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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Speak Up For Change ignites SHS Spark

The Leadership Class lit the fuse of the annual Speak Up For Change Week with eye-opening student-lead assemblies, dozens of granted students wishes and a dazzling on-campus Carnival. This year’s theme was “Ignite Your Spark.”

Kicking off the week, students filed into the Large Gym to listen to speaker Keith Hawkins deliver his message on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Hawkins opened up to students about his relationship with his children and the types of bonds that students should strive for with people of all ages. His main message to students was to not let grades define individual and future success.

Throughout the rest of the week, students were presented with different engaging activities, videos and lessons relating to the topic of finding passion and motivation. For instance, students in science classes wrote personal goals to follow through on during leisure time. English students wrote letters to students one grade below them, and foreign language students created representative hand-print posters to display.

Wrapping up the excitement, Leadership students hosted a second school-wide assembly of the week. Alumnus David Mandell spoke to students about how inevitable rejections that will only make them stronger. He also gave students a peek into his pursuit of a successful career in the entertainment industry.

Alumnus Brandon Oliveri also shared his experience with taking chances and opportunities that may have been difficult to find and go after at first. He shared that his experience with moving past college rejections and unsuccessful job interviews was incredibly difficult, yet he didn’t end his search for a career and continued to chase after possibilities.

Closing with speeches delivered by seniors Shreyas Balebail, Carmine Drohan, Hana Michael and Samir Ingle on their personal encounters and journey through high school. Students gave standing ovations and uproaring applause after each speech.

Ending the event-filled week, students flooded into a transformed Quad. In every corner were enormous inflatables, including a “Wrecking Ball” inflatable play pen. Carnival games with prizes and tents with goodies lined one side of the Quad, and cotton candy was distributed to students.

Ceramics teacher Leah Aguayo’s famous salsa was sold with tortilla chips, and two food trucks sold food to ravenous students. A cupcake truck also arrived, attracting swarms of eager, sweet-toothed students.

Speak Up For Change week has become an integral part of the school’s culture and tradition, and the Leadership class celebrated its accomplishment at Disneyland from Jan. 29-31.

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