The Hawk Eye, Volume 20, Issue 2

Page 1

Hebron High School · 4207 Plano Parkway, Carrollton, TX 75010 · 469-713-5183
Issue 2 Dec. 14, 2022
Volume 20,

Staff contributors

The Hawk Eye magazine is an official publication of Hebron High School. It is a student-produced magazine which strives to represent the student voice. We will aim to report all news relevant to Hebron High School and its student body without bias to race, religion or creed. Views expressed by columnists are their own personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of the entire staff. Editorials reflect the staff opinion and may not reflect the views of the school administration. We encourage reader input via letters and story ideas. Contact a staff member or fill out the contact form on our website, with any of these items. The Hawk Eye is a member of Interscholastic League Press Conference, Texas Association of Journalism Educators, Association of Texas Photography Instructors, the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association.

Steven Jones
04-05 06-07 10-11 14-15 Mall Santas Feature Mini cherry cheesecake recipe
Birkinsha Lilah Crone Avery Dyer Krista Fleming Peyton Kuschmeider Juliana Mun Henry Pham Madeline Rivera Eyesha Sadiq Emma Short Nyla Smith Heather Wheeler
Wright 02 Find us online by scanning this QR code or visiting! 08-09 12-13 06-07 Veteran’s Day celebration Clubs giving back D1 soccer girls sign to college The importance of giving back
Bree Andrews Brandon

Dear reader,

Thank you for the positive feedback from our autumn print issue. It meant the world to each contributor hearing the positive words we received.

As the holiday season approaches, people are beginning to give back to those they appreciate and who are in need. “The Hawk Eye” is giving back to its community by showcasing a variety of holiday-themed pieces highlighting students’ accomplishments and community events. In this issue, we highlight what some of our own clubs are doing to give back to the community this holiday season on pages 4-5, as well as a look into what it’s like being one of Santa’s helpers on pages 8-9, a holiday dessert recipe on page 14 and a look at unique holiday traditions around the world on page 15.

The central theme of our second issue is unity. The holiday season typically allows families to come together and show their appreciation for one another. We incorporated this focus both with our inclusion of holiday pieces and through our feature on veterans on pages 6-7. We want to encourage you to do the same this holiday season by showing your appreciation for the loved ones in your life and simply taking time to enjoy yourselves. Through unity, we, as a community, can uplift one another during times of struggle and spread the positive holiday spirit.

We want to thank everybody who contributed to this issue, as well as those featured for taking their time to allow us to put together something to honor them and entertain our audience. We can’t do any of this without you.

And to our readers, we wish for you a happy holiday season filled with joyful memories and smiles. We will meet you again after the holiday break – this print issue is our holiday gift to you.


The Hawk Eye Print Edition Staff, 2022-2023


Giving back

Clubs and organizations work to spread holiday joy

Nyla Smith Reporter

As the holidays approach, clubs and organizations have made efforts to support others. See how three organizations are giving back during this holiday season.

Student Council

During the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Break, Student Council participated in the Metrocrest Services Thankgiving Program by collecting a variety of donated canned foods from Oct. 21 to Nov. 15. The drive provided meals to local families and the elderly during Thanksgiving, and also supplied ingredients for meals throughout the year.

Student Council also contributed to LISD’s Adopt An Angel program, a district-wide program where students in need during the holiday season are “adopted” off a list to have their gift wishlists fulfilled. Their lists consist of food, clothing and toys. Families and individuals could aid by adopting an angel themselves or through donating money and supplies to the cause up until Dec. 6. In addition to the program, Student Council hosted its own Angel Tree toy drive to supply toys to angels who did not have their wishlist fulfilled. Donations were accepted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6.

“The [Metrocrest] drive was pretty successful this year,” Student Council secretary Josh Park said. “A lot of the boxes did get donated, but we still have some left. Metrocrest will pick them up soon.”

Photo by Henry Pham Student Council treasurer Asil Mithani, senior Emeka Ohumaegbulem and Student Council vice president Rahil Tanvir sort through donated cans and boxes of food.

Hands of Hope

Members of the Hands of Hope club wrote their last round of letters before winter break to pen pals on Nov 30. Members each have a minimum of two pen pals from elementary schools within LISD. They write to them in their club-issued journal, which is sent back and forth between the members and their pen pals.

These letters are meant to provide mentorship to younger students in the area and range from giving advice to talking about holiday plans. Members created goodie bags for their pen pals on Dec. 12, which included Christmas treats and a tree made out of foam with stickers that could be used to decorate the tree. A video was also made to allow pen pals to see their mentors’ faces.

“This just gives these kids an opportunity to interact with bigger kids,” Hands of Hope secretary Jose Gallegos said. “Sometimes they just want to talk about their holiday plans, [other times they may] ask about high school and if it’s scary. This gives [these younger students] a mentor and a


The Black Student Union (BSU) painted and filled boxes for LovePacs, a non-profit food pantry that provides food to students in low-income families. LovePacs gives a small grocery bag of food to students over holiday weekends and a cardboard box full of food for longer breaks.

Rather than handing over plain boxes, BSU members decided to decorate 75 boxes for the occasion. Originally, BSU painted boxes for the Thanksgiving Drive that LovePacs held, but due to the lack of reaching their 100-box goal, it was decided that the club would extend their project toward the LovePacs Christmas fundraiser. Members painted and filled boxes from Dec. 5-9 and were able to paint boxes either after school in room 2235 or at home if necessary.


“We don’t all have the same experiences during Christmas,” BSU sponsor Alisha Hensley said. “[It means] something different to all of us. I think that the holidays are definitely a time of giv-

Photo by Nyla Smith LovePacs boxes stand in BSU sponsor, Alisha Hensley’s room. BSU students painted a variety of designs on the boxes for the holiday giveaway, ranging from seasonal designs to personal artwork. Seniors Eesha Kavattur and Eileen Collins read Kavattur’s return note from one of her elementary school pen pals on Nov. 30. Meanwhile, senior Janinne Ricarze writes a letter back to her pen pal. These letters were the last sent between the elementary students and the members before winter break.


in Uniform

Veterans Day celebrates and honors American soldiers who were discharged after serving in the military, which is a commitment beyond what many realize. Values such as discipline, endurance and strength are expected to be sharpened in order for soldiers to risk their lives for their country. Here’s a deeper look into a veteran who demonstrates that being in the military can establish a sense of unity and service:

Eduardo Morales was once a kid who only heard stories about the military from his uncles who were in the Navy. He enlisted out of high school when he was 18 and eventually served for 34 years in the Navy, where he was responsible for all the ammunition on the aircraft carrier and had about 400 sailors who worked under him.

“There was a whole lot of nothing in El Paso, and I used to hear stories from my uncles, who were in the Navy, [which] really piqued my interest because of the travel and the opportunities,” Morales said. “I wanted to go out to sea, and I wanted to see the world that way.”

After being in the Navy for two years, he was transferred to a deployable squadron where he worked at the base. He traveled from the Philistines to Diego Garcia, what he said had the whitest sands and bluest waters — a paradise. That’s when he realized the Navy was where he belonged.

“That’s it,” Morales said. “I was hooked.”

Morales went on to experience major events such as 9/11 in the Northern Arabian Sea, which led to an abrupt launching of 80 aircrafts into Afghanistan. This event was something he would never forget, and also the reason he owns a signature from Garth Brooks and shook hands with President George W. Bush. He also provided humanitarian aid to the Japanese: searching, rescuing and recovering. Now, after having left the military, Morales described his experience in two words. “No regrets,” Morales said. “I met a lot of interesting people, [experienced] different languages [and ate] different foods. All the things in school I studied, I got to experience in real life.”

Another notable aspect of Morales’s military days was the people he met in the Navy. They were his ship mates who worked with him, ate lunch and dinner with him, went to the gym with him and because of that, they emulated family for him.

“We’re family,” Morales said. “Because our family isn’t there, you really build those relationships. It’s one of the things I miss about the military. The camaraderie.”

Now, Morales is a commander in the JROTC program at Hebron, where he tries to instill a sense of honor, courage and commitment into his students. Though some do join the military in the future, Morales said the program is primarily about citizenship values and developing a good character. And one of the most important values to Morales is gratitude, which he learned after being in the military.

“Be humble and be thankful for what you have,” Morales said. “A lot of people take things for granted, like your families. But when you’re separated from them for a while and put in harm’s way, you learn about being thankful.”

He was enlisted to join the Navy when he was 18 and eventually served for 34 years.

Eduardo Morales stands in front of the American flag and the Navy flag, suited in his official uniform.
Scan this QR code to read the rest of this story!
Photo via Eduardo Morales

Hebron 9 Principal Amanda Werneke talks with Commanding Officer Rick Dorsey before the Veterans Day presentations began. The Veterans Day ceremony was held Nov. 11 during first period, where breakfast was provided before speeches and presentations.

uniform, specifically naming Harlan Block and Doris Miller—both of whom were from Texas and killed in World War 2. “[When I look at veterans], I see ordinary people who have chosen to do extraordinary things,” Dorsey said. “Someone who has taken the

use as bandages for my

the field of battle,” naval JROTC

said when taking on the role of the personified American

“When I fly at half mast to honor my soldiers, my sailors, my Airmen [and] my Marines,

Cadet Chief Petty Officer Jonathon Lee offers to shake hands with one of the guests at the assembly. Before the presentations started, Lee and other members of JROTC walked from table to table and exchanged stories with veterans. Photo by Juliana Mun Seniors Santiago Vargas (left) and Maria Pullido pass the American flag during the Old Glory flag ceremony. During the ceremony, senior cadets pass the flag to junior cadets, which represents the passing of responsibility for defending freedom from one generation to the next. “My finest hour comes when I’m torn strips to wounded comrades on commanding officer Angie Gerardo flag. and when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving mother at the gravesite of her son or daughter, I am proud.” Cadet Chief Petty Officer Jonathon Lee (left), sophomore Andrew Korshonov and senior Joseph Ortiz present the colors at the Veterans Day assembly. Like many JROTC ceremonies, the presentation of colors follows a strict protocol to make sure the American flag is properly respected and allows the audience to pay their respects. Photo by Krista Fleming A veteran cries during Commanding Officer Rick Dorsey’s speech when asked to stand to be honored for service. During the speech, Dorsey talked about different people who gave their life during service to show what the veterans risked when they were in oath, someone who has passed initial military training at a boot camp, someone that chose to be part of the 5% [of people that choose to serve].” Photo by Krista Fleming Photo by Krista Fleming Photo by Krista Fleming Photo by Juliana Mun Commander of the JROTC and Weapons Officer Veteran Eduardo Morales introduces the passing of the flag ceremony. Morales said he tries to promote honor, courage and commitment in his JROTC students in order to make them better citizens.

Unwrapped SANTA

Helena Isbell, Rent Santa DFW

With Christmas just around the corner, many families are getting their photos taken with Santa at local malls. Here’s a look at a couple that are spreading some holiday cheer within our community as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Leon Isbell, Rent Santa DFW

When Leon Isbell was first offered the job of dressing up as Santa at the Lowe’s he worked at, he thought it was silly, but reluctantly agreed after being convinced by his wife.

“[It was] my first day [dressed as Santa], and I walk towards the front doors and this little girl, maybe 7, runs across the store screaming ‘Santa’ the whole way,” Leon said. “She jumps into my arms and gives me this big hug around the neck, saying ‘I’ve been looking for you.’ Once you’ve done that, there’s no way you can’t do this.”

Now he has been a Santa for five years, but previously, Leon worked in the digital field of marketing. Skills he picked up from that career helped him get through being a Santa during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the number of Santas was down approximately 25% while demand was approximately 150% of what it had been, Leon said.

“There is a huge shortage of Santas,” Leon said. “With [COVID-19], everything turned digital. All of a sudden, it was zoom calls with kids and outside appearances. A lot of older Santas retired from it because they were too high risk and didn’t understand the technology.”

Leon said he is always conscious of his appearance and actions when he goes out because people will recognize him as Santa year-round due to his natural beard.

“On the way home from a gig the other day, I went into Kroger fully dressed as Santa,” Leon said. “People were just smiling, saying ‘Hey Santa,’ even if they were adults and asking for pictures to show their kids. I will do that all day long because it makes people smile. Being Santa, getting to make people smile no matter where I go, it’s the best [feeling] in the world.”

For years, Helena Isbell worked at and managed Thrive Women’s Clinic, a Christian non-profit whose goal was “to save babies and bring women to Christ,” while offering abortions to those in need. There, workers would explain the consequences of both pregnancy and abortion, providing comfort and care for expecting mothers.

“I wanted a job that had meaning where I knew I was going to be making a difference in the world,” Helena said. “To me, it mattered what I did that day, and that was an amazing feeling.”

After encouraging her husband to become Santa, Helena promised to help him with scheduling gigs and making sure everything went smoothly. For the next two years, he tried to convince her to dress up as Mrs. Claus with him, and she finally agreed after she retired a year ago.

“When I saw that we could have that kind of effect on kids [and] how deeply it could impact the parents, I knew it was something I had to be a part of,” Helena said. “It is a blessing, and I thank God every day that he continues to put me there.”

Mrs. Claus first appeared in 1881, where Margaret Eytinge, a writer for “Harper’s Young People,” depicted her as Santa’s plump, good-natured wife — always in the kitchen. Over the next few years, many other children’s magazines and Christmas advocates latched onto the idea. During and after World War II, many women began joining their husbands and donning their own festive costumes, cementing Mrs. Claus’ role as a Christmas icon. The movement for a lady Santa didn’t stop there, as many professional Mrs. Claus’ have begun to dress in more formal attire in an effort to move away from the housewife persona.

“I am not the Mrs. Claus that’s in the kitchen with the apron and shower cap,” Helena said. “That’s not me and it is not who most girls are either. There was never a Mrs. Claus when I was growing up, so being able to be the representation I didn’t get is important to me. I’m not just someone in the background, and I want little girls to know they are not either.”

Leon Isbell poses for a photo dressed as Santa at a holiday party for Keller Williams North Country Realty. Leon went to online and in-person schools to train to be a Santa. (Photo by Krista Fleming)
Helena Isbell, dressed as Mrs. Claus, poses for a photo at a holiday party for Keller Williams North Country Realty. Helena said she views herself as a conversationalist, so she tends to talk to the kids for as long as they will let her. (Photo by Krista Fleming)
Get to know some of Santa’s helpers in the community



Llamas can be used as therapy animals.

In 2019, 94% of the registered therapy animals were dogs, but there were 20 llamas and alpacas in the mix. Along with those were unregistered “volunteer” llamas.


Llamas are also called “Camels of the Clouds.” Native to the Andean mountains of Argentina and Peru, llamas live in grassy openings at altitudes of 7,400 - 12,800 feet, where there is only 40% oxygen.


Llamas can hum.

Though there is still a lot to learn about how llamas communicate, we know their hums range in tone and urgency to convey emotions or states of being, such as tired, distraught, curious, worried or content.

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Scoring goals

Girls soccer players sign to colleges

Officially signing as a D1 athlete for any sport can be a triumphant accomplishment. For varsity soccer players Eleanor Hays, Mya Williams and Olivia Howard, this moment has been long anticipated since the beginning of their soccer careers, as early as 3 years old.

As their final high school soccer season approaches, the three players out of the five that signed on Nov. 10 reflect on their time playing high school soccer and plan for their future by signing as D1 athletes.

Growing up, Eleanor Hays said she was an awful gymnast.

At the age of 3, Hays struggled with tumbling and cartwheels during practices. Her mother made the decision to have her quit gymnastics and begin a different, more physical sport: soccer. Upon joining her neighborhood team, Hays grew a passion for soccer and has played for 15 years, both for clubs and school teams.

“I’ve been playing soccer for 15 years, club for 10 years [and] this is my third year playing [at Hebron],” Hays said. “I love all of the [Hebron] girls. Everybody gets along so well and the energy is really fun.”

Over the years of playing, Hays made it her goal to pursue soccer in college. However, mental obstacles and self doubts along the way created a few bumps in the road as she has progressed with her athletic career.

“There was definitely a point where I thought about not doing [soccer] in college,” Hays said. “The mental aspect is really hard. If you just lost a hard game, it’s really hard to stay positive in that situation and want to keep playing. But, I think I love the sport too much to stop playing it for good.”

Upon attending a soccer camp at Clemson University in the summer of her eighth grade year, Hays grew to love the campus, the people and the coaches.

“From then on out, I knew that’s where I was going to end up,” Hays said. “When I got the opportunity to [commit], it was a no-brainer. I never would have imagined I [would] go to Clemson and play soccer, that’s something that some girls can dream of. I’m really lucky.” graduation is only months away, Hays already has a plan created for college. She plans to major in education with a minor in psychology, wanting to become a teacher if she does not pursue soccer professionally.

“I want to see if I can try to play professional [soccer]; that’s definitely the goal,” Hays said. “My dream would be [playing for] the Portland Thorns. That team is full of women’s national team players; [it’s] such a good program [with a] good coaching staff and history.”

Similar to Hays, Mya Williams was involved in gymnastics at 6 years old. One day, Williams asked her mother to quit being a gymnast and instead play soccer. To this day, Williams has no idea what motivated her to join soccer, but believes she made the right decision.

“I’ve always wanted to play [soccer] in college,” Williams said. “My mindset has always been [to] keep working hard until you achieve your dream of playing in college. The fact that I am now playing D1 soccer has solidified all the hard work I’ve put in throughout the years.”

After playing at Hebron for only one year, Williams feels as though she will miss the familial bond the varsity team has created once she graduates and moves to Alabama for college.

“It’s just one big family,” Williams said. “[I’ll miss] all of the team parties, going out of town for soccer and trips.” Numerous commitment offers began appearing for Williams, and she kept note of what she wanted for both her personal and athletic future – even if it meant sacrificing the chance to play with a friend, former varsity captain Parker Coe.

“One [offer] that was local was [Dallas Baptist University] where Parker Coe goes,” Williams said. “[The decision] was very hard. I did want to play with her — she’s an awesome person — but I knew I wanted to play for an SEC school.” Williams does not plan on playing soccer professionally, but instead wants to pursue dermatology with a major in pre-med. “If the opportunity [to professionally play] presented itself, I would [take it],” Williams. “But currently, I think I want to major in pre-med and become a dermatologist.”

Olivia Howard began playing soccer for fun, to have something to occupy her time as a young child. To her surprise, Howard’s love for the sport increased through the years since she began playing at the age of 6. Howard appreciates the lifelong friendships that have been created through playing the sport the most.

“I moved to Hebron in my junior year, but I’ve played high school soccer since my freshman year at The Colony High School,” Williams said. “I [also] play in a club called Sting – I enjoy it a lot, and I’m with some of my friends that I’ve known for a long time. [Playing soccer has] been an enjoyable experience.”

Once the University of California at Santa Barbara offered her a spot to play on their D1 soccer team, Howard knew it was meant to be. She enjoyed the beach location and the level of education the college provides.

“I absolutely fell in love with the school,” Howard said. “It’s on the beach; living on the beach is unbeatable. Going on to play at a dream school and getting an amazing education through the sport is the most rewarding thing.

Instead of remaining on the soccer field as a professional player, Howard plans to replace her cleats with heels and major in law, focusing on a career within business law in California.

“I don’t think I’ll pursue soccer professionally,” Howard said. “I’m majoring in political science, and I’m going to pursue [business] law.”

As Howard prepares to graduate next year, she advises rising seniors to apply for colleges early and simply live in the moment, because you are only a senior once in your lifetime.

“Apply to colleges early and figure out what you want to do with your life,” Howard said. “Be in the moment. I’m almost halfway through my senior year, and it’s flown by. [Just] take in every moment before [high school is] over.”

Olivia Howard Eleanor Hays Mya Williams

A step toward the future

Seniors reflect on early college application process

Many schools are releasing decisions for early action and early decision applications tomorrow, Dec. 15. To commemorate the stress of the application process officially ending, three seniors with unique experiences reflect on the process and share what they are expecting from decisions to give underclassmen and seniors who haven’t started an idea on what they went through.

Senior Sarah Choi is using the Common Application and the UC application to apply to about 10 total schools. Choi applied early to three schools – University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California and Duke University as her early decision application. She is most interested in studying human biology at Duke University.

Senior Max Harte is using the Common Application to apply to about 10 schools. Harte is already finished with applications, having applied to 10 schools early, mostly smaller schools in Colorado, and hoping to attend either UT Austin or the University of Colorado Boulder and major in psychology.

Senior Lance Luong is applying to 26 schools using a mix of the common application and colleges’ individual application websites. Luong is planning on majoring in computer science or engineering and hoping to attend the University of Texas at Austin, New York University (NYU) or University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Senior Edidioluwa Oseyifunmi is using Apply Texas and the Common Application to apply to 15 schools. Oseyifunmi applied early to the University of Texas at Austin and Fordham University. Her goal is to attend Stanford, Columbia or the University of Washington and study psychology on the pre-med track.

What are you most looking for in a school?

Harte: I have this list that’s for the area surrounding the school because one of the schools I toured I really liked and then the area around it was just terrible. One of my requirements is there has to be a Target and a JoAnn’s within 15 minutes of the college. I need places I can go so I can go out and not just be stuck on campus. I feel like for the actual school, I just want something with a nice, welcoming environment. It’s really important to me what diversity programs they have in place because I feel like that says a lot about how the culture is of the school. What are you most excited about for decisions to come back?

Choi: Honestly, just being done. To be completely honest the past few months have been crazy so getting that decision back whether it’s an acceptance or rejection I think I’ll just be happy that the process is over and the only thing left to do is choosing a college.

What are you nervous about for decisions to come back?

Oseyifunmi: Surprisingly, I’m not nervous about not getting in, I’m just nervous about hurting my inner child because I’ve always dreamed of getting into those schools. What is the hardest part about the college application process?

Choi: The introspection part of it when you’re trying to write your essays. Thinking about all your life experiences and trying to come up with one that’s significant but not too cliche. I think just trying to find a life event that wasn’t too common and if you look at it from the surface level it doesn’t seem that significant but trying to find a way to make it show my personality and my values.

Is there anything enjoyable about the college application process?

Harte: I think what’s enjoyable is you just get to talk about yourself, which I feel like we don’t have a lot of [space] to do that. For school, there’s very rarely an assignment where [you have to] talk about the things you’ve gone through. It’s a cool thing to be able to do because you just get to talk about your life experiences and things you’ve learned. Something I wasn’t expecting is, from the long essay you submit, that they have prompts but they’re the most vague questions and they’re all really similar, so it’s really nice because it gives you a lot of creative freedom to really write about what you want. It’s nice that you can really express yourself on what you’ve gone through and who you are as a person, and I feel like that’s really important. I appreciate that the college application process isn’t just, “Well, what [are] your grades and what classes have you taken?” It’s also, “What have you done with your life? What are your experiences?”

What advice do you have for juniors preparing for the process?

Luong: I would definitely say start early. Starting early is important because you don’t want to get caught up [with] your workload for senior year, but you also want to write really good essays. If you’re under a time limit, like the deadline is coming up, you won’t really write something that really shows who you are. On top of that, when you’re writing your essay, always think about writing a story and don’t think about writing about what you think is good for colleges. Write something that’s really meaningful to yourself. Show who you are and show your journey and your story, and you’ll get accepted.



Giving back

during the holiday season is the

best gift you can give

As the holidays approach, it is easy to become distracted due to planning for festivities, decorating and gift shopping; however, it is important to make time to give back to those in need.

According to the Official Poverty Measure, over 11 million children in the U.S. live below the poverty line. The families of these children struggle to put food on the table and do not have the money to buy luxury items such as gifts. For many families, Christmas simply isn’t in their budget. Those with more resources should give back during the holidays to those who rely on charities for winter clothing, meals and gifts.

Every year, my family and I donate to multiple charities that help provide meals and gifts to those in need. My personal favorite is Mission Arlington, a Christian organization that helps provide for those in need, such as single-parent households and low-income families. For as long as I can remember during every holiday season, my grandmother and I have packed up our car with canned goods, clothing and children’s toys to donate to Mission Arlington. With the help of these donations, members are able to provide food, clothing and other necessities. During the holidays, Mission Arlington provides free Thanksgiving meals and opens a free Christmas store every December where parents can pick up gifts for children ages 0-17. These gestures help families provide gifts for their children while putting their money toward basic necessities, like rent and groceries.

You should consider donating old or unwanted clothes to the nearest homeless shelter instead of selling them on Poshmark or other online marketplaces. As the weather is getting colder, these shelters are increasingly in need of winter clothing such as coats, hats and gloves. Most shelters will give you a tax-write off for your donations. It’s a win-win situation.

Another great way to give back is by helping out local food banks. Next time you go grocery shopping, consider picking up extra canned items to donate. Volunteering at your local soup kitchen to prepare fresh meals for those in need is another viable option. These opportunities teach valuable skills such as empathy and communication, as well as the ability to see the direct impact you make on individuals within your community.

Volunteering is a great way to help out your community. There are so many places in need of volunteers and it’s easy to find a cause you’re passionate about. Personally, I love taking care of children. A year ago, I made the decision to start volunteering in childcare in my church, and to say my life has changed would be an understatement. Over the past year, the church has become my second home, and I have created a strong bond with both the children and the other volunteers.

Giving back to the community is not only beneficial to others, but knowing you, as an individual, are bringing happiness into somebody else’s life – it makes you feel good, too. I have never felt happier than when I get to see the smiles on the faces of the children I’ve helped. Volunteering has helped me recognize how much impact a single person can have on their community.

This year, give the gift of empathy and be the Santa to those who are less fortunate and do not have one.

Want to hear

Want to learn more?

Scan the QR code to go to our website! There, you can hear more of our thoughts on the holidays, traditions, gratitude and more, along with staying up to date on what’s going on at Hebron.

Scan the QR code to hear an episode of one of our podcasts, “Clashing with Class.” There, reporters Eyesha Sadiq and Hannah Mathew discuss traditions, which can be fun and cultural or stressful and outdated. Do you love them or hate them?


‘Tis the Season Opinion:

for change

It’s almost ironic that my favorite season is fall because I’ve always hated change. And yet, this past year has been full of it.

My memories of the holidays last year are vivid: my grandpa sitting on the couch while my grandma ushered my great uncle and great grandmother in. I was adorned with whatever festive clothing I could dig out of my closet, standing in the kitchen while talking with my eldest sister. My twin and other sister were clear across the house as they tried to lure my cousin and her boyfriend into a falsely promised “short” round of Monopoly.

If I were to capture every holiday into one picture, the only growth you would see is everyone getting older. Every photo would have my family posed around our fireplace, all happier than any other day of the year.

This year, I can envision what the photo album will show: strangers with tired eyes.

I’ve been close with my eldest sister, Audri, for as long as I can remember. We truly sought each other out my freshman year because it finally dawned on us that she’d be at college halfway across the country within just a few months. Quite frankly, I don’t know how my mom put up with any of us when we were together because some of my favorite memories are still her “flying squirreling” me as my screams got muffled by the pillow shoved in my face by my twin.

We’ve always been a chaotic family, but now that Audri’s gone and I no longer share a room with my twin, it’s gotten so quiet. I barely know what’s going on in my family’s life. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier that she’s having the time of her life at college or that my siblings are excelling in their own extra-curricular activities, but with everyone diving head first into their own thing, growing distracted from family makes for a lonely year.

Audri leaving had a huge impact on our family, but it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong since has. Within the last few months, my grandparents on my dad’s side have both been in the hospital, my parents have been stressed with their newly acquired business and my grandma on my mom’s side doesn’t ever seem to have a moment to breathe.

Even some of the good stuff has made my family more chaotic than normal. My cousin, though she lived with us throughout her high school days so she’s more of a sister than anything, recently got engaged. While I could not be happier for her, hearing the drama that’s caused within parts of my extended family doesn’t fill me with the joy supposed to come with the holiday season. No matter what happened within the days or months prior to that time of year, the holidays have always been an escape. Some of the memories I hold most dear are those from the days leading up to Christmas. My mother, Audri and I would run frantically around the house and carry whatever treat we just made to the most available fridge while my cousin and twin cut up apples. Amongst the screams and Disney quotes, we’d be singing along to whatever Matthew West song our Alexa was playing, being more ourselves than any other day of the year.

Some days, I’d end up dog-piled on the couch. Other times, Audri would be sprawled on the floor with flour coating her “Drama Queen” apron. Regardless of our position, my twin would be chasing my father around after he stole her freshly peeled and cut apple pieces.

No matter what happened in the days before — whatever sibling rivalry was brewing or grade I just got on my test — the holidays were my escape. It was a time where nothing else mattered but being with family, and the rest of the world and its worries simply drifted away.

Now, as I anxiously await Christmas morning, I’m worried I can’t count on as much as I used to. This past year has been full of so many trips to the hospital, long distance calls and stressed out family members, that I don’t know how much of a haven the holidays can be this year.

So, this Christmas, I only have one wish: that things will stay the same for just one more day.


Tips for secret Santa

to use this holiday season

With Christmas around the corner, many people who like to participate in the secret Santa tradition are unsure of what to buy and end up with something sure to be tossed away in a couple of months. To stop that from happening to the people you might be gifting, I compiled a list of tips to make your secret Santa experience a good one.

Make a DIY project

Something to consider would be crafting something. DIY projects are a great way to give something meaningful. Whether it is a painting that can be hung on a wall or some homemade baked goods, these projects come with personal time and effort and are a great way to show just how meaningful someone is to you. There are several possibilities of what can be done when it comes to DIY projects that are sure to be meaningful and give the person on the receiving end joy.

Joy to the World

A look at Christmas around the globe

In America, we have a very commercialized Christmas. As soon as the clock hits midnight on Oct. 31, Christmas music starts blaring in every store, Hallmark begins churning out their signature movies and the shelves become stocked with “early Black Friday deals.” With all the lights, colors and shopping, we tend to forget that the rest of the world celebrates the holiday in their own unique ways. Here are two countries whose Christmas is filled with just as many traditions as ours.

Purchase a gift card

DIY Projects can be challenging and time-consuming, so another idea would be to buy a gift card. With gift cards, you can give something cheap and easy. You can give them restaurant cards or Amazon cards, allowing them to buy their own gifts. Gift cards are a safe way to ensure that whoever is on the receiving end enjoys their gift.

Purchase from a local business

Another great option to consider is purchasing from small and local businesses. These gifts tend to be more unique, as they are usually handmade. For example, you can purchase handmade soaps, knitted blankets, candles or a custom painting from a small business, all while knowing that your gift is one of a kind.

While secret Santa can be a stressful task, it doesn’t have to be. This tradition is the perfect way to give during the holiday season that is simple and easy. Whether you are giving to your best friends or loose acquaintances, secret Santa is a fun and rewarding tradition that can make you less stressed than you might think.


In Czechia, Christmas has many unique customs alongside the more commercialized influence of American Christmas movies and music. Large towns have city Christmas trees, and there’s an annual lighting ceremony in the middle of the town square. The festivities are mostly celebrated on Christmas Eve, with a traditional dinner of carp and potato salad, although some people choose to replace the carp with chicken. Czechia has a variety of traditions, like putting the carp scales under dinner plates, splitting an apple in half in hopes to see a star and fasting all day before dinner so that they might see a golden pig, all of which bring good luck. Instead of Santa, gifts are brought to children by baby Jesus, whose method of entry into the home is the window.


Recipe: Mini cherry cheescakes

Every Christmas my grandmother makes a variety of delicious desserts. However, each year there is one particular treat I am always looking forward to: my grandmother’s homemade mini cherry cheesecakes. Over the years the recipe has been perfected and has become a family favorite.


-2 oz. of cream cheese, softened

-3/4 cup of sugar

-2 tbsp lemon juice

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-vanilla wafer cookies

-1 can of cherry pie filling


-Preheat oven to 375º.

-Combine and beat the first five ingredients until light and fluffy.

-Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

-Place a vanilla wafer in each cup, then fill 2/3 with the cream cheese mixture.

-Bake at 375º for 15-20 minutes.

-Top with cherry pie filling and place into fridge until chilled.


In Haiti, people begin to decorate for Christmas as early as October and continue with festivities into the new year. Christmas music is played all over the country, and markets bustle with people shopping for presents. When it comes time for Christmas Eve, people decorate their houses with “Fanals,” which are lanterns shaped like animals, buildings or whatever else they can come up with. They are then lit up with candles and lights. People traditionally drink “Kremas,” a slightly alcoholic drink similar to eggnog, and make a Christmas cake. Around an hour before midnight, many people go to a Christmas Eve service. Then, when it is time to go to bed, children leave straw-filled shoes out on their porch in hopes that Santa will come and replace that straw with gifts.


In Japan, Christmas is more of a day of joy rather than a religious holiday. People decorate with lights and flock to shop at stores. Christmas Eve in Japan is the most romantic day of the year. Japanese couples eat at nice restaurants, look at lights and exchange gifts. As for food, there is a Christmas cake eaten called “kurisumasu keki” that has been seen as a symbol of prosperity after Japan recovered from World War II. But the most notable Christmas tradition is the KFC dinner. In the 1970s, KFC launched a marketing campaign that advertised their signature bucket of chicken as the perfect Christmas dinner, and it proved to be a massive success, as it is now the most popular Christmas meal in Japan.

Mini cherry cheesecakes sit atop my kitchen counter. This desert has been my favorite holiday desert since I was a kid. Photo via Bree Andrews

United as One Photos displaying Hawks unified this semester

Numerous pairs of shoes are left behind as people dance on the arena floor during the HASA Diwali celebration on Oct. 27. It is a custom to dance barefoot or without footwear in South Asian culture for beauty and stability reasons. (Photo

JROTC presents the colors before the singing of the national anthem. An event was held in the library on Nov. 11 to commemorate veterans at Hebron. (Photo by Juliana Mun) The SNHS demo team stacks hands before a performance at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History on Oct. 22. Four shows consisting of 12 demos were carried during their stay at the museum. (Photo by Henry Pham) Sophomore linebacker Luke Sharp leads other players in running off the field after the second quarter of the home game on Oct. 14. The Hawks played Flower Mound and won with a score of 38-14. (Photo by Peyton Kuschmeider) by Henry Pham) Band students hold hands on the field of the Alamodome as they await the results of the UIL 6A State Marching Band Championships. The band won second place and brought silver medals home to Hebron. (Photo by Avery Dyer)

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