Hope and mercy come in all different shapes and sizes. For Arianna Barajas, it comes in a green bag filled with all the essentials to support people living on the streets.
Since July, the senior has spent her weekends under the Potrero Hill footbridge, which spans Highway 101, providing the homeless with much-needed supplies to survive. It’s not a place you would typically finds a teenager, however it became the center of Arianna’s Senior Culminating Service Project. Every senior is required to complete a community service project they plan and implement in partnership with a local non-profit.
“When I was younger, my grandpa always taught me to help others and be thankful for what you have,” Arianna said. “I grew up learning to always help others and this seemed like the right thing to do because it would serve the poorest of the poor.”
Come in, unplug, and recharge. This is the unofficial motto of Mercy’s new Wellness Center which was created this year as a “safe space” for students to escape stresses of the day and give them a chance to recalibrate themselves.
“The Wellness Center is available for students to come and unplug and it’s a safe space for them to reset and prepare for what’s next in their day,” said Elizabeth Heuser, Mercy’s Director of Wellness. “It’s a quiet place and students are learning to detach from their electronic devices and from the anxieties and stresses of school and other expectations that are just with them all the time."
Three compost bins, one scale, and a whole bunch of food scraps are all the ingredients that two seniors need to create a sustainability plan at Mercy High School.
A couple weeks ago, Alex Lewis and Phoebe Georgiades enacted an idea they learned years prior in the Girl Scouts in which girls would put their food scraps in a bin and then weigh the contents to determine the amount of waste being produced. The effort at Mercy is dubbed the “Ort Report” because ort is defined as “a scrap or remainder of food from a meal.”
Every holiday season, Ms. Cindy Ovares mobilizes her students to spread Christmas cheer by sending holiday cards to people to let them know they are loved and appreciated.
Typically, her students send cards to military service members deployed throughout the world. This year, Ms. Ovares found a young man on Facebook with a special wish for Christmas.
Alice Su, Miss Australia International 2017, recently visited Mercy to share a message of female empowerment with the hopes of starting young women “on a journey of self-confidence that will last all throughout your lives.”
About 50 girls gathered after school to meet Alice, wear her tiara and sash, and listen to her personal story about becoming the first Asian-Australian to represent Australia for the Miss International Pageants.
Two seniors on the varsity volleyball team recently received Honorable Mention awards for their efforts this season on the court.
Mhakela Inguillo and Lauren Trinh were recognized by the West Bay Athletic League Central Coast Section.
More than 25 students from Women in Technology gathered to teach each other during the nationwide Hour of Code day on Dec. 6.
Students wrote their own lesson plans and guided other students through the process of writing code with the programming language, Python. The Hour of Code was in celebration of Computer Science Education Week across the country. Students were also treated to pizza by organizer and technology teacher, Matt Evearitt.
"We had girls from each grade and all levels of experience coming together to share knowledge and teach the skills they've learned this year to one another," Mr. Evearitt said. "This type of learning and sharing is what helps our WiTech students excel now and prepare for a future in technology."
The warm weekend sun shines on Morgan Hildula and Julia Nacario as they dig into a fresh pile of dirt. They prep the ground ahead of planting seeds they hope will brighten the lives of those who call the space home.
Since July, the two seniors have spend their Sundays at the Jewish Home of San Francisco planting flowers and beautifying the home’s outdoor common area for residents. The pair started the gardening work as part of their Senior Culminating Service Project. Every senior is required to complete a community service project they plan and implement in partnership with a local non-profit.
Natasha Alvarado, a senior at Mercy High School, San Francisco, was named state champion of the Voice of Democracy Speech Contest, in Sacramento on Jan. 18 and 19.
Voice of Democracy, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California, featured 13 students from 17 VFW districts across the state. Natasha represented District 10 and competed at the state level last year after winning her first district title.
Natasha was awarded $2,000, a VFW jacket, and plaque and certificate. She also receives an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete for the national title from March 3-7.