By: Grace Katz
On September 4th of 2019, I began my high school journey as a freshman at High School East. I remember as I walked through the red doors there was a buzz of conversations, laughter, and excitement all around. Fixated on my schedule to get to the right classrooms, I navigated through the maze of hallways, often unsure of which direction to go. After the last bell rang and I headed on to the bus to go home, I felt a renewed sense of determination knowing that I was embarking on a new chapter in my life. As I near the end of my time here at HSE, with graduation just three short weeks away, memories of my first day flood my mind. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet the memories are still vivid, as if they happened just yesterday. Reflecting on that initial day, I can’t help but feel a surge of nostalgia and a sense of growth. If I could give advice to that nervous freshman I would tell her to stay authentic, even when others are going in different directions, not to stress over minor things, and to never let others define your worth.
Throughout the past four years, I have experienced a multitude of changes and growth. A major change occurred in my freshmen year, when I had to transition to online learning due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic. Through it all, I have forged new friendships, delved into new activities, and traveled to unique places. Along the way, I have nurtured existing passions, like dance, while also uncovering new ones. I dedicated myself to diligent study, achieving success on certain occasions while facing setbacks on others. The pursuit of knowledge led me to embrace new subjects, learn valuable lessons, and gain clarity on my strengths and weaknesses. Each experience, whether triumphant or challenging, has contributed to my personal development and played a role in shaping the person I have become today.
Engaging in various extracurricular activities, such as being the president of the Animal Advocates Club, a member of the Podcasting Club, an editor for The Thunderbird student newspaper, and a member of the National Art Honor Society, has had a profound impact on my character. These involvements were more than just extracurriculars; they shaped my passions and ignited a sense of purpose within me.
In the Animal Advocates Club, I learned the power of collective action and advocacy, cultivating empathy and a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of animals. Writing for The Thunderbird sharpened my storytelling and communication skills, revealing my love for writing and journalism’s ability to inform and shape public opinion. Additionally, my involvement in the National Art Honor Society fostered creativity and an appreciation for visual arts’ capacity to ignite conversations about important societal issues. Engaging with the Podcasting Club allowed me to explore audio storytelling and the art of interviewing. These experiences deepened my curiosity and passion for amplifying diverse voices and sharing unique stories. Through my love for English and history classes, I discovered my true calling in journalism, where I can uncover untold stories, offer new perspectives on crucial topics, and empower marginalized voices.
As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my academic journey at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I will be studying journalism, I am filled with excitement and anticipation. I am eager to dive deeper into the realm of journalism and refine my skills as a storyteller and truth-seeker. My ultimate aspiration is to become a journalist who amplifies marginalized voices, sheds light on underreported issues, and provides a platform for diverse perspectives to be heard. In the future, I envision myself conducting interviews with individuals from all walks of life, unraveling their unique stories, and bringing them to light. I aim to challenge prevailing narratives and offer fresh insights on societal matters. By sharing untold stories and offering diverse perspectives, I hope to foster empathy, understanding, and positive change in the world through the power of journalism.
Although my time here has come to an end, I will forever be grateful for the years I got to spend at High School East and the memories I have made here. I will particularly treasure the time I dedicated to writing for The Thunderbird, as it allowed me to connect with my school and community, and propelled me toward pursuing a future in journalism. This is Grace, your co-editor in chief, signing off.