By Olivia Marcano
At last. It is that time of year. The time where everyone is excited about the holidays, ready to gather with family and loved ones to enjoy a break from work or school. But being away from school has its own problems if you don’t have stability. Students should be worried about having fun and celebrating the holidays, not worried about whether or not they have enough to eat at home. To aid in ensuring kids are happy and healthy over the break, East has opened a pantry.
I had the pleasure of talking with Mrs. Gibbons who gave me a program overview. She informed me that, “during the holidays the Food Pantry offers groceries for East Scholars and their families. Students and parents can use a link to sign up.” This link she provided can give students access to food and hygiene supplies to scholars and families at no cost. The pantry also offers nutrition education, healthy recipes, and the locations of other food pantries around Rochester. This resource is stocked by Foodlink and other organizations and organized by Mrs. Gibbons and other dedicated members of our East community to make our lives easier and for that we are truly thankful.
Thanksgiving has been a staple holiday in American history revolving around family, generosity, and love. The East High community pantry is just one way to help us make the most of Thanksgiving by helping support each other and our families throughout the holidays at this time of year.
By Ayden Hodge
The Fagan Institute of Dance is a new program coming to East. What could this mean for the future of East programming? Known internationally as Garth Fagan and celebrating 50 years of dance, this new program will arrive in January 2023 accepting 25 upper and an additional 25 lower school scholars. Sign up for this program is ending fast as the last day is Tuesday, November 29th. In this extra-curricular, participants will learn the art of contemporary dance as well as go on field trips that strengthen the foundation of their knowledge. Practices will last up to an hour long and will take place after school two times a week. Practices will be held in the recently renovated Collaboratorium, and there will be a chance to win prizes. Take full advantage of this program to start your 2023 off right!
This opportunity to participate in the Fagan’s program can be seen as a pilot or gateway to get more programming at East. If done correctly it will serve to benefit alum and future alumni. According to Mrs. Gibbons of the resource center, “We can expect to see more programming in the near future.”
By Elijah Delgado
Imagine being in the top 10% of your class with a GPA that is higher than 90% of your peers. The very best students in the class are those in the top 10% of graduating class. The top 10% also includes the valedictorian and the salutatorian. The academic title of valedictorian is given to the graduate with the highest academic standing from a school, often determined by grade point average. The second-place student in the class is given the academic title of salutatorian.
I spoke with counselors Ms. Gilbert and Ms. Burnell and questioned them briefly about the top 10%. I asked about the advantages of being in the top 10%. Ms. Gilbert said, “It's a demonstration to someone who may not know East High School as well as an insider on how you compare to other students in your class.” Ms. Burnell said, “At East we honor the top 10% and you get to be part of the College 30 Family Group to get extra help. Outside of East it is one of the data points colleges look at.” I also questioned who was among the top 10%. Ms. Gilbert said, “Not only students who did well in their classes but the students that did well in the most challenging courses available to them.”
The deadline for achieving the top 10% is a major question that is asked by a lot of students and even academic staff. Ms. Burnell said, “It includes grades through August 2022 in the case of this year.” Your junior year is crucial if you want to be in the top 10% of your class. Ms. Burnell also mentioned that, “no year is weighted more than any other but getting into accelerated classes in 8th grade can give a student an advantage.” Most students are unaware that their eighth grade is taken into consideration.
During the top 10% ceremony we announced the top 10% students which were 1. Ana Fontan, 2. Elijah Delgado, 3. Kaila Relyea, 4. Taiasia Gibson, 5. Martha Beltran, 6. Malik Piner, 7. Mossimo Perry, 8. Prosper Holmes, 9. Marylynn Medina, 10. Terreil Colon, 11. Launys Rivera, 12. Xavier Hall, 13. Nigel Copeland, 14. Kayla Blake, and finally 15. Thalia Garcia Sainz. Snacks were served and pictures were taken afterwards. Ms. Burnell mentioned that, “Every year it makes me happy to see how happy students are for each other during the ceremony.”
Ms. Gilbert encourages her students to push themselves to take tough classes, be smart enough to work in teams with other students, and encourage and learn from each other. My advice, as salutatorian of the class of 2023, is to avoid overworking yourself. I had a lot of trouble managing my time and doing activities that I knew were too much for me. Working a part-time job and going to school during my junior year was really hard on my mental health. It was difficult for me to balance academics with my desire to work 26 hours each week. Don't allow someone to tell you that you can't do anything and work at your own pace.
By Terreil Colon
Thanksgiving has a deeper meaning than being the day we spend with family and feast. Thanksgiving has a dark truth to it that most people don't talk about. Now as we know it is called Thanksgiving because in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.
But what people don't know is that the first Thanksgiving wasn't all peace, love, and passing the gravy. While the settlers at Plymouth and their allies from the Wampanoag tribe really did gather in 1621 for an epic, three-day feast to celebrate the settlers' first successful harvest, that's far from the entire story. The entire story consists of the Wampanoag or Native American people teaching the Pilgrims how to grow crops to sustain themselves and their society from that day on.
The Natives did teach the pilgrims how to grow crops to be able to survive but like most things there was a catch to this good gesture. With this being said, the pilgrims and natives never really had good communication which made their friendship shaky. It made it shaky enough for the Wampanoags to slowly but surely commit acts of genocide for the taking of their land.
So, remember when you're at the dinner table eating with your family that Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture.
By Eugene Barnes
On September 18, 2022 Puerto Rico was hit by hurricane Fiona. Hurricane Fiona was considered a category 4 storm and made landfall at 3:20 pm AST. The hurricane caused millions of dollars in damage to the island and also destroyed nearly 80% of the island power supply leaving most people without power and a place to sleep for months.
I talked to Mrs. Perez, a vice principal at East High, about how East has contributed to the hurricane relief and also got her opinion on how she thinks the government handles the money spent on hurricane relief. She told me that the school has received donations from different family groups and that all of the donations have been sent to Ibero, which is a dual-language human services agency.
I also asked Mrs. Perez how she feels about the government and the money they spend to help Puerto Rico rebuild from hurricane Fiona. She said, “There needs to be more transparency with where the money is being spent.” She also said that the government does a lot to help out where they can but also that the public has no idea where their tax money is being spent. She also said that for more people to have access to the help they need, more groups need to step up and offer their support. So, if you have anything to donate to this cause, please take some time and help those recovering from this hurricane.
By Isaiah Braden
College Readiness is for high school students who are preparing to go to college. Most students choose to immediately go to college after high school but they don't realize that college is a very different environment than high school. Therefore, many students aren't prepared enough for college and the transition from high school to college is difficult. The difference between high school and college is the way the teachers instruct and the way the classes are taught. Teachers aren't going to push you the same way and give you chances like they do in high school.
As a senior in high school, being prepared for college is very important, especially deadlines because that will help determine what classes are available. If you wait too long you may not get the classes you are required to take or your first choices. Deadlines that are important to remember are early admission if you choose to make a final decision early in the year. For example, the University of Buffalo has an early decision deadline of November 15th and the regular admission deadline is Feb. 1st.
Many students worry about the cost of college but you can't let the initial cost scare you. Look for scholarships and open more opportunities. Preparing for college is a big deal making sure you are ready as early as possible to fill out your FAFSA in the beginning of the year around October as well as the NYS Tap. FAFSA helps you get money for college. East also hosts a FAFSA fest with plenty of professionals to help you fill it out in the correct ways. East also hosts a college fair where you can find colleges of your interests. At this Financial Aid fest, I gained basic knowledge on filling out the FAFSA form, which helped me know what I need to be ready. I have started applying to colleges and submitting test scores. Also, employment is important because it can help you manage the cost and internships can help you explore more in the world.
Being prepared for college and taking the right steps will help you adapt to the changes. If you have questions about college or college readiness you can always go to the Upward Bound/ College Prep Center (F108) or speak to your counselor.
By Graftoneishe Bowers
Winter sports have started! Here are some of the sports you could sign up for: boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, cheerleading, Indoor track, wrestling and more. Tryouts started November 14 and ended November 18.
East High School has a cheerleading team that cheers for the football team and they also cheer for the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. You will see them cheering their athletes on at games. Then we have indoor track, which you still can sign up for. There are no tryouts, so when you sign up you can be on the team automatically. Next, we have wrestling, which held tryouts. Finally, we have the basketball teams which includes Varsity Boys Basketball, Varsity Girls Basketball, Freshman Boys Basketball, JV Boys Basketball, and JV Girls Basketball. You do need to try out in order to be on one of the teams.
Even though the majority of tryouts are over there are some teams you still can sign up for. When signing up for any one of these teams you don't need any experience just show up and try your best.
By Quentin Gordon-Smith
I've been going to East High School for four years and I still don't know how family group benefit us students. What is the purpose of family group? Is it a relaxing period? Is it to make us students stay in school longer? I really don’t know. I notice people don’t even go to family group because they have no use for it. The school calls out educational detours to make students go to family group and I don’t think that’s right. I feel that every student should be happy and excited to go. So maybe if they know what the purpose is they'll go. Teachers say family group is to pass out information but the kids never seem to get the information that they need. Some students said that their family group just puts on a movie and plays games. So why is family group important?
According to my Principal Blocker, “Family Group was created by the U of R when it took over at East. The purpose of family group is to ‘create small groups of people to learn to interact with each other. Also, to inform close relationships with teachers so that if students needed support, they would have someone they can go to and be comfortable with.” The importance of family group is to learn to respect all people, to interact with people you might not normally connect with, and to create a small family of support within the school setting. People could make family group better by giving it a chance instead of always wanting to be around the same people. Also, to make family group better express your unique self and ways with others. People are often reluctant to be with others they do not know. And as a result, they are missing out on something that could be wonderful. Blocker says, “I have found the kids that have been in my family group over the years are the ones I have been closest with.” I agree. Family group is preparing us for the real world. In life you have to be social and it’s good to meet new people and learn from them. Now I have a clear vision on family group and the impact it has. My advice for scholars at East is to give it a try. Don’t look down on it, actually take it seriously and socialize because all it’s going to do is make you a better person.
By Lavelle Coleman
Some scholars say that family group is irrelevant, and other scholars understand the importance of family group and see family group as an opportunity to express how they feel. A family group carent, Mrs. Dejesus, was interviewed and stated that “family group is a place to feel at home and express your feelings,” meaning that people come to family group to tell peers and teachers how they feel, whether it’s a bad thing or a good thing to express.
A fellow family group student, Elizabeth Steyart, was also interviewed and stated, “family group is a place where you can get along with others. The reason that people think family is irrelevant is because they feel as if it is a waste of time and ever since the pandemic scholars have been showing up as much as they were towards the beginning of my sophomore year.” I talked to my classmate, Eugene Barnes, and he stated, “family group is boring and there is nothing to do in there.” A solution to this problem could be to create more fun activities in family group and come in with more positive energy towards other students and their teachers during family group, because it can be a powerful experience if you’re willing to try.
By CharKendra Harris
Did you know that East has a Community and Career Connection site where you can look for a job to help you with your cash flow? The Community and Career Connection is run by Ms. Wilmarth. She is a wonderful resource in getting started looking for work. Even if you don’t know how to get started, the website has job preparation materials so that you can prepare to get a job. The site tells you all about the different resources you need to get a job, like an updated resume, cover letter, New York State ID or Driver’s license and most importantly, if you are under 18 years old, a work permit.
To get started looking for a job, fill out the Job Interest Form to show your interests and give your contact information. There is even a work-based learning section on the website. It tells about the opportunities to earn while you learn. You can even get high school credits for some of the programs. These are work-based learning jobs. It also tells about the six career technical education pathways available at East High School. I was in the vision care program for 3 years. I learned many things such as how to pick out frames that best fit a patient's face, how to make a Prescriptions and also check the prescriptions. It was a really good experience.
It is well worth your time going to explore the Community and Career Connection website to learn about all the opportunities. Start earning while you learn. Best wishes for success!