AMINA IDOUI/ Staff Writer
When the times get tough, it can be tempting to shut yourself off from others and try to handle problems on your own. Your friends are here for you, though, and likewise, we should be here to support our friends through their struggles. But when your friend is dealing with a mental illness, how do you help? What can you do?
It all depends on being open-minded and accepting. Most importantly, it is to be an ally for them.
Stand up for your friend, and understand that depending on which condition they have, their condition may speak for them, causing them to say things and do things they may not really mean.
Communication is just as important. Ask your friend how they really want to be treated. Be willing to listen to them, and educate yourself about their mental illness. Each one affects people in different ways, so using the internet or just asking your friend about it will help you be a better ally to them.
“If you have someone who is bipolar, I’d want you to treat them differently than someone who has anxiety,” Traci Barker-Ball says.
One of the worst things you can do for your friend is to not validate them, or to disregard them.
“It’s not just for seeking attention, it’s for seeking help,” school psychologist Joan Shin says.
“[Their support] is a nice balance between knowing they’re there and I can go to them if they aren’t,” a Poway High School student with anxiety said.
Ultimately, the best strategy for supporting your peers is to be very empathetic. You may not understand exactly what they are dealing with, but you can be supportive by being willing to listen and by standing up for those who need to.
Art by: Jonathan Ballestero
By: Brett Masaki
Most Poway High students look forward to Friday football games, but along with the fun there have been some new rules set by students and administration.
“One may not enter unless decked out in Poway attire, ready to get hyped out of their minds, and ready to go undefeated,” senior Ben Decker said.
Along with these rules set by Ben Decker, new rules were set last week by administrators, such as students not being allowed to enter the student section with outside food or drinks and students not being allowed to leave the game and reenter.
These new rules were set, “to clean up the area and make it safer,” Assistant Principle Aaron Little said. The rules were also put in place because of past events where students brought alcohol into the games.
Changes were made by ASB Advisor Emily Pratt, Damien Gonzales, four admin members and one of the counselors, Blanca Arreguin.
Many students do not like this rule.
“I have a weekly Friday tradition for football games where I like to bring a burrito to eat because I have to get there so early to get a good spot,” senior Ryan Carlson said.
Along with these new rules, many people want to see a little more etiquette out of the student section.
“I have heard so much bad language in the student section, and I think it should stop,”senior Nick Beeson said.
The student section etiquette is important to keep in mind through game season.
By: Hannah Williams
Ever since he was five years old, junior Adam Durbin knew he had a passion for BMX biking.
“I love racing BMX and mountain bikes because it’s an adrenaline rush that you can’t really get in any high school sports,” junior Adam Durbin said, “I love how it has taken me around the country and the world to race my bike. What’s not to love about that? Being able to travel the world and do what you love.”
BMX, where competitors race at a speed of about 25-30 mph, includes eight riders racing on dirt and asphalt tracks going over jumps, turns, and other obstacles. Durbin has won multiple local races in BMX, two state championships in 2013 and 2015, a national championship in 2016, and has been selected to represent the United States of America at the world championships in England in 2012 and Belgium in 2015.
“BMX is a time where I only have one goal: to win. And if I don’t win, it’s time to learn from my mistakes and fix them so I win the next one,” Durbin said.
He has quite a few sponsors, such as Fly Racing and Ellsworth Bikes, which help him get where he wants to be.
“The best experience I’ve had in all my years of racing would have to be my 2013 state championship, because not only was it a long shot to win, but there was a lot of drama between me and another competitor,” Durbin said.
In BMX, athletes can cross over the line after they are 30 feet out of the gate and cut other competitors off to an extent. Since the other athlete had a fairly decent head start, he crossed over Durbin, and buzzed his back tire and crashed. Durbin’s opponent was not harmed, so he got up and finished the race.
“After the race, I went to go shake his hand, but he punched me in the helmet. The kids’ dad ran over and yelled at me, before pushing me to the ground. After all that, I thought I wouldn’t be able to race because there is a no tolerance rule about fighting. However, the owner saw what happened and he said ‘You’re all good. No grown man has the right to put his hands on someone else’s kid.’” Adam got to race in the final, and ended up winning the state championship.
After high school, Durbin hopes to achieve his ultimate goal: to make a career as a professional racer.
By: Mia Cervantes
A handful of students in Heidi Hensey’s art class are currently working on the Memory Project for Orphans in Columbia. The Memory Project is a charity organization that invites students to provide a handmade portrait for less fortunate kids around the world. This is not an assigned project that students earn a grade for, but instead a voluntary project that they choose. Students receive a picture of their kid and work on a portrait for several weeks. People choose to work on this project to feel good and along with the portrait, they donate $15 towards the cause.
Hensey found the Memory Project website in 2011 while Google searching for portraits and has given her students the option to participate in this cause ever since.
“These kids have nothing, no memento of childhood, so these portraits are so meaningful to them,” Hensey said.
When the orphans receive their artwork, their reactions are recorded on video and are sent back to the students who created their portraits. Students are able to see these kids light up when they receive these special portraits delivered from across the world.
“We want the portraits to help the children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their well being, and to act as meaningful pieces of personal history in the future,” according to the Memory Project Website.
This year, students from Level 2 and up, work on these projects for less fortunate kids in Columbia. In earlier years, Hensey’s students have worked on portraits for kids in Ghana, Haiti, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Over the years, portraits have been for all ages, toddlers to teenagers.
“I’ve been working really hard on this portrait, and I’m really excited to see my kid’s reaction. That will make all this time and hard work totally worth it,” Emily Plummer, a junior in Level 3 said.
Hensey is excited and glad that she was able to find this organization. Ever since she became involved in this cause, she has been working closely with the founder Ben Shumaker. Hensey says that it has been amazing working with him along with the whole organization. She looks forward to giving many more students the opportunity to make kids’ days by using their artistic talents.
For these Titans their projects are something special that they will remember forever.