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Leadership Academy The Voice

Volume 5 Edition 6

Newspaper serving the Lincoln Heights community since 2008

May/June 2013

Top Story

Dr. Michelle Tubbs Named New Executive Director of Los Angeles Leadership Academy Founder, Roger Lowenstein retiring after 10 years

Dear LALA Family,

The Changing of the Guard: Dr. Michelle Tubbs, newly hired Executive Director, served as a principal at the Alliance Charter system. Michelle is a graduate of LMU.

Searching for an Elective?

College-prep electives added to 2013-2014 Schedule By Oscar Isem Staff Writer

Los Angeles Leadership Academy High

School is adding several new electives for the 2013-2014 school year. Drama, Journalism, and Sports are now confirmed for next year, with Spanish 3 and Forensics: Policy Debate also on the agenda. Sports Elective was the most popular elective choice by far, in polling done of students during assemblies last month, with Medical English a distant second. The department that will have the biggest number of electives added will be the English Department; it will have 4 more electives. They are Drama 1, Drama 2, Journalism (returning after a one year hiatus), Speech and Debate, Leadership, and Forensics: Policy Debate. Due to the new classes, the English Department will be expanded to 4 teachers. The new teacher will teach English 11 and 12, freeing up space for Mark Campbell to teach Drama. It will also free up space for another English 9 class; this will allow the classes to have fewer students and therefore have more one-on-one time with Ms. U.

Inside This Issue...

Forensics: Policy Debate is a very special elective; it is both similar to Speech and Debate and yet, much more rewarding. Forensics: Policy Debate (FPD) is a 2 vs. 2 debate on a single resolution. A resolution is the topic of a debate. In Speech and Debate (S&D) the resolution changes every so often. In FPD the resolution is the same all year long. This way a student can perfect their points in each debate all year. It will also help them get more comfortable with the topic as time goes on. The resolution for FPD for the 2013-2014 school year will be: The U.S. federal government should substantially increase economic engagement with Mexico, Venezuela, or Cuba. The teacher that will be administering the class, Al Schleicher, will work on making FPD a college-prep “g”elective during the summer. FPD cost $4000 to start, as the cost for joining the National Urban Debate League. The $4000 in funds was raised during the school’s Benefit Dinner held in March. Part of this cost goes towards sponsoring the students in attending a Summer Debate Institute at USC.

Class of 2013 Grad Edition Students say good-bye Pages 3-6

On July 1 I move up to the Board of Directors where I will continue to work on some major projects for the school. It is time. This has been an amazing journey for me, and it is hardly over. I will continue to work on the dual language immersion program in figuring out how best to introduce Mandarin as a third language, so as to create truly trilingual, triliterate and tricultural students in a world where we can anticipate the advantages of choosing a college education in Mexico, China or the United States, or all three. I am also going to work on a plan to scale up our operation into a true CMO, combining seven or eight high performing schools in our community under one shared services umbrella. A CMO with 4-5000 students will be able to access major grants and deliver far more sophisticated professional development and technology use, without sacrificing the mission and passion of our school. I leave the Executive Director role in good hands. Dr. Tubbs is everything that I am not. She is above all an experienced educator with a proven track record of raising student achievement in low income communities.

She is the daughter of immigrants, raised in poverty, lucky to have made it to college because her high school biology teacher saw something in her and told her what to do. Trust me, I’m not putting myself down in comparison; you know I’ve never had self-esteem issues. It’s simply that the skill sets I possess as a lawyer-hustlerlefty politico were excellent skill sets needed to establish the school in its first decade, acquire adequate facilities, focus our mission on social justice --- but they are not necessarily the skill sets needed in the second decade to raise student achievement, to allow our students to develop stamina, and to increase the academic rigor to a level permitting success in college. Dr. Tubbs has those skill sets, and I will dedicate this next period in my life to trying to make sure she gets the opportunity to do what she does best without the distraction of worrying about the air conditioning or the plumbing. So, as I move to the sidelines to transition from player to cheerleader, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this school great. I wish all of you the very best, and in the same way I tell every senior to be sure to come back and visit, I will plan to be here as often as possible to enjoy and admire the growth of the school in the next decade. Yours Always, Roger Lowenstein

Making Money Work for You Economics students play the stock market


very second semester of senior year, Phyllis partners up with LALA board member, Allan M. Rudnick, to teach the seniors in Economics class about personal wealth management and the stock market. The highlight of the semester is the Stock Market Game that Allan organizes. In this game the seniors are challenged to pick a portfolio out of a list of 20 high end stocks and to follow the stock market for six weeks, charting their gains and losses. The five seniors whose imaginary $3,000 investment choices gain the most money over the six weeks win special prizes. The LALA seniors again thank Allan for being so generous to the class. WINNERS OF THE 2013 Stock Market Game - Period One Jasmine Martinez $50 prize Valeria Garay $35 prize - Period TwoCitlalli Velasquez Dodger game ticket donated by board member Rick Rosen Jose Martinez $50 Mattew Alvarez $35

Skateboarding is not a crime The Diary of a Madman Page 7 The Home of Lion Pride

Exclusive Drag Show photos GSA Club sponsored event Page 8


May/June 2013

The Voice

The Voice STAFF

News & Features Graduating Again

Japanese American Museum

LALA’s Class of 2009 become college graduates

Editors-In-Chief: Pablo Espinoza Marito Solis Managing Editor: Joy Woo Copy Editor: David Ortiz Photo Editor: Diana Toj Staff Writers: Marco Aguilar Christian Garcia Bany Guardado Osacr Isem Jesus Martinez Sandra Sanchez Marito Solis Joy Woo Faculty Advisors: 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: thevoice@laleadership. org L.A. Leadership Academy High School Attn: The Voice 234 East Avenue 33 Los Angeles, CA 90031

By Jesus Martinez Staff Writer

On May 24 the junior class went on a field trip to

visit the Japanese American National Museum. Upon arriving, the Juniors were split into different groups and these groups were led by the museum’s tour personnel, called docents. Most of the docents have indeed been in Japanese internment camps during World War Two and have personally struggled with this difficult period of history. While half of the groups toured the Museum’s main building, the other half experienced the Center for Democracy, across the plaza. Each group was assigned activities related to one of eight ethnic Americans who served during WWII. Once assigned our person - African-Americans, women, Chinese Americans, Navajo Code Talkers, etc. - we had to find out all information possible. We had to look for this information in three sections, before the war, during the war and after the war, in areas full of photographs and artifacts. Some individuals (like me) were assigned Bill Terry who was born in Compton, California, and had a very difficult time growing up because of discrimination. Later he wanted to become a pilot for the Air Force but their response was that he was “too big” to be a pilot. Bill Terry went on to become a Tuskegee airman, a group of much decorated but segregated African American pilots. When we went to the main exhibit, focusing on the Japanese American experience, our museum tour guide’s name was Babe and he had experienced first hand the internment camps and told us many personal stories. Other groups were led by Hitoshi, a 92-year-old who moved amazingly fast and who got out of the camps by enlisting and serving in the Philippines.

Senior Advisories By Oscar Isem Staff Writer

The 2013-2014 year will have a new advisory

system set up for Los Angeles Leadership Academy High School. Dear advisers Mark, Phyllis, and Al will be taking on only seniors . All other advisees that would otherwise be with Mark, Phyllis, or Al (Rising Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen) will be channeled into other advisories. Not so long ago, advisories were split by grade levels. The idea was for a teacher to nurture an entire class of students from 9th grade until they graduated. However, with Freshmen being a handful, some teachers did not want to have a class full of just freshmen the first year. Equally important was the idea of allowing the Seniors and Juniors to set an example for the Sophomores and Freshmen. That is why for the last two years, classes were mixed 9-12. Fast forward two years and we have bigger classes and a lot more work for our college counselor, Erin Kim and new advisors. She needed focused help from teachers regarding the Senior class, from people who knew them well. Previously, Erin had to check up on every Senior individually, spread through 13 advisories. The new Senior-only advisories will be dedicated to helping the Seniors meet all

By Marito Solis Staff Writer

This summer, Los Angeles Leadership

Academy will see their second graduating class, class of 2009, graduate from college. In this list of students are Luis Peñate, Carlos Lima, and Kevin Solis. Luis Peñate will be graduating from Swarthmore College, a small private and elite liberal arts college in Philadelphia, with a bachelors in Latin American Studies and a minor in Educational Studies. Kevin Solis will be graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a large public and worl- renowned research institution, with a bachelors in Sociology and Social Welfare. Carlos Lima will graduate from the University of California-Berkeley, a large public and prestigious research university, with a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. College life is known to be very different from that of high school. One of the biggest boundaries these LALA graduates faced was the change in workload. They had to change their study habit because unlike high school, everything is not planned out for you. As Luis Peñate put it, “I had to learn how to manage my time effectively to ensure that I was meeting all my responsibilities: academic work, extracurricular activities, and campus jobs.” A shared experience between them would be that they have or will study abroad. Luis spent 4 months in Ecuador and Kevin spent 5 months in Peru. Carlos will be studying abroad in Scotland for 3 months this winter. This experience is an opportunity that has allowed them to either learn a language or perfect their second language such as learning Portuguese or perfecting Spanish. Being in a different culture also allowed them to try new foods and immerse themselves in another culture. Through this, they have “realized that the classrooms is not the only place were knowledge and learning happens and that you have to be open to learning experiences in all parts of your life.” Each had his own unique experience in college. Just like studying abroad, they faced a culture shock when moving to their schools. deadlines and overall be ready to graduate. Talking to a few different sources resulted in a different opinion from each one. Current Freshman Miguel Ahumada, one of Mark’s current advisees, stated, “I feel upset because Mark is a great advisor. I feel that everyone should get the opportunity to be with him. The [rising]Seniors already know Mark.” Rising Senior Jesus Martinez praised the courage of the teachers willing to take on a class full

For example, Carlos witnessed a large gay community in Berkeley. Not being familiar with it at this magnitude, it took time to grow accustomed to it and even develop respect in their cause. In Luis and Kevin’s cases, they attended schools which are predominantly Caucasian and middle-class which brought its advantages and disadvantages. Luis found that it was a disadvantage. Being a student of color at Swarthmore has been difficult for him because although, “Swarthmore admits students from low achieving schools, they do not offer the resources for those students who want to study math and science.” Also, during times when racial or homophobic incidents occur on campus, the school does not address the root of the problem but instead overlooks the opinions of students who ask for action to take place. Kevin managed to turn the fact of being one of the few Hispanic students in the school to his advantage. In a school where teachers, student and nearby communities are mainly Caucasian, teachers were able to remember his name. As many students moving to college will notice, that is something to prize. When asked about what things they could have done better their freshman year, each alumni had their own experiences. Luis faced a heavy workload which could not be finished with minimum effort. For him, working on study habits and skills was something very important to accomplish. It meant finding an efficient way to read hundreds of pages for multiple classes and then writing about them. For Kevin, improving freshman year would have come by learning to seek out help. When taking classes he knew very little to nothing about, he wishes he had taken advantage of tutoring. For Carlos, freshman year could have been better if he had maybe taken fewer courses. Ultimately, it was up to them to figure out how to manage their work. As Luis said, “No more hand holding like at LALA, I was an adult, I had to take responsibility for myself.”

of Seniors. “There will be more work and stress. The good part is that each teacher has [the rising Seniors’] respect. The [ rising]Senior class will bond more because they will be together instead of all over the school.”

The Voice

May/June 2013

Class of 2013 Graduation Edition

Sayonara Seniors

Roger’s Parting Wishes to the Senior Class:

The Class of 2013 will forever be special in my heart. It is my last class as Executive Director. I will never forget you; I will count you all as my friends forever. On July 1, I move up to the Board of Directors where I will continue to work on some major projects for the school. So I guess I am an honorary member of the Class of 2013 -- I am graduating, too. In the same way you LALA graduates have an unformed and critical chunk of time in front of you that is counting on you alone to shape it into something meaningful, I will be doing the same, so let’s meet often and compare notes. Nunca adios; hasta la proxima vez! The Home of Lion Pride



The Voice

May/June 2013

Class of 2013 Graduation Edition

Rite of Passage for Kings and Queens

By Bany Guardado Staff Writer

By Marco Aguillar Staff Writer

On a beautiful Saturday, May 18, most of

the senior class attended the most memorable experience this year besides prom, grad night. Although several seniors blamed the administration for not being able to go, it was still a memorable experience for those who attended the event. Everyone seemed to be having a great time; people were screaming and yelling from all the excitement in the atmosphere. Once the LALA crew arrived at DisneyLand and California Adventure, everyone dispersed into groups to have the most amazing time of their lives. At first the lines of every ride appeared to be crowded because of all the families who were still there, but once the day came closer to the time of regular park closing,the night belonged to the class of 2013. Even though everyone wasn’t able to get on every single ride at both parks, the day turned out better than anyone could have ever imagined. “Grad night was an unforgettable day filled with laughter and amusement,” said Kimberly Cruz, who tends to be the life of the party. Kimberly also observed that her most memorable experience was actually enjoying herself with the rest of the seniors, instead of going on all the rides. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Kimberly Cruz speaks for all of us when she says she enjoyed herself because she got to hang out with some of senior class. Luckily, things didn’t get out of hand at grad night and no one was arrested or caught with anything illegal. There were some pretty bizarre and funny moments at the event.

“I just saw a girl faceplant but that’s about it,” said Jose Serrano. Kimberly Cruz also noticed something unusual when she claims to have seen a girl wearing inappropriate tight leather leggings. Besides that, the whole day was very mellow and everyone enjoyed different areas of the park. Disneyland has numerous rides to choose from and the strategy for everyone that day was to get on their favorite rides first. Seniors went on rides ranging from the simple ones to the extreme ones, from Alice’s spinning teacups to California Screamin’. Overall, the rides that seemed to be favored the most were: Radiator Springs Racers,Space Mountain,The Little Mermaid:Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and (my own personal favorite) The Tower of Terror. Once the day was getting closer to an end, areas of California Adventure had little clubs opened where people could go to if they felt like dancing.The majority of the LALA crew spend their time at the little club in Cars Land. Everyone was having a good time and people were busting moves everywhere you looked.For those who didn’t go dance,they experienced shorter lines or no line at all for each ride. At 1:30 am the event came to an end the seniors made their way to the bus. Although the day was already done,everyone at LALA wished grad night lasted longer since it was so amazing.”It was pretty awesome, the shops, the people, and especially the rides,” said Jose Serrano. Grad night is definitely a night the class of 2013 will remember.


ll through the 2012-2013 the Senior Class worked really hard to have the prom of their dreams. Although this dream seem too expensive to be accomplished, “Plan A” was still carried on, no matter what. The seniors held a series of fundraisers, like carwashes, Christmas Grams, noodle soup sales, and many more. The way was not easy but with the support of everyone at school it was possible to pull off a magical floating night. The seniors decided to have their prom at FantaSea Yatchs, an event venue where weddings, parties, and proms happen every year at a not-so-low cost. For this dreamy yatch the Class of 2013 had to pay about $7,000. Although there was a lot of consternation about collecting such amounts of money, the class came together and worked hard to show they were capable. At the end of the day they were able to have all the money that they needed to pay the deposit for the venue, and were able to arrange payments throughout the year. All this was thanks to Isabel Fong who worked closely with the “yacht people.” After a whole year of waiting and troubles, the seniors enjoyed a night that only happens once in their lives, accompanied by friends, dates, and classmates. Jordan Blevins commented that, “Prom was spectacular! It was beautiful, well organized, and everything was just perfect.” And although many of them don’t get all fancy everyday, Joy Woo said that prom was just, “Awesome!!!!!!!! I felt like a rich person and I loved being near the water and being able to look out in a calm sea at night!!!!” The students were not the only ones that were able to enjoy the fruits of their work; teachers and administrative staff all had fun and enjoyed spending some good quality time with the seniors before they leave school to start their new lives. The grown-ups not only enjoyed the company of everyone but also fun things that like the photo booth. As Phyllis remarked, “The photo booth was an amazingly successful part of prom - seniors loved it! I, myself, have a few crazy pictures of me and Al and Enrique on my refrigerator.” The whole night was simply awesome. Anthony Matta said it best when he observed, “It was one of the most memorable nights of my life - dancing with friends, being there with the teachers and mentors who have shaped me made the night incredible.” We hope that next year the class of 2014 is able to enjoy their prom as much as we did.

May/June 2013

The Voice

Class of 2013 Graduation Edition CSU-Humbodlt Thomas Blatnik Araceli Gracia

UC Berkeley Anthony Mata Adriana Soto Marito Solis

CSU-Fullerton Jasmin Chavez

CSU-Northridge Albert Carrasco Adolfo Cristobal Barbara Gonzalez Jennifer Guardado Wafik Milian Ignacio Silva CSU-East Bay Jordon BlevinsTrevino Linda Fuentes Jose Serrano

UC Merced Zuleyma Guillermo Angela Maldonado Mayra Solano Bryan Thomas

Pasadena City College Guadalupe Aguilar Karla Contreras Valeria Garay Arturo Lopez Jennifer Marquez Karen Partida Jose Ramos-Duran Janine Reyes Dulce Tellez Maria Valadez

CSU-Channel Island Isabel Fong

CSU-Monterey Bay Kimberly Cruz CSU-Los Angeles Marco Aguilar Gustavo Birrueta Kimberly PenaCastro Kimberly Ramirez Veronica Ramirez Carla Ruelas

CSU-Long Beach Melocious Galarza

Mount Saint Mary’s College Jasmin Martinez

All the Places They’ll Go... Syracuse University Jose Martinez

Juniata College Joy Woo

Union College Dominique Reed

Dickinson College David Ortiz

Georgetown University Citlalli Velasquez

Hope College Bany Guardado

The Home of Lion Pride



The Voice

May/June 2013

Class of 2013 Graduation Edition

Camping for Comraderie Senior tradition continues as year comes to an end

By Joy Woo Staff Writer

On May 12-14, 2013, most of the Los Angeles Leadership Academy High School Seniors went on a camping trip to the Los Angeles National Forest. These seniors had the pleasure of skipping school for three days by: hiking, playing sports, eating smores. They also put up with the one displeasure of having no showers.

As soon as the students reached the camping grounds, they were told that they wouldn’t be able to eat as much food as they had wanted because of a food shortage. So the staff had to count up what we had and plan accordingly when it came to how much the students could eat. It was a struggle, but an anonymous senior stated, “I lost a lot of weight from the Camping Trip!” One of the major highlights during this time was that right afterwards the seniors went on a tour of their camp site and , the head chaperone and Urban Farming teacher, almost stepped on a rattlesnake. The Seniors were able to hear a shrill girl like scream that happened to come out from none other than Igancio Silva. A lot of the Seniors had fun with the staff and Jordan couldn’t help but comment, “ When Arturo and I scared Doris because we saw a tent, way off in the distance at night. Doris thought we were going to die...” And as much comedic experiences there were with the staff, Abeni, the YPI site coordinator, came and made all of the seniors sit in a circle and talk about the future and the past. The mood quickly shifted from carefree to serious and the seniors started to share their stories. Bany stated, “ I got to know my classmates better and truly understand who they are.” Overall, the immense amount of hiking and free time led many students to miss home. For many, the night hikes helped dispel their homesick feelings. Adriana Soto stated, “I enjoyed the night hikes.” Under the night sky, the city born children couldn’t help but stand in awe and regard the stars just as they wonder over their own dreams. The camping trip enabled the Seniors to make everlasting memories with one another and realize that though they may lose contact, the memories will last forever. Someday they will all say for a fact that the Senior Camping trip was fun.

Senior Moments As the seniors head into the final stretch of their High School careers, they reflect on the past and leave us with these words of wisdom. Jose Serrano : “ Don’t slack off because in the end it will effect your entire college process, you’ll thank me later.” Anthony Mata: “Keep your head in the books, and don’t smoke weed.” The Jasmins: “ Get involved with activities, stay motivated, take advantage of your resources and ask for help if you need it.” Juan: “ Try your best and don’t mess around.” Pablo Espinoza: “Read books and be social, join speech and debate.” Bryan Lopez: “Always be on top of your work.” Valeria Bolanos: “ Know your priorities and have a goal that can be attained.” Kimberly Cruz: “These past four years have been crazy! I enjoyed all the positive and negative things that I have done. I will not miss you all! GO OTTERS! Citlalli Velasquez: “As much as students complain about LALA, they’ve gotten us into college, we’ve had awesome times like Gradnite, prom and the camping trip. I will always reminisce about my high school friends and teachers.” Marito Solis: “GO BEARS!” Matthew Alvarez: “Do you even TACO?” Arturo “Churro” Lopez: “How do I taco?” Isabel Fong: “M2, my Asian, Bany and Mark. You guys are simply the best.” Jordan Trevino: “How can I be the Hokage if I can’t even save one friend?”

May/June 2013

The Voice

News & Feature Study Abroad Continues

Students accepted to Summer and Year-long Opportunities

Speaking Out for Day of Silence Students observe day in order to draw attention

By Sandra Sanchez Staff Writer

Los Angeles Leadership Academy took

Learning by Doing: (From left) Alejandra Morales, Aisli Valencia, Diana Toj, Everlyn Robles and Anna Hernandez are all on their way to distant lands to study By Marco Aguilar Staff Writer

Over the past years, a unique group of

students have chosen to study abroad in different parts of the world. With the help of College Counselor Erin Kim, the possibility becomes reality. At the beginning of the year, Erin meets up with students to gauge their interest in the study abroad program. Once accepted, Erin does her best to assist the students who go abroad by helping them take online classes like APEX. Overall, Erin Kim says that everyone will have an amazing time and that this experience will be “life changing.” In the 2011-2012 school years, individuals like Citlali Velasquez, Yareli Jimenez, and Marito Solis studied in places like Egypt, Italy, and Turkey. This year, four students were chosen to study abroad. Some of these students like Alejandra Morales, Diana Toj, and Aisli Valencia will be studying abroad during the summer, while others like Anna Hernandez and Evelyn Robles will study for an entire year. Erin Kim says she has high expectations for Anna Hernandez and Evelyn Robles, but isn’t worried at all since they tend to overachieve at everything. Everyone of these individuals will study in different parts of China except Evelyn Robles, who will spend her year in Kazan, Russia. Evelyn Robles says, “I’m very open-minded about everything and want to take up new skills and sports.” Anna Hernandez, who will spend her year in Changzhou, China, has no second thoughts about leaving and is ready to take on this new obstacle. Others of the group are also very anxious to leave, but are feeling a bit nervous as well.

The majority of students say they have yet to practice their language and learn about the new lifestyle they will be living in. Although they have never been out of the country or been on a plane before, this group of intellectuals will definitely overcome any challenge that comes their way. To take a look at what the new generation of students are in for, we here at The Voice took it upon ourselves to ask some of the veterans what they thought were some effective methods they used to help them adjust to their new environments. Dominique Reed, who studied abroad in Peru last year, said she carried around a dictionary everyday to get used to speaking her new language. Marito Solis and Citlali Velasquez used similar techniques to learn their language, but say that just speaking the language everyday as much as possible helped them memorize the words. Marito Solis advises the upcoming abroad students to go out as much as possible and learn about the culture. He says one of the disadvantages he had was having his own room, which made him want to stay indoors a lot more instead of going outside and exploring his new community. He also says from his experience he knows everyone will enjoy themselves because you’re alone, independent, and will make the decisions you want. We here at The Voice wonder if there is a reason behind the fact that a majority of LALA’s students going abroad have been female or if it’s just coincidence. Well, according to College Counselor Erin Kim, “Girls are braver than boys and they are more willing to take a risk.”

part in the Day of Silence on April 19, 2013. Day of Silence is a day to support those who have been silenced through bullying. Here at LALA, students, teachers, and staff participated by vowing to stay silent the whole day, as observant students wore the mini-flyers promoting the event. The main organizer of this event was Jac Russell and the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) Club. When asked how the event was planned, Jac said,“We used what we did the previous year, and we used things off the internet. Principal Brooke Soles helped us by giving us her opinions and suggestions.” While most students did participate by staying silent, there were others who did not. Freshman Juan Espinoza didn’t participate but he said, “I thought the Day of Silence informed people of how others were silenced, and how it hurt people to be silent.” Junior Diana Toj who helped Jac pass out bracelets said, “It was not too difficult to stay silent, but I did notice that being silent forced me to find other ways to do/say things.” Here at Los Angeles Leadership Academy, the idea of standing up for what you believe in and voicing your opinions is applauded and highly recognized. Not only was the Day of Silence a way for us to support those who have been silenced, but it also showed LALA the loudest cries can be those not heard. As Jac Russell explained, “For me, personally, being silent for so long, and being LGBT was hard. Most young LGBT students are oppressed because in this day and age it is not talked about. To see people participate warms my heart because I’m starting the conversation.”

GSA Club Meetings on Thursdays in the community room ALL students welcome

Students Organize Skateboarding Competition Diary of a Madman By Christian Garcia Staff Writer

The thought that would later grow into

Los Angeles Leadership Academy’s First Annual Skateboarding Competition was born in middle school. I attended Florence Nightingale, a good school that had ignited my drive for competition and the need to participate in sports. As I grew older I felt that I needed a sport of my own that would fit my style and needs, so a friend of mine handed me a skateboard and my love for the sport immediately took off. Nightingale Middle School has a yearly Football Carnival and Track Meet where representatives from each homeroom compete against each other for supremacy. To prepare for the event, school staff move bleachers and benches from

Sponsored by local skate shop, students compete for prizes

around the school to the blacktop where the event would take place; everyday I saw those benches, and I imagined it as a arena. An arena where people would come watch competitors skate and enjoy a sport that many people did not yet recognize but is getting bigger as the years pass. I knew I wanted to create a skateboarding event, but at that time I didn’t know how to, so it stayed as a thought in my head. When I came here to LALA I had heard from administration that people with ideas for clubs or events should bring them up for consideration, and once again my hopes for creating a skating event arose. To launch the event I had to first consult Assistant Principal Judee Fernandez on whether or not my event would be allowed here at school. After a few weeks of going over the details and planning a date for the

event, I had to find a teacher willing to give time out of their day to chaperone. I immediately turned to my advisor, Ms. U. It was nice to know that my favorite teacher was there to help me out. With the help of my friend, Bryan Lopez, we found a waiver form template to use for those who were going to compete. For legal reasons, students would have to sign a waiver form stating that they understand the risks of skating and that the school would not assume the cost of injuries they might suffer. With the collaboration of Judy, Brooke, and Roger the administration managed to better the waiver form. Once the legal issues were out of the way, I decided to ask for donations from a local skate shop in Cypress called Maintain. The owner of the shop donated three skateboards and four shirts that

The Home of Lion Pride

would later be distributed to the winners of the competition. I have to admit the day of the event was pretty nerve-racking. This nervous feeling soon turned into excitement as it was finally sinking in that my dream of creating a skateboarding event was coming true. The crowd that day might have been small but their cheers for us were not. As they cheered the five skaters on, I felt a sense of satisfaction knowing that I had accomplished my goal: the goal of revealing a sport and igniting an interest in it. For all of the teachers and some of the students in attendance, they learned skating moves, terminology, and the skill required for this sport. At the end of the day, I might not have been first in the competition but I definitely left a winner knowing I had accomplished my dream of creating a skate competition.



The Voice

News & Features

NatureBridge: Channel Islands By Oscar Isem Staff Writer

On the week of May 27, 2013 the

sophomore class of Los Angeles Leadership Academy (LALA) had the privilege of going on a camping trip to the Channel Islands- the island of Santa Cruz to be exact. For the most part, the sophomores feel that the trip once again tightened the bonds between them that might have disappeared at one point, or even helped mend old grudges they once they had. The sophomore boys went camping from May 27-May 29. The sophomore girls went camping May 29- May 31. The reason for having the two genders camp separately was that last year there was a small disturbance when the then freshmen went on a camping trip to the Santa Monica Mountains. As a result, LALA administration felt that it would be best if the camping trips this year were split by gender, as having a full class of 50-60 students go in a single trip would be too much and having only 20-30 students go per trip would be easier for all. The agenda for both trips was the same. On the first day both went on an hour-long drive to Ventura, where a boat waited to take both on another hour-long trip to Santa Cruz. Once there, they both had to bring in supplies and sleeping gear to the camp site, which was nearly a mile away from the pier where the boat disembarked. The boys made two round trips, which was roughly three miles and a half, to take in all the gear. The girls only needed one trip since the boys took all the tents three days before. After setting up, both groups went on a short one-mile hike. On the first evening, the girls went on the three mile Cavern hike to one of the highest points on the island to view a spectacular sunset.

On the second day both groups went on an eight and a half mile hike that took most of the day. The terrain was difficult, with the trail going over two mountains. The first leg of the trip, a three and a half mile hike to Smuggler’s Cove was pretty easy going, with the elevation rising gradually. Once at Smuggler’s Cove, both the boys and girls ate lunch and had a rest before turning back. The hike back was much harder, with the climb up much steeper. If that wasn’t enough, the boys were battered by wind the entire time, at once point clocking in a 36.3 miles per hour. The girls saw milder winds, about 15 miles per hour slower. On the third day the guys packed up their gear and headed out for the docks. A final hike was planned but due to weather it was canceled. The only boat ride back to Ventura came at 12:30 to take the boys home. This bad weather led to an incredibly bumpy boat ride for the girls coming to the island, with five of them succumbing to sea sickness. For the boys, the drive back after landing took nearly twice as long as the drive there. In the end, the guys got back around 4-5 pm Wednesday. The girls had a smoother departure. They packed up the tents and most took everything to the dock, since they also left early. It took them two trips. The girls arrived at LALA 2 pm Friday. Overall, the trip was a success. The students feel closer than ever and many expressed newfound friendship. However, the boys’ trip was nearly derailed from the start. A mishap with the bus left all the guys stranded with only an hour and a half to go before the boat left. The bus did not show up when it was supposed to, and were it not for chaperone Angela’s (8th grade science teacher) quick thinking; the boys’ side of the trip would have been nonexistent. Angela appropriated the middle school van, and along with Lora and Lonnita’s cars, took the boys to Ventura with minutes to spare.

May/June 2013

10th grade adventures to Santa Cruz

The sophomore community would like to thank Lora, Lonnita, Angela, Phyllis, Kathleen, LALA alumni Jose Hernandez and Yosselin Melgar, and NatureBridge for this opportunity. Special thanks to Board member, Beth Bernstein- for finding the funding the sophomore class needed.

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