Category Archives: Life of a Brave

Life of A Brave: 21 Questions With First-Year Teacher And Bosco Alum Mr. Ruben Solorza

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

St. John Bosco welcomes back alumnus Mr. Ruben Solorza, a 2012 CIF Champion in cross country and member of the class of 2013.

Q. Where are you from, and what schools did you go to for elementary/middle school?

A. I am from Whittier, California. I attended St. Bruno’s Elementary, in Whittier, from Kindergarten all the way to 8th grade. 

Q. Did you play any sports or do any extracurriculars in high school?

A. I tried out wrestling for one season (yikes), and then ran cross country and track for three years after that. I occasionally helped out with The Brave newspaper as well.

Q. What are some things you wish you could have done differently in high school, and why?

A. I wish I would have developed better study habits early on. This would have helped me perform better as well, but I guess that’s all part of growing up. 

Q. What was your favorite memory of high school?

A. My favorite high school memory was winning the 2012 State Championship for Cross Country with my team. It was an amazing experience.

Q. Are you currently involved in any clubs or sports here at St. John Bosco, and if so, which ones and why?

A. I am the assistant coach for Cross Country and track. I’m also looking forward to helping out in the garden (shoutout to Mr. Corkhill).

Q. Where did you go to college, when did you graduate, and what was your major?

A. I went to Whittier College and was a double major in Environmental Science and Psychology. I graduated in 2017.

Q. What was your favorite memory of college?

A. My favorite college memory was getting to compete at the national level for NCAA in cross country. I enjoyed traveling with the team to different cities. Also, studying abroad in Denmark with great people was a lot of fun.

Q. Were you involved in any organizations in college, and if so, what?

A. Aside from cross country and track I was a part of the sustainability club and the culture center. In the cultural center, we put on a lot of events for different cultures. The food was great too.

Q. What brought you back to St. John Bosco and what excites you the most about teaching here?

A. This place is a second home to me, and everyone here is like my family. Of course, there are rough days, but I always leave this place each day feeling good about myself and the day. I love that I get to teach what I am passionate about and feel very thankful for this opportunity. It is the perfect place for me to learn and improve in my teaching career.

Q. What subject do you teach, where have you taught before St. John Bosco, and how long have you been teaching?

A. I teach Environmental Science as well as the AP course. Before Bosco, I taught two years at the elementary level in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have gone from helping kindergarten kids open milk cartons to well… still helping kids open milk cartons here at Bosco.

Q. Why teach environmental science, and how did you discover that this is what you wanted to do?

A. I love that it can be very hands on and engaging with fun labs and visuals. I also find it very relevant to our everyday lives. Growing up, my family loved the outdoors and we were always exploring the country. I have to thank my family for planting the seeds of interest there.

Q. What is your favorite part of being both a coach and a teacher, and why?

A. I love that I can really get to know the student body as a whole now. I feel I am a full member of this community again, and it’s exciting. I am still adjusting to being called “Mr. Solorza.” That will take some time.

Q. Do you enjoy traveling, and what is your favorite place that you have traveled to?

A. Absolutely! I am always always planning something. It is hard to say, but when I went to Hawaii for school in college, it was an amazing experience. We got to visit many great landmarks and stayed in a five-star hotel one night, which I will never forget. It also started my coffee addiction when we visited a coffee plantation.

Q. Where is one place you’ve never been to but want to go to, and why?

A. I have to pick two: Germany for the Berlin Marathon and for the history of the country, and Switzerland for the Alps! I have always wanted to go down one of those sleds on the mountains; it looks fun.

Q. What are some of your hobbies, and why do you enjoy doing them?

A. I love fishing and camping. I have been going with my family since I was very little. I also enjoy playing pickup sports games. I am always down for competition and often meetup with my alumni group for sports days.

Q. Do you enjoy sports, and if so, what are your favorite sports and sports teams?

A. I watch them all, but my favorite sports teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Eagles, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Lakers, USA men’s soccer and Bayern Munich. I also enjoy playing fantasy football.

Q. What types of music do you like, and who are some of your favorite music artists or bands?

A. I listen to a lot of different types thanks to my parents. Favorites would be The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, Blink-182 and Sam Cooke. Basically, if you tell me to listen to something I am going to check it out and most likely enjoy it.

Q. What is your favorite food or restaurant?

A. I like anything barbecue. Also, my favorite post race meal was a classic burger, fries, and coke.

Q. What is your favorite holiday and why?

A. My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love when everything is decorated and Christmas music. I definitely will be decorating my classroom when the holidays come around.

Q. Do you have any pets, and if not, what pet would you like to have?

A. I have a dog and a turtle. The turtle just goes about his business every day and eats. However, I have always wanted a chameleon.

Q. What are your favorite movies and TV shows?

A. My favorite shows are The Office, Ted Lasso and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. My favorite movies are The Dark Knight, The Other Guys and Rudy.

Life Of A Brave: Bosco Seniors Decide To Enjoy Their Ditch Day Days Before Their Final Goodbye

by Omar Cerezo

There’s no greater opportunity than enjoying a day of rest after an eventful quarter, especially for all seniors in the month of May. Therefore, Bosco decided to grant Monday, May 17th as the official ditch day for all seniors to enjoy.

Senior Ditch Day – The Cord News

Exams, college applications, prom, graduation can sometimes be a bit too difficult for a senior to keep track of in their last year of highschool. Bosco doesn’t want their seniors to feel like they’re being overworked which is why they’re privileged with a senior ditch day to enjoy a nice day of relaxation with friends. 

Senior Joseph Ochoa has been at Bosco for 4 years and is very grateful that Bosco is giving him the day off to himself. Joseph says it’s a multi purpose day where some people are doing things and some people are not, but for Joseph he is going to rest and will attend a friends pool party and will also go for a workout to get a little sweat on. 

While enjoying a day at a pool party and working out may be nice, other seniors may find this moment to engage in activities that will benefit only themselves. Senior Andrew Vega says senior ditch day to be more like a normal day for him. Andrew is very thankful for Bosco to give him the day off.  Andrew says that he’ll spend his senior ditch day at home relaxing watching TV shows and movies and eating a good meal and playing video games.

Another great way of enjoying a day of relaxation is to reflect on how Bosco has helped each student over the past four years. Senior Don Le, who participates in Key Club, band and is also in the Biomedical pathway feels very excited to have a whole day of relief mainly because there has been so much that has happened this year. 

 “I’m honestly super excited to just have a whole day of relief where I can just forget about school and focus on myself and my time at Bosco,” says Don.

Don will make sure to spend his ditch day by indulging in his own self care by meditating and getting some rest so he can take a chance to breathe and not worry about school for a moment. Don is more than happy that Bosco gave him and the seniors the day off to themselves. 

Even as this school year has been extremely challenging for all seniors, they can be sure to enjoy at least a “semi-normal” experience with many events going on, including their own graduation this month. Many of them could have enjoyed their day off preparing for graduation, sending invites to friends or simply shopping for suit to wear on their final day at Bosco. Overall, the class is thankful to have been part of an experience where they could have a nice ceremony that other classes have enjoyed as well, making their ditch day a tradition to be kept.

Around Bosco: Mr. Torre’s Heroics Help Over 40 Seniors To Have A Once-In-A- Lifetime Experience At An Unexpected Kairos 51

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

In what seemed impossible at the time, the senior count went up from thirteen to forty-two in the dying minutes of the deadline to allow a Kairos to successfully take place, and all the credit goes to Mr. Torre for making it happen!

The deadline to sign up for Kairos was on April 14th at 11:59 PM. There needed to be at least twenty-five people signed up for Kairos in order for the retreat to take place. It was 8:00 PM and there were only thirteen people signed up. The events that would follow would be what everyone called a “miracle”.

Mr. Torre would end up texting most – if not all – the senior class on Google Chat promoting the event and giving financial assistance to anyone who needed it. After a series of texts and texts, he fell asleep hoping for the best. When he woke up the following morning, it was 6:00 AM and the deadline was over. He hesitantly checked to see if Kairos would be a go and to his surprise the new amount of seniors who signed up for Kairos were up to forty-two! It was indeed a miracle!

Current St. John Bosco Interim Principal Mr. Jaramillo praised Mr. Torre’s miracle-working skills, as Mr. Torre showcased his true Salesian spirit.

“Only Mr. Torre can pull of a miracle equivalent to the miracle of Christmas as he pulled of the miracle of the pandemic with Kairos successfully taking place. Only he has the energy to bring us together in a time like this so he truly is the Kairos miracle maker,” said Mr. Jaramillo

Mr. Torre’s passion and motivation were the x-factors as twenty-nine seniors signed up for Kairos in the dying hours of the deadline day and he credits two sources.

“The first source was my own experience in Kairos as a faculty/staff member and my experience was made by people’s shoulders who I stand on and if it wasn’t for people like Mr. Jaramillo, Ms. Tracy, and Ms. Day who began the Kairos program here at Bosco then my experience wouldn’t of happened,” said Torre.

Mr. Torre credited his second source to the students, and he pointed out that if it wasn’t for their desires to share their stories to their fellow classmates, then his passion and motivation for hosting a Kairos would have been absent during the dying hours of the deadline.

Bosco’s 2021 Youth Delegate Pedro Ochoa was grateful for the opportunity as he was 1 of the 6 student leaders who took part in Kairos 51.

“Kairos meant a lot to me, especially for it being my first time leading it. This miraculous kairos showed that anything is possible. Mr. Torre is a person that always puts others in front of himself and it showed during the whole process of planning and successfully pulling off this event. This Kairos proved it as he dedicated so much time for the senior class even though there was a major possibility that it may not happen at all,” said Ochoa.

A few days later, COVID-19 testing took place on campus, and the following day, Kairos was a go! Seniors spent 3 days and 2 nights isolated with one another enjoying a nice distraction from everything that was happening to them outside the designated area. Those 3 days were described by many seniors as “life changing”.

Bosco senior and Kairos participant, Anthony Mejia, could not be more satisfied with the experience and life-changing opportunities he was able to experience.

“It’s definitely a life changing experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and really makes you grow closer with your Bosco brothers,” said Anthony.

Kairos not only leaves an impact on current participants, but also on alumni and current leaders. Key Club President and Kairos student leader Hector Andrade had a good way of describing Mr. Torre’s heroics, as he was able to join the retreat as a leader.

“Mr Torre best put it, ‘We were a QB who was always scrambling since the 1st quarter, every play.’ But at the end of the day we got the win. Mr Torre’s dedication and love towards Kairos is the reason why he’s such an influential part of bosco, he pulled through adversity all for this 2021 senior class and I am very thankful,” said Hector.

The praise of Mr. Torre doesn’t only start and end with the students as the faculty and staff were just as impressed as the seniors were with Mr. Torre’s heroics.

Mr. Salmingo points out the work Mr. Torre had to do, that not many people know of, and how little praise Mr. Torre gest for it.

“Behind the scenes there is so much that has to be taken care off that people forget and the participants never notice due to how good the presentation of Kairos turned out to be so I gave huge kudos to Mr. Torre for taking care of the ugly and turning it into something beautiful,” said Mr. Salmingo.

Mr. Salmingo has a good point when mentioning the “behind the scenes” action because Mr. Torre’s hectic schedule consisted of calling the retreat center back and forth multiple times, making arrangements to visit the retreat center himself to see if the seniors would like it, helping the student leaders with their talks, planning every second of Kairos from the bus trip there to the events that took place and those were just a few of the many tasks he dealt with all in the span of one week.

Bosco counselor, Ms. Yesenia Moreno, decided to add Kairos to her “to-do” list for the future as a result of watching how passionate Mr. Torre and the students were for Kairos.

“I really congratulate Mr. Torre for doing what he did because if I were to do that it would for sure leave me feeling overwhelmed so I give huge kudos to Mr. Torre for doing anything and everything he could in order for the seniors to have a memorable experience,” Ms. Moreno said.

The praise didn’t stop there as the 2021 Kairos Alumni Director Mr. Alvidrez believes the biggest factor in Kairos taking place was when Mr. Torre jumped in during the senior meeting to promote the event.

“If it were anyone else or someone who wasn’t as enthusiastic as Mr. Torre is who jumped in at the meeting I don’t think the miracle ever would’ve taken place,” said Mr. Alvidrez.

Mr. Torre’s hard work truly paid off as seniors did indeed have a memorable experience and current senior and wrestler Jasper Centeno was just one of many who were ecstatic about their time there.

“Kairos was truly once in a lifetime experience. I am more than grateful for the many lessons I learned and for having a new perspective of my faith. Before Kairos I was really disconnected with my faith but thanks to Kairos I am happy to say my connection has been revived,” said Jasper.

ASB President John Udabe is just one of many other happy participants who is proud to see what Mr. Torre was able to accomplish.

“I was so glad I could go on Kairos this year and that it was even able to happen. I think it was a perfect way to begin wrapping up my senior year at Bosco and help me grow closer to my classmates before we graduated,” said John.

The senior class thanks Mr. Torre for everything he did as they now have memories they won’t forget anytime soon. There is no one on campus who can be as proud as Mr. Torre to arrange an event in a matter of hours and showcase what a Salesian educator is capable of accomplishing.

Life Of A Brave: Bosco Senior Benjamin Zepeda Sacrifices Senior Year In Favor Of Activism

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic posing a threat to justice movements and protests everywhere, Bosco Senior Benjamin Zepeda has been involved with the National Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Alliance, which seeks permanent residency in the United States for over 400,000 TPS beneficiaries. 

Throughout the past few months, Zepeda has shuffled between states on the east coast, being primarily in Washington, D.C., where he has urged Congress and President Joe Biden to grant permanent residency to TPS beneficiaries nationally. 

While it has certainly not been an easy road for Zepeda throughout the past few months, it is for a cause that is much greater than him. Despite being away from home in California and having to miss out on a traditional Senior year experience due to his activism, it is a challenge he has been more than willing to take on headfirst. 

“I am still completing my final year of highschool; and in the midst of this global pandemic but I decided to take on this challenge to support the TPS Alliance because I could not just sit back knowing just how crucial this moment is for our struggle,” said Zepeda. 

The primary reason why he has been fighting so hard alongside the National TPS Alliance is actually quite simple; Ben himself is a son of TPS holders from El Salvador. While the four years of the Trump Administration posed a serious threat to Ben and his family’s status of residency in the United States, the National TPS Alliance – and Ben – are hopeful that calls for permanent residency will be heard by the new Biden Administration. 

“Since 2018, I have been a plaintiff in the Ramos case, a lawsuit which has battled the Trump Administration in the 9th circuit court of appeals for the past four years of the administration’s racist and anti-immigrant attacks,” said Zepeda. 

However, the impact of the National TPS Alliance has not just stopped at advocating for permanent residence of TPS beneficiaries; the organization also fronted efforts to get out the vote in the Georgia runoff elections in January. The importance of electing officials who would hopefully be more open to permanent residency was a priority for Zepeda and the National TPS Alliance, who see it as a gateway to greener pastures for current TPS beneficiaries whose status of residency is only temporary. 

“We understood just how important it was to use the TPS community’s collective power, which we have built throughout the years to make an impact in this last crucial election season,” said Zepeda. 

The dedication of the National TPS Alliance, as well as Zepeda, did not just stop at rhetoric, activism and physical protesting. On March 19th, all members of the National TPS Alliance began a hunger strike while in Washington, D.C. in order to bring more attention to their efforts of obtaining permanent residency statues. 

“On March 19th, just one day after the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act – legislation which would grant an immediate pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, DACA and TPS Holders – the TPS Alliance initiated a Hunger Strike led by TPS families in order to put constant pressure on legislators and ensure that immediate action is taken for our families. I have been in solidarity with hunger strikers arriving from many of our committees across the country and working alongside the campaign’s organizers with social media and technical support,” said Zepeda. 

On President Biden’s 100th day in office, the National TPS Alliance’s hunger strike ended. Despite not receiving any action from the Biden Administration in its first 100 days, the National TPS Alliance vows to continue fighting for the change they want to see from the administration as well as Congress. 

While the National TPS Alliance is optimistic that the new Biden Administration and Democrat-controlled Congress would be more open to granting permanent residency statues, the lack of clarity from the Biden Administration has been frustrating for the Alliance thus far. 

“On April 19th, we were expecting a final decision from the Biden administration on our lawsuit. Instead we were given the news that they asked for yet another 60 days to continue investigating the conditions of our countries of origin. What we are asking for isn’t something unreasonable, the conditions of these TPS countries have not changed since they were first designated TPS. Natural disasters, ongoing political crises, and the global COVID-19 pandemic is still creating conditions which have forced many to migrate towards the United States,” said Zepeda. 

In the spirit of what it means to be a Bosco man, Ben has been fighting the good fight away from home for a cause that is much bigger than him. While he recognizes the good work he has done on behalf of TPS beneficiaries nationally and alongside the National TPS Alliance, there is also a deep recognition that the work is far from over. As a matter of fact, it might be just beginning.

“After four years of uncertainty of my family’s future, the people in power finally now have all the necessary tools to deliver justice for our communities,” said Zepeda. 

The times the world lives in are tumultuous, to say the least. Yet, while no significant or adequate change has been seen by Zepeda and the National TPS Alliance, there is more hope for action in the future. After struggles with the previous administration, but more so after the past grueling few months, change has been hard to come by, but hope may very well be on the horizon for TPS beneficiaries in the United States, thanks in large part to Zepeda’s sacrifices. 

Around Bosco: The Bosco Community Celebrates Mary Help of Christians

by Pedro Ochoa

In the Catholic Church, the month of May is traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In order to honor the Blessed Mother, the Bosco community celebrates Marian Day, this year, on May 7th. 

The tradition of dedicating the month of May to Our Lady is centuries old, dating back at least 700 years. The reason for dedicating May to Our Lady is associated with the particular season of the year. May is certainly known for its springtime beauty. It brings to mind the idea of promise and hope, of new life.

This connection between May and motherhood led Christians to adopt May as the month of Our Lady, the Mother of God and Our Heavenly Mother. She brought life into the world by giving birth to her son, Jesus, who brought about a new spring.

May is normally part of the Easter season, the period of fifty days which lasts from Easter to Pentecost. During this time we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection from the dead, a celebration which culminates with his Ascension to the Father and the sending of the Holy Spirit to the Church on Pentecost. It is a fitting time to dedicate to the Blessed Virgin Mary; to recall her intense joy over her Son’s Resurrection and the comfort and guidance she gave to the Apostles during this difficult period.

Marian day is a special time for Bosco Braves. It is a time of reflection and for the community. Marian day truly resembles the Bosco Oratory. It reflects a Home, School, Church, and Playground. 

Home: This day is where the Bosco Braves can make Bosco, their home, while also being guided by Our Blessed Mother. 

School: Even though this day is a time of bonding, there are still classes during the day. The periods are cut short to make the day go by fast.

Church: On this day, the Bosco community gathers together for a liturgy. In this liturgy, Mary is offered and crowned with flowers to represent beauty. 

Playground: After classes and mass, the Bosco brothers have hours to themselves where they can strengthen their brotherhood. During this time, there are multiple activities, where some of them include jumpers. 

The Blessed Virgin Mary offered the disciples her prayers, motherly care, and witness. She continues to offer us her motherly love and intercession. During this month of May, let us rediscover her maternal role in each of our lives. Let us offer our spiritual mother our sincere prayers, that just as she aided the first Apostles with her prayers, she may also guide and intercede for us in our journey of faith. Let us learn from her how to love and trust God completely and how to be faithful witnesses of the risen Lord.

Sports: Bosco Wrestling Coach Juan Archuleta Faces A Strong Challenger In Sergio Pettis For His First Bellator Bantamweight Title Defense

by Andrew Fierro

Archuleta, who has been a coach and mentor to St. John Bosco’s wrestling team, has his first title defense coming up. He has had a huge impact on the St. John Bosco team, who have been wrestling fantastically for many years and are having a great start to the 2021 season which was condensed due to COVID-19. 

In a fight taking place on Friday, May 6th in Uncasville, Connecticut for Bellator 258, Archuleta, who has just recently acquired the Bantamweight crown, looks to successfully complete his first defense against Sergio Pettis.

Sergio Pettis, who is the brother of well known former UFC fighter Anthony Pettis, has looked very well in his first two bouts as part of the Bellator organization and looks to carry forward his performances against Archuleta in the biggest fight of his career. 

However, standing in his way is the extremely capable Juan Archuleta, who is 20-1 since 2015 as well as 25-2 overall and is coming off one of his strongest showings of his career in his title victory over Patchy Mix via decision. He showed off even more of his fast pacing and strength in every aspect of mixed martial arts with his wrestling and his boxing being great strengths of his.

Though Juan Archuleta may be the favorite going into this fight, Sergio Pettis is no slouch, having been a former UFC fighter fighting amongst the best in the world and having an incredible transition into the Bellator organization. 

In this fight against Sergio Pettis, Juan Archuleta is facing a fighter with an amazing all around fight style that allows him to look for finishes in all areas of the fight. Whether it is through submission or knockout, Sergio Pettis has a chance to end the fight at any given moment. Paired up against the incredible pacing Juan Archuleta brings to the fight, the fight will most likely be an extremely active and fun fight to watch for fans. 

In this fight, the future of MMA will be showcased, according to Juan Archuleta. With both of these fighters having high caliber skills in every aspect of mixed martial arts, the age of being skilled in only one strand of MMA is fading. Now, to be able to compete at the highest level, one must be able to use every aspect of MMA to their advantage or will not be able to keep up with the highest competitors of the sport.

In this fight, both the fighters are able to do so, which is why the fight will be extremely interesting to watch and is the start to a new age of MMA, where both the fighters are extremely well versed in every aspect of MMA. 

The mindset of Archuletta going into the fight is not about defending his throne, but gaining something new. He believes that the belt is up for grabs and they both have the same opportunity of receiving it, so rather than him defending it, it’s him acquiring it once again. 

The fight will be a very intriguing fight, and both of these fighters seem well prepared and extremely excited to get into the octagon together. The fight will consist of five, 5-minute rounds and the winner will be the Bellator Bantamweight Champion. With Pettis looking to hold nothing back to take the belt from Archuleta and become the champion, Archuleta is ready for whatever comes his way and excited to defend his throne for the first time in his career. 

Life Of A Brave: How COVID-19 Has Impacted College Admissions

by Jackson Smith

There has been very little change in the college application process for Bosco students despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to college counselor Ms. Alyssa Skipper. Yet, there’s been a seismic shift in which colleges Bosco students have chosen to apply.

Ms. Skipper explained that students have been looking into backup options much more. Additionally, people are looking to stay closer to home, choosing local schools such as Cal States and UCs, while also choosing to look at community colleges more. This is partially because the pandemic has put financial stress on people, but also because staying in-state and going to a community college significantly decreased the overall expenses of college. 

Even though community colleges are being looked at more in the wake of COVID-19, in recent years, it was already becoming a more popular option than ever before for Bosco students because some have not been entirely ready for a big four year college, either financially or emotionally, according to Ms. Skipper. Additionally, community college can be a stepping stone for students in need of further academic development. 

The application process has undergone slight changes for the class of 2021, and possibly for 2022 as well. Namely, the SAT and ACT are no longer required for almost all colleges. However, students can choose to give their scores for those tests if they so desire, according to Ms. Skipper. 

Ms. Skipper believes that the lack of SAT and ACT requirements may not go back to how they were, at least for some colleges. It is largely because colleges nationally are reporting record high numbers of applications from the past year because the SAT and ACT requirements previously acted as a barrier for some students to apply to certain schools. The schools are realizing that they can get more applicants, and strong applicants at that, and the colleges would not want that dynamic to disappear after COVID-19 by reinstating SAT and ACT requirements. 

Other than the SAT and ACT part of the application, the process is generally the same, but in the absence of standardized test scores, the other parts of the applications are going to be weighed more heavily. This means that the essays students write, as well as the extracurriculars activities in which they partake, are going to be scrutinized in finer detail. 

According to Ms. Skipper, scholarships have changed for students in a much bigger way than before. Athletic scholarships could be more difficult for students to come by because of the delayed sports seasons and financial hits that colleges have endured. Some other states started sports seasons earlier or even at a regular pace, meaning that colleges have been looking at some players out-of-state for a significantly longer time than Bosco student-athletes. 

Furthermore, the way colleges look at the AP exams has even changed, according to Ms. Skipper. Students have done better this last year on the AP tests than before the pandemic, and this was because the college board did not expect that classes would get through the full amount of curriculum.

Around Bosco: St. John Bosco Crowned A Homecoming King FOR THE FIRST TIME IN RECENT HISTORY, Senior James Pearce

by John Udabe

Per tradition at St. John Bosco, it has been customary for the homecoming court to be composed only of students from St. Joseph’s High School and the Winter Formal Court to be made up of students only from Bosco. Yet due to the unique circumstances of this year, this year’s homecoming court featured students from both Bosco and St. Josephs.

This year’s court was made up of two juniors and three seniors from each school. The king and queen were revealed at Bosco’s senior and homecoming night football game. For St. Joseph’s, senior Allison Gomez was crowned queen, and Bosco’s very own, senior James Pearce was crowned as king.

James was quite surprised first when he was nominated to the court and then later when he was announced as king. And with the signature James-style humour, he made sure to note the mispronunciation of his name at the homecoming game:

“Contrary to popular belief, though, I, James Pearce, was never crowned king. The announcer actually pronounced the name correctly, and James Parce was actually homecoming king. I was just the first person to step forward so they gave me the crown,” he said.

James was also a member of the winter formal court in early 2020 as a Junior.

“Formal court last year was super fun. I got to play my melodica in front of the SJ student body, wear a crown, and wear a cool sash. That’s all you can really ask for,” James said.

For the past four years, James Pearce has been one of the most active members within the Bosco community. His involvement and esteem around campus made him the ideal candidate for this year’s homecoming king.

One of his most prominent roles includes his positions within ASB. He has been a member of ASB for the entirety of his time at Bosco, and now sits on the Executive Board as Vice President. During his time on the Executive Board, as well as other class boards, he has assisted in leading the school by helping plan multiple events and by contributing to discussions to improve student life.

Speaking on his role on ASB, James said, “I wanted to be on [ASB] just to be a greater part of the school community and implement change and make decisions that I thought would benefit the school community.”

If there is one word that describes James, it is consistency. Whether it is consistency on ASB, within the classroom, or with different extracurricular activities, he continually follows through on anything that he starts.

Take tennis, for example. James has been playing tennis for over a decade. When he got to Bosco, he was thrilled to be a part of the tennis team. An early standout on the team, he is now the captain. Each year, he was excited to meet a new group of team members to bond with.

“I really like Bosco tennis because I was able to challenge myself playing against some very competitive teams in the Trinity League while I was still able to teach and mentor the guys on the team, especially as captain this year,” James said.

With the season not yet over, James hopes to finish the year off strong.

James has enjoyed his time at St. John Bosco. He recalls one of his favorite moments.

“My favorite memory at Bosco has been when I drove my friends around one night after a gig. I had bass boosted music bumping in my car as we drove through a crisp winter night and ate Chick-fil-a in my car. There have been many nights like this at Bosco for me, and every one of them has been memorable in their own way.”

For James, moments like these define his Bosco experience. 

“I feel the Bosco brotherhood for me has always been defined by going out to eat after a night of something crazy happening, just sitting down with your best friends soaking in the moment,” said James. 

James is pretty busy outside of Bosco as well. He is the Vice President of a youth advisory council of a community service group known as PKG, which is a nonprofit organization that connects teenagers with meaningful community projects. He specialized in the tech committee and even helped the nonprofit operate during COVID.

“I’ve seen the nonprofit go from a small group of kids and expand to where we now have different groups where we contribute to different parts of the nonprofit as a whole,” James said.

Along with this impressive community service, James also has been teaching piano to kids over the past two years.

“It’s really meaningful for me to see them get inspired in piano and music in the same way that I did when I first started taking piano lessons. I hope not just to teach them piano, but give them a skill they can take throughout the rest of their lives,” said James.

In his free time, James stays busy practicing piano, watching YouTube or Twitch, or playing video games. He has recently started sketching a little, and said he has gotten a little bit better. From the looks of it, James pretty much does everything.

James has a bright future ahead of him. He plans on attending UC Berkeley and will study computer science and music. He is looking forward to his future in college and his career afterwards.

“Ultimately, I hope to just not have to worry about money in the future and be able to live freely and artistically,” James said.

James Pearce is a well respected and highly admired member of the community. His fun personality is cherished by everyone who knows him, and he has gone above and beyond in everything he has done. He has left a long lasting legacy while at Bosco, and he was a perfect fit as the 2021 homecoming king. 

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.

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