By Ana Regina González
Once upon a time, I was a student in High School at ITJ Campus Palomar. Teachers had prepared us for the change in classes, schedules and experiences going into 10th grade; however, I don’t think there was enough tutoring that could’ve prepared me for the true knowledge I acquired during those 3 years. Beyond academics, I was lucky that our school offered more to our educations and that our formation was beyond textbooks and texts, truly shaping our character. My brightest highlight from these years was Student Council, and seeing how through my own personal growth, so did this fantastic group. We were given the freedom and the responsibility of planning and preparing different festivities throughout the school year; it gave us students the chance to truly participate in the environment we existed in from Monday to Friday.
We not only made good friends, but also interacted with kids beyond our own school year, and I think that part of the strength Student Council had, came from the diversity of those involved in it. We would organize events big and small, sometimes coordinating something as simple as a picnic and others, we were the minds and hearts behind Halloween parades and events. We showed our school spirit through action and we were able to see how our problem-solving skills would come to fruition.
Classes would also heavily influence who I’d become eventually, and this was reinforced by the fantastic team of teachers and advisors we had during these formative years. Sometimes as students we might feel like a certain area of knowledge might be useless in our lives; I am gladly contradicted and surprised by how many lessons, both from academics and life, gave me an advantage after High School. Something as simple as learning to use computer programs, researching information critically, as well as knowing the scientific method and how to properly implement it, were some of the things that at University would allow me to be ahead of my peers. I am forever grateful for every homework, assignment and every reiteration that my teachers made; because even if I complained, as High School students do, I know that my achievements stem from the great roots that I grew at ITJ.
I would not be the person, nor the student and almost graduate I am today, if it weren’t for the lessons I obtained at ITJ. My best hope is that more kids will get the chance to experience the support, the fun, the challenges and friendships I built at a school that made me feel like I was at home.