A+E: Spring Musical The Payoff Of Four Years In Theater For The Senior Class

by Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

The Saint John Bosco Theater Department along with Saint Joseph High School are pleased to present Working, the inspirational musical about the lives and experiences of hard-working Americans. The virtual play begins streaming Friday, April 16th and runs until Sunday, April 25th.

For the senior class, Working is an important show, as it will be the last show of their high school careers on the Saint John Bosco stage. Ending their season with a musical about the adventures and life of the American working class is a great way to segue into what someday may become their future, while enjoying their last moments of their high school years. 

Saint Joseph senior and theater veteran, Victoria Martins, who plans to go to college and major in theater, wants to cherish and enjoy her last moments on a high school stage.

“I think there is something so magical about being on stage and performing live,” Victoria said. “Knowing that anything could happen at any moment and you just have to keep going is such a rush, and I love it!”

For many of the seniors, letting go of the Bosco stage is extremely hard, as it has been their comfort zone for the last four years of their lives. Bosco senior Parker Deaton feels particularly saddened to leave such a place where he was able to cultivate some of his greatest moments as a Brave.

“This being my last show is bittersweet. I’m sad to leave this theater department, but I’m glad for all the good memories I’ve made and because I grew as an actor in this place,” Parker said.

For people looking to be a part of a team where they can explore all their potential, theater is an amazing opportunity to discover hidden talents. The great privilege of being part of a community like that of the Bosco Theater Department is that it is welcoming of anyone trying to find who they really are.

Theater, for many, is a door that opens the possibility of being who they are truly meant to be. It is a space that people can enjoy and be grateful about what opportunities they have. And being able to put on a production in the midst of a pandemic is a privilege not many people have.

Saint Joseph senior Lola Powell is happy to be able to tell a story on stage for the eleventh time in her high school career and change the ordinary life of people for even just a couple hours.

“People should do theater during these times because theater brings many people joy and happiness; being able to entertain people on stage is one of the most fulfilling feelings,” said Lola.

Working is a musical that will teach valuable lessons to anyone who is a part of the show, whether as an audience member or as a performer. The different characters the actors portray, the different mindsets that people will encounter in life as well as the different struggles that life brings are truly lessons that anyone can carry for the rest of their lives.

If you are looking for a great way to end your week and relax for a little bit before being hit with reality, supporting the Bosco theater department and their sisters at St. Joseph’s is a great way to forget about any of your worries.

Support the arts; help to keep them stay alive; and let the hopes and dreams of many talented people shine through and do what they love most. Get your tickets here.

Life Of A Brave: Freshmen Are Excited To Begin Their Bosco Experience For The First Time On Campus

by Omar Cerezo

After a long first semester online, Bosco prepares to welcome the class of 2024 for the first time in the classroom.

Every upperclassmen at Bosco can remember their first experience spending time talking with friends, playing sports, being in clubs and spending time in the oratory as a Freshman. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2024 has yet to make any of those memories a reality.

After a successful reopening, Bosco has done an outstanding job in trying to get students to fully enjoy the end of their school year on campus. Primarily for freshmen, the opportunity to come back to campus with Bosco’s successful reopening plan has allowed them to experience everything the Bosco brotherhood and student life has to offer.  

Not only was it good for the freshmen who are returning back to campus and experience the excitement of any extracurricular activities they participate in, but it is also great for them to physically interact with their teachers and counselors for some extra help and guidance, while at the same time giving teachers and counselors time to interact and get to know the class before they enter their Sophomore year.

Lead Counselor Ms. Alyssa Skipper recognizes the hardships that the freshmen class will encounter as they transition into a new environment, however, Ms. Skipper hopes that the challenges the current freshmen class faces will prepare them for future adventures.

“On top of how tough these times have been, it will continue to build each and everyone one of your abilities to overcome things when hard things are thrown your way,” said Ms. Skipper

Still, while working in a hybrid learning system, as physical and online learning options are available for all students, many teachers feel the weight of preparing a new generation of Braves in what is an unusual situation. Freshman English Honors teacher Michelle Tracy has explained that this past school year, people have felt better and safer at home, where there isn’t that challenge of following these new imputed guidelines and being at risk at school.

“Paying attention to online and physical learning group is one of the things I’m currently working out right now. It’s hard trying to balance it so you’re paying enough attention to both groups,” said Mrs. Tracy.

Despite the difficulties that online learning and the quarter system has brought to the Bosco community, everyone feels happy to see people back in the classroom. Freshman Algebra 1 and Geometry Honors teacher, Edna Ramirez, feels thrilled to have students back in the classroom and have an experience close to what a “normal” semester would have felt like.

“I was definitely excited to be able to work with some of the students in person. It was joyful when they returned into the classroom and the students were also eager to have some interaction,” said Ms. Ramirez.

The strengths Mrs. Ramirez had from her students, especially with the online learning and the quarter system, provided her with the opportunity to have a smaller number of students in each period, which allowed her to meet with each student more on a one-on-one basis as well as hold conferences with parents and email updates of the progress of their sons.

Freshman student Joshua Pasillas said he expected his freshman year at Bosco to be a huge change and expected to have good communication with others.

“It was kind of hard since we’re on ZOOM and it’s going to be kind of weird knowing you’re not spending time during lunch speaking with each other,” Joshua said.

In a way, Joshua was feeling the Bosco Brotherhood through the breakout rooms on ZOOM with his classmates and friends where they can have some talking time with each other. He also explains that getting involved in groups, clubs, sports and school programs was a challenge for him, especially since that is the type of engagement you have to be physically present on campus for to fully enjoy and experience.

Freshman student David Martinez also considered his freshman year at Bosco to be weird because he is used to being in person at school than having classes online, but he is glad that he has returned back on the Bosco campus. 

“It’s definitely been a little bit of a struggle keeping myself focused and stop being distracted,” said David.

At-home distractions were a challenge for David throughout his freshman year at Bosco. David actually thought that the online learning at Bosco was pretty good. For some classes, though, he preferred in-person learning rather than online so it can make it easier for him to understand the materials. David has felt his Bosco Brotherhood mainly through his baseball practices after school with his teammates and coaches. He also includes that returning back to school actually made it easier for him to stay focused and turn in work then online school.   

While the transition from middle school to high school may be rough, the class of 2024 has done a great job trying to stay afloat in what has been one of the most unusual years of human history. But their years at Bosco are not set in stone, and they will encounter different experiences and challenges in the following years, gaining incredible memories and overcoming tough obstacles along the way, appropriate for a place such as Bosco.

Around Bosco: Bosco Veteran Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt Named First Dean of Academics

by Pedro Ochoa

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you sudden changes that call for certain measures, you have to reassign responsibilities. A Bosco veteran, the well respected Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt, will be stepping into a new role for the rest of the 2020-2021 academic school year. 

Bosco has been through so many obstacles this past year in regards with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, Mrs. Hunt has risen to the challenge and has now settled in as the first ever Dean of Academics. The administration team formed a new position in Dean of Academics to collaborate with the Vice Principal of Academic Affairs, Mr. Edgar Salmingo. 

“My goal as Dean of Academics is to make the teachers happy. Whenever the teachers show their love and affection for the subject, the students tend to love the subject even more,” said Mrs. Hunt.

St. John Bosco High School welcomes everyone with open arms. Bosco’s community setting is unmatched, as teachers and staff choose to serve the school for many years. Mrs. Hunt is a prime example of this. 

Mrs. Hunt was referred to work at Bosco by Ms. Norma Aguilera, a Spanish teacher at St. John Bosco. Mrs. Hunt has had a handful of roles at Bosco, ranging from class moderator, to Spanish teacher, to Dean of Students and now to Dean of Academics. Mrs. Hunt has always had the willingness to help out wherever the school needs her. She was even once the Assistant Principal of Student Affairs because she was called to do it. It is challenging to take a new position, especially in these precarious times. Mrs. Hunt’s willingness and dedication to help the school is an example of why she is a true Salesian.

“If there is anything that this past year has taught us, it is that there are going to be many obstacles that come at us in life, and we need to learn how to be ready and be able to maneuver those obstacles to keep going on with our lives,” said Mrs. Hunt. 

She took this new step in her career because she is always open to help the school. She believes in the Salesian mission, and wants to continue to help the school be the best it can be. Even through the challenges of the pandemic, teachers stepped up to the challenge and Mrs. Hunt wants to continue to support teachers and continue to help them grow so they can be the best they can be for the students.   

“I think she took this position because she wanted to show us students that we need to be open to trying new things. She is trying to inspire us to find our courage within. I want to congratulate her and thank her for what she is doing for the school,” said senior Alfred Munoz

Mrs. Hunt has built connections with many students at Bosco, whether teaching them in her class, being on her class board or disciplining them in her office after breaking the rules. She has worked with students in so many capacities. The transition from Dean of Students to Dean of Academics means that Mrs. Hunt will still advocate for students and teachers to try to promote the conduct of the “Bosco Man,” but this time on the academic level. 

Mrs. Hunt’s main goal as Dean of Academics is to try to help the learning experience of students by supporting and working with the teachers. It has been noticed in the past that when the teachers are happy, the students are happy. She wants to try to find ways to make learning and teaching fun everyday so that Bosco’s young men are excited to arrive on campus for a great learning experience.

Around Bosco: Bosco Alumnus Mr. Fernando Avila Steps Into New Role As Dean of Students

by Pedro Ochoa

Bosco is a home, a school, a church and a playground.  One person who embodies all those elements on our campus is Bosco alumnus, Mr. Fernando Avila, who will be stepping into a new role for the rest of the 2020-2021 academic school year.

Mr. Avila, from the Bosco class of 2013, became the new interim Dean of Students last month for the rest of the academic school year. After graduating from St. John Bosco High School, Mr. Avila chose to come back to his Alma Mater to teach. Mr. Avila has had multiple roles in the short amount of time that he has been at Bosco. He has been an AP teacher multiple times, the Activities Director, an ASB moderator and now Dean of Students. After accumulating a ton of experience in just a short time, Mr. Avila stepped into the new role seamlessly.

With so many obstacles being thrown at St. John Bosco High School, Mr. Avila and the administration have found ways to get through it. One challenge beyond COVID-19 this school year has been the shifting of leadership within the school’s administration. 

With the easing of L.A. County Public Health restrictions, Bosco was able to offer all students a chance to come back on campus. With the shift of leaderships positions, such as Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt’s new role as Bosco’s Dean of Academics and Mr. Adan Jaramillo as interim Principal, Mr. Avila stepped into Mrs. Hunt’s previous role of Dean of Students, while also maintaining his teaching status. 

When one graduates from Bosco, it really isn’t a goodbye, but a “see you later.” Mr. Avila graduated from Bosco and came back to work right after high school in the summer program. He then came back to teach four years later after graduating from Cal State Long Beach.

The St. John Bosco High School administration has gone through multiple obstacles that called for specific measures. The global pandemic and the departure of former Principal, Dr. Christian De Larkin, left some pieces to be filled within the school. Mr. Avila took this new step in his career because he has always been open to trying to help the school to the best of his ability. Whenever there is a need, Mr. Avila is one to put himself out there to help Bosco be the best it can be. 

“This isn’t just a job. I want to be here everyday. A part of this vocation is putting myself in a position to help the Bosco boys out,” said Mr. Avila.

Despite already dealing with enough of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Avila took on his new responsibilities as Dean of Students. One of Mr. Avila’s main goals is to promote school conduct and show the Bosco Braves that it really is not a punishment to go to the Deans, but advice for the future. 

“The whole perception of a Dean is a little mixed up. We want guys to uphold the student handbook. If there is an issue that gets brought up multiple times, maybe the policy that is enacted needs to get a further review,” said Mr. Avila. 

The transition from Activities Director to Dean of Students is a very big change for not only the administration, but for the students. 

“I am really happy for him,” said senior Hector Andrade. “It just seems weird seeing him with the new title of Dean of Students. I am used to seeing him as [Activities Director].”

Mr. Avila is still the same Mr. Avila that everyone knows and loves, there is just a different title in front of his name now. 

“I’m a pretty laid back person. The change in position is all about the approach. It is not about coming down on guys and getting them in trouble, but about life lessons and growth,” said Mr. Avila.

Mr. Avila knows exactly what the dean’s office feels like, especially at St. John Bosco High School. During his four years at Bosco, Mr. Avila actually went to the dean’s office because he thought a small prank would be funny. He did not get a punishment, but a life lesson as to why he should become a better man. He definitely listened to his former dean, current assistant football coach and math teacher Jacob Negro.

News/Op-Ed: In The Aftermath Of Spring Break, How Did COVID-19 Fare Across The United States?

by Aeden Alexander

One year after COVID-19 began to spread in the United States, many wonder how COVID-19’s second consecutive presence during spring break would affect the country now that vaccines are beginning to go into people’s arms.

The numbers don’t lie, as of late March 2021 coronavirus numbers are at an all time low in all states. But this isn’t for any reason, as with the now available vaccines out, almost twenty two percent of the country has been fully vaccinated.

Many schools look to return to on campus learning but spring break might affect reopenings due to the potential of rising cases. Some Bosco students offered to share what they did during spring break to prevent another outbreak.

“Yeah, honestly with everything closed you can’t really do much to begin with, but thankfully since we live in California we have many social distanced options like the beach which is where I spent most my time fishing and having fun,” said junior Jesse Paderez.

But, now that spring break is over it gives us a chance to take a look at how it affected COVID-19 cases. From numbers being at an all time low, there are now hospitals in many states like Florida and California that got hit with a new spike of people testing positive.

At the start of April, 702,000 new positive tests come out due to traveling for spring break vacations. Many warnings were put out suggesting not to travel, but many did not listen. 

Florida, more specifically Miami, took action early and shut down many of their popular spring break spots but this did not affect much as Florida was hit the hardest of all states in positive cases after Spring Break.

California, now being one of the states with a dipping positivity test rate, is not as reopened as Florida to begin with, but even with the small spike in numbers, Governor Gavin Newsom came out and released a statement saying that by June, California looks to be fully opened with protocols like masks and hand sanitizing still in place.

“I’m super excited for the reopening, obviously we didn’t really have last summer so I am pumped especially for baseball too because we can have a full summer of playing and not have to really worry about what will happen in the future,” said junior Jake Ellison.

Spring Break had much less of an affect from a COVID-19 standpoint this year compared to last year, and part of that is due to the new vaccine availability, which are a major reason for recent success in keeping case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths low and declining. Yet, there were also many people took the pandemic much more seriously this year than last year, which was another contributing factor to the lower numbers we are seeing from the CDC.

Sports: Bosco Wrestling Returns At Last

by Andrew Fierro

Bosco Wrestling is back in a new format which has already affected the wrestlers and their seasons leaving an impact on the future of their wrestling careers.

Though the wrestling season for most of the wrestlers starts in the fall of every year, this year due to restrictions from Covid-19 the season isn’t getting underway until late April and into May.

With the restrictions from Covid-19 the seasons format will be updated with new schedules and different outlooks on duals. There will be no tournaments and instead will have duals and a will indeed have a CIF Dual Championship at the end of the season. This is different from the usual season with a variety of team duals and individual tournaments for the wrestlers.

The biggest update for the season is the unlikelihood of a state championship tournament. With no tournament at this scale it will have a major effect on the seniors wrestling who are scholarship hopefuls. Without this type of stage that will give the seniors the chance to make a name for themselves it will become more difficult for the wrestlers to get the notoriety of different colleges in hopes for scholarship opportunities.

Many seniors who are not looking to wrestle in college will also be heavily impacted because of the loss of a large portion of their last season. Many wrestlers from all over the state will be disappointed to not have the opportunity to compete at the highest level.

One senior who was hoping to have a standout performance in the 2021 wrestling season to help boost his scholarship opportunities was Bosco Wrestler Jasper Centeno.

“The season usually is able to provide us with exposure to college scouts, so with the season being dramatically reduced, it has a large effect on being scouted,” said Jasper.

Though he has had to deal with lots of issues with the season Jasper shows excitement towards the season and being able to wrestle.

“I’m just happy I will be able to participate in something in my final year,” said Jasper.

It’s been hard for wrestlers like him and many others who may have lost focus and motivation for the oncoming season which is something that Jasper spoke on. 

“It’s easy to stay lazy and not better yourself, you have to make that choice to get up and improve yourself,” said Jasper.

Many seniors like him are going through the exact same issue and are being hit hard with the chance of not being able to get offers to wrestle at a higher level college next year. Covid has had a drastic effect on the way colleges scout, though seniors are not the only ones going through tough times due to covid. 

Another wrestler having to fight through the adversity caused by covid this season is junior Bosco Wrestler Oscar Aranda. Oscar Aranda has also dealt with many challenges going into this season and is disappointed that the season is not as long as usual which doesn’t bring the same excitement as usual. His biggest disappointment is in the unlikelihood of a state tournament.

“The changes to the season are restraining and the possibility of no state tournament is bad because it is the highlight of many wrestlers’ high school careers,” said Oscar.

There are also limitations on practice and with all of the wrestlers being unable to practice up until now it will be hard for them to compete at the best of their abilities. There will be strict policies from each school in the CIF that will limit the amount of participants and what the criteria is to be able to participate.

Though one good thing that has come out of covid is the eagerness it has given the wrestlers to compete. The wrestlers have been starved from not only competition but even practice which has caused wrestlers like Oscar to become anxious to get back to it.

“Yes not being able to practice much has made me hungrier to get back on the mat which I believe is a good thing,” said Oscar.

As the season begins Bosco Wrestling looks to keep that high status in the wrestling community and continue their dominance throughout the year with hungry wrestlers who are eager to get back to sport. 

Sports: After A Series Of Upsets, UCLA Made A Surprising Final Four Run During March Madness

by Jackson Smith

Against all odds, the UCLA Bruins made a shocking March Madness run, led by Head Coach Mick Cronin and stars Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr. Despite taking the NCAA by storm, the Bruins missed out on a chance to play for the National Championship after their loss to Gonzaga in heartbreaking fashion.

The Bruins, led by Jaime Jaquez Jr and Johnny Juzang, had their run stopped by #1 seeded Gonzaga in the last seconds of overtime. Gonzaga Guard Jalen Suggs dribbled down most of the court and then made a one footed 3 pointer that banked in as the clock hit zero, crushing UCLA’s dream run. 

After hitting the shocking buzzer beater, Suggs, a potential lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, jumped onto the scorer’s table and celebrated as UCLA players stood crushed. In a show of sportsmanship, after celebrating, Suggs hugged Jaquez Jr. and Juzang while they dealt with the shock of their loss. 

In a game where everyone ruled them out, the Bruins went and gave one of the best college teams a serious run for their money, being just a miracle shot away from forcing double overtime. It was arguably one of the greatest NCAA March Madness games of all time. 

Right before the end of the game, with only two seconds remaining, there was a controversial call by the official. The call was a charging foul, which is what gave Suggs a chance at his game winner. If it had been called a blocking foul, then Juzang would have gone to the free throw line with a chance at a two point lead. At the time it seemed like a good call, but the replay left some serious doubts amongst fans. 

UCLA was never supposed to be in the game if the scoring was plentiful, but their big three came up with extraordinary numbers that night. Juzang, Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell came out and competed. Campbell, UCLA’s point guard, went out and scored consistently, while Juzang went out and put up 29 points. Jaquez Jr’s clutch shooting nearly made all of the difference. 

UCLA came into college basketball’s biggest tournament as the number 11 seed from the west, but even before that they had to play Michigan State for their spot to even compete. The Bruins got hot after their overtime win against Michigan State. They defeated BYU and Abilene Christian with a case for an underdog team. They overcame number 2 seed Alabama in overtime and scraped by against Michigan. 

UCLA was never supposed to go so far in the tournament. If someone had bet they would have gotten 50-1 odds for them to make the Final Four, behind even St. Bonaventure and Georgetown. They were the obvious outliers in the final four with two 1 seeds and a 2 seed compared to their 11 seed, and despite seeming like a hell of an underdog, they almost won the bloody battle against 1 seed Gonzaga and a spot in the National Championship game

After the teams successes, UCLA Head Coach Mick Cronin received a multi-year extension to remain with the school for the foreseeable future. If past is prologue, the Bruins – who went from the first four to the final four against all odds – may very well have the opportunity to win the elusive National Championship under Cronin. 

Sports: Bosco Looks To Stay Hot As They Take On Orange Lutheran Saturday Evening

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

The Braves look to head into Santa Ana next weekend with momentum as they look to stay undefeated in 2021.

Last Saturday afternoon, the home crowd was treated to a show as the Braves took yet another big step toward the season with a clinical 66-14 rout of the visiting JSerra.

Bosco (4-0, 3-0 Trinity) scored touchdowns on its first, third, seventh, 11th, 19th, 21st and 25th offensive plays, rolling up a 35-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter, pushing that to 49-0 after seven possessions and to 59-7 by halftime.

The Braves rolled up 419 total yards in the first half, 491 for the game and missed the end zone just twice all afternoon, settling for a Andre Meono field goal near the end of the first half and, with mostly reserves on the field, forced to punt in the third quarter.

They scored in special teams thanks to Rayshon Luke’s 85-yard punt return at the end of the first half and on defense after Zion Austin’s had a school-record 96-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter.

“We played really well, cleaned up a lot of the mistakes,” “We had just two penalties, we had no miss-tackles, and we executed. All the balls we threw were on time, we made our blocks, and we got so far ahead of them that we just overwhelmed them” Negro said in an interview with the Long Beach Press Telegram

The Braves will now turn their attention towards Orange Lutheran, who have just scored 20 points in its two games. Both resulted in losses to Servite (69-13) and Mater Dei (49-7). Lancers junior quarterback Logan Gonzalez threw for 197 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Servite.

The Braves have been using two quarterbacks, sophomore Pierce Clarkson and junior Katin Houser and both have had success.

Clarkson has passed for 406 yards and six TDs while completing 71.9% and has also rushed for 195 yards and a touchdown. Houser has thrown for 432 yards and six TDs and has completed 65.9% of his passes. Neither has thrown an interception.

The St. John Bosco running game — led by junior Rayshon Luke — is averaging 8.6 yards per carry. Luke has gone for 267 yards and four TDs on just 18 carries, a 14.8 average.

St. John Bosco’s first five games in this spring football season are all about preparing for the sixth and final outing, against Mater Dei to determine the Trinity League champion.

Negro knows his players are looking ahead to that game, even with Orange Lutheran headed to Bellflower on Saturday, and that’s totally okay. The eight meetings the past four seasons have decided the Trinity League or CIF Southern Section titles, and although there will be no playoffs this season, they see the April 17 faceoff at Santa Ana Stadium as a CIF final. Bosco was No. 1 in the nation in 2019, while Mater Dei had the title in 2017 and 2018.

“We mention it all the time,” Negro said. “You can’t hide from it. I mean, our kids know. We’re certainly not looking past our opponents, but it’s the elephant in the room, and we’re going to recognize it, because I think that’s the one thing we’ve done in our program the whole time, is we know what’s on the horizon, we know what we need to be successful in that game, and we’re going to use these opportunities before it to get there.”

Apart from Saturday’s game against Orange Lutheran, there will be a special Homecoming presentation taking place at half time where the first ever Homecoming King will be named! The nominees are Seniors Anthony Mejia, Andrew Cruz, and James Pearce.

Not only will there be a special presentation on halftime, but after the game there will be an afterparty taking place in the Quad. Students from Bosco and St. Jospehs are welcomed to attend as long as they show their wristband which will be available for pick up in front of the MPR from 6-7 PM.

The afterparty will be a nice little taste of what Homecoming could have been if the pandemic never struck and will conclude at 11:00 PM.

Life Of A Brave: Bosco Senior Pedro Ochoa Formally Recognized For His Christian Service

by John Udabe

On Tuesday, March 16th, St John Bosco High School senior Pedro Ochoa received the Christian Service Award, which was presented by Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. This award was just one indication of the impact that Pedro has had during his time at Bosco.

The Christian Service Award is awarded annually to high school seniors from all around the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Along with the precondition of attending a Catholic school in the LA Archdiocese, nominees must also show constant and exemplary service within and beyond their school communities. 

St. John Bosco’s Christian Service Coordinator, John Weinandy, elaborated on the award.

“[The award] is the diocese recognizing the importance of service and really trying to find a leader in the school who is both passionate about it, excited about it and wants to get his classmates involved as well,” said Mr. Weinandy.

When discussing the nomination process, he added, “It was pretty obviously Pedro because he cares deeply about other people and wants to share that caring with others.”

Pedro recalled the moment he found out he was going to be a recipient of the award.

“When I heard the news, I was amazed. It was a surreal moment, something hard to process. And it was a great feeling being able to have mass in the Cathedral,” said Pedro.

From the very beginning of his high school career, Pedro quickly became engaged with many different groups around Bosco. Since then, he has taken leadership roles in Youth Ministry, Campus Ministry, Christian Service and Associated Student Body. In addition to this, he has also been involved with Student Ambassadors and has competed in Shot Put and Discus on the Track and Field team.

Pedro never intended to become so involved at Bosco. Looking back at his start at Bosco, he said, “I came into Bosco saying I was not going to be involved in anything, but that didn’t last because I think I am called by God to serve others.”

Teachers and administrators alike remember Pedro’s engagement as an underclassmen. Mr Weinandy can remember Pedro’s start with Christian service his sophomore year.

“It was just great seeing a sophomore stepping up into a leadership role and getting involved with something he was so passionate about while working with the seniors to plan events around campus and get the student body involved,” said Mr. Weinandy.

During the past year in dealing with the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, Pedro especially has stepped up to help his community.

“We had to think of new innovative ways to make sure St. John Bosco High School still had the faith aspect,” Pedro said, and his focus remained on finding ways to create a stronger Bosco community.

In doing so, Pedro has helped coordinate multiple virtual events, including masses and prayer services, as well as a video series that teaches the Bosco students about Salesian landmarks around Bosco.

 “Ministry Mondays is a series of small episodes where we go around and talk about Salesian landmarks around campus. Our main goal is to spread awareness of our Salesian campus to the students,” said Pedro.

Pedro’s service is not only on the Bosco campus, but also reaches out into the larger community. Pedro organized a toy drive for his own city through Bosco.

“I have been attending the South Gate Toy drive for 8 years, and every year it’s special,” Pedro remarks, “We get to put smiles on children’s faces and I also got the honor to be able to score a partnership with the South Gate Water Department to give toys to more families in need last year.”

Pedro does not only do such a wide array of service, but he does it graciously and joyfully. To put it simply, Pedro says, “I do what I do because I love doing it,” and this outlook of Pedro’s is apparent to everyone who knows him.

Mr. Torre, a former teacher of Pedro’s and current Kairos coordinator, looked fondly on Pedro’s attitude inside and outside of the classroom.

“He’s a glass-half-full kind of guy,” Mr. Torre remarks, and in regards to why Pedro is so optimistic and positive, he said, “I think Pedro loves to come to Bosco, and I think Pedro really does what he does out of joy.”

When describing Pedro’s involvement with Kairos, Mr. Torre adds how Pedro “demonstrates his leadership with a laser beam kind of focus,” and continued, “If I had to use three words to describe him, it would be joyful, engaging, and as I’ve gotten to know him better, faithful.”

In the past four years, Pedro has worked closely with Mr. Jaramillo as a part of ASB and Youth Ministry. Mr. Jaramillo reflected on Pedro’s early involvement at Bosco.

“I’ve known Pedro since he started his freshman year. There was always something that Pedro wanted to be a part of, but not for him. I think he embodied what servant leadership is, by putting others before himself,” said Mr. Jaramillo.

This year Pedro is not only a member of ASB Executive Board, but also is the current Youth Ministry delegate. This position is unique to Salesian schools and Mr. Jaramillo elaborated on the importance of that role.

“It is one of the highest leadership opportunities in the Salesian world,” and when speaking on Pedro’s impact in that position, Mr Jaramillo said, “I always admire the fact that he always wanted to do more when he became delegate this year, from day one.”

Kyle Perera, from Bosco’s class of 2020, was last year’s Youth Ministry Delegate and Christian Service Award recipient. He reflected on last year’s youth ministry team’s ability to adapt to the unpredictable circumstances.

“The entire team did an amazing job. Pedro did an excellent job leading the Christian Service team. His leadership fit the role he played in the Youth Ministry Team,” said Kyle.

Kyle was happy to hear of Pedro’s accomplishment.

“I’m happy for Pedro,” Kyle remarks, “From what I saw while working with him last year, he was well qualified to earn such a prestigious award. He had that passion to serve others out of the goodness of his heart…that’s why he had such great work ethic.”

If there are any shared sentiments by those who know Pedro, it is that he is selfless and passionate about helping others. In the words of Mr. Jaramillo, Pedro “always had the mentality of ‘this is what my peers would want’, or  ‘what are my classmates asking?’ and that’s where Pedro fulfills the mission of the school, because he puts all of us before himself.”

Pedro Ochoa is one of the most active members of the Bosco community, whose countless hours of community involvement have helped to make Bosco even better. His tireless work in the last year alone was crucial to helping Bosco adapt to the new online environment. As the Youth Ministry Delegate, he has set a very high bar by going above and beyond for the school, and his absence from Bosco after he graduates will definitely be especially missed.

As of now, Pedro is hoping to attend one of his dream colleges and plans on continuing his service after he graduates from St. John Bosco.

“I really want to continue to help people in need, I want to help the less fortunate, and I want to try to inspire others to know that they can do the same,” said Pedro.

News/Op-Ed: A Quick Reflection On Holy Week To Prepare Our Soul To Accompany Jesus In His Suffering

by Pedro Ochoa

Spring break is more than just a few days of vacation. During Easter break, Christian’s celebrate Holy Week, as they remember the life of Jesus. This year, Holy Week starts on Sunday March 28 and ends Sunday April 4.

Holy Week — True Life Church

In Christian tradition, Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and carries on through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. It is a time for Christians to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the Cross, concluding with an empty tomb in Calvary.

What makes this week holy? During this week, Christians are asked to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ death. It starts with Palm Sunday when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. The week then leads us through the Last Supper, His crucifixion, and ends on Easter Sunday with His resurrection.

Palm Sunday:

The first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter, commemorating Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This day is celebrated around the world with palms and twigs from the day of. The palms are important because when Jesus was entering Jerusalem, they greeted him with waving palms and palms on the floor, creating a rug because of his long journey. 

Maundy Thursday: 

Maundy Thursday is also known as Holy Thursday and Sheer Thursday, among other names. It is a Christian holy day that commemorates events known as the Washing of the Feet and the Last Supper. Churches celebrate this day with a reenactment of the Last Supper and the Washing of the Feet.

Good Friday:

Good Friday, the Friday before Easter is the day on which Christians annually observe the commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From the early days of Christianity, Good Friday was observed as a day of sorrow, penance, and fasting. Churches celebrate this day with a reenactment of the stages of Jesus’ death. These stages are called The Stations of the Cross. 

Easter Sunday:

This Sunday marks the end of Holy Week and Lent. Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Churches have a celebration during this day. It is said by many, that the most important day in the Christian calendar that Christians should attend church is on Easter Sunday. 

Jesus came to earth to save humanity by dying on the cross on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday. He opened the gates of heaven making a way for our sin to be forgiven and usher us into the presence of God. Holy Week is a sacred opportunity to study the foundation of Christianity. 

In the end, Holy Week works as a way for Christians to reflect on their actions, to live in a way the pain that Jesus felt in his last days and how Christians can put his teachings into action and prophesize his gospel.

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