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Highland High students pass on words of wisdom

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Seven young women, all Highland High students, pose for a group photo inside Greenfield Junior High's library.The transition from junior high to high school can be scary for some students, especially if they don’t know what to expect. However, a group of Highland High School students are doing what they can to make the transition much easier for eighth graders who are approaching their freshman year. Members of the National Honor Society and Latino Advocacy Club at Highland High hosted a panel for students at Greenfield Junior High to share their stories and offer tips for making the most of the high school experience. 

“From this presentation, I really hope students are more informed about what it’s like to be in high school,” said Marielle Salazar Torres, a senior, “I feel like if I was in that position then I would really benefit from knowing even just the basics.”

One of the main talking points for the panel was encouraging the junior high students to continue pursuing higher levels of modern languages. The panelists discussed the benefit of being bilingual and how it can potentially help students pursue their dream careers. 

“Being bilingual gives you more opportunity, not just for work, but also to communicate with others,” said Sophia Lim, a senior. 

“It just puts you ahead of everyone else, because you can communicate more effectively,” said Evelin Lopez, a senior. 

Evelin Lopez speaks at the podium as Greenfield Junior High students listen to her presentation.Many of the panelists speak multiple languages, whether at home or in the classroom. The languages include Japanese, Mandarin, French and Spanish. High school students at Gilbert Public Schools can take language classes in-person or online through the Distance Learning program. They also have the opportunity to earn college credit through Advanced Placement (AP) courses

The panelists also shared the importance of getting involved, especially when you attend a rather large school like Highland High. For many students, campus involvement starts with joining a club, whether that’s for academic, social, community service or special interest reasons. Highland offers a wide range of clubs for students to explore. The panelists shared that joining clubs allowed them to earn volunteer hours, enhance their college applications, and become more social by making new friends.

“I just want you to get out and expand your circle. Try to educate yourself on different diverse groups. Know the similarities and differences of everyone and respect them,” said Lopez. 

Greenfield Junior High students sitting in chairs listen to a panel presentation by Highland High students in the library.The panel also included a question and answer portion, where the eighth graders were able to ask specific questions about classes, course credits and extracurricular activities. They even inquired about the food options offered during the lunch period. For final words of wisdom, the panelists discussed balancing school responsibilities with work or sports. Their biggest pieces of advice were to avoid procrastination, communicate regularly with teachers and try to get assignments done as early as possible. 

To learn more about  Highland High School or Greenfield Junior High, schedule a school tour or enroll today on their websites!

Written by Kailey Latham, Photos by Jonason Pauley