Monday, December 26, 2016

Last Time Around

          Although first quarter was kind of difficult for me as I am still in summer mode and this happens to always be Leaderships most hectic season, I would say that this year is off to a great start. From the back to school dance, link crew, new block schedule, welcome back rally, club week and homecoming parade; I would say that so far this school year has brought a lot of new experiences and great memories. Seeing how this was only the beginning of the year and we've accomplished so much and there is still so much more to look forward to, I know this year is going to be a great one.
         The Welcome Rally was definitely a great start to the school year as it reunited the classes as a whole after our 2 month vacation apart.  I feel the rally really got everyone back into the swing of things, especially spirit wise. That was a good week for us as not only was that one of our best rallies but we also had a great amount of participation on the spirit days. We saw a lot of involvement from each of the classes and the amount of spirit being shown so early in the year was incredible.
          Club week was good as I noticed a larger variety of clubs present and many people were signing up. I recall one club even having a sign up sheet that was totally full front and back which was quite impressive. It was also a lot more organized compared to previous years as we had more of a structure set up. Although I think what was more successful was club day as it had a much more vibrant and positive environment as it did not take away from anyone's lunchtime so more people were outside to view the clubs and everyone just seemed so much more involved and focused.
          Lastly, Homecoming. I would say that after four long years its crazy to think we have just finished our last homecoming, last float, and last homecoming dance. Although the Seniors did not come out on top in regards to the whole float situation, I couldn't be any prouder of what we did accomplish and how far we've come as I can still remember our days as Freshmen struggling on even just separating the napkins. In consideration of how stressed we were trying to balance our SAT, grades, ACT, and most importantly our college applications, we pulled through and created a beautiful float and great rally placing 1st.
           So far this school year is going great and it has barely began. With so many more ideas and events coming in the future, I can't wait to see where it is going because I know it is going to be a great one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fresh Start

2016 has been a great year, filled with change and many accomplishments. Homecoming was among one of our most greatest successes this year and I'm glad to have been a part of it. De Anza is notorious for float season, and we always manage to put on a show the neighbors will never forget. We've all worked hard together to pull of something that felt like the impossible. We've created a strong reputation within the student body, due to the tremendous teamwork of the Leadership class, student body, and of our faculty here at De Anza.

Although we've had a great year so far, there's always still room for improvement. For example, students tend to only show the most spirit throughout their junior/senior years. To help build a foundation for De Anza' s school spirit, we should promote our upcoming school events in a way that is appealing to everyone (prizes, competitions, etc.). It would be a fun idea to host De Anza's very first Don Finals (or Play-offs, Championship, etc..), in which the classes come together to compete for the title of the year's  "Don Champions." As a school, we've always been trying to establish traditions, and I have a feeling this one may stick. We, as a school, should be more open to trying new things this year.

All in all, our hard work has paid off throughout the school and community. In fact, since homecoming was such a hit, we should create more communal services and events to put De Anza on the map. There is always room for something new and different and we should listen  to the community. After all, we are here to make change further beyond our reach.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Round Two

So the new year is rapidly coming, more rapid than this year seemed to flash by. Round two shall be more victorious for me. I want to step into the new year with my head on straight and my should proudly upright. It will mark one year from he time I will be five months away from graduating. I am officially 3/4 done with high school. Soon as the new year comes around I will be applying for scholarships and looking at college/university prospects. I've never felt so driven about school until now. When this semester ends, I plan to be apart of Principal's list once again. 

Talk to you next time around!  
- Kira

Take a Sigh

Although the sun hasn't quite shone today, for me it's shining within me. The quarter has just ended and I could not feel more relieved. Junior has got off to a good start. With persistence and everlasting faith I was able to end the quarter with a 3.517. Yes, there's always room for improvement,  but I am proud that I will be on the Principal's list, which I cannot complain about. Enough about me how about those Juniors(aka me again)! They killed it with their stunning float. It was definitely a show stopper.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Senior Year...

Applying for colleges was easy. Maybe not for some people because they don't know what they want to do but for me I had something in mind already. My advice I'll give the upcoming seniors is make sure you do a lot of work that interest you. Luckily I did an internship last summer working at RYSE. It opened my eye and gave me many opportunities by doing this. I didn't apply to any UCs because my high school life wasn't so easy. So that was a little less stressful. Once you think college apps are done ... they're not because the colleges are going to want a copy of your fall semester grades and well honestly that is where you might make it or break it. I'm on the path where I have a little less than two weeks where I can fix my grades. Senior year has sucked. You start growing up and start realizing that maybe the people you started high school with you might not end with them. Showing up to school might be a problem as well because all you want to do is graduate as soon as possible.

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Senior year is easy," they said. "You will have fun," they said.

Senior year, for one reason or another, is labeled as one of the best times in your high school career; labeled as the "easiest" times as portrayed by misleading movies and cinematic works.
Yet, these works tend to avoid the reality of the mass amounts of testing, the rigor of applications, and lastly, the hardships of AP Microeconomics and graphing monopolistically competitive firms and how they relate to the holistic market -- all are things which numb my brain.

However, could all of this stress be prevented? Absolutely.
What did I do to cause myself all this stress? Procrastination.

That's right. The one way to survive your Senior year is to never procrastinate. Will you do that most of the time? Most likely not. And guess what? ♫ I am procrastinating on this blog as we speak. ♫

So, here are some tips to survive first part of your Senior Year -- tips I should have probably used throughout this whole time.

1. Sleep so that you're not cranky all the time.
A good way to avoid having to cram everything before the day of the test is to have an adequate amount of sleep so that you can focus on all your classes.

2. Eat a healthy meal.
Eating breakfast can go a long way. Your grumbling stomach won't probably help you focus on your studies.

3. Organize your work!
Pretty self explanatory.

4. Have a social life.
Hang out with your friends from time to time so that you can be sane amidst all the work.

5. Take breaks, but not too many breaks.
Use the free time in between your classes to do work. All of it adds up in the end and you'll thank yourself later for it.

6. Challenge yourself, but know your limit.
President of a club? Great! President of 500 clubs? Nope -- don't spread yourself out too thin. One thing I want to emphasize is to focus and be good at 1-2 activities so that you can stand out.
Are you an artist? Participate in competitions and maybe sell some art.
Are you an athlete? Be the best in your team and join multiple organizations in relation to your sport.
Are you an activist? Join clubs you are passionate about and make a difference.
It's better to have one of your activities standing out because that shows commitment and passion.

7. Start your college applications ASACO.
Start your apps AS SOON AS APPLICATIONS COME OUT. Allow for time so that you can receive valuable feedback.

8. Know that all your hard work will pay off.
There may be points of stress and breakdowns (hopefully not) but know what you are working towards and how you will achieve it. Remember to keep your eye on the prize! 🙏

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Goals For the Second Half of the School Year

     As the first semester of the school year is drawing to end, it can positively be said that the Junior class and ASB have both been doing outstandingly well. First of all, the Junior class has continued the fundraising that has worked extremely well last year, which the Junior class selling the food graciously supplied by Krash. Other successful fundraising we've done so far this year was the beloved taco sells at De Anza home football games and First Friday chow mien sales. Next, for ASB, the fundraising that has been done was the movie nights we've hosted in De Anza's theater and from an amazing Homecoming. Overall, so far this year both the Junior class and ASB have made successful accomplishments.

    For the upcoming second semester, there are some goals that should be put into place in order for the Junior class to continue thriving. The first goal is to continue consistent and exceptional fundraising so that the Junior class can flourish. This can be accomplished by continuing our sales with Krash and selling at First Friday, however other methods of fundraising should be looked into. The other goal is to keep up the Junior class spirit during rallies and spirit week because for some reason, although overall the class is quite spirited, there is still a percentage that feels rather lacking in that aspect. Ways to accomplish this goal is to be more inclusive with activities that are done so that everyone feels apart of the class, of the De Anza family. These two goals should be put into focus for this upcoming year. 

     As for ASB, there are still some goals that should be set in order for the class to prosper. The first goal should revolve around fundraising that can be done so ASB can increase it's currency so that more events could be put on at De Anza. If ASB can make a giant profit from things that have been newly introduce this year, such as the boat cruise, movie nights, and the valentine dance, then it will open more doors of opportunity for events to go on. This leads to the next goal that should be put into effect for the upcoming year, more events. School and extracurricular activities can be quite stressful for both the students and the teachers so if ASB is able to put on, perhaps small but joyful events throughout the rest of the school year in order to create a healthy, fun and stressless distraction for students and teachers alike, perhaps an after school sports festival were everyone can come out and play different games and have a good time. All in all, ASB's goals should be to focus on fundraising and organizing a couple more events at school.    

The Next Steps

Our Junior class is having an outstanding year so far this school year. We've taken first place for our incredible Monsters University themed float and made a lot of money fundraising. So far, it's been an unbelievable year for our class. But there are some goals that I have in mind for us as we move forward throughout high school. For one, I would like to see more participation at float from our class outside of our leadership class. This year we had a lot of outside help at float but not as much as I believe we could've. I believe that we can increase outside participation from our class of 2018 during next year's float by spreading the word out at the end of this school year. Because most of our float is done over the summertime, so announcements made before the end of this school year will let our other classmates know that if they get bored, they can come and make a positive impact somewhere. Moving on to another topic of hopeful improvement, I strongly encourage that we gather a bigger crowd at sporting events coming up. Most of our class consists of student-athletes but participation at sporting events is lacking. We need to support our fellow Dons athletes. In order to achieve this goal, I think that we should start doing activities at halftime that involve the crowd. This will attract more people because it's a platform for them to show their talents in a location with a pre-gathered audience. All in all, I believe that our class is very successful and we're on a road where we'll have so much fun before we graduate next June.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Colleges Don't Want You to See This! 5 Crazy Tricks to Getting Into College (#4 Will Shock You!)

The entire college process is an intimidating one. When it comes to studying for the SAT, searching for the right college, polishing your essays to perfection, paying up to hundreds of dollars in application fees and more, everything can snowball into an extremely stressful undertaking. 

First, breathe. It's okay to be scared, because almost everyone around you will be going through the process at the same time that you are. The college pressure of aiming for those perfect test scores and trying to get into big name colleges is draining and your mental health comes first.

There's a big misconception that you're supposed to know exactly where you want to go and what you plan to do with your life by the time the applications are due. If you do have a solid plan, that's great! Kudos to you for knowing a lot about yourself. However, if you're not quite there yet, that's perfectly okay as well. I didn't know that I wanted to major in Political Science until the end of my Junior year, when I started really considering how my interests could correlate to a major. Even then, I may decide to switch up my major, like 80% of college students tend to do. (It's a real statistic -- look it up.) My point is, college is a space to grow as a human and part of that growth encompasses the discovery of what you want to do with your life. 

I offer five pieces of advice to anyone who is considering going to college.

1. Set the foundation for yourself.
It's true that there's a lot of things that test scores and grades fail to measure. Unfortunately, they do make you eligible for certain things, including financial aid, scholarships, and more. To make things easier for yourself, do your best to set the foundation from freshman year by maintaining good grades and staying on track to graduate.

Going back to how you're more than grades and test scores, your extracurriculars actually do say more about you as a person, and colleges recognize that. My first year of high school, I actually didn't involve myself in any extracurriculars besides theater, but I did focus on getting good grades. Sophomore year is when I began to participate in school more. Join stuff if you haven't already. It's actually really rewarding because you meet people with similar interests and you become a part of a community. However, it's important to stick to things that genuinely reflect your own interests. A million clubs that have nothing to do with what you want won't help you very much. In fact, on the UC application, the activities section limits you to list only 5 extracurriculars. This is because colleges want to hear what your most significant contributions were. Rather than joining a bunch of clubs solely because it looks good on an application, try to concentrate your efforts on a few things that really matter to you.

2. Use your resources.
Look for resources and use them. All of them. Whether it's going to the College and Career center, reaching out to your counselors, talking with current college students, going to college fairs, or doing your own research, the age of information has blessed us with the ability to prepare ourselves for the college process. Not only does using these resources help you figure out what the heck you need to do to prepare, your resourcefulness will show colleges that you take initiative and are determined to pursue higher education. There's an entire section of college apps dedicated to listing out what educational programs you've taken advantage of throughout your high school career.

3. Give yourself time. 
Start a little early with college research and brainstorming your essays. By early, I mean, like, the summer before senior year. That's when I got started. 

During that summer, I spent a lot of time figuring out where I wanted to apply to. There's so many colleges out there -- each so different -- that finding the right fit can be a huge challenge. I narrowed down my selections with the help of spreadsheets and the internet. I made a list of factors that were important to me in choosing what colleges I wanted to go to. Was I interested in a liberal arts or research school? Big school with huge lecture classes or small, seminar-style classes? 

The gift of spreadsheets also came in handy when I was applying to several university that all wanted anywhere from two to four essays each. It sounds like a ton, but in reality, a lot these prompts are very similar and you can actually recycle them for other college applications and even scholarships. On my spreadsheet, I listed out what questions each college I wanted to apply to asked, the word limit, and then my rough ideas.

As you can probably assume...
I love spreadsheets.
4. Work that essay.
Your essays are arguably the most important part of the application. This is where admissions officers can get the feel of who you are as a person, beyond the test scores and beyond the GPA. Be authentic. Take this time to genuinely reflect on who you are. If you find yourself learning about yourself, you're doing good. Get started on these essays early even if it's just word vomit on a page at first. In this part, it's important that your true voice shines.

5. Chill, dude.
Finally remember that it's not entirely about where you go, but what you do during your time there. I know that's lightweight annoying to hear from me but honestly, it's true.

Good luck to everyone, and feel free to come up to me for advice anytime whether it's in person or online! Catch me in Philly next year, y'all.


Back at it Again with More Stress

 I enjoy being involved in many activities at my school. Being involved is one way to learn outside of the classroom.  One gets a chance to put themselves into problem-solving situations or try something “hands on.”  There are so many ways to get involved, and each has something different that it brings to the table. During senior, it’s became difficult to accomplish all of this. I found myself having a lot on my plate and became hard to manage all my work. College application did not help with my stress level either, only made it worst. If you think float is stressful, just wait for when it is your turn to complete your college applications.

If I had to describe my college application experience in one word it would be exhausting. I had to do a lot of all nighters trying to perfect my personal  insight question, in hope that one of these school will accept me. On top of all this stress, I also had study and do homework for all my AP classes.  I was constantly stressed out through this whole process and it does not have to be like this. When you start early, you can have time to carefully review your work and still be able to turn them in on time. Who ever tells you that senior year is easy… they are LYING to you.

The best advice I could give any upcoming seniors is to first get your CSU applications out the way. These applications are probably the easiest ones to accomplish. The UC personal insight questions are about getting to know your personality, background, and interests, thus require more work for one to be able to go in depth. It is best to start at least doing rough drafts during the summer and have your college counselor look at them early. The sooner the better! Learn from my mistake and do not start them the month they are due. Because of my procrastination, I have to now play catch up with all my missing assignments. I know this may seem very whelming, but all the hard work pays off at the end. Believe in yourself !

Blog #2: Sophomore Goals

          Being new to leadership this year, I have set many goals for my Sophomore class. Number 1 priority being that I hope to make this school year fun, exciting, and eventful. To contribute to that, I want my class to be successful and have a great sophomore experience. I want them to enjoy the rallies, get lit at dances, and participate in other school activities like spirit days. Other goals I have for my class include more fundraising, encouraging participation, and building a stronger community. 
          In my opinion, towards the beginning of the school year was like a "trial and error" type moment for our class fundraising. We sold on many occasions, but didn't necessarily figure out what was best to sell to our peers until later on. Thankfully now, we know what our schools likes and what to sell. But my goal is to fundraise more often in order to aim for higher goals our senior year. In order to achieve that, my fellow leadership staff and I have brainstormed more possible fundraising ideas and scheduled them accordingly. 
          Another goal I would like to mention is building a stronger community within our class. I believe it's very important to reach out to the whole Sophomore class and connect with one another, that way we all know each other and soon enough create one, strong community. In result to this, we can have more participation in rallies, spirit days, etc because everyone would feel comfortable around each other. Having this comfortable vibe can greatly be benefitted on because it can created stronger connections and help make the next few years of high school enjoyable and memorable. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

tips to make your senior year smoother

          So far, my senior year is a bit challenging for me. I am taking 2 AP classes that I had no idea what it was going to be about when I signed up. I am now in Leadership which requires me to plan school events and volunteer on weekdays and weekends outside of school. I am in 2 soccer teams as well and have practice every day. So of course, I am a productive student. If you're like me, just relax and everything will be okay during your college applications.
          For me, it wasn't as stressful as my friends had it. I only applied to 2 States so it was easy and I finished weeks before the deadline. The advice for you guys that I heard from my friends is to take time and thought;begin writing your essays in the summer because you will be writing 4 essays. As well, don't do it last minute because you will STRESS and get ANXIETY! It's good to know want you want to  major in or have some type of idea because when colleges see that, they will notice you're dedicated. However, it is completely normal if you don't know yet want you want to major. For me, I always wanted to be in the Health field so i put Pre-Nursing as my majors.
          Another important thing during college apps is doing your FASFA. This gives you money depending on your family's income for college. You first do your FASFA then do scholarships. Scholarships are sometimes ignored finding scholarships! A simple one is Richmond Promise. For this scholarship, you have to be a resident of Richmond and go to high school in Richmond. Other than that, the months during college apps will feel overwhelmed but after, it will be bitter-sweet and weight will be lifted off your shoulders.

Procrastination and College Apps DO NOT Mix Well

     The whole college application process is not hard... but those 4-8 essays at the very end of those college apps take a lot of time. A mistake I experienced was waiting till the last few days to finish up my college apps. Some people, when they rush a homework assignment or project, the outcome is sometimes their best work. I am definitely not categorized with those people. If I rush any type of work, it will never be my best. I need to plan, brainstorm and create rough draft after rough draft in order to develop my best work.
     My advice to students who want to go to college, is this: PLAN NOW. Whether you are a Junior or Freshman, PLANNING is your best friend, not PROCRASTINATING.  You will want to research colleges so you get a better understanding of what colleges you may want to apply to. After that, you should research your major and make sure that the colleges you are interested in has your major. Next, finding scholarships is also a good idea because I know many of you young whipper snappers do not have $10,000-50,000, depending on which college you want to attend. My last piece of advice, is to find the prompts of essays (some college apps have them) and finish those essays as soon as possible, but also brainstorm, rough draft, and put a lot of thought in each essay. Do not fluff your essays. Be yourself when writing your essays. Describe yourself how you see yourself and not how others see you.
     Do not listen to Cindy Reyes. Do not breathe. Get on those college apps now! You need to have your eyes on the ball. Always stay focused. There is no rest until those college apps are finished. I still have flashbacks from the traumatizing experience of procrastinating and finishing my college apps last minute.

Just kidding about that last paragraph. Ya'll will be fine.

More to come

As a first year independent in leadership, this is all a new experience for me and I'm enjoying it so far. This year I've seen class of 2019 fundraising way more than we did last year, yes I know, I wasn't in leadership last year but to me, it's obvious which classes are the ones who fundraise.
This year, in my opinion, De Anza has way more events and chances for leadership to fundraise.

For my class specifically, I'd like to help in any way possible whether its selling every first friday or selling at sports events, it'll eventually all be worth it. We plan to sell all throughout the school year or whenever we can. We plan to atleast sell 2 or more times a month and to have a certain amount of money by the end of our sophomore year.

Our goal by the time we're seniors is to have enough money to pay most of the costs that come with senior year. Which includes all only senior activities to even the DJ for our prom. I just think that there could never be enough fundraising because all it does is benefit our class in so many ways. There's many goals we have for our class but they all lead to being ready for our senior year and that's basically what we do it all for.

Sophomore Class Goals

     Moving forward into the next year, I'd like to see my class succeed for themselves personally. It'd be wonderful to see at least most of the sophomore class participate in spirit days so we can get the chance of winning on rally days, but it takes a lot of encouragement of reaching out to our class but it's doable. Another goal I have set for my class is to fundraise more.

     Last year was a beginner experience when it came to raising money for our class, but we made a huge improvement of selling more items of food more often compared to the previous year. My goal is for us to sell at the very least, twice a month. It is crucial that we raise more money every month for beneficial uses. Hopefully by the end of the school year we raise more and more money so that by the time of our senior year we will be able to have enjoyable events for our soon to be senior class activities.

     We had many accomplishments this year, especially with our class float looking amazing than it did last year. We reach out to our class more when it comes to letting them know about school activities on social media. The main goal our class needs to accomplish is to reach the goal of how much money we need to guarantee the chance of having senior activities, because our senior year has to be the best with memories filled with all the activities we could possibly do that year.


           Since this is my first year in leadership my goal for this class is giving my sophomore year class the best experience in high school.I want them to get pump up for the rallies,participate in school activities, and help us to reach new goals every year. Some goals i have for my sophomore leadership class is to come up with more ideas so that we can have more opportunities to sell and get money.I really hope we can accomplish that.

     I want my class to able to participate more in selling food.We already have some ideas of what to sell in upcoming events.By the end of the year i want my class to have AT LEAST $1,500 in our account. I think if we work hard enough we can accomplish that goal.I think we're going to sell something this Friday.

Little by little if we sell enough things we can have enough money for our grad night maybe even more. That's one of my goal I REALLY want to accomplish.I hope everybody would always buy our stuff so that every time we sell we sold out. That's a good sign that we're making money.That it what I want my class to accomplish

Friday, December 2, 2016


                                       Sophomore class 2019

                                                Kyle santiago

Some goals I would like for my class of 2019 I think that we should Fundraise more that 
And raise more money because this year we did not raise that much money but hopefully
Next year we can fundraise more and come up with better ideas with my class. The
Accomplishments that we did make this year is that we was selling pretty good in the
Football games, so I was thinking to tell my class that we should sell like in the basketball

Opportunities I would like for our class next year is that if we should sell more in basketball
Games and that we should sell stuff that people want. Another one is that We should connect with our class and Not leave nobody out this year, I noticed this year that we really was not interacting with our class like that. I would also like our class next year for us to be really be loud in our rally next year in February I felt that we could have done better but everybody doesn't like to be fun but I'm going to talk to the people that feel left out.

Some accomplishment we had this year in leadership for our class that we made the float in time
And we had a lot of people come for that. Another is that we did not have that much suspensions
As last year, Also this year we had made more people come to the jv and var games so we can help our class so they can get more money fundraising. I remember we sold planners so the students won't be struggling and be messy with there work everywhere and forget the pages.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Reaching Out

Reaching Out

          How on earth does a small group of six Leadership students get to know their entire class of about three hundred something Freshmen students? While that is not an easy task, I think it's something that's very important to do, mainly because as a leader, I feel its necessary to make sure everyone has a voice. If you don't know everyone, well, how can they have that voice through you?
          I think a really simple, yet beneficial, thing to do for the students who don't know their representation is to be very social, especially during times like lunch or activity days. Just get yourself out there and introduce yourself to new people you've never talked to before, and put yourself out there as their representatives. Another thing you can do is at events, like the rallies or places where there is a vast majority of people, just take a couple of seconds to present yourself to the group. That might not be the same as personally knowing someone, but at least they know who the representation of their class is and they learn a bit about you.
          In terms of reaching out and informing our class, there are many ways we can do so. We can reach out to our class with social media, such as Instagram and Twitter. If we have people following us we can post events and things that are happening or have happened so that everyone is informed. We also have our News cork board that keeps people updated, and the display case in the hallway with the latest awards given to our classmates, such as student of the month. Announcements in the morning is a good way to be connected, as well as posters around school with important information. These are all things we can do to ensure we stay connected and reach out to our class.

Blog #2

Good afternoon Leadership! Some of you have just recently posted your blogs that were past due, so it may seem tedious to do this again but today's reflection is on the following:

Seniors: Many of you recently completed your college application process. Please describe a little, in a reflective capacity, what that experience was like. Most people know it is stressful, but what advice would you pass on to younger students?

Juniors/Sophomores: Since for many this is not your first year in Leadership, what are some goals you would like to set for your class moving forward into the next year? Think about the possibilities of accomplishments or fundraisers or opportunities you would like to have for your classes.

Freshmen: As the smallest Leadership class, but almost always the largest class on campus, brainstorm some ways in which you can help reach out to your class better. Sometimes this is hard, due to the size of the group, but are there teachers, student-leaders or more who could help you speak to more of your class? What do you do for students who just don't know you well as their representative?

Make sure all responses are at least 3 paragraphs long. Pictures are optional. Good luck!