Students and staff members exhibited their holiday spirit this month, collecting items for Belmont’s annual food drive, in addition to donating extra non-perishables to replenish Belmont’s food pantry. “It feels like the environment of Belmont is so caring and loving,” noted 11th grade student Beatriz Reyes. “It’s something special to know that even though some have and some don’t, we should give a little to others.”
Principal Dr. McGregor started the tradition of helping families in need during the holidays and throughout the school year. “It’s just something that comes with what I do to help others,” said McGregor. “I feel it’s important to show others how hospitable Belmont is and how we work together as a family. ”
While most people do not see the reaction of the students and families who are the recipients of this extra support, the impact is significant. “Most people are pleased by how generous Belmont is,” noted McGregor. “Some people are surprised we spend the energy and time with all the other things we do. The recipients are always humbled and grateful.”
Title III Coach Dr. Nury Arrivillaga also sees the importance of helping the Belmont community. “We may not see the people it benefits, but we do know that people are not going hungry and if we can help, we should,” concluded Arrivillaga.
Look for more coverage and interviews in an upcoming edition of The Sentinel.
Interviews by Cindy Lopez & Elizabeth Bush
Photo by Elizabeth Morales
We know there are many emotions and concerns
after the recent presidential election. We are listening and reassuring
our students and reminding them that the best weapon is
to get and finish your education as nobody can take that from you.
Be strong. Be smart. And get educated!
As students and staff began to process the 2016 election results, the college and career fair provided an oasis of promising options for life after high school. Twenty different colleges and universities set up tables, presenting their educational options to students as they flowed through the cafeteria, November 9th.
Students were initially greeted by the aroma of fresh produce provided by special guest Alex Weiser, a farmer who visited Belmont for the first time. “Meeting the farmer was really interesting because you don’t really see a lot of them coming to college fairs,” said Eduardo Hernandez. “It was unique because I had never seen some of the different colored vegetables and fruits before.”
The farmer happily answered questions about his line of work. “The biggest benefit is feeding people healthy fruit and vegetables and being able to work with your dog outside in nature,” said Weiser.
Other organizations, including Cal Trans, El Centro del Pueblo, Children’s Institute, Peace Over Violence, Wellness Center, Gateways, City Year, LACC Upward Bound, USC ETS, US Army, and the US Marines spoke to students as well. “It was great talking to the Marines because they explained all the programs and benefits they offer,” said Cristian Garcia. “I learned that you can finish college while in the US Marines.”
Principal Dr. McGregor orchestrated the day with the help of Sylvia Renteria, Chan Cao, Sara O’Campo, Nora Artine, Gerardo Marquez, and Jeff Willis. According to LAAMPS counselor Steve Calhoun, this event provided many benefits to the students on campus. “You can never have too much information and you can’t put a price tag on that,” said Calhoun.
Photo by Mey Sok
Belmont’s guest speaker series continued last week with an appearance by Zarna Surti, a creative force in the fashion and magazine industry. Dr. McGregor invited seniors and other fashionistas on campus to partake in this inspirational presentation.
Zarna Surti impressed students with her relatability and power to connect with the younger generation. “I felt very inspired to hear their story and how they got to their position,” said Ruby Renderos. “It feels like we can do it ourselves after hearing them speak because they put us in their shoes and we went with them on their journey.”
Students like Renderos also felt motivated to continue their artistic endeavors after hearing the speaker series. “I remember she said how she was also a creative person and her family expected her to be someone important,” noted Renderos. “I think it’s important for the students to know that you don’t have to be a nurse or lawyer to be someone successful. It’s very difficult to become someone in the arts, but they proved that you can succeed in the industry where you have to use your imagination.”
Both speakers work in a company that promotes entrepreneurship and artistry through a print media platform entitled “Westwood Westwood,” located outside of Beverly Hills. Students were excited to hear about internship opportunities in their offices and feel thankful for this chance for mentorship in the fields of photography, writing, and fashion.
Reporting by Mey Sok and Anahi Mota, interview by Ms. Bush
Photo by Mey Sok