Friday, October 19, 2018

One Day for Change

 Over the past several years, Crossroads has been participating in what we call "One Day for Change." This day is an intense bonding experience where students and staff open up, set judgement aside, and learn that we are in this fight together. So, can one day make a difference? That is the question that was up for debate at the beginning of the school year. Typically this day for change is done the first week of school, but staff thought that it should be pushed off until mid-year. This was quickly seen as a mistake as students began demanding that we need it.

The need became evident when over 30 students showed up to participate in Voices of Youth, a club started by Principal Bridgette McVay, when normally there are only around ten students in this club. These students felt that the school was becoming divided, bullying was increasing, and the family-feel was lagging. They knew the importance of this day and they begged for the school to participate in it before it was too late. As students met in the gym for the event, Bridgette voiced her gratuity for students speaking up, "Sometimes staff think we know what is best, but I was reminded today that I need to listen to our students."

The day started out with students lining the gym with chairs and playing games. There was laughter as they ran across the gym floor and squeezed into chairs. Some students even tumbling to the floor with a competitive but playful energy. A beach ball was bounced around and students squeezed into a circle next to others they didn't know were going to be their friends by the end of the day.

After a little bonding and playing, students then joined into "family" groups. These groups were led by either a student or teacher. Each group had around 6-7 people. As we got to know each other a little more, we took a break to eat lunch. The tough part was coming next.

When lunch was over, we returned to a corner of the gym where guest speaker Ms. Julie Stark and former student Chelsea shared their personal stories. Everyone listened respectfully as they shared powerful life stories of overcoming pain, heartache, and challenges unimaginable. These powerful women spoke to our group of students and showed us what pure strength looks like. Showed us that it is OK to be vulnerable. That all of us are flawed. We have our doubts. But we must press forward and strive to love those around us with the talents and skills we were given. Stark is now a teacher at Crossroads who leaves an impact on students and pushes them to do their best. Chelsea owns a yoga studio where she offers free classes to current Crossroads students and shares her story of how mindfulness and healthy choices changed her life around.

After hearing their stories, we were ready as students and staff to get back in our families and talk. Students opened up to those they had only seen walk past them in the hall. Students shared stories of depression, being bullied, homelessness, and lack of parental love. As each student finished their part of the story, they were met with kind hugs and words.

Now was for the part that truly brings us together as students. This is called "Crossing the Line." In this activity, a statement is read, and if it applies to you, you cross the line.

Statements like:

                         I feel lonely

          I have been bullied

                        I have been discriminated against for my religion

                                        I have lost a loved one to suicide

               I have spent the night not knowing where to sleep

                                                      I am been in an abusive relationship

                        I have experienced domestic violence

          I got to be a child

As many students crossed the line, they saw others cross with them; people who have experienced similar pain. Tears streamed down faces and arms were wrapped around each other. There was a stillness. Quietness in the air. One that brought us all together. It was more than peace and comfort though.  There was something about hearing your own foot steps walk across the gym floor to the sound of others walking with you. The sound that echoes, "You are not alone."

As we completed the day, students did shout outs to each other. Students thanked and apologized. Students voiced how grateful they were to be here. New student Cesar stood at the front of everyone and said what we were all thinking, "I was told to come to Crossroads because it is like a family, but it wasn't until today that I really knew what that felt like."

-Journalism Team

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Julie Stark

My Crossroads spotlight goes to Ms. Stark. She’s inspired me since the day I started Crossroads and has motivated and pushed me to be my best ever since. I met Ms. stark the beginning of my Sophomore year, she was my brother’s favorite teacher. Before I started he told me to make sure I get Ms. Stark. The day I met her I understood why he loved being her student; she’s the perfect influence and will never fail to make you laugh. She never fails to keep me on track and does everything in her power to make sure I have what I need to succeed. Ms. Stark always has a smile on her face and a positive outlook on everything. She’s honest and will help you be the best you in any situation.

Not only is Ms. Stark a good person, but a great teacher as well. I have loved every class I’ve had with her; she’s so passionate with her teaching that you can feel it. Her words get you excited about the topic. I’ve taken things away from every class I’ve had of hers. I am working on my future goals, and I already am using the things that she taught me in her class. In entrepreneurship she taught us how to be a leader, how to be responsible, and how to give back to those in our community. She takes things beyond the classroom and applies them to the world. She shows us that we can make a difference beyond ourselves.

I have also taken Financial fitness from her, and this class is my favorite because we learn real life lessons that we will need to know after we graduate understand. She teaches us how to save money and how to choose the more responsible choices. These are math skills that we will use in our lives forever. Everyone learns math her class because she makes sure we all understand. I think Ms. stark chose to be a teacher so she could shine some light on us students and show us how to improve and be the best we can, but more importantly so we can know that we’re not alone. I think she chose to teach CTE classes to give students knowledge on the real life things we will need to know after high school; to me that’s really important. I feel every high school should not only teach the standard curriculum but also all the real life things everybody needs to know how to do such as saving money, writing checks, and doing taxes. I am grateful to have Ms. Stark as a teacher and to have learned so much valuable things from her.
-Kenna Watts

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Teens Dealing with Stress

  One main issue I’ve experienced massively as a teen is stress. I am a junior,
I have a job, school, Sno-isle, and packet class on top of it all. I struggle with finding
time to go out and have fun with friends and keep balance of things I need todo and things I want to do. It’s hard when you set goals for yourself and yourmotivated to do accomplish that goal because at this age there is always somethingin the way, that sets you back, whether it’s financial reasons, family, or evenjust not knowing what the next step you need to take is. I know that I’d liketo go to college, but my family doesn’t have the extra funds, and there’s noway that I could afford college and all other necessities on a minimum wagesalary. Knowing that, the step I had to take was to get a job, and I startedsaving. It’s not easy, but I know college is something I really want.
move forward when there’s nobody there to help and support you along the way. I
think that may be one reason teens often get depressed; they lose the support
and motivation from family so they no longer want it for themselves. Then they
begin failing knowing that’s only gonna make it worse. Soon enough they result
to drugs and alcohol to ignore the depression and stress.
            Another major issue I have noticed in our community is that a lot of teens
have lack of support and structure at home. That makes it hard for them to want
to do well in school because they have no one telling them that they need to. It’s hard to
-kenna Watts

Dylan Morin

My name is Dylan Morin. I am 17 waiting to get out of here at the age of 18. I love the Ninja Turtles! Some people like to say I’m stuck in the 70’s because of my hair, personality and music taste. I say that's wrong... no not really, that basically sums me up. I have a big family. It's just kinda scattered. I have an uncle, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa and brother-in-law all living in Mount Vernon. I have brothers and sisters in a couple different states because of my dad thanks to him. One day I want to travel to the states they are in and visit them. I enjoy hacky sack, listening to music and hiking, but just like any other teenager I enjoy a lot of things. However, with Type 1 Diabetes it makes these things a little more challenging than they should be, but I get through it. It's easier being diagnosed for a while and doing these things because I have more of a handle of when I need to stop and check my blood etc.
 I decided to go into Open Doors because at the high school I felt like a part of me was drifting away during freshman year. I didn't really care like a lot of freshman, then sophomore year I got back on track a little bit. Then junior year came, and I lost one of my buddies around Christmas time. Right after that, my aunt who also has diabetes and was a big help for me, passed from a diabetic seizure on New Year's Day. As you can predict, I just stopped caring. Then I realized if I was to make it somewhat successful, I would need some type of school diploma so I turned here for my last shot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Paige Stout

                    When I was younger, playing sports at school was the best. As I got older, the drama began to interfere with my life which affected my ability to play.  I played volleyball for nine years, mostly boys and girls club, and I wrestled on the boys wrestling team for one year.  Obviously volleyball is my number one sport, but I will never forget wrestling. I won 12 matches and only lost 2 and even competed on some varsities! 
            My boyfriend has been skateboarding for a really long time, and it got me to dabble with it for a few years.  Now we both really enjoy adventuring to new skate parks on our free time. Lastly, I have always been a naturally good artist and have enjoyed it all my life, which I probably get from my dad.

 My name is Paige Stout, I'm 18-years old. My birthday is December 27th, 1999; same day as my dad's! Although I don't live with my dad, I'm totally okay with it. I've always been very close to my grandparents and mom and have lived with them a lot of my life; always in Arlington where the rest of my small family lives. I have two older sisters who I don't live with and never really have as we all have different dads.  My sister Lora, 26, who is younger of the two is pregnant and about to have my second niece, and I couldn't be more excited!  Right now, I'm currently living with my mom and the love of my life who I have been with for about seven months now, but we've known each other for 5 years!

I started Crossroads my junior year during my second semester. One day my best friend and I, sitting at lunch in Arlington High School, decided to fill out an out-of-transfer packet by ourselves to go to Crossroads. Her sister had mentioned to us before many times that it was a great school. She had been enrolled in open doors and also went to school there before, saying all the teachers were very helpful.  Trusting her, I enrolled at Crossroads, and loved it from the very beginning. From the welcoming students, to the funny teachers, to the good vibes, I started to see hope in graduating. After some time, I sadly got back into my old habits, but I did not want to leave Crossroads! That's when I got introduced to Open Doors which sounded like a perfect fit for me. And so far, it's been working so we will see how it goes from here.
-Paige Stout

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jordan Trussell

Who is Jordan Trussell? Well she is one of our school’s top students who gets awarded for her hard work and input in school. The specific award I am talking about is student of the quarter. Only a select few get student of the quarter as each check and connect class has one student they can choose. These people can be picked for many reason varying from straight A’s to most improved. Jordan is an outstanding student and is a real butterfly in the working part of school, most don't have this quality that will really help in the long run whether it helps within college or the job atmosphere, and it’ll help greatly. She is not just great at school, but she is a pretty great person. She has a big heart, but most of it goes to her boyfriend, also his name is Jorden, and her closest friends like Hannah. She is always willing to try to help anyone she can. She is also very talented in makeup like a lot better and bolder than the average. My favorite she does is orange or red colors, which is really had for many to pull off, but she really kills it; I’m jealous to be honest. I should know more about her to write more, but I can say she is quiet and keeps to herself. I am very similar that way. What I can say, is she is an outstanding person and deserves this award fully. When I think of a ‘perfect’ student my mind pops up with Jordan.

-Samantha Mason

Student of the Quarter: Madison

July 7. 2000 in Seattle WA, the lovely Ms. Madison Smith was born. Madison has one brother and one sister, both older. Ms. Madison has lived in Granite for 8 years and she loves it. Her favorite memories are building forts outside, shooting airsoft guns and wrestling her brother. Madison loves going on adventures, loves animals, babies and spending time with her friends and family. Madison's goal after she graduates is to start nursing school and become a registered nurse, save up for a Jeep Wrangler and eventually start a family with about 4 kids (so it’s even). She really wants to live on a farm with some acreage so she can have horses and some room to ride and have plenty of animals. One of Madison's favorite things is being outside; she can't wait to travel the world and experience new things. Madison dream is to travel to Greece and visit all the islands. Madison is a sweet, kind-hearted young women. I haven't been the closest with Madison but lately I've been spending a little bit more time with her, and she's definitely an honest, real person. Madison has got a lot of love in her and I can see it. She absolutely loves her friends and would do anything for them or the ones she loves. She isn't one to be caught up in drama or start drama. Madison is a down-to-earth gal, and I'm happy to know her. Madison Smith is much loved around this school especially by her friends, and I hope she knows that!

-Alex Chavez

One Day for Change

 Over the past several years, Crossroads has been participating in what we call "One Day for Change." This day is an intense bondi...

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