Daniel Pearl Magnet High School 6649 Balboa Blvd., Lake Balboa, CA 91406
Volume 12 Issue 4
April 23, 2021
Students worry about school reopening
See page 6
The Pearl Post
The Pearl Post
THE PEARL POST
In this issue... 1 Cover Design by Valery Barrera 3-5 News
Lack of Social Interaction / LAUSD Reopening
Reports 6-7 Special Rise of Asian Hate Crimes / Students Seek to Stop Asian Hate Opinion
8-9 Opinion Racism in Children’s Media / Editorial 10-11 Features Senior Ivy League Acceptances / NHS Students Continue to Volunteer Despite Pandemic
Entertainment / Tech Theme Park Reopenings / Gadgets to Make College Easier
Student Athlete Profiles
16 Back cover Photo by Maribella Ambrosio
Letter from the Editor As we near the end of the school year, we felt that it was important to cover the Los Angeles Unified School District reopenings. There was a lot of confusion surrounding the protocols and expectations of the reopening, especially because they have been constantly changing. About a week before publishing, new information about class schedule changes was announced. Our staff writer contacted our principal for multiple interviews regarding the changes. We also felt it was important to incorporate student opinion, especially since only a small portion of the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School student body decided to return to in-person learning. Our cover was drawn by our Digital Media Editor Valery Barrera to represent the reopening.
The Pearl Post | April 2021
Given the rise in Asian hate crimes in this country ever since the beginning of this pandemic and the most recent attacks, we also felt it was very important to cover this issue. In addition to covering this with an objective news piece, we also include an opinion article to provide more context. We worked hard to provide a wide array of coverage, both on the current state of online learning as well as the return to partially in-person learning and the reopening of Los Angeles County. With some students returning to campus on April 27, we will continue to produce strong and diverse coverage for all of the students. -Itzel Luna
Print Editor-in-Chief Itzel Luna Online Editor-in-Chief Parampreet Aulakh Managing Editor Alliana Samonte Features Editor Valeria Luquin Opinion Editor Daniela Rangel Entertainment Editor Sara Marquez Sports/Tech Editor Casey Wanatick Social Media Editor Delilah Brumer New Media Editor-in-Chief Harlow Frank New Media Editors Valery Barrera, Shannon Sullivan Photo Editors Maribella Ambrosio, Mahali Sanchez Copy Editors Jhonny Gonzalez, C.J Gorospe, Chareena Pascua, Cassia Ramelb, Jonathan Spahr Staff Writers/ Photographers Antonio Bedon, Delilah Brumer, Emily Flores, Branden Gerson, Evan Gleason, Gabrielle Lashley, Nancy Medrano, Jessica Melkonyan, Nathalie Miranda, Mario Ronquillo, Jair Sanchez Adviser Adriana Chavira The Pearl Post is an open forum for student expression as allowed by California Education Codes 48907 and 48950, committed to excellence in reporting, writing and photography. The magazine strives to inform and educate students and faculty on events affecting Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. Thoughts and opinions published in these pages are the work of journalism students and do not represent the position of DPMHS, its administrators or the Los Angeles Unified School District. An unsigned editorial is the opinion of the Editorial Board, which is comprised of the Editor-in-Chief and the editors. Signed opinions in The Pearl Post reflect the views of the authors. A signed cartoon reflects the view of the cartoonist. The Pearl Post welcomes letters to the editor. They should be 250 words or less and may be edited for length. Letters with profanity and obscenity will not be printed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. Letters may be emailed to thepearlpost@ gmail.com. The magazine is published bimonthly and is the official campus newsmagazine of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. The magazine is also posted online at http://www.thepearlpost.com.
Lack of social interaction negatively impacts students in quarantine By Nancy Medrano fter a year of distance learning, many difficulties have begun rising to the surface. Students like junior Gabriela Jeronimo have experienced the negative impacts of the lack of social interaction during distance learning. “(The lack of social interaction) has affected me because I haven’t seen some of my friends ever since (quarantine) started and I also haven’t been able to see some of my family members,” Jeronimo said. The Los Angeles Unified School District announced on March 13, 2020, that schools would be closed for two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some students were hoping to make plans with friends during that closure, Governor Gavin Newson issued a statewide stay-at-home order, making that impossible. From this point forward, students’ plans got canceled and began to notice how they are missing out on social interaction. “Maybe if we go back (to school) it could help a little bit with the lack of social interaction but I don’t think so because we are not going to really be doing many things, since we are going to stay in homeroom,” sophomore Diego Nuño said. Since the pandemic began over a year ago, many people have felt an increased amount of loneliness. All the safety requirements that were put into place have only intensified student’s feelings of isolation. People have to stay six feet apart and gatherings outside of your household are also not recommended. When you stay at home for a long period of time, you begin to feel moody and some might even notice an increase in anxiety and depression from staying home for a long time. “There has been an increase nationally of kids that are expressing suicidal ideation and I think that is partly because of the social isolation,” psychiatric social
worker Joanne Tuell said. “The important thing is to be aware of how you are feeling and to practice good coping strategies.” Tuell personally visited each advisory period and had workshops set up for students, such as Erika’s Lighthouse. Adding the extra advisory period was a way to help enhance social-emotional learning. But for some of the introverted students who attend Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, they haven’t noticed much of a difference in their mental health. In fact, some students even prefer staying at home because they can do school work and talk to their friends from the comfort of their home.
There has been an increase nationally of kids that are expressing suicidal ideation and I think that is partly because of the social isolation. JoAnne Tuell “Well the lack of social interaction has not really affected me so much since I’m not really a social person, to begin with,” Nuño said. Students communicate with their friends through other social media platforms, making their average screen time also increase. Students stare at a screen for an average of four to five hours just to log into their online classes. In a study conducted by Morning Consult in August, parents have said their children have been spending more than four hours on their electronic devices. Some of the side effects from staring at a screen for a long period of time include
having headaches, dry eyes and vision problems. “In terms of turning off the technology, I think ways that kids can appropriately social distance is like going on a walk with their friend, wearing a mask and being outdoors, having a picnic outside, or meeting at the park and staying six feet apart, or meeting at somebody’s backyard and sitting six feet apart. I think these are acceptable and safe ways to see your friends,” Tuell said. Staying at home can lead to many negative effects. Some students have noticed an increase in anxiety or even depression. Since people are lacking the ability to talk with other people, hang out with friends after school, they will begin to feel more socially vulnerable. Depression can manifest in many ways, some might need to rely on others to help whereas others simply need to focus on themselves and their goals. For some students, they will begin to find ways to help themselves grow during these hard times. “The only positive thing that I have noticed come out of it was reading more books and probably trying to focus on myself,” Jeronimo said. Tuell’s Google Voice number is 818-925-8062, and students can reach her through Schoology if they need help and support. Students can also text 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line, as well as call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “We’ve been saying all along, all year long, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s fine,” Tuell said. “We encourage people to ask for help, and if not with me, then I have resources for other places that people can go to get help.” Tuell said.
News | April 2021
DPMHS prepares for changes in campus reopening schedule By Delilah Brumer
ter being closed since March 16, 2020, Los Angeles Unified School District middle and high schools will reopen for hybrid learning the week of April 26. Daniel Pearl Magnet High School students who have opted for in-person instruction can expect to return on April 27. On April 26, students will meet only for their advisory class. “I’m excited (about) seeing people,” said freshman Gael Cabrera, who plans to return to school in-person. “I’ve been wanting to go back to school for the whole entirety of this year, so I feel like it’s great.” According to DPMHS Principal Armen Petrossian, there are approximately 36 students who have decided to return to on-campus learning, while the rest of students plan on remaining fully virtual. Students who return to school will remain in their advisory class the entire day with a small cohort of peers. DPMHS is taking several safety precautions including testing teachers and students weekly for COVID-19 and stocking up on masks, plexiglass and hand sanitizer. Additionally, everyone on campus will be required to wear a mask at all times. “As far as operations go, we want to make sure that when everybody comes back we are following every safety protocol and guideline the LA Department of Public Health has put in place,” Petrossian said. “We want to make sure that everyone is safe. Right now that is the focus.”
According to a plan emailed to DPMHS teachers on April 16, daily schedules will change for both hybrid and online students. Students who return to campus will be in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M., as well as alternating Mondays from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. They will be at home every Wednesday and Friday. Meanwhile, students who remain fully-remote will have instruction from 8:30 A.M. to 1:50 P.M. every Tuesday through Friday and 8:30 A.M. to 1:20 P.M. every Monday. Although lunch will occur at different times for each group, it will last 40 minutes for both. “That’s one of the things that I don’t agree (with), how the schedule is going to change,” Spanish teacher Glenda Hurtado said. “I think every student has gotten into a routine.” Many students and teachers, such as Hurtado, have mixed feelings about the reopening plan. While Hurtado is hesitant to go back and would rather wait until August, she is excited to see the three students who she will have in her cohort. “I am very hopeful in the sense of social interaction,” Hurtado said. “(But) our hopes might go down when we realize we can’t really visit or see or sit down
with each other. That will be a reality check.” Although the situation is not ideal for most members of the DPMHS community, many students and faculty remain optimistic about the coming weeks. “My message is thank you for your patience,” Petrossian said. “Thank you for your understanding. This is a start. Continue being patient and we’re here for you. Hang in there.” Instagram: @delilah_rose2004
Photo by Jair Sanchez Office Assistant Lupe Osorio holds a forehead thermometer, which will be used to check the temperature of all students and staff.
The Pearl Post | April 2021
Photos obtained and Interviews conducted by Jair Sanchez.
News | April 2021
Asian hate crimes spark student support of #StopAsianHate Chinese Americans were the largest ethnic group (42.2%) that reportexperiAnti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 145% A in sia Bo Lo n st s Ha on An te ro gel Cr se es im by an es 11 d 4%
Illustration by Valery Barrera
The Pearl Post | April 2021
By Nathalie Miranda ith the recent increase in hate crimes against the Asian community, more and more people have been speaking up about the racism and xenophobia in the U.S.. “Seeing my friends, students and schools come together and talk about these issues really gives me a sense of hope,” math teacher Lori Seo said. In the last few months, there have been many racially motivated attacks toward the Asian community and many of them have been directed toward Asian elders. This massive increase started happening with the start of COVID-19. “It’s like we are going back in history,” senior Amelia Sanchez said. “Asians haven’t done anything to deserve this hate for something they can’t control.” Hate crimes toward the Asian community have increased by 150% in many major cities in the U.S. between 2019 and 2020. With racism toward Asians being so normalized throughout the years, many people are speaking up in hopes that the issue can be recognized and taken seriously. As hate crimes increase, students are turning to social media as a way to bring attention to this issue. Through sharing posts, reposting and advocating, students are making more people aware of the situation and that’s really what their goal is, to just bring attention to the issue and get people talking about it. “If I were to witness first hand a racist act, I’d do everything in my power to put a stop to it,” senior Jovanny Dominguez , who is half-Japanese said. Even students who aren’t Asian have been posting on social media about these issues. With the small Asian population at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, it’s important for everyone to speak up and help them. The Asian community needs as much support as they can get. “This isn’t something that should be
ignored. Non-Asian people need to help the Asian community and we all need to come together,” junior Adam Martinez said. Asian-Americans have been experiencing things like getting made fun of for their eye shape and have Asian languages mocked for a long time but society has been pretty silent about it. Asian-Americans continue to experience small racist offenses all the time. Especially students, racism at school is so frequent and people within the Asian-American community have dealt with it for far too long.
As an Asian myself, I feel like I have to be more aware of my surroundings than I normally would be Cameron Frank
“I’ve had people squint their eyes at me,” Frank said. “People have also referred to me as a ‘ching-chong’ multiple times.” The fact that many people are speaking up about racism and violence against Asians is amazing. Spreading awareness and bringing attention to these issues are very important and hopefully there will be a day where racism toward Asians and everyone else is non-existent. “I hope this all comes to an end real soon,” Dominguez said. “At the end of the day, we’re all human and that’s all that should matter.” Instagram: @nathal0ser
Don’t blame Asians, blame racism By Gabrielle Lashley
terrifying anti-Asian sentiment has raged across America amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which sparked numerous hate crimes against the Asian community. This drastic rise in violence against Asian Americans is all due to “pandemic-fueled racism” and xenophobia. It has yet to be stopped because of the normalization of racism against Asians and willful ignorance. It’s overdue for people to understand that not all Asian Americans are Chinese, not all Chinese Americans carry the coronavirus, that silence is complicit and it’s about time we stop. People all over the world came to the conclusion that all Asians carry the virus. Some American officials, including former president Donald J. Trump, have been referring to COVID-19 with frankly racist terms such as “the Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu,” which has been argued to escalate the situation and further provoke anti-Asian sentiments. According to an analysis from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, New York City had a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes by a whopping 833% from 2019 to 2020, all because of a stigmatizing idea that Asian Americans are at fault for the pandemic’s spread to the U.S., even though they’re Americans just like the rest of this country. While The House of Representatives passed a resolution denouncing anti-Asian acts related to the coronavirus, President Joe Biden himself issued an executive order condemning the attacks.
Photo provided by (top)Harlow Frank, Chareena Pascua, (bottom) CJ Gorospe and Cassia Ramelb The Asian and community have been negatively affected as they have experienced hate and blame for the cause of the COVID-19. In response to their anger, many turned to violent attacks on Asian individuals.
Police departments, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, increased their training on hate incidents. Just this passing weekend, several protests were held all across the U.S. in a stance against the uprising in anti-Asian violence. Thanks to actions like these, awareness is being spread about the horrific crimes that have sprouted not only in the U.S. but all over the world. People have gone as far as to use this pandemic to back up their xenophobic arguments about how COVID-19 spread to the U.S. because of immigration. In reality, it’s been suspected that in the beginning of quarantine, Americans who were traveling outside of the country are at fault for the first cases of COVID-19 found in the U.S.. But racist people probably wouldn’t bother looking that up anyway. As anyone can imagine, these discriminatory views and acts which have taken root, heavily affects Asian communities, not just physically but mentally as well. Studies have shown that the uprise in race-based stigma against Asians has negatively impacted their mental health,
causing anxiety, depression and a general sense of fear. According to an article published Feb. 27 in USA Today, a federal report stated that at least 40% of these discriminatory or violent acts were going unreported out of said fear, language barriers and unreliability in police. Luckily, police and lawmakers have made it their mission to keep better track of these crimes and stop them all together. It’s honestly ludicrous how our country has grown so accustomed to racism against Asian Americans but unfortunately, that’s exactly why all the good deeds that have been done in an attempt to lower these hate crime rates haven’t actually succeeded yet. Because people think it’s not a big deal. But that’s exactly why more people need to stand by the Asian community and do things like help raise awareness, help victims feel more comfortable in reporting their attacks and advocate for more services to be provided for victims to reach out to. Instagram: @yogabbygabby_l
Special Reports | April 2021
Racist imagery in children’s media causes harm, not entertainment By Nancy Medrano
ooks are meant to help comfort and entertain kids. Some books are doing more harm than good and show racist imagery. They show young children illustrations that their parents might have wanted to prevent them from seeing. Even some of the “purest” books can convey an unwanted message. As of March 2, six of author Theodor Seuss Geisel’s famous Dr. Seuss books ceased publication due to their racist imagery. The books have been around since 1937, meaning they have been on bookshelves for 84 years, before people noticed the insensitive imagery. Although books such as, “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” “Think That Nancy I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “That Cat Quizzer” and “If I Ran the Zoo” have been publicly called out for all over news outlets, there are many racist, classic children’s books that still haven’t. The original 1964 plot of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Ronald Dahl included the line, “...from the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had been before.” The book also refers to the Oompa Loompas as “black pygmies.” After much backlash, the Oompa Loompas were changed into characters with orange skin and green hair. Another classic children’s book, “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie, makes stereotyp-
ical references to Tiger Lily and the other Native Americans. Not only is there inappropriate imagery in children’s books, but there are also harmful stereotypes in kids’ movies, especially in Disney. Many movies used animals to convey a harmful message, such as an inaccurate representation of a specific culture or race. This often makes it more difficult for people to distinguish inappropriate behavior. The 1970 film “The Aristocats,” directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, shows Thomas’s gang where each cat portrays another race. Normally there wouldn’t be a problem Medrano with this, but Shun Gon, an alley cat, is depicted as Chinese with slanted eyes and even plays the piano with chopsticks. In the 1955 film “The Lady and the Tramp,” the Siamese cats have slanted eyes and sing in broken English with an accent, mocking East Asian people. When a parent or teacher exposes a young child to diversity, they begin to form an identity that best reflects them and shapes them into someone they want to be. When looking for a diverse book, one should start with a book where the main character is a person of color that helps speak out when others can’t. The characters of the book should also face real-life
Parents shouldn’t have to be worried about what to show or read to their children.
8 The Pearl Post | April 2021
experiences instead of something fictional.Young adult books, “Holding Up the Universe” by Jennifer Niven and “Calling My Name” by Liara Tamani are good examples of diverse books. Parents shouldn’t have to be worried about what to show or read to their children. They are actually encouraged to use books to talk about heavy topics. Although finding the right book can be challenging at first, it can also be beneficial for many right reasons.
Standardized, AP testing continues for underprepared, stressed students
he one-year anniversary of this pandemic has just passed and although the school year is coming to an end, the stress felt among students has only intensified because of standardized testing. Last year, standardized testing was put on hold since the pandemic had just begun and many families were struggling to adapt to remote learning. Only a year later, the CollegeBoard deemed enough time had passed for students to get back to regular testing and standardized Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium English and math testing has resumed for all juniors. During a pandemic especially, SBAC testing is not a priority. It is an unnecessary stressor that takes students who already face a lack of interaction with their teachers out of class for even more time. Despite having more experience with online work, students are tired of constantly sitting and staring at screens. Bringing back 3-hour testing just adds to screen time and stress from the virtual classes. Just because COVID-19 case counts are lowering and some students and teachers are returning to campus doesn’t mean that we’re in any less of a pandemic. The ongoing trauma of the past year hasn’t healed and most likely won’t be any time soon. It’s ridiculous to expect a student to sit down for three or more hours for a test when there’s possibility of connection failure, family interruptions and an overall quiet environment. The decision to shorten last year’s AP Exams gave room for fewer mistakes in terms of technological errors and disturbances and is yet another example of the flawed methods of testing returning to normal. These tests are not made to be taken at home and this is obvious in the faults
Photo from CCNULL.de After some debate over whether Advanced Placement and standardized testing should resume as normal despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, both are scheduled to resume in full length. This decision is the source of stress for many underprepared students and upset teachers.
seen in trying to do so. Last year, AP testatkers were plagued by the inability to submit work and their progress was lost. Additionally, the College Board’s decision to administer the traditional exam format comes months before the actual exams take place. This has come as a surprise to AP teachers, who were preparing their students for last year’s version of the exams. Not only did the format help students but teachers as well, it allowed teachers to fully focus on one subject and prepare their kids with what they believed would be helpful. Now, teachers who based their year’s curriculum on analyzing and responding to long response questions face the challenge of covering a year’s worth of other material in just a few months. Review for multiple choice material is now an afterthought despite making up a large portion of the
overall test grade. It is extremely hopeful and unrealistic to expect that this change will help students in any way. The standardized and AP tests are now the cause of so much unnecessary stress born from a lack of empathy for students and teachers.
Opinion | April 2021
Print editor-in-chief sets new record at DPMHS with five Ivy League acceptances By Valeria Luquin
fter applying to 20 schools with an unweighted GPA of 3.89, Luna was accepted into 18, including five Ivy League: Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. “I wasn’t that nervous until it was 3:59 p.m.,” said Luna, Print Editor-in-Chief for The Pearl Post. “It’s more nerve-wracking because they all come out at the same time, so I was checking one after the other.” Yale University was the first of the Ivies that Luna checked on April 6. She got rejected. Next, she checked Harvard and saw the congratulations and confetti appear on her laptop screen. The next four schools accepted her as well. Luna was left shocked and completely speechless. She is the first student from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) to be accepted into five Ivy League schools. With this school year being conducted completely through distance learning due to the pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty and challenges surrounding college applications and admissions. Being the first to go to college and continue with her education were huge motivators for Luna. “It was very nerve-wracking deciding to do test optional because there were a lot of conversations about whether that would hurt your application,” said Luna, who plans to become a political journalist. “(Being first-generation) is a huge motivation to me because it’s setting that precedent for my family and getting my family really excited about it.” Luna has set a very impressive example for her brothers, family and peers. Although she is surprised by all of her Ivy League acceptances, her parents had no doubt in her. “Well to be honest with you, I wasn’t that surprised. I was kind of expecting that because I knew how hard she worked for that,” Luna’s mom, Cecilia Ocegueda said. “It’s really, really special and exciting.” Over the past four years, she has taken
three honors courses, five Advanced Placement (AP) classes and nine college classes. Throughout the summer going into her junior and senior year, she took part in various journalism programs, such as the Princeton Summer Journalism Program, that equipped her with lots of knowledge. “To be a competitive student, you need to show that you can handle rigorous classes like honors, AP and college-level courses,” Torres said. “Itzel was active since 9th grade and it shows in the way she has grown as a student and as an individual.” After taking intro to journalism in the ninth grade and enjoying the class, Luna was inspired to join The Pearl Post staff her sophomore year. During that year, she covered many big stories, such as the United Teachers Los Angeles strike. She considers it one of the highlights of her high school journalism career. After experiencing what it was like being on the front lines, that’s when it dawned on her that journalism was
10 Features |April 2021
I think that it’s important for us as first-gen low-income kids to know that we have a place at these institutions. Itzel Luna
Photo provided by Itzel Luna Print Editor-in-Chief Itzel Luna was accepted to five Ivy League schools including Harvard University and Stanford University.
and definitely, I will follow her career. I’m excited to see how she’s doing 10 years from now.” As National College Decision Day quickly approaches on May 1, Luna has been getting the input of others. Although she is considering all of the schools, she would say Stanford is going to be hard to beat. “As a first-gen low-income kid, you never really see yourself at these schools,” Luna said. “It didn’t even feel like a posibility that I could ever get into any of these schools. I think that it’s important for us as first-gen low-income kids to know that we have a place at these institutions.” From receiving several scholarships and earning various write-off awards, she points out that her success can be attributed to multiple people in her life. “I didn’t do this all on my own. I had an amazing family that supported me and I have amazing teachers and counselors,” Luna said.
a big passion of hers and something she wanted to pursue as a career. She plans on majoring in communications and/or political science depending on the school she ends up choosing. “In the tenth grade, I got to know Itzel a lot more than I did when she was a freshman,” journalism teacher Adriana Chavira said. “I saw the responsibility, determination and maturity that she possesses. I’m excited to see where she ends up going
National Honor Society continues to help out community despite pandemic restrictions By Delilah Brumer he COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped Cassia Ramelb from volunteering for causes ranging from climate change to public health and racking up over a hundred volunteer hours throughout high school. “I feel like volunteering is my way to give back and make change where I see fit,” said Ramelb, a senior and design editor for Prestige Yearbook. “I feel like, rather than just reposting something (on social media), I feel it’s more meaningful and more impactful if I hands-on put my energy somewhere. It’s very rewarding.” Ramelb is this year’s president of the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School chapter of the National Honor Society. The National Honor Society is a national service and leadership organization, with more than one million estimated participants worldwide. The DPMHS class of 2019 started the DPMHS chapter in order to provide volunteer and academic opportunities to students and the club has been actively running since then. The club requires all of its 38 members to complete either 15 or 20 hours of volunteer work per year, depending on how long they’ve been in the club. Many students volunteer in order to give back to their communities and show colleges their passions. These students, made up of sophomores, juniors and seniors, are finding creative ways to fulfill this requirement and overcome the difficulties of not being in-person. The club sponsors are Magnet Coordinator Leah Pevar and English Teacher Cynthia Barry Wald. “Coming up with ways for students to earn (volunteer) hours has been
Photo provided by Valeria Luquin Features Editor Valeria Luquin and her mother, Lorena Luquin, volunteered at the Self-Realization Fellowship Books & Gifts giftshop in Encinitas in September 2020. They scanned items around the giftshop in order to update the store’s inventory.
challenging,” Pevar said. “Even just having meetings has been challenging.” Volunteer opportunities are being provided to students in the club through school events, such as the Meet-theMagnet nights. As well as through
I feel like volunteering is my way to give back and make change where I see fit. Cassia Ramelb
Schoology posts with volunteer ideas. “I would say (COVID-19) has made volunteering) more difficult,” Ramelb
said. “I’ve had to navigate more online activities and it’s really hard to get out there when you’re kind of just away from other people.” While COVID-19 has made volunteering more challenging, many students are making the best of the situation. For example, junior Hayden Brewer has been working on a project against racism for his English class. “I just want to help people,” Brewer said. “I’ve actually grown accustomed to distance learning.” The last meeting of the club for the year is tentatively scheduled for late April. In the meantime, the club members will continue making an impact in their communities. “I’m really proud that NHS has carried on,” Pevar said. “I’m really glad that they are still going strong.”
Instagram: @delilah_ rose2004
Features |April 2021
Teens get ready for a summer of thrills as theme parks reopen By Nancy Medrano
fter a year of closing, California theme parks are taking all the precautions to safely welcome guests back. On March 30, the County of Los Angeles Public Health, announced that Los Angeles has now met the less restrictive orange tier. This now means different restrictions are put into place and more businesses can begin to open up. Within the first week of April, theme parks reopened. “I think this will be a super fun way for teens to venture out into “normal life” again,” junior Tia Jarrett said. “It will be really good for people who have struggled to be social during quarantine.” Six Flags Magic Mountain announced reopened April 1 for passholders and starting April 3, they welcomed California residents. Universal Studios Hollywood reopened on April 16 but pass members have been allowed to enter the park since April 15. Disneyland will reopen on April 30. Each of these three parks will only allow 25% capacity and reservations are required. You can make a park reservation online on the theme parks’ websites. As for the safety guidelines, all three parks have similar steps to keep everyone in the park safe. Face masks are required all the time, unless you are actively eating or drinking. Six Flags Magic Mountain even offers a “mask break zone.” When entering the theme
The Pearl Post | April 2021
parks, you are required to have your temperature taken. There are markings on the floor that are spaced out between parties while waiting for the rides. There are also hand sanitizers placed all around the parks to encourage guests to sanitize their hands as much as possible. “I feel like it (theme parks reopening) will make teens happy because they get to spend time together and do fun things,” freshman Daniel Hernandez said. When students heard about theme parks reopening, it brought some hope that things are slowly returning to normal. Some students even went as far as planning some days to go and spend time with their family or friends. “I’m sure that since they are reopening that my family and I will be going again to Six Flags, I feel many teens think the same,” senior August DeFore said. Instagram: @n.ancyyyyyyy
Gadgets and websites that will help make college life less stressful By Delilah Brumer
Many students in the Class of 2021 will be going off to college this fall. This exciting new chapter in their lives also provides an excellent opportunity to buy some helpful gadgets and download some useful apps.
Charger Cord Organizer Most college students have several devices they use every day and with multiple devices comes multiple charging cords. These cords often get tangled and they take an annoyingly long amount of time to unravel. This nuisance makes charger cord organizers extremely helpful. These small velcro cables will allow you to save your time for more important endeavors.
Pen Scanner Transcribing physical notes and quoting passages from paper textbooks can be tedious and time consuming. This pen scanner solves that problem. Run this device over whatever you want typed up like a highlighter and it will transcribe it onto any compatible computer application. It also translates text and has a text-tospeech function.
Grammarly College involves lots of essay writing, which is why the Grammarly app is so helpful. This app will spell and grammar check your writing and suggest edits. To make it even better, the app is free, although there is a paid premium version.
Todoist There are lots of tasks to juggle in college, from classes to homework to jobs. It’s easy to lose track of when you need to do anything and carrying around a clunky planner can be an issue. That’s why Todoist is perfect for college students. This app acts as a digital planner to manage upcoming events and deadlines. It will even send reminders to your phone.
Portable Charger Whether you’re traveling, walking around campus or studying, sometimes you won’t be able to find an outlet to charge your devices. This is why having a portable charger can be very helpful. This charger is universally compatible and can charge an IPhone X up to six times before it needs to be recharged.
EasyBib When you’re writing papers in college, you will almost certainly need to cite your sources. This is a complicated process that EasyBib simplifies. This website will help you make citations if you enter in your source. It is able to help with citations and bibliographies in multiple formats, including APA and MLA.
Tech/ Sports| April 2021
Student athletes get back on the field after a year of patiently waiting
By Gabrielle Lashley
ue to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has been over a year since student athletes last took the field. Now, with cases steadily declining, the student athletes were finally able to return to practice. This spring is a memorable moment for student athletes. They finally have the chance to do what they love. They have to opportunity to get back on the field and bring something good to an unfortunate school year. Since sports returned, the student athletes have been practicing every day. Some athletes even have had the opportunity to play in games, something they have been looking forward to for over a year. It’s as good a time as ever to take a look at some of the young, eager athletes who plan to make this season their own. Instagram: @yogabbygabby_l
14 The Pearl Post | April 2021
Photo by Delilah Brumer Freshman pitcher Derek Vasquez throws the ball from the outfield during practice on April 18. Vasquez has been playing baseball for 11 years.
me time Naamah Silcott
After playing volleyball for three years, sophomore Naamah Silcott wanted to add a little something to her high school experience so she joined the volleyball team. Now playing varsity, Silcott hopes this year can be a new opportunity to meet new people and form a better bond with her teammates.
It’s sophomore Diego Nuno’s second year playing baseball for the Patriots and he plans to try and have as much fun as possible. When Nuno started playing baseball at six years old he only played for the fun of it but has since extended his sights in the past few years with hopes to one
Sophomore Sabrina Robertson is in her second year of swimming varsity and she’s as excited as ever to start meeting up with her teammates again. After swimming for nearly her whole life, Robertson began swimming competitively since she was seven years old. Having a passion for the sport, she immediately joined the swim team in her freshman year and hopes to keep swimming for as long as she can.
It’s sophomore Ryan Nevsky’s second year on the water polo team and he is excited as ever to play this season. Nevsky is most looking forward to finally get back in the pool and play with his teammates. Nevsky plays water polo because he feels that it not only builds up his strength, but it also builds his character. He hopes to continue playing water polo in college and beyond.
After playing baseball for about 11 years now, it’s freshman Derek Vasquez’s first year pitching for the Birmingham Patriots. Since baseball is his family’s legacy, Vasquez hopes to one day be recognized by 4-year universities and continue baseball through college. When it comes to short term goals, Vasquez hopes to make it to varsity baseball in his sophomore year.
Senior Anthony Martinez is in his final season of playing soccer and he wants to make it a memorable one. He hopes to win one last championship in his final season to build on his legacy. Martinez hopes to make his way to a Division 1 team in college while also recieving a good education. He hopes to one day get the chance to play professionally.
day compete professionally.
Tech/Sports| April 2021
Maribella Ambrosio is one of DPMHS Student Media’s Photo Editors. This is her second year on staff and always does her best to get great pictures for the media. She is always happy to take photos for the news magazine, yearbook, and for the website because she wants to give the best photo to the readers. Maribella has earned 3rd place in photography in CSUN Write-offs and has earned Honorable Mention photography in CSUN Journalism Day.
Sophomore Ryan Nevsky holds a ball in the air without touching the water during water polo practice at Birmingham Community Charter High School on March 17. Waterpolo and other sports teams returned to the field after the number of cases of COVID-19 decrease in Los Angeles County. After sports were canceled in the fall due to COVID-19, teams began practicing in late February. However, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School athletes weren’t allowed to return to practice with BCCHS until March 8. Some teams, including the BCCHS boys water polo team, have already started having games against other schools. Submit your best photos with a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in the next issue of the The Pearl Post news magazine.