Photo courtesy of GABRIELA GOMEZ
by EVELYN WONG
Seizing the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and become more involved in the community, many students undertake a variety of activities and experiences during their summer vacation.
Though attending classes and other academic responsibilities end with the last day of school, some students advanced their studies by taking extra classes outside of school. These included SAT preparatory classes, self-studies and college courses among many others.
“Over the summer, I enrolled in a statistics class at [East Los Angeles Community College],” said sophomore Kobe Rico. “We learned many interesting applications for research and other aspects of mathematics. I earned college credits and experience, which was pretty cool.”
Other students are able to experience learning in a novel way, participating in summer programs that enriched their real-world experience. Many were given the opportunity to receive expense-paid tuition for various programs, including Boys and Girls state, in which delegates were trained on leadership and government positions.
“Girls State was an amazing experience. I learned how politics work without using books; it was all hands-on learning,” said senior Argenis Valdovinos, Girls State delegate. “The program not only teaches us about politics, but it also empowers women in a week-long experience well spent. It was an amazing atmosphere with all the 500 girls who attended and the fun activities we had.”
In addition to furthering their studies both academically and socially, some individuals took the initiative to help others and the community.
“This past summer, I volunteered at the Special Olympics in Long Beach with a group of my friends. We cheered on the special needs athletes during the marathon, which was an inspiring experience,” said Jacqueline Garcia, junior. “After the competition, I had a great time with my group of friends, since it was my first time riding the Metro.”
Many students agree that spending time with friends was an integral part of their summer vacation, as they were able to encounter new experiences together and strengthen close bonds. Nevertheless, creating quality moments with family members and loved ones was also valued by students.
“Over the summer we went on a family vacation to New York and Washington D.C.,” said Timothy Klepzig, freshman. “We saw a large part of the east coast together and took a guided tour through the historical monuments and memorials, museums and artifacts. All in all, my trip there was great; I loved all of it and hope I can visit again soon.”
Whether it was enriching their studies or spending time with loved ones; assisting others and becoming inspired in return; or expanding their minds through leadership and service, students were able to create priceless memories that will outlast the seemingly fleeting summer experience.