Category Archives: Around Bosco

Bosco: Annual Blood Drive Another Success

by Joshua Lucero and RJ Johnson IV

St. John Bosco High School has connected with Cedars-Sinai Hospital D2mRbosUcAAEd42.jpg-largeto put on the school’s annual blood drive from this year. Students, faculty, staff and other people of the community were given an opportunity to donate blood on March 26th.

Students who were 16 or older were given a chance to help save lives with their donations, with help from a signing from their parents. Students who are 17 years or older were welcomed to donate.

Bosco students had to answer a number of questions, making sure they were cleared to help save lives. Blood donations serves for a number of purposes, asit helps with open heart surgeries, liver, and kidney transplants. Trauma victims that have been in car accidents, shootings, fatal injuries and other life-threatening situations are helped.

The blood donations serve more than just helping adults with these surgeries and life-threatening accidents, but also with helping babies through various conditions.

Mr. Weinandy, a teacher at St. John Bosco, was one of the main instructors who orchestrated the blood drive. The blood drive itself took almost two weeks to advertise to the student body, teachers, and to the public.

Mr. Weinandy was happy to see so many Bosco Braves helping others. He hopes for next year to see an even stronger support, not only from Bosco students but from those who represent Bosco as a whole.

Through Cedars-Sinai, the Bosco community was able to donate blood to all types of patients. Each donor gave a pint of blood. Among the students, there were an estimated 58 Bosco Braves who aided to help save a life.

From these 58 donors, there were 55 pints of blood donated, which is 6.875 gallons. In the fall – when Cedars-Sinai partnered with Bosco in the beginning of the year – the turnout had an estimated 60 donors. All together from the fall and from March, there were 118 donors and 113 pints collected, which is 14.125 gallons.

Faculty and staff were able to donate as well. Mr. Salmingo was among the many of Bosco’s staff who donated. He, like many others, did this to help give back to those in need.

After donating to those who gave their blood, the donors were given food and drinks to help aid with the loss of their blood. In the end, many helped out those in need.


SJB Unsung Heroes: Bobby Bernado

by Jacob Jornadal and Jake Bailey

In any well-functioning community, there are always certain individuals that keep everything running smoothly, like the oil that keeps the engine running in an automobile.


Within the St. John Bosco High School community, there are many stars – academic and athletic – that shine very bright in all aspects of life, but without the unsung heroes doing the blue-collar work that they do, those “stars” at Bosco would struggle to succeed as much as they do.

Bobby Bernardo is Bosco’s “Mr Everything.” From maintenance to organizing sporting events, Bobby does just about anything he is asked to do and more with a smile on his face at all times.

It’s humbling to see the impact one person can have on someone or something when that person consistently does his job the right way.

“I have helped organize many events like flag football tournaments, volleyball events, and I also work the snack bar for such events as well,” said Bobby Bernado.

Bobby’s main responsibility around school is to manage the locker room as well as work the concession stand at sporting events. Even with these main and major responsibilities, Bobby is extremely flexible and does much more that usually goes unheard and unseen.

If Bobby wasn’t already loved by everyone in the Bosco community, his story about how he arrived at our school will surely compel everyone to jump on the Bobby bandwagon. His background and journey to SJB shows that through hard work, dedication, and consistency, anything is possible.

“I was born and raised in the Philippines, and graduated from Don Bosco Tech in the Philippines. When I moved here with my family, my son attended Bosco and while there, I got involved in many activities around the school,” said Bobby.

Bobby continued to speak about how he began by helping with sporting tournaments, as well as Catholic youth organizations, and now is an area representative for local youth programs.

Bobby has what seems to be a deeper love for St. John Bosco than most, as a result of the family ties that he has with the school.

“My son graduated from Bosco and absolutely loved his time spent here. My brother in-law as well as many of my cousins have graduated from here too, so I am very familiar with the environment and culture here,” said Bobby Bernado.

Bobby has not worked at any other school and does not plan to anytime soon. His love for Bosco and the people within is a massive part of who he is. SJB has helped Bobby mold into the person he is and has offered him comfort and structure for which he is forever grateful.

“My favorite part about SJB has to be the brotherhood. It is unlike anything I have ever seen and it truly is special,” said Bobby.

“Outside of the brotherhood, I love attending the sporting events here, especially football and volleyball games. The energy and excitement is a feeling one can only experience in person, at the game itself, and it is really indescribable. Bosco has a special place in my heart forever,” he continued.

Many schools have important and resourceful people at their school but unlike others, Bobby continues to keep a close relationship with the entire community, helping out anyone in need.

Bobby is an essential key factor in keeping Bosco in top-notch condition, making it one of the best overall high schools in California. It really would be impossible for SJB to thrive in the fashion that it does without Bobby.

Everyone around campus adores and appreciates Bobby, but now more than ever, students, faculty, and staff should give an extra thanks to Bobby when they see him, making sure he knows just how much he is appreciated.

Thank you Bobby, on behalf of all the St. John Bosco faculty and students, for everything you do!

Bosco: Sports Med Pathway Proving Its Worth On Campus

by Gabriel Botello

Last year was the first year in the annual Sports Medicine competition for St. John Bosco High School.


Photo – Jalen Manson and Michael Beltran

The team competed for the first time as juniors, and with six of them representing St. John Bosco, placed 26th place.

The team had to take 150 multiple choice questions about injury scenarios, different types of injuries, legal terms, nutrition, and other things related to the field. In addition, students also had to perform a practical exam where they were given a structure to palpate, an injury to evaluate, a scenario to perform, and a taping job.

For it being the team’s first year and with over 75 schools from the United States being present, the outcome was successful. This year, the team is coming back with more students and feel more prepared than last year.

The Sports Medicine pathway is all about educating, showing, and preparing students for how to treat injuries resulting in any sporting activity.

“The pathway has inspired me to pursue a career in the medical field. All four years of the pathway has definitely benefited me and made me grow as a person and [see a future] career wise,” said senior Sebastian Padilla.

The pathway has clearly been regarded as highly successful and continues to trend in the right direction. It’s benefits towards students looking to pursue a future career in sports medicine is clear.

“The Sports Medicine pathway gave me structure throughout high school. Entering Bosco I was unsure as to what subject I would study in college, I didn’t have any passions. I was interested when I heard about the pathway and decided to see where this interest would take me,” said senior Javier Ochoa.

Just from the experience of two students, as well as myself, the Sports Medicine pathway at Bosco has been a great addition to an already wide pathway realm.


Bosco: Hambones BBQ Near Campus

by RJ Johnson

Hambones! An alive piece of Southern hospitality located in Bellflower, California on Alondra Boulevard. This barbeque restaurant brings about a unique presence within the BBQ community that not many other restaurants can offer.


At Hambones, you have a wide variety of different main courses to pick from, along with side dishes that do more than compliment the meal.

Unlike larger barbeque restaurant chains, Hambones prides itself in building personal bonds and relationships with all of their customers. Instead of just being a quick bite to eat, it feels more like an experience. Revisiting Hambones feels like catching up with an old friend, home-cooking away from home.

Hambone’s owner – Kenneth Hambone Hamilton – had the Hambone’s franchise and original recipes passed down to him by his father and was expected to carry on the legacy. Mr. Hamilton did more than just meet expectations, opening up several locations across America in Mississippi, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

A signature item on Hambones Chicago location’s menu are turkey tips. Kenneth


Photo – RJ Johnson

Hamilton says that he is the originator of this dish and it would be extremely rare to find this anywhere else in America.

Since there are very few Hambone locations in comparison to other barbecue restaurants like Johnny Rebs and Lucille’s, what you see at each location will always have it’s very own unique form.

“Our number one ingredient for our meat at every single one of our locations is wood! It has a more distinctive taste, unlike propane. Wood is extremely important for what we do,” said Hamilton.

Mr. Hamilton isn’t only a restaurant owner, but an active leader of the youth, hosting seminars and helping young men stay on the right path throughout the rest of their life. He believes that how we mold our youth is very important and that the future starts with them.

Hamilton has given a few endangered youth job opportunities working with him, and helping them build connections with other successful people.

With all of the things that Kenneth Hamilton already has to do in the community, it would seem as if he has hardly any time left. He still finds the time to be the president of a Motorcycle Club.

Juggling work, the growth of others, and the community around him has found its way to become a norm for Mr. Hamilton. The passion he has shown for his craft has paid off, making Hambones a personal favorite for many barbeque fanatics.


Bosco: “Ragtime” Play Review

by John Gallegos

The St. John Bosco theater program entered 2019 with the task of tackling the play Ragtime: The Musical. A play with a social message that resonated with the audience as the material, although taking place in the early 20th century, parallels similar struggles we face today.1_Ragtime_Poster_(1)

Like many great works of art, there are a plethora of layers to be depicted throughout “Ragtime”. Yet these layers are glaring as they deal with the continuing problems in American society with topics like social justice movements, race relations, immigration, as well as privileges stemming from affluence.

Although these may take place in at the turn of the century, over a hundred years ago the relevance is enhanced in this tumultuous time period we are in. 

Malcolm X once said  “You can’t drive a knife into a man’s back nine inches, pull it out six inches and call it progress. The progress is healing the wound the blow made.” 

Many of these issues have been addressed, yet no true healing has ever occurred as social problems have been drawn out through the last century and carried over into today’s society. 

The issues surrounding immigration are not just a topic that just we as Americans are familiar about. The play followed the journey of Tateh, a Jewish immigrant played by Victor Curiel, and the struggles he faced throughout his search and hopes for the so-called American Dream. Although coming from different places and for different reasons, immigrating at this time was still a hot topic and a pressing issue.

 The issue of privilege deriving from affluence and authority is another issue touched upon throughout the play in several different ways. Actor Joshua Dreyer played the Father in the play. Father was a character who was extremely wealthy yet received no true repercussions for his actions.

A topic all too familiar at this time as the recent college admissions scandals have been publicized and the means in which certain public figures would get around the college admissions process. The saying goes “access is power”, which happens to resonate with today perfectly, as the access to virtually anything is possible to those with the means to achieve it. 

“Ragtime” may brush through several issues that surround us today but none is more glaring than the issue of race and race relations, especially in regards to the African-American community. Taking place during the Harlem Renaissance, black empowerment began to surge and spread like wildfire as people were questioning what does justice mean, and if it has a color.

Newer movements like Black Lives Matter and other self-empowering movements are still asking the same questions. “Ragtime” was able to capture a snippet of what it was like to be a black man at this time. Although we have come a long way from the early 1900’s, we still see residual effects that people have to deal with.

The audience was able to peer into the life of a troubled African-American in Coalhouse Walker Jr. through the portrayal of actor Ryan Jones. He played the position with extraordinary passion as well as a demeanor that captured the attention of the audience with a charismatic charm. Smooth piano playing Coalhouse was willing to put his life on the line, after everything was taken, for what he believed and never lost hope in the Promised Land. Jones took the play over with his extraordinary vocals throughout, even with the extremely challenging task in playing as Coalhouse.

Director Martin Lang said, “[Ryan] is a unique individual who has great strengths and has done a great job with the broad emotions and was able to do it all.”

Mr. Lang also did a stupendous job, especially while challenging the theater program with such a deep and difficult musical. He created a stunning atmosphere through the scenes, as the set was remarkable in achieving its goal. His set didn’t do too much but did the perfect amount to spark creativity throughout the play, allowing the actors and actresses to take the reigns.

“They did an amazing job, as they were given truly tough material that they rose up to produce, but most important of all… they told the story well,” said Mr. Lang

Ultimately, the play “Ragtime” was another success out of the SJB/SJHS theater programs as they gave the audience a memorable performance each and every night.

Bosco: The Emergence of Artificial Energy In Teens

by Sele Pemasa

Creatine is a substance mostly found in muscle cells and is constantly taken as a supplement. Its primary role is to store phosphocreatine which is stored in the muscles and is used for heavy lifting and intense exercise.

Creatine also helps gain muscles by improving cell signaling which aids muscle repair cp-creatine_br50_image_largeand new muscle growth, lower myostatin levels, and increase cell hydration. The substance gains muscle growth and can apply to untrained individuals and elite athletes.

Before a workout, many athletes love to drink Bang as a pre-workout because it gives you that extra burst of energy when you’re feeling tired and need something to wake you up. It gives you that push when you’re about to give out on that last rep.


However, there are some extreme downsides to using and taking creatine and drinking bang’s, especially for high school athletes.

“Most of the time, the things it says on it aren’t exactly true. Most of the supplements have steroids in it which weakens the ligaments,” said head athletic trainer Ms. Melody Mohebbi.

The use of Creatine has recently become more popular than ever before. With the high school sports scene at an extremely competitive state, athletes continue to try and get a leg up on one another.

“A lot more people are using Creatine now compared to back in the day,” said Ms. Mohebbi.

Ms. Mohebbi made it clear to me that she was against the use of Creatine.

“I prefer that athletes stick to the natural way of gaining muscle rather than taking Creatine supplements,” said assistant trainer Ms. Alexis.

Creatine is popular nowadays, but isn’t the safest supplement to use and treat our bodies with. 

Bang is an energy drink that is labeled on the market as a fat loss aid and energy stimulator for users who want to get a bit of energy to increase their workout intensity and to also lower their body fat percentage.

Bang also contains caffeine, it originally had 357 mg of caffeine per can but then later on was reduced to 300 mg.

Athletes from many different sports including football, baseball, and basketball love to drink a bang – even before a game.

“I drink it before every game I pitch, it keeps me awake and helps keep high intensity,” said varsity baseball player David Hays.

Hays also mentioned that it works very well and has great taste as well.

“When I workout I just never get tired, it pumps me up,” said Hays.

The use of Creatine supplements and the emergence of the Bang are dangerous yet effective for athletes trying to improve their craft.  

A Letter To Eugene

by Eddie Torre, contributing writer

February 21st, 2019

This letter to Mr. Eugene Fabiero is what we hope to be the first of many from our community. If you are interested in writing a letter than would be shared on The Brave, please visit Room 234 or email


Dear Eugene,

A week ago today when I visited, you and Karin were together for Valentine’s Day—not in the most romantic place but rather in a place of healing called Cedars-Sinai hospital.

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you saw the get-well card your Bosco students and band members signed for you.

A week ago today we were making plans for when you got better to go to Gerry’s Grill in Cerritos—and, break bread together with other Bosco colleagues on the condition that you would not eat any Filipino food. Ha!

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you were informed that many members of the Bosco community were making donations to assist you and your family—and, especially when you heard that one of your band members donated $47 of his own money to you.

A week ago today we laughed at the time you brought a humungous apple fritter from someplace called Donut Man.  Your treat from Donut Man made me a larger man. 

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you were informed that some of your Bosco colleagues were giving up their sick-days to help you and your family during your time away.

A week ago today we laughed again about Bobby’s rice-cooker that was left in the band room over Christmas Break—and, the whole rigamarole that I experienced in trying to get two-week-old rice and the associated smells disposed of…somehow dumpster diving was involved which included actual drum sticks.

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you were told that a Prayer Service was being planned for you.

A week “from” today, I can never more say “a week ago today” we shared, experienced, laughed, or cried over this or that.

I miss you…you were a friend and a brother to me.

I tried not to cry when I heard the announcement today…moments later, I could not hold back my tears.

You helped others create experiences, feel emotions, and ultimately feel alive.  You were alive and epitomized the cliché of living life to the fullest. 

I only got to know you through your hiring at Bosco (definitely one of the Bosco’s best hire’s in my humble opinion).  Although you lived a long commute away, whenever you were on campus you were fully present with the students as well as with our faculty/staff.  You demanded the highest standards from your students especially the band members.  You accompanied them—like any good Salesian—to away football games as well as to band tours far far away (well, I know you took our band to Northern California!). You did not bark out orders, you walked side by side with the band…you even played the tuba with the band when you got a chance.  Indeed, your accompaniment with students was recently affirmed by one of Bosco’s best, Juan Aleman, SJB’18 and freshman at MIT…

My absolute best to Mr. Fabiero. I have already sent my prayers and will continue to every time I hear the wonders of the world he helped me realize!!!…

…He helped me appreciate music to a further extent, and I want him to impart that same love in others. My continued prayers sent his way 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

As a friend to many on our faculty/staff, you mostly made us laugh with joy as well as grateful for your talents and sacrifices in directing our boys through the gift of music.  You were one of the three moderators of our Filipino Club (the three E’s!).  You opened up the band room to our pot-lucks.  You opened up your heart to all of us and that is why you are beloved. 

I was one of the fortunate ones that got to break bread with you often…usually some sort of Filipino food.  You were a friend and a brother to me.  As I get older, I realize it becomes more difficult to make new friends…let alone friends who are like a brother.  I want to call you my brother—I can only hope I was one to you.

Regardless about my brotherly hopes, feelings, and gratitude for you, I am most saddened by your passing for Karin and your two children (Elsa and newborn Bastian).  God and Karin shared you with us—and, it’s heartbreaking that Elsa and Bastian will have a void in their lives that no one can fill but you.  One day, I want to share with them the stories I have of you…and, I hope and pray that those stories can somehow bring a slice of the joy of life you brought to so many.

A week ago today, I saw you smile and that is the lasting memory I will have of you. Amen brother.

Your colleague, friend, and brother,




“Eternal rest grant unto Eugene and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen.”

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