A Positivity from a Passion


We are blessed to have so much resources in the world, down to the milk we drink and the food we eat. You could say it is a perfect world for us, but have you ever stopped to think how and what all those resources come from?

Each year, over 16 billion animals are killed for food, and their deaths aren’t really painless either. There’s a saying that goes, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”  It explains the inevitable truth: animals suffer everyday. They are grown abnormally large to provide more for us, uncomfortably stored in warehouses, and even are painfully killed. But many don’t really see their side because we are the ones who benefit from all this.

Believe it or not, animals suffering for our food is not the only way they are used for harm. According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), “Hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in archaic product tests for cosmetics, personal-care products, household cleaning products, and even fruit juices.”

My compassion for animals has pushed me to make a change. There are people like me with a similar interest, many of which are Vegan. However I believe that there is more than one way to help these poor animals out. I plan on carrying that out by switching to cruelty free makeup. You probably didn’t know that many makeup brands are harmful to animals. It is, the guinea pigs, bunnies, and mice that could just as easily be our pets.

“You wouldn’t allow it on your pets, but you allow it on other animals just like them.” says Noelle Barclay, a student here at Saint Francis who is striving to work for PETA one day.

Makeup is a big passion of mine, and has been for the past 5 years. I see it as taking something I love and turning it into something positive and helpful. What can I do? Well, there is a number of things–I can first vow to never buy makeup that is harmful to the animals. Here are some to name a few:

  • Too Faced
  • Urban Decay
  • Tarte Cosmetics
  • Elf Cosmetics
  • NYX Cosmetics
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • NARS

Other ways include speaking up for what I believe in. I will use my voice to sign petitions about how I feel and support others who feel the same way. Supporting cruelty free charities who are fighting for the cause of ending the suffering of the animals is another way. If we all come together, we can make a difference in this world. Animals have feelings just like us. They are living creatures just like us. Just imagine how we would feel if we weren’t the top of the food chain.

Big Sibling Little Sibling Day: An Event I’ll Never Forget

Big Sibling Little Sibling Day is that time that freshmen and seniors are paired with a big sibling or a little sibling. Some freshmen may have two older siblings, or just one. Seniors are the only ones who know who their little siblings are. Freshmen are not allowed to find out until “the big reveal.”

I was so excited to get a big sibling! The day that big sibling little sibling day started I was looking forward to making notes because I love making cards. I loved communicating with a senior because they gave me advice and pointers how to get through high school. We made funny jokes with one another. It felt like we knew one another for a long time. We had things in common, and things we both disliked.

I loved buying things for my sibling! I thought it was really fun. I bought her things like Arizona ice tea, chocolate, and Mamba. My “big” would also buy me things, too, such as shakes, donuts, and chocolate!!

My favorite part was by far the notes because my sibling loved Disney characters like me. She loves Ariel and Minnie Mouse. I was happy that she liked those characters because I never drew them before, and I finally got to draw them.  I found out that my sibling actually played varsity volleyball and that she knows me. It helped me out a little, but I still knew a lot of seniors on varsity. She couldn’t tell me too much about herself, because she said I would know who she was. I tried tricking her a couple times into telling me more about her, but she wouldn’t budge. I was dying to meet her!!

The day finally came for the “big reveal.” It’s the day that we finally got to meet our siblings. I was so happy that the big day came so fast! I bought my sibling a bucket of different candies and a jar with makeup, an eyelash curler, and more girl stuff. I also got her a very nice hat that said “Aloha” on it, along with a picture of a wedding dress that she asked me to draw for her.

When it was time to go downstairs, I was scared and excited. We all went into the senior courtyard and we had to look for the senior with the poster with our name on it. The person that was holding my sign was Ciara Ratum. I was happy that she was my sibling because she is super nice! But, that wasn’t the end. When we all got settled, the seniors all traded and gave their posters to our real siblings. We were tricked!!

My real sibling was Misiona Ribeiro. I couldn’t believe that they just tricked us. But I was even happier that Misiona was my sibling because she’s my cousin! Big sibling day was a memorable day that I will always remember.

 This drawing was about my perspective of the “Big Sibling, Little Sibling” event. 

The Queen of the Court

Saint Francis School has the annual tradition of bringing together students to dance to great Hawaiian music. Working hard to get the dances down, each division practiced from the first day of school until September 15th. Many students are dancing in more than one dance for the show, so remembering them all can be stressful, especially for senior and Aloha Show Queen, Serena Lum. Juggling school work, volleyball, and having to remember three dances for Aloha Show can be a lot to take on, but she made it work.

The process of trying to remember her dances while dealing with everything else was very tough and difficult. Explaining how this process has been for her Serena says, “It has been very, very stressful and I’ve had breakdowns a lot. Being the queen is not as simple as it looks, other people watching you dance, the planning behind it, especially when you have to take care of the rest of the court. It’s very time consuming.” The pressure is overwhelming, but she still does everything she can to make sure her dances are perfect.

Hula isn’t the most important part of Serena’s life. Yet, it is still something she enjoys. Serena danced in her first Aloha Show as a freshman. In preparation, she has also practiced hula outside of school. 

One of Serena’s other priorities has been volleyball. She has devoted many hours of hard work on the court. Volleyball season starts from the first week of August and ends in the the middle of October. Club volleyball follows that.

Serena reflects on her years in the Aloha Show by saying, “I’ve always participated in Aloha Show because it’s definitely fun.” Taking part in something like this is a big commitment, but to Serena, it’s worth it. She will forever have great memories as the queen of the court, doing something that made her feel amazing, that she loved, bringing joy to her and many others.

Loud and Proud: A Cheerleader’s Point of View

Watching the football game in the stands or stadium has its differences compared to watching it from a cheerleader’s perspective. The cheerleading team at Saint Francis practices twice a week for about two hours and attends games usually on a Friday or Saturday. During our practices were do several different things to get us prepared for the football games and we work hard.

Every practice we warm up with three laps around the parking lot, stretches, kicks, and jumps. We stretch our legs and arms and work on our jumps. There are about five to six different jumps we do. After warming up, we work on our cheers for defense, offense, and spirit. After about a month of practicing, we were able to get most of our cheers down with the motions and slowly started to clean them up and make them tight. Uniforms came in which meant the time was coming up to cheer at the on season football games. We got our pom poms and began to work on our cheers even more. If we did not do our cheers right, our punishment was to run.

When we arrive at the games, varsity or intermediate, we stretch, kick, and jump before the game starts. Our job is to support the team and school in a positive way and be loud and proud with our different cheers. Being a cheerleader, we have to pay attention to the game and focus on whether our side is on defense or offense and call a cheer for the certain play. There are multiple cheers therefore, we are not repeating ourselves too much. It is very hot and sunny during some of the games, but we try our best to push through the sweat and heat.  However, after the game, and Saint Francis takes the win, all our cheerleading and supporting feels worth it.


Starting Off Fresh

Freshman year can be hard. Freshman seminar is a required class incoming Freshman must take in summer school. The seminar is meant to help new Freshmen adjust and bond over the summer. Freshman learn skills that are important for life. They are challenged, mentally and physically, with different types of challenges.

One of the biggest challenges the Freshman are given is the “Zombie Apocalypse.” The event took place from June 22 to June 26.  It is designed to help Freshman use all of the skills they are taught throughout the month of June.  Freshman Seminar Teacher Mrs. Cameron says, “This exercise requires them to work effectively as a team, communicate well, strategize, and stay organized.”

The “Zombie Apocalypse” is fun, but it isn’t easy to do. Everyone else on campus is a zombie. If they are caught or seen by anyone, they are “killed” and have to return  to home base. Freshman have to retrieve items and still keep in touch with home base through walkie talkies.  This activity  is full of obstacles. Mrs. Cameron says, “In life we  have all kinds of obstacles.”

During the last hour everyday, Freshman have a team building and bonding activity. These activities are not mentally challenging activities, but physical challenges. For example, they can be  given “burpees” or the chicken dance to do.

On some days, the morning and afternoon sessions challenge each other. During some of these exercises, they rushed and got stuck, but learned from their mistakes. Freshman Jayden Simpliciano says, “I learned that you need to have a plan on things and can’t just wing things.

by Kristine Punzal, class of 2022


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