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April 8, 2011 Volume XIV Issue VII


Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School

New Year, New Budget by Crystal Rivas and Jacqueline Romero

Bravo Students’ Unique Fashion by Liliana Sanchez Elma Novoa (’11)

1. How would you describe your personal style? My style is casual yet classy, bold but not flashy. I love to try new things and put different trends together. As long as I’m comfortable, I’m not afraid to put random things together and wear them. 2. What makes your style unique? I think my style is unique because H&M is my favorite store. I don’t only shop there, but I also love to go to thrift stores and yard sales. They always have old things, but I always tend to make it work. 3. Who or what inspires your style? Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer, Chictopia. com. Chictopia is where I look for inspirations the most because there are so many vintage and boho styles that I can relate to the most. Chelsea Goranson (’11)

1. How would you describe your personal style? My style is spontaneous and comfortable; I’m always trying to mix things up. I try to be as creative as possible when it comes to my outfits and accessories, while still being comfortable. 2. What makes your style unique? I feel that my style is unique because I compile different trends together and I put my own spin to them. I’ll take any article of clothing (my wardrobe consists primarily of hand-me-downs or homemade clothes) and try to rock the styles in my own personal way. 3. Who or what inspires your style? My mood tends to be what inspires my style; I dress according to my emotions. If I’m feeling grouchy or tired, I’ll most likely tuck in a baggy shirt or throw on my combat boots. If I’m happy or smitten, I’ll rock a flirty dress or skirt.

“As a school, we always tried to use our money wisely. Next year is going to be more difficult.”

Walking around the hallways, you may have noticed signs on classroom doors saying, “Will I still be teaching here?” referring to the 2011-2012 school year. Teachers are not just doing this to inform you, but simply to show their widespread concern for our education and their jobs. Our 2011-2012’s school budget will suffer a negative impact due to LAUSD’s cuts. Our school will be forced to cut down on counselors, teachers, administrators, classes, instructional materials, instructional coaches, office clerks, and other extra educational benefits, such as adult school and Saturday school. President Obama had provided stimulus money for educational purposes in schools; we had received $560,000. Unfortunately, that stimulus money had completely stopped. Mrs. Torres-Flores stated that, “As a school, we always tried to use our money wisely. Next year is going to be more difficult.” Our budget for the upcoming year will be restricted to approximately $1.1 million. In the previous years, Bravo has had 10 clerks, but due to our student count, our budget will only qualify for 5 clerks. The LAUSD norm is an 800:1 ratio for counselors in magnet schools, which will give us enough funding for 3 counselors due to our 1863 student body. Nonetheless, this causes an increment in our classrooms sizes, from 27:1 (which was the size our classrooms were built to accommodate) to 36:1. Furthermore, as class sizes increase, the number of both teachers and classes begin to decrease. As our education is being taken away little by little, it makes it much harder to receive the education we deserve. As of next year, all funding for Adult School, Dental Assistance, Medical Record, and Medical Terminology classes will be cut. Saturday school, after school classes, and field trips (if not completely cut)

will be downsized. There will also be a possibility that summer school will be charging fees for any classes that will be retaken. On the bright side, the Regional Occupation Program (ROP) will still be offering their classes and hopefully more. Moreover, transportation has also been affected by the budget. Although it has not been officially stated, the mile radius will increase which will force students to find their own transportation. This greatly affects our student enrollment, which will reduce our budget even more since a school is given money based on the amount of students. Mrs. Torres-Flores hopes to be able to afford at least one or two counselors and possibly afford a few more teachers. However, the biggest priority is funding for the classrooms in order to maintain the appropriate lesson plans for the students. It’s going to be a lot harder for teachers to adapt to the new rules. They will have a decrease in funding for classrooms, which will affect their ways of teaching. Fortunately, Bravo is filled with caring teachers who will try their hardest to teach their students in every beneficial manner that is possible. Students should be aware of the changes going on and try to improve our school's hardships. In order to make the state and federal senators aware of the negative effects that our student body is receiving, students can write letters and have them try to reconsider our school’s budget. Any quantity of money received will help us recover the things we have lost. Mrs. Torres-Flores is trying her hardest and best to use the money wisely, but it is very difficult to have our school running the same with the lack of money. As she explains, “Students are the future, and need to be educated…You don’t educate our youth and what do you have to look forward to?” With that in consideration, everyone will be trying their best, including all staff members and concerned students, including you.

Splashing Into the New Season by Maggie Esule

“This season, I'm confident that we'll do our best and we won't disappoint.”

Bravo’s Swim Team kicked off their new season in March and results from recent meets suggest a promising season for our fellow Knights. Although they faced changes like a new coach and shortened practice time, the team still manages to stay on top. All their hard work shines through, as they breeze through meets. Despite the fact that Bravo lacks a pool of its own and the swim team’s practice time is limited, they find a way to make the most out of practice. Swim co-captain, Thanida Pattana (’11), explains, “Sadly, our time in the pool has been very limited this year but we try to put in as much effort as we can into our 1.5 hour practices on the two or three days of practice we get. A handful of our swimmers even go to the pool on their own time to practice, too!” With every new season, there is bound to be a few changes and possibly some disorder. This doesn’t faze Thanida or fellow swimmer, Brian Lam (’12), one bit. Thanida responds to the new season by saying “Every season is different because people come and go. Regardless, I am proud of our team for trying their best. That's all anybody could really ask for.” One might think that with people constantly coming and going, a sense of unity and teamwork may be hard to find. This is not the case. Brian expresses, “There's definitely a big sense of teamwork involved. We're called a swim team for a reason. Yeah, we may do our own thing during practices, but our teamwork really shines during meet days.”

As focused and hardworking as the team is, it’s hard to imagine them being nervous about any aspect of the sport. However, as Brian Lam explains, “There's always a sense of nervousness before a meet. I'm always pretending that my opponent swims faster than I do. That's what drives me to beat them in the end. However, I'm confident about competing; I know that I've practiced extensively and to the best of my abilities. Overall, I just try to have fun.” A new season also means new goals. The team has set plenty of goals, both as an entire team and individually. Thanida brings up, “Every year, we make it a goal to do our best, which usually results in several victories for our frosh/ soph and varsity teams. This is also my senior year, so I hope that we, as a team, make the most of this season, have fun, and have no regrets.” Brian also adds, “We've steamrolled through our first few meets, so only good things can come at this rate. At the moment, our main goal is to just practice hard, beat Eagle Rock and Marshall, and have every swimmer make it to city finals!” Lastly, Thanida shares a few thoughts on this season; “This season, I'm confident that we'll do our best and we won't disappoint. Swim season has always been my favorite time of the year because I'm bound to make lasting memories and the team becomes more like a family to me. Besides, they're all like my little babies and I love them all!” The team has been working feverishly to make this a successful season. No matter what the outcome, it’s important that Bravo Knights support the team by cheering them on and attending fundraisers. There are plenty of meets coming up against teams, such as Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Eagle Rock, and Marshall. That means that there will be plenty of opportunities to wish the best of luck for Bravo’s Swim Team!

Meet Your Prom Court Santana House’s 4th Annual Prom Connection by Liliana Sanchez

The Santana House Youth Action Center hosted its 4th annual Prom Connection on March 26. Seniors from Wilson, Roosevelt, Garfield, Lincoln, and Bravo High School attended Prom Connection in search of the perfect prom dress. The Santana House gave away free designer dresses, jewelry, and shoes that were generously donated by various companies and individuals.

Several girls waited outside As five girls were allowed upstairs at a time to look for dresses. The people who arrived early had first choice of dresses and accessories.

Vincet Ung What differentiates you from the other prom king candidates? I’m Asian, kid. I’m also representing the basketball team. What do you think about the current turmoil going on when it comes to uniquely asking a girl to Prom? I think that depending on how you view that person, you should or you should not decide to buy the ticket for her. Melissa Aparicio Why do you want to run for prom queen? I wanted to run for prom queen because I wanted to make my Senior year epic and make new life memories. Besides, if I don’t win I still get to be a princess. What is your take on a girl asking a guy to prom? I think that since we go to a girl-dominated school, it’s very likely that girls will be asking boys to prom. I think it shows confidence when a girl asks a guy to prom. However, I’m a sucker for cute, romantic attempts by guys asking the lucky girl to prom.

Girls sat patiently and chatted for hours as they waited for their number to be called.

Tanjina Sheikh (’11) scoured the dress rack for a dress her size. Various colors, lengths, and sizes were available for even the fussiest of girls.

After choosing a dress, girls made their way downstairs to pick matching shoes.

Tanjina Sheikh (’11) and Kyrie Bucog (’11) looked at accessories to match their prom dresses. Tanjina said, “I am so grateful for this opportunity. Now I’ve found my dress and shoes, I can stop worrying about how much I will spend for prom.”

Shelby Renee Roberts Who do you represent as a prom queen candidate? I represent all the average kids who want prom to be a night worth remembering. I also represent el barrio. What makes you different from the other girls? Well, I am not the most school spirited, prettiest, or even smartest of the girls, but I think I am the most unique with my tattoos and attitude I am sure I can make you laugh.

by Lizbet Flores From left to right: Allen Situ, Rebecca Ly, Vicente Carrillo, Nicole Henderson, Vincent Ung, Jasmin Joya, Nelson Tobar, Shelby Roberts, Melissa Aparacio, and Sarkis Bakalyan

I’d hope it would be a mix of both, sort of the best of both worlds: to support Dances, and hopefully, I’ve represented myself well as an individual person (you know, the 12-year-old-looking-4-feet-11-inches-tallnerd-who-smiles-a-bit-too-much-and-laughs-a-littletoo-often). Jasmin Joya Briefly describe your ideal prom night. I would have to say picking up all the friends up in the limo along with goofing off, possibly playing ninja like we did at Six Flags, meeting up with my unknown prom date, and just having a blast with everyone in the senior class. When prom is over I’d like to go to In’ n Out with friends. I heard that they let seniors eat free that night and it’s the perfect midnight craving. How will you react if you win prom queen? My mouth will drop, I probably won’t believe it, and I’ll most likely tell anyone near my reach “ pinch me I’m dreaming” or “can you repeat the name,” then I’ll jump up and down like a crazy person. Of course I will instantly get my phone and call my mom and tell her “mom, I did it all for you, now you and I are both queens” and probably tear up. I will most definitely be extremely proud because I represented all those “jock girls” and the shy girls.

Nelson Tobar How confident do you feel about winning? I’m not really sure. I’m trying not to focus so much on winning, I just wanted to make my senior year memorable by doing something fun and I thought this was the perfect way. Sarkis Bakalyan Who do you consider the hardest competition? What do you think about the current turmoil going on when it I think everyone is on an even playing field. We’re all comes to uniquely asking a girl to Prom? very different from each other and have different sets Well, all girls want to be asked in an awe-inspiring of friends so I think it’s anyone’s game. fashion, and guys try to go all out wasting their precious dinero. To me, it doesn’t matter how expensive the Allen Situ question is, but how creative it is. I know I wouldn’t What has encouraged you to run? waste money just to ask because the answer might I did it because I wanted to do something different still be “No.” than what I’ve done in my previous years of high Would you be surprised if you did not get crowned as Prom school. I never really applied for any position in any King? group or club and wanted to try it out. Also, I did it Not at all. I do have some tough competition and because I noticed I had a lot of support from many that’s where it gets interesting. Anyone can win. It’s all friends. a matter of campaign advertising now. Why should people vote for you? I try to be me and not someone else. I crack corny Vicente Carrillo science/math jokes on the spot even if I’ve never met How much will you cry if you do not win? the person before. I try not to offend anyone though. If I lose I will cry my eyes out. I will drop out of school I also try to assist my fellow students to the best of my and enter a deep depression where I will only feed ability. of off sadness. The world and life will no longer have meaning to me. If it is possible I will take senior year Nicole Henderson once again and will run a second time. If at first you How does it feel to run for Prom Queen against your best friend, don’t succeed then try, try again. That’s my motto! Shelby? Why should you be chosen over the other prom king candidates? If Shelby wins the crown and becomes Prom Queen, I should be chosen because I am superior in every I will never speak to her again. Just kidding guys! aspect. One hair on my head is more talented than Through this entire election, I don’t see it as running any other candidate. And that is just my hair. Imagine against each other but more so as running with each how much talent I posses. I amaze myself every day. other. This was just another activity we did to make our night more memorable as Prom Princess’s for the evening. We will be there to support each other, Rebecca Ly regardless of who wins. Do you have any “Prom Drama?” Drama? Well, I was honestly really insecure about How are Prom preparations going for you? even the thought of picking up an application and As far as campaigning, things are coming along pretty filling it out, because I don’t fit into the “type.” And smooth. The whole process is very exciting and it was months before I actually agreed to do it, but I memorable. I don’t want to reveal much else as far as suppose the turning point was one day where I was the idea and theme behind my campaign, you guys told “your brother left a legacy here, and maybe it’s will just have to wait and see! Now when it comes to time for you, too.” This isn’t exactly the most exciting preparing for Prom itself, I am proud to say that for the most part I am ready. It is truly going to be an drama, but yeah. Do you think people will vote for you as a representative of unforgettable night. Dances of The World or as the individual that you are?

On Making A Sometimes School Spirit It Yourself Food by Leah Manacop

by Alyssa Luna

As a result of websites like and, I was inspired to try my own hand at making clothing and accessories. I would find myself browsing through these websites, loving that skirt, that dress, and that laptop sleeve. However, having no previous experience with sewing machines or drafting patterns, I was hesitant as to how to start. One weekend, I decided to make my own laptop sleeve. But without a sewing machine (or the experience to even use one), I quickly became discouraged and realized that I lacked all the supplies needed. After much pondering, I reached for a thrifted vest I had bought months before. I suddenly found myself with a sewing needle in hand and vest in the other, drawing up the pattern in my mind. Hours and dozens of pinpricks later, I had created my first project. Moral of the story: if you really set your mind to something, don’t let lack of experience discourage you. The internet is an extensive source for sewing patterns and tips for beginners. There are also a variety of blogs run by exceptionally kind do-ityourself-ers who are always ready to answer any questions. Happy sewing!

Another piece of our childhood has died. Cookie Monster, due to the blatant disregard of nutritional health indicative of his character, has become the poster child and indefeasible source of childhood obesity in the United States according to said group. In response to this outcry, the Muppet has conceded to these allegations and has adopted the personal philosophy so eloquently expressed as: “Cookies are only a sometimes food.” First of all, let’s give a round of applause to the parental ability of deferring responsibility to any outlet mildly feasible enough to blame. Who can argue against their self-proclaimed right to criticize all the frames of media that do their parenting for them? After a hard day’s work and no quality interaction with which to speak of, it’s natural for a stressed parent to come home and expect a happy and healthy child sitting in front of the television waiting for them. Secondly, are we seriously holding a Muppet responsible for obesity? Are we, in all earnestness, applying real world scenarios to such public televisional fare as Sesame Street? What else can we blame on these felt figures, let’s think: The Count for manslaughter, Bert and Ernie for teaching the children at much too early an age about domestic partnership, Elmo for antisocialism (his only friends are fish and crayon drawings of his parents). At this rate, the only characters left will be the Muppets that have absolutely nothing going for them, i.e. Telly and Zooey, the walking epitomes of eccentricity over actual character development. If you’re a parent and are truly concerned about your children’s eating habits, why don’t you take the liberty of not buying the cookies or maybe weaning them to diet rich in fruits and vegetables. If you honestly think cookies being a “sometimes food” will solve the problem, you’re nothing more than a “sometimes” parent.

An Intro to Japanese Rock

by Shelby Roberts

I attended my first Bravo Boys volleyball game on Thursday, March 17, 2011.The first thing I thought was, “why has it taken me three and a half years to do this?” I then found my answer; I, like many other students, take the bus in the morning and in the afternoon. This made having school spirit a challenge. After the home game against Hollywood, I had a sudden impulse to love being a Bravo Knight and embraced my newfound school spirit. Slowly, that excitement turned into confusion. Is distance the only reason why students don’t attend games more often? Yes, late buses are available, but they are not always the most desirable transportation. The majority of us live far from school and it becomes a chore to get home after events. However, distance shouldn’t keep students from supporting their school’s sports teams. All students should attend as many games as they can to show Bravo teams their support and appreciation. And who knows, some students may be surprised to discover that they enjoy getting caught up in the excitmenet of seeing their classmates play sports. Students who aren’t involved in one of Bravo’s various sport teams can never fully understand all that the players do to improve their skills week after week during and off season. The volleyball players played amazingly and portrayed one of the best vibes a team could. After talking with Coach Hobayan and a couple of the players, I began to understand how much the sport means to them. “Volleyball gives me a second family, I am an only child so now I have many brothers and sisters” explains Daniel Song(’11). I would like to thank the volleyball team for making me feel welcome and making me a fan of volleyball.

A Close Spring Break Oasis

by Cynthia Serrano

by AJ Saniano

Tired of your generic rock-and-roll music, filled with screams and guitar riffs? Japanese rock could give your ears something new to adore. Japanese rock incorporates modern rock and occasionally, a little bit of victoriandustrial. It all started with a band named X Japan, who was influenced by the American band, KISS. X Japan adopted KISS’ style, so they had the whole package when it came to rock— make-up, huge hair, and leather pants. Visual Kei was brought to the music scene by X Japan by their choice of style. It is a sub genre of J-Rock that puts just as much emphasis on the hair and make-up as the music. It may look a tad feminine, but the music makes up for that. No pun intended. Malice Mizer was the first J-Rock band that stood out as a Visual Kei band. They formed in 1992, but unfortunately disbanded in 2001. They put tons of effort into their costumes, unlike KISS who wore the same outfit over and over again. Malice Mizer changed their outfits every Promotional Video (PV), or music video. American rock bands don’t dress nearly as elegant as J-Rock bands. Malice Mizer set the bar and many J-Rock bands started to follow the trend, such as Dir En Grey, DeadMan, NightMare, Ayabie, Psycho le Cemu, Gazette, An Café, Versailles, The Candy Spooky Theater, LM. C, Moi Dix Mois,, the list is almost endless. These bands pushed the limit with their outlandish costumes. These are also bands that are worth a listen or two. Some personal favorite bands of mine are Malice Mizer, An Café, Versailles, Dir En Grey, and The Candy Spooky Theater. All their songs are amazing and after a year of listening to them, I was hooked. They all had a unique sound, making J-Rock a diverse genre. Since J-Rock bands are predominantly male, some other bands worth mentioning are Defended Desire and Danger Gang who are uniquely consisted of girls. J-Rock and Visual Kei is has been strong since 1982. Despite not understanding the lyrics, J-Rock is definitely worth putting into your MP3 player. With new bands appearing left and right, J-Rock and Visual Kei have nowhere to go but up.

Spring break getaways are, for the most part, overrated. Most teenagers dream of leaving the city and taking a crazy road trip but lets face it, how many of us can actually pull off a stunt like that? We can save that for college. That option may be out, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up the spring break escape. Amidst the urban wasteland known as Downtown Los Angeles there is an oasis drowning in a sea of cement, a refuge for the dead abyss of boredom and routine. Some may recognize this park from the film (500) Days of Summer. In the film Tom Hansen takes Summer Finn to Angeles Plaza (Angels Knoll), his favorite place in the city. There he shows her the architecture and from that moment on it becomes Summer’s favorite spot. But even then, the word “Oasis” isn’t normally associated with Downtown Los Angeles. Most people connect Downtown with homelessness, hipsters, and people trying to sell you five knick knacks you don’t need for a dollar. But in the middle of the reject scene, a little park with a beautiful view of Downtown is there known as Angels Knoll. Angels Knoll isn’t the biggest park, but it seems magical in the location it’s in, a little green hillside with benches, a perfect atmosphere to relax and connect with the people you love. Visiting Angel’s Knoll is a way to return to an organic way of life and carry that back to the fast paced world we live it. There is no need to travel a hundred miles to have fun. Take this spring break to discover a hidden wonder that only the chaos of LA can help you appreciate.

Bravo Knights’

Name: Alis Bogumian GPA: 3.98 SAT Score: 1820 Extracurricular activities: Dances of the World, dance outside of Bravo, Piano lessons, CSF, NHS, Russian Club, STAR II (where they teach science to elementary students), Algebra tutor, Armenian school classes, Library volunteer Acceptances: UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Irvine Rejections: USC, Stanford Personal Statement(s) summary: “For one, I wrote about my STAR II cancer research lab. For another one, I wrote about Dances and the opportunities it presented to me.” Which school will you attend and why? “I’ll be attending UCLA not only because it has always been my dream school but because the urban environment really fits my preferences.”

Name: James Slong GPA: 3.9 SAT Score: 1840 Extra-curricular activities: Popsicle Bridge Building, Graphics and design intern, Science Research and background (with Mr. Morgan), Exploring Computer Science (with Mr. Chacon). Acceptances: UC Riverside, UC Irvine, Cal State San Luis Obispo, UC San Diego Rejections: UCLA, CalTech Personal Statement(s) summary: “It focused primarily on my family and background. I also wrote about my job.” Which school will you attend and why? “San Diego. It’s the furthest school from home that accepted me. It’s close to the beach. The name UCSD has merit to it.”

Name: Mary Fouad GPA: 3.7 SAT Score: 1780 Extra-curricular activities: Bravo Photography club, National Honors Society, LA Fire Department Explorer, Griffith Park Cleanup. Acceptances: USC, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Northridge Rejections: Columbia University, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley Personal Statement(s) summary: “It was basically about how I went from a perfunctory student to a much more dedicated one.” Which school will you attend and why? “USC. It has good research programs. I also want to go because previous family members attended and I also want to continue the legacy. Besides, my being there can help my siblings get in as well.”

Name: Melissa Aparicio GPA: 3.35 SAT Score: 1730 Extracurricular Activities: Yearbook 2 years, Leadership, Club MD (2 years), Soccer Acceptances: CSULB, CSUF, CSUDH, CSUN, UCSC Rejections: UCLA, UCSD Personal Statement(s) summary: “I wrote about growing up in Michigan as a kid.” Which school will you attend and why? “I’m going to choose the school I will attend after I visit the campus and after I talk to the admissions officers. My final decision will be based on which school can give me the most financial aid”

Name: Laurin Khan GPA: 3.82 SAT Score: 1930 ACT Score: 32 Extracurricular Activities: Science Olympiad Captain, Dances of the World for 1 year, Journalism Reporter for 1 year , Private Piano Lessons. Acceptances: UCSD, UCSB, UCI, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Cornell University, Occidental College Rejections: UCLA, UC Berkeley, Trinity College, Pepperdine University Personal Statement(s) summary: “I wrote about the culture clash between my parents and I.” Which school will you attend and why? “I’m leaning towards Carnegie Mellon but I think I’m going to end up at UC San Diego because it’s the most affordable one, closest to home, and I like the beach! It totally depends on financial aid at this point.”

Name: Melanie Estrada GPA: 3.82 SAT Score: 1540 Extracurricular Activities: Yearbook, Senior Treasurer, CSF(3 years), Powderpuff Acceptances: UCSB, UCI, UCR, CSULB, CSUF, Cal Poly Pomona Rejections: UCLA Personal Statement(s) summary:” I wrote about my family and other personal experiences” Which school will you attend and why? “Im still debating whether to attend UCI or CSULB. My final decision will be based on which school is more convenient and affordable.”

College Stats collected by Raul Llamas and Jorthana Torres

Name: Vicente Carillo GPA: 3.8 ACT Score: 21 SAT Score: 1600 Extracurricular Activities: Cross country, Track, MEChA, NHS, Acceptances: Cal Poly Pomona, CSUN, CSULB, CSUF, UCLA, UC Irvine, UCSB, UC Davis (wait listed) Rejections: Occidental, Pomona, Pitzer Personal Statement(s) summary: “I wrote about the difficulty of running and how I transmitted my experience from it into my work habits and dedication.” Which school will you attend and why? “I’m leaning towards UCLA; I hear a little voice telling me to go there. I feel the experience there will be great. But if anything changes, I will end up going to Irvine instead.”

Name: Ana Vasquez GPA: 2.8 SAT Score: 1500 ACT: 19 Acceptances: Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, UC San Diego Extra-curricular activities: Soccer team, Track, Cross-Country, LAPD Cadet Program. Personal Statement(s) summary: “I focused on what I want to do for the community after college.” Which school will you attend and why? “Most likely UC Riverside. I like the calm environment about it. It’s not too far from home, and my sister goes there, so I’ll be close to her.”

Name: Erick Muñoz GPA: 3.5 SAT Score: 1800 Personal Statement summary: “Myself, experiences I’ve had. No sad stories.” Extra-curricular activities: Play the guitar, Fix computers, Academic Decathlon. Acceptances: UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz Rejections: UCLA Which school will you attend and why? “I’ll most likely attend Santa Barbara because it’s closer to Los Angeles and because I like it more. UCSC is nice too but I am going to visit both campuses and review the financial aid before making a final decision.”

Name: Daniela Cannata GPA: 3.86 SAT Score: 1650 Extracurricular Activities: CSF Leadership, Yearbook, teacher assistant at elementary school, dance, volunteer at library, babysitting. Acceptances: CSULB, UCSB, UCI, Pepperdine (wait listed) Rejections: UCLA, Stanford Personal Statement(s) summary: “I based my personal statement on my family and how supportive they are/” Which school will you attend and why? “I am either going to UCSB or UCI but before I choose I am going to visit the campuses. It also depends on how much financial aid I get and whether I win the Gates Millennium Scholarship”

Name: Melissa Sajnani GPA: 3.94 SAT Score: 1930 ACT Score: 27 Extracurricular Activities: Med Cor (5yrs), EHA VP (3 yrs), CSF (3 yrs), NHS, JSA secretary (3 yrs), Los AngelesYouth Council “multi-taskers” chapterassistant coordinator (2yrs), Russian club, MESA, LAC+USC junior volunteer, Union Rescue Mission volunteer, Tennis (4 yrs) Acceptances: Occidental, USC, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Williams, Notre Dame, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSD, UCSB,UCI, UC Davis, UCSC, LMU Rejections: Harvard, Pomona, MIT, Caltech, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth Personal Statement(s) summary: “I wrote about the socioeconomic barriers in my life” Which school will you attend and why? “I still haven’t decided.”

Name: Taylor Takeuchi GPA: 2.84 SAT Score: 1354 ACT: 17 Extracurricular activities: Volleyball Acceptances: CSU Los Angeles, CSU Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona Rejections: CSU Fullerton Which school will you attend and why? “I’ll attend Cal Poly Pomona because my sister went there.”


Understanding Japan’s Nuclear Crisis

Phtoto from On March 11, 2011, a devastating 8.9 earthquake triggered a tsunami that created a litany of problems for the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in Japan, which has since been working to avert nuclear disaster at its affected plants. Depending on the type of radiation these plants emit (beta particles, which are simply electrons, can be deflected by a piece of plywood; gamma rays, which consist of pure energy, can only be avoided if blocked with lead) and the distance maintained between workers or civilians

Is Nuclear Power Really Safe? by William Nubla The incident involving Japan’s nuclear power infrastructure has caused many of our leaders to reconsider their positions for the country’s sources of electricity. However, many others, including President Obama, still support nuclear energy. Environmentalists praise nuclear power since they don’t produce greenhouse gases — differing from coal-powered energy companies. As they’ve seen how things played out in Japan, however, the afterthoughts of many are much different than their once black and white outlook on nuclear power. In Japan, radioactive material has affected food. Eliza Barclay, a report of NPR, reported that Japan's harvests have been affected by radioactivity. Some of the foods she included are wasabi, cucumbers, and green onions. Having a big part in the average Japanese diet, the authentic wasabi food is tainted and will be unavailable for a long time. Even more severe, Japan's fresh water supply has also been tainted by radioactivity, thereby making it scarce and unavailable for many. The tens of thousands of gallons of water used in order to quell the nuclear power plants is said to contain radioactive materials now. Finally, radioactivity has been present in Japan's fertile soil, making harvesting of any kind dangerous or impossible in many regions. Is nuclear energy really the right way to go? After what happened to Japan, experts are extremely concerned. With water, food, and farming unavailable to much of the Japanese population, the odorless, almost untraceable radioactive material will be a disastrous addition to the damage already caused by the tsunami and earthquakes. The international Atomic Energy Agency announced recently that massive amounts of the radioactive isotope Caesium137 has been spread from the nuclear reactors at Fukishima. However, experts at the Environmental Protection Energy have come to the conclusion that the amount is still far below than the level needed to take desperate action—that being evacuation, quarantine, and other necessary actions. Proponents of nuclear energy still argue that, throughout history, it has had a good record compared to other sources of energy. Explosions from coal-powered factories have caused much larger threats, experts say. In the United States, 20% of the entire country’s power is accounted for by nuclear energy. This is different, however, from the much larger 80% in France and 30% in Japan, according to Katrin Bennhold of the New York Times. It may still be a potential problem, since many states are prone to earthquakes— including California, which has 2 active power plants.

by Sarah Soliman

and the nuclear sites, individuals in Japan should not assume any serious vulnerability to cellular damage. In addition, unless an explosion spews radioactive particles high into the atmosphere, the fallout should not pose a significant danger to the United States. Nevertheless, comprehending the degree of risk involved in nuclear problems requires some understanding of the scientific aspects of radiation and how nuclear reactors work. Nuclear plants serve as conversion sites; workers place uranium pellets inside fuel rods, which comprise a nuclear reactor core. Particles are then fired at the uranium, splitting the atomic nuclei and producing heat. This heat energy leaves the reactor core as steam, which powers turbines and generates electricity. Later, the steam condenses into water. This system is called a pressurized water reactor, the most common type of nuclear reactor, because water is placed under high pressure in a double-loop system. The first circuit, or primary loop, pumps water heated by the reactor core into the coils of a heat exchanger (dark blue in the diagram). (The water remains liquid at 300°C because it is pressurized to 150 atm.) The secondary loop (light blue) transports the steam, which spins the turbine and later condenses. Pressurized water reactors present several problems. To workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, nuclear fuel rods in reactors 3 and 4 are of particular concern; the same containment procedures used for active fuel rods were not used in their arrangement. If these fuel rods are exposed to the air, they may catch fire and explode, releasing radioactive particles. The steam used to generate electricity may also accumulate and result in explosions. Thus far, inspectors have detected radioactive particles 5-7 times the legal amount in milk and spinach near the nuclear plants. According to Japanese researchers, drinking one glass of contaminated milk a day for a year would expose a person to the same radiation in a computed tomography (CT) scan. Water in areas near the affected TEPCO plants also contains a radioactive isotope of iodine, albeit at levels assumed as safe for drinking.

Looking Ahead As many may remember, last issue’s article about Bravo’s Science Fair created much controversy. The editorial questioned how it could have been possible that many more Engineering for Health Academy (EHA) students won in comparison to Science Technology And Research (STAR) students. Well, let us demystify the issue. No one has doubted what students involved with STAR or EHA are capable of achieving. They are all talented individuals. Most STAR participants were placed under one category, which was Pharmacology. A teacher has stated that they are usually put under one category because they have additional scientific support that other non-STAR students do not have. EHA also has that extra support, but the program’s participants’ projects were distributed across a variety of different categories. Perhaps EHA could be placed under one category as well. This year, as Mr. Morgan, a science teacher, has clearly stated, was the first time in their third year of participating in the science fair that EHA had a senior research group turn in projects. The fact that EHA projects were spread throughout multiple categories and had potentially more participants enhanced their opportunities of winning. For next year, the STAR program can increase their number of winners by taking this approach. The criteria used for the science fair states that students were evaluated on their application of the scientific method, the originality of their topics, the rigorousness of the research, and the overall presentation. Both programs did a superb job in dominating those four challenging aspects of the rubric. STAR and EHA provide Bravo High School students the opportunity to

by Amy Guerra

conduct complex inquiry-based scientific research. The research performed is not similar in certain areas because each program has its own scientific focus. Now, all students challenged themselves by experimenting and mastering the complexity of a science topic. They worked devotedly to understand their scientific issue and put effort in demonstrating what they acquired from their data. Students were recognized for their hard work and dedication. Only a select group of participants are able to take that next step by competing in the L.A. County Science Fair at the Pasadena Convention Center during April 14-16. Another focus of this article is to come to an understanding as to what can be done to enhance participants’ chances of winning. Mr. Morgan stated, “I recommend better established deadlines in the year so that students could get more feedback from teachers before turning in completed projects.” A student suggested, “Perhaps there should be a written handout of the criteria and rubric distributed to all participants so they are clear of the qualitative and quantitative benchmarks used when selecting the winners. Vital Signs could be a beneficial resource.” The Vital Signs staff is willing to be that source of communication for upcoming science fairs. Roxana Sierra, a Vital Signs staff member, stated, “Having the rules of the science fair posted in the paper would provide everyone with an understanding of the major concepts of the rubric. It would provide clarity to the student body, teachers, and participants.” These are all appropriate ideas that could be applied in next year’s Bravo Science Fair, if they have not already been put into practice.

STAR Students’ College Acceptances collected by Sarah Soliman Ruquyyah Malik: University of Pennsylvania “I liked that UPenn has a lot of research opportunities. The staff is also really friendly and whenever I contacted them, they were helpful. I also liked their ‘one university’ policy. They let you take graduate level classes along with your undergraduate courses, which is a good experience and lets students use all of the resources available to them. I liked the urban setting, too; it’s easier for me to get around as opposed to a rural setting.”

Fatimatou Diallo: Columbia University in the City of New York “First of all, Columbia is in New York. Secondly, it has a lot of interdisciplinary programs. They try to make [students] more wellrounded. Another fact is the Columbia core, which is a good thing for me because I plan to go to medical school and will be studying science for the rest of my life. The core brings back humanities and exposes students to music [and] art.”

Michelle Lee: Duke University “I chose Duke because they have a requirement for freshmen to take a firstyear seminar, which is like a close-knit class, out of [their] normal fields. It pushes you to explore different subjects. Duke is also really focused on community service; they have a program called Duke Engage, which combines community service and study abroad and lets students create new projects. There are a lot of undergrad research opportunities, especially for my intended Math major. I also chose Duke over Dartmouth because the weather is better.”

College Page Alumni Updates by Audrey Salas

Enrique Magdaleno (’10)

Anna Rodriguez (’10)

Which college/university do you currently attend and why? I’m currently a student at UCLA. I couldn’t find it in myself to leave Los Angeles, and so when I applied to college, I made sure to go somewhere not too far from LA. UCLA’s conveniently located close to home, the beach, Six Flags, and the Getty, which are four of my favorite places to be.

Which college/university do you currently attend and why? I'm currently attending Humboldt State University and I'm planning to transfer to UC Davis. I decided to attend HSU because it’s completely different from what I'm used to. It was a huge culture shock.

Are you pursuing any particular major at this point? I’m currently working on a History major, with a minor in Education. I’m a history buff, and if I can’t convince my friends that history is the most interesting subject around, then maybe I can convince your kids when I teach them. What has been the best aspect of your college experience so far? The worst? I’d have to admit that the best aspect about going to college is dorming, and the freedom that comes with it. There’s only so much fun that one could talk about without a high school newspaper censoring it. I’ll leave the details out and let readers’ imaginations run wild with the possibilities. On the other hand, freedom, as a student has been my biggest drawback. The pace of a quarter system is ineffably fast, and if you take your freedom for granted, you can fall behind in your coursework. I’m only a first year, and I can say that I’ve fallen prey to this too many times.

Are you pursuing any particular major at this point? I am declared as Pre-Vet Cellular/ Molecular Biology major. What has been the best aspect of your college experience so far? The worst? The best I would have to say would be just having really good professors that help you out. College is not like high school! No one cares if you're popular or not. Everyone is here for one goal and it’s to get a higher education. The worst aspect would have to be being away from home. It seems really awesome being on your own, but you guys will soon find out that your parents/family really do matter and you'll miss them like crazy. Do you think that Bravo prepared you for college work? Is it harder or easier? Yes! Bravo did prepare me! The teachers at Bravo are great (Mr.Lee and Mr. Marks)! Take advantage and learn everything you can, because the more you know, the less you stress in college. It’s a bit harder since it’s a higher expectation of work. I spend about 3-6 hours a night studying and doing homework. Like I said, Bravo did prepare me because a lot of Bravo teachers have high expectations; trust me, it’s a good thing!

Do you think that Bravo prepared you for college work? Is it harder or easier? I typically have to read about 2-300 pages of school material a week, and write a paper every 1-2 weeks, and I always feel like I have to be studying for midterms or finals. It’s also much more difficult, but because I don’t feel overwhelmed by any of it, I feel like high school really did prepare me for all of it.

Do you have any advice for Bravo students to succeed in their lives after high school? Look, just because some of you guys didn't do as hot as you could have in high school, it doesn't mean you can’t do well in college. I had about a 2.5 at Bravo, but I'm currently holding a 4.0 GPA at HSU. Don't give up, guys; have high expectations for yourselves because you can do it!

Do you have any advice for Bravo students to succeed in their lives after high school? To succeed after high school, win the lottery, or date someone rich! If you are intending to go to a 4-year university, study as much as you can. College isn’t a right, but rather a ludicrously expensive privilege. Make smart academic choices to make sure that your college funding is as minimal a hassle as possible. Getting ahead by taking college courses while in high school is probably the smartest thing a high school student can do for college preparation.

Senior Scholarships

Rejection Hurts

by Amanda Lopez

by Leah Manacop So you didn’t qualify for FAFSA and graduation is a mere two months away— now is the perfect time to look up scholarships. Most of the deadlines have passed, but hey, there are always a couple of organizations willing to draw your butt out of a tough financial spot.

Coca Cola Scholarships So you have been rejected by your top choice college; what now? Do you break out the Rocky Road ice cream and soak your pillow with tears? NO! Although the only thing you may want to do now is burn your rejection letter, take a breath; I assure you, it is not the end of the world. Although it was your top choice, it’s not your only choice. Moving on after college rejection is simple and may be achieved in three easy steps:

Amount: 50 $20,000 scholarships, and 200 $10,000 Requirements: For those seniors planning on attending a four year college, they must have at least a 3.0 GPA. The selection process starts with an application that includes school and work records. If an applicant is chosen to be a semifinalist after the first application has been reviewed, another more extensive application must be submitted, along with an essay, biographical information, and letters of recommendation.

1. Go ahead and vent. It’s ok to be a little upset when your top choice says they don’t want you. If you want to scream at a piece of paper then go to town with it (although I don’t see how it will help). 2. Mourn (only if necessary). Sure, be sad. Cry if you want, but don’t be too sad, your life is barely starting. 3. Last of all, be Positive!! This is the most important. I know it might hurt, but remember this is just the beginning and a college education is something worth chasing after.

AXA Achievement Scholarship

So just choose a college that chose you also, if you want to appeal go ahead, but brace yourself for what may be a second rejection. Don’t let this damper your dreams. It doesn’t matter where you start, but where you finish.

Amount: 52 $10,000 Requirements: The scholarship winners are known as AXA Achievers. They are ethnically and economically diverse, but they share these qualities: ambition and drive, determination to set and reach goals, respect for self, family and community, and ability to succeed in college.

Bravo Trust Fund Amount: 6 $500 scholarships Requirements: Nothing! You just have to be a senior and fill out a questionnaire concerning why you deserve said gratuity.


Letters to the Editors Here’s what your fellow Bravo Knights had to say about our paper:

Dear Cynic, I really wanted to run for prom queen but I didn’t even make it onto the ballot. A lot of the people who did get on the ballot shouldn’t even be there. I swear if I had made it, I would have been top choice for prom queen. The way I see it, if I can’t be prom queen nobody can! I WANT REVENGE. Any sabotage ideas?!

“Reading the newspaper is fun! It’s very entertaining to read.” -Abby Garcia (’14)

“I like how people share their opinions and give information about stories that are going on in school. I also like how it keeps us informed about news that is Sincerely, going on in the world.” PissedOffQueen~~ -Joanna Sanchez (’13)

“I don’t read the newspaper because it’s not interesting to me. I think you should Dear PissedOffQueen~~ Ever see Stephen King’s movie Carrie? You know the one where the girl is mistreated, wins write more stories about issues that relate to us and can make a difference in prom queen, but gets blood spilled on her as part of a prank, so she kills everyone who messed our life.” with her? Yeah, don’t do anything stupid. The problem here isn’t all the other candidates; it’s your -Daniel Zambrano (’12) inflated and conceited ego. The fact that you didn’t even make it on the ballot can only tell you one thing: you’re not all that. Or it could be that you just didn’t contribute anything to the school such “I like all the stories you guys cover. The opinions of other people are as being a part of a sport, club, or activity. Actually, I place my bet on the possibility that you just entertaining.” forgot to turn in the application. Better yet, you probably spelled your name wrong. Stupidity and -Ani Martirosyan (’11) pretentiousness can do that you. Want to share your opinion, too? Do you have any suggestions for stories? E-mail us at!

Attention ASPIRING WRITERs, photographers, cartoonists! All students interested in learning about the Journalism class next fall are invited to a brief informational meeting in room 312 at lunch on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. Applications for the class will be given out. Please be promt, as the meeting will not last very long. Show this notice as a press pass, if you need to be allowed up the stairs. What: Journalism 2011-2012 Informational Meeting Where: Room 312 When: Lunch on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear Cynic, As you surely know, college admission decisions are just about through with. It seems that now everyone is focused on deciding where they want to attend in the fall. However, I got rejected by half the schools I applied to and the ones I did get into, I honestly don’t want. I feel so lost and I don’t know what to do for the future. Should I make up some excuse as to why I can’t go to a top university or should I settle for the ones I did get into? Calmly speaking, SAT_flunker101 Dear SAT_flunker101, As far as your college problem is concerned, it’s all about the art of lying. If your friends question why you didn’t decide to attend USC, say that you were appalled by their recent ‘sex on the roof’ scandal and refused to be associated with such immoral people. If your friends ever ask why you’re working towards a degree at ITT Technical Institute rather than UC Berkeley, tell them that the commercials were very persuading and that resistance was futile. And if they ever catch you cooking up some Whoppers, tell them it’s part of a sociology project in which you go undercover to study how it feels to walk in the shoes of a real life failure. Just remember those key points and your life will be kept hidden by everyone except you (at least for a short while). *However, if you really seem stressed about what to do and want real advice (sigh) then I would say don’t settle for less than you want. You can always transfer later. Just don’t attend a school where you aren’t sure if your heart’s in it.

whY: To find out how or if to enroll in the class

QR Corner Congratulations to Haik Avakian (‘12) for winning last issue’s QR Corner contest! He won a $5 gift card to Target! Try this issue’s QR Corner qustion for your chance to win!

Leah’s Corner

by (who else?) Leah Manacop

Strange Eats Mention “sushi” at any multiracial lunchroom table and take note of the reactions you get. There’s the ecstatic, exclamatory “OMG, I love sushi!” coupled with the serene expression of one reflecting on fond memories of fishy goodness, a few indignant cries of ignorant people going, “No way, Japanese people need their sushi now more than ever!” and finally, those people who are strictly opposed to the consumption of raw fish for no other reason than “It looks nasty.” It looks nasty. “I’ve never tried it but it looks nasty.” I’ll admit that though I love sushi with a passion, it isn’t for everyone. I’ll even admit that when viewed in passing, it can easily be confused for a flayed layer of skin, but my beef is with anyone who would take such a strong stance against a kind of food they’ve never tried. Why are we so reluctant to step outside our own comfort zones, especially in the arena of food where the only thing we’re risking is a few uncomfortable hours on the toilet? You live in America. Take advantage of the fact that you can have chow mein and chutney together in one sitting. Things I Hate Family on Facebook. You never “like” or comment any of my posts, yet the minute I impulsively feature a curse word as my status, you’re the first to go and snitch to my parents. Here’s another word that might interest you: “BLOCKED.” Random Social Rules Racists, homophobes, bigots-- these peeves are more than understandable, but now you’ve got people complaining about completely random habits that others tend to display. Why does everyone get so annoyed when they see a couple eating on the same side of the table? When did that become such a social taboo? It’s nothing pretentious like hipsters wearing sunglasses indoors or people who you’re absolutely sure don’t read quoting Nietzsche on Facebook; it’s just awkward. People don’t like awkward-just look at how we treat Kristen Stewart and those spastic, flailing jerks she calls gestures.

APRIL 2011  

This is our 7th issue.