Personal Statement: Nancy Phan (2014)

“We have to keep a pulse on the school!” my Journalism advisor continuously reminds us. Keeping a pulse on the school meant that we always had to be aware of what was happening. We always had to be one step ahead. This year, the new Journalism advisor decided to create a weekly newsletter known as “The Pulse,” a one page, front and back paper that would be printed in-house. A staff of merely nine students was given the responsibility of creating ideas, writing articles, and taking photos each week. Throughout high school I was scared and extremely shy. I dreaded presenting in front of class. I was terrified of meeting new people and speaking to teachers. I never attended a school dance or game. In the summer before senior year, my friend asked me to join Journalism. This was my opportunity to break out of my comfort zone and enjoy my last year of high school. I wanted to contribute something to my school and not leave high school without any great memories. I hesitantly agreed, not knowing exactly what I was heading into. Each passing week, I began to see students and teachers posting “The Pulse” in front of their binders and on their walls. I stopped being afraid and started interviewing teachers and students. Due to the cost of printing in-house, we began selling Almond Haus three times a week every week in front of school to fundraise. I found myself volunteering to sell almost every day. I eagerly greeted strangers with a smile and a positive attitude. I stayed after school for hours on Fridays and even Saturdayseach week to print 1,600 copies of “The Pulse.” My Journalism advisor saw that I was dedicated and showed the qualities of a leader, so I was assigned Assistant Editor-in-Chief. With my new position, I became more determined to create a paper that would raise school spirit and awareness among students. “The Pulse” is made specifically for the students. Our goal in Journalism is to keep the communication among the school. I realized that in a sense, I was a mentor to these students. The articles I write are to inform them on subjects they didn’t know or understand before. To contribute more to Garden Grove, I joined Legacy, a club determined to pass of the legacy of our city to future generations. With the leadership qualities I created in Journalism, I became Vice President of Legacy. I was finally contributing to my school and city. Though many of the students don’t know who created “The Pulse” each week, or don’t care, I’m proud of the paper that we dedicate so much time into each week. I’m proud of the fact that not only am I doing something for myself, but for the students as well. I’m no longer in my naive “high school bubble,” because Journalism has given me confidence to be more involved.