My experience at Amador Valley High School has given me a steady foundation as I pave my way forward. As a student, cheering in the Purple Pit, I discovered what I treasure most: love, spirit and companionship. It does not matter what grade you are in, what you look like, or whom you are friends with because we were all there for the same reason: to cheer on the home team. The environment of high school encouraged the personal drive, passion and community spirit within me.
High school taught me how to build connections and how to interact; through my involvement in the leadership program, I learned to plan, fundraise and inspire others.
Within the classroom, I learned to compete and push myself past expectations. With encouragement from my parents and teachers, I learned what it means to try and try again, because eventually somehow, somewhere it will pay off. I do not remember all 500 Latin root words I once had to memorize, but I do recall the discipline and determination it took to do so. Once again, it was not always about what I learned, but more about how I learned it.
I do not, by any means, suggest that every second of high school was amazing. While going through hardships, the most important part was that I had a community, my own Purple Pit comprised of classmates, my parents and, most of all, my teachers to support me. As I carry on at Davis next year and to my career after, I will always cherish Amador and its beautiful message it has bestowed upon me.
--Alexis Faria, Amador Valley High
The outside world doesn't define you -- it reveals you.
For me, high school tore off any confidence I had and replaced it with rags of self-deprecation, fear and endless questioning. However, my experience was not poor in the smallest sense. I am rich in experience, young as I am, simply by having made the choice to dive into the worlds of those around me.
We all drift from one perspective to another. It's hard to remember that sometimes -- especially when a student's nervously tapping their desk in front of you for an interminable hour, or when someone sneers and spews profanity onto innocent victims.
But these are the times I learned the most. High school would have been miserable if I had not taken each sleepy, hyper, kind and mean face as a prophet on my life's journey.
I learned that underclassmen carry their fragile hearts like baby birds first sent out to fly. We trembled from our fear of heights, our fear of falling. It was imminent in our fortified cliques, our perfectionism, or our lack thereof, as a barrier against more pain. I met people who shielded their identity from the world and crushed it by doing so. I learned, most importantly, to reveal myself, to expose myself in uncomfortable yet valuable ways.
I loved, and I loved, and I didn't stop. I chose to love and accept whomever I met because this marathon of emotions only gets better if you train for it.
There is no other way to describe my four years except: "I have done it."
You have done it. All of us have endured the pit of despair and the paragon of happiness in these four influential years.
You have shown me that feeling something is the best thing in the world. I wouldn't give it up for anything.
--Kelly McDeavitt, Foothill High School class of 2013
What do you want to do when you grow up? That is the question students are asked starting from kindergarten and then forever throughout our educational career. When we reach high school we are supposed to know or begin to figure out what it is we want to do. I found my calling through preparation and motivation.
For some, it takes several years to figure out a path for their future while others know right away from day one what they want to do. It was not until my senior year that I realized what I wanted for my future.
Kit Little, my catering teacher, had much to do with that decision. Being a part of her class and catering business taught me how to get organized, improvise when something goes wrong, not to overbook events, and how to keep the customer coming back. These are all skills that I learned for running a successful business, and I am so grateful for getting the opportunity to do so at Village High School. Now I know I want to go into the catering business in the future.
As I mentioned earlier, I now possess the motivation to move forward in life and now that I have found something I enjoy I want to continue learning. High school has taught me so much, and with all I have learned I feel prepared to take on whatever life throws my way. I am ready to take the next step into the world and could not be more excited.
--Marina Madrigal, Village High School class of 2013