Pueblo Congratulates The Class Of ‘2021.5’

By Dayanara Gonzalez & Isaiah Sotelo

Like every school year, students come in as freshmen and graduate as seniors.

This school year, a handful of last semester’s seniors needed an extra four months to finalize their credit requirements before heading off into their next chapters of life.

Pueblo High School congratulates the following five students for their dedication and tenacity to earn their last few credits: Brian Soto Flores, Jason Daniel Cantua Beltran, George Cavin Molina, Miguel Alberto Perez and Juliana Eleanor Norris.

These five seniors will graduate on Dec. 16 along with other graduates across the district at a formal ceremony at Santa Rita High School at 6 p.m.

“I’m excited about graduating,” said Flores. “I’m looking forward to graduating because there were a few times I wanted to give up. Through a lot of self-dedication and encouragement from awesome teachers, I will be holding my diploma soon. I can then start my new life.”

For each of these five students, their adventure and commitment to graduate was a different story. Each student had his or her own obstacles to overcome and conquer.

“I might be graduating later than I had hoped, but sometimes other events intervene,” said Juliana Norris. “I just want to say that COVID-19 impacted a lot of people—especially me.”

Having a little more time than most seniors to ponder the future, all five of these graduates have definite plans for their futures.

George Molina

“I am committed to joining the Marines,” said George Molina. “I’m going to have a few months to prepare for this new adventure before heading off to bootcamp.” He added, “My plans are to eventually become an audio engineer.”

Flores said, “I hope to leave Tucson and head up to Phoenix and begin a new life there.”

As these five graduates are ready to venture out into their new worlds, they are not without gratitude for their teachers who pushed them to this golden moment.

“I want to thank Mr. Medhi for the last four years,” Flores said. “I’m glad I got to spend time in his classes, learning how to be a better writer. He allowed me to be myself, and he always supported my love of music and astrology.”

Student Recruits Warriors for ‘Sunrise High School’

Dorothy Pallanes

By Emily Gastelum

Last week, junior (class of 2021) Dorothy Pallanes attended a youth group in Philadelphia, PA, focusing on improving the environment, and now that she has returned to Tucson, she declared that she is prepared to recruit Pueblo students to join her plight to become more Earth-friendly.

“I felt at home when I met others like me [in Philadelphia] who support such an important cause,” Pallanes said. “I felt like all four days were spent well—learning more about the perils of CO2.”

Recently, Pallanes helped co-found a group called “Sunrise High School”, a collaboration of other adolescent supporters of this movement. She encourages other students at high school to become more environmentally sensitive.

“Wake up [students], the world needs our help,” Pallanes said.

She added that she plans to voice her opinions during school lunch in the coming weeks, attend more environmental conferences and continue to inspire her Warriors to march downtown on Wednesday, April 22, Earth Day.

“We all live on the same planet,” Pallanes said. “We all need to unite. Global warming is no longer a political joke. It’s not funny at all. Scientists are telling us that we have until 2030 to stop wasting the planet. After that, there will be irrevocable environmental consequences.”

New Student Embraces Pueblo Despite ‘Culture Shock’

by Genesis Alba

Dr. Levine & Lorenzo Menor

Since September. 1, Class of 2021 Junior Lorenzo Menor has been adjusting to American life, including a new school, after nearly 16 years of living in his native Philippines, more than 8,000 miles from Tucson.

Despite the educational system at Pueblo High School being very different than the Philippines, he said that he is finding his way around.

“There are so many opportunities here [in Tucson and America], around every corner,” Menor said, “and I just want to take advantage of as many as possible.”

Currently, Menor is earning straight A’s.

“Even though my grades are high, I’m still experiencing culture shock,” he added. “I’m not used to classrooms being so informal. Students and teachers are much more ‘chill’ with one another. In the Philippines, we students were often intimidated by our educators.”

Two years ago, Menor’s father moved from the Philippines and landed a math teaching job at St. John’s Catholic School, and the rest of the family were reunited two months ago.

“Tucson has been great so far,” Menor said. “I’m glad that our family is together at last.”

Menor’s mother is trying to find a permanent teaching job, and she is currently substitute-teaching. He also has a younger sister.

“I’m trying to keep myself busy,” he said. “I’m emotionally recovering from a breakup with my girlfriend. The distance killed our relationship.”

Despite feeling “lost” without her, Menor said that life is “a beautiful gift.”

“We all have our own journeys, and we need to respect them, as well as others,” Menor said.

Recently, he found out that he has been accepted to an apprenticeship at the University of Arizona—related to medical ignorance. Dr. Lolita Levine, Pueblo science teacher, helped him with the paperwork.

“Even though I plan to major in computer science, I’m going to take full advantage of this experience,” Menor said. “I’m going to be making minimum wage [$12/hour] for eight hours each day while learning at the same time. How lucky am I?”

As for the rest of the school year, he hopes to get out of his “slump” and become more social. “I know I need to work on my confidence,” he said. “I need to take advantage of all of the opportunities that are available in this country. I don’t think American [students] know the true meaning of poverty. Go to the Philippines. I’ll show you poverty.”