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Revisiting Modesto High Alumni

By Derek Tang, Reporter

Graduating from high school is usually the average high school students’ goal. Graduation tends to lead to colleges where many will graduate for a second time. As students, we often wonder what the future holds for us after achieving this second awakening. Students may also be wondering what ever happened to escaped. To answer both of these questions, I have contacted several alumni who have graduated from Modesto High. Their stories and advice will definitely inspire you to push through the obstacles and out the doors to sweet freedom.

If you like to travel and see the world, Katharine Chance strongly recommends that students study abroad in other countries. As an intern for a non-government organization, she has had the opportunity to travel to Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, and a great deal of Jordan. The experience of working with and helping refugees had also improved her fluency in Arabic as well. After her program ended, she continued her work in Berlin. If you are interested in learning/improving a language and helping those in need, studying abroad might just be for you.

Our second alumni actually graduated just last year as the class of 2018. Her name is Kaya Stanford and understandably doesn’t have a much to share considering how early I interviewed her. She is attending UC Santa Cruz and moving out soon. Her advice to students is to save as much money as possible after their graduation. She notes how most students tend to over-celebrate by throwing their cash at parties and such.

James Younan went on to become the founder of Entertainment Healers, and organization which helped those in need. He described the experience as an experience which taught him how to become an adult. In his email, he emphasizes the importance of unity in school communities – namely, Modesto High School. Regardless of backgrounds, there’s that spirituality that binds us (i.e. the rallies, black hole, etc.). The point is, Younan wants students to use the experiences they gain during their high school career to drive them further on to college. He tells us, “Don’t get stuck in what’s going on now, plan for the future and set a goal you want to meet in the next 5 years.” In other words, “Don’t settle for less, get out there and grind hard!”

Adam Garzoli had the experience of being an opinion columnist for the UC Berkeley’s student-run newspaper, The Daily California. Before he was able to work there, he had to submit two applications (In his freshman and sophomore years) before his third was finally accepted. The moral of this story is that having goals and persevering pays off, even if the path towards said goal is rocky and filled with broken glass. Although he was only able to write for a single semester, it had developed his writing skills greatly and connected him to editors, reporters, columnists, and other staff during his time at The Daily California. Meeting new people and growing from experiences is something to be learned from Garzoli’s story and I think we should take that to heart.

When I asked him about his advice for Modesto High students, he told me, “It’s pretty simple: be kind to others. Go out of your way to be kind.” He recalls a speech in 2013 by writer/novelist George Saunders that was delivered to the graduates of Syracuse University. Saunders, “talked about how his greatest regrets in life were failures of kindness.” Garzoli strongly agreed that treating others with kindness and resolving conflict is the important when reaching for your own goal.

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Revisiting Modesto High Alumni