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Best Work

"How to have a great time at Winter Formal": I honestly loved this story- I think this is my best piece of work that really shows my voice. Even though it is not as lengthy, or isn't about a global or national issue, I really wrote this piece from my heart (based upon my own personal experiences with this dance), and it really shows. I got a lot of compliments on this article, specifically from my girl friends' mothers- they all liked my advice regarding not waiting around for "Prince Charming" to ask a girl to a dance. Many of my friends have this outlook, and I think that this article actually inspired one of my friends to ask a boy to the dance- he said yes, they went, and they both had a great time.

The cost of a "public education": I really loved this piece because it was so incredibly appropriate at the time it was written- almost every senior, and their parents (especially their parents), were fuming over all the fees that had to be paid. I really liked that I incorporated my own experiences in with a problem that almost everyone had- I think it helped to make the article more personal, which I really like to read in articles. Although this article wasn't one of my friendlier ones (I wasn't too nice to Jostens or Visual Photography), those who read it seemed to have good feedback for me- a lot o the people I showed this to said things like "I couldn't agree more!" or "Yes, these fees are ridiculous!"

"Senior wishes: A Fun Reward": I really liked this one because, in a way, it was my own personal "thank you" for senior wishes. I feel that those who organize the senior wishes do not get enough credit, and that this is a really cool incentive for seniors (Ventura and Buena High Schools do not have this). I also think that this was one of my "friendlier" articles, which I really like to read- sure, my controversial, opinionated ones can be fun to read, but ultimately, I think they make me look pompous and unfriendly in some ways.

My Highlight

 My highlight of journalism would probably have to be the monthly awards. As someone who drags themself out of bed at 7:30, I do not get to eat breakfast and I come to school extremely hungry. It makes my day when I walk into first period to be greeted by a large donut. In addition to this, I always like the review of the work of my classmates- there are some really phenomenal journalists in this course, and it makes me happy to see them get recognition for their work. I have yet to win one of these awards, but I would really like to- the presence of these awards really makes me work harder to have a better story.

Personal Initiative

While I know that some of my classmates stepped out more than I did (i.e. Rachel and Chrissy going behind the scenes of the Colby Caillat concert- so cool!), I feel that I took initiative when completing the "Where Students Work" story. For this, I had to speak with students- whom I had never spoken to before- and ask them if they had a job and where. I have always thought of myself as an outgoing person, which I am, but for whatever reason I felt as though I was stepping out of my comfort zone by talking to these people. I was initially afraid that people might think I am a "stalker", or be unfriendly, but they were not. In addition to this, Anaika suggested that I make this story less of a survey, and more into a "story". In order to do this, I spoke with Mrs. Kapala about where students work, and asked her about her own opinions regarding students with jobs. She actually provided me with some incredibly interesting facts, and, put together, all these factors really contributed to a really great story.

Goals for second semester

My goals for second semester would be to take more initiative. I feel like, due to senioritis, that I have been rather lazy when it comes to writing my articles. I would really like to go out, go to events, and meet new people and write a story about it. Even though I am an opinion writer, rather than a news writer, I still think that it would benefit me as a journalist to write about things I have experienced firsthand- city council meetings, openings/closures of stores, and public events. My other goal is to earn one of the monthly awards, which is something I have not done yet. I am one of those people who never wins any awards, and it's rather unfortunate for me- the only trophies I have ever earned are the ones you get from playing AYSO soccer. I got student of the month once, but only because I asked Mr. Villa, and he was just like, "Ok." Sorry for the tangent, I just really want to win one of the awards.


On Campus:

Journalism, Foothill Dragon Press- Opinion Writer

FTHS Bioscience Academy- Member

Culinary Arts Club- Member

High Society Club- Member

PAAC- Member

Invisible Children- Member (although I haven't been in awhile)

F.I.R.E. Leader (2009-2010 school year)

Off Campus

Volunteer Work

  • Community Memorial Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary- Junior Volunteer
  • Therapy Dogs International- Volunteer
  • Relay For Life


  • Vans "Off the Wall"- Sales Associate (May 2010- Present)


I think the trait that I find most important to me is compassion. I have always been rather opinionated, and I am often not the friendliest person when expressing my opinion. I think that this is one of the reasons why I was asked to be on the Dragon Press- I left a rather unfriendly, opinionated comment on an article last year. So I joined journalism, excited to find a harbor for some of these opinions- I wanted to push the envelope. But once the semester progressed, I realized how important it was to realize the feelings of your audience. I think that previously, I just wrote whatever angry thing came to my mind, and while it was well written, it was still incredibly offensive. I think that being compassionate, and really caring about the feeling of those you write about really made me a nicer person, and as my articles progressed, they got friendlier and friendlier. I mean, sure, I don't compromise my beliefs for anyone, but my opinions were just less... rude.

For example, I started by writing my article "The Cost of a Public Education"- but in this article, I said some really insulting things about Visual Photography and Jostens. I could have left out the names of these companies, or not called them such harsh things, but I was just being who I was at the time. But later in the year, I wrote about my appreciation for senior wishes and the "Every 15 Minutes" assembly- sure, I left criticisms, but I made sure that any criticisms left were constructive, rather than being blunt, anry insults.

Rights and Responsibilities

The First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Obviously, the factor that most applies to us at the Dragon Press is the "freedom of the press" aspect- meaning that we have the right to say what we feel, unless it falls under that "slander" or "libel" category. But just because one CAN say something, it doesn't necessarily mean that they should- responsibilites that must be abided by are, well, common sense. As journalists we should be sensitive toward those we write about, and our audiences.

In the Tinker rulings, in the late 1960's, Mary Beth Tinker and her peers wore black armbands to school, signifying their opposition the the Vietnam War. Because of this, they got in trouble with school officials. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled that students are allowed the freedom of speech. In the Hazelwood rulings, student journalised expressed angry feelings when school officials removed two pages of their student newspaper because the school officials felt it was inappropriate. It was rules that since the newspaper is school-operated, the school had liberty to censor the paper. However, some states, including California, have adopted Anti- Hazelwood laws- which disregard this law on the condition that students remain responsible journalists.


General Writing Skills
If you compare my writing skills now to the skills I had at the beginning of the semester, there is obvious improvement- and I know that writing for the Dragon Press contributed to this.
Online Newspaper
I am just starting to get the hang of the online newspaper, but it is really working out well- definitely somethign I could not have learned on my own.