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Alumni News

Zoe Anaya (‘20)

By | Alumni News

Zoe Leads the Charge on Affinity Groups

Zoe Anaya (‘20) is a Junior at Marymount High School and is a Staff Writer at the school newspaper, The Anchor. She recently wrote a fantastic article titled, What Are Alliance and Affinity Groups, and Why Should You Join One? In the article she explains Marymount’s initiative to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion with the implementation of alliance and affinity groups during the school schedule in addition to the lunchtime clubs or organizations. Zoe was an active supporter and member of affinity groups while at WNS. She states in the article that, “Not only do you have the ability to help others by listening, but you also gain the perspective of others which is capital. The future depends on people who can use empathy, and if joining an alliance or affinity group could promote that at an early age, the future is already at a great start.” To read the full article, click here.

 

Johannes Austin (‘21)

By | Alumni News

Johannes Reflects on WNS

Johannes Austin (‘21) is a Sophomore at St. John Bosco High School. He recently wrote in to tell us about his favorite WNS moments and we are so thrilled! His favorite WNS memory is Fitness for Fun day. It was always a blast to be outside with my Family Group (Shout out Family Group 8) and playing fun games. His favorite WNS teacher was Señora Paul. He said that ever since he joined her immersion program all the way back in the 3rd grade she has turned me into a better Spanish speaker. This took him all the way to join the Spanish 2 Honors class at his high school. Lastly, he said that the number one thing that makes him happy about being a WNS alum is the overall impact that WNS has made on his life academically and physically by striving to make him a better person everyday.

 

Sydney Moses (‘17)

By | Alumni News

Sydney & The Aardvark Authors

Sydney Moses (‘17) is currently a sophomore at Beloit College in WI. Her poem, An Abridgement of the Ground Pig, was recently published in the second issue of Parakeet Magazine. Click here to check out her work! She is working towards a double major in anthropology and creative writing. Her dream is to be an English teacher so she can inspire others to love reading and writing as much as she does. She loves all animals, but the aardvark is her favorite and she is constantly inspired by them. She and her friends even run a creative writing club at school called The Aardvark Authors.

 

Marley Barrow’Bell (‘20)

By | Alumni News

Marley Takes State Championship!

Marley Barrow’Bell (‘20) is a Junior at St. John Bosco High School. Marley is an honor student and played Offensive Line on the Varsity Football team. The team is a part of Division 1 that went on to win the CIF Football Championship, the California State Prep Football Championship, and was named the #1 ranked football team in the USA for the 2022 season. Marley will be a Senior next year and hopefully on the launch pad for some great opportunities for college. He came to WNS in the seventh grade when his mother, Tanya, joined the faculty and staff. Marley jumped into the community feet first and quickly joined the WNS flag football team along with many other activities.

 

Josh Hirsch (’19)

By | Alumni News

Josh recognized for award-winning baseball season

Josh Hirsch (‘19) Josh was recently featured in the Westchester Living magazine for his award winning baseball season in the Spring.

The article, titled, Josh Hirsch, Vistamar MVP, Knows How to Move Past Mistakes, discusses his work ethic and what he enjoys most on the field. Last season, Josh pitched a no-hitter which is no small feat. A no-hitter is a rare accomplishment for a pitcher. There have only been 317 thrown in MLB history since 1876, an average of about two per year.

This goes to show you that practice really makes perfect. Not only did he pitch a no-hitter but he was named the team’s MVP, made the CIF-SS Baseball Coastal All-League First Team and was nominated for All-League MVP. He is currently Senior at Vistamar Academy and is patiently awaiting his last season on the school’s Varsity baseball team. We can’t wait to hear how things play out for Josh this season and beyond!

 

Zoie Brogdon (’19)

By | Alumni News

Zoie is honored with Finer Womanhood Rising Award

Zoie Brogdon (‘19) Zoe was recently honored with the prestigious Finer Womanhood Rising Award for her equestrian accomplishments at the 2022 Zeta Phi Beta sorority Grand Boule in Philadelphia, PA. Overcoming her nerves, and speaking before more than 7,000 members of Zeta Phi Beta, friends and honored guests, Zoie took to the stage to receive her beautiful customized glass award presented to her by the esteemed International President – Valerie Hollingsworth Baker. Zoe’s family is not in any way affiliated with Zeta Phi Beta, and was sought out independently by this phenomenal organization. Click here to see Zoie’s speech.

Soon after Zoie entered her creative work into a UCLA program called the Young Black Change makers (YBC).  According to the program, Young Black Change makers are youth identifying as Black who are actively engaged in social or political change. In other words, they are civically engaged. Civic engagement can take many different forms for youth, and any activity that reflects passion and commitment to social or political change. 

The YBC was doing a search for any Black young person between ages 13 to 18 to contribute a reflection for a book called Young Black Changemakers and the Road to Racial Justice, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2023. This book is based on interviews with 43 Black youth who are highly civically engaged and working toward social and community change in many ways. The purpose of the book is to document these youth’s experiences and how and why Black youth become change-makers. They selected a maximum of 15 pieces of artwork and two of Zoie’s pieces were selected. Her work and name will end up in the published book! 

We are excited for Zoie to add this to her growing list of social impact projects. She is planning for her solo art exhibition in October and hopes that her WNS community will attend. Details to come! Zoie is currently a Senior at Crossroads.

Clara Etchegaray (‘14)

By | Alumni News

Clara Graduates From Tufts!

Clara Etchegaray (‘14) recently graduated with a major in International Relations Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University. We are so proud of Clara and happy to have been a part of her educational journey!

True Jackson (’18)

By | Alumni News

True Jackson Featured In Forbes!

True Jackson (‘18) is featured in Forbes! The article describes True’s dreams of performing her first indie pop album (recorded in 2020 during the height of the pandemic) for a live audience. It reads, “Despite all the struggles of creating an album throughout quarantine she never seemed daunted by her dreams and the challenge to make them come true… One year after releasing “Simulation,” Jackson’s album of original songs chronicling life as a teenager in a sudden virtual world, she yearned to connect with an audience. Live and in person. Her wish was to perform her surprisingly upbeat songs about what her generation had been experiencing and the isolation they felt…” True took matters into her own hands and threw a free backyard show to finally play the music from her album.  The show was a success and gave her a new vision, to help other young artists get out there. Jackson’s second show became an art fest with all female bands and local artists. True says she grew up with severe stage fright but when on stage and the crowd is jumping and singing is when she’s most fearless. The stage time and experience performing has paid off. Most recently Jackson was invited to play a show at the music venue The Mint in April. True had her start performing on stage at WNS. She is now off to The New School in NY to study Contemporary Music and Business

 

Ayla Bushell (‘21)

By | Alumni News

Ayla Bushell is a published author!

Ayla Bushell (’21) is now a published author! Her book, Ineffable, is a collection of dark fantasy short stories, poems, and vignettes that can now be found on Amazon! Take a look at the video of Ayla describing her process and how she conquered her dreams of becoming a published author by her 15th birthday! Congratulations, Ayla! 

Click here to view a video of Ayla talking about her work.