‘Femineers’ showcase projects

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Photo by STEPHANIE TANG 

by MELODY YU

Female engineering students will participate in the Women in Engineering Femineer Summit at Cal Poly Pomona today.

The students, called “Femineers,” will present their projects in an engineering exhibit. The showcase will feature student presentations from a total of 27 middle and high schools in Southern California.

“I have multiple motors, curves, sensors and extensions to work with and made a Shrek-themed scene,” said Elizabeth Martinez, sophomore. “I started my project in February and have been working on it every Friday since.”

Each school year, Femineers are expected to engage in a 30-hour project that will showcase their engineering skills, such as soldering and wiring. As part of a three-year program, Femineers will work with different topics each year: Creative Robots, Wearable Technology and Raspberry Pi Robotics. Because this year will be the first time the Femineer Program has been offered to Schurr students, all Femineers will work on the Creative Robots theme, which focuses on utilizing sensors and creating additional visuals and backgrounds to match their concept.

“This year has gone really well; getting adopted by Cal Poly Pomona has helped to pay for funding our projects,” said  Marilyn Cortez, Femineer adviser. “[I hope] the girls have a lot of fun presenting their projects and looking at other Femineers’ projects, meet new people and have a good time talking about engineering.”

The program was created by Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Engineering in 2013 to encourage females to pursue science, engineering, technology and mathematics fields, according to cpp.edu.

“My life is a lot more fulfilled as I learn new aspects of engineers,” said Martinez. “[Working together] I feel that I have gradually become a part of this engineering family.”

Alumna’s passion ‘strikes home’ with MLB

 by EVELYN WONG

The road to success isn’t smooth. It’s filled with curve balls, strike outs and uneven playing fields.

But it rarely entails stopping at the side of the road on a cross country bus ride, striking the conversation with Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner that sent Schurr alumna Danielle Lugo on a home run to forge the next generation of sports industry leaders from a devout minority.

Amidst a city notorious for its prolific gang violence and staggering poverty rates, in the stadium of El Camino Compton College, the cheers and laughter of young baseball and softball players drown out the rumbling of car engines as they zip across the street. Here, the players are dodging a different kind of danger.

And it’s coming from Lugo at the pitcher’s mound in the form of a straight-line pass to second base.

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Photo courtesy of DANIELLE LUGO

Beginning her career as a softball instructor at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, the flagship center of a nationwide Major League Baseball (MLB) non-profit organization that opened in 2006, Lugo is now the program’s administrator of its youth organization, the Dodgers Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program.

“Our program is seen as a great equalizer for kids whose parents cannot afford to pay for private lessons,” said Lugo. “We offer educational and vocational support, workouts and host games at our facility for free.”

Having played softball as a pitcher and first baseman at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, the NCAA Division I athlete found her niche in teaching softball during a casual but fortuitous conversation with O’Conner en route to the MLB Diversity Summit’s closing ceremony. According to Lugo, a nearby woman associated with the Academy invited her to work with the organization after learning that she had been raised in East Los Angeles.

“I’ve had a passion for softball since I was 6 years old,” Lugo explained. “I was very fortunate to be able to combine my love of working with kids with my love of being a part of the baseball and softball community.”

As a year-round training facility, the Urban Youth Academy invites current and former MLB players to work with the young athletes, who range from 5 to 18 years old in Lugo’s division. Players are provided with full uniforms, visors and bats, lifting the pressure from underprivileged families.

The center also offers programs such as the Great Breakout Series, which showcases top high school athletes from regions such as Compton and New Orleans to professional scouts and collegiate recruiters for baseball and softball.

IMG_0257.JPG“Many of these youth players are able to keep their minds off of family problems–to my excitement–by staying out of trouble and enjoying their time on the field,” Lugo said. “It’s surreal to walk out on the field and seeing these kids smiling, because that’s when I know I did my job.”

In the past four years, 46 Academy alumni have found positions in the First-Year Player Drafts in the MLB, with 160 drafts overall, including the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trayce Thompson and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Jeremy Martinez.

Celebrities and families of MLB players assist in donating equipment and providing support at local events. However, according to Lugo, the best aspect of working with the Urban Youth Academy is inspiring its athletes to achieve their dreams.

“We’re not training Major League Baseball players,” said Lugo. “We’re training future Major League Baseball citizens.”

As she continues to provide a pipeline with the Major League Baseball exposing young players to vocational and scholarship opportunities in the baseball and softball community, Lugo finds great satisfaction in training more youth and opening roads to success.

“I found myself and my passion while working with the MLB, something I never dreamed of,” she said. “By being a part of the community and inspiring great kids, we’re molding the next generation right here in Compton.”

 

Girls in H2O Polo garner CIF Title

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by DOMINIQUE LIE

            For the first time in school history, the girls water polo team won a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS) Division 2 Championship, Feb. 25, earning Schurr’s first CIF win by a female team.

The Spartans started the game with a goal from senior Jassmine Kezman but ended the half behind 3-2. With no goals by either team in the third quarter, the Spartans entered the fourth quarter determined to win.

The Spartans tied the game on a shot from Kezman. “It is my senior year, and I wanted to end senior year with a ring. During that game, everyone was playing their hardest, and we were not going to give up until that whistle blew and that clock hit 0:00,” said Kezman.

Continuing the fourth quarter, sophomore Cynthia Rosa broke the 3-3 tie with another goal, and with 3:55 left on the clock, the Spartans were up, 5-4.

Sophomore goalie Itzahiana Baca made 20 saves during the game, blocking a penalty shot as well as a point-blank one-on-one shot.

“We improved in so many ways since last year. We got closer as a team, and we saw each other as family. We took practices as if they were games and we worked and worked, rain or shine, morning or night; we were at the pool practicing,” said Baca.

When the game ended with the Spartans on top, 6-4, the celebration and award ceremony began.

“It’s quite amazing to be part of the first female team at Schurr to have won in CIF. I’m proud of being around such hardworking and dedicated girls. We made such a bold statement to the community by being the only female CIF champions from Schurr,” said Lizbeth Gomez, four-year varsity senior.

 

 

 

 

Junior wins Mr. Schurr

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Photo by MELODY YU 

by RYAN HSU

Joe David won Mr. Schurr High, besting the other finalists at the annual event held by Renaissance March 10 in the auditorium.

“[Mr. Schurr High] was very special for me because I had never participated in anything like it before, and to win on my first try as someone who usually lacks self-confidence, it was truly amazing,” said David.

When starting his preparation, David claims he already knew what song he wanted to sing, as it was a favorite from middle school. His performance of “Let Her Go” by Passenger prompted the audience to pull out their lit phones and sway them to the beat.

David also tried to set himself apart from the other contestants.

“When it came to deciding what to wear for formal and beachwear, I had to start thinking outside the box so my looks wouldn’t be so similar to everyone else’s.  That’s how I came up with the idea to have two looks in one for formal wear and sunburn for beach wear,” he said.

Senior Mario Reyes won the Top Talent award for making comicical impersonations, while senior Luis Castañon won the People’s Champ award for his collection of $207 in the dash-for-cash. Junior Lance Babb sold 27 tickets to win the Top Seller award. All three winners were awarded $25.

The other finalists were senior Miguel Calderon, who sang;  junior Ben Manuel, who sang and played guitar; Reyes, who performed comical impersonations; junior Mitchell Saisho, who played a piano medley; and senior Jimmy Yee who performed a magic act.

The judges chose Mr. Schurr High from the six finalists based on their scores in formal wear, beach wear and talent, as well as their answers to a final question: “How do you want to impact other people?”

The majority of the contestants were seniors; nevertheless, there were a few underclassmen who participated.

“As a sophomore amongst the majority of seniors participating, I felt that even if you’re in a different grade or maybe less ‘popular,’ everyone can forge and sustain a strong bond with anyone,” said Matthew Hernandez, sophomore.

The event raised about $5,000 for Renaissance, which honors student achievement in a variety of ways throughout the year.

“We spent over $4,500 on the shirts, Starbucks cards, pens, candies and certificates we passed out earlier this month, and we will spend about $5,000 on the June rally. When you factor in equipment we rent, decorations and prizes we give away, we still need the Power 106 fundraiser to go well in May to pay for everything,” said Kenneth Seto, Renaissance adviser.

As his reward for being named Mr. Schurr, David received a prom ticket, a free tux rental for prom from the Men’s Wearhouse, two Sadie Hawkins Dance tickets and $100.

Boosting your ‘selfie’-esteem

by AMANDA GONZALEZ

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Photo by AMANDA GONZALEZ

Despite the common belief that social media is destructive to teenagers’ confidence, recent research done by the University of California, Irvine, has proven that posting selfies can actually help boost self-esteem.

When people see others taking selfies, many tend to assume they are vain or egotistical. However, a recent study has determined that taking selfies and sharing them can be very beneficial to one’s confidence.

Over the course of four weeks, the university studied the moods of 13 male and 28 female college students. The students were split into three groups. The first group was assigned to take a smiling selfie. The second group was told to take a photo of something that would make them happy. The third group was tasked with taking a photo of something they believed would make another person happy.

Each person recorded his or her mood before and after taking the daily photo. While all groups experienced improvements in happiness, many students in group one admitted to feeling more comfortable with their smile and feeling less stressed after participating in the experiment.

This new information does not come as a surprise to many selfie takers who feel an obvious boost of confidence with their photos.

I usually take selfies after getting ready to go out,” said Lizette Lopez, sophomore, “It’s important to feel good about yourself and sharing photos is an easy way to do that.”

According to psych2go.net, other surveys have revealed that 65 percent of respondents said seeing their selfies on social media helped boost their self-esteem.

“I don’t take selfies very often, but when I do I usually post them on Instagram,” said Erick Velasquez, sophomore, “They make me feel good about myself, especially if my hair comes out nice.”

The new study highlights the effect that a society heavily influenced by social media has on one’s mental health.

A.V.I.D showcases talents

by DIANA DIAZ

Advancement Via Individual Determination (A.V.I.D.) will host its annual talent show tonight at 6 in the auditorium.

“Part of our leadership style is based on the gradual release of responsibility model. We hope to coach the students in organizational and leadership skills and put them in situations and roles where they will be successful,” said Carlos Avila, A.V.I.D. coordinator. “Even if they fail, that is part of the learning experience. So, if you attend the Talent

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PC: Karen La 

Show, you will notice that it is completely student-run, and we’re only their to support and guide the students in their endeavors.”

The 16 acts this year have been divided into five groups and will include: dance, soloists, duos/trios/bands, instrumentals, and two magicians in the “other” category.

“The experience that I had rehearsing and preparing has been great,” said Octavio Gutierrez Romero,  senior. “We’ve been flowing with the music, having fun; we want to have a perfect performance to impress the crowd.”

Contestants will be judged on stage presence, crowd reaction, technical ability, performance difficulty and creativity. The judges will be Linda Chu and Vanessa Favela, teachers; Jasmine Ruiz and Juan Crespo, A.V.I.D. tutors; and Anthony Rodriguez, senior.

The winner of the talent show will receive $150, and second and third place winners will receive $100 and $50, respectively.

“I hope that everyone performing takes this opportunity to express something, which is something they might not always do,” said Janet Guereca, vice president of A.V.I.D. “I hope the audience can appreciate their talents.”

Tickets are on presale for $5 but will be $7 at the door. They can be purchased from any A.V.I.D. student, as well as from the talent show competitors.

Proceeds will be used for A.V.I.D. seniors in the form of scholarships. This year will include an increase in scholarships awarded for a total of 10 $500 scholarship. This addition is due to an increase in senior A.V.I.D. members by 32 students.

Flavorful Indian restaurant ‘curries’ diners’ appetites

Review by JOANNA LEI

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Photo by JOANNA LEI

Presenting a wide range of authentic Indian menu options, Curry Hut Indian Food packs big, bold flavors into a small, fast food restaurant.

Upon entering this eatery, many would not have high expectations for what they offer. The exterior is devoid of decoration, displaying only a bright orange and green logo. The inside is cramped, having only seven tables. They play Indian music to get customers to feel the authentic atmosphere, and a pleasant aroma of distinctive spices is in the air.

Not many restaurants offer taste tests, but this one does. The arrangement of the restaurant is similar to others, where customers wait in line and choose what to put into their curry bowls. Three types of combinations are offered: the one item bowl ($5.99), two-item combo ($7.99) and the three-item combo ($9.99). All the choices are served with rice, but only the combos are served with naan (flatbread) and raita (cold yogurt).  Vegetarian curries are offered, including paneer tikka masala (fresh cheese used in South Asia), vegetable korma (vegetables are braised in yogurt or cream), aloo gobi (potato and calliflower) and spinach with cheese. Some non-vegetarian curries are chicken tikka masala (chicken marinated in yogurt and spices), goat curry and tandoori chicken (chicken marinated in tandoori masala, a blend of spices, before cooking in a tandoor oven.) A tandoor is a cylindrical/metal oven used for Indian cooking.

The chicken curry bowl had basmati rice, a variety of long, slender-grained aromatic rice, and a heaping amount of chicken curry. The serving was enough for two people, and was a great deal for the price. The rice was cooked flawlessly, each grain separate from the others. The curry was oily, but had a lot of spices to wake the taste buds. The chicken curry is probably the least spicy option, so those who like heat should go with selection of the black pepper chicken.

Plain roti (whole-meal flatbread) costs $1.49 and was cooked in a barbecue clay oven. It had a crunchy exterior and chewy center that paired as a well appetizer with the chicken curry. The chicken naan, leavened bread stuffed with spiced chicken and herbs, was $3.99 and had the perfect amount of heat and spices. Chicken samosas, crispy pastries filled with minced chicken, herbs and spices, were $3.99.

Located at 8838 E. Whittier Blvd. in Pico Rivera, Curry Hut sells delicious food. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. More information can be found by visiting gocurryhut.com or calling (562)-821-5585.

‘Building’ Fundamentals

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Courtesy of hdimagelib.com

by STEPHANIE TANG

I opened the cover of the booklet, flipping through approximately 15 pages before I saw the first step, which was to find the 2×16 flat Lego and attach the small name placard with the words “Trevi Fountain.”

My uncle, who I have dubbed the “Lego Hoarder,” has purchased plenty of Lego sets, even the massive 4,287-piece London Bridge and my favorite, the Red Volkswagen.

Ever since I was a child, I have always loved Legos, and it did not help that my uncle fueled my love and passion by providing me with resources including those sets that my brother and I were not supposed to build. (Sorry about the basketball and soccer sets.)

Currently, my room has a shelf dedicated to 12 of the Lego Architecture sets, with a half-completed fountain and unopened Lincoln Memorial collecting dust nearby. I remember sitting at my desk and building a structure in one night, and the one time my aunt and I decided to compete and see who would finish assembling a building first.

It has been awhile since I built any Lego structures, and I find myself yearning to return to what used to be one of my favorite pastimes because Trevi Fountain, bookmarked on page 89, has been untouched since my sophomore year.

On multiple occasions my uncle has asked me, “When are you going to finish building the fountain?” I have always told him the same thing, something along the lines of, “When I have time; I’m just too busy to finish.”

Being so heavily involved in school activities, I found it hard (and still do) to find the time to sit down and merely enjoy the simplicity of building the architecture sets. The proof is the dust that has collected atop the black box hiding the picture of a finished fountain.

Lego creations are not just confined to those from instruction booklets, and that is one of my favorite things about them. Although some sets tell the builder how to construct the building exactly the way it is supposed to be, there are also instances where creativity can be given a chance to run wild. Essentially, there are no limits to what can be conjured up.

In a way, being interested in Lego-building taught me a lot, because spending hours sifting through piles of blocks and pieces allowed me become more patient and build from my own strengths and creativity, still being molded at age 5.

Beginning very early in my life, building Lego sets even influenced my decision to be involved in engineering. It was one of the sole reasons I decided to enroll in the Engineering and Design Pathway, and choose Engineering-related majors when applying for colleges.

Learning concepts in various areas of Engineering was not so different from locking Legos together; it was about learning why each little component made such a large impact on the final project. It was about putting effort into building something that might not look complete until the very last piece was finally placed in its rightful spot, then taking a step back to appreciate every moment that leading to its completion.

I was able to easily convert what I had learned from my youth and apply it when doing everyday things, such as finding a creative outlet to relieve boredom when waiting in a line for hours, finding the patience to teach my cousins new things, or exploring what I want to do once I leave high school.

I know that one day I will find it in me to return to Trevi Fountain and get to the bottom of page 145 so I can finally add it to the shelf of finished pieces. Maybe I will even finish Lincoln Memorial in the span of one night, just for old time’s sake.

 

Zaragoza becomes first to grapple berth in state

Sheeran gives relationship insight

by ANTHONY VUONG

Releasing his third studio album “Divide” singer Ed Sheeran brings a mixture of frustrating emotions to his music that possibly embody view of love.

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Courtesy of vinylcollective.com

Happiness and the struggles one goes through to find it are portrayed in Sheeran’s music. His song “Eraser” talks about his journey to become a successful artist, as well as the difficulties of trying to find joy. The majority of the emotional struggles are told in Sheeran’s perspective and can be relatable to the possible insecurities of today’s youth as he expresses his past relationship problems and experiences in songs like“Hearts Don’t Break Around Here.”

Sheeran’s new album features a Hip Hop style, as many of his songs such as “Galway Girl” show his ability to rap. Although Sheeran’s rapping style may sound awkward with his British accent, his message of how love can be deceiving was demonstrated very well by his upbeat, aggressive delivery. This could also allow listeners to feel the universal pain of being betrayed by someone loved.

One of his popular singles, “Castle on the Hill” shows the audience how he misses having the free time of a child to do things like mindlessly watching the sunset, which can remind young listeners to take advantage of their time.

Using one of his best known musical talents on the guitar, Sheeran demonstrates some country-style chord progressions throughout his song, “What Do I Know?” The country elements musically express a calm mood through the use of acoustic guitar tabs being played at a mellow pace. As Sheeran sings casually about how love can be a solution to many world problems in the song, listeners are free to ponder the meaning of love for themselves, as it was given no specific definition in the song.

“Divide” follows the consistent, acoustic element of expressing love that was present in Sheeran’s past albums, however the musical genres like Hip Hop are more diverse and expressed of realistic experiences. Sheeran’s relationship problems are used to share his perspective on how love can be bittersweet.

Released March 3 the album can be purchased through different online outlets or at retail stores.