Monthly Archives: October 2022

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions With New Counselor, Mrs. Melissa Pantoja

by Noah Dawson

St. John Bosco High School welcomes new counselor, Mrs. Melissa Pantoja, to the counseling staff, as she works to serve all students with their academic needs.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Q. What is your hometown?

A. I am from La Mirada, California

Q. What school did you attend for high school?

A. La Mirada High School

Q. What school(s) did you attend for college? 

A. Cerritos College, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Oregon State University.

Q. What was your major/minor in college?

A. I was a Psychology major for my undergraduate and a School Counseling major for my graduate degree.

Q. Do you own any pets?

A. YES! Two silver labs. They are my babies :).

Q. What do you like to do as a hobby?

A. Two of my hobbies are exercising and meditating.

Q. What’s your favorite outdoor hobbies?

A. I like being outdoors as much as possible, so I really enjoy hiking, walking and camping.

Q. Do you like any sports or have you played any?

A. I swam for my high school varsity swim team for three years and played softball for eight years. 

Q. What’s your favorite sport to watch. 

A. I will watch any sport! 

Q. Can you explain what you do as a counselor at Bosco?

A. I help with academics, career and college readiness as well as social emotional learning.

Q. What specifically drew you to Bosco?

A. I was drawn to work at Bosco because of the school’s reputation. This is a prestigious high school filled with young scholars who are motivated and families that are supportive. That is a counselor’s dream!

Q. Where did you first become inspired to get into counseling?

A. I was first inspired to get into the field of human services when I was in high school.                                                

Q. What was your first introduction to counseling and psychology? 

A. I took my first Psychology class as a junior in high school and fell in love with the field. From there, I knew I wanted to work in psychology and with children, so I pursued counseling. I never thought an elective course would be my key to figuring out what I wanted to do as a career.

Q. How has your time at Bosco been so far?

A. Great! Everyone is so kind and helpful, especially the students. I feel so welcomed.

Q. How are you acclimating to the all-boy environment?

A. I grew up with two younger brothers and was the only girl of three, so I am used to an “all-boy environment.”          

Q. What’s your favorite thing about Bosco? 

A. I appreciate how well mannered and respectful all the boys on campus are.

Q. Which event are you most excited about here at Bosco?

A. To experience a football game! I heard those are super fun. I am excited to bring my family along and share the experience with them too.

Q. What are some difficulties that you went through to get to where you are today?

A. My journey to college was somewhat rocky. I did not have a lot of guidance when it came to the college application process. I made a lot of mistakes that affected my college entrance. However, I am now able to utilize the lessons I learned throughout my journey along with my professional training to best help students reach their post-secondary goals.

Q. Do you have any advice for any students that wish to become counselors?

A. DO IT! If you like helping people you’ll love this job. It’s fun and rewarding.

Q. What’s your favorite type of music to listen to?

A. Pop.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. Mac n’ cheese. I could literally eat it every day.

Around Bosco: Bosco’s Surf Team Catches A Wave As The Newest Club On Campus

By Marco Castro

Senior Isaac Mays leads the newest club on campus, as he hopes to bring the joy of surfing to St. John Bosco High School. The club is open to all levels of surfing and plans to host their inaugural meeting this Saturday morning at the Seal Beach Jetty.

Photo by Bosco Surf Team

Isaac Mays has been surfing for many years, and with the help of club co-founder, fellow senior Ryan Gutierrez, Isaac looks to extend his love for aquatics with all of the Bosco community. Inspired by the success of nearby schools, Isaac was in awe with the camaraderie that was built within the surf community. Being a part of both Varsity Water Polo and Swim, he wanted to make a club that went in hand with his love for water sports. 

“We have a competition planned with Long Beach Poly High School around winter time this year,” Isaac said.

Surf competitions are scored by judges and participants are given points based on the skills displayed while surfing. More points are awarded for doing tricks, which Isaac doesn’t think many people will be doing at their competitions.

Although there will be frequent competitions, potential members do not need prior experience to be a part of the Surf Team.

“No experience is necessary; we’re just looking to have a fun time,” Isaac said.

Knowing that surfing is not a common skill to have, Isaac plans to teach members how to surf along with co-captains Andrew Rivera and Eiian Reyes. In addition to teaching new members how to surf, they will be tasked with teaching co-founder Ryan Gutierrez how to surf. Ryan is in charge of social media on the Surf Team and a prime example of how to be active on the team despite lacking prior knowledge of how to surf. 

“When Isaac brought up the idea to me, I just wanted to hop on board and try new things out,” said Ryan.

Trying new things is the theme of this new club, as well as building a stronger bond between students on campus. While surfing without prior knowledge may seem daunting, being a member of the Surf Team is a chance to learn and grow alongside members of the Bosco community. Being its first year of this club on campus, there are bound to be growing pains that the club will endure and grow from as a whole.

“I think this a good experience for Bosco to come together and focus on surfing,” said Andrew. “I feel like a lot of people have interest in surfing but don’t have the means to do so.”

The Bosco Surf Team is available to any students from both St. John Bosco and St. Joseph’s High Schools who are interested in surfing. All of the people involved in starting this club are able and willing to help anyone learn how to surf and to provide a board to borrow for those that don’t have one.

Their first meeting will be this Saturday at 7:00 am at the Seal Beach Jetty. Again, all levels are welcome, and a limited number of boards will be available to those who may need one. If you are interested in being a part of this club or attending, contact the Bosco Surf Team on Instagram 

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