All Things Morton Ranch: Mavericks

Darian Johannsen, Online Editor

Stephanie Gomez (11): “When I was a freshman, I had a friend and she was having a political argument with someone. I said something and she made me feel very small and dumb because I didn’t know a lot about politics at the time, or anything socially. After that, I never wanted to feel small again so I did my research on like politics, social things, and that is why I fight for what I believe in. So now I love to be an activist for women’s rights, equal rights, and just whatever I set my mind to. It is something I want to pursue in my future as I want to work with kids, create change and education, and I want to minor in journalism so I can write about it and expose other people to it at an earlier age like I wasn’t able to.”


John Poland (staff): “My father died when I was six. Growing up without a real father I guess was difficult. A lot of times, I was the only kid that didn’t have a dad around when we did stuff, so I relied more on my uncles. Of course my mom did the best she could, but when it came to sports and all of that kind of stuff, I had to deal with it on my own. I came a little more self-reliant, so pushing boundaries more and more, because I didn’t have a father there to set the rules. As I got older, you start looking for a father figure as you go through school, basically you have to pick and choose what qualities you want in uncles and friends’ dads. It made me more observant of other people. I think I can read people better just from that. Mainly, it made me more sympathetic and empathetic to kids who don’t have one or maybe both their parents around, and just try to help out in any way I can to make their lives easier at school. Also, I make it a point to be there for my own kids, because I didn’t have that from my own dad.”


Joel Larson (12): “During Hurricane Harvey, I saw all of the bad stuff going on with all of the struggle, suffering and everything. It made me realize my heart for serving people. It made me want to be police officer or join the Army. Pretty much commit my life to serving people who don’t have it as well as I do. Even though people have it better than I do, a lot of people have it way worse than I do, so that was a big point where I found what I was going to do.”


Laura Pippin (10): “When my sister left for college, she was 10 hours away so can’t come home anymore. The family dynamic changed because I am the only child in house now. I don’t really do anything, compared to my sister, so I get to hang out more with my parents. It made us closer. When my sister visits, we get closer because we don’t get to talk as much.”


Tyson Fullmer (12): “The first time I went on stage, second grade actually, I was in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ at Morton Ranch High School. I got on there and realized that it was a lot of fun, but it stuck with me and i kept wanting to do it more and more. Then in junior high and onto high school,  I figured out that theatre, acting and singing especially, were things I loved to do, things I was really good at, and things I could help other people with and from there it has grown into my career path, and what I am going to pursue the rest of my life. It is something I have found a passion in and it is really important to me to do.”


Arianna Rosario (11): “This past summer, I was accepted to the Summer Leadership and Character Development Academy at the marine camp in Quantico, It was a eight day marine camp where I learned how to become a confident and outspoken leader along with military skills. The camp made me a stronger leader so I could come back and use these skills during the volleyball season. It also taught me that nothing in life is easy and you have to work in order to be successful. I’m glad I went to this camp and gained a whole new perspective on life.”


Divya Kaushal (staff): “A memorable day in my life was becoming an Academic Decathlon coach because I am an avid reader and I am a passionate learner. Whenever I get a chance, I like to read books about different cultures, events, and subjects. I want to increase my knowledge as much as I can, and it adds to my repertoire. It is giving me a chance to distribute and share the knowledge that I have to my students and enrich them. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to gain in my knowledge bank as well. Above all else, it makes me very happy and is one of the things that gives me joy in my life.”


Shelve Smith (9): “In football, I joined it because it kept me going, like not doing bad things. When I found out I was good at it, could actually get scholarships for it and was getting noticed, made me want to keep doing it and push, take care of my family. It made me a good person. A special moment from football was this year. It was a big game and it was all in my hands because the coach called my play, and I just had to make it happen. It was amazing and helped define me to show how good I was at something.”


Pablo Zelada (11): “One of the highlights of my life was doing the performance of the ‘Addam’s Family’ musical. I love theatre and that is what I want to do with my life. When I got on that stage and was able to act and sing in front of everyone was an amazing experience.”


Hannah Turner (12): “When I got chosen to be a part of the top choir of the school, it was really exciting because I knew that I wanted music in my life. So even when I go to college, I won’t major in major, I will still have it in my life. It shapes who I am today because when I am upset or frustrated, I turn to music and it helps stay calm. I think that if I didn’t have music in my life, I would have so many mental breakdowns.”