transit officer was fatally wounded. The criminal was taken to the hospital where he suffered cardiac arrest and died hours later. This began a 24 hour police chase to find the second suspect. Police advised everyone in the Boston area to stay in their houses until further notice putting the entire city on virtual lockdown. The chase concluded the next night when the younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was caught hiding out in a boat and taken into custody, alive. Despite some losses from this terrible attack, good came out of it too. One woman, Natalie Stavas, a pediatrician in the Boston area who participated in the race, finished the race minutes after the bombs went off, and when she crossed the finish line, she didn’t stop after those 26 miles. She ran and got through the police who were holding the crowds back assuring them that she was a doctor and begged them to let her help. Working alongside

people of similar reason, she saved three people. Resident college student Sarah Black was amazed at the generosity she saw. “I have to say I’m so incredibly proud to see my Bostonians coming up and helping each other. There are postings online offering places to stay, and several of my friends are of those who’ve offered,” Black says. In awe of the people he saw doing everything to help, District Attourney Dan Conley said, “Moments like these, terrible as they are, don’t show our weakness; they show our strength.” It has been confirmed that the Boston Marathon will indeed return next year with promises from the governor that it will be bigger and better. Extra security efforts will, of course, be in effect in Boston and in other parts of the country, ensuring the security of the American people. Sources: http://www.philly.com/philly/ news/20130421_Suspect_and_officer_ are_dead__second_suspect_eludes_police.html http://spartandaily.com/102972/garbage-can-bombs-terrorize-116th-annual-boston-marathon http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/us/boston-heroes/index.html http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/us/boston-marathon-explosions/index.html

news

Issue 08 | Volume 20 |Senior Edition 2013

Boston terrorism takes toll

Calendar May 1-2: Proficiency Testing May 3: Senior Guitar Recital May 4: SAT Exam May 6-17: AP Testing Days May 10: Jazz Concert May 10-11: Spring Dance Show May 13: Freshman Induction May 14: Handbells Concert May 15: Vocal Jazz Concert May 16: Mariachi Concert May 17: Guitar Concert May 18: Prom ! May 21: Orchestra Concert May 22-24: Late AP Testing May 22: Choir Concert San Diego Trip May 23: Senior Awards Night Orchestra plays with Youth Symphony May 24: Staff Development Kayley Samson night. his house where he lived in as a No school for students Senior Arturo Hernandez said, child. A couple of students then With light luggage in tow, LVA’s “I liked a lot of the trip. I really decided to purchase a souvenir May 27: Memorial Day philharmonic orchestra loaded two liked Seaport Village, I went there butterfly net for Mr. Reinarz. It became a way that the seniors tour buses headed to California. in 7th grade, so it was nice gocould show their appreciation by They traveled to practice with stu- ing back. It was just a nice place No school dents from the San Diego Youth to go. Being that close to the sea passing it around, getting all the Symphony. was great, but I also liked going seniors to sign it, and presenting LVA musicians participated in a to the zoo.” it to him on the last day. Mr Rein- May 28-31: Senior Week side by side reading session with Senior Sean Flynn said he, arz said, “It was great that it had SDYS. This opportunity allowed “Liked the zoo because it was nice all the senior’s signatures.” May 28: Senior Assembly orchestra students a chance to to connect with the animals on a On the last day of the trip, practice new pieces with those personal level.” the students performed a clinic & Picnic students who were already familAt breakfast before going to the at Point Loma Nazarene University directed by Philip Tyler, iar with them. zoo, Mr. Reinarz told a few of the In addition to shopping at Seastudents that the first thing he then went to Balboa Park to May 29: Band Concert port Village on Friday, orchestra would go to would be the buthave some down time and relax members had the day to visit the terfly exhibit. He said he could before reading with the SD Youth May 30-31: Semester Exams San Diego Zoo and then attend a remember catching butterflies in Symphony. San Diego Symphony concert at the swamp across the street from Seniors Only the staff May 30: Multi-Piano Concert Advisor: Carol Medcalf Jazmyne Lopez Co-Editors: Brooke Lester Shaun Richards Opera Workshop Shannon Sneade

On the afternoon of Monday, April 15, as some of the last runners of the 116th annual Boston Marathon crossed the finish line, two roaring blasts were heard. At first, unsuspecting spectators thought the noises were the celebratory finishing shots of the race, but seconds later, it became clear. A terrible tragedy had occurred; two bombs exploded at the site of the race in a random terrorist attack. These bombs had been set up relatively close together previous to the explosion to intentionally affect spectators and participators of the marathon. Both bombs were made of the same material (pressure cookers, plastic bags, bullets, and nails) and exploded within a couple seconds of each other. Three people were killed in the attack, hundreds were injured, and 183 were hospitalized, 13 of which required limb amputations. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics were already on the scene and therefore were responsible for saving numerous lives after the bombing. Victim Ron Brassard who lost his leg was interviewed by Anderson Cooper from the hospital; he said that he is angry but will not let this event change him emotionally. “You can’t let people control your life like that. You just can’t,” he said of the tragedy.

A police chase began late at night on Thursday, April 18, after a series of crimes in the Boston area including car theft, robberies, and the killing of an innocent MIT University police officer. The suspects turned out to be two brothers, raised in the United States but born in Chechen, Russia. The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot by the police on the night of Thursday, April 18, after both brothers were involved in a shoot out with the police where one transit officer was fatally wounded. The criminal was taken to the hospital where he suffered cardiac arrest and died hours later. This began a 24 hour police chase to find the second suspect. Police advised everyone in the Boston area to stay in their houses until further notice putting the entire city on virtual lockdown. The chase concluded the next night when the younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was caught hiding out in a boat and taken into custody, alive. Despite some losses from this terrible attack, good came out of it too. One woman, Natalie Stavas, a pediatrician in the Boston area who participated in the race, finished the race minutes after the bombs went off, and when she crossed the finish line, she didn’t stop after those 26 miles. She ran and got through the police who were holding the crowds back assuring them that she was a doctor and begged

Caolinn Mejza Assistant Editor: Shannon Sneade Columnist: Christopher Cox Staff Writers: Jazmin Boulton Mykkayla Hall

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them to let her help. Working alongside people of similar reason, she saved three people. Resident college student Sarah Black was amazed at the generosity she saw. “I have to say I’m so incredibly proud to see my Bostonians coming up and helping each other. There are postings online offering places to stay, and several of my friends are of those who’ve offered,” Black says. In awe of the people he saw doing everything to help, District Attourney Dan Conley said, “Moments like these, terrible as they are, don’t show our weakness; they show our strength.” It has been confirmed that the Boston Marathon will indeed return next year with promises from the governor that it will be bigger and better. Extra security efforts will, of course, be in effect in Boston and in other parts of the country, ensuring the security of the American people. Sources: http://www.philly.com/philly/ news/20130421_Suspect_and_officer_are_dead__second_suspect_ eludes_police.html http://spartandaily.com/102972/ garbage-can-bombs-terrorize-116th-annual-boston-marathon http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/ us/boston-heroes/index.html http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/ us/boston-marathon-explosions/ index.html

Kayley Samson Logan Taylor Illustrators: Ayana Hyberger Business Manager: Shannon Sneade

Corrections and Classifications for the Spring 2013 issue: “Waking up is hard to do” on page 8 was miscredited to Logan Taylor. The author of this story was Alexis Herrera

The Boston Marathon bombing happened one day before we sent the newspaper to print. Knowing it was a topic that had to be covered, I gathered information, sorting the facts from the rumors. It was my first experience with reporting as the evidence was released while racing against deadline.

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features LVA senior selected to blog for NY Times Shannon Sneade When senior Spanish major Candice Childress joined the Accolades staff last year, it was apparent that she had a special knack for writing. That’s why comes as no surprise that she is one of eight high school seniors from around the world to be selected to write a blog for the New York Times. Towards the end of last year, a Times editor contacted the LVA counselors asking them to pick a student with exceptional writing skills to be considered to write for a senior year blog. The counselors turned to the English department teachers who all raved about Childress and her writing. She was notified of their decision in May, a few weeks before school ended, and accepted. The application was due on May 31, also Childress’s birthday and the same day her online geometry exam was due. That day, after coming home from school, doing homework, and taking her geometry exam, it was late. And she still had the application to complete. So late at night, she got to work. Scrambling through the application essay to make the deadline, she was finally able to turn it in at three in the morning. Then, before she went to bed, all she wanted was a slice of her birthday cake (which she had yet to try), so she ventured to the kitchen and opened the fridge to discover that while she was working, her dad had eaten all the cake. Happy birthday to her. As it turned out, Childress was accepted as a writer for the college admissions blog along with seven other students from the Midwest, East Coast, and even a few foreign countries. The hand-selected group was instructed to write about the excitement and struggles of senior year, the process of applying for colleges, and visiting campuses. The requirement is that the students write at least once a month, speaking about one or all of the above topics. She is certain that she won’t exceed this expectation except by accident. Childress’s main concern about writing for this blog is that her career path, film preservation, is not traditional. “Everyone else’s major is logical, and ‘film preservationist’ doesn’t quite have the same resonance as a doctor or lawyer has,” she says. “And while the Las Vegas Academy Accolades is great, I have obviously never written for a venue like the New York Times, so it’s quite the departure for me.” Childress’s major has a unique path, so she would major in either film or history in undergraduate school, preferably Occidental City College or Pitzer College, then would continue on to graduate school to study film preservation at one of the three schools in the country who offers it. Childress says, “The opportunity to write professionally is quite spectacular, but I would want a position that gives me freedom to write anything I please, maybe even about film preservation.” The blog, labeled “The Envelope, Please,” can be found within “The Choice” on the NY Times website. Childress, with her unique sense of humor, says, “I already made a joke about Gary Cooper’s chest hairs. It’s all downhill from here.” She applauds everyone who understands that joke.

Place your Ad here! Contact Business Manager, Shannon Sneade at lvaaccolades@gmail.com or 799-7800 ext. 4076

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A fellow staff member was one of the few students from around the country to be selected to write for the New York Times on her experience as a high school student. I wrote an article spotlighting this distinction, careful not to have a conflict of interest.

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Writing

Newspaper News


Writing

Newspaper News

Accolades LasVegasAcademy

LV Academy Accolades @lvaaccolades lvaaccolades@gmail.com

www.lvanewspaper.com

•Issue 09• Volume 20• May/June 2013•

LVA named Outstanding Arts School

Shannon Sneade Las Vegas Academy of the Arts prides itself in being a school nationally recognized for the arts program as well as offering challenging academics. Last year when Clark County School District added high school star rankings to Las Vegas schools based on graduation rate, college and career readiness, student engagement, and student growth, LVA was one of the few high schools to receive five out of five stars. The World Jazz, Theatre, and the Mariachi departments have recently

been featured at national and international festivals, winning top awards at each. LVA’s record of 10 Grammy Awards is the highest in the country and is recognized as a Distinguished Magnet School of America. On Wednesday, May 15, LVA was presented with the Outstanding Arts School Award by the Arts School Network (ASN), a non-profit organization that has promoted excellence in arts education for more than 30 years. After submitting a comprehensive application of all that the Academy encompasses— academics, faculty, majors, vigor-

ous programs, the audition process, etc.— they were selected out of all applicants as the top performing arts school in the country. The official award ceremony will take place at the Arts School Network Conference on Oct. 22-25, 2013 at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Principal Scott Walker will attend to receive the award. With this honor comes enormous pride for students, faculty, and alumni of LVA, but as always the school community will continue to strive for excellence in everything the Academy is a part of.

news pages 2-3 opinion pages 4-5 features pages 6-7

summer hot spots pages 8-9

continued on pages 10-11

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Cost for higher education continues to climb   Shannon Sneade Every high school senior has been saving up and is financially prepared to continue onto a college or university...right? Not quite. As the nation’s student debt rises to over $1 trillion, an issue weighing heavily on most families’ minds is how they will pay for tuition that has risen 15 percent in just two years.*    As tuition rises, per-student funding in 43 states dwindles to almost half of what it was just six years ago leaving students and their families to struggle with debt even long after the students graduate college. Grants and scholarships are hard to come by, and only 0.3 percent of students per year receive enough funds to pay for their entire tuition.    Another issue is the deceptive price tag of annual tuition. In

fact, it had been such a problem that the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 2011 began requiring that universities “make the process of selecting a college easier and more transparent, so students know exactly what they’re paying for.”     Meanwhile, the individual courses of study within some universities are being broadened as an attempt to counteract the budget crisis. Analysts worry that this will lead to a reduction of the middle class and create a skills gap between generations. Given only 2 percent of the government’s budget, inventions that came out of research universities (i.e. touch screens, seat belts, and MRIs) made up half of America’s economic growth between 1950 and 2000, but this will not be possible without proper funding. If all that was possible with just 2 percent of

Open Season

the government’s budget, just imagine what research universities could do if provided more money.    High school seniors in this point of the game should be worrying about where they want to study and what they want to do in life, not how they are ever going to be able to pay for college. If education in America is the key to success, perhaps the government should consider investing a larger part of its budget into funding public universities.   *Based on four-year public universities; statistics by the Department of Education http://www.cbsnews.com/8301505145_162-37244265/how-rare-are-full-ride-scholarships/

Online education opens opportunities Candice Childress

Taking Taking AA Shot at College

Students begin college courses through AP, dual credit offerings Christopher Cox

Discussing the ominous topic of overpriced college tuition, I examined why the government was only allocating a small percentage of money to universities. This article resonated with upperclassmen and underclassmen alike.

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The Class of 2013 may be going off to college next fall, but some members have decided to preempt their entry into higher education with advanced courses and college classes in an attempt to save on money, time or both. One such student is Maryann Stone, piano major. She will be studying at the Art Institute after she graduates and is taking two early, fully accredited classes there: Fashion Retail Management and Photoshop. She attends Fashion Retail and Photoshop “every Saturday morning so that [she] can have a life afterwards.” She likes both of her new classes, especially Fashion Retail, because she likes her professors and says it’s easy to find mentors through the programs. “There’s that college feel to it,” she says. Stone will pay for the classes primarily through scholarships and a job at Zoomis. The Photoshop class is free, she notes, because this century is so technology oriented that the Art Institute didn’t particularly care how it made its students computer literate. She has to make it across town to go to school, but says of her classes, “I would suggest it to anyone who could do it.” This is part of a national trend toward tech in the classroom (and sometimes the living

Coursera, edX, Udacity: all impossible to spell, all vaguely space-age, and all promising to democratize that last bastion of the old boys’ network, higher education. Companies like this are partnering with colleges far and wide to open classes to the public: a younger, older, rural, urban, and generally disadvantaged population to which the

room). In Time, Amanda Ripley reported in “Reinventing College” that four-year degrees are available through massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are much less expensive than tuition for “brick-and-mortar” schools. MOOC’s are presented as a possible solution to the issue of insufficient education for students who want to get ahead. The article’s epigram quotes Richard Stengel as calling education “the great engine of American prosperity, innovation and social mobility,” and warning that “we weaken it at our own peril.” Taking college classes early isn’t the only option for getting college credits. LVA has several AP and dual credit courses for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Both can count for college credit, though it may depend on which college a student applies. AP tests may be taken by students even years after a course has been taken. AP tests taken by students who have not taken AP classes also count for college credits but also come with caveats: some passing scores may not count for credits at all schools. Nonetheless, taking enough advanced courses makes it theoretically possible to enter college – on campus or on a computer – as a sophomore, which also saves money. Sources:

Scholarship hunting made easier Candice Childress It becomes a habit in September of junior year and a daily ritual by December: opening up Google, staring blankly at the soothing white screen, typing out a tentative “scholarships for” and slamming the screen shut in frustration. The average student is just that--average. It can be difficult to hone in on the differences between John and Jane Doe, both graduates of large public high schools with 3.6 GPAs, 1900 SATs and a formidable roster of color guard credits, but they exist. When students identify what exactly it is that makes them tick and distinguishes them from the vast sea of paper people facing college admissions officers, they can use that newfound knowledge to key into free money. With the Internet, there is no need to hire highpriced headhunters or leaf through binders in counselors’ offices as our forebearer did, scrambling to accumulate a punitive sum before the tuition deadline. General scholarships can be found on websites like scholarships.com, Fastweb, and Zinch. Some of them have the additional bonus of having a college recruitment function, inviting students to submit GPAs, test scores and extracurricular activities to woo schools digitally. These resources are invaluable in the scholarship search, but many grants that are either made up of small, incremental amounts or have specific criteria are not listed on major websites. The dreaded 600-page books of scholarship listings--composed of a very inefficient compound of glue, cardboard and wood-pulp, as opposed to the clean, streamlined searches that can be conducted online--can be found in libraries near and

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far, and while they are often outdated, some scholarships may have wormed their way in there and there alone. Most large universities--state schools in particular--have searchable, strictly institutional scholarship databases listing funds available in specific majors and for students with certain qualifications like class rank, ethnicity and geographic origin. More selective private schools--including those who tout 100 percent need-based aid--are hesitant to reveal the details of their financial aid structures for fear of losing prospective students to larger, better-equipped schools, which may offer a bulk of a student’s financial aid in the form of grants, rather than padding the package with loans. Students who will be heavily dependent upon financial aid should be suspicious of such offers because--with exceptions for heavily specialized, tuition-free, primarily undergraduate schools like the ranching-centric Deep Springs and the arts-based Cooper Union-that 100 percent ticket is hard to come by and will consist primarily of loans, work study and grants that may have specific conditions for renewal for the next few years of study. Some might not extend past four years, regardless of whether or not a student is prepared to graduate within that timeframe. LVA students skilled in drama, creative writing and the visual arts would do well to investigate the arts-centric scholarship scholarship programs. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which offer sizable--and prestigious--prizes in areas like architecture, film and animation, printmaking and poetry. The Awards have a host of celebrity alumni including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Robert Redford and Ken Burns. The regional deadline for Southern Nevada is Jan.

14 for art and Dec. 11 for writing, so interested students should begin compiling their work and submitting applications as soon as possible. Unlike urban legends like the untold millions awaiting applicants with vegetarian leanings and absurdly obscure last names, there are scholarships with odd criteria that might attract, say, high school seniors that tower over their teachers or students with a particular passion for fire sprinkler maintenance, but they tend to amount to less than $500. While students should attempt to obtain any and every scholarship for which they might qualify, they should shoot for conventional scholarships as well--as the old adage states, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and they might lose time, energy, and motivation in the process. All of the above methods are inefficient in their own way. Students will find discontinued programs, missed deadlines, and inadequate funds blocking their path to the dual golden kingdoms of higher education and financial solvency. But with patience, determination, and the end in mind, students can pay for at least a portion of their schooling using external funds, all with the satisfaction of knowing that they secured them of their own ingenuity. Sources: http://www.artandwriting.org/, http://www. deepsprings.edu/news%20and%20events/college, http://www.thenation.com/blog/167588/cooperunion-students-protest-colleges-first-ever-tuition#

doors of these hallowed institutions have long been bolted shut. However, programs like Harvard and Johns Hopkins make knowledge

itself--in these days a dubious commodity at best--more accessible, not formal credits comparable to those secured by students on campus. This pierces the heart of the debate over higher education in the new century: is it for the love of learning or for a competitive edge that societies enhance their offerings for higher education? How can the Internet--the most powerful educational tool in history--be utilized to better serve the poor, the home-bound, the geographically isolated--those traditionally underserved by brick and mortar institutions? Can brick and mortar teach at all--or are they relics of a bygone era when boys and girls enrolled to get married, dodge drafts and inherit the family firm? Have we reached a point in our collective growth where we can recognize and even affirm the dignity inherent in the family farm, or--perish the thought--nothing at all? Major universities, including a handful of Ivies, have extended credit-granting “global learning” wings, the more urbane, sophisticated cousin of the “distance learning” programs of the past, associated in the public imagination with farm girls training as secretaries in soapy Forties melodramas. These programs once carried a stigma, but the face of higher education is changing rapidly: schools with a traditionally homogeneous student body-read: “middle-to-upper-class white”--are being injected with an influx of profoundly different languages, religions and cultural heritage that stand to shake traditional academia to the core. In the past, only the brilliant and the renowned were able to scale the ivory tower--and often not even them--but higher education is adapting to address and rectify the educational inequality in this country. Stories of success no longer have the twang of Langston Hughes at Columbia braving a white world; now, students make their way up and out at schools like Los Angeles Mission College, a Southern California community college with a 71 percent Hispanic enrollment.

But critics of the push towards online education contend that the biggest obstacle to democratic learning is the technology gap that accompanies--and, as society becomes more and more Web-dependent, enhances-the poverty gap itself. A measly 35 percent of households earning less than $25 thousand a year--those who would, ostensibly, benefit the most from online academic opportunities-have Internet access. Only half of the black and Latino families in the United States, two groups traditionally underserved by higher education, have any connection whatsoever. How are they to take advantage of online education without that initial access? Opponents also argue that thousands of studies taken over the past two decades have shown that there is not any significant improvement in the performance of students relying on online education. In some cases, their performance even worsened. These studies have consistently shown that the ideal balance is one that integrates technology into a traditional, classroom-based curriculum, but--and this is a major issue--that upward shift may be attributed to technology’s emphasis on individualized education, not the technology itself. Online classes like the above are free for now, but that will doubtlessly change within the next few years. Tuition is skyrocketing at traditional institutions across the country, as any high school student knows. Wealthy students will continue to succeed by taking advantage of opportunities like Web-extended courses, and poor students will continue to struggle to compensate for a disparity in their fundamental education and for society’s complacency in view of the dire situation of minority achievement in this country. What is the solution? Until in-home technology comes off the blossom and becomes an integral aspect of daily life for students of all backgrounds and situations, students dependent on online education to better their lives and minds simply don’t have a fighting chance. Sources: http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/30/ why-online-education-will-leave-many-students-behind/ http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ edlite-minorityinst-list-hisp-tab.html http://nation.time.com/2012/10/18/college-isdead-long-live-college/

Cost for higher education continues to climb Shannon Sneade Every high school senior has been saving up and is financially prepared to continue onto a college or university...right? Not quite. As the nation’s student debt rises to over $1 trillion, an issue weighing heavily on most families’ minds is how they will pay for tuition that has risen 15 percent in just two years.* As tuition rises, per-student funding in 43 states dwindles to almost half of what it was just six years ago leaving students and their families to struggle with debt even long after the students graduate college. Grants and scholarships are hard to come by, and only 0.3 percent of students per year receive enough funds to pay for their entire tuition. Another issue is the deceptive price tag

Illustration by: Ayana Hyberger

of annual tuition. In fact, it had been such a problem that the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 2011 began requiring that universities “make the process of selecting a college easier and more transparent, so students know exactly what they’re paying for.” Meanwhile, the individual courses of study within some universities are being broadened as an attempt to counteract the budget crisis. Analysts worry that this will lead to a reduction of the middle class and create a skills gap between generations. Given only 2 percent of the government’s budget, inventions that came out of research universities (i.e. touch screens, seat belts, and MRIs) made up half of America’s economic growth between 1950 and 2000, but this will not be possible without

proper funding. If all that was possible with just 2 percent of the government’s budget, just imagine what research universities could do if provided more money. High school seniors in this point of the game should be worrying about where they want to study and what they want to do in life, not how they are ever going to be able to pay for college. If education in America is the key to success, perhaps the government should consider investing a larger part of its budget into funding public universities. *Based on four-year public universities; statistics by the Department of Education http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_16237244265/how-rare-are-full-ride-scholarships/

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Writing

Newspaper News


Writing

Newspaper Features I interviewed a fellow student of mine who is a deaf dancer and actress. I covered what it was like for her to have incredible ability despite what other people would see as a hindrance. While I spoke to her interpreter as well, I made sure her personality came through in my writing.

Las Vegas Academy senior’s deafness doesn’t stop dance, theater

had difficulties picking up the skill. However, this did not deter her from the art. In time, she found a new teacher who was willing to work with her.

By SHANNON SNEADE R-JENERATION Rachel Tozzi is a multitalented dancer and actress. Onstage, she is a natural performer who clearly loves what she does.

“She was energized with her body language and worked with me one on one, making sure to explain everything in great detail,” Tozzi says.

But when she steps off the stage, something sets her apart from the rest. Tozzi is deaf. Tozzi was born prematurely and became deaf shortly after birth because of medical complications. To communicate, she and her parents learned home signs, a common way for deaf children to speak to hearing parents. “(My mom’s) perspective was that I could be like normal people, to be like everybody else,” she says. “My dad, like my mom, was accepting of deaf culture, but he fought for my rights when it came to being deaf.” In their own ways, her parents encouraged her to try to accomplish everything in her realm of possibility, which is exactly what she continues to do daily. Sign language was Tozzi’s first language. Her teachers at the deaf program in her middle schools taught her to speak. “They would just put my hand on their neck and hum,” she says. “I would practice what the words looked like, but now I am used to it.” Tozzi was overwhelmed when she was forced to speak without any assistance, “but it became an awakening and it opened my eyes to the world around me.” Motivated by the ability to feel the beat of music, she started taking dance lessons at age 5. Unfortunately, her teacher had no experience working with deaf people and Tozzi

She became involved in Sign Design Theatre Company, a program geared toward hearing-impaired children, at age 13. She said she’s grateful to the company because it interconnected dance and acting instruction with sign language. In the theater world, she’s inspired by Marlee Matlin, a deaf Academy Award-winning actress who fought for deaf rights. Tozzi auditioned for the Las Vegas Academy dance department the year before her freshman year. “I wasn’t like the others, because I didn’t have tons of experience,” she says. “I just saw how dancers moved and I mimicked them.” She was accepted and is finishing her senior year as a dance and theater major. “I finally feel like I am at par with everybody in my education,” she says. And for that, she gives credit to the school. Tozzi recently juggled rehearsals and performances for her roles in LVA’s fall play, “Women of Lockerbie,” as well as “Nightmares,” a Sign Design production. She plans to further her education at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., which is dedicated to the advancement of deaf people. In the future, she said, she’d like to help other deaf people. “Really, I’m going through life the hard way,” Tozzi says, “and I want to be able to help others.”

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I interviewed Corey Taylor, a teenager who had been bullied in the past and began a radio talk show about it. She selflessly gave up her time and money to help others dealing with this relevant issue, and was truly making a difference in many peoples’ lives.

Behind the Mic, Taking on Bullies By SHANNON SNEADE R-JENERATION Corey Taylor is a 15-year-old with a confident smile and a passion for helping others cope with bullying. She majors in childhood development at Northwest Career and Technical Academy, regularly participates in theater workshops and performs various acting jobs. Perhaps her biggest accomplishment is that she’s the host of Las Vegas’ only known teen talk show where she educates the community on bullying. Taylor’s experience with bullies started at a very young age. They would antagonize her and other peers at school and theater, trying to crush her self-confidence. “At first,” she said, “I would come home crying because I couldn’t understand why they were picking on me.” After a few months, she realized the problem wasn’t going to get any better if she didn’t do anything about it. “I talked to my mom,” she said, “and she told me to observe the bullies with their parents.” Taylor soon realized what her mother said was true; these bullies were not happy themselves, so they looked to other people to pick on. With this in mind, Taylor steadily rebuilt her self-esteem. “I discovered that (bullying) is a serious problem in our society,” she said, “and that something needs to be done to stop it or it will get so much worse.” With the support of her sisters and single mother, Taylor withdrew her life savings and started a radio talk show, deciding that was the best way to reach the audience she wanted. “I was originally saving up for a car, but this is more important,” she said. She spends $500 a month on the show, “Corey Taylor Talks.”

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Taylor said she was offered the position as a radio talk show host after the radio producer heard her story during a guest appearance on another talk show. So during the first week of summer, when most teenagers were lounging around or spending time by the pool, she recorded her first show at Vegas All Net Radio. The show airs from 6 to 7 p.m. every Thursday on vegasallnetradio.com. The show has been gaining momentum, building its audience and adding listeners and speakers. Taylor now hears from people ranging from 4-yearold children to adult military personnel. “A U.S. Marine called into the show one day and told me his entire crew listened to my show,” Corey said. “Apparently after they got rid of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, there was a lot of bullying happening in the armed forces.” The Marine reported that her show made their crew quarters a better place. Taylor welcomes the burden of others’ problems with confidence. “I once heard from a girl that had considered committing suicide,” she said. “Helping people that went through the same things that I did really assures them there is a solution, and suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” She plans to continue her talk show and encourage people of all ages to surround themselves with good influences. She hopes to pursue an acting career and remain a figure for people to look up to. “So many people in the media are not good influences for children,” Taylor said, “and I want to be that difference. I want people to see me and realize it’s OK to not ‘fit in.’ ”

Writing

Newspaper Features


Design

Newsletter Layout

I attended the National Jostens Summer Yearbook workshop in the newspaper track in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, I paired with another journalist to create a newsletter for the camp in two days. It was well-received and caught the advisers’ attention because of our innovative ideas.

page 16


When my school took on the project of more accurately branding our school, we adopted a new logo (top). Students were not especially fond of it at first, so I modified it for the Accolades newspaper logo (above) in order to familiarize it. I received wonderful feedback and eased the transition for the students

page 17

Design

Masthead Logo


Design

Center Spre

About: Zappos, Inc. moved their company downtown and began a beautification project called the Downtown Project. They helped small businesses get on their feet, so we featured these businesses after having each staff member visit one place.

LVA’s New Neig The Zappos Dow P Life advice from Zappos CEO, Harvard Grad, Tony Hsieh

“Gain perspective and diversity. College makes it a lot easier because the experience and people are naturally diverse. Once you graduate from college though, your neighbors are not that diverse. Try to continue that outlook.”

“The best advice cessful is meet a from different bac things, try to talk norm

“Don’t try to replicat important thing is to

“Balancing socializing and work is extremely important. Socia thing a lot more enjoyable and easier to communicate. Whe others, it validates relationship building in general. It pulls diff together and makes them stronger. Relationship building is portant parts of being successful.”

“As a general piece of advice, make sure that in whatever you’r ate about it because it will be a lot easier. If you’re passionate, y to make it through the tough times. If it’s just for the money, it u

Zappos’ success results from followin Shaun Richards “We seek to WOW our co-workers, our vendors, our partners and in the long run, our investors.” This statement alone sets Zappos apart from most companies. It is a unique company that has been built around a set of 10 values they refer to as their Zappos Family Core Values. These have been designed to help define the ideas and ideals that have aided them in the growth and shaping of the Zappos Company. Deliver WOW Through Service is the first value. In this, employees are encouraged to think outside the box to be innovative and to set themselves apart as different from other companies. Employees are expected to deliver a WOW factor in everything they do and make sure that each action they take has a positive emotional impact on the customer. Next on their list of values is Embrace and Drive Change. Zappos suggests and promotes its workers to learn to be fluid and adaptable. Change, as the value would suggest, is to be ignited, accepted, and acted upon. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness. Fun and weirdness are important aspects of the

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company culture. They believe that workers who are free to be themselves work better than those who are restricted. Diversity is not only encouraged but also celebrated in this corporation. Be Adventurous, Creative and Open-Minded. Their fourth core value presses workers to be daring and bold. People in the workplace at Zappos should not be afraid of doing something wrong or taking a leap of faith. In this way employees are prompted to improve their decision-making skills. There is great value placed on learning and the pursuit of growth in this workplace. Their value Pursue Learning and Growth, encompasses ideas that deal with realizing and expounding upon the potential of each employee. The corporation believes that in this way they are more able to grow by taking on newer and harder challenges. Honesty is the best policy and this especially true for Zappos. The sixth value, Build Honest and Open Relationships With Communication, demonstrates exactly that. The trust that is gained from frequent and honest communication is what drives customers to have faith and trust in the employee and

busine The Team a value. that is In th With L go by. persist and an The Determ seem. charac Zapp innova should Jordan this co employ corpora

Source http:// zappos


ghbors wntown Project

Friends of Zappos Candice Childress A new fixture of the downtown scene, eat prides itself on its fast service, local ingredients and culinary trainings, intended to prepare the city’s future culinary superstars for work in a fast-paced urban environment. Centered around a “new American” breakfast and lunch menu with inventive offerings like roast beef and blue cheese sandwiches, tofu scramble and pomegranate oolong tea, eat takes Vegas comfort food out of the casino back room and onto the street--the corner of Carson and Seventh, to be precise. eat is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Design

ead Layout

Sources: http://downtownproject.com/project/eat/, http://eatdowntownlv.com/art/

e I can give to be suca lot of different people ckgrounds. Try different to people you wouldn’t mally talk to.”

te somebody else; the most o create your own identity.”

alizing makes everyen you do favors for ferent environments one of the most im-

re doing, you’re passionyou are much more likely usually doesn’t work out.”

ng core values

ess. values introduce and create A Positive and Family Spirit, which is the seventh It is clear that this unity is something highly valued. he spirit of continual growth, Do More Less seems an appropriate mantra to People in the business ought to be tently working and improving everything nything that they can. last two values, Be Passionate and mined and Be Humble are exactly as they Employees must strive to instill such cteristics in themselves and in their work. pos is a unique company with an ative outlook on the way a business d be run. In the words of sophomore n Forest, “I think its really neat how much ompany cares about its customers and yees. It’s such a rarity to find in the large rations of today.”

e: /about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/ s-core-values

Christopher Cox

Logan Taylor Silver State Production Services is a top-notch film production company that has many years of experience working with the film industries most respected producers, cinematographers, directors and agencies. They are located on 520 Fremont Street, and much of their work is based in the Las Vegas area. They provide all-inclusive services such as a professional crew, site location and area control for films, all the transportation equipment necessary, film equipment rentals, and even a talent database for casting. Most students will recognize some of their major films such as “Race to Witch Mountain” and “The Hangover.” Dylan Kinzler, a junior who is a big fan of “The Hangover” said, “they (the producers) used a wide range of locations in Vegas that not many people knew about. Their services will be highly valued in the coming progress of the Downtown Project.

The Beat Coffehouse and Records offers coffee and entertainment as a result of Zappo’s downtown renewal. Located on the corner of 6th and Fremont, The Beat sells coffee, sandwiches, wraps, pizzas and sides. It features “an array of vinyl records to listen to,” and a trivia night every other Tuesday. The independent coffeehouse also hosts Jeffrey B. Grindley’s Las Vegas Zine Library. Sources: http://www.thebeatlv.com/blog.html

Jessie Hamill

Downtown Trivia Jazmin Boulton Every other Tuesday night, Zappos holds a “Downtown Trivia” contest at The Beat Coffeehouse & Records. The events are held to promote awareness and excitement for Zappos Downtown Vegas initiative. Participants usually come early so they

Coterie, the downtown chic boutique is located on 515 Fremont St. The emerging men and women’s boutique carries labels such as Zanerobe, Jacks and Jokers, Scotch and Soda and much more. Up-scaled clothing and funky accessories are displayed in an intimate yet lush setting that truly captures the glamorous environment of downtown Las Vegas. This fashion hotspot is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 9pm. They are open late on First Fridays.

can order food and choose their seats (and teams) at the café at 520 Fremont Street. By 7 pm, everyone is ready and the contest starts. “We wanted to make it a mixture of co-workers from Zappos, but also people right here in the community,” Augusta Scott, Zappos Life Coach said. Unfortunately for LVA students, Down-

town Trivia is an adult-only event from 7-9pm. The Beat also has an under-21 curfew of 7pm every night. Sources: http://downtownproject.com/project/ downtown-trivia/

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Thanksgiving brings families together

Design

Allison Strande • staff member

It’s that time of the year to book the airplane tickets and save money for Black Friday. Families are preparing for the relatives and decide what to cook this year. Thanksgiving is the number one holiday with the most families traveling with their families. “Every Thanksgiving my family basically has a family reunion. Sometimes it’s at my house and other times my family has to travel to either California or Utah,” says Audrey Gonzalez, sophomore piano major. “We have the Thanksgiving dinner, but afterwards we play games, dance, and play music because my family is full of instrumentalists,” says Ayana Campbell, sophomore piano major. Giving thanks is unique and creative in every family. A dinner feast of 12 people, at the most, is the usual scenario for a family get-together on Thanksgiving, but certain families have their own

tradition. “My family and a family friend’s family get together and have a huge feast and party. Our families are huge, so it’s a pretty big party,” says Diego LaRochelle, freshman. The typical American Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce doesn’t apply to families of different ethnicities because the traditions originate from a cultural background. “For my family’s Thanksgiving we have a turkey, but it’s not the main course because we mostly have Filipino food,” says Angelica Danao, senior choir major. Eighty- eight percent of Americans eat the traditional turkey on Thanksgiving, but families of certain ethnicity, such as Jonelle Candari’s family, have a traditional feast that, in their point of view, is habitual. “I’m Filipino, and instead of a turkey, we have a whole pig as the main course,” says Jonelle, senior orchestra major.

A typical American tradition to celebrate on Thanksgiving includes the annual NFL football game. “Of course we have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but afterwards we all watch football,” says Samantha Barnard, freshman piano major. For some families, the men only watch the football game. “The men in my family watch the football game because the women don’t have any interest in it. They’re mostly looking forward to Black Friday,” says Maythel Gonzaga, senior choir major. Most women look forward to the numerous sales in the malls after Thanksgiving. “I go shopping every Black Friday for the best sales. I know some girls that camp out the night before or early in the morning to be the first to shop; now that’s hard core,” says Olivia Farrimond, junior piano major.

Newspaper Graphic

About:

I wanted to add a fun graphic to this spread, so I had a staff illustrator draw a picture with both realist and cartoon art. I then had thought bubbles branching off the illustration with statistics of the average Thanksgiving dinner.

Number of people who travel:

Average table size:

12 people

24 million

Average calorie count of Thanksgiving dinner:

Average cost of Thanksgiving meal:

4500 calories

$50

Illustration by Juvi Ruffatto

in depth

page 6

in depth

page 7

Home or Homeless for the Holidays Accidental charity dedication is to teens

Katie Michaels • staff member

As the holiday nears, most of us are excited to spend time with family members, receive gifts, and chow down on a delicious, home-cooked meal. Around Thanksgiving, we all say how thankful we are for the things in our lives, but do we truly feel thankful? Do we truly appreciate everything we have? As the turkey gets passed around the dinner table and different conservations arise as family members greet each other, more than 6,300 homeless students in Las Vegas will struggle to have a dinner or a place to sleep. More than 6,300 students in Las Vegas are homeless. Finding places to stay, food to eat, and clothes to wear are their main priorities. If these things are given to them, rather than a phone or an ipod, these students are thankful for being given the necessities to survive. Don Purdue, President and Trustee of Project 150, and his team collect various items to give to homeless students throughout the year. Project 150 is a non-profit organization that provides dinners, clothes, and school supplies to homeless students. Don Purdue heard a story on the news about homeless teens attending Rancho High School. He couldn’t believe how many teens attended Rancho, so he went down to the school to check it out. He met with Angela Urquiaga who is a homeless advocate for Rancho High School. While meeting with her, students came in asking for different items because they couldn’t afford

them. Without any hesitation she agreed to give any items to students who needed them. Admiring her passion to help these students, Don Purdue was inspired to join in and help as well. Over 4 days, Don and his friends raised over $10,000 in gift cards for the homeless students. Impressed by the amount of money that they received, Purdue and his team Illustration by Sandy Lee Wyatt

decided to reach out again and have school supplies donated. 3M, a company who makes tape, donated scientific graphing calculators to Don. Don was able to give the students new calculators to use for school. “These kids were doing calculus without calculators. I thought how crazy that was and decided that we need calculators. When I got a message from a lady from 3M, I couldn’t believe it. At first I didn’t think it was real, but sure enough, I got a box filled with calculators sent to

my office. It was incredible” said Don Purdue. The amount of work done for the kids didn’t stop there. When Don and his team realized all the good they were doing, they decided to create Project 150. “ We like to call ourselves the accidental charity. In the beginning, we just donated some supplies and that was that. We didn’t think it would turn into something like this, but we are happy it did. We thoroughly enjoy what we do” said Don. Within a couple weeks, Project 150 was up and running. Organizing events and food drives were at the top of the organization’s list. Around the holidays, over 100 volunteers go to a warehouse and create and assembly line to assemble dinner baskets for struggling families or homeless teens. Main courses, side dishes, and desserts are put into the baskets that are big enough to serve a family of four. Within two hours, more than 1,000 dinners are put together and delivered to schools across Clark County. Another event that Project 150 has created is a shopping boutique. This takes place in a warehouse or church. The building is filled with mannequins, racks of various clothes, and cool music playing. Homeless teens bring their school i.d.’s and take as much clothes as they want for free. “ Teens can come in and take clothes for free. No money or anything. All we need to see is a school i.d. Many teens come in and need help picking

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth Blake Mirolla • staff member

Photo by Leila Kopcic

Imagine coming home from a seemingly average day at school, only to realize that your parents had left without a trace. Left without even a hint as to where they were going. Well, you can stop imagining because, for one youth, this was nothing close to imagination. It was a very harsh reality. Feeling confused and scared, the youth went to his school football field, where he played sports, the second place he felt most comfortable at. For three whole months, this teen slept on the bleachers, wet his hair in the sinks, and wore the same clothes. However, after realizing that something had to be done, he contacted his counselor, who referred him to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth offers a full continuum of care, meaning that their care lasts for many years, usually until the youth’s 21st birthday. Outreach programs are directed towards both homeless and nonhomeless children and youth in an attempt to spread the word about NPHY so that anybody who currently needs help or finds themselves needing help will know who to contact. Street outreach programs are efforts made by NPHY members and volunteers where information and supplies are distributed to youth currently living on the streets. Safe Place is a program where, if a youth is either in trouble or an uncomfortable situation, they can get on any RTC bus, go to any Terrible’s gas station, or go to any Las Vegas fire station inform the person in charge of their situ-

ation. A crisis responder will be called to take the youth to the appropriate location. Homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act, is the lack of a reliable and consistent housing situation. In 2010, there were 15,243 homeless children in the entirety of Nevada. During the 2012-2013 school year, 6,923 homeless youth were enrolled in the Clark County School District. On an average day, 1,864 homeless, unaccompanied youth and children are living on the streets. For this purpose of classification, youth are 18-24 year olds and children are minors. NPHY also offers a family reunification program in which case managers assess each situation and decide which branch of the program best fits the youth’s needs. Then, depending on the severity of the situation, many options are offered to the youth. Including transitional housing and/or emergency housing. Emergency housing is temporary and only for last minute situations. Transitional housing is a program that starts youths off at age 15 & ½ and ends when the youth has turned 21. This program, as well as the emergency housing program, places the youth in an anonymously addressed condominium. The transitional housing program is meant to aid the youth in learning life skills such as shopping, cooking, and organizing. The Right to Housing Law allows minors to seek shelter without a parent signature. The NPHY receives grants from the federal and state government

and funding from private foundations such as MGM, Bank of America, and Cirque du Soleil. Recently, the Nevada Women’s Philanthropy awarded a $350,000 grant to this charity. They plan on using this money to build an extension to their current office, which will include a fully applianced kitchen and a basketball court. Around the holidays, NPHY does a lot to ensure their clients aren’t left without some holiday spirit. Around Thanksgiving, a “plastic food drive” is held in order to collect gift cards to restaurants so that the youth not involved in their housing program can have nice, warm holiday meal. Also, NPHY teams up with the Fire Department as well as the Boy Scouts to put together a Thanksgiving Day feast. This is also done for other holidays such as Christmas. Angel Tree is a program where children and youth put their needs or wants on a decorated paper ornament and hang it on a tree that is displayed in public. People, then, can sponsor a gift for the youth. And what about the boy who had been sleeping on the school bleachers? After being referred to NPHY, he was placed in the transitional housing program. He was able to get back on his feet and complete his high school diploma. Not only that, but he was also accepted into Northern Arizona University where he became wellknown in the realm of competitive pole vaulting. And to think, none of this would have been possible without the help of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.

The US ranks

34/35 34/ 35

in child poverty levels

out of all the developed countries in the world In 2010, Nevada was ranked th state in terms of as the care for children’s well-being

40

Poverty is defined as a family living on less than $22,000 per year, accounting for

15% of the population.

20% of the nation’s profit goes to 1% of people

Thanksgiving brings families together

Allison Strande • staff member

It’s that time of the year to book the airplane tickets and save money for Black Friday. Families are preparing for the relatives and decide what to cook this year. Thanksgiving is the number one holiday with the most families traveling with their families. “Every Thanksgiving my family basically has a family reunion. Sometimes it’s at my house and other times my family has to travel to either California or Utah,” says Audrey Gonzalez, sophomore piano major. “We have the Thanksgiving dinner, but afterwards we play games, dance, and play music because my family is full of instrumentalists,” says Ayana Campbell, sophomore piano major. Giving thanks is unique and creative in every family. A dinner feast of 12 people, at the most, is the usual scenario for a family get-together on Thanksgiving, but certain families have their own

tradition. “My family and a family friend’s family get together and have a huge feast and party. Our families are huge, so it’s a pretty big party,” says Diego LaRochelle, freshman. The typical American Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce doesn’t apply to families of different ethnicities because the traditions originate from a cultural background. “For my family’s Thanksgiving we have a turkey, but it’s not the main course because we mostly have Filipino food,” says Angelica Danao, senior choir major. Eighty- eight percent of Americans eat the traditional turkey on Thanksgiving, but families of certain ethnicity, such as Jonelle Candari’s family, have a traditional feast that, in their point of view, is habitual. “I’m Filipino, and instead of a turkey, we have a whole pig as the main course,” says Jonelle, senior orchestra major.

Average table size:

12 people Average calorie count of Thanksgiving dinner:

4500 calories

A typical American tradition to celebrate on Thanksgiving includes the annual NFL football game. “Of course we have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but afterwards we all watch football,” says Samantha Barnard, freshman piano major. For some families, the men only watch the football game. “The men in my family watch the football game because the women don’t have any interest in it. They’re mostly looking forward to Black Friday,” says Maythel Gonzaga, senior choir major. Most women look forward to the numerous sales in the malls after Thanksgiving. “I go shopping every Black Friday for the best sales. I know some girls that camp out the night before or early in the morning to be the first to shop; now that’s hard core,” says Olivia Farrimond, junior piano major.

Number of people who travel:

24 million Average cost of Thanksgiving meal:

$50

Illustration by Juvi Ruffatto

page 19


Design

Newspaper Layout features

MGG on the Big Screen The editors’ interview with Matthew Gray Gubler of “Criminal Minds” What is your fondest memory from LVA?

“This sounds so cheesy but every moment of LVA was my fondest memory. The school really, kind of in a weird way, saved me from… I was in 8th grade and not doing so well. It was a time when being different, now-a-days no offense to young people but you have it a little bit easier, where around the late 90’s nerds kind of became cool because the internet became something of worth and people that were smart were all of a sudden not made fun of, like they all of a sudden became the cool people. But back in ‘96, ‘95, ‘94 when I was here as a freshman, if you were slightly different than anyone, everyone made fun of you and beat you up, and I went to a school that if you didn’t play sports then they just were really mean, so it made me not like school and I was not doing so well. Then the Academy out of nowhere miraculously popped up and was like this safe haven for anyone that wasn’t 100 percent normal in a sense, in a good way, and so it was the best thing that ever happened to me and every moment of everyday was my favorite memory here.

How do you feel that your LVA experience contributed to the success that you have now?

“Oh absolutely. Without LVA I would definitely not be doing what I’m doing right now. It was a weird thing where it became the most encouraging environment a human could imagine. It was also the dichotomy of going from getting kicked in the stomach everyday to all of a sudden being in a school with people that were like me and people that wanted to work hard and make stuff and do things that were considered at the time dorky. It was weird to want to make movies at home. It was like “Well why don’t you want to play sports?” Because I want to do something, a different form of entertainment. So it 100% contributed. And I remember my fondest memories in life are from high school in a weird way. Everyone was so encouraging. I’ve had a great deal of success, that I’ve been very fortunate to have after school but I’ve always felt the same love and encouragement since day one at the Academy. So nothing, no amount of notoriety or anything I’ve had after school has ever competed with the encouragement I felt from the teachers and the students that were like “Hey great job on that play!” or “Hey cool whatever!”. It’s a great, great school.”

If you could give advice to kids in high school now what would you say?

“Do what you love. Find what you love and do it for the rest of your life. That’s a quote from “Rushmore,” a movie that I love, and it’s actually a quote from Jacque Cousteau who they quoted in the movie, so it’s a lot of removals of quote. The way the Academy is and was when I was there, if you’re happy doing what you love doing for one person whether it’s your mom, or a friend, or a homeless person on the street then you’ll be happy for the rest of your life. That’s how I’ve always approached everything. There is success, but then there’s happiness, and success isn’t necessarily happiness. I’ve been fortunate to be on a T.V. show and be in things, and that’s great but what makes me happiest is just… I don’t know. Like this, talking to people, entertaining people, or telling a joke to someone at Starbucks. So if you’re happy, as long as you’re happy doing that you’ll always be happy in the arts. And it’s cool, with the internet and everything you can do you can make something and put it on the internet and if five people see it, to me its always been if one person sees it and gets some enjoyment out of it, I’ve succeeded.”

Why do you feel the arts are important to education and to youth?

“I mean I’ve thought about it at length to the point of like “What is storytelling?” And I think a caveman at one point was chased by a Woolly Mammoth, and he survived it. And he went back home, and he told his caveman pals the story, he drew a picture of the Woolly Mammoth, and all of a sudden and the rush of the adrenaline of surviving this and the storytelling. He probably exaggerated and he probably made the mammoth a little bit bigger and the teeth a little sharper, but it became entertainment to people. I think entertainment is one of the most important things in the world. It kind of gives life context and lessons can be learned and selfishly, I don’t know, maybe its because I was born in Vegas but it feels like entertainment is in my blood and I think its in the blood of everyone here.”

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How did you make the transition from high school to college to show business while still staying grounded and down to earth?

“Thanks! In my head I’ve always been in outer space, so I never been on Earth. I could never not get grounded because I was never really a part of reality I think. I’m a cartoon character that only exists in your mind. No, I attribute it to the Academy. Everyone here was always so loving. I don’t think entertainment is a right. I know people, work with people, I run into people occasionally that are like no offense kind of jerky and like “Oh you can’t have my photo.” Entertainment is a privilege, I’ve always thought, not something you’re entitled to. Its something you get to do if you’re so lucky. So to me it’s been absolutely a dream come true to help people kill time by watching T.V. or make paintings or anything. So again it goes back to if one person is moved by what I do, then I’m king of the world.”

Matthew Gray Gubler is an actor in Criminal Minds, and he is a LVA alumnus. We had the opportunity to interview him during alumni events. His responses were so concise that we decided to keep the rare interview in question and answer form.


Design

Newspaper Layout

About:

Around election time, the newspaper staff conducted a poll of how students in each major within the school would vote for president. After tallying 10% of each major, we created a map of the school and displayed how each area voted.

LVA Rocks The Vote Campaign spending hot issue last weeks before election Candice Childress Campaign finance is a hot-button issue this election season. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision upheld the constitutionality of corporate donations to political campaigns, but it was not until the state of Montana attempted to defy the ruling and enforce regulations to curb possible corruption in state campaigns that the topic truly came to the fore of this year’s national election. In June, the Supreme Court ruled Montana’s restrictions unconstitutional and thereby, as critics claim, opened the door for corporations to funnel money into the campaigns of their candidates of choice with little to no oversight. This has had a

profound impact on the political establishment’s view of—and, one could argue, indebtedness to—big business. When you see a YouTube ad boosting Romney or Obama “sponsored by” a group with a name like Restore Our Future or Prosperity First, you should recognize that it is a private organization with untold millions of dollars supplied by faceless, nameless figures that is pushing you to support either candidate. Because loopholes present in the Citizens United decision have ensured that these groups have no legal obligation to disclose how much money they are donating or which corporations they represent, there are serious allegations of unethical campaign dealings on both sides of the aisle. This raises the issue of whether or not this election—and the ones that follow—will be

Taxes - issue that affects most American families Jessica Hamil With the coming election taking precedence, the issue of taxes is a high priority for all Americans especially students and parents. As high school students, many teens probably don’t find tax talk too exciting; however, taxes can affect them more then they know. When filing taxes and personal income tax returns, it’s important for parents to be informed about their child’s current class schedule and subject levels. This can be beneficial to the education tax information. Often times parents may be able to receive deductions based on their child’s scholastic achievements. There are few advantages that apply to beneficiaries in high school, so the value is great if students and parents do apply to the programs. If parents claim a child on their taxes who is below the age of 18, they may be qualified for a Coverdell Education

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Savings Account (ESA). This account is similar to a tuition program and is often called a 529 plan. The Coverdell ESA collects money that cares for the education expenses of K-12 students such as books, tutoring, tuition and fees. The money in this program isn’t deductible, but most of it can be tax free based on the qualifications of both the parents annual income and the student’s grade point average, and other scholarly activities or achievements; whether it be extracurricular or in the classroom. The field of education and tax information, “can get dizzying pretty quickly” says Gil Charney, principal analyst at the H&R block tax institute. Still, it is important for students to take advantage of college level courses such as post-secondary or AP classes because they may be applicable for not only the tuition and fees deduction but college financial aid as well. Tax information like the

Sources: http://www.usnews.com/news/ articles/2012/10/16/romney-obama-near-1billion-fundraising-milestone, http://www. usnews.com/news/articles/2012/06/25/supremecourt-re-affirms-citizens-united

41% Obama

12% ROmney

14% Undecided

6% Undecided dance

TheaTRe

40% Obama 58% Obama 35% ROmney

27% ROmney

chOiR

ORchesTRa

15% Undecided

25% Undecided

78% Obama 11% ROmney 11% Undecided band

Coverdell program and other financial aid is not limited to high school seniors; it is also helpful for freshmen, sophomores and juniors and their families. Options like these can also give parents the opportunity to teach their teens about taxes and how they work before they have to deal with financial complications themselves. Discussing taxes with your parents (no matter how boring it may seem) is a good way to make the step into personal finance and college expenses, as those who are seniors, make the transition into the more complex financial planning of becoming an adult.

Featuring: Mrs. Donadio’s class art work

determined by how many corporate sponsors each party can attract. As of Oct. 16, Romney and Obama have each raised almost $1 billion. This isn’t your grandma writing her favorite Senator a check—there is big money and few boundaries shaping this election season.

45% ROmney 82% Obama

*Ten percent of students in each major were polled on their political stance and views

80% Obama 20% ROmney Visual Arts

International Studies

75% Obama 25% ROmney

Music Theatre Dance

66% Obama 17% ROmney 17% Undecided Tech

LVA student volunteers experience political campaigns at Obama’s headquarters Shannon Sneade As the presidential election neared closer, all of Obama’s office headquarters across the country were bursting with excitement of the hustle and bustle of lastminute campaigning. At the Las Vegas headquarters, senior band majors and best friends Adrian Adams and Haley Garcia experienced it firsthand. Adams and Garcia were the youngest participants in the group of Fall Fellow interns, where they promoted Obama’s

campaign by making phone calls, setting up voter registration, and planning events. They volunteered two days a week for about three hours each day. “Before this, I never realized just how much it takes to win an election,” says Garcia of the busy program. Because they were interns, Adam and Garcia did most of the behindthe-scenes work, “but there’s so much that people don’t see.” This made Garcia interested in politics, since “this was [her] first time doing something like

this.” During their Fall Fellowships, both students had the opportunity to attend two of Obama’s events in Las Vegas where they heard him speak. Adams and Garcia plan on helping out and setting up on Election Day, which is also the day their internships will end. The program is highly recommended and “it’s easy to get an interview because they always need help.” These students hope that others will have an opportunity for this “life-changing experience.”

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Letters

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Letters February 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with extreme pride that I am writing this letter of recommendation for my newspaper editor, Shannon Sneade for Nevada JEA Journalist of the year. It has been a while since I have had such a dynamic young lady to be the editor of our school newspaper, Accolades. This is her third year on the staff, and she has been responsible for so many positive changes to the staff and the paper itself. Shannon worked closely with our editor last year learning more about writing and publishing the paper. She took the best of what she learned and brought those ideas and more to change the way the staff now works to making the paper something they are all proud to be a part of at our school. Shannon has spent much time working on changing the format of the paper into one that attracts the attention of our students so that they look forward to our monthly publication. Her most recent changes not only grabbed the attention and interest of students who never bothered to read the paper, but at least a dozen teachers have come to my room to congratulate Shannon on the great new look. In addition to the changes in the format of the paper, she has divided the staff into focus groups where an older student meets with approximately 3-4 other staff members to talk about their stories, the angles, the quotes and all the other parts of the story needed to be included for publication. This group interaction is very successful resulting in better stories both in content and style. Shannon has attended the Jostens Summer Workshop for Journalists and was instrumental in putting out their first newsletter. She was asked to come back this summer and work with the kids who will be attending the sessions. She is also on the RJeneration staff here locally and has had several of her stories printed in the Sunday paper. Shannon also writes a monthly column for the Zappos newsletter where she focuses on what is happening here at school. I have been very lucky to have good editors in the past. As for Shannon, she is the best I have ever had. I am blessed that she loves what she does and does so very well. She has a staff that respects all of her efforts which results in making them better journalists. If you need further information, please feel free to contact me at the number listed below or at Carol_Medcalf@Interact.CCSD.net. Sincerely,

Carol Medcalf Journalism advisor

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Letters

Kirkwood High School

Michael R. Havener, Principal Michael Wade, Associate Principal Michael Gavin, Assistant Principal Sherri Kulpa, Assistant Principal Romona Miller, Assistant Principal Jeff Townsend, Assistant Principal

I find myself extremely proud to be recommending Shannon Sneade for Nevada JEA Journalist of the Year. Having been her teacher and mentor of journalism for three years, I can only say that Shannon has been among some of the most remarkable students I have come across. Her educational achievements speak for themselves, but I would like to familiarize you with what I have learned about her in these three years that I have known her. Those who know Shannon often remark she is blessed with considerable talent. What many of them overlook is how hard Shannon works to cultivate her talent, whether it is the development of her routine for a dance performance or of her page design as she works through a newspaper spread. I know of the effort that she put into making her newspaper, LVA Accolades, better. Her focus and pure enjoyment of the collaborative process was infectious when I first instructed her at a weeklong journalism camp in the summer of 2012. She modeled for her peers everything I would want in a student on my staff. It was that first camp and the subsequent camp the following year in which Shannon displayed an insatiable passion for journalism and the want to not only improve personally, but to revamp her school’s journalism program. She voraciously tackled creating an editorial policy, redesigning LVA Accolades and creating new production cycles and systems to gain audience and support. She worked to create a model program that would produce quality journalism anchored around responsible, ethical journalism. Shannon sought guidance, feedback and worked to make all aspects of LVA Accolades better. And from the finished product the past two years, I would day Shannon succeeded. Moreover, it is the training and education of her peers that far outweighs the tangible newspaper. Shannon helped build a culture and establish a foundation for a program that was spinning its wheels. Those are immeasurables that have a long-lasting effect on student journalists. In more than eighteen years of teaching, I have known other students with talent equivalent to Shannon's. Many of them lacked her good nature and humility, however, and few demonstrated the genuine intellectual curiosity that Shannon has exhibited over and over. This was a curiosity often accompanied by her excitement or enthusiasm for an idea, an article or a design. Shannon is an exceptional young lady. She is a motivated person of numerous talents and considerable selfdiscipline. She is fun loving, likable, enthusiastic, trusting and trustworthy. I would definitely recommend her, as she is bound to make a difference wherever she goes. She has immense potential not only to make a difference but to implement remarkable positive changes in her surroundings too. If you would like any further details regarding Shannon you may contact me at the number below or email at mitch.eden@kirkwoodschools.org.

.

Sincerely,

Mitch Eden Journalism teacher 801 W. Essex Ave, Kirkwood, MO 63122 314.213.6110 www.kirkwoodschools.org

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Fax 314.984.4412


Nevada Journalist of the Year Portfolio