Brian

Meet sophomore Brian Chen. He’s your typical well-rounded student: great grades, ambitious classes and numerous extracurricular activities. Though he has varied interests ranging from origami to basketball—Chen wants to become an engineer. He’d also like to attend a university, such as UC Berkeley or Stanford before going to graduate school.
“I’ve always been strong in math and science and I like those subjects. Engineering is a natural career choice for me. I’m not sure what major I want to take in college yet because I don’t know what kind of engineering I’m interested in. I’m focusing on classes that will help me achieve my career goal. For instance, I’m taking Trig Honors and Chemistry AP. Next year I plan to take Physics AP. These advanced math and science classes are important for the engineering field,” said Chen.
However, school isn’t the only thing Chen is focusing on. His other nonacademic activities are also valuable in reaching his career goals.
“I’ve also had experiences outside of school that will help me in the future. I’m an Eagle Scout and though it doesn’t relate directly to my goals, it teaches me leadership skills. In the near future I hope to attend college. I hope to take the rest of my time in high school to figure out my major,” said Chen.
Median Salary: $89,000

Alexys

Some kids want to be doctors while others dream of becoming police officers. However, junior Alexys Carter wants to be a little bit of both—a forensic investigator. They arrive at a crime scene and immediately sketch out what has happened, while also collecting and bagging evidence. Then, they bring it to a laboratory and try to piece everything together. A forensic investigator is sometimes known as a forensic scientist, except that a scientist rarely visits the crime scene.
“Helping solve a crime seems important and interesting. Plus, the process of sketching the scene of the crime and submitting forensic evidence to get tested seems really fascinating. I’ve always wanted to go into a forensic field of work,” said Carter.
To become a forensic scientist, one must prepare for it beforehand in order to increase their chances of succeeding in the field.
“I know Cal State L.A. has a great forensics program, so I plan on going there for a while. I also want to intern in a forensics lab in college, and take biology and forensic classes,” said Carter.
Schooling needed to become a forensic scientist: Bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry or a related natural sciences field. Afterwards, one can immediately apply for the job or continue their education with graduate school while earning a Master of Science in Forensic Science degree.
Annual salary of about: $35,000 to $52,000

Michelle

Senior Michelle Lopez has always been interested in the justice system. When she was a child she enjoyed watching shows about good guys chasing bad guys. In middle school, when she started to read books for fun, she turned to whodunit novels to quench her desire to live the life of a detective. It is no surprise that her dream career is to be a crime scene investigator. Crime scene investigators are detectives who analyze crime scenes for evidence that can link them to a potential perpetrator. In high school Michelle opted to be a cheerleader to develop her people skills, because she knew she would have to deal with different personalities.
“I know that when most people look at me in my cheerleading uniform they probably don’t think that I actually have ambitions. The fact is that I do! I want to be a crime scene investigator so that I can help catch criminals and make this world a safer place. When I was young I told myself that I wanted to change the world and I truly believe that, if I can achieve my goal of being a Crime Scene Investigator, then I might just have a shot of doing just that,” said Lopez.
Michelle knows that it won’t be easy to become a Crime scene investigator, but she has enough ambition to make it a reality. She is planning to attend California State University at Los Angeles for its noted criminal justice program. She will be required to take Criminal Psychology and an Introduction to Criminal Law. Although an annual salary of $35,000-$60,000 sounds modest to most, Michelle is still motivated to accomplish her dream.

Alejandro

What is anthropology? In simple terms it is the study of human culture; however, there is more to it than meets the eye. Anthropology is an exciting career, as long a person is patient and likes to take on challenging tasks. An anthropologist works with cultural development and the behavior of individuals.
Junior Alejandro Prado decided he wanted to pursue anthropology after traveling to numerous countries with his parents.
“I have visited different museums and the idea of human evolution interests me,” said Prado.
He plans on pursuing the archaeology field. It is a common misconception that all archaeologists wear khaki shorts and sit out all day in the blazing sun dusting off artifacts. The fact is archaeologists spend most of their time in a lab at a university or private organization.
Preparation for the field of anthropology is recommended and it would be an investment to start thinking about taking related classes while still in high school.
“Last summer I took a class at ELAC, Anthropology 101 and I began to learn the basics of what I want to do. This summer I am planning to go to UCSB for the summer program. I will be taking real classes offered at UCSB. This way I’ll be able to have a bit of college experience,” said Prado.
Besides anthropology, Prado also enjoys school, sports and reading. Schooling needed to become an anthropologist: Master’s Degree in Anthropology is a standard requirement, classes in statistics and communications will also help.
Annual Salary: ranges from $24,000-$90,000

Does Race Really Matter?

How should the school handle the achievement gap between races?

I think that the problem needs to be addressed before high school. I see the gap starting in grade school. -Yoshimizu

There needs to be better role models for the Hispanic kids. Students need to be held accountable for their school’s performance and laziness need not be tolerated. I do not think that students and parents have been held accountable and the school cannot decrease this gap alone. There are too many factors that the school has no control over. -Perez

Parents and administrators need to realize that this issue is not exclusive just to Alhambra High. Instead of reacting and blaming, we all need to do more research and come to understand why these gaps occur. This way, we will be able to handle the situation prepared and informed. -Wilson

Improvement

Alhambra Unified School District’s scores are slightly behind compared to other school districts and the standards of the No Child Left Behind policy. What are your thoughts on this?

There could be many internal reasons why students are not performing as well as they should. However, our Adequate Yearly Progress scores have improved quite significantly in the past few years and we’re definitely on the right track. As for No Child Left Behind, I believe its intentions are good, but there are inherent flaws—getting every single child up to a proficient level is just an impossible goal. -Wilson

This school year, administrators are really cracking down on school rules involving electronics and the dress code. Do you think this is effective?

If the rules are set, I will make sure my child follows those rules. However I feel that sometimes, the rules are a bit too strict and I don’t really agree with all of them. I know it’s important to set boundaries on inappropriate clothing, but what’s the big deal about hats? Clothing does not dictate the amount of education a student is receiving. As for cell phones, sometimes parents need to communicate with their children. A few years ago with the bomb threat, I’m sure many parents were really scared and just wanted to make sure their kids were okay. Personally, I think students should be able to have their phones as long as they’re not being used inappropriately. -Wilson

Leadership and Testing

What do you think of the role of student leadership in our school?

Student government is a good way for teenagers to get a taste of what the real world is going to be like. At this age, they’re mature enough to make decisions and decide what’s best for them.  -Wong

It’s good for students to want to make a difference. It’s always good to be involved and work toward making things better. Leadership skills are important in high school and all through life. -Yoshimizu

Are standardized tests an effective way to determine a students intelligence?

There could be many reasons why a student doesn’t perform well on these tests; maybe they’re bad test takers or maybe they’re struggling with other problems that may affect their scores. Standardized tests are good for giving a sense of how well students may do, but they’re only grades from a subjective point of view. -Wilson

Discipline

What do you think affects student behavior?

The students’ behavior comes from many sources; their families, friends, teachers, and coaches. The students need to care about themselves and their school and to take pride in doing and behaving well. It definitely helps to be surrounded by others with good discipline and behavior. -Yoshimizu

It is a combination of factors such as kids knowing and understanding the rules of behavior and the consequences. They need good ethic and moral practices that have been instilled in them from the home—the school can only do so much. -Perez

Sports

Why do you think being in a club or sport is beneficial to students?

It gives them a chance to succeed in a non-academic area. It also instills self-confidence and they learn to be a team player. Sometimes students get side tracked by spending too much time in non-academic areas and their grades can suffer. Time management is key. -Perez

High school is a time to learn, not just academically, but also socially, emotionally and morally. I believe that clubs and sports provide opportunities for students to learn, grow and to hopefully become better people. -Yoshimizu

It’s important that at this time in their lives, they’re beginning to realize what interests them and what they like. Joining a club or sport at school really helps in developing their own identity. -Wong

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