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The Voice

Los Angeles Leadership Academy

Newspaper serving the Lincoln Heights commnity since 2008

Volume 5 Edition 4

Editor-In-Chief: Rebecca Garcia

Managing Editor: Joy Woo

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading Students take part in TEDx, named after famous conference Community discussion of Technology, Entertainment, Design

By Diana Toj Staff Writer

Photo Editor: Diana Toj

Staff Writers:

Phyllis Rosen Al Schleicher

Printer: Gardena Valley News Publication Policies The Voice is a student newspaper produced by students at L.A. Leadership Academy. This paper is published to inform, educate and entertain the student body, faculty and members of the community of Lincoln Heights. Students, faculty and community members with strong opinions are highly encouraged to write a guest commentary or a letter to the editor, which may be published. Send letters to the editor: L.A. Leadership Academy High School Attn: The Voice 234 East Avenue 33 Los Angeles, CA 90031

Popular P.E. Teacher Promoted to Dean of Students

By Vanessa Sanchez Staff Writer noz. Who is this trustworthy teacher who is funny, helpful and even sometimes strict? She is the one and only Chanel Smith. She is a valuable member of Los Angeles Leadership Academy Community. Ms. Chanel was the teacher of LALA’s physical education classes. Lighting struck one day and Ms.Chanel was no longer teaching LALA’s physical education classes, but working hard at the Middle School as the new Dean. Junior Steven Munoz was asked about his opinion on Ms.Chanel’s promotion. His response, “I think its great because it shows that she can be more than a P.E teacher, and that she has more potential and capacities.” Students do miss Ms.Chanel, but they understand it is for a great cause that she is now Dean of the Middle School.

David Ortiz

Faculty Advisors:

Chanel’s Promotion

“Of course I miss her!!” –Steven Mu-

Copy Editor:

Marco Aguilar Joseph Cristobal Pablo Espinoza Rebecca Garcia Araceli Gracia Barbara Gonzalez Bany Guardado Oscar Isem Jesus Martinez David Ortiz Sandra Sanchez Vanessa Sanchez Jose Serrano Marito Solis Joy Woo

February 2013

On Sunday morning, February 10th, four of our very own Los Angeles Leadership Academy students spoke in front of an audience of more than two hundred people. The TedxYouth talk, hosted by the youTHink Organization, was held at Hollywood High School with people from all over Los Angeles in attendance. LALA was represented by: Anthony Roque, Steven Muñoz, Zuleyma Guillermo, and Rebecca Garcia – all four captivated the attention of audience members with their motivational stories. TEDx Youth@Hollywood (“x = independently organized TED event”) stems from the parent TED organization. TED talks began in 1984 and feature “ideas worth spreading” from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design. Innovative people from these three worlds were invited to give 18 minute talks at two annual live TED conferences. With the development of the internet, these talks are available to the whole world through the TED website. The first speaker was Bronkar Lee, “the world’s only juggling beatboxer”, with a very impressive showcasing of his talents. With the sounds of a drum coming

from his mouth, juggling up to six balls, beatboxing and standing on a ladder with one leg all at once, Lee’s perfeormance was almost hypnotic. The theme for this TEDx event was “Jumping in, jumping into something new, something you’re afraid of, something that inspires you.” Each presenter and speaker interpreted the idea of jumping in in their own unique way. First up to speak from LALA was Anthony with his talk titled, “The Power of Music.” He did an admirable job of engaging the audience and received much praise at his mention of “rock n’ roll.” He spoke passionately about music enabling him to better communicate with his deaf brother and his incorporation of sign language empowered his talk immensely. Upon concluding, he received his round of applause and “didn’t feel too bad” about the little mistakes he made. Throughout his talk, Anthony remained very calm and collected. “I did not want to follow the theatrical ways of blocking out the audience. I wanted to see the people and I wanted them to see me,” he shared. (TED Talk story continued on page 4.)

The Home of Lion Pride

When Chanel was asked what her new job was about, she responded, “I deal with the discipline issues, teacher support, testing and whatever Jesicah, our vice principal needs me to do.” Chanel mentions that she was not nervous about the interview process. “No. I felt confident of my skills and I have always believed in the school and of its vision. Being part of LALA for 10 years felt that I was a great candidate for this position.” Chanel loves her new position at the school. “It is a fast pace position and something is always happening. I love the intensity of the day. It keeps me on my toes.” Ling Ling Lim, an 8th grader at the middle school, was asked about her opinion on Chanel’s promotion. “She is very helpful for other personal problems. Also, she keeps her promise with her words. In addition her advice is very great to use and follow,” the 8th grader says. Ms. Angela, a middle school science teacher, was also asked for her opinion. “Chanel’s promotion to Dean has been one of the most helpful events to occur at our Middle School. It has relieved Ms. Jesicah of the discipline duties and has allowed her to focus on curriculum and student achievement. Ms.Chanel’s promotion has benefited the community as a whole, with new added rules and procedures the Middle School is able to flow smoothly and focus on academics,” she said.


February 2013

The Voice

newswire High School students will begin with Naviance

News & Features New Teacher Profile

Coach Ja’Niece Allen

Within the next couple of months, Juniors and Sophomores will begin entering their college-prep information into a computer software called Naviance. Students will enter their college major interests, extra-curricular activities, and have the opportunity to create a resume for future use. College Counselor Erin Kim says that Naviance will get our students more organized and prepared for the college application process.

Roots and Wings off to strong start with camping trip

Over the Presidents’ Day weekend, the Roots and Wings Club journeyed to Manzanar, California for a day of hiking and history. Manzanar is located in Central California, about five hours northeast of Los Angeles. The area is a National Historic Site for the internment camps that were created during World War II to incarcerate Japanese Americans.

LALA Annual Fundrasing Dinner scheduled for March

On March 14th, Executive Director Roger Lowenstein will host L.A. Leadership Academy’s Annual Fundraising Dinner. This year, teachers were given the opportunity to propose different projects for funding. Participants at the dinner will have the chance to bid on the special projects. All three schools in the L.A. Leadership Academy family will be represented.

By Sandra Sanchez Staff Writer

Ms. Ja’Niece M. Allen is very dedi-

cated to her job; she commutes from San Bernardino every day! Ms. Ja’Niece is the new P.E teacher for both the middle and high school. Having previous teaching experience at public schools, she chose LALA, “because of their view on education. I also decided to come to LALA because of the small numbers which allows a teacher to do more with her students.” When asked if she liked the school and what she thought about LALA Ja’Niece responded, “I do like the school so far. I think LALA has established an excellent program and has a good group of students that for the most part value education.”

Physical Education

Ms. Ja’Niece grew up in San Bernardino and was inspired to become a coach at a young age. When asked why and what inspired her to become a Physical Education teacher she said, “I decided to become a Physical Education teacher because I liked the idea of teaching, but I did not want to be stuck inside the classroom. One of the people that inspired me to become a Physical Education teacher is my middle school coach. I developed a love for sports early, and I believe my love for sports assisted me in my career choice.” Along with teaching 6th period P.E., here at the high school, she teaches four other periods at the middle school. Even though she came in to the school during the middle of the year, Ms. Ja’Niece said that, “It has been a pretty smooth transition, though I have had some minor challenges.” Ms. Ja’Niece has her own teaching style and because of that has incorporated some new rules and procedures. When asked what her favorite unit was to teach she replied, “I like to teach nontraditional sports and my favorite unit to teach is Speedball.”

What the Tech? Raising Boys in the Digital Age High School students (experts) take part in panel discussion

Fall Semester Honor Roll

On February 8th, a multitude of students packed the basketball court during a special assembly to honor our high school scholars. Certificates were given to students within a three-tier honor roll system based on student grade point averages.

Mandatory Tutoring to Kick Start Study Opportunities

Tutoring will begin the week of February 18 in order to give students extra help in classes where they are receiving a failing grade. Students will meet in rooms according to subject matter, and be assisted with homework help from YPI tutors.

MTA, Going Our Way!

The Metropolitan Transit Authority will come to LALA High School. Gradelevel meetings will be held February 21st for the MTA Metro Community Outreach program. The plan is for the MTA to speak to students regarding the importance of safety when riding the Metro. The MTA will donate 60 day passes for our school to use on the Cesar Chavez Day of Service.

Gloria Velasquez to take Maternity Leave Soon

High School Office Manager Gloria Valesquez will soon be taking maternity leave from our school. Gloria has worked in the main office of LALA for seven years, and will take time off to have her first child.

Tech Experts: Junior Jonathan Arreola (seated left) and Senior Jordan Blevins-Trevino By Jesus Martinez Staff Writer

On Thursday January 31st, Jordan

Blevins-Treviño, a current Senior and Jonathan Arreola, current Junior, were selected to attend a conference called “What The Tech?” What the Tech? is a yearly conference with counselors and educators eager to hear how technology has affected their lives. They also like to hear feedback and statistics from the youth using technology in their daily lives. This year’s conference was held in Alameda, California. In this conference, the student panel had the opportunity to voice their opinion on technology at school and at home. As part of the meeting requirements, Jordan and Jonathan were sat upon a stage in front of educators and counselors. After speaking, the students took questions from the audience. Questions such as “what’s the impact technology has had on you?” or “how much do high school students use technology in their daily lives?”

As this was Jordan’s first time attending a conference, his face was red throughout the process on stage. Jordan told The Voice that once he had his two cups of coffee he was comfortable, but just for a maximum of five minutes. The coffee effects wore off quickly, yet he was really excited he attended this conference. Jonathan Arreola also had an amazing experience. He was astonished by how much fun he had with the old people he was holding conversations with. While on stage, Jonathan was pretty confident in himself. After all the interviews, both students were surprised by the fancy dinner that awaited them. Jonathan said that he was even surprised that they where being fed. Jordan and Jonathan also where taken by surprise how they got paid $50 for attending the conference, and speaking on the panel. Since both had such an exquisite time, their hope is that next year we can get more L.A. Leadership Academy students to attend the conference.

From Kenya to Harvard to LALA

Elite: N’katha @ Harvard Univ. Library By Bany Guardado Staff Writer

Kenya? Harvard? When? Where?

N’katha Gitonga from Kenya spent the month of January with us while on winter break from her sophomore year . She was an intern from Harvard who got the chance to work with our students by supporting Sheila with the biology classes. How did N’katha from KENYA end up in Harvard!? Sounds crazy right? In her high school years, basically a star student, took on many activities. But her reason to take on extra activities was not with the mentality that most of us students in the US have. In Kenya many of the high schools are not the type of school in which you come in the morning and you leave in the afternoon. In Kenya most of schools are called boarding schools where you only leave home for vacation time. When N’katha graduated and planned on going to college she thought she wanted to be a doctor, this had been her dream almost her whole life. But then she worried that Kenyan medical school was too limiting. She decided to apply outside schools in the U.S, schools that would not be binding to a certain career. She scored excellently in her SAT had an incredible high school resume and grades, and was accepted into Harvard University. She wants to eventually work for a nonprofit organization and her program, the Center for Public Interest Careers, requires her to volunteer at a nonprofit. Somehow LALA has connections to Harvard graduate programs and so she found her way to us. While working in the biology classrooms, she helped failing students raise their grades through directing them on extra credit projects. This help was very valuable to many students and we really appreciate her hard work. Thank you N’katha!!

Teachers and Students

Do You Want to Write for The Voice? Submit original work! (narratives, opinions, poetry) Now is your chance to be a published author! See Phyllis Rosen for details

February 2013

The Voice

News & Features AP Government

Advanced Placement Course Offered After School By Oscar Isem Staff Writer

Have some extra time on Mondays and

Tuesdays? How about Thursdays? There are two new classes at LALA and each offers exciting new opportunities to get ahead of the game. The classes are AP Government and Model United Nations. They are both actively recruiting at the moment. Both are led by Joseph Salas. Joseph was once a teacher at LALA middle school, teaching eighth graders U.S. history. AP Government is a college level class currently open to all grades. The class is taught on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30. Students can expect a lot of note taking and a charismatic teacher that will help the class seem to fly by. Mr. Salas is a very vocal teacher that enjoys cracking a few jokes to keep the mood light. He is a bit demanding though. With time being tight, as there are only sixteen weeks left before the exams, he expects his students to show up to class

often, early, and prepared. In an interview with The Voice, Mr. Salas stated: “I have the best students in AP Government; all try hard despite the work from their normal classes.” Even with the odds a bit against him, Mr. Salas plans on having his entire class pass the AP Exam. Model United Nations is a debate team focused on international issues. These issues include war, women’s rights in the Middle East, food shortages and more. The class is taught on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30. The class is training for a conference in March at UCLA. There is no limit to the number of students that can join, but Mr. Salas encourages more students to join. He has the bare minimum of 6 students needed and wants more. Either way, the team will go to the conference. Participating in Model United Nations will look great on college applications. If you have time, like government or debating about real issues, or just want a better resume, then these classes are the ones for you.

A Chemistry Reaction By Marito Solis Staff Writer

When Marissa Cowell left earlier than

Model U.N. Facts 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

An academic simulation of the United Nations High School Model U.N. programs began in the 1950s There are 6 official languages of the U.N.: Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French, English The U.N. was founded after World War II in 1945 The U.N. Security Council has 15 members; 5 are permanent

Newtown Shooting Inspires School Safety

By Rebecca Garcia Staff Writer

As we all know, there was recently a ter-

rifying tragedy on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. A gunman by the name of Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree that started off with his mother as his first victim. He then went on to Sandy Hook Elementary School where twenty students between the ages of five and seven were shot and killed, along with an unfortunate loss of six adults. After this shocking and adverse event, many students, teachers, and schools were automatically taking into consideration a larger percentage of their school’s safety. The outcome of this event has had a variety of impact on not only the Newtown community, but America in all. Schools around Los Angeles have been taking precautions as to how their school can be a safer campus for their students to attend. “I think it’s important for parents to feel safe, sending their students to school,” Executive Director Roger Lowenstein claims. As most students may know, the parents of several students are involved in “Parents in Action,” which included all parents that are interested in making a change in the LALA community amongst the staff and students in any way possible. The parents involved helped raise the money for the cameras in the building in order to install some sort of safety for students. “Well in my opinion, it’s a good thing cause not that much “crime” happens. If something is stolen it can be verified easily rather than, “He said She said,” Sophomore Steven Cordova claims as he defends his thoughts. Freshman Jaymie Venegas states “I think it’s a waste of money because we don’t have that many incidents, but it’s also good because if something happens they can look back to see what happened to keep us safe.” Overall, students seem to have different views on the idea of having cameras and alarms installed in the building. Jesus Garcia, Sophomore, claims

“I think it’s the same but yet a waste of money, it’s not like anything has happened that they really need to put cameras or especially an alarm system. This school is over reacting for something they could’ve taken care of themselves.” Now, on the other hand, High School Principal Brooke Soles thinks differently while saying, “The purpose of these safety methods is to install safety.” With several safety methods like alarms to prevent unexpected accidents, and cameras placed throughout the building in several areas, there is a high percentage that the safety amongst students and staff members has increased. As U.S. President Barack Obama stated at the Sandy Hook vigil, “No single law, no set of laws, can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for an action.”

Marissa and Lonnita

expected on maternity leave, students wondered who would replace her. A temporary substitute, Lonnita Smith-Russell, parent of Jac and Aimee Russell, became Marissa’s permanent replacement until her expected return in March. Coming from a family of teachers, Lonnita knew she would teach. Before coming to teach Chemistry at LALA, Ms. Lonnita taught at four other schools. She had good experiences with some schools but in others, not so much. She said, “The charter school that I taught at for the last two years left me kinda burnt out, wondering if I ever had to teach again.” Luckily, she got the LALA leave replacement offer which encouraged her to keep teaching, rather than going back to her job as a chemist in an environmental lab. How does LALA compare to the other schools? Ms. Lonnita says that now she can see the low diversity at the school, and the lax attitude toward education. However what she does admire is the respectfulness of the student body. Lonnita’s goal for LA Leadership Academy, “I’m hoping that while the short time I’m here, I’ll influence someone to understand how important their education is...because everything follows you.”

Security System: Warning signs

March School Schedule March 11-12: CAHSEE March 15: 10-week report cards March 16: Cesar E. Chavez Youth Conference

New Alarm & Security Cameras: Signs & cameras on the bottom floor

March 18-19: Benchmark II March 18-22: Spirit Week March 22: Chavez Day of Service March 25: Junior San Diego College Visits March 25-29: Spring Break

The Home of Lion Pride



The Voice

February 2013

News & Features Cash for College

The Senior Seminar

Seniors Learn the Importance of FAFSA Application

Class offers Seniors “readiness” beyond the 12th Grade

By Barbara Gonzalez Staff Writer

On Saturday, January 26th, Seniors and

a few alums, filled out what is known as FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) or for AB540 students, the Dream Application. Everybody who plans on going to either a Vocational School, Community College, State University, or a Private College has to fill out the FAFSA or the Dream Application. Some students find the process quite tedious, especially if they had to start from the very beginning on Saturday. Thankfully, some Seniors have the Senior Seminar class with Abeni Carr, and received a head start earlier that week. But even then, students were stressed out with either not knowing some information or simply dreading coming to school on a Saturday morning. “The FAFSA process was easy, but my personal situation made it stressful. Both my mother and I were stressed.” said Senior Linda Fuentes. Linda Fuentes not being the only one; students were seen crying in the hallway, and parents constantly asked questions about the application. It was a pretty hectic morning, but everyone who

Contiuned from page 1 TedTalk Article Steven made his way onto the stage smiling as audience members screamed his name and cheered him on. Again, he did not appear nervous at all. He delivered a very heart-warming talk titled, “Overcoming Fear,” which fit perfectly with the event’s theme, “Jump” and allowed for a personal connection to be made with an audience full of strangers. During his talk he received verbal praises from audience members and graciously accepted them by slipping in tiny “thank-you’s.” Steven wonderfully represented LALA and himself despite his later-mentioned nervousness. After lunch came an impromptu dance break that included most of the audience and all of the speakers which was followed by a performance from a dance group called, The Ground Players, one by H20, Hollywood High School’s Glee Club, and more inspirational talks. Zuleyma came on-stage with “Determination is the Key.” On the last day of rehearsal, Zuleyma completely blanked on her speech and it was decided then that she would sit on a chair and read her story instead. It did not take away from the impact within her speech. Detailing her obstacles with being an undocumented student, she received a great response from

attended found it worthwhile. Students must still go back to the application and update their parents’ tax information for 2012*. Then it’s all a waiting game - to see how much students receive in financial aid from each school they applied to, and who won the $1,000 grant for simply attending the FAFSA workshop. Seniors will hear from college financial aid offices in March and April. These Seniors are all one step closer to the actual thing, not only college, but life itself. * Really really crucial!

FAFSA FACTS 1. 2. 3. 4.

All colleges require the FAFSA You need your parents’ tax info Start early; app available Jan. 1 FAFSA determines Expected Family Contribution (EFC) 5. FAFSA must be filed every year student is in college 6. 80% of all full-time college students receive financial aid 7. FAFSA helps determine the awarding of over $150 billion in federal financial aid

the audience. Later, a girl approached Zuleyma to share her shared experience with being undocumented saying, “I was in that same place last year.” After some laughs and thank-you’s, they hugged and both went on their way but not without having made an impact on each other’s lives. The last of all the student speakers was Rebecca with her compelling, talk about “The Transformative Power of Forgiveness.”During her talk, she acknowledged her friends sitting in the audience and they all broke out in cheers. She told about her experiences as a child and the problems in her home enviornment that began to negatively affect her. Although she got into depth about the negative effects, she ended upbeat. “But that part of my life is behind me already,” she said, “I’ve forgiven my parents for the damage they’ve done and have learned to accept the unchangeable.” From inspiration, to free (good) food, gift bags, and great entertainment, TEDx Youth@ Hollywood had a lot to offer its appreciative audience. It was similarly fulfilling for our speakers. By bringing forth new ideas and encouraging the act of simply, thinking, TEDx Youth@Hollywood was definitely an event not to be missed. What will you jump into next?

By Jose Serrano Staff Writer

As the Seniors started the beginning of

the second semester, they began down the road to college. Abeni Carr, instructor of the Senior Seminar class, started the course to help Seniors with important college necessities that would be more difficult to do outside of daily coursework. 16 Seniors were chosen to register for the class that would give them a greater advantage to preparing for life after high school. The syllabus for the course includes information and applications for grants, loans, and scholarships. Being a Senior sounds easy, but in fact can be more challenging than the rest of a student’s years in school. Luckily, the couse is here to help Seniors stay focused. The Senior Seminar class further prepares students financially and physically. It helps financially by offering opportunities to discuss the road ahead with money matters, and the class helps physically by giving students assignments that are required to be completed on a specific date. Senior Melecio Galarza was chosen to register for the class and says, “It’s exciting and interesting.” Even though the class has just started, it has given Melecio

a great outlook on college. Applying to college is an interesting process, but can be scary without the proper guidance. Melecio Galarza added, “This class has been a grand help with college work, and has helped me get a head start on my FAFSA process.” Melecio also feels grateful to be in the class, “I happy that I was chosen to participate in a beneficial class.” Even though Senior Seminar is just for 12th grade students, the hope is that it will continue to impact the school’s Juniors and Sophomores in later years.

Emancipation of Debate Debate Team Travels for Lincoln-Douglas Tournament By David Ortiz Staff Writer

On January 24, the LALA speech and

debate team traveled to California High School to compete in their first tournament of 2013. The team competed in the Lincoln-Douglas category, a form of debating that consists of two competitors debating over an issue of morality. When the team arrived to the competition, they quickly took seats at a table and furiously began reviewing their cases making sure they were in top shape for the competition. After about 20 minutes of waiting and a couple of pizza slices, the first round began. Some of our students where relieved to find out that they were competing against each other, due to the fact that not many students from other schools were competing in the Lincoln-Douglas debate category. After the first round, the students returned with mixed emotions about the round. Students quickly began to work on their cases again trying to make them better, to get an edge on the competition. Students also gave each other tips about what to say and do, along with support and encouragement. As the rounds passed, students kept returning to the table to keep working on their cases and giving each other insight. However, after the third round the team was tired and just about done with debating. However. coach Al Schleicher gave the team some words of encouragement to take into the final round of the tournament. After the round was done the team packed up their bags and headed back home to LALA.

The Voice

February 2013

News & Features

Breaking the Silence: A Series

Nonprofit Organizations Create Coalitions of the Willing Running a small nonprofit on a shoe-string budget is no easy task By Joseph Cristobal Staff Writer

Leading many events, such as protests,

meeting with L.A. County Sheriff Lee Bacca, and working outreach and education is just a few of the jobs that Patrisse Cullors does to build the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails. With the help of different community organizations, she is able to move forward with her cause. There are many things that Patrisse must do on her own as the leader of a small nonprofit organization: making fliers, keeping up with daily communication, and preparing meetings that assist her in the advocacy of the Coalition. Being in charge of a small nonprofit organization is no easy task. Patrisse needs to educate the public regarding the many things police do regarding violence in prisons, but she cannot do this amount of work alone. Other small nonprofit organizations are working with Patrisse to help her stop the police from attacking innocent people. Leaders from the other small non-profits go with Patrisse and meet with her as part of a larger coalition.

There is strength in numbers. Each small nonprofit can team up with other small nonprofits to pool their resources together. All the organizations that Patrisse works with help her out by organizing protests, and handing out fliers. These other nonprofits help spread the word about violence in prisons. The work of the Coalition as a team is starting to pay off. Patrisse’s words about police violence is spreading fast. The public has taken to videotaping “routine” police stops, or when police command citizens to take part in actions that the citizen did not agree to. The organization that Patrisse used to work with is still helping by supplying her with materials for the Coalition. Patrisse worked with an organization 13 years ago, and it is this other nonprofit that allows the Coalition to use valuable supplies to fight injustice. People would assume that she has the money to pay for everything she does, but Patrisse says that it is the help that she gets from the community and nonprofit organizations that keep the Coalition together to stop sheriff violence.

Where It All Starts: Nonprofit organizations work together to stop sheriff violence

Make sure to Like them on Facebook End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails

Chapman Life

By Araceli Gracia Staff Writer

Alummi Erick Martinez is currrently a Junior at Chapman University majoring in Business and minoring in Economics. As a senior at LALA, Erick was unsure where to go to pursue his education. He was all set to attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison until he got his acceptance letter from Chapman University. Erick decided to go to Chapman University because it was not far from home, in Southern California, where he knows people and would be able to come home more often to visit his family and friends. Going out of state would only have allowed him to visit twice a year and added more to his college expenses. Growing up Erick knew he wanted to pursue an ucation

in bussines, because working for many years influenced him to want to own is own business . At Chapman, he was admitted to the school of business and economics. Erick found the atmosphere of the campus to be beautiful, people were always nice when approached, and he realized it was a perfect fit for his personality. Erick stated, “ This has been the best decision I have made in my twenty years of life.” Chapman University offered Erick a financial aid packet that he could definatly not turn down. What attracted him the most and made him choose Chapman was their renowned business program and internships. He wanted to receive a valued education, which he knew he would get at a private university. He knew being at Chapman for the next four years of his life would not be a regret. Another important element of why he chose to go to a private college was because at Chapman they offered resources to students to be able to use to their advantage; and Chapman’s faculty really wanted their students to succeed and move on to bigger and better things. This reminded him of LALA in the sense of the small classes and their teacher and student relationships.

Erick is confident in his decision to go to Chapman. “I am a junior now and there hasn’t been anything or anyone to make me think differnet of my choice. I absolutely love being a Chapman student. I must say, I found the perfect fit for me.” In his freshman year at Chapman University, Erick moved into the dorms and had two roommates who were white and the other Asian. Erick stated, “We had the diverse room in the hall, lol.” Erick’s first college job was as an office assistant for the office of residence life and housing. He remembered having a similar schedule to his Asian roommate, so they would go to class together. They had a political science class at 8:00 in the morning and he decided to drop the class. Erick learned to choose his classes wisely. Erick stated, “ I experienced partying at Chapman, living in the dorms, working for a university, breaking out of my shell and socializing with a campus dominantly white, and exploring the city my school is in.” One challenge Erick faced was public speaking. On his first week of school he had to present a paper in front of a class he did not know. LALA did not prepare him for public speaking, therefore he did not know how to get the mes-

The Home of Lion Pride

sage across to his audience, use appropriate body language, and maintain constant eye contact. To improve his public speaking qualities, he had to practice in order to better his presentations. In his sophmore year he got promoted to be a resident advisor in the dorms with a room and board waiver. He had a floor of fifty residents that were all different and his job was to build a community. His experience as an RA was beneficial in the long run because as the year came along he had developed skills of management, advicing, creating events, public speaking, and much more. He learned a lot from his residnets who were dealing with hardships, by playing soccer with them or just talking with them. They all came from different states, different cities, different stories, and each one of them had something to offer or had a talent. Currently he is living in a house with two former RA’s. Aside from having his job, he is taking 18 credits and one political science internship and DJing for Chapman’s radio. Erick stated, “ Getting sophmore year over with was weight lifting. From all this, I learned that being a college student you need to do what ever it takes to end up in the place you want to be (career).”



The Voice

February 2013

News & Features

Lucky Penny High School Proves Community Spirit with Successful Fundraiser

Midnight In Paris “Theme” dance raises money for Seniors

By Araceli Gracia Staff Writer

Paris, the city of the lights, where lovers

By Joy Woo Staff Writer

The Leukemia and Lymphoma

Society’s (LLS) mission is to, “Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” LLS has been sponsoring Pennies for Patients since 1994, and it has raised over $10 million from schools around the United States. On January 14th, LALA initiated the 2013 Pennies for Patients game, but LALA has been participating in the Pennies for Patients fundraiser for three years. In order to create more “school spirit” through the help of Erin Kim, college counselor, some students from the leadership council were able to create the “game.” Last year, the LALA community was able to fundraise a grand total of $599.45. For the 2013 fundraising drive a total of $575.79 was collected. Yes there was a skight falling off from difference between the amount of money last year c and this year has collected, but LALA still accomplished something important and helpful to those suffer ing from this heart-breaking disease. Though there was lots of controversy about some advisories not following the rules, the rules were not always understood by every advisory. The opportunity of dropping silver into opposing

advisories’ boxes certainly added drama and excitment. At one point, some advisories even had negative amounts posted for their totals. The administration made things closer and more interesting by dumping a whole shopping bagful of silver coins into the boxes of the early leaders. Though this was a little discouraging, everyone came to realize that it was all in the spirit of giving and helping children in need.

find comfort in the arms of one another. The “Midnight in Paris” themed Winter Formal occurred on Friday, December 18. The senior’s fundraiser made a little more than $500. The organizers did not give out food at the dance, but the people were happy with the desert that was given out to them. Many students who attended did not buy presale tickets, instead choosing to purchase tickets at the door. For this dance, if students wanted to bring a guest, they had to get a visitor’s pass. The difference is that the visitor’s pass had to be signed by the visitor’s principal. Also, LALA had to call to approve the guest pass and make sure it was really signed by the visiting student’s principal. Some students were upset that they were not able to take in a guest because they did not understand the visitor pass policy. As the dance got started, Joy Woo stated, “It looks better than last year!” Many students were surprised and pleased with this year’s decorations. Parent volunteers helped out the Seniors with the decorations. Ms. Velasquez helped to put up the picture booth. Senior Abraham Milian stated, “It seems like most people enjoyed it.” Everyone was dancing, without anyone was sitting down. Students were really enjoying the music and could feel the music in them. Overall, everyone had a great time and enjoyed themselves. At the end of the dance, Seniors Jose Martinez and Citlalli Velasquez were announced as King and Queen of the dance.

The top five advisories were: 1. Katie 2. Mark 3. Phyllis 4. Ms. U 5. Christine

Lions Roar Proudly Against Rival CALS M’Ney Wade Leads Boy’s Basketball Team to Victory By Marco Aguilar Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Leadership Academy’s

boys’ basketball team started the year with a win against CALS on Februay 1st on our home court. LALA scored 37 points to CALS’ 30. Junior M’Ney Wade notched a double-digit point and double-digit rebound performance. LALA held the lead throughout the whole game, though CALS looked as if they were catching up during the fourth quarter. The first half ended with LALA far ahead, but CALS came out in the second half pressing on defense and began to make a comeback. Nonetheless, this was an amazing game with lots of excitement and sportsmanship. Everyone in the crowd exhibited a lot of spirit throughout the entire game and loudly supported our school. Many faculty and administration members were present, as well as a few students from CALS.

After the game, the basketball team decided to take a picture with the scoreboard and happy LALA fans gathered to congratulate their champions. Senior Ignacio Silva, who played hard and fouled out of the game, says that this win is definitely a “confidence boost” for future games. Fans look forward to a winning season ahead.

Roots and Wings campers stargaze while camping out in Fort Independence near the Manzanar National Historic Site. Our next issue will include full coverage of this new organization and the opportunites it is offering LALA students.

February 2013

The Voice

News & Features Job Shadow: Vans

A new addition to LALA:Vending Machines

The Shoe Company That Created a Lifestyle in Southern CA By Marito Solis Staff Writer

In 1966, Paul Van Doren along with three

partners founded the Van Doren Rubber Company. Because of their strong ties with the skateboarding culture, Vans was able to expand quickly, being recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Small Companies”. Vans Inc.’s headquarters in Cypress, CA includes different departments such as art, apparel, and marketing as well as a small skate park. Every morning for the past 9 years, Tait Hawes wakes up, grabs a cup of coffee at his local coffee shop, and drives about an hour to his job as an art director for Vans. What does it mean to be an art director? It is having the final say in what goes out for designs and advertisements. It is being able to see your work in the streets and knowing people are admiring it. Through Stoked Mentoring, I came to meet Tait Hawes and learn of the daily tasks of an art director. Once at work, it’s time to get on schedule. A normal day seems to be arriving, sitting in your office and attending meetings. On others, it means visiting retail stores and seeing how your department’s work is being displayed. But before visiting retailers, Tait must run from the marketing department to the apparel department, back to the art department and so on to get everyone on the same page. He must look over submitted work to make any changes or


comments. As an art director for Vans, he must schedule meetings to align calendars between those in the art department to meet upcoming deadlines. Now, it’s time to visit the retail store. The goal is to look around the store and see if their work’s message is coming through as intended. It means adjusting how photographs are presented to maximize their message, whether it be by decreasing the number of photographs displayed or displacing others. After examining and taking notes, it’s time for market research. Visiting nearby competitor retails stores allows them to witness and learn possible improvements for their stores. The day isn’t over yet. It’s time to go back to the office for a final meeting to discuss how to improve the advertisement without giving up any elements for retail or wholesale. It was also about planning new window advertisement for the upcoming seasonal sales and presentation of their new products. An interesting debate at the end involved discussing whether to take the brand name off of their best selling OTW collection. They debated whether taking the name out would jeopardize the value of the product or if without having the branding, consumers wouldn’t realize they were Vans. Behind every advertisement is a proud designer showing his work. Consumers don’t realize it, but art directors have more involvement in their shopping experience than they know.

By Sandra Sanchez Staff Writer

Baked chips, pop-tarts, and granola

bars are now on the LALA campus. These treats are new vending machines in the cafeteria thanks to the planning of Dominique Reed. When asked why she proposed the idea of vending machines, Dominique replied, “We kept running out of supplies for the student store and everyone was constantly complaining about never having it open. I thought that if we had vending machines that we would all be making so much more money. Before the vending machines, leadership was in charge of running the student store. The store had good business when open, but was often closed due to the lack of merchandise. That plus the added stress it brought on students, led to the idea of having vending machines at LALA.”

Black History Month

How did this happen? Dominique first had to look up companies to deal with. Having found one already associated with Judy, she spoke with the company director. “I made sure all the arrangements were okay with Judy, Brooke, and Mark. I then set up a meeting with Brooke and the company director,” stated Dominique. After signing the contract, the vending machines were brought to campus. Junior Jesus Martinez said, “I believe the vending machines were an extraordinary investment because the money made from the vending machines is being divided into different grade levels.” The money made from the vending machines is to be distributed among all the grade levels. Freshman Yasmin Romo is a fan of the new machine, she said replied, “I feel they’ve improved the cafeteria’s image, and is helpful because some kids don’t even eat lunch.” Students at LALA are content with the vending machines, and now have something else to eat if they decide not to eat the school’s lunch.

“We stand on the shoulders of giants” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Did you know? • Black History Month was created in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson • February was the chosen month because it marks both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass’ birthday • It is celebrated in the U.S and Canada, as well as the United Kingdom(during the month of October)

hhhhhhThe Voice Ch-Ch-Ch Challenge hhhhhh Above, there are Six pictures of African-American leaders The first student to identify ALL leaders should speak to Phyllis Prize: bag of candy + The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson Name ALL six African-American leaders

The Home of Lion Pride


The Voice

February 2013

Opinion & Editorial Open Letter to Dr. Jerry Buss, proud owner of the Los Angeles Lakers Dr. Buss passed away Feb. 19 Dear Dr. Buss, I am writing this letter to say Thank You. In the 1970s, you were a man who was not well known, you were considered just another Los Angeleno. You made some money in real estate, were known for being a gambler, and received a doctorate degree in chemistry from the University of Southern California. Not well known, until you bought the Los Angeles Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke, the man who brought the team from Minnesota. You see Dr. Buss, I was born in Inglewood. It is my birthright to be a Laker fan. A few years later, my mother moved our family to Hawthorne, just two miles away. As an eight-year old boy, I would dream of the day when my team would become a winner, and the team would bring our city together. At the risk of sounding grandiose, just like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I had a dream. I had a dream that one day my Lakers would win a multitude of NBA championships (that’s right 10th graders, I just used multitude in a sentence; it’s a vocab word). I had a dream. I had a dream that one day, no matter where you are from or what you look like; what gender you are, or ethnicity you identify with; what God you pray to or what God you don’t pray to, we would come together. I had a dream that one day, the Lakers would be the reason. The reason for a metropolitan city of 10 million people, of all races and origins, to believe in something together. I had a dream that one day I could walk up to a stranger on the street who is wearing a Lakers shirt, and talk to them about last night’s game. I had a dream. Whether you are from the Westside, or you are an Eastsider, I had a dream. Whether you are from the grassy hills of the San Fernando Valley, or the boardwalks of Long Beach, I had a dream. Whether you are keeping it real in South Central, or down home in Inglewood, I had a dream. The dream that our city would sit at a table as one. One family, one nation: Laker Nation. Then you, Dr. Buss, bought the team in 1979. When you bought the team you know, as I did, that we had good pieces, but that we were missing someone important. Before the season, in the NBA draft, the Lakers drafted a point guard from Michigan State University, and the rest is history. Under your ownership the Lakers became the NBA’s winningest franchise with regular season victories. The team made the NBA Finals 16 times during your 34 years of ownership. There are a total of 10 gold Larry O’Brien trophies at the practice facility in El Segundo where our beloved team trains. Dr. Buss, you understood that making the playoffs was not good enough for us, that the fans expected to win every year. You worked hard to make that thinking possible. During these past 34 years, no other team in sport’s history comes close to us. Dr. Jerry Buss, thank you. Thank you for making my dream come true. You made an eight-year old boy very happy. Sincerely, Al Schleicher

Speech & Debate


“Failure Can Be Opportunity” Anthony Mata Senior

Britain’s World War Two Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We all, as humans, fall short. Not a single person on Earth is perfect, and no one can ever achieve perfection. This is simply a fact of life. We all mess up, we all falter; it is what we do about those failures that shape us. Failure is something that does not define an individual. It is the actions and decisions taken to improve yourself that shapes the individual that you become. 
Former New England Patriots’ owner, Victor Kiam observed that, “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” I would argue further that any movement - even falling on your face - is beneficial, as long as you have the right mindset to improve yourself. I believe that in order to strive for greatness, you must make the realization that mistakes are OK. We need to forgive ourselves for our shortcomings, because we all have them. By remaining optimistic throughout our own self-reflections, then and only then, can we begin to understand the meaning of our own lives.
 Emily Dickinson, one of the greatest American poets, wrote that, “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.” 
 Success is a dream. Dreams are goals. Goals may be missed. Falling short of our goals in inevitable. Without comprehending this inevitability, one won’t be able to see the mistakes that we are continuously making.

The inevitability of failure is ingrained in humanity. We come to recognize that there is no perfection in or around us. Mel Brooks once said, “As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” Every single one of us has messed up. From the moment the sun rises the world is failing, but those who fix their mistakes become better people by the time the sun goes down. The realization of human fallibility should become an instinct, along with realizing that mistakes are OK, that in fact, mistakes are for your own good.
 If you mess up it is not the end of the world. Heck, look at Pee Wee, in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. He constantly messed up anything and everything he did, but everything worked out. Why? Because he had the heart, courage, and endurance to keep moving forward. The biggest problem we all face in our life’s journey is, unfortunately, ourselves. Every person holds themselves back from their full potential, because of fear of failure. If a mistake is made it is essential to forgive yourself in order to move forward. I myself know this feeling. I had let a mistake affect my life, and once I was able to forgive myself, I was able to continue on my own path for success. So can you. The musician Stephen Richards hit it right on the nose, saying, “When you initially forgive, it is like letting go of a hot iron. There is initial pain and the scars will show, but you can start living again.” We decide, we live, we learn. We are the ones who choose. We are the ones to live with the consequences. We are the ones who will create our own understanding. 
Who would not want to be successful? Who would not want to be proud of

the skin and bones he is made of? The motivational speaker Dale Carnegie once said that we must, “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” 
Realizing that mistakes are OK and that they are a part of life is the first step to move forward. The next is to overcome yourself, and forgive yourself. Third is to remain optimistic to keep up your strength and endurance, and then finally you’ll be able to develop your own meaning of life.
 Failure is a blip on the radar, not a defining action or decision. Cinematographer Conrad Hall stated, “You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.”
 Tomorrow is your time. Tomorrow is here. Tomorrow will be gone. Tomorrow our future is decided. Writer Lucy Maud Montgomery raised the question, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it, yet?”

Anthony Mata is a Senior at L.A. Leadership Academy High School. This viewpoint is an edited version of an Orginal Oratory speech.

NASCAR Drivers: Athletes for the 21st Century

Oscar Isem Sophomore

The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway started NASCAR season on February 16, 2013. With every new season, naysayers repeatedly claim that NASCAR drivers are not athletes. They are wrong. NASCAR drivers are one of the most athletic people in most sports. You will be hard pressed to find anybody more athletic than Carl Edwards or Jimmie Johnson. The definition of an athlete is as follows: a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests of physical agility. stamina, or strength. NASCAR drivers need all three. Let us begin with the first section: Physical Agility. On May 17, 2011 ESPN Sport Science tested NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. There was a test that required the tester to touch flashing lights that pop up around the field of vision while calling

out numbers that flash for a split second. The whole time there is a noise equivalent to the sounds of a racetrack blaring around him. Carl averaged times of half a second. After a workout routine that world-class marathon runners do, Carl did the same test again and actually improved by 11 hundredths of a second. That is faster than baseball and football players can do. And on to the second: Stamina. The temperature inside a race car can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The race is over four hours long with no breaks. That’s four hours of being on the edge of control and exhausted. Football players see action for 10 seconds and rest for 20. Ask them to keep it up for 4 hours straight and see how they do. Drivers can lose anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds a race.

The final section is: Strength. The cars weigh 3400 pounds. There G-forces are 2 or 3g, or the amount that astronauts feel when taking off. Some cars can be very difficult to control if they are loose or tight. If a driver wrecks in front of another, the second must force the car to move the direction it wants to. The sport’s biggest names do marathons the day before they race. Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne are examples of this. 54-year old Mark Martin is more fit than many half his age. I challenge Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, and Lionel Messi to be a passenger for one race. They don’t even have to race, just be in the car. See how they look when they come out of that car and tell me NASCAR drivers are not athletes.

February 2013 Vol. 5, Ed. 4  

February issue of The Voice

February 2013 Vol. 5, Ed. 4  

February issue of The Voice