The students that volunteer their time and knowledge on Reach a Student are eligible to receive community service hours. We are looking to expand our roster of academic and athletic mentors, interviewers, and video editors to help inspire and answer school-related questions.
Reach a Student is a website established to give students direct communication access to student mentors in various grade levels. Students will be able to reach out to other students and ask any questions they have regarding student and campus life. The site will also stream videos of students sharing their experiences at Windermere Prep as well as activities around campus.
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Staying on top of work can be hard, especially in High School. Falling behind in work may seem hard to avoid, but there are always ways to stay ahead. When you make the transition from Middle School to High School, you can see the difference between the amount of work you have. I'm in 9th Grade, so it is my first year in High School and it was hard for me to adjust to the amount of work there is in High School. Once I started to realize I was falling behind, I made sure to change that and started doing things that could help me. There are many ways you can stay on top of your work and even though it may take extra time, it is completely worth it because you will be stress free.
My first tip would be to always be paying attention and writing notes. If you are constantly writing notes in your classes you will automatically start to understand concepts more. Once the test or quiz comes around for that class, you won't have to cram the night before because you will already have the basic information. Not only that, but actually going over your notes after school will help you a lot. In past years I would only look over my notes once at home and then never again , and that would lead me to being stressed over the class. Once I started reviewing the concepts from the class and all the notes, I noticed how quickly it helped me. Not only that but challenging yourself and pushing yourself to work. Being in a class that is too easy for you may be less stressful, but actually pushing and challenging yourself to be in a class that is a little bit harder will be helpful, because you will actually be learning new concepts. If you do decide to challenge yourself, you shouldn't push yourself too hard. If you do then it will be hard to progress because you will be struggling to keep up with the concept. Keeping on top of all your work may take up time, but it is worth it in the long run.
I come from an educational system that does not put as much emphasis on grades at such a young age as they do in the USA, at least not until the child is older. What I would like to say to all of the students at WPS is not to worry about the grade but to think instead, 'What have I learned?', and what is the next step. School should be a voyage of learning, and if someone becomes obsessed with a letter grade, rather than what they are actually learning, I think that is a shame. You are more than a letter scrawled onto a page. If you got a good grade, then great, but what does it ACTUALLY mean? Do you reflect on why you got a good grade, and what you took away from that period of learning? Do you think to yourself, what else could I learn about this? How could I extend my learning? Was this fascinating to me, or something that I only tolerate because I have to? Likewise, when you get a bad grade, do you ask why? What does this mean for me? Do you find out what exactly you didn't do well or understand so that you can fix it for next time? The WHY is more important than the grade. Why am I studying this? Why is it important? What does it mean to me? Don't reduce your brainpower to a letter grade. You are so much more than that. You are creativity and problem solving. You are design and debate. Don't do things for a grade, do them because they matter to you and you know the reason why!
As a student of Windermere Prep you are expected to strive for perfection and attain excellence, but this doesn't mean that you must be stressed all the time. With good time management you can be less stressed, get more things done, and even have some free time for other activities that you may enjoy. I used to always be stressed about getting good grades and doing all of the homework that I was assigned. I had to learn how to manage my time in order to get more things done and have free time do the things that I loved. I had tried many time management tactics, such as writing everything down in my planner, or even skipping some after school activities in order to get the best grade possible. This ended up stressing me out even more, I had to find a method that worked for me. I ended up using a time calendar. I know it sounds weird, but I got a white board and marker and would write down what I would be doing every half hour. This helped me to see exactly when I should be working on a certain assignment, or studying for a specific test. I now had seen where I had free time to spend with family and friends, and even go to all of my after school activities. This has helped me manage my time, but it might not help you. Find a system that works for you and stick with that method. Make sure to keep up with the method you choose as well. As long as the system works for you, it doesn't matter how weird it seems.
Dear WPS Students:
If I had the chance to go back to middle school and high school there would be some things I would do differently. Although I am a teacher- and teachers love learning- we all didn't start off perfectly and I am certainly one of those. Here are some pieces of advice that I think will help you capitalize on your chances of making the most of your education and the time and resources in front of you all.
From a WPS teacher
Hi my name is Bella and I am an 8th grade student at Windermere Prep. One of my greatest passions in life is dance. I find myself dancing almost everywhere I go. It is something that I could not live without. Each week I dance for about 10+ hours. I also attend certain dance competitions every few months, which means a lot of extra rehearsals. Sometimes I find it a little tricky to maintain a 4.0 GPA as well as attend all of my dance classes and rehearsals. However I seem to always find a way to make it work.
One tip I would give others who are struggling to juggle all of their extra curricular activities along with school is to stay organized. I would suggest keeping a planner to write all of your assignments down on. As well as keeping a few folders to organize any papers you receive from teachers. This way you do not lose any time due to searching for a lost paper or assignment. Another tip would be to get lots of sleep and eat healthy as well. Being tired or getting sick would only lead to more schoolwork piling up, which will make it much harder to balance school and your extracurricular activities.
My last tip is to get some of your schoolwork done over the weekend. If you wait until the week everything is due it will be extremely hard to complete everything on time and attend your extracurricular activities. Even spending an hour on your work over the weekend can make a huge difference. I know that all of these tips have definitely made it a lot easier for me to keep up with my schoolwork as well as dance, which is very important to me.
I truly do not know what I would do without dance. It has provided me with so many great opportunities that I am so thankful for. Through dance I can express myself and teach others. I have even gotten to work with an incredible nonprofit organization known as Dance Out Bullying and got to educate others about bullying through dance. I hope to one-day dance on Broadway as well as eventually own my own dance studio and teach others. I hope to have a positive impact on someone's life through dance. I also hope that all of my tips will help you maintain your busy schedule and allow you to follow your dreams and achieve your aspirations and goals.
Whenever you are lonely, whenever you are bored, and whenever you are nervous, one of the best activities to do is volunteering. The fact that you are helping someone out for his or her benefit, not yours, gives you a thrill and happiness. When you are volunteering, you are also giving something back to the community, the community that gave you the environment to grow to what you are now.
Volunteering can also help you build new skills or even build on an existing skill that you are working on. For example, volunteering at a golf tournament may help you understand golf and volunteering at a hospital may help you understand how patients are treated and how the hospital runs during the day. Each time you volunteer, whether it is fun or not, you learn a valuable lesson, and the lesson you learn can be used for your future decisions and actions
For me, volunteering is quite fun, although I encounter new skills and activities that I might not even use in my life, just learning the new skills makes it fun for me. I volunteered at a golf tournament January 2016, and from there, I learned how the scoreboard runs during a golf tournament, and many other management skills that run a golf tournament. I even met many famous people there too! Furthermore, I am going to volunteer at the Orlando Regional Medical Center and I am looking forward to volunteer! I will be able to not only go around the hospital, but also have a chance to look into details where patient is being cared of, and other great opportunities!
All in all, one of the best ways to learn and go out into the world is by volunteering. The current world requires us to have as many skills and volunteering can cover most of the experience we need. Plus, just why not volunteer? Volunteering, in my opinion, is better than any phone or computer games and many other home activities. Most volunteering activities are held outside, which means that you can also get your daily walking done while outside. So to have fun and volunteer!
Sometimes as a child I would describe myself like an egg. On the outside a hard shell, smooth and flawless in appearance but on the inside a mushy soft, runny liquid.
I was put ahead a grade in 1st grade basically because I knew my ABC's and could read while our Pre-K students now a days can recite their ABC's and read in usually more than one language:) With a late spring birthday this made me very young for the class which was like a neon sign saying come pick on me. I was lucky academically where I liked school and the subjects came easier than normal to me, again a flashing neon sign. I was painfully shy and didn't have a lot of friends, this time the flashing neon sign is playing a tune here, you follow me?:) Grades 1-5 were uneventful, no one noticed me so I went about business without any problems. By 6th grade though, that was another story. My middle school years were tough. I was picked on and ridiculed. I wasn't physically bullied, it was all verbal which to me is worse. I would've much rather been hit once and been able to walk away with an external bruise, instead I had to be the egg, hard on the outside but a pile of mushy liquid inside.
Unfortunately, I have no words of advice on how to deal with a similar situation at the time of occurrence I put my head down and prayed my way through but I can tell you now that those crucial years most definitely made me the person I am today. I have tolerance, I have compassion, and I have empathy. Strangely enough I'm an eternal optimist, I see the good in everyone and everything. I am a parent who will not tolerate my child treating their friends and peers with anything but respect and courtesy. I will not partake in gossip or hearsay and I only surround myself with positive people. Sounds like I got it all together right, not in the least! I don't talk about my middle school years often but I will divulge them to a crying student who thinks no one could possibly know what they are going through at the moment. I hope to give them some hope, some reassurance and some optimism. Because everything you do in life shapes what kind of person you can become.
I would like to think that I am a good writer; that I am good with words. You think it is an art, how I bleed for the world in a verse. But I think it's a way of life, how I let myself speak the words I've never been able to say. Writing is an art. Identical to art, the mystical crux of writing is in the eye of the beholder. Writing, like art can come in various magnitudes, insignias and each have their own eccentric way with words.
I find that words can be like an incorrigible child at times. They run around in your head, popping up at random intervals, giving you headaches and causing a maelstrom. Words are nothing but a jumble of inane letters, but it is your job, as a creator and as a writer, to tame those words running in your head and bend them to coalesce into tangible thoughts.
When I was smaller, writing was not an event that I would happily do, not by a long shot. Never would you find me freely obliging to write a 6-page essay for my friend. The easiest excuse I would use was that "writing is not easy". Everyone has their own struggles, whether it is coming up with strong thesis, plot, characters or even having an idea to start with. When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hemingway replied, "Let's say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with." This was kind of like Hemmingway's sick, comical take on writing.
Trust me, writing doesn't have to end in "hanging". It does not have to seem hard. Really, it can be quite enjoyable. But unlike common belief, writing is not easy. Not in the least bit. It is not just a scratch on top of a piece of paper or the result of a single keystroke. No, it is the process of creating a breathing life form that is birthed from your very own mind. If you do it just right, if will feel like you are putting part of your soul down on the surface. It is not like a jar waiting to be filled, more like a castle waiting to be built. Nonetheless, writing, for anyone, is not an easy feat. However, it one of the most purest forms of art you can ever make. You are painting with the most potent "aether" of your own heart.
When I was in high school, I was in a special math and science program that pushed students to go as far ahead as they could. I'd already been a year or two ahead of most of my class thanks to my middle school math classes, but my Sophomore year of high school, I was pushed even farther.
A special independent study program was created for about 6 of us to finish Calculus by the end of the summer and begin Calculus 2 in our Junior year, then going to the local junior college our Senior year to take more advanced math classes. Being someone who thought I'd be majoring in math, I said yes and began the program. The problem became when the work got hard, and the independent study teacher didn't have time to explain it, and I started becoming interested in journalism. I realized my Sophomore year that there was more to high school than just math. I'd joined a sports team and was interested in joining the newspaper. With so much else on my plate, I walked in on the last day of school and turned in my Calculus book that I'd barely been understanding as an independent study class and told my teacher I'd just take it again the next year.
What followed were meetings with the teacher and guidance counselor and my parents. In the end, I kept playing sports, ended up being editor of the high school newspaper, and still finished two years of Calculus before graduation. The writing knowledge and practice I got on the newspaper helped in writing my $36,000 college essay (as I called it because of the scholarship money it awarded). The diversified program I ended up working out did far better for me than just a plain math education. It even led me to double major in college in both Mathematics and Elementary Education.
Don't just let yourself be led through your school life by people telling you to do stuff just because you can or just because it's offered. Take control of your education and branch out. You never know what you're going to end up doing, so experience as many things as possible now! It's OK to say NO to some classes, experiences, clubs, etc. Especially when it allows you to say YES to others!
Mr. Matt Masem
5th Grade Math Teacher
What are some tips you have for students that are on the fence about doing IB diploma due to Theory of Knowledge (TOK)?
There should no reason for students to be on the fence because half the week is a study hall and you will still have opportunities to get work done for your other classes and also the course is not hard. There is a a lot of reasons why one should be on the fence about doing diploma and taking TOK should not be one of them. It is also fun to be in the class, the good thing is that instructors can do whatever they want with the material of the class. So I try to choose fun activities and I think that the topics in the class are very interesting.
Could you give a brief summary of the TOK course?
TOK is about growing as a knower and putting together pieces of what you learn in your other IB classes. It is also about synthesizing knowledge.
And for students that are taking TOK, what are some tips for succeeding in the course?
To have an open mind and to be inquisitive.
Also what do you think would be better taking the online course or the actual class? And why?
I think the actual class is better because a big part of the course is discussions. And the online course lacks that. There is a lot of things you could do with the online course and you could still have discussions but the responses online would not be as thoughtful or as instantaneous as our live in class discussions.
With the new addition of the Cypress Center and the brand new theatre, there has been a lot of speculation of the theatre programs, including the addition of IB theatre - what does this all mean? I am able to participate in most theatre functions and have a large understanding of how the performing arts programs run daily, as well as all the opportunities available for students.
It's called "Thespians" for short, however it is the International Thespian Society. This is a club that revolves around theatre in general, as well as going to theatre competitions. Students practice scenes, monologues, songs, and technical events like costume design and playwriting, and participate in a festival for a few days in our district whilst being judged, and if they get a high enough score, can take a trip to the Florida state festival and take workshops and classes from the very best as well as performing. However, thespians has multiple other events for those who do not get into districts- this includes Improv. Night, The Haunted House, Shakespeare Night, and many new events such as Miscast and W factor (in which boys perform female numbers and vise versa), and school events like the homecoming parade. However, this club forms a community and even if you do not participate on stage or backstage but enjoy the art form, then it is to learn about and celebrate everything theatre has to offer.
WHAT THESPIANS REQUIRE
The Officers are very involved in running thespians - our sponsor helps us, however organization of events is all us. We make plans for all the meetings, send emails, and decide what to do throughout the year. We have to be leaders of the troupe and help critique district pieces, have separate meetings, go to club events, find ways to raise money, etc. It is very busy, almost like a job as well have to do something everyday, but very rewarding.
With the opening of the cypress center came a plethora of new school shows for students to participate in - both offstage and onstage. These include the current "Peter Pan" All School, the high school play "Steel Magnolias", the HS/MS musical of "Addams Family", as well as the Lower Schoolers "Cinderella" and the MS Broadway review. There will also be a summer camp show of "Les Miserables" in which anyone in the community can participate in. This means that it is a fulfilling year for both technical and theatrical students, but it is also a lot of work.
The performance sets are very difficult to maintain, therefore many students take classes in and outside of school in order to keep and improve their skills. A lot of theatre students take dance classes in order to keep with the demand of movement in shows, as well as musical theatre which can contain high intensity dancing in multiple styles. They also take choir or chorus, to learn the proper technique of singing, the different variations, and how to be united in a group. Both of these classes also give the benefit of making the student a triple threat, something desired in the community because of the versatility of the student that allows them to perform roles with multiple requirements (for example a character that can sing opera, or Tap dances). Some students even take music classes to learn or understand musical instruments and how to read music- there are many shows that now require actors to play instruments and the business is very competitive. These music students also have an opportunity to play in the orchestra of a show.
However, the most important part is acting or theatrical classes. It is the backbone of musical theatre - performance is about expressing yourself, which is what this class does. There is so much variation in acting and an actor can always improve in each style and in each style and needs constant direction in order to be as close to perfect as possible. This helps abstract theatre, speech, script work, directing and critiquing others, and being able to learn about techniques.
Technical theatre is also expanding at our school, through the use of the art classes. WPS is beginning to make its own sets, and creative minds are needed for this. Students that take art classes are creative, problem solvers, able to view the full picture and see what compliments, and bring new ideas to the table.
It is important to take these fine and performing art classes because it keeps the students in a creative mindset, allows them to expand and grow, and can bring it to their multiple projects.
Many students find their volunteer hours through the performing arts. Many of the lower school and middle school shows invite HS and MS students to tech backstage or stage manager, as well as help the children, and the high school shows have a tech team that consists of high school students- for example, many high school students are "fly crew" in Peter Pan, which is a very big job. Not only does it create leadership and organizational skills, but it gives students many CAS and volunteer hours. Thespians tech at both W factor and Mr. Windermere Prep, and students usually help the performing arts teachers in tasks.
One thing many Windermere Prep students don't realize- you can take the electives or courses you want online even when the school doesn't directly offer them and still have it count as one of your class periods. If Windermere Prep isn't offering a course or elective you're passionate about/really want to take part in, you do have the possibility to take that course during the school year! There are many options offered as to what you can do to ensure you're taking a course you're excited to learn about. For example, I am taking a film course, and a photography course online this year. I am taking these classes because I'm extremely passionate about these subjects, and unfortunately, Windermere Prep does not offer them as a course. But, I don't have to let that restrict me from learning about what I want to do! It's awesome that Windermere Prep encourages their students to do what they're interested in, as they want their students to succeed, so I advise you to take advantage of this.
Here are some things to consider if you're interested:
-You must talk to your counselor, and have them approve it. This is crucial! They must understand why you want to take the course and how it will benefit you in the future. Your counselor can discuss options with you as to what platforms meet Windermere Prep's standards/work best for you.
-You need to be prepared to do work on your own. Online courses are relatively independent, so being self motivated is a must. An online course is still a class, and there are assignments and tests that may be due each week. You need to plan accordingly and allot time each week to complete assignments as you would for your classes at Windermere Prep.
-If you do end up taking an online course in place of one of your electives or other courses, you may be permitted early release. Since I am taking two online classes, I have early release each day, as I don't have a 6th or 7th period. This may not work/be ideal for every person's individual situations, but it is something to bring up when speaking to your counselor.
Do you ever wonder how to get involved in student activities or how you are able to communicate with teachers and other students when you are not at school about school related things? The answer is through emails. Since not everyone has the phone numbers of every single student, and definitely not the numbers of teachers, many people like to communicate about school related things through emails.
For example, the SGA, especially the High School SGA loves to try to increase grade and school involvement through emails. These emails may give links to sign up for Spirit Week Events or links to sign up for contests where you can win Free Homecoming Tickets and things like that. Emails are often sent to the entire grade, and they often contain valuable information not just about how to get involved, but many important memos such as PSAT Locations, Field Trips, and College Planning Meetings.
It's not only just the SGA and Lead Faculty that loves to communicate through emails. Many other clubs love to communicate through emails as well about meeting days and locations, and ways to collect information like T-Shirt sizes. Even teachers use emails to communicate memos about their classes like their lesson plans, quiz reminders, study guides, and location.
So, if all these people use emails for many reasons, why don't you? The email system, despite sounding boring and not as quick as text messages, is still a fabulous form of communication. It is professional, formal, and leaves a great impression on your teachers. Emails are a great way to ask your teachers questions, schedule meetings among members of the Laker Community, and blast out memos. Remember that when in doubt, check then write emails.
Whenever students finish a lesson at school, it is not uncommon that they have to do some required practice at home. Although this may not be graded, it is just as important. Many students overlook the importance of homework and simply think they are fine without it.
Doing work just at school will not be enough practice for you, but homework is a way for students to understand if they are getting better, or worse. Some students feel scared to hand it in because they did it wrong, but that is okay. Homework is just practice, and if you are not doing well in it, teachers will be more than welcome to help you get better. Most teachers use homework to apply what you learned in class to problems that you can practice, so that students can have a better understanding of what they are learning.
Especially when studying for exams, homework is especially useful because you can use these documents to look back at what you learned all year and practice the content. Sometimes, teachers provide a study guide for the exams for you to practice which is also really important to complete as well. However, you cannot always rely on teachers posting these guides for you because they may ask you to use the content from the past year. If you have done homework in that course, it will be very easy for you to study for the exam, but if you did not complete the homework, you will have a much harder time studying for exams.So for people who despise the homework system, it is a very useful tool for many students, and even though you think you do not need to do it, it is always good to complete it because the more practice you have, the better you will do on quizzes, tests, and exams
Taking 4 HLs is pretty much the most difficult schedule you could possibly have at Windermere prep. These 4 HLs, with 2 more SLs and an elective, create the most rigorous schedule possible. All of these hard classes on top of the other things required by the IB Diploma make for an extremely difficult week. However, there are some things you can do in order to make the week a little easier. Yes, it will require some effort and doing some extra work when you need to, but it looks really good on your transcript and thus will give you the edge over other students in the IB Diploma program.
Each weekend, you have both Saturday and Sunday to plan your week out ahead of you. The best way to do this is to look on the canvas and check what each of your teachers has scheduled for you and when. You will want to pay attention to what is summative, as this will take up the majority of your time. However, this is not to say that formatives are not important, but summative assessments are definitely something that you should focus more of your time on. Once you figure out what summatives you have, you will want to check if they are tests or projects, and then figure out how much time each assignment will take you. Is studying for the chemistry test going to take you a whole day? Then do your other assignments on different days and leave a whole day for chemistry. This is easily the best way to look ahead. It's critical that you do this on Saturday so that you can plan ahead and get as much work done as possible on Sunday.
You want to make sure you leave yourself a good amount of time to study for any test given to you. Sometimes it might be an easy test, in which case you don't need to leave yourself a lot of time. However, when you get the time to study, you will want to use it wisely, and not waste the time on your phone or doing other stuff. I find that the best ways to study are to watch youtube videos, read the textbook chapter for the class you are in, and doing practice IB questions that you can find online at ibdocuments.com or that your teacher has given to you. These are the easiest ways to study for me, but everyone has different methods. However, it is crucial that you use your time wisely.
This is the single most important element in making sure you don't struggle in IB classes. You need to effectively manage your time so that you are able to devote a good amount of time to each classes assignments. Falling behind in one class is not something that you want, as this can cause further issues in the long run. Thus, you will want to make sure you allocate your time effectively in order to maximize your time. If you have extra time, you can use it to do other stuff. I find it effective to make sure I have all my work done for the day before I start giving in todistractions. I think that going back and forth between your phone and your work makes the whole process take longer. Overall, time management is more of a personal thing on how you decide to manage your time, but finding the way that works for you is crucial.
While taking 4 HLs on top of the other rigorous things IB requires is hard, it doesn't mean that you have no opportunities to do other things. Currently, I'm able to work a part-time job, play guitar, and hang out with friends while still being able to excel in my courses. You want to make sure you give yourself a healthy balance rather than make your entire life be about school. Take a break every now and then and allot some time to just chill out and relax. The IB curriculum is stressful, so it is only healthy to take some time to yourself. Naturally, school should come first. However, a healthy lifestyle should be a close second. Getting enough sleep and being social is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, if you manage your time well enough, you will be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still excelling in your courses.
As a new student, I know how difficult switching schools can be especially during these times where we are all going through huge changes in our lifestyle. At times you may feel overwhelmed over the amount of new information that you are constantly receiving, and these feelings are normal but remember, don't fret too much, because at some point or another it is very likely that everyone has been new somewhere or at something and has gone through this process. Based on my experience, these are a few tips that I recommend to make this transition a lot smoother:
● Try to keep organized- stress is instantly amplified if you feel like you have too much going on at a time or like you aren't on top of things. Something that has helped me to combat this, is this app called memo on my laptop, where I can keep little sticky notes on my desktop, where I store my agenda for the day and keep a checklist of everything I need to do.
● Keep in contact with your old friends, it doesn't matter if they're in another city, state, or even another country!- Maintaining a relationship with the people I miss has personally helped me when I started feeling homesick.
● It sounds cliche, but don't be afraid to ask for help- I promise it's not that big of a deal to ask questions if you're lost, it happens to everyone. No question is a stupid question, but if it is a stupid question at least you get a good laugh!
● Take time to settle in- Especially with IB, it could feel like there's a lot you have to do all the time, I know because I felt the same way (and still currently kind of do). There's a lot to think about, from all the papers to come, to TOK, to the CAS portfolio, etc. but there's also a lot of time to think about that. Don't feel like you have to figure out everything right now, take your time.
As long as you don't take yourself to seriously and keep a positive attitude and open mind, a very overused motivational phrase, but still very true, you'll be just fine.
Ever wondered how you can get involved with Windermere Prep's wonderful fine arts programs and all it has to offer, without needing any musical talents or abilities? Trust me, I know what it's like to have no artistic, musical, or athletic talent and be lost on what I could possibly do after my school days to boost my resumé and gain valuable experience.
That's when I looked towards Windermere Prep's Cypress Center, the new and beautiful building in the center of our campus, dedicated solely to the fine and performing arts. This is where you go to watch our high quality performances and take fine art classes, but it is also so much more than that. This is where I met wonderful people, gained trust from my superiors, learned incredible skills and knowledge, and most importantly, had some of the best memories of my Freshman year.
I chose to work in the costumes' department for our 2019 school-wide performance of "The Little Mermaid" and the 2020 high school performance for "Alice in Wonderland," as well as our elementary school production of "Once Upon a Mattress." More specifically, I was the assistant to the costume director during the months of rehearsals and preparations, and during the actual shows I was in charge of all things regarding costuming and helping out at the dressing rooms and keeping children supervised and ready while they were backstage. In total, I logged 140 hours towards my community service credit by helping out in these productions, and it was worth every minute. You don't have to work only with costumes, of course, you can help out in props, sets, lighting, sound, or you can be a Cypress Center Ambassador.
Although these can sometimes be too much of a commitment for some, there are so many small things you could do to help out with and support the fine arts at our school! For example, before every production there are always sets and props that need to be made and painted, and you are always welcome to volunteer for these designated "set building" days and get community service hours for painting while having fun with friends and meeting new people. Another way to support the Cypress Center and all its performers is to come and watch the various concerts and plays we have throughout the year, which are all of exceptional quality and talent, and will definitely be worth your time.
The takeaway is that if you are looking for an after-school commitment or just for a way to collect your required community service hours, reach out to a superior at the Cypress Center in charge of your area of interest and request to speak with them, and I am sure they will accommodate you with what works best for you. I formed great friendships and trust with all the casts, directors, and fellow helpers, and I couldn't be more grateful for it all. I welcome all to experience the incredible fun that is being behind-the-scenes, it is truly magical.
When entering 10th grade, students are faced with a decision of what History they are going to choose. For me, this was a tough decision that took weeks contemplating the pros and cons of the course and how it would affect me throughout the year. My main concern was the uncertainty of knowing if I would be able to handle it because my biggest fear was to choose the course and potentially fail. However, taking an Ap course looks very well to colleges, and it is always beneficial to challenge yourself. If you are faced with the decision whether or not to take the course, I recommend you go for it. Throughout the year, I experienced many hard moments, and the course is challenging for everyone at least once, but I do not regret my decision. I grew significantly as an academic learner through the class. It helped my study skills, time management, and prepared me for IB History. I am currently in my second year of IB HL History, and I have been able to apply my knowledge from Ap European History to my assignments. This is very beneficial, especially when juggling my six other IB classes. Overall, if you ever have to make a decision about a particular class, I recommend challenging yourself. It will improve you as a learner and help you for future challenges.
No one wants to come home from a long day of school and sports and do tons of homework. Here are some tips on how to get it done quicker and with less stress:
Turn off distractions
When you do sit down to do your work, turn off your phone. You will get things done quicker and will have more time to do what you want to do.
Be productive any time you can
Do work whenever you get the chance during the school day, like during SRT or on the way to and from school.
Spending five minutes to plan your week and the assignments coming up is so worth it. Instead of taking time to decide what you need to do next or whats most important, you will already know and you can just do it.
Choose assignments wisely
This one is pretty obvious, but do your work in order of whats due, not what you think is hardest. There is no reason to be studying for your bio test next week when there is a history essay due tomorrow.
Recently after traveling to downtown Orlando, I noticed there were more homeless people than usual. My mom told me a lot of shelters were at capacity and many homeless were forced to live on the streets. Things got worse over the next few weeks and I realized that while I could not change the situation many of the homeless people were in, I could give them food to help them during these hard times.
With COVID I could not distribute food directly to the homeless, but I discovered a program called Service and Love Together, SALT who I could volunteer with. SALT not only provides food, but also mobile showers! The volunteers went above and beyond and also gave the homeless an opportunity to wash their clothes. I saw this as an opportunity to combine two things I am passionate about: cooking and service.
I contacted SALT and they granted me the opportunity to create snack bags. My 100 snack bags were filled with oranges, granola bars, and waters. I handed these bags out while people were waiting for the main meals. I watched as different people came up and received a bag. They were so thankful for such a small item. The compassion they showed to each other and to the volunteers was moving. To them, it didn't matter where you were from; they just wanted to take care of each other.
I continued making snacks and meals for SALT on a weekly basis. One of the most touching moments that left me with an indelible impression was a cute woman with a red flowered fishing hat. She approached us as we were walking back to the car and complemented how much she loved my mom's shoes. I smiled at her and told her how these were my mom's 20-year-old shoes that had lasted her through everything. I watched as the woman listened intently and told me about her shoes which were torn and ripped in all different places and how they had lasted her only 7 years.
When I got home, I got to work scourging all the closets in the house looking for old shoes. I ended up compiling 18 pairs of shoes amongst everyone in the house! The following week when I went back to SALT to hand out food and shoes. I gave the woman with the red hat the shoes she loved so much, hoping that my mom's shoes would last her another 20 years. :)
SALT is an amazing place to volunteer and they have a variety of duties to be involved with! If you enjoy cooking, they love to have people make meals and donate them. However, there are other ways to help like donating clothes, snack bags, and shoes! Don't hesitate to reach out and see ways you can help.
Our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic have changed drastically. Everyday new information is released about prevention and what can lead you to have a higher infection rate. Consistently, throughout all the information, seniors (people over the age of 60) have a greater chance of contracting the virus and becoming seriously ill when exposed to COVID-19. After learning this, I thought about my grandparents and how they could potentially be affected. In order to keep my grandparents safe, my parents and I brought them all the supplies they needed including masks, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and groceries. I continuously saw why nursing homes and assisted living facilities were the highest risk for a dramatic spread of the virus: I felt compelled to help them in some way. I learned the best method to prevent the spread of disease was the use of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), especially N-95 masks. As I called a few local senior assisted living facilities, I realized they did not have the proper supplies for their staff or residents. After researching manufacturers, I was able to find a local company selling N-95 masks. I organized a fundraiser and was able to raise enough funds to purchase 100 masks.
Donating PPE to The Commons Senior Care Facility was similar to a child in a candy store. Nurses and residents were ecstatic to be able to protect themselves and residents. They came running up to me and I was instantly surrounded by eager faces wanting PPE. They were so thankful for the small amount I could provide, just so they could do their jobs. Additionally, to help keep the residents safe, I invited a local doctor to speak about the proper ways to reuse masks and prevention of COVID. I hope my minor efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 helped keep someone's grandparents safe.Even if you are not a healthcare provider, there are many different ways to get involved including sewing masks, donating masks, and even just showing your appreciation for healthcare workers.
What is TAP: TAP is a fifteen minute presentation in front of all of your teachers! I remember making 8-12 connections for each of my classes. It seems a little stressful, but you need to make sure you prioritize your time. I recommend students to choose a challenging topic or a unique topic. For example, My presentation was about Neuroscience. I suggest you should finish your connections as soon as you can, your teachers definitely would go over your script and help you out with any unclear connections. You should explain each connection thoroughly (5-6 sentences ). Your connections are basically the base for your script! Before you start your actual script make a rough draft or outline your connections. Your script is required to meet 15 minutes and no more than 15 minutes. I know, it may seem like a lot! But, you would actually want to write more than 15 pages. A tip: During your presentation, use notecards for key points.
Visual Aids: I definitely would recommend to use visual aids. For example, I used a sheep's brain, and I make a jello brain with gummies in it (gummies=brain disease) During my presentation, I also gave they teachers an opportunity to dissect the brain with dissecting tools.
Layout for your Connections: 8-12 connections (depending on each subject/teacher)
How does it relate:
How does it relate:
How does it relate:
How does it relate:
How does it relate:
How does it relate:
How does it relate:
How does it relate:
Script: You should definitely make a rough draft because you will be deleting a lot of information on your script. I remember when I first timed my presentation, it was around 24 minutes. You basically have to simplify and shorten your script. Make sure your script is not boring, you don't want to lose your teacher's attention. Make some jokes, interact with your teachers during your presentation!
Presentation: Again, Don't lose their attention! Your teachers don't want to hear a 15-minute long speech. You might be nervous and it's okay! Your teachers will understand, just make sure you memorize your speech and know what you are talking about. If you mess up, its okay, play it off and keep going! If you ever need to talk to someone about TAP, talk to freshmen or sophomores about it. Ask them for their advice and their experience! I couldn't stress more to use notecards. Note Cards could be used to help you with the order of your script, bullet points you want to address during your presentation. Just read your script over and over! Don't be nervous and I'm sure you'll do great!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our daily lives and schedules have changed drastically. Many people are stuck at home unable to go to their jobs or see family and friends. These changes have caused many of us to feel emotional and affected our health. We are unable to workout at gyms, and I think we can all agree that being stuck at home has led to a lot of unhealthy eating habits. With my extra time I have been cooking and baking everything that comes to mind! After a couple weeks of this I realized how unhealthy I felt. I had thrown out my workout schedule and stopped being productive in my day. I realized I needed to take care of myself, we all need to take care of ourselves! The below is a list of things you can do to feel better during quarantine.
a. Working out should be an important part of everyone's day. It allows for the release of endorphins which makes us feel happier. Even just walking for a few minutes outside every day will improve your health and fitness. Exercise also helps keep a schedule in your life. During these troubling times, there is little to no schedule and it makes us feel lazy. By working out, we can reintroduce structure into our lives and start getting back into our daily routines.
2. Eat Well
a. When we are stuck at home it is easy to always feel hungry especially when you are bored. If you are like me and found yourself constantly snacking, instead of eating chips or cookies try to eat some different things.
i. Instead of chips have apples, the crunch of an apple is pretty similar to that of a chip.
ii. Instead of cookies, have a banana and peanut butter.
iii. Instead of having ice cream, freeze some grapes as snack.
iv. Instead of eating Takis or Flaming Hot Cheetos, have wasabi peas.
There are healthy alternatives for everything you want and you just have to find the right snacks for you.
b. Avoid caffeine if you don't normally drink it. Caffeine is a stimulant and jump starts your brain and heart. It also creates a dependency. Once your brain uses coffee to get a jump start you will see yourself needing it more and more to keep yourself awake caffeine can make you jittery and anxious too.
i. Instead of consuming caffeine have a smoothie with some fruit yogurt and ice. It will energize you just as much as coffee!
By making these small changes you will see yourself feel so much better and happier during quarantine.
Volunteering is a big aspect of academic life; it not only helps out with hours, but it also aids in building skills such as empathy, commitment, and it opens an opportunity to play a bigger beneficial role in the community around us. As known, many students look for volunteer opportunities, that is why I have interviewed Mrs. Danielle Newbold, responsible for Miles To Go, a charity organization that operates in the Orlando area.
1.How did MTG start? What was the original idea?
"Miles To Go began one afternoon at a red light on the corner of Turkey Lake & Sand Lake Rd. There was a panhandler there asking for money. Miles was in the backseat telling me to give him cash. "I know you have some Mom, why aren't you giving him any?!"
I had been putting this conversation off for awhile. Miles was not letting up this time and was getting quite upset. So I told him, "We can't be sure how he will use the money." Miles had the solution, "So then we need to give something else!"
We went home and brainstormed items to give. We googled, used our common sense and knowledge of our local weather. It was a great start!
Our original idea was to do this as a mother/son community service project. It didn't take long to realize that we were meant to do more!
Our first 150 empty bags were donated by Orlando Body & Movement Therapy. It was there that the name "Miles To Go" came to us as well.
From there we became a 501(3)(c) and have now packed/donated over 600 bags!"
2. How can the community help MTG on a daily basis?
"The community can and has been of great help! You can simply save your hotel shampoos, add a couple MTG supplies to your weekly grocery order, order from our Amazon wish list, order through Amazon Smile (.5% goes back to the charity of your choice), attend a packing day, host a supply drive…..so many options!"
3. What is MTG's goal?
"Our goal has been the same since the beginning; Spreading love one bag at a time. We do not have a monetary or quantity goal. We just want to help as many people as we can. We do that with our gift of a Miles To Go bag to the homeless & also by growing compassion in the person giving the bag out."
4. Can helpers get volunteer hours? How can they be a part of MTG?
"YES! Helping our youth is one of our favorite things! We love assisting you get your hours and growing compassion while you do it! You can do a supply drive with your club, team, church, family, so many options! You can also help in by getting supplies ready for packing (like folding t-shirts, pairing items, numbering cards, etc). Social media is a big one too! You can spread awareness, share our Amazon wish list and so much more!"
5. Do you have any future plans regarding the future of Miles To Go?
"On the horizon we have a brunch at Plancha (the Four Seasons) November 4th where a portion of the proceeds will be given to MTG & a packing day November 15th. Both are open to the public. We are excited to announce that Miles To Go was selected by Visit Orlando to be the philanthropic feature at their event in Tallahassee this December!
We are set to do a large school fundraiser in Ocala in February, are partnering with local schools and doctor's offices in Orlando, Windermere & Winter Garden and can be found in local gyms as well!"
*After that, if interested, I recommend you to find more information about Miles To Go and be a part of this amazing project in order to get some hours, help the community, and be a part of many smiles that come with the bags. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know!