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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

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Jefferson Middle School Day allows incoming freshmen to engage with high school culture

Bren Belmonte
SOARING WINGS — Dance performs to “Rise Up” by Andra Day.


On March 13, Gabrielino High School hosted its annual Jefferson Middle School (JMS) Day for incoming freshmen, previewing what the campus has to offer. 

  “There are a lot of people in Gab that are just academics based,” said senior Jacob Schilf, Associated Student Body (ASB) Vice President. “I want to encourage the eighth graders to think about joining some organizations on campus.”

   Some programs highlighted at the event were ASB, choir, the Gabrielino Eagles Marching Regiment (GEMR), dance, drama, peer helping, and art. 

   To kick off the event, Peer Helpers and ASB worked together to guide the eighth graders around campus, providing detailed rundowns of the areas featured on the tour. Peer Helpers walked their groups around campus, while ASB members were stationed in specific areas on campus. 

  “I’ve been through this event three times,” said senior ASB member Brianna Hyunh. “I feel like this time is less stressful and it’s been cool to see the eighth graders excited about coming to Gab.”

  Once done with the campus tour, the incoming freshmen were led into the large gym and were allowed to interact with student representatives of various programs. The diversity of programs featured manifested a lively setting, with eighth graders gravitating towards the many tables.  

  Senior Asiel Castro, a recruiter at the wrestling table, stated, “I’m hoping now that these kids are aware of the wrestling program, they can try to give it a chance and fall in love with the sport just like how I did.”

  The high school student recruiters were tasked with trying to persuade students to stop by their tables with the limited amount of time provided with this portion of the event. Some tables had displays of trophies, equipment from their sport, examples of work, interest flyers, and signups.  

  Senior Cassy Liu, a student tabling for Yearbook, stated, “What made people want to sign up is that there is no commitment, if you have interest you can just write your name down.”

  After exposure to the programs of Gabrielino, there was an assembly in the large gym with staff and students welcoming the eighth graders, providing brief speeches and performances. 

  Principal Vince Lopez opened up with a speech, introducing himself to the eighth graders. After, there was an introductory video from ASB and a combined Chamber and Concert choir performance of the song “Rockstar”, arranged by Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino.

  “I was hoping we could bring really good energy for the eighth graders and encourage them to join [our program],” said Junior Kimberly Poon, a singer in the Chamber choir. 

  Following the performance, the counselors introduced themselves briefly before leading into the next live performances from the dance program. Peer Helpers gave a speech following the dance program’s performance, with seniors Michelle Hua, Violet Magallanes, and Yadira (Abby) Ortiz speaking about mental health support from peer helpers and the wellness center. 

  “I hope my speech got through at least some of [the eighth graders],” said Ortiz. “But they had spirit, they were clapping, cheering, and yelling during the assembly, it was fun to watch.”

  Afterward, the Drama department performed a skit from their upcoming play, “Once Upon a Mattress,” It was followed by a marching band performance. 

   The ASB President and Vice President’s introductory speech closed the event. 

   “I hope [the eighth graders] see in our speech that the students and school community are welcoming,” stated senior Paris Ngeam, ASB President. “I want to show the JMS kids what we have so they are prepared for next year.”

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About the Contributor
Bren Belmonte
Bren Belmonte, Staff Writer
Bren Belmonte is a Photographer and Staff Writer with three years of experience on our newspaper team. Outside of journalism, Bren enjoys cosplaying, photographing friends, reading manga, watching anime, and listening to music. Bren chose the journalism class in sophomore year after encouragement from family members in the industry. Since then, they've recognized it as a future passion and career interest.
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