Beauty beyond social norms

By DaNySha Hudson

Staff Writer

Junior Donavon Coleman says beauty has different aspects.

“Beauty to me is how you carry yourself, along with confidence and being yourself.” Coleman said.

To Coleman, social norms are unavoidable. Coleman thinks everyone wants to follow each other nowadays and that people don’t have parental guidance, so they watch television to get an idea of what’s the trend that’ll give them a pass to fitting in.

“Everyone just wants to be Instagram or Twitter famous. The upcoming generation don’t really get to value morals and being themselves,” Coleman said.

Coleman strives to encourage those who aren’t confident in themselves. Seeing insecure people around him causes him to want to spread the word on the importance of loving yourself.

“People say being conceited is a bad thing. I don’t think so because that’s a form of caring for yourself,” Coleman said.

Some good-looking people come with flaws that are more meaningful than looks, so Coleman prefers to glamorize uniqueness.

“Even if someone isn’t socially accepted as beautiful, if you show that you have confidence, then that overrules everything,” Coleman said.

Coleman has experienced people mistaking him for an overconfident person who doesn’t speak to others because he think he’s better than them. Coleman does not believe this is true and wants to set the record straight.

“People overlook things on me. No one wants to get to know me. They judge me off my appearance,” Coleman said, “but that’s a human instinct. It only take seven seconds for someone to get a first impression on you.”

Coleman wants everyone to know you should be comfortable with who you are in this world because it is constantly changing. It may be challenging, but with the help of your guardian, school staff members and most importantly, yourself, Coleman said, the change won’t affect you.

Senior Vanice Coulter doesn’t believe beauty should matter because beauty is temporary. Coulter believes in caring for others, putting in 100 percent for who you are and what you want to be, and laying out your values.

However, although a person may have the right idea of what should matter the most, there are still chances of falling victim to a social norm.

Coulter fell victim to wanting long hair because having long hair has recently been in style.

As a biracial student who has lived in places that weren’t so diverse, Coulter has faced questions and expectations.

“The black kids would ask why my hair is so curly, and the white kids would ask me why there are barrettes in my hair and why can’t I do my hair like their hair, ” Coulter said.

As years went by, she was convinced straight hair was the way to go. That caused damage to her natural, curly hair, which led her to use fake hair.

“I think now I have the idea in my head that I don’t look good without long hair, straight hair and Brazilian hair,” Coulter said.

Now, she’s learned to embrace the personal features that can’t change.

“Once you start to understand your flaws, love yourself, and [know] that looks don’t complete you, you’ll feel better,” Coulter said.

That’s how Coulter overcame her insecurities. Now she tries to motivate as many people as possible to understand looks are just something you’re born with.

“Your character is what defines you as a person, not your image,” she said.

Personality is key to Coulter.

Coulter wants students to know she’s an open book and will share her story if it helps another person from falling victim to social norms.


Photo by Katie Meighen


Can Oregon afford to keep its promise?

By Henry Pastorino

Staff Writer

For those who want the opportunity to live at home, work and who want to pursue a cheaper method of education before transferring to a university, community college provides an answer.

Emiko Bledsoe, a 2016 Parkrose graduate and a Mt. Hood Community College freshman, is currently on the community grant called Oregon Promise.

“My first term of college only cost about $400 out of pocket,” Bledsoe said.

In July of 2015, Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 81. This bill gives financial support to Oregon high school graduates for community college tuition.

The bill, better known as the Oregon Promise, allowed Oregon to set aside $10 million for the 2016-2017 school year to provide tuition costs for up to 90 community college credits. The budget for next year is still in limbo, with a vote arising later this year that will decide the money allotted for the program for 2017-2018.

90 community college credits is equivalent to two years enrolled in a community college. Oregon Promise covers tuition ranging from $1,000 to $3,248 (minus $50 co pay) a year for students enrolled in community college but does not cover the entire cost.

Each recipient must be a recent Oregon high school graduate with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or have a GED with a score of 145 or higher on each test. The student also has to have been an Oregon resident for at least 12 months prior and have no more than 90 college credits attempted or completed.

Counselor Lynn Cole has had years of experience helping students meet requirements to graduate from high school. Cole said, “[The Oregon Promise] offers a way for many students who would not be able to go to community college to be able to access college. It works really well for our inbetween students. They don’t qualify for the Pell grant but they don’t have the money to pay for college.”    

Income can mean a lot for a student attending college. It could mean the difference of making or breaking a student’s future. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a student with a high school diploma only makes about $678 a week. A student with an associate’s degree, on the other hand, makes about $798 a week.

“Research shows that if an individual goes to college and graduates from college they will be more likely to get a job, keep that job, they will be more likely to keep that job even in times of economic crisis and they will make more money.” Alaina Langdahl, an English teacher at Parkrose, said.

This isn’t the only college grant that students have been able to get help from. Previously, students have used the Federal Pell grant instead. This grant allows up to $5,920 per student for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Pell grant, however, differs from Oregon Promise in a few ways. The Pell grant allows a student to use the grant on any college, in or out of the state, and not just a community college. But it is also based on parents’ income and the student’s attributes.

“[The Oregon Promise] makes it easier for students in the rainbow zone of financial aid to get the aid they need to attend school. MacKenzie Hurlburt, a 2016 Parkrose graduate and a PCC freshman said. Hurlburt is going to college under the Oregon Promise for a Computer Science degree. 

The “rainbow zone” Hurlburt is referring to is when students can’t afford to pay for college without a grant, but also have too much family income to be able to apply for the Pell grant.      

For next year, there is question as to how the budget will be reconsidered. While Oregon legislature set aside $10 million for the 2016-2017 school year, the 2017-2018 school year budget was to be voted on the following year. The vote will decide if the program will be refunded or if the budget will be changed.

According to Oregon Live, officials are estimating there could be a $3.5 million additional cost added to the bill. But Oregon is confronted with a $1.8 million budget gap. This means, that, for the Oregon Promise, everything is on the line.

For many students in Oregon, this bill could mean whether they attend college or not.


Photo by Waymond Crowder

Seniors open season with close losses

By Kylie Storm and Kiara Johnson

Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor

Of the nine players who make up the starting line-up this softball season, five are seniors: Erica Anyanwu, Olivia Emmons, Hannah McKee, Sara Schommer and Shaianne Stanley. Several juniors also make up the team along with a couple of freshmen.

Because there were no seniors on the team the previous year, this year’s team is largely the same as last year’s, with many experienced players who have played together for years.

The team’s two losses so far this season were both very close games. The team fell to Lincoln High School on March 16. The game ended in the ninth, with Parkrose losing to Lincoln by only one point, 10 to 9.

On March 20, the Broncos lost 6 to 5 against Madison, going into overtime.

“We weren’t really working as a team as we usually do because of the weather, plus we got there a little bit late, so we couldn’t warm up as much,” outfielder Anyanwu said.

However, one highlight of the game was when Stanley hit a home run.

Stanley, who is a pitcher and third baseman, said that her last season’s highlight was a home run against La Salle. With another huge hit so early in the season, expectations are rising for Stanley.

“We plan to keep playing the game the whole way through and not slack off during any innings, because that gives up a lot of runs to the other team,” Stanley said.

“We were really close in a lot of games last year, and I’m hoping we can finish the game and not slack off,” Stanley said.

Emmons, the catcher, spends her off-season time playing with a club softball team in Gladstone, Oregon.

Emmons has been playing softball since a young age and expresses her commitment to the game by playing nearly year-round.

“This year will be more of a success than the last,” Emmons said, referring to their lack of wins with last year’s season.

“[I’m] looking forward to a lot of wins,” Anyanwu said.

Anyanwu has also been playing softball since a young age.

“Ever since we’ve been playing together since we were younger, we know how to work together as a team,” Anyanwu said. “We may get frustrated with each other at times, but we know how to bounce back and when to come together again.”

McKee said, “The program has changed with people coming and going. The seniors usually lead the team and set the team dynamic, so [it’s] always different.”

All five seniors have played softball together ever since a young age, so the bond they have is tight.

“Our core group of seniors have been playing together since we were little,” McKee said, “and I’m very happy to be finishing my last year of high school softball with them.”


By Kaleb Gembremedhim

Building for a season of longer rallies

By Enrique Dominguez

Staff Writer

One of the priorities of the girls’ tennis team is to increase their in order to build their strength and tolerance. Head Coach Evan McFadden wants his team to push themsevles towards their limits to improve.

“We dropped the ball a little bit last year. We need to do conditioning, so we’re ready for our conference play,” McFadden said.

He said that he wants his girls to have a bigger turnout each year, so they can be at their best.

“A lot of girls come out usually, and they want to have a rewarding experience for them and make it positive and life-affirming,” McFadden said.

Senior Revekka Shiryayeva almost experienced state last year after being in tennis since freshman year.

She wishes to represent the school and tennis program this year at state.

“I was one set away from state last year, so hopefully I could really focus on my skills and take them to state,” Shiryayeva said.

In addition, Shiryayeva also stressed on the fact that she wants to improve on her serve.

“Unfortunately, my serves were not as good and as powerful as I would like them to be,” Shiryayeva said.

Sophomore Leslie Paredes-Torres has been playing singles since freshman year on the varsity team. Recently at Benson High School, Paredes-Torres played as third singles.

“If you play singles, you’re relying on yourself and yourself only, but if you are in doubles, you just rely on your partner,” Paredes-Torres said.

“I expect my team to do really good this season. I see people getting really far in districts because we’ve been working hard,” Paredes said.

In an attempt to lengthen their season by going to state, Paredes-Torres said the girls have focused on conditioning more than before. She also has a larger personal goal this season. With a different mindset and focus, she wants to have different results at tennis districts.

Parkrose High School continues to host 5A Tennis Districts. This year, it takes place May 8 to May 10.

“I expect my team to do really good this season. I can see people getting really far in districts because we’ve been working hard,” Paredes-Torres said.


By Pavel Nikintin

Aiming to “net” another win

The spring season is on the verge of starting, which means the tennis team is reunited. Last year, the team had their best run in history, tying with Wilsonville High School and La Salle High School for first place in 5A league. Though it is the start of the season, the dreary days have held the team back from practicing on the courts. The team has held practices indoors, and recent games have been cancelled.

Last year, sophomore Minh Le won first place with partner sophomore Vynorton Nguyen in the 2016 JV championship tournament for doubles. The tournament was hosted by La Salle, Wilsonville and other schools in the 5A bracket.

“Tennis has made me try new things. It’s a good sport to create motivation and inspiration,” Le said.

Senior captain Ngan Nguyen quit track his sophomore year and started playing tennis. He was new to the sport, and he went off to play quaterfinals in districts last year.

“The feeling of when you just rip a forehand or backhand. It’s just enthralling,” Ngan Nguyen said.

He has plans to keep improving on his skills.

“My weaknesses is my mental game is not all there,” Ngan Nguyen said. “I constantly beat myself up so it will cause me to lose a match.”

The team welcomes new members, and would love support during their matches.

“Our team is rather welcoming and inviting toward new people. We always hype up the new people at practice and games,” Ngan Nguyen said.


By Parker Trevillyan

A defense of Trump’s refugee order

By Daniel Brockman

Staff Writer

Only a week after inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that severely changed the refugee and immigration process in America. The order cut back the amount of refugees accepted into America from 100,000 to 50,000, and temporarily halted immigration from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, while completely stopping immigration from Syria. In similar fashion to his campaign, to say this order caused controversy is a huge understatement. Protesters rebelled against the order, and ultimately it was shot down by courts across the country. The order was reintroduced on March 6, but was again halted by courts.

What these refugee sympathizers don’t understand is how harmful refugees can be to communities and countries. Obviously not all refugees are bad people, but those who do have ill intentions are common among the refugees who are accepted.

In an interview with Yahoo on Feb. 9, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warns there are terrorists mixed in with the refugees.

“Those terrorists in Syria, holding the machine gun and killing people, are peaceful refugees in Europe,” Assad said in a video of the interview that was posted to YouTube.

To see how bad importing refugees can get, just look at Sweden. The country has accepted huge amounts of refugees from multiple Middle Eastern countries over the last few years, and the consequences have been terrible.

The Swedish government refuses to reveal accurate numbers of refugee crime rates, making it impossible to fully pinpoint what’s been happening. However, what statistics we can see show a grim reality.

According to a 2012 BBC News article, “The Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences – about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants – of any force in Europe, in 2010. The second-highest in the world.”

Swedish citizens should be furious about their total mistreatment, and maybe they are, but they can’t share it.  According to a report by Fria Tider, a Swedish-based news agency, a law passed in December 2014 that bans sharing criticism of Sweden’s immigration policy online. It’s no wonder why more citizens of Sweden don’t speak out against the horrid refugee crisis: they can’t.

Even with the limited number of refugees we’ve accepted into America, the results have been mediocre at best. According to the Office for Refugee Resettlement annual report to Congress in 2013, 91.4% of Middle-Eastern refugees use food stamps, while 73.1% use Medicaid. Putting refugees into a situation where they can’t sufficiently provide for themselves is not helpful, let alone compassionate.

To say the order was perfect would be a lie. Saudi Arabia is notorious for harboring terrorists, including those responsible for 9/11, yet Saudi Arabia was excluded from the travel ban.

In fact, decreasing the amount of accepted refugees to 50,000 is not doing enough.

What the order does right is giving government agencies time to form an improved refugee policy, while keeping our country safe. Taking in refugees who are ultimately incompatible with our country is not a good idea, let alone a solution. Trump’s order was flawed, but not a failure.

Trump’s presidency casts shadow on immigrant community

By Maria Pena-Cornejo

Staff Writer

This nation was built on the backs of millions of hardworking people who moved to this country with nothing but a dream and a hope for a better life for themselves and their families. People don’t leave their homeland because they want a change of scenery; they leave because they desperately yearn for the opportunity for a better life. The promise that the United States represents is enough to leave everything behind and search for opportunity.

My mother was just 15 years old when she made the journey to this country. Our family came to this country in search of the American dream. She is not a criminal. Her whole life she has worked hard to ensure that my sister and I have a better future.

In 2012, my mother applied for and received DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives a way to work legally for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States before the age of 15 and were under the age of 30 in 2012.

DACA doesn’t provide a path to citizenship. Despite the fact that my mother has two daughters who are citizens and that she has been in this country for more than 15 years, she is not able to become a citizen. Although Trump has said he will not target DACA recipients, already several DACA young people have been detained around the country.

President Donald Trump has planned an aggressive crackdown on undocumented immigrants living in the United States; he claims that his main focus will be expelling  criminals. But despite his claims, dozens of stories have come to light about people who are not criminals being subjected to immigration raids. According to, in Woodburn, 11 undocumented immigrants were recently taken into the removal process by immigration agents.

“Criminal” is the umbrella term that Trump is using to justify the deportations. Undocumented immigrants are living in terror of the possibility of mass deportation. These people are not criminals.They are parents, siblings and children who work every day to make their lives better.

Whispers of raids are causing undocumented people to live in a constant state of terror.  Fear is sweeping through the millions of immigrants in the United States. They fear being deported and separated from their families. The spread of false information regarding raids on social media and the uncertainty is causing thousands to live in the shadows.

Parents are now having to look into the eyes of their children and explain to them that they might not come home. Trump is tearing families apart.

Trump is blatantly targeting immigrants and is perpetuating racist actions. This reality is being lived by thousands across the country, including students at Parkrose High School.

One Parkrose freshman (we are not using her name in order to protect her family) entered this country when she was 1 year old. Her parents brought her to the United States from Mexico without documentation. Her whole life she has been threatened by the possibility of deportation. With the election of Donald Trump, the reality of deportation became even more prominent.

“I have a fear that at any moment that everything I’ve learned and lived could be taken away,” this student said.

In order to work and support her family financially, she used a fake social security number like many undocumented workers in the U.S. do.

“We all have it, we are just surviving,” she said.

Being the only one of her siblings not born the United States, she fears being deported away from her younger siblings.

“My biggest fear is being separated from my family that was born here,” she said. “We have to stay together.”

Another Parkrose student, sophomore Rebecca Benitez, has undocumented family members. Her family came to the United States in the 80’s in search of better work and to get their families out of poverty.

Like many others, her family has made adjustments.

“My family has been less likely to visit Mexican restaurants and markets because of their fear,” Benitez said.

Even at home, she notices her family’s different attitude.

“There’s a lot of fear and tension at home,” she said.

Sophomore Alexis Budar is also the son of immigrants who risked everything to ensure that he and his younger brothers can live the American Dream. Due to Trump, his family has also had to change their lifestyle.

“My parents will not leave the house other than going to work and getting food. I’m the only one allowed to go out because I am ‘American,’” Budar said.   

“I fear that Trump could kill millions of dreams of immigrant families,” Budar said.

“America is and will always be the nation of immigrants. It is the land of the free, not the white,” Budar added.

Communities are stepping up to aid struggling immigrants. Cities such as Los Angeles are declaring themselved sanctuary cities, stating that they will not work with immigration agents. Protests supporting immigrants have broken out throughout the country.

On Jan. 23, the Parkrose Board of Safety and Resolution sent out an email to Parkrose staff regarding undocumented students and families. It stated that Parkrose will not assist any agency that would “intentionally disrupt the peaceful existence of our students and families or negatively impact our students’ learning in any way.”

Undocumented Mexicans are flooding to the 50 consulates for advice. President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto stated in a video message that he would make sure that Mexican citizens are taken care of.

Activists and lawyers are urging families to have a plan in case of deportation. Plans include making sure that their children who are U.S citizens have a legal guardian or dual citizenship in case of deportation.

Around me, I am witnessing families be overtaken with a sense of urgency to prepare for the worst. I am seeing children be terrified of losing their parents. I am frightened for the future of my family and the future of the immigrant community.

It is unacceptable that people who are the definition of the American Dream are being targeted.