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 opg.org, 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.

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Perks of the Rose Princess

Perks of the Rose Princess

The auditorium erupted in cheers on March 13 as senior Mayranni Cervantes was announced as this year’s Rose Festival Princess after weeks of competition. Cervantes joined in a group hug with the other three seniors who made up Parkrose High School’s Rose Festival Court: Kaitlyn Moore-Carter, Alillith Fernee and Monica Pettigrove.

“She won! Proud Mama!” Mayra Cervantes, Mayranni Cervantes’ mother said on a Facebook post.

In Mayranni Cervantes’ speech to the school in an assembly on Feb. 26, she talked about her grandfather in Mexico and learning to make the most of what you have in life.

From here, Mayranni Cervantes will be attending meetings throughout April before beginning five weeks filled with community events and other volunteer activities. She will receive a mentor and a $3,500 scholarship for becoming a Rose Festival Princess. In June, Mayranni Cervantes will be part of the Portland Grand Floral Parade.

The 2017 Queen of Rosaria will be crowned in June.

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Photo By Catherine Le

Breaking records at state

Breaking records at state

Despite the regular season ending with the boys’ basketball team ranked at 14, the team managed to plow through state playoffs with renewed strength, first winning against number 3 ranked Springfield and then number 6 ranked Crescent Valley.

“We weren’t a full strength until playoffs,” senior Thomas Grant said. “Neyshawn didn’t get cleared until the second half of the season, and Will’s first game back was out senior night.”

Semifinals followed up those two games on March 9, which resulted in a disappointing loss against Churchill High School. The team then went on, instead, to the fight for third place against La Salle, a team they had lost against in the regular season. After an engaing four quarters, Parkrose beat La Salle 76 to 69. The third-place finish, though not what the team initially wanted, would break the decades-long streak of being unable to place in the top three.

“Not [winning state] was disappointing, but we went out and balled out as brothers the last day and were able to beat a good La Salle team that had our number during the regular season,” Grant said. “[It’s] the best Parkrose has placed in over 30 years.”

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Photo By Monica Maya

Dance takes unexpected 5th at state

Dance takes unexpected 5th at state

By Alex Diaz and Peyton Actkinson

Staff Writers


Dancers moved gracefully, gliding across the gym floor and leaping into the air, as the Parkrose Elite Dance Team aimed toward their sixth state championship after taking home first place in 2014, second in 2015 and fourth in 2016.

The team was excited to reveal their theme of “Transcendent” to the judges and peers at the 2017 OSAA State Championship, held March 16 to 17 at the Portland Memorial Coliseum.

Senior captains Sophia Nguyen, Linda Cha and Ashley Cha prepared their team’s’ morale by strengthening their mentality and confidence to ensure that they ended their season at the top of the pedestal.

However, the strong start to their season caused the team to enter a plateau state, or “becoming comfortable” after winning first place in past competitions, according to the captains. They took it upon themselves to set up a team meeting to plan a way to revamp their work ethic in order to stay consistent in preparation of state.

“We had to make them realize it’s not over yet, there is still much work to do,” Nguyen said.

Both Nguyen and Cha were awarded All-State Team after the second round on Friday, March 17.

Nguyen was given an additional certificate for placing 6th in Drill Down All-State.

Although it’s not what the team was aiming for, they ended their season at 5th in state which for many on the team was a great success regardless. However, a few dancers believed the decision making was unjust, causing a bit of controversy within the dance community.

Leading up to the competition, there seemed to be one competitor that was constantly mentioned by the dancers: Canby High School. Parkrose freshman and dance team member Rosina Delgado described Canby as persistent in placing at the top of the potem in many of the competitions.

However, a strong season for the Broncos leading up to the state competition gave them hope for their most desired accomplishment: bringing home a first-place trophy and banner for Parkrose.

Sophomore Akimi Bledsoe had a key role in the performance as the dancer leaping around a giant compass at the center of the floor.

“For state, I am expecting a lot of good teams and competitors, but I believe we have a good chance this year with all the practices we’ve had,” Bledsoe said.

“The captains have done a great job motivating us and giving us the mentality of champions,” Bledsoe said.

Even if Parkrose did not place first, the dancers believed they would at least place in the top three.

Unfortunately this was not the case, as Canby High School took the show away and became the state champions, leading Glencoe in second, Grant in third, Clackamas in fourth and Parkrose in fifth place.

While the team continued to prove their skill with constant high ranking positions in various competitions and exhibitions, there seemed to be an underlying chip on their shoulder to prove something. This, however, was not the year for Parkrose to prove their dominance. 

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Photo By Katie Meighen

Finding identity and acceptance

Finding identity and acceptance

By Bianney Resendez-Zaragoza

Staff Writer


Freshman year is a year of new beginnings. Senior Tyler Martin experienced many new things his freshman year: a new school, new friends, and a new understanding of his identity.

“Right before freshman year, I was starting to realize that I was not really necessarily a regular girl,” he said.

Martin was assigned a female gender at birth, but near the beginning of high school, he began to question his true gender identity. During the same time, he also was adjusting to Parkrose after moving from the North Clackamas School District. Martin said his previous school lacked diversity and made him feel unwelcomed. Moving to Parkrose was an influential point in feeling comfortable in showing his true self to others.

“Parkrose has really been a place where I could be myself and not be as worried about it,” Martin said.

In the middle of his sophomore year, Martin said he realized that he felt more like a boy. He opened up about his feelings with his boyfriend at the time and his closest friends.

Close to his birthday, he came out to his mother through a text message conversation.

Initially, Martin’s mother, Megan Berry, was confused about Martin’s gender identity. However, with time, she started to use the right pronouns and has been a great supporter in Martin’s transition. However, Berry has concerns regarding her son being the target of hurtful comments.

“As a mother I am afraid it will make him a target in ways he wasn’t already, for people who don’t understand what he’s going through,” Berry said.

Although Martin said Parkrose has been a very supportive community for him, he said that there are some people who act differently around him because of his transition.

“I’ve had some really great friends that have been just awesome about it and some have been weird about it,” he said.

There have also been some obstacles in his path. Martin has been a part of theater since early on in his high school career and credits theater teacher Tom Cavanaugh for being a very accepting person who made Martin’s transition a little easier.

Two years ago, when Martin went to state for theater, the district did not know whether to assign him to the girls’ or boys’ room because they had never encountered this issue.

“The district put me in my own room for the time being,” Martin said. “They also paid the difference which was pretty cool.”

This year, the district is seeking parent approval for a gender neutral room for students with a  non-binary gender identity. Martin feels that through his transition, Parkrose has also grown into an even more inclusive environment that is more aware of transgender people.

However, Martin has faced difficulties with his name. Martin’s preferred name is Tyler, but on the attendance sheet, his name is listed as his birth name. People who are transgender often refer to the name on their birth certificate as their “dead name.”

“Whenever there’s a sub, they call me by my given name and not the name I go by, and when I fill out applications, I wonder should I put my preferred name or my given name,” he said.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like hearing the name because it’s not who I am,” Martin said.

Martin was unable to legally start his name-change process until his birthday in late February because he would have turned 18 in the middle of the process, and the papers for the process for minors and adults are different.

“Someone suggested the name [Tyler] to me, and I thought it fit me really well. Turns out that that was a name I would gotten if I was born a boy,” Martin said.

In addition to theater, Martin is also involved in the Spectrum Club, which is a club supporting students with various sexual orientations and gender identities. Martin said the club is trying to be an activist club and motivate students of the Parkrose community to be accepting of others.

Martin said he is very comfortable with having conversations about his gender identity and his transition. There have been students who have come up to him and told him that his story is inspirational to them.

“I have had someone at a cast party very recently asked if they could talk to me. They said they were questioning their gender and wondered if I could talk about that, and I was like oh yeah I can totally talk about that.”

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Photo By Joshua Dyer

Showcasing students’ creativity through films and plays

Showcasing students’ creativity through films and plays

By Peyton Jackman and Anna Kotris

As the clock strikes seven, the echoing voices filling the theater go silent. The main event is starting: it’s March 9, the first night of student-directed films and one act plays.

This annual three-night event held in the Parkrose theater since 2009 showcases short movies and plays created by video and theater students. The students who worked to create the movies and plays for the event were chosen in (month). The students worked from (month) until the end of until the premie preparing to showcase the fruits of their labor at the three-day event.

Students say this is an opportunity to show their creative side. Last year, Justin Arandia co-directed the film “Life of Juan” with Eli Bravehawk. This year, seniors Arandia and Bravehawk co-directed the sequel, “Life of Steve.”

Arandia said that seeing students react to his films in the classroom made him interested in sharing his hard work with the rest of the community.

“I love sharing my work of art to an audience,” Arandia said. “It feels good to see the audience full of laughs and smiles.”

Student-directed films, short extracurricular movies made by advanced video students, are one part of the event. The film directors are assigned by video teacher Casey Goodlett in November, and they work from then until the final deadline for videos at the end of February. While directors are assigned by Goodlett, the film topics are not, and students are free to record what they want. The freedom that the students were given showed on presentation night, with each of the films being different from the last.

The other half of the night event is one-act plays, which are short plays accomplished within a single act. Like student directed films, one acts are not required for any class. The actors who participate in one acts practice and prepare for the event in their own free time. Once a director is chosen, they can submit a script for the play that they plan to direct. Like with student-directed films, the plays can be completely original; however, many students choose to direct a play that already exists. Because one acts are performed entirely on the spot, it is important that the actors prepare for the event, as one wrong move could throw off an entire play.

Although these films and plays take much time to prepare, they have and will continue to serve as a popular creative outlet for video and theater students at Parkrose high school. The chance for someone to have a story of their creation told to members of their community is very appealing to some students.

“I love sharing my work of art to an audience. It feels good to see the audience full of laughs and smiles,” Arandia said.

At this year’s Student Directed Films and One Acts, hundreds of people were in attendance to view the creative works on display, and many hope that attendance will be even better next year.

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Photo By Pavel Nikitin

New schedule, long lines, crowded cafeteria

New schedule, long lines, crowded cafeteria

By Anna Jimenez

Staff Writer


A new semester can symbolize different things for each student; lost hope, triumph, relief, exhaustion, or a clean slate. As the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year came to an end, Parkrose High School students had more than just a new semester class schedule to look forward to.

Unlike the previous lunch schedule in which students were split into two different lunches depending on their fifth period classes, the entire student body currently has a single, conjoined lunch. Lunch is 38 minutes long, and passing time between classes was reduced by one minute. The campus is now an open campus with all students allowed off-campus for lunch, and the gym is available. Mixed feelings regarding the changes have flowed through the student body, ranging from excitement to frustration and even disdain.

“Considering the passing time is shorter and lunch is only longer by like eight minutes, it’s kind of inconvenient. The shorter passing time is definitely a negative,” senior Stephanie Tran said.

An additional concern expressed by Tran and many other students alike is the capacity for the cafeteria to host the 934 students that make up the Parkrose High School student body.

According to Principal Molly Ouche, there is a need for more seating, so additional tables have been ordered to support the single lunch.

Ouche said that the decision to convert to one lunch was made with careful consideration. The administration analyzed data, researched what other schools are doing and received input from students and teachers.

“We believe this change has a positive impact on student safety, instructional time, attendance and school culture, so we knew we needed to try to implement it,” she said.

From Ouche’s standpoint, converting to a single lunch has already caused improvements, and there has been positive feedback.

Freshman Brenda Cruz Morales is happy about having lunch earlier, but recognizes a drawback of a longer, single lunch is the shorter passing time. Additionally, she said getting lunch and finding a spot has become more difficult as well the commute from class to class.

“[The schedule] makes it harder to find a spot to eat and get food,” Cruz Morales said. “We get shorter passing time, so I’m more late to class… I mean I could barely get to class with five minutes, so like with four minutes, it’s a lot. ”

Other students have also expressed that the lunch line is longer, so it takes longer to get lunch. In order to shorten the lines, new grab-and-go options are now available.

Parkrose teachers also have shared their opinions about the new lunch schedule. Social studies teacher Alan Baird said that the new lunch schedule does not impact him personally, but he has noticed it.

“One positive effect is that I don’t have to ask kids whether they have first or second lunch. If I want to meet with another teacher, I don’t have to ask if they have first or second lunch. I actually sit and eat lunch with a couple of other teachers, and I get to sit and eat lunch with some teachers I didn’t get to sit with before,” he said.

Ouche said the administration is planning to keep the new schedule for the next school year.

“We know it’s not perfect, but overall it’s best for students, so we are committed to taking feedback, identifying what isn’t working, and improving it,” Ouche said.

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Photo By Monica Maya