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.”

Job Opportunities Open For Warriors

by Paula Fierros

Last month, 45 Pueblo juniors and seniors contacted school nurse Ms. Kate Straub about the Pima Prevention Program, which could provide them with a job opportunity working with Pima County.

According to Straub, joining the program could benefit students who are in need of a job and/or are interested in an array of different fields, such as law, medicine and law enforcement.

Straub said that this program is preferred for students who meet the following requirements: they should speak English as a second language, get free or reduced lunch or come from families where they are the first to graduate from high school or the first to apply to college.

She added that there are only 45 spots to fill; students need to fulfill criteria with age, credits and grades.

Only 45 juniors and seniors between the ages of 16 and 21 can be a part of the Pima Prevention Program, Straub said. She added that students must have at least 12 credits in order to be eligible and need to be on track to graduate.

Students will train for this position on Tuesdays and Thursdays and one Saturday a month. In the end, they will be guaranteed a paying job at Pima County during the Summer of 2017.

“The training will be from 3:30-5:30 and will be held in the special projects room and Mr. Reyes’ room,” said Straub. “Saturdays will be half day.”

Straub recommends that this program could also benefit students who are unsure about career plans.

“Students who are accepted into the program will meet with professionals in different careers and will be able to ask questions and be exposed to professionals’ work,” Straub said. “Students will also participate in field trips and get free training in First Aid and CPR.”

The Pima Prevention Program will determine which students are eligible according to their job applications.