Advice From a Senior: What I Wish I’d Known for C4Me

Juniors going on this year’s College 4 Me trip, this is for you. When I was a junior, I went on College 4 Me, and it was the best experience so far in my high school career,  so hopefully it is for you too. Whether or not you’re all  packed and ready, or you may not, but here are a few things that are important to know before you go on your trip.

Things To Bring You Might Not Have Thought Of

A much as I knew that there would be some long stretch of driving throughout the trip, I wasn’t prepared for the boredom and discomfort that would ensue. Sure, you’re going to be on a charter bus, but when you’re sitting in the seats for hours on end, they start to get super uncomfortable. I would suggest bringing a pillow of some sort, like a neck pillow. Also, when you’ve been on the bus for hours, and you’re bored, you might get the munchies, so stow some  individual bags of goldfish or fruit snacks in your backpack.

Something I’m glad I brought was a portable power cell for charging my cell phone. This was before low-power mode was introduced to the iPhone, so my portable charger was a lifesaver. A tip for keeping you power cell and cellphone charged with only one outlet to use is to plug your power cell in and then plug your cell phone into it while it charges. That way, they are both charged and ready to go for the next day.

Lastly, bring a refillable water bottle to keep with you. When you’re outside all day walking, you’ll get thirsty and water fountains are few and far between on college campuses.

About Packing and College Gear…

Overpacking is easy, but try to pack as light as possible in order to save room for college gear. There’s not enough room on the bus to accommodate for overflow paraphernalia, so if you plan on buying anything that could take up a lot of room, plan for that when you pack. Something else to think about when you’re touring the colleges is whether or not you could actually see yourself going there, because you don’t want to waste money on college apparel if it’s not actually a school you want to go to. I know I ended up with a $20 UC Merced sweatshirt that I now regret wasting twenty dollars on.
Make a Shower Schedule and Don’t Stay up all Night

With four people to a room, making a shower schedule helped my roommates and I stay sane, so I recommend that you do it too. If you’re a morning shower person, keep in mind that in the mornings there is a very limited amount of time to eat breakfast, get ready, and pack all of your stuff up again unless you get up early. As exciting as the weeklong sleepover may be, don’t stay up all night talking with your roommates because the next day you’re going to be so exhausted, and hotel coffee is not going to help much. You’re going to be active and walking, all day long and you’ll regret not getting enough sleep.

Remember you’ve earned the right to go on this trip, so have fun.

Earning a spot on the College 4 Me trip is a big deal. You went to the workshops, did the extra work, and have done well enough in school to be considered for the trip, so enjoy it. As much as it should be considered a learning experience, and you should try to figure out if the schools you’re going to be touring are a fit for you. Enjoy it, take selfies with the school mascots, collect newspapers from all the schools that you visit, and enjoy your spring break.


The Not So Spirited Spirit Week

When thinking about the fun things high school has to offer students, spirit weeks are thought to be one of the most fun and creative ways to showcase pride in your school. Contrary, Helix’s Associated Student Body, ASB ,has put on two spirit weeks recently that garnered little, if any participation.

Many might say that the lack of participation is a dig at Helix’s school spirit, but it could also mean that Helix students are too busy with school work and extracurricular activities that could keep them from planning out wacky outfits to wear to school the next day. One of the two spirit weeks took place in mid-January and the next the week before Presidents Day and Valentine’s Day, leading to another possible reason for low participation, the fact that the spirit weeks were so close together in time, which might have made the idea of dressing up for another week seem like a not important choice.

Janet Hines, senior, feels like the lack of spirit around Helix’s campus is depressing. She notes that during football season spirit is up, but when it comes to around campus, “spirit is low, it makes the school look bad.” She wouldn’t relate the lack of participation to the focus on academics either: “people just don’t care enough. I’m all into academics, but I still try to dress up, but the spirit days are weak” she said.

Senior Sara Alshaheri agrees with Hines on the depressing feeling the lack of spirit brings Helix. She said that “other schools have really cool spirit weeks, and spirit days, where everyone participates, and then [Helix] is just the downer.”

The first being Winter Sports Week, which allowed students to wear pajamas to school on Monday for Morning Swim Monday, Turnover Tuesday, which was wear your clothes backwards day, Throwback Thursday, which was wear the old school class colors, and finally, on Friday, since it was before the Super Bowl, was to wear the team colors of whichever football team they were rooting for. Helix’s ASB representative Matthew Goldman, sophomore, who coordinated Winter Sports Week, couldn’t recall the spirit day for the Wednesday, which might go to show that Helix’s ASB even needs a lesson in school spirit.

Alshaheri also believes that ASB’s modes of advertising aren’t working, because she “doesn’t see any posters around and when we do, the spirit days aren’t appealing enough” to garner participation.

Hine’s believes ASB’s attempts at creating school spirit aren’t working because she “barely hears the announcements or sees posters” also noting that their social media presence is weak. “I didn’t even know it was spirit week until I saw someone post a photo of their outfit.”

“The only spirit day that ever gets any participation is pajama day. I think it’s the lack of advertisement and the spirit days themselves that are the problem,” Alshaheri noted.

For Love Week, the spirit days were: Pink and Blue day for Monday, Twin Day for Tuesday, Cupid Day for Wednesday, and on Thursday, the final day of the spirit week due to the four day weekend was Red Out, where students were to wear all red.

Goldman wouldn’t necessarily say ASB is entirely at fault though, because he thinks “it just goes to show how our school does not like to be involved in school activities.” He doesn’t even think the academic rigor of Helix causes students to not participate but it’s just laziness of the students.

“It doesn’t take too long to read a sign and think about a way to dress up. You don’t even have to plan an outfit, all you have to do is wear a color” he said, noting afterwards that he doesn’t think the spirit on campus will rise again because “the students who dressed up before will still dress up, but the kids who don’t care are still not going to care.”


Any Spring Break Plans?

With only 4 weeks left until the end of the quarter, Spring Break is calling the name of many Helix students. While several juniors will be attending the College For Me week- long trip, other students may be interested in these here are ten awesome activities to do over break:

1. Relax. By this time finals would be over so just take a deep breathe and relax. School is a stressor for many teens that can have a really bad effect on the mind and body. So fill up that bath tub with bubbles, set some music and simply enjoy the art of doing nothing.

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2. Road Trip. Although many students can’t drive yet, bring a parent to drive or an older brother or sister. Head to the beach, the mountains, or maybe even the Grand Canyon! Pick a favorite place grab some friends or family and go have fun. If you drive- consider heading to the beach or to the mountains.

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3. Festivals. Spring Festivals are always fun to attend during a break. They’ve got music, people, crafts, and best of all: food! Maybe even help out with setting up or at a vendor. Here are some upcoming festivals to attend: shamROCK Gaslamp Block Party at Gaslamp Quarter: Main entrance is at 5th Avenue and G Street on Mar. 17 , Cultural movie lovers head to Mission Valley for day two of the 10-day San Diego Latino Film Festival on Mar. 14  , and Enjoy Saturday at the Ranch, a fitness, food, and relaxation experience at Rancho La Puerta on Mar. 22

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4. Read a favorite Book. Find a new book or reread a favorite one. For fans of Gone Girl,  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a book that you can enjoy as a  psychological thriller. It follows Rachel, who sees something shocking happen to a couple while on her morning commute, not knowing that her life will change forever.

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5. Movie Marathon. Watching old movies with friends is so much fun. Invite friends to  bring their  favorite movies and watch them all night. Make sure to make loads of popcorn and bring extra snacks just in case. Never forget, tired teens are hungry.

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6. Do Something you’ve always wanted to do. If there’s anything that you’ve wanted to do but never had anytime now is the time to do it. You probably can’t cure a disease or climb the #1 highest mountain, but there have to be some other smaller goals that you have in mind. If you’ve always wanted to do something like write a song or cook a fancy gourmet meal, Spring Break is a great time to do it.

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7. Attend a Concert. Spring Break is an amazing time to go see a concert. Grab some friends and jam out to the music. Make it fun and don’t worry about anything, it’s break time.

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8. Volunteering. Doing a little community service over spring break is a quintuple win. Community service hours will be fulfilled, getting some sun, gaining muscles, or meeting new people. Here are links to some organizations:

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9. Bedroom Makeover. It’s spring, so why not do a little spring cleaning? Let’s be honest most teenager’s rooms are quite messy. It’s probably a big project but there’s nothing but time. Pick some clothes that could be donated and then look around the room for any changes that will work. Rearrange furniture or paint your walls with some friends for help.

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10. Go Outside and get active. Pick an outdoor activity that everyone can participate in. Go ice skating, swimming, play soccer, baseball, basketball or football. Anything really,  to get many minds off of school and burn some calories while doing it. Here are some places to check out:

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Spring Break will creep up on Helix students quickly. Many students will most likely stay home, but try these activities at least, it would not hurt to try. Have an awesome Spring Break and be ready for school to return.

Classes of the Unknown: A List of Courses That You Probably Don’t Know About But Should Take

Schedules are tough. With only 8 spaces to fill and over a hundred courses to choose from at Helix, creating the perfect schedule that is rigorous, yet still enjoyable, can be a challenge. However, there are some classes that are offered on campus that many students don’t know about that can provide amazing opportunities and various fields of knowledge that can not only expand your interests, but diversify your college applications as well. Here are some classes that Helix offers that tend to fly under the radar:

Computer Aid Design (CAD)

This class is aimed toward any of the tech-savvy students on campus. The two quarter college level course immerses students into Engineering and Architecture design through computer design, system hardware and 2D and 3D functions. The ability to innovate and create is a quality that is always in demand and with this class under your belt, you can plan to do exactly that and more.

Robotics Engineering Technology

Ever wanted to build a robot? Well now you can. This year long A/B course is designed to interest students into the field of technology and robotics and encourage a career in advanced science and engineering. By using mathematical and scientific concepts, students work in groups to research, design, program and construct robotic devices that can be presented in competitions and judged for prizes. Having previously taken Geometry and Physics is recommended, but not required.

Web Development 1-2

We are now living in a generation where everything and anything is on the Internet. It is only beneficial to get a head start on learning the in’s and out’s of website design and development. The class is two quarters long and is aimed toward teaching students the topics of basic HTML, graphic design, animated GIFS, computer softwares and much more. By the end of the class, you will even have your own website and portfolio that you can show off to your friends, college admissions counselors and potential employers.

Environmental Design

This semester-long course is running its first trial next year and students of all grades are allowed to enroll. Environmental Design is a class that will cover both aspects of the Fashion and Interior Design world and will help you gain skills in fashion, principles of design, floor plans, building your dream home and designing clothing. In a very hands-on and project-based manner, you can learn the proper artistry to pursue a career in either field.

Technical Theatre

When most people think of theatre, the only thing that comes to mind are the talented actors and actresses on stage performing. However, without the talented individuals backstage, the show couldn’t ever go on. If performing in front of crowds isn’t your thing, you can still easily be a part of the show by enrolling in technical theatre. This course covers the basics in set design, props, costume design, makeup and stage lighting and sound. By actually being required to work on the school’s theatre production, you will receive hands-on experience behind the curtains as well.

Basic Clothing

Ever wondered how the clothes you’re wearing are made? In this beginners clothing class, students will learn the basic construction of clothing design, selection and sewing. This class has three levels: basic, intermediate and advanced, each one a prerequisite of the others. If you’ve ever dreamed of creating your own clothes, this is the class for you.


If you’re reading this, you have someone on the journalism staff to thank. Many students are unaware that Helix has an online newspaper and that they too, can easily be a part of the newspaper staff on campus. Students of this year-long A/B course will learn the basic instruction on how to write a journalistic story including interviews and photography. All stories are posted online to The Highland Fling website for everyone to read and enjoy.

Single Survival (Available for juniors and seniors only)

One complaint of many high school students is that after graduating, although they are well-educated about the Pythagorean Theorem and the periodic table, they have no clue how to live on their own. Helix students will have no reason to complain when they can enroll in this semester long course. In this class, students will learn how to successfully transition into adulthood by gaining skills in nutrition, cooking, job and career etiquette and money management. Make your first year of college a bit easier and take this class.

Anatomy and Physiology 1-2/H

If you are at all interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, medicine, nursing or physical therapy, this class is an absolute must. Students in this semester course take in-depth look into the human body and its systems and the diseases that can affect them. 40% of the course is hands-on with labs and dissections that can be the perfect practice for your future career as a surgeon.

Marketing (Available for juniors and seniors only)

This two-quarter long course focuses students into working in the industries of sports and entertainment by exploring the world of effective marketing and business functions. By applying these techniques, students will be able to manage their own marketing simulation and discover what it means to be a true capitalist consumer.

If any of these classes spark your interest, make sure to go to your grade level counselor to receive more information on the class and to ask how you can enroll during registration. Keep in mind that courses like this are offered at Helix based on student request so grab some friends and spread the word. Step out of your comfort zone and choose wisely!

Greg Schumsky Brings “Imagineering” to Helix

As people mature into adulthood, their ideas change. A little boy’s opinion about girls and cooties changes. His style of clothes changes, his responsibilities change, and even his thoughts on how cool his favorite toy Power Ranger change — or do they?

Greg Schumsky, Helix’s new IT (information and technology) Manager, does more than manage the IT team, work with teachers to give them what they need to be effective,  and figure out what new technology the school needs to make learning more fun. He holds on to his childhood interests and uses them to spread joy and happiness, like how they did to him.

Mr. Schumsky, who majored in film production, at an early point in his career got involved in multimedia and then studied industrial design and architecture. From there he was off to doing web, app, software, and product design and then eventually fell into User Experience Design (UX). With these skills and other experiences at the San Diego Unified School District and then Northrop Grumman, his job as an IT manager had begun.

And even though Mr. Schumsky learned other interesting skills and concepts, he still kept his childhood interests close to heart, which allowed him to do all the things he worked in.

A while back, he and his son, Connor, who is now 19, found a way to make children of all ages happy — they built a full-scale, screen-accurate, moving, beeping replica of the famous droid from Star Wars, R2D2. They use R2 for charity work, using him at events, fundraisers, churches,  hospitals and the Reuben H. Fleet Museum. Their creation has also been used by Disney for several events and is an official honorary Imagineer. But even though Mr. Schumsky has done multiple good things, one emotional moment that he will never forget is when R2 made the acquaintance of a blind girl.

“There was a mom that brought her blind daughter to church, who had heard Star Wars but had never seen R2D2. It was the first time she actually got to touch and see R2. Now she has an association in her mind with hearing the character and hearing the movie. Now she knows what R2D2 looks like.”

Toys do have an affect on children. But the same goes for adults too.

Schumsky remembers someone saying, “Oh my gosh! I’ve waited my whole life for this. I waited 30 years to get my picture with R2D2!” And he said they were literally crying. This brought joy to Mr. Schumsky, as it gave joy to someone else through his work, and with R2D2, that happens quite a lot.

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Another one of his interests is “Back to the Future”. Sometimes he would bring his Delorean, the car used for the Time Machine in the movie, to the campus. He has done many charities with it as well.


Mr. Schumsky had this mentality from childhood when he performed magic shows for the kids and families in his neighborhood, and developed it further during the years he spent as a UX designer.  His job then and now is all about creating great experiences for people.

“If I can make things easier to use and somebody finds joy in using, well then that makes me feel good and that I’m doing the right thing”, he said.

This all comes from a desire since he was 8 — the dream job that represents his personal view on happiness that he has now as an adult. He wanted to be a Disney Imagineer to create new, fun, and wonderful experiences for people. “It’s all about bringing joy to people in different shapes and forms.

“And that mentality and philosophy is what he applies to all the work he does, including taking on IT at Helix.

Although Mr. Schumsky still believes that “Star Wars” and “Back to the Future” are very cool, his personal uses for them has changed. He has learned to share his experiences and happiness with other people.

“I always want to bring joy to people and that, in turn, makes me feel good inside. It lets me know that at the end of the day, I’m doing the right thing”, he said.

“Noises Off” Review


For the spring play in the 2015-2016 school year, the Highland Players certainly went all out. “Noises Off”, a dramatic comedy about a play being rehearsed and put on, was sensational and had the audience in tears the entire night.

Although the beginning was confusing to those who did not know what the play was about, once the first act got moving it was quite enjoyable. The cast consisted of mainly seniors, with a sprinkling of lowerclassmen.

All the actors were great and made the play about a play fantastically humorous, but there were a few who stood out. Standout performers in the cast were Mackenzie McCowan, junior, who played decrepit and forgetful Selsdon Mowbray, the burglar in the play’s play; Kendall Henry, who portrayed the ditsy, but highly comical Brooke Ashton; Everett Patterson, who greatly portrayed the high strung Garry Lejeune, and the jealous boyfriend he was to Grace Lehman’s character Dotty Otley, whose initial accent and forgetfulness of a plate of sardines was hilarious.

As the play goes on, the behind the scenes drama of all the characters eventually makes it to center stage and causes the play to become a disaster as Henry’s character’s heart is broken by senior Armando Garcia’s character, the director, who has intimate relations with senior Sarah Stone’s character, Poppy, the frazzled costume designer, and ends up getting her pregnant.

Also delightfully dramatic was the tension between Lehman and Everett’s characters, Dotty and Garry, when they break up and Lehman’s character finds comfort in another man, leaving Garry jealous which leads him to comically try to injure his cast mate, senior Ben Vukelich’s character, Frederick Fellowes.

Overall, the play was a success. Director Gregg Osborn did a great job on his last play of the year, and the rotating set was a great way to see the inner workings of a play within a play. The plot was comical and not too confusing, and the actors strongly contributed to the overall greatness of the play.

Noises Off deserves a 5/5 paws up.

Accepting the Rejection: How to Cope With College Rejection Letters

It’s finally here. You’re clutching the envelope to your chest and hoping for the best. With your heart beating and your mind racing, you open the letter and….ouch. Your heart sinks. Getting rejected from your dream college definitely doesn’t feel good. But wait, before you start freaking out and asking yourself where you went wrong in high school or whether your future is ruined, take a deep breath and come back to reality. It’s not the end of the world. Yes, there is a life after rejection and here are some ways to deal with it.

1. It’s Okay to Mourn

Treat receiving a rejection letter like a bad break-up. You spent so much time and effort getting into this one college and it just doesn’t work out. Everyone needs time and space to be upset and sort out their feelings. There is nothing wrong with spending a day or two with your best friends, Netflix and Nutella, and ultimately feeling sorry for yourself. However, be wary of this phase: Give it a week, tops. Nothing good comes from endless pity and obsessing over a college that is not an option. Allow yourself time to grieve and move on.


2) Don’t Take it Personally…Seriously Don’t

It’s extremely common for many students to get the terrible feeling that they just are not good enough and that is the sole reason why they weren’t accepted. Instead, look at the facts. Most colleges receive thousands upon thousands of applicants every year and the truth is, a campus can only hold so many people. According to Harvard’s statistics, they received over 37,000 applicants for the Class of 2019 but could only fill 2,080 spots. It’s inevitable that several thousand students just like you had to be let go. Not getting in doesn’t mean you’re unqualified, stupid or not well-rounded; it’s all just a matter of numbers. As difficult as it is to believe, admissions officers are not taking a jab at your character, they’re just doing their job.


3) Talk to a Parent, Friend or Guidance Counselor

Keeping all your feelings bottled up inside is never a good thing. The last thing you want on your hands is a mental breakdown from all the doubts and spinning thoughts in your head. Rejection is tough and you just gotta let it out. Talking to a trusted someone is the best way to place your feelings out in the open and hopefully verbally communicating that your top-choice said “no” will be the final realization you need that it’s time to look for a Plan B. Your parents and college counselor are the perfect ones to help you discover those plans and all you have to do is be willing to cooperate.


4) Start to Form Your Plan B

This is the part where optimism and a realistic mindset is key. Look at your other college options and realistically weigh the pro and cons of each choice, keeping in mind financial costs as well as academic and campus life. Your guidance counselor is a great resource to help you refine your choices after you’ve successfully sorted your research. Remember that even though those schools weren’t necessarily your top picks, the admission officers have read your application and believed that you could be a good fit for their campus and truly, they know more than you think they do. Embrace the schools that have embraced you and make the best of a not-so-ideal situation.


5) Know that You’re Gonna Be Alright

As traumatic as receiving that thin envelope in the mail was, you will survive. No matter where you end up continuing your education, you will gain knowledge, you will make friends, you will get your degree and you will be perfectly okay. Sure, your efforts didn’t go exactly as you planned, but will they ever? You worked so hard for four years pulling all-nighters and cramming for tests, it would all be wasted to let one obstacle stop you from fulfilling your potential. Look at college not as a title or a prize, but rather a fresh start.

Aleen Jendian: A Teacher, a Reader, and a Learner

Aleen Jendian, a member of Helix Charter High School staff  has done nothing but help this school prosper. She is known around campus for several ideas such as the “One Book One Helix” project. This included the I Am Malala  project that required all freshmen to read and report on the same book this year.

What made her come up with the idea was her cousin who had gotten into Michigan State where every freshman student,  had to read the same book and teachers would use it for reference.

Since we are a college prep school she believed it would be great in order to “bring the community together and share an experience.” She conversed with Mrs. Potter, our librarian  who agreed with her and had been also trying to get the idea across for years. And so the project was born.A

What made her pick that specific book was that she heard that Malala Yousafzai, an activist for female education, won the Nobel Peace Prize and believed it would be a good choice to read her book I Am Malala because she is young and can be an example for students and help them learn how to use their voices for the betterment of society

An impactful moment in her own young life was in her junior year of high school in which she was assigned to read The Catcher in the Rye. It was her first time studying symbolism in literature and it was the first book to make her excited about reading. It was a book that encouraged her to think, something new to her as a student who mechanically agreed with the teachers interpretation. The experience was eye opening.

However, her plan had not always been to be an English teacher. Prior to picking the English language, Jendian had hoped to be a Spanish teacher.  Jendian worked with several languages through her educational career picking up ASL, Italian and Spanish. Her endeavor in Spanish had reached the point where she needed to live in the country in order to speak it fluently.

The idea was cut short by a medical condition which could not allow her to be 10 miles from a hospital. Jendian said, “I started having these anaphylactic reactions where my throat would enclose and I would pass out while jogging.”

Jendian explained, “For five years I had to be careful, always be around someone and carry an EpiPen. There was this one doctor that told me to stay away from dairy.  For one month I didn’t have an anaphylactic reaction and  that’s when I knew I was severely allergic to dairy.”

Jendian has maintained leadership roles throughout her life. In her younger years, she lead as camp counselor, babysitter and the oldest of 3 children. In college she worked at the Boys and Girls Club as an education director.

What inspired her to be a teacher was working as a rec director in a psychiatric facility after college. They would have poetry discussions and she enjoyed the overall experience. Since she enjoyed working with both literature and kids she decided to go back to college to get her teaching degree.

Helix is grateful to have such a respected person as apart of the staff, Jendian is close with many students and faculty members  Ayni Mohamoud, a student  refers to Jendian as a teacher who “cares about me and not just my schoolwork.” She has been at Helix for several years and we hope to have her for many more.

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A Winter Formal in the Stars

On Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. Helix put on it’s annual Winter Formal as “A Night in the Stars,” hosted at the McMillon Companies Event Center in San Diego. The center was decorated with colorful lights, decadent silver table centerpieces, while the students arrived dressed to the nines.


Throughout the beginning of the night, people filed in one by one, adorned with dates or friends, ready to dance among the stars. As with every dance, it was slow getting the students out on the dance floor, but when they did, it was difficult getting them off.


Even though the DJ wasn’t the best compared to the other dances, he still managed to keep people dancing, even if it did take a couple tries to get them up and out of their chairs.


The large room gave everyone attending plenty of room to dance, sit, talk, or anything else that one may want to do. It also prevented the air getting to warm or stuffy, giving the students plenty of fresh air so the fun could continue without having to take too many breaks.


“It wasn’t the best dance,” junior Michaela Swift-Mellor admitted, “but it was the most memorable.” She continued to mention how she loved the decorations and the plenty of space to dance and hang with all of her friends.


Senior Jennifer Walz agreed with Swift-Mellor, “The DJ was better last year, but it was still fun.”


Across the hallway from the dance room, a small picture studio was set up to professionally take pictures of students, as well as a fun set up to take goofy pictures with friends.


Junior Teagan Deleon expressed her love for the photo booth, “I love having opportunities to take professional pictures, and then going back again and again for free to take goofy ones,” she said. “But I didn’t like how expensive it was. That’s my only complaint.”


On the back table, there was bottled water, as well as delicious vanilla and chocolate frosted cupcakes.


Near the end of the dance, the king and queen were announced, the queen being Mariela Flores, who shared a single royal slow dance, before the DJ invited the audience on the dance floor to dance.

By the end of the dance, heels were stacked by the tables due to sore feet, but people were still willing to dance, and left pleased and excited for the next dance.

Helix Seniors Commit to College Football Programs

IMG_4938For many high school athletes, it is a dream come true when a college approaches you about joining their sports team. Student athletes also see this as a great opportunity to get an education at a lowered cost in return for the participation in the sports and earning a college degree at the same time.


On Wed., Feb. 3,that dream came true for some because  six Helix Charter High School senior football players signed their National Letters of Intent for their future colleges in the athletic room at 7:00 a.m. Those seniors included Michael Austin, Jihad Woods, Mekhi Stevenson, Forrest Hanlon, Nathen Stinson, and Mason Vinyard.


For Michael Austin, the college he has decided to take his football career to the next level with is Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he plans to play as quarterback. In an interview with KUSI PigSkin Prep reporter, Rick Willis, Austin said he’s excited to play with another San Diego native who has been signed there this year as well.


Jihad Woods and Mason Vinyard have both decided to make the big move to Washington State University together, which will possibly make the transition easier, as they know they’ll have a friend to rely on during the transitional period. And this means having another player on the field that knows how they play.


Although his fellow team members are leaving San Diego for college, Forrest Hanlon has decided that his heart and career should remain right where he was born, and Hanlon signed his letter of intent with San Diego State University. When talking to Rick Willis, Hanlon said that getting the scholarship and committing to a college for football gives him “the best feeling in the world, all the hard work we put in, it’s all paying off.”


Not going too far, Mekhi Stevenson has decided to make the move to the city that never sleeps for college, which won’t help with the many sleepless nights of studying that will come with college.

IMG_4923Stevenson decided that heading up to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to play college ball will be his best option.

Finally, Nathen Stinson accepted a scholarship to Northern Arizona University, stating that he’s excited for the new experience because of the family feel that the coaches and players create. He’s also excited to get a chance to play against Michael Austin when their schools face off.


As Rick Willis pointed out during his segment, it was unusual for one school to have so many players signed with scholarships, proving once again that Helix is a home to outstanding athletes.

Best of luck to the newly committed players.  Helix is proud of our over-achieving athletes.

Here’s the full interview of all the players with KUSI: