Tag Archives: student

RCHS grad adjusts to life as college student and college basketball player

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 24, 2014 —

By Rebecca Schwartz
River City High School
Journalism Class

Everyone knows that if you want to get anywhere in life, you can’t do it alone. However, one can’t reach their goals in life without hard work and ambition that comes from one’s self and this is true for current Junior at Point Loma Nazarene University and River City High School Graduate, Jordan Ligons of the class of 2012.

“I really want to leave a stamp, make an impact even, everywhere that I’ve been,” said Ligons.

JORDAN LIGONS   (River City High School Journalism Staff photo/2012)

JORDAN LIGONS
(River City High School Journalism Staff photo/2012)

Ligons is point guard for her San Diego school women’s basketball team, “The Sea Lions.” Just being a basketball player is a daunting task, however Jordan took her college experience to a whole other level.

In addition to playing basketball, Ligons is majoring in journalism and is the editor of the arts and entertainment page of Point Loma’s paper, “The Point,” as well as being the first student liaison on the board of directors for the San Diego Press Club.

Aland Hoermann, who has taught Journalism at River City for six years, named Ligons his editor-in-chief for “OuRCity News” during his first year on the job. She held the position from her sophomore year until she graduated.

“She comes from a very supportive family, she just had a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and she was a natural leader,” said Hoermann. “She was always very positive, she was never condescending to other students… How she was in journalism is how she was on the basketball court.”

Having made her mark on RCHS’s journalism program, Ligons has made an impression on her current journalism advisor at Point Loma. Some of her work at Point Loma can be found at lomabeat.com.

College journalism director Dean Nelson says, “We feel fortunate to have Jordan with us. Her talent, enthusiasm, passion, fierce independence, curiosity and professional drive are very contagious. We’ll all be reading her byline someday.”

The road to Jordan’s ‘office’: the gym at Point Loma is backed up by the Pacific.   (photo by Rebecca Schwartz, RCHS Journalism Class)

The road to Jordan’s ‘office’: the gym at Point Loma is backed up by the Pacific.
(photo by Rebecca Schwartz, RCHS Journalism Class)

Although her freshman year at college was a struggle because of the new environment and the larger work load, Ligon’s is adjusting.

Ligons says, “By setting those goals it allowed myself to put everything in perspective–I am at this beautiful school, gaining an education and playing the sport I love. It made me realize this is only the beginning of an amazing experience called college!”

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Volunteers from RCHS help out at ‘Shamrock Run,’ a trot for charity

 Interact Club members Shabrina Kumar, Karishma Betcha, Phillip Dinh and (RIGHT, front to back) Vanessa Yang, Rebecca Guan, Joelle Panugaling, Gordon Au stationed near the Auto Museum in Sacramento. At the Shamrock Run cancer/youth services benefit Saturday March 15, 30 Rotary-sponsored Interactors were among the volunteers. The Shamrock Run finished at West Sac’s Raley Field. (Photo by Lily He, River City High School Interact Club. Information submitted with assistance of Carol Bogart).

Interact Club members Shabrina Kumar, Karishma Betcha, Phillip Dinh and (RIGHT, front to back) Vanessa Yang, Rebecca Guan, Joelle Panugaling, Gordon Au stationed near the Auto Museum in Sacramento. At the Shamrock Run cancer/youth services benefit Saturday March 15, 30 Rotary-sponsored Interactors were among the volunteers. The Shamrock Run finished at West Sac’s Raley Field. (Photo by Lily He, River City High School Interact Club. Information submitted with assistance of Carol Bogart).

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 26, 2014 —

By Danny Thirakul
Interact Club, River City High School

Thirty members of the Interact Club at River City High School helped out with the Shamrock Run Saturday, March 15, which ended at West Sac’s Raley Field. The Shamrock Half-Marathon and 5k, sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds, benefited Project FIT, a non-profit youth fitness initiative. The Triumph Cancer Foundation, a Sacramento-based registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, benefited from the 5K.

The course began right outside Raley Field and traveled as far as Discovery Park to the streets of downtown Sacramento. Participants would see the First Aid Station positioned on 13th and F St. The last station they would see before crossing the finish line was on Front Street near the Auto Museum. They would then finish right where it started, but inside Raley Field. (Information source: http://www.shamrocknhalf.com.)

Danny Thirakul, 16, is a Junior at River City High School. He is writing here of his experience at the Shamrock Run while representing the school’s Interact Club. (courtesy photo)

Danny Thirakul, 16, is a Junior at River City High School. He is writing here of his experience at the Shamrock Run while representing the school’s Interact Club. (courtesy photo)

My duty as a volunteer was to work the Medal and Water Distribution station. As were all volunteers for that station, I was instructed to check in and be there at 7 a.m. After checking in, I headed straight for my station. To my surprise, though, there wasn’t a supervisor there to tell the other volunteers and me what to do.

However, there were staff members, but they only guided us in our ways of managing the station.

Since there was no real leadership, I took the initiative in leading the volunteers and a few Interact members. After I consulted with the staff, I then instructed everyone on what to do, assigning and grouping individuals with a task. When completed, I would give them a new one to do or tell them to help others who were struggling.

The true test of my leadership abilities occurred when waves of athletes finished running. As they came, I feared the runners receiving water and medals would crowd the exit for others. To prevent this from happening, I set up mini-stations along the cool-down path. This would allow the volunteers and me to distribute more and keep the runners moving. I was very proud of my handling of the situation, even when a few volunteers had to leave.

The staff also provided great support. They kept control of the crowd and maintained a steady pace of movement throughout the event. I was glad to see the volunteers and the staff working so well together. I want to thank the staff and other volunteers for collaborating with me. I know without them we wouldn’t have done such a great job. Thank you to Blue Diamond Almonds as well, for putting together this charitable event.

Carol Bogart, an adult volunteer, adds:
A first year Interactor, student writer Danny Thirakul says he originally joined Interact Club at River City High School “for the community service hours.” Then, he says, it was “so fun helping others in need with my Interact Club friends beside me” that he wishes he’d joined his Freshman year. He says, “If I could go back in time and run for a board position, I would do that as well.” Danny describes Interact as “a phenomenal club.” Danny and the other Interactor volunteers exemplify Rotary’s motto: ‘Service Above Self.’ Through the Interact Club, Interactors like Danny become connected to the community and, in Danny’s words, enhance their awareness of the difficulties of the world. River City High School’s Interact Club is co-sponsored by Rotary Club of West Sacramento and the Centennial Rotary Club of West Sacramento. The Interact Club Rotary adviser is Charyl Silva, Rotary Club of West Sacramento. The Interact Club adviser at RCHS is Brandon Duff, who teaches English.

 

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Just learning to drive —

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER:   A local dad went to the hospital with minor injuries after his student driver child went into the front wall of a Southport house on March 10. The vehicle suffered minor damage. (Courtesy of the West Sacramento Fire Department)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER: A local dad went to the hospital with minor injuries after his student driver child went into the front wall of a Southport house on March 10. The vehicle suffered minor damage.
(Courtesy of the West Sacramento Fire Department)

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EDITORIAL: $50 may buy a young child some college dreams

NEWS-LEDGER EDITORIAL — FEB 13, 2013 —

What can we all do to help West Sacramento’s schools?

Well, one of the top strategic goals now being put forward by the local school board is to “foster a culture of high expectations.” And that is something that the City of West Sacramento, and the rest of us, can all help with.

For inspiration, consider this:

About 500 students graduate every year from the high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. And each of them does so knowing that unknown donors have pledged to pay their full college tuition in the state’s public college and university system. The “Kalamazoo Promise” was announced in 2005, and it was intended not only to help local kids, but also to help the local economy.

[adrotate group=”7″]  Students who enter the local school district part-way through their education get partial assistance, and those who are in it for the entire ride get the full “Promise.”  Knowing that their kids must stay in local public schools to qualify, families have an incentive to stay put in Kalamazoo. The city is meant to benefit from its ability to attract and retain families.

Announcement of the new program was greeted with celebration and also a degree of skepticism – how could somebody really be willing to pay for every local kid’s college education? But reality has set in, and the kids and their families are now starting to develop college expectations from a student’s early grades.

Local teachers and schools bought into the ambitious program, adding instructional hours and increasing college prep.

Too ambitious and expensive for your tastes? There are plenty of other college fund programs to look at.

Among them are those created by the City and County of San Francisco as well as the County of Cuyahoga, Ohio. These locales are going about the same thing, but on a much smaller scale.

Cuyahoga expects to spend $2 million a year putting $100 into a college fund for every new kindergartner. The funds can be redeemed by graduates towards college or vocational training.

The City and County of San Francisco are chipping in with the first $50 contribution to a college fund for every one of its new kindergartners. (For information, see http://www.k2csf.org/)

These smaller funds, even with compounding interest, may never pay for a big chunk of a student’s college education. But the accounts can be supplemented over the years with other donations from friends, family and a student’s own savings. And they’re not just about the money; they’re about the idea of going to college.

Just the existence of a college fund in a student’s name, even if it’s a modest one, can help  shape the expectations of a family and its kids. A family that may not have expected to send its child to college might begin to raise its sights.

West Sacramento is a city of challenging demographics, like Kalamazoo and San Francisco. Not every kid now going to school here believes that college or other higher education are realistic options. Funding a college account for each young child would be one way to chip away at that kind of defeatism.

A college fund program in West Sacramento need not rely on the cash-strapped Washington Unified School District for dollars. The program could be a partnership, using funds cobbled together from the city and from private donors to help. After all, encouraging kids to stay in local schools and then go to state colleges and universities (like the local Sac City College branch) would be good for West Sacramento’s economy.

It’s one way the whole city can help the local school district “foster a culture of higher expectations.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013