In pursuit of college, Grant CPDA seniors go above and beyond

By Brianneth Rocha

It’s that time again, the end of spring semester, a time when students across the country prepare to go off to college and take the next steps of their lives. It is a moment that fills students with a mixture of fear and excitement. College means extremely different things to everyone —after all each individual is unique.


At the Grant High School College Prep and Digital Arts Magnet, students are reaching the finish line and preparing to start a new marathon. According to the information provided by Mr. De la Torre, Grant High School’s college counselor, 91.7% of 2017 graduates went off to some form of secondary education. I found that certain colleges/universities share popularity among Grant students. The most popular choice for Grant students is Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC), which drew 56.9% of last year’s seniors.


Sandy Radilla is a member of the Grant CPDA Magnet who will be a first-generation college student.  She will attend LAVC as an animation major. Sandy has taken her placement exam and is ready to speak to an adviser to register for classes.


Her inspiration to go to college is “to be part of the new generation at Walt Disney and bring back parts from the past to incorporate in the future”. She is glad to be able to improve herself.


Sandy believes that having a college degree will allow her to have the job that she loves, where dreams come true.

Even though LAVC attracted more than half of last year’s graduates, 7.2% of students chose to attend a UC school. UC schools are nationally recognized so it is no surprise that some students put them among their top choices.


Alma Vardevaryan, a salutatorian of the class of 2018 and a respected member of the Grant HS community, was one of the students that only applied to UCs. She will be attending the University of California Santa Barbara as a biopsychology major.


She will be living in a new city to reach her dream of becoming a neurologist. Nerves interest her because as she said “the nervous system makes a person”. She will discover what makes someone who they are.


As a pre-med student she recognizes the long journey ahead, “but it is all worth it”. It is inspiring how she’s determined to dedicate a decade of her life to get to where she wants.


Jason De Leon, a member of the school’s Marching Band, the current President of Magnet Leadership, and a valedictorian of his graduating class, is jumping with excitement as he celebrates his admission to UCLA as a pre-law student.


Living on campus will prepare him for life as he believes “going to college will make” him “more mature”. He is thrilled to have the full college experience.


Sandy, Jason, and Alma are entirely different people with one common goal; earning their undergraduate degrees. To Grant High School students college means a chance to grow, the opportunity to improve their lives, and be able to take part in society’s major changes.


Just how these students have been able to accomplish so much, all of Grant seniors have done so in their own ways. Grant has prepared students to succeed academically and in their personal lives. They will go off to create cartoons for generations to come, enforce everything this country stands for, practice medicine, and so much more.


Four years of late nights, endless schoolwork, stress, and dedication led Grant students to this joyous moment. We can’t forget that high school isn’t over. The last weeks of high school are busy with graduation around the corner. Students are sad to let go of their past yet thrilled for their last days of high school with a life changing journey ahead.


We can't forget Grant’s motto, “What we are to be, we are now becoming.” Life is a road that road of personal growth. Each student will leave Grant filled with wonderful memories ready to pursue marvelous goals. Let’s go Lancers!

Grant seniors juggle work and school on the path to graduation

By Arch Hirunpolkul

Teenagers are legally required to get some sort of education such as online classes, homeschooling, or traditional school and then graduate. However there are many obstacles that can appear that will keep teens from attaining their diploma, such as having a part-time job.


According to the U.S. Census, 1 in 4 high school students 16 ages and up work, totaling to over 3 million workers. Depending on the amount of hours they work per week, it can be so time consuming and tough to focus on their education, which can lead to their grades dropping. If students fail their core classes, they won’t meet the requirements to graduate then have to repeat the class.


I myself am a victim of being too busy with work to focus on my classes. However, there are Grant students that are able to balance their part-time and grades even with minimal time available.

I interviewed Devon Torres, a Grant Magnet student that works at In & Out, who manages to maintain a 3.0 GPA while working about 28 hours a week. There is only 168 hours in a week and the majority of the hours are being spent at school and sleeping, 28 hours is a ton of time that's taken away from his week. However, Devon is still able to find time to go to the gym 3 days a week with the limited time he has available.


“Make a to do list, most important things on top of the list”, according to Devon. That’s how he’s able to maintain his grades while having a part-time and keep his muscular physique. He makes a list in order to keep himself organized and get things done in time.

Throughout all 4 years of high school, Brianeth Rocha, a Grant Magnet Valedictorian, was either working a part-time job, doing volunteer work or having an internship. Currently she is working as a K-12 tutor at Mathnasium, she manages to bounce between her part-time job and her education simultaneously.


The key to her success, she claims is, ”when I’m not working, all my attention is focused towards homework and school, it’s all about time management”. Brianneth took the hardest classes throughout her high school career, she has taken 8 AP classes, 6 college courses and other Honor classes. Acing all the classes she took is already difficult by itself but acing them while working part-time is just incredible. She’s able to do it all because of the fact that she’s able to use her time wisely.

Last but not least we have another member of our Grant Magnet family, Melissa Carcamo. Her reasoning for getting a job was because she had so many things that she wanted and expenses to pay, however she didn’t want to beg her parents for money so she took the matter into her own hands. She managed to get a job at Olive Garden and now she’s able to pay for all her senior events and other things she wanted.


However it came with a price, maintaining her grades became a lot tougher because of how much time her job took from her daily life.


“I’d get home at 11:30 after work, so I’d have to stay up all night just to finish my work, I would procrastinate a lot but I knew I had to power through in the end. So I did the work” claimed Melissa.


Melissa is only able to maintain her grades because of her sleepless nights. Even though she would procrastinate, she would come to her senses and get her school work done.

Our Wonderful Grant Magnet Students are all able to maintain their grades even though they have their time being drained away by their part-times. Although the odds were stacked against them, they’re able to overcome the adversity. To succeed one needs to be able to keep striving for good grades and manage their time wisely. At the end of the day, it’s on you to have the motivation to work for money and the grades.

The door to college is AP at Grant High School

By Alondra Garcia

Grant seniors today, college students tomorrow

By Ryan Avila

As the class of 2018 reaches their final month at grant high school, many students begin to move towards future goals in college. Only a small number of students were chosen at random to be displayed at the front office of Grant High School apart from the many students who were also admitted into a university after High school.

Future UCSB student, Shawn Sargisyan seems delighted to say that his photo is located at the main office, he seemed incredibly prideful during the interview when asked how accomplished he feels being able to tell others about his new school in a few months. He along with the other students were all happy to be told that their faces would be shown somewhere on campus for all visitors to see.

The main goal of Grant, as demonstrated at the front office would be, “Grant first... then college!”.Without the help of Grant faculty, teachers and memories that came along the way, many students would’ve never been given the chance to pursue a passion that they’ve learn to love during their final years of a public education. The motto itself allows incoming freshman to be able to set their standards as high as those on the wall and to work hard so that they could one day be on the wall and feel as if they had a major impact during their four years. In fact, the recognition that these students have been given allows them to feel accomplished as they reach their final weeks of senior year.

The community itself that revolves around the campus demonstrates a form of success for those students who were able to benefit entirely from a public education and learn from their families in order to build a brighter future for themselves. This generous action was entirely directed by Grant’s Student Council who felt as if it were the right time to show these people off in order to demonstrate a message to those who’ll be seniors in their next couple of years, in hopes that the future seniors at Grant would live up to that motto. The gesture by them demonstrates how Grant’s reputation has increased as more students are going to attend a prestigious university.

All interviewed students seemed to have similar stories behind them; within their four years at grant and dedication towards their studies, they can all proudly say that they’re not only bound for college, but represent first generation college students in their families who lacked the opportunity of higher education, demonstrating something greater. As Jason De Leon, magnet president stated, “I’m happy to be able to go into UCLA, it was my dream school from the time I saw it in 7th grade and knowing I get to go in a couple months means more to my families background and own life”.

Although each student interviewed has different paths ahead of them in regards to education, all students have revealed that their next step in life is something that’ll “prepare me for the real world” as Rachel Eli who is going to attend UCSD revealed.


As said by student athlete Michael Gonzalez, “I think I'm ready for college but I'm going to miss all the memories I have built with my friends, they're my family and I don't want to ever forget them”. From the many students designing their own futures, only he chose to travel far from home, moving to Boston for his new school, Merrimack. “A hard choice for a better future” he calls it.

As stressful as these last moments tend to be for seniors, full of finals, testings, and goodbyes, this plays a big role for those that were able to be presented, glad to finally reach an end to all the stressful situations High School has presented. these last moments are incredibly scarce for students and serve as something that they could potentially look back at.


No student seems prepared to say goodbye, yet each are thrilled to begin a new chapter in their lives, knowing that in order to grow one must go elsewhere for the time being to be able to return to their loved ones and share all that they have experienced.

How Grant seniors really feel about graduation

By Karen Guevara

School is almost over and graduation is around the corner. These past years have been a  rollercoaster for teenagers who are entering adulthood. Graduation commemorates the hard work the students have done and on June 7th, 2018, Ulysses S. Grant seniors will be having their graduation on the football field. The staff such as teachers, counsellors, and administration will be attending this big event. It is the students time to shine.

The seniors are excited for their big day to happen. Most plan on going to college, whether it’s a four year or community, they don’t plan on stopping after graduation. Their parents encouraged them to graduate and live a life they didn't get to live. Some say that the graduation has the biggest impact on themselves, because it's they who have worked hard and it's their life.


Tania Montalvo, for example, believes that her coaches have played the biggest role “because they have influenced [her] to improve, work harder, and never give up”. Which is a very important lesson to learn before college. She also believes that graduation is a reward for the past four years at Grant.

But not everyone feels and thinks the same way. Some feel just slightly different towards graduation. A senior named Christian Sanchez, feels that not just his parents but also a program called Upward Bound, have the most impact on him as a senior and these passed four years. He states that “graduation affects our pride”. It has the biggest effect on them, as teenagers moving on to a new part of their lives. They’re leaving behind the people they know, the memories they have shared. Most say that they will miss these memories, friends, and even teachers.

Graduation, though, isn’t all about the students. Parents have seen their children grow up and become the young adults they are now; they must attend this life changing event.


When asked, seniors determine that they will invite as many as they can, which for some can be 12- 14 people or as little as 4 people. The amount really doesn’t matter, what matters is having this special event be filled with special people who are proud of this coming of age experience.

Most students thought that graduation is far from useless. In a recent survey I did, when asked if graduation is beneficial, they responded with “Yes, I believe that it is a form of celebration on accomplishing this milestone and gives hope for the future” or that “graduation is used as an incentive so the students get motivated to work hard and pass all the classes”.


Both are true, they have our own ideas and feeling toward the ceremony. Specifically, this ceremony can be an incentive because it pushes others to want to achieve a higher education like everyone else is doing. But from another point of view, it can be “somewhat” or “not really” beneficial.

After the long ceremony, these seniors with their families and friends, might have plans after the ceremony. They say that they're “going to dinner” or “going out to eat” with friends and/or family. Others don't have plans at all, which is perfectly fine, it's not the most important part of that special day. One senior even said that “ two days after [they're] going to have a graduation party”.


The excitement can be felt through these answers from the students here at Grant. They deserve to go all out or do what they please, within reason, because it's their moment. Everything they have worked for has added up to this day.

Graduation day is soon, but there's still a lot left to do. It’s a day they have been looking forward to since the first day of school. Ever since the moment they walked through the gates during Freshman year, when they were barely leaving middle school memories behind. Just how that was a coming of age moment, this graduation is also one. They’ll all remember it their own way, and think of this high school as something happy or sad. Grant and the people in it are a memory that most won’t forget because of the ups and downs it had caused them to experience.

Life after high school

By Karina Gamboa

On July 7, Ulysses S. Grant High School will hold its graduation ceremony for the Class of 2018, and will take place at the football field. For a good number of students, Los Angeles Valley Community College will be their choice of college after high school, some will go to University of California or California State University, some will join the military as their career choice, and for some this was it for teachers and books.

To the majority of seniors, graduation means a new beginning, becoming independent, and responsible. Graduating seniors are those who have finished their last semester of high school and who have been cleared to walk on stage and receive their diploma. Before that you are a graduation candidate. Seniors are working hard to make sure they walk across on stage, they are trying their best to pass their classes that are in the A through G requirements.


As the number of days are getting closer to graduation, seniors are starting to prepare for it by inviting their families to the ceremony, buying the right outfit, and saying their goodbyes to their fellow classmates. Sandy Radilla, a senior, says “I’m excited about saying my final goodbyes to my friends and being able to take pictures of the moments.” Most students are excited to leave high school because they finally feel like an adult, can do their own thing in life, and move on with their life choices.

Although the majority will go to college there are still some who will work and figure things out on the way. A senior student explained that some of their plans after high school will be “to get a job so I can learn to have some responsibility and then go to college.” Some seniors will be giving out speeches on the day of graduation to give the final farewell to the Class of 2018. Not everyone has the opportunity of giving out a speech because there is only a limited of students that are allowed to. According to Brianneth Rocha, a senior, wants to give a speech because she feels she was “very involved in school throughout all four years and [she] would like to be part of the closing of this chapter of our lives which is high school.”

Teachers and parents always want their students or children to graduate from high school and walk on stage to receive their diploma because it is an unforgettable moment. Although this may be true to some students at Grant, some feel that graduation is overrated. Stephanie Cortez, a senior who will attend Los Angeles Valley Community College this upcoming fall, claims that students are “only leaving one school to enter another”.


Usually the ones who argue that a graduation ceremony is not important are the ones who are going to Los Angeles Valley Community College. Sandy, who will be going to LAVC, also mentions “It is a big deal for my family but for me I don’t really care. I would still wear the gown and walk to Chuck E. Cheese and stuff like that but I just rather get my diploma and just be able to leave”.


Students who are going to University of California or California State University think that graduation shows that they are being rewarded for making it this far and shows all their achievements. Another senior at Grant who will attend University of California says that graduation is important to them because “i feel like without the ceremony it does not really celebrate the whole point of graduation it is more like ‘here’s your diploma’. I really want to participate in the ceremony”.

Generally speaking, all graduation candidates are excited for June 7 to arrive and all seniors are eager to be in their cap and gowns. Even if some of the students don’t agree with the whole graduation ceremony idea. It’s an emotional day for teachers, staff, parents, and seniors. It will be the last day that the Class of 2018 will be together in the same room and the last day that students will see each other because as life goes on people tend to forget some of their peers.

Grant seniors divided over post-graduation plans

By Johanna Contreras

Many young people believe that a four-year college degree is a repellent against failure, unemployment, and poverty. However, there are other options on the market that will help prevent against those pesky aspects of life. Rather than going to a four-year college young people can choose to enlist in the military, go to a community college, or get a vocational degree for half the time and half the price.

There is nothing wrong with getting an off-brand Raid spray if it repels against the same things for a lower cost, which arguably is a better bargain.


Arch Hirunpolkul, a CPDA Magnet senior, decided to be a bargain-hunter and enlisted in the Marines in August, he is expected to leave for bootcamp in July. As a freshmen, Arch had hopes of going to a four-year college but when tenth-grade came around he knew that college was no longer an option due to various factors.


During Summer, his life was changed when a Marine recruiter contacted him. Marines will have an amazing benefits package that includes a salary, housing, vacation, and the opportunity to pursue a higher education for little to no cost.


Arch is eager to start bootcamp but he still has mixed feelings about pursuing a higher education. "Nowadays our society revolves around I guess a degree, cause you get paid like way more if you have a degree versus not having one so I think it is important,” Arch said, “But, there's obviously many other ways you can make a living and survive without it."


The thought of not going to a four-year college never crossed David Elmaleh’s mind, a future LAVC freshmen. With pressure from his college-bound siblings and parents he had it ingrained in his head that the only way to make a living in this society is to attend college and have a degree.


David had dreams of going to UC Irvine but this year shifted his perspective and he enrolled at LAVC in pursuit of attending for 2 years to get his Associate’s degree and then going from there. The main difference between going to a trade school and attending a prestigious college, David believes, is the dedication and hard work put in by the individual to get where they are such a students who put in effort in high school to go to four-year college.


David ends the conversation with a regretful tone, “Had I known I wasn’t going to end up going to a four-year I would have taken the CHSPE in tenth-grade and gone to Valley and would be graduating soon.” Had David shopped around for other options sooner he would have been getting his Associate’s degree by now.


Melissa Carcamo sifted through many different options before eventually choosing to apply to LAVC. “The price difference is HUGE between going to a four year college and going to community and it’s basically the same classes, it’s our General Eds and when I need to take specific classes for my major then I can transfer,” Melissa tells me.


She had always been attracted to going to a four-year college straight after high school because that’s what she has always been told. Melissa started questioning her decisions because for her it was important to be one thousand percent sure that she isn't wasting her time, energy, money, and gas on a college that is going to cost her thousands. LAVC seemed like a good alternative mainly because of the cost and the ability to try to find out what she really wants to do for the rest of her life.

Melissa says she would have for sure taken different classes throughout her high school career because the 10 AP classes she took were not really worth it since she is not pursuing USC. She said that the attraction she felt for USC stemmed from the recognition her parents got when she mentioned the name of the prestigious University to them. “I fell in love with the name you know, I know the school is great but I want the satisfaction of saying I go to USC because people know where that is and what that entails.”

So what does the LGBTQ+ Club stand for?

By Jezzica Sebastian

The LGBTQ+ Club opened its doors to students of Grant High School. Anyone is welcome to join: those who identify as part of the community, those who support and want to help, and anybody who wants to hang out. Club members, teachers, and students alike feel the club is up and ready to make change and impact the student lives in Grant High School.

People are on the desks, one group of friends huddled together in a corner laughing at stupid jokes, cupcakes being passed down, frosting on everyone’s faces. There are two 9th graders in front of the whiteboard. HIV/AIDS written in black marker behind them. That was the first proper meeting in the LGBTQ+ club.

The club was made on March. The goal of this club is to “make a safe space for someone who doesn’t feel like they’re normalized here”, said Keiley Yoshida, a 9th grader and creator of the club. And based on the interviews of the club members, I can assure Keiley that she has fulfilled her goal for the club. So far for my friends and I, the club has been a great way to connect with each other and new people.

Meanwhile, I asked the co-creator what the club’s purpose is, and she said “the purpose of this club is to inform people about the community and how we’re not evil, as some people think”, said Aiden Miller, and added, “It’s to bring awareness and to make people like, happy... Come to terms and be happy with who they are, and make sure that we’re all here for each other. It’s not everyone for themselves. We’re all here together”. This club is doing a great job of fulfilling its goals and purposes, and it has only been a little over a month since it was created.

Many students and teachers believe that this club will make a significant change in Grant High School. Most of the people I interviewed were very happy with the creation of the club, and they hope to see this club grow and become a place where students will feel safer and become more informed about the LGBTQ+ community.

“Hopefully it will make them more aware, it’ll open their minds a little bit because some people are narrow-minded- some of them through no fault of their own- and I think that a club like this and seeing the type of students that are both in that club because they identify with that aspect in their life, or they support somebody, right?”, said Mrs. Caruso, the Magnet Coordinator and an English teacher in Grant High School. She also commented, “I think that that’s great and I think that’s just gonna raise awareness around the campus and hopefully it’ll change some minds and make people realize [that members of the community are not bad people]... Because we have these people in the campus who have very preconceived ideas, and I’d love for those preconceived ideas to be- ‘woosh’ - erased”.

Students and teachers agree with her, and so do I. This club will have a positive impact on students, because it creates a fun place for those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community or advocates and supporters, and everyone is welcome to come to meetings and hang out.

There are meetings where the creators talk about important topics such as HIV/AIDS and Gender Identification. Keiley also said that future activities in the club include guest speakers, whom she did not name as I am part of the club myself. “They are going to be talking about certain topics”, and that’s all she told me.

This club, although it may be small currently, can make a huge impact in the future, and hopefully, it will make students more open to their own identities and connect to more people as it is doing for the current members of the club. I hope that this club can continue to grow and be part of the bigger LGBTQ+ movement, and help Grant High School students become more informed and aware of the LGBTQ+ community, at least in the school.

The LGBTQ+ Club meets Mondays during Lunch in Room 121. Come join us!

What the chalk art festival means for friendships

By Sandy Radilla

People look forward to the chalk art festival every year, it’s a desire for people to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

It may be a drag for people to wait in line to get their wrist band, get chalk, get to their spots, and get to draw their sketches.

It’s a struggle to finish on time before lunch in order to have people see your hard work on display, and at the same time trying to keep people from stepping on your art.

Mr. Wilson’s, a teacher, perspective on the Chalk Art Festival is that this event is more than what meets the eye and it’s “something that’s a little bigger than us”.

He’s “blown away by by the quality of work done, some of its just amazing and the patience that went into doing some of the work... I really admire that...”.

“This is a campus wide event that’s very well respected, it’s fun and gets you out of class for the day. Chalk Art is colorful and inexpensive, it’s something that every student can get involved in. I think those are all the reasons why kids like to participate in it”.

Jocelyn Navarrete, a senior, had said that she joined the Chalk Art Festival because she has “fun every year doing it with [her] friends”.

Since she has done this every year with them, it has become a tradition for to join and work together on making their art piece.

Jocelyn expects that there will be chaos but at the same time be a lot of people laughing” because it’ll be friends joking around with each other.

Brianneth Rocha, another senior, with her team will “have to sketch out the drawings ahead of time so that everything is planned, then meet with the team members to see if [there’re] missing any supplies or if [they] have to go buy them”

Brianneth joins the “[Festival] every year [because] it’s a fun way to be productive in Grant’s community and not just come to school, it makes school a bit more fun”.

Some of the expectations Brianneth will have are similar to Jocelyn, which is “everyone is going to be running out of time, [but] it’ll all be fun”.

Her group as well, “always bring [their] own snacks because being there for four hours gets you hungry and then people aren’t as productive”.

Even though students also view this event as a time to get out of class and be with their friends, they end up creating an art piece that combines all the creativity and similarities they share with one another.

The friends that join the Chalk Art Festival bring snacks to share with one another and grow the bond that they have built throughout the school year.

With the interviews done with Jocelyn and Brianneth, it’s crystal clear that each one of these people choose their group of friends that they know won’t let them down when it comes to start drawing.

The Chalk Art builds trust between friends. Even though their art will fade from the concrete the memories will be embedded into their minds.

Busy hands, beautiful mess

By Lucia Perez

Grant students have fun at chalk art festival, although not all follow the theme

By Sindale Rios

On May 18,2018, Grant High Schools hosted its annual chalk art festival where students drew something related to the theme “Be the Change”. Students rushed over to check in and get their supplies. Every single chalk art is drawn on the ground.Once everyone in their group has either arrived the group goes to check in and get the chalk of course to draw and they get a pool noodle to blend out the chalk to make the drawing clear for everyone to see.

Everyone who had signed up were students who wanted to participate or they just wanted to get out of class.It lasted from 8:00am to 3:09pm; basically from the beginning of school till the end of school.One of the groups drew a pair of hands that said hope and change on top of the hands,and another group drew a character from Dragon Ball Z ̈Goku ̈.


Students won prizes for their artwork. The awards are were for the Best of Show which is the top award, Best use of the Theme, Most creative, Best Use of Color, Most Surreal, Best Cartoon Style, and Best Street Art Style. Just this week they announced the winners of the festival,the winners were a butterfly art piece, another was ̈around the world ̈ art piece that had people holding hands from different countries showing togetherness and of course there were others who had won.

Some of the students were very open to talking about how they felt about doing the festival.A senior Kimberly R, said that she had just signed up because she wanted to get out of her classes, but then she started to realize that it was fun to do and that if she could she would come back and do it all over again.


The theme had a huge impact on her, she said ̈The theme is impactful because everywhere around the country there are crisis happening and school shootings the theme Be the Change is impactful because it represents what has been going on in our lives and our world. ̈


Kimberly was actually apart of the group who drew the pair of hands with ̈Hope ̈ on one hand and ̈Change ̈ on the other. I was also apart of that group and I thought that the theme was impactful to our lives and how we saw the theme as a good or bad thing to look at.

Somewhere underneath all of the personality not everyone cares about winning,yeah sure people like winning,but winning isn't everything and not winning kind of feels like you did win. Students who signed up for the festival are in every grade 9-12. Anyone in the school can sign up for it.


Most of the time people do have a plan of what people’s jobs are going to be and what part of the drawing people are going to be doing,those people are planners,while others just go with the flow and do whatever they want. Some of the students who just participated in the festival just to get out of class, decided that they would free hand their drawing and draw whatever they wanted.


A lot of the drawings that were drawn did not really go with the theme. I said to myself it did not really matter what they drew because I know that two years ago a group I was with did not follow the theme, and we did not care, so why should I worry about other peoples drawings.

The theme “Be the change” is impactful especially since what has been going on in recent events with school shootings and current events,the theme is a way that people in this school can express their feelings about the theme “Be the change” and what it means to them. Everyone in this school has a voice through art,music,or just simply speaking out and voicing how they feel.


Christian S. (a senior) said ̈Basically I think the theme is great,but I kinda wish that they had thought about something else to make theme instead of ̈Be the Change ̈. I asked him ̈ If you could pick a theme for the festival what would you pick? ̈, his response was ̈I think I would go with...Anime because I think it would be a challenge for everyone to draw something like Anime."


Students in this school have witnessed a lot of events happen and because of that I think that is why they chose the theme of ̈Be the Change ̈.There are many changes that we want to see because we want our future to be good and not have any situations where we need to either fight back or give up,but we could never give up on our world.


At the end of the day it was just a lot of fun and color fights where you would draw on the floor with chalk and you rub your hand through it and you put it on either put it on someones face, leg, butt, back, or arms. My group and the group next to ours,which had some of my friends,had a full blown color fight. Chalk got in our hair and we had chalk all over us, I mean I had it on my back, my legs, and my face, and my friend on the other hand was covered from head to toe with chalk. It was fun and hilarious to draw on each other.

Later on in the day the Film and Art Festival begins and people went to see if their art piece got an award of some sort or just to see if people liked it. A lot of people went to this event to eat, watch movies and walk around to see the chalk art.


Everything about the chalk art festival is for good because like before the students do it for many reasons, but they always ends up having a good time in school and they enjoy going to these events with their friends. This festival is meant to be something good and I hope it continues for the years to come and I hope future students have fun with it and continue to come to these fun events.

Grant students project their creative imagination onto the silver screen at the Annual Film Festival

By Stephanie Alvarenga

This is where the magic beings. The film class is where students from 9-12 grade prepare their films throughout the year for the film festival. This classroom is designed with high tech computers to help Grant students make these films look as professional as possible and to guide them into the filmmaking/editing process. In this environment these students expand their ideas and make it a reality.

In the film program students are taught how to edit their movies. They are shown what resources they can use in order to make their films standout. These students have access to a multitude of programs which they use in order to make their creations be shown in the big screen. These students decided whether they use Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere to create the magic. Each time they come to class these students are allowed to use the period to film or edit whatever is left of their film.

Along the way, some students have difficulties finishing their films. This often prevents students from incorporating their films in the festival. Grant film student, Alondra Garcia said “There is never enough time honestly. From a director's point of view you never have enough time to create what you want or to edit it as much as you want. There is always a time restrain so you have to put your time and effort into it.”. This a big problem for these students because this class is designed to prepare for the culmination of their hard work.

Students whose films are longer than 5 minutes seek ways to fit the time limit in order for the showcase their films at the festival and be recognized for their hard work. Student work hard throughout the year to have their work shown, it would be a shame to not show their films due to time restrictions.

Students whose films were shown came and got the chance to see the results of their work done throughout the year. Grant senior, Sandy Radilla said that this event is “ A moment for your parents to come see your movie and to be able to see what you create even though it might end up like trash or good. It’s a moment for you to remember.” Some films were presented by students and they gave the audience and bit of insight of what their films were about. These films were shown in Grant Hall where parents and friends came and watched these amazing films after enjoying the Grant atmosphere. This picture represents the story behind each students own experience who decides to be a part of this amazing program.

Students react to the 2018 Grant High School lip sync battle

By Ruzanna Demirchyan

The third annual lip sync battle took place in the big gym at Ulysses S. Grant High School, located in Valley Glen, California, on May 4. Ms. Higgins, a teacher at Grant, and her Associated Student Body class organized this event. While newcomers and organizers found this battle to be exciting, students from previous years disagreed.

It occurred during a student vs. alumni basketball game starting at 4:00 p.m., open to all Grant students and their families. The student store sold 212 tickets for three dollars each, making $636 for the school, not counting the earnings from the freshman club snack sales. The event lasted an hour and a half instead of three hours.

Two students from the stage production class started setting up the amplifiers while players practiced before the game. Mr.Van Brunt, the teacher who created the stage production program, plugged the wires to the outlets, connected the microphone to the amp, placed both amps towards the back of the gym, and played the music for the dance groups.

“Before the lip sync battle, I made sure the equipment such as the amps, microphone, and the wires needed were safely transported by my students from Grant Hall to the big gym,” Van Brunt said.

Gustavo Solis, one of the helpers, explained, “Since it was a small event, much help was not needed. The battle itself was less interesting compared to last year’s because the basketball game was the main focus of the night.”

Four groups and five students participated in the battle one after each quarter of the basketball game. The first group had two freshman girls named Lizeth Garcia and Shirley Pamatz wearing matching black and white long sleeves with white BTS member names on the back. They danced to the song “Try Hard” by BTS, a boy band from South Korea. Antonio Pinedo, a senior at Grant, later danced to the song “New Rules” by Dua Lipa wearing a green shirt, jeans, black heels, and he used a white cape as a skirt. Next, freshman girls Emily Macedo and Tammowan danced with the the first group to the song “Mike Drop” by BTS. Lastly, Antonio Pinedo reappeared dancing to the song “Havana” by Camila Cabello. He wore higher heels and his cape skirt was purple and blue with “Grant Lancers” written on it.

Jezzica Sebastian, a senior at Grant, said the 2016 lip sync battle was the best. This is because the battle was advertised constantly, the snacks had more variety, and the audience participated in choosing a winner for the battle.

She proclaimed, “I saw two groups this year and it seemed like not much effort was put into the rehearsals. There were no winners and rounds like previous years and it was a shared event, which was disappointing.”

Shirley Pamatz, one of the dancers, stated, “I wanted to participate in the battle to show people that I can perform in front of a big audience and that I am not shy.” She explained that each song, “Mike Drop” and “Try Hard”, was chosen because of their love of BTS and its message of never giving up. Her reaction to the battle was, “Since this was my first lip sync battle, it was great. We were expecting to be competing against other teams, but since groups quit, we just performed for the audience.”


Meline Safaryan, the senior treasurer in Grant’s ASB, was in charge of organizing this event. She claimed, “The original lip sync battle date was moved many times since school was cancelled and acts were lost, but two determined groups created delightful routines. Students ran this year’s production of the lip sync battle and it was still a great experience for both the audience and performers.”

The previous years were organized by Ms. Higgins having multiple auditions, a separate location just for the event, more advertisement, and being able to vote for a winner. This brings up the questions are ASB students ready to be in charge of such events and how can the future years stop these factors from distracting the organization of this event? Either way, it was a pleasant learning experience for both the organizers and students.

Prom: a golden night for seniors

By Ashley Godoy

Prom 2018, the last high school dance, is the night that all seniors have been dreaming of ever since elementary school. It is a once in a lifetime experience that will be cherished forever.


Grant’s prom took place on April 28, at the Bonaventure Hotel in LA, from 7:00-12:00 pm. Students, their dates, and some school administrators attended prom night. Food being served until 9:00 p.m included breaded chicken, steamed veggies, and smashed potatoes. As the music began, everyone filled the dance floor. There was also a table with a chocolate fountain, strawberries, and other goodies and desserts. Right outside the entrance of the banquet hall, there was a long line that lasted all night for the photo booth.

From hearing other people’s experiences, prom was “such a nice time, everybody was dancing and everybody got to spend time together one last time before graduation”, according to a senior who attended prom, Jasmine Solito.


Whether you went with a date or with friends, prom was a memorable fun night for everyone. Some people felt like it went by too fast because of all the dancing. Although some classmates got stood up, missed dates, or arrived late due to traffic, they still enjoyed themselves while spending the night together as a senior class.


Besides busting moves on the dance floor, people were also entertained by the photo booth and the desert table with the chocolate fountain. One of our senior classmate Rafik Minasyan’s, and a few other students', least favorite part about prom was not only how long the lines were for the photo booth and the desert table, but also how “the food being served at prom was not good, it looked like it was microwaved and there was a small portion of it”. They expected better quality food and people were hungry later on in the night.


People enjoyed the music that was being played at prom, especially when it was something that they’re accustomed to. Student Emily Castellon’s favorite type of music that she danced to during prom night was “Spanish music because it is something that she knows how to do very well and it is something that she’s used to”.


Whether you went in a flashy or simple dress, or looked as Justin Crisanto said, “extra”, everyone blew each other away and looked stunning prom night. Some students went out of their own way to look unique and stand out for one last night. There was also a lot of pictures being taken,  memories being forever saved in photographs.


Prom was known to be stressful, from deciding what to wear and how to get there, so why even want to attend prom? Christopher Andrade says that “it is [his] senior year so [he] wanted to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy everything and make memories out of what being we’re given, [he] didn’t want to miss out and regret it later on when he looks back at his time in high school”. In other words, students believe that prom was a memorable night despite the struggles and stressed that came along with it. Although prom ended at midnight, many students decided to grab something to eat and spend time with friends after the event was over.

Now that prom is over, the only thing that seniors have left to look forward to is graduation. It’s exciting as everyone seems to be embarking into a new chapter in their lives, but it also saddens the soon to be graduating class of 2018 as they leave high school and all the memories that came with it.


Seniors, your time together is coming to an end, and it’s coming very fast. Soon enough, you are not going to see the same people on a daily basis anymore, even if it’s just other students that you pass by in the hallway everyday. The end of a memorable chapter full with laughter and struggles has come to an end. It’s the beginning of a new chapter; no more bad lunch food, no more football games, or homecoming dances. Seniors, enjoy your few days left at grant and take in that last bell you’re going to hear on June 7th.

Lancerbots: we done goofed 'bot' we made it up

By Daniel Romero

For the very first time in years, Grant High School’s robotics team ‘Lancerbots’ have finally won in a robotics competition. We began the competition with fierce vengeance in our eyes as the other contestants feared for their chances of winning.


On the morning of April 28, 2018 the Lancerbots headed to the University of Southern California to compete in an exciting series of events. The qualifications to join the competition consisted of the following: designing a robot to pick up plastic food containers as well as transporting them to said area, constructing the robot, creating an informative poster which showed the entire process and explained the robot’s capabilities, and being prepared to speak of the robot’s uniqueness such as pre-programmed autonomous’ and its speed.


The team had been preparing for each and every event ranging from the nerve-wrecking oral presentation to the complex performance task. Each event demanded its participants to be heavily skilled and informed on their robot’s capabilities.


Unfortunately, we were smitten by the cold hand of conflict. Lancerbot Rafael Cea knocked down our robot, shattering it into multiple chunks of debris. To make matters worse, this happened two days before the competition so we had very little time to repair it but we pulled together and managed to do so. We spent our remaining hours performing practice drives.


At the end of the day the Lancerbots won 1st place for Best Innovative Design, first place for Best Performance, and 3rd place overall. Our trophy has taken rightful residence on a shelf in the main office at Ulysses S. Grant High School.