Senior reflection: Ashley Garcia

Fresno Christian High school was the best experience of my life. I transferred here from Clovis North High School my freshman year. At North, I was surrounded by people who didn’t have the same morals as I did, and I really was just uncomfortable there. When I transferred, I was welcomed with the kindest, most warming welcome. My very first day here, I felt as if I was supposed to be here all along. I felt at home. I truly believe that moving here was the best decision I have ever made.

What I love about Fresno Christian is the family environment, and the small school experience. I love that everyone knows everyone, and we always come together to support one another. I have made friends here that I will forever cherish, and have met people that I belong with. I never knew that human beings had the capability to be so close with one another until I came to Fresno Christian.One main thing I really appreciate about Fresno Christian is the fact that we are based on Christ. Every single day, on matter what the circumstances, we always pray and do things the way the Lord intended for us. That is not something that people receive in public schools, and I will forever be grateful for that experience I got, living my life around people who shared the same love for Christ as I do.

Something I will never forget is chapel. My very first day here was a Tuesday, which was worship chapel day, and I walked in completely baffled because I had never seen anything like it before. There was a live band playing worship music that glorified the Lord and people standing up, singing their hearts out in symphony together as they declared their love for their savior. I was completely stoked to be a part of that beautiful experience.

This year was my first year in journalism and believe it or not, it was a very great decision. Journalism taught me many important skills that I need in the future such as communication, writing, and disciplinary skills. I am so humbled and blessed to have Fresno Christian High School as my alma mater, and I will forever be grateful for this school shaping me into the person I am today.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashgarcia.

By |2017-09-11T21:05:08-07:00May 23rd, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Staffer discusses importance of public relations


The world of Leadership has many facets and different roles throughout its structure. Several roles stand out among the rest as these jobs require excess amount of work and time. Created this year to improve the communication between The Feather and the Leadership class was the position of Public Relations.

As the Public Relations (PR) officer, the traits of this position are organization, being able to take on stressful tasks and most importantly, being on time.

When being in office, it is vital to be an effective communicator, not only with members of Leadership, but with the rest of the student body as well. The position does not necessarily take up much of time, but rather requires thoughtful decisions.

Being organized is not required but it is a helpful quality that makes the job a whole lot easier. Each week, a Leadership article will have to go up onto The Feather.

The purpose of this is to let the parents, staff, and student body know what will be going on during the week. Having prior journalism skills helps make the job faster and easier to get through.

Public Relations is where you announce events and send out reminders to the public. It is good to have relationships with people around the school so they feel comfortable around you and share their ideas for the leadership class to take into consideration.

This position does not seem to be very important, however due to teenagers constant use of Twitter and Instagram this seems to be the only way to reach them. With this in mind, the Leadership class sought to make a deeper connection with the student body.

The PR position is in charge of both of the leadership social media accounts, that being said, this position also requires a lot of responsibility and trust. When the class decides on new events this roll is the first to know all the information and is trusted not to give out important details when told.

In the upcoming year, the position will have a lot more rolls to accomplish. The Activities Director, will be in charge of all the big events and the PR position will play a role in getting those activities accomplished.

This position is not one that runs for office, it is appointed to office. Along with the duties the PR is in charge of, the office must go to West Sierra League (WSL) meetings once a month on Mondays.

Being involved in an office position is a great choice to consider because not only are you taking a step in being a voice for the student body but you also get to bond with the rest of the student positions like the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Activities Director.

For more Columns check out Senior reflections: Sara Peterson.


By |2017-09-11T21:06:41-07:00May 23rd, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior reflection: Sara Peterson

IMG_9111Christopher Grossman | The Feather Online Archive

Sara Peterson will be attending Fresno State in the fall, majoring in Nursing.

After six long years at Fresno Christian, my time at here has finally come to the end. At the beginning of the seventh grade, graduation seemed like a lifetime away but it has come within a blink of an eye. Despite the many complaints about high school and how we cannot wait to leave, there is some place within all of us seniors that genuinely enjoyed their time spent here, even if we don’t think so now.

During my time spent at FC I know I have had one of the best high school experiences possible. Yeah sure, our school is small and maybe we don’t have as many activities as public schools, but everyone at FC has the opportunity to get involved whatever suits their interests. Our teachers put many extra hours into their students without hesitation and are willing to help us in anyway. Students have the chance to gain many close relationships within and out of our own class.

My most memorable moments at FC are with my friends at school events, most recently powderpuff. I have two younger brother who will be entering high school and I’m extremely excited for the experiences they will be gaining and I hope that they will make the most out of their time here.

Journalism has also been a big factor in my high school experience. My junior year I was very reluctant to join journalism but now I do not regret it. Serving as Editor-in-Chief my senior year was an experience like none other. I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to be a leader. Improving my writing, in journalism, along with expanding my use of multimedia are skills that will surely benefit me throughout college and career.

Through journalism I interviewed many high profile individuals along with getting to be a guest speaker at Columbia University, and traveling to New York City my junior and senior year with my friends. I’d like to thank Greg Stobbe for encouraging me to join journalism and constantly encouraging us to be better writers and interviewers everyday. Also my best friend Gaby Siqueiros, for staying by side throughout high school and being my partner in crime in journalism.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @_sarapeterson.

By |2015-05-15T08:37:44-07:00May 15th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior reflection: Aaron Dewolf

AaronDeWolf1Feather file photo

Senior Aaron Dewolf recounts the treasured memories of his 13 years spent at Fresno Christian.

August 2001, I walked into Linda Tapley’s kindergarten classroom that would spark a 13-year long journey through the halls of Fresno Christian Schools. It would be at this school that I would learn, grow in Christ, bond with classmates, and meet lifelong friends.

I do not remember my North East campus days very well, but there are a few fond memories I still hold to. I remember my first “time out” in kindergarten, running laps around the field for PE, playing kickball during recess, and Mrs. (Nancy) Keck’s scrumptious gummy bears as rewards for good behavior. Sunny days and smiles were a very common theme on that small little campus.

We then graduated from the simple establishment of the North East campus to the immensely large Peoples Church property. As a third grader in Mrs. Yantis’ class, I walked into Building 5 in pure awe; a two-story building was too large to comprehend! And a playground complete with basketball courts, foursquare, wall-ball, and full sized football field made me feel like a real big kid! By my sixth grade year I was comfortable on campus and felt like I owned the school as I walked around at recess midst the younger students. However, what lingered ahead of me I never saw coming.

Junior high, those wretched, intimidating years were full of awkward changes and uncomfortable situations. Two years of my life so many people regret and would love to do over, but not for me. Contrary to popular belief, I loved junior high. Why? I am not entirely sure. I do know however, I was surrounded by a great support cast of friends, teachers who cared for me, and a God who loved me. For it was in my junior years that I found out who I was, and how much God cared for me, and how loved I am. Through mentorship, chapels, and the love people showed my, I grew in my faith and made it my own.

It was here I realized this place was more than a school; it was a home. A home for students to always feel welcomed, a place for God to work into peoples’ lives, and a refuge for those to fall back on in times of trouble. For me, Fresno Christian has been all those things and more. It has been my home away from a home. A place I can go to for help, a place for learning, and a place for fun. This school has meant more to me than mere words can say and will always have a special place in my heart.

Specifically, these past four years of high school have molded and shaped me into the person I am today. Junior high was a place where I discovered Aaron Dewolf was, and high school was a place for me to grow and test that character. I have been through highs and lows, ups and downs, and can say, by the grace of God, I made it through. This school has placed people in my life and given me role models that have helped me get to where I am today. I cannot even imagine how different my life would have been had I not attended here.

Yet it was not only emotional and spiritual support that makes me love this school, I have had more fun at this school, especially these past four years than I could have ever had anywhere else.

The small school environment has allowed me to get involved and partake in all sorts of events and activities. I have been able to try my hand in almost everything, from three different varsity sports, to CSF President, to being in the drama production The Music Man.

On top of that, classes are small enough to get involved in ways that at a bigger school I would not have the opportunity to, such as float building for homecoming or filming our NOTS movie each year. Plus cheering at events, from football and volleyball games, to powderpuff and MCing rallies and chapels; this school has given me the opportunity to not only get involved, but to be myself while I’m doing it.

As my days come to a close at this beloved place, I find myself with mixed emotions. So much of my life, so many of my memories come from this one place. Thirteen years of laughing, crying, fun, and love are coming to a close. I will cherish these 13 years and take them with me forever. Yet at the same time, I know I am ready for a new challenge, ready to embark on a new adventure.

This school has equipped me with the skills needed to reach the next level, and now it is my turn to take those skills and put them to use. I know ahead of me lies many more memories, many more friends, and many new adventures, but I will never forget Fresno Christian, the people here, and the things I have learned.

In closing, I have too many people to thank individually, so I will say this. Thank you Fresno Christian. Thank you everyone who I have come in contact with over these past 13 years, each and every of you touched me in a unique way. Thank you to my parents, John and Kimberly DeWolf, who made the sacrifices in their lives to bless me with this opportunity. And lastly, thank you Jesus Christ everything. Absolutely everything. I love you, Fresno Christian. God bless you.

Aaron DeWolf will be attending California Baptist University in Riverside, CA, and majoring in mechanical engineering.

By |2015-05-14T11:23:26-07:00May 14th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Senior reflection: Trevor Beal

IMG_6778cChristopher Grossman | The Feather Online Archive

Trevor Beal will be attending Fresno State for a degree in business.

I have been a part of The Feather staff for two years now, I have experienced countless benefits of Greg Stobbe‘s continued teaching and collaboration with my Feather colleagues. Before I joined The Feather I was below par writer, every writing assignment that I received before then was a battle. I didn’t know how to formulate the points that I wanted to make or how to present them to a reader. But that all changed in 2013, since then I have written articles well over 1000 words and have been a part of two national championship Feather seasons.

This year was my biggest and most recognizable contribution to the paper, I set out at the beginning of this season to write about larger and more high profile stories than in the past. Interviewing has always been a strong suit for me and I put it into effect by talking to Robert Edsel, writer of the movie Monuments Men, Norris Jernigan, pin pointer of the atomic bomb drops, and Robert Whitaker who was the head of security for the World Trade Center during September 2001.

Journalism is not for everyone, hard work and creativity are staples in the career at any level. I would like to thank The Feather staff and Greg Stobbe for continually pushing me and my work to the higher possible level we could reach. — Trevor Beal

These stories and people forced me to better my writing and interviewing skills because I wanted to do their stories justice, I wanted to be known as that high school journalist that exceeded their expectation. Journalism is not for everyone, hard work and creativity are staples in the career at any level. I would like to thank The Feather staff and Greg Stobbe for continually pushing me and my work to the higher possible level we could reach.

The feather is a great tool that should be utilized by all students at FC whether it be writing a guest article, just reading, or working full time, you will not regret it; I promise.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @beal_trevor.

For more opinions, read Senior Reflection: Ashely Garcia.

By |2015-05-07T08:21:57-07:00May 7th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Holding our own at CSPA Convention


The Feather staff earned a Gold Crown at the CSPA convention in March.

As a student journalist, there are few honors that are as grand and prestigious as the Gold Crown presented by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) at their annual convention. This award focuses on the excellence of the publication’s design, photography, concept, coverage and writing. In short, the Gold Crown is an award for the highest excellence in the very fundamentals of journalism.

Attending Columbia University with 2,691 other delegates and 299 different schools put The Feather in perspective, March 20. We competed on a national stage with a swarm of other media devotees to the practice of journalism, and we were one of the only two digital publications from California to win a Gold Crown in the online category.

In comparison to the size of the other publications, The Feather is incredibly small. And yet we were able to hold our own and bring home a Gold Crown, one of the highest national awards for scholastic journalism.

The CSPA hosted the student journalists incredibly well. They brought all of us into Columbia University’s campus; they let us walk the university halls and classrooms and listen to a variety of different speakers talk about a variety of different topics. The CSPA also asked some of The Feather editors and adviser Greg Stobbe to teach classes: Chloe Mueller, Sara Peterson, Ryan King, and Callista Fries all hosted sessions on behalf of The Feather and the CSPA.

Though I did not listen to every speaker, the speakers I did listen too had a lot to say about journalism and high school publications. I learned a about new media formats and how to come up with new ideas for articles, but for the most part, the content felt like it was second nature. I already knew much of the material and practice it on the Feather on a daily basis, so the speakers only really helped affirm what I already knew plus added a few gems to take back home. Should I return to New York with The Feather next year, it would be informative to listen to more speakers on different podcasting ideas and ways to improve media use.

Attending the CSPA convention is also a great way to share ideas with other staffs from around the country, whether we share/swap papers, struggles and how we overcome them. The Feather has benefited greatly over the years through this real time engagement with our peers. Plus it is good to be a part of a larger group who all have the same goals and pride of high school journalism.

Being on a staff as small as The Feather and still being able to win a Gold Crown fills my heart to the brim with pride. I fully intend the join The Feather again next year and show Columbia that we are still worthy of the Gold.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein.

For more opinions, read the March 24 article, College Corner: Fresno State standards changing.

By |2015-03-26T00:00:00-07:00March 26th, 2015|Column, FC Arts, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

College Corner: Fresno State standards


According to academic advisor Michelle Warkentin, left, Fresno State is increasing its SAT, ACT requirements for the 2015/16 school year.

For years students from the central Valley have counted on getting into Fresno State. Whether it is their first choice or a back up plan, Fresno State has been a popular option for students who earned a 3.0 or higher in high school.

However, this will no longer be the case starting in the 2016-’17 academic year. Fresno State standards are changing. This is due to state issued education budget cuts and a steady increase in the amount of applications received by the university.

Jennifer Pagesmith, Outreach Counselor for Fresno State, gave the statistic that 19,000 applications were submitted just for Fall 2014, when Fresno State only has 6,400 open spots available for new students.

“Fresno State is planning to raise its admissions standards to help offset huge spikes in qualified local applicants,” Hannah Furfaro writes in an Fresno Bee article: “And for the first time in the university’s history, officials say they’ll reject at least 400 Valley students who apply to attend in 2016-17 – students who would have qualified under current standards.”

Hundreds of Valley students will need to look elsewhere for their college education and may lead to a huge rise in applications submitted to local community colleges. This follows the trend of several other CSU schools who have also experienced major impaction issues, such as CSU Long Beach.

Students whose GPA is below 3.0 will need to score even better on the ACT or SAT than was required previously. — Hannah Furfaro, Fresno Bee writer advises.

“Students whose GPA is below 3.0 will need to score even better on the ACT or SAT than was required previously,” Furaro writes. “The details haven’t been formalized, but Vinovrski says Fresno State’s admissions index, a scorecard that uses a student’s GPA and test scores to determine their eligibility, will increase by at least 200 points.”

In a recent email sent out by Jennifer Pagesmith, the proposed changes to the eligibility index were displayed (once again these numbers are not yet official).

2016-17 Proposed GPA/SAT Eligibility Index:


Another possible change that would affect transfer students is potentially raising the GPA requirement from 2.0 GPA to 2.2 GPA. This would encourage students to make up D’s or F’s at their local community college before applying to Fresno State.

Fresno State has assured high schools that they are continuing to work within the budget that has been allocated to them by the Governor of California. According to Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro at a recent CSF Regional Conference, the university is dedicated to serving the students of the central Valley and he encourages qualified students to apply to the many great programs Fresno State has to offer.

Despite the budget cuts and lower acceptance rates, the university continues to thrive in areas of technology, thriving academic programs, and a passionate teaching staff. I will continue to keep our students and parents up to date on the upcoming changes at Fresno State and the other CSU campuses.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

For another College Corner, read the Feb. 21 article, COLLEGE CORNER: College placement tests.

By |2015-03-24T00:00:00-07:00March 24th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Column: Finish the year strong (PODCAST)

Alexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

Junior Skyler Lee

From a personal vantage point, the last few weeks on campus have been characterized by an overall air of apathy and mental, if not physical, disengagement from academics as well as school spirit and social relationships.

While this pattern is not unusual, especially at the end of the year it does raise several harmful implications in the quality of academic, social and spiritual progress.

Before finding the cure, it is important to first diagnose the disease. Many call it ‘Senoritis’, although juniors and underclassmen seem just as susceptible to it. It is the strong desire to be anywhere besides the school setting. The symptoms: not completing assignments or taking the easy way out, general weariness and irritability (sound familiar?).

For many, this attitude and lifestyle choice has been in operation since the end of first semester or earlier. However, as the last few months of school whittle away it has become more apparent. One of the main reasons for this is simply that students are worn out both mentally and physically.

It would seem easy to ‘just get by’ during these last few months. After all, the brunt of the academic year, excluding finals, has mostly passed. Yet according to academic magazine, Eye on Education such behavior may actually shape students future study habits and their overall views of that particular year in a detrimental light.

“The ‘remembering self’ is comprised of the one or two ‘peak’ moments we have had in a situation combined with how it ends (this is known as the ‘Peak/End Rule’),” Eye on Education says. “‘It is the remembering self that tends to stick with us and the one we use to frame future decisions. From this perspective, what occurs in the final weeks of our classes will have a huge influence on how students feel about and make future decisions related to learning, schooling, the subject you are teaching, and how they might feel about future teachers.”‘

In addition to poor academic habits, this form of ‘underachieverism’ often takes a toll on personal relationships as well. Though the abandonment of responsibilities may appear to aid in a greater amount of time and therefore deeper relationships, this is rarely the case.

Rather, unmotivated individuals can often have a very self-serving and distant demeanor pushing away social interactions. Anxiety resulting from a stack of late assignments and homework that the student plans to complete five minutes before class starts may also cause friction in relationships.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. –Colossians 3:23-24, Bible

Perhaps the most convincing reason (at least for Christians) to throw aside any trace of a negative mind set is that, simply put, God tells us to. In Colossians 3:23-24, God reminds Christians who it is that they are really serving.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

If it is the Lord that FC students serve every day why do we complain so often? If it is the Lord that we serve why do we talk bad about others and forget about what really matters? The issue is not so much that we are good or bad students but that the focus of our lives is distorted. We have become what Revelation 3:16 calls “lukewarm.”

If we believe that the purpose of our lives here on earth is truly to glorify God with everything that we have, then ‘underachievement’ is a bit of a violation to our very existence.

God calls His people to be passionate and to act. Yet beyond the spiritual implications there is the cold hard facts that high school in only four years out of our lives. We have four years to participate in all of the activities offered at FC (which our many). We have four years to bound with our existing friends and perhaps make a few more. We have four years to reach out to someone who may never find love anywhere else but in that moment.

(PODCAST) Finishing the year strong–Feb. 28, 2015

Rather than looking back and whishing for greater involvement, why not pursue those things now? High school is not an eternity (though it may feel like one) and the choices that we make now will affect our futures as well as those of the people around us. Rather than go through the motions we need to take motion and lead the student body in a passionate and purposeful finish to the 2014-’15 school year.  finish the year strong.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerlee.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 18 article, COLUMN: Why every student should go to NOTS.

By |2015-03-05T00:00:00-08:00March 5th, 2015|Column, Podcasts 2014-15, Uncategorized|1 Comment

COLUMN: Thankful for Scholastic Journalism Week 2015

ReesFeather file photo

Junior, Rees Roggenstein, expresses his thoughts on journalism and urges other to celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week.

Journalism or publication classes in a nutshell teach students to write articles, publish them and do a small amount of social media promotion. On the surface journalism prepares people for work in the media. But beneath the surface, beneath this shallow idea of journalists, there is a wealth of practical and applicable knowledge beyond what other classes could possibly teach.

To those who are patient and respect the process of reputable journalism, the benefits could almost be endless. Even on the surface the skills this class teaches is incredibly useful, and on a deeper level journalism can expand one’s perspective.

Producing articles results in better writing skills, conducting interviews improves basic conversation skills, and working with media and social media is now necessary in most colleges and businesses. Even on the most basic surface journalism is still useful for equipping people for the real world.

On a deeper level this class still has much to offer. It can expand one’s limited perspectives; publications classes require reporters or guest writers to visit places and talk to people they otherwise would never know.

The opportunity to get outside my comfort zone, to interview people, to observe, and to learn from others is a lifeskill. For me, it expands my horizons and opened doors I did not think could be opened. Journalism enriches my high school career in ways other classes have not done yet.

More specifically, The Feather shows me things I did not think I would see and helps me build relationships with people I will remember for a long time. The people on The Feather staff teach me how to think for myself, to articulate my opinions, and to look at all perspectives of a topic to find the whole truth. These are gifts one cannot put a monetary value on.

So to those who have an opinion they want to share, to those who want to report the truth, to those who want to express themselves to the world, come join with journalists this Scholastic Journalism Week. Come and celebrate our right to freedom of speech, come and celebrate the ability to express ourselves, and come and celebrate the journalists for embodying this liberty.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather,  Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.This writer can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 22 article, COLLEGE CORNER: College Placement Tests.

By |2015-02-27T00:00:00-08:00February 27th, 2015|Column, FC Arts, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLLEGE CORNER: College Placement Tests

IMG_0212FC file photo
If you are a student reading this you are probably thinking, ‘I haven’t even stepped foot on my college campus and they already want me to take a test!? As if the SAT and ACT were not enough!’ However, if you took one of those tests or an AP test and passed, you may be in luck!

Contrary to what you may think, colleges are not purposefully trying to torment you. Instead, the reason for the placement tests is to find out where you are at academically in order to place you in the appropriate course.

In talking with David Navarro, College Relations Specialist at the Clovis Community College Center, he reiterated that their hope is that students will not be placed in classes which are too easy and cause boredom or classes which are too difficult and could possibly lead to failure. Students who are attending an SCCCD campus are only required to take the English placement test. Students will be placed in the appropriate math class based on the highest level of math they have completed.

We just want to know where the student is within their academics. From there we can formulate a “training plan” tailored to meet the needs of the students.–David Navarro, College Relations Specialist

Many students worry about how they will do on the placement test and ask how they can prepare for it.

“I never recommend a student to “prepare” for this test,” Navarro said. “I use the analogy of energy drinks and running a race. Though consuming an energy drink before a race may give the student an immediate, but short-lived boost to increase performance, the student will not have the stamina needed for the long duration of the race because the basic fundamentals of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning are missing.

“We just want to know where the student is within their academics. From there we can formulate a “training plan” tailored to meet the needs of the students.”

The CSU system has a similar placement testing arrangement. However, both math (ELM) and English (EPT) tests are required, unless students meet the exemption requirements.

Those students who take the ELM/EPT and do not meet the proficiency requirements will be required to attend the Early Start Program before the start of their freshman year at the CSU.

When asking Donna Bollinger, Administrative Assistant in the Testing Office at Fresno State her advice in regards to taking the test(s) she said to sign up early because the spots fill up very quickly.

“If you don’t take the test in March or April, you will not receive your results in time to register for your classes during Dog Days (specific to Fresno State),” Bollinger said. “This could potentially cause a delay in getting the classes students need.”

Bollinger also suggests that students may want to brush up on their math and English skills before taking the test. A good way to do this is by visiting the ETS website where students can view practice questions and learn about the test format.

But just like the other placement test, the information presented on the test is material that you have learned in your high school classes.

For more information on the SCCCD placement test, visit the website.

*The SCCCD placement test will be offered to Fresno Christian seniors who have applied on Feb 24 from 10:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m in the computer lab..

*Fresno Christian students who need to take the EPT/ELM for the CSU system must sign up for the test and choose their desired location by visiting the site.

Happy testing!

For the most recent post by Michelle Warkentin, please check out College Corner: Managing the FAFSA. For another opinion, read Chris Grossman’s COLUMN: Why every student should go to NOTS.

By |2015-02-21T00:00:00-08:00February 21st, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Why every student should go to NOTS

IMG_0549FC file photo

“Night of the Stars”: the name of FC’s annual formal alone is enough to strike fond memories in my heart. NOTS is something that I have had the pleasure and privilege of being involved in every year of my high school tenure.

If you are unfamiliar with the nature of our formal, each class gets together over the months preceding the event to film, edit, and produce a shortened parody or recreation of a movie. During the actual events, students dress up and enjoy a nice dinner while they sit back and enjoy the movies. At the end of the night, awards are given out based on the on-screen performances.

My freshman year, our class produced a laughably bad rendition of “The Blind Side“. New to the idea of NOTS , we scraped together a 15 minute film over a couple weekends of hard work. Whatever opinion you have formulated in your mind as to how poor it turned out, I can assure you: it was much worse.

The night was a great time with some of my closest friends, and I can still picture pulling up to the venue in a limo with my best buds. It was a great night; for however awkward we were and how bad our movie was, I can honestly say it was one of the best memories I have of freshman year.

I will not bore you of the details of the following two years, because it would simply be more of what you’ve already read.

Night of the Stars is truly a FC exclusive. My friends at church who do not attend FC continually express their jealousy of the event, and I consistently feel blessed by the opportunity to partake in it.

I can say with absolute confidence that some of the best times I’ve had at FC have been a result of NOTS. Between the filming, inviting dates, awards, and generally just sharing in all of it with my best friends, my high school experience would not have been the same without it.

Every student should make an effort to get involved in and attend Night of the Stars. I know from personal experience that Student Leadership is working their very hardest to put together the nicest night possible.

Knowing that this will be my last year to have a hand in the affairs of NOTS, I am suddenly aware of how lucky I have been to experience it.

I’ve always thought that concept to be so funny. We as humans (kids especially) have a tendency to be so caught up with simply living our lives that we don’t take the time to realize how important or fortunate our present circumstances can be.

There’s a quote that goes along the lines of “You never know what you have until you lose it”, but I prefer a slightly different view on the idea: “You always know what you have, you just never think you’d lose it.” I can’t be sure where I first heard either quote, but I can be sure of how we will lose the things we have as high schoolers.

Do not be a person who looks back with regret in regards to getting involved at FC. This is your high school experience, and I encourage you to make the very most of it.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ChrisGrossman.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 17 article, EDITORIAL: Lending a helping hand.

By |2015-02-18T00:00:00-08:00February 18th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Service day brings out human kindness

ReesJason Swain | The Feather Online Archive
In a world of duality, people are capable of great good and great evil. With one hand we reach out claiming we want to aid our brother, but with the other hand we are tempted smack him. Good and evil: the dual nature of man and the constant struggle he has between to the two.

Service epitomizes the good in people; it is humanity’s goodwill incarnate. People sacrificing time, effort and resources for another group of people with no promise of a reward, or even recognition. Service is essentially altruism in practice: the principle or practice of unselfish concern for others.

A number of psychologists have speculated that true altruism does not exist; even though a person may not receive any monetary reward or public recognition for their service, they still receive personal and emotional satisfaction. Because of this serving could even become selfish.

But this claim could be interpreted differently. It could mean that serving has some physical, neurological or emotional reward for those who practice it. Is it not utterly encouraging that science has proven that service truly is its own reward? That we are hotwired to feel gratification and satisfaction for something that we will not be repaid for? Is that not beautiful?

Personally, I know the sting of selfishness. When I spend each day only thinking about my own problems and thinking only about my own pleasure, I began to feel like I am sinking. I began to realize my predicament after leaving a party that everyone says was so amazing, but I feel absolutely nothing inside. When people talk about my participation, and how great or how awful an event was, I feel nothing. It became dark, and I felt hallow inside.

To fix that hallow feeling, I need to pour myself into others, helping in anyway I can: a kind word, a listening ear, really anything. So I am beginning to realize that service does not only give some emotional reward, but it can also fill a void in my heart with meaning and purpose.

So please join me and leave comments below telling how you have served recently. Any random acts of kindness, good deeds, kind words, anything. And as FC’s 2nd annual Serve Day comes Feb. 19; make sure to go out and serve with a full heart. It might be just as a fulfilling for you as it is for the people you are helping.

Students will head out at 10 a.m. on buses, and can be expected back on the campus by 3 p.m.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 6 article, Superintendent speaks: Why FC?.

By |2015-02-17T00:00:00-08:00February 17th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Racial injustice solution lies within us

IMG_8781Jarrod Markarian

The first session in the two-part series, Hope Fresno, held at The Well Community Church, Feb. 1. The purpose of this event was to make Fresno and Clovis area residents aware of the fact that racial injustice is, still, very much alive and present in the community.

Community meets at The Well for Hope Fresno

Racism: an eternal struggle that has reached out to each and every ethnic group that inhabits our planet. It is a negative psychological outlook on ones physical differences that was conceived in the earliest of times, when the Israelites were held captive by the Egyptians for nearly 400 years.

Throughout history, the world has witnessed as certain ethnic groups have undergone discrimination from other ethnic groups in what seems to be an endless cycle, engulfing all societies.

On Friday, Feb. 6, I had the opportunity to attend the first session in the two-part series, Hope Fresno, held at The Well Community Church. The purpose of this event was to make Fresno and Clovis area residents aware of the fact that racial injustice is, still, very much alive and present right here in our community.

This particular event addressed the long-lasting conflict between Caucasians and African-Americans in America. Five local community leaders, including Pastor Bryson White, Pastor DJ Criner, Pastor Paul Binion, Pastor Brad Bell and Sabrina Kelley of Habitat for Humanity, served as panelists, discussing personal beliefs and experiences regarding bigotry.

The panelists all started off by stating that of all the names given to describe their race, the common preference was “black, of African decent.” They then proceeded to share their own, individual stories with racism, involving them and their loved ones.

A popular theme in their discussions, was how the media distorts details in national events pertaining to racial issues. It was said by Pastor Criner, that the shooting of Michael Brown, which occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, went down in an upper middle-class community, contrary to the media’s portrayal of a sub-par slum.

While this does exaggerate the conditions of the situation, we also have to realize that the media often exaggerates situations, whether linked to bigotry or not. Yellow journalism tactics, first used by the infamous Joseph Pulitzer and William Hearst, exaggerated world events so much; it lit the fuse for the Spanish-American war.

Rarely does the media have interests in either side. Whatever distortions and tweaks are written into a story, are not done out of spite, but usually personal gain. If news stories are told exactly how they happened, there would not be nearly as many people interested in the news.

What about the case of Dillon Taylor, a 20-year-old unarmed Caucasian who was shot and killed by an African-American officer outside of a 7-Eleven? There was almost no news coverage on the incident.

It is very probable that Taylor gave the officer a completely valid reason to open fire, however, this is not the point. The point is that national news networks look for the more attractive story and publicize it all over the country to get a rise.

The media dips into the past mistreatment of the African-Americans and feed into it, turning events that need not be racially linked into nation-wide riots. Had history been reversed and it was the African-Americans that persecuted the whites, I believe the media would follow suit, shedding a negative light on whoever the minority might be.

After a long discussion of misleading news coverage and the police’s use of force in many different scenarios, the panelists concluded their discussion by reassuring the audience that the event was not meant to point fingers or place blame on any individual; only to inform the community of the facts and trying to come up with a solution.

To conclude the night, special speaker, Deth Im, who is Assistant Director of Training and Development for PICO National Network, introduced the audience to his interactive, experimental training activities he would lead the next day.

I brought up many valid points regarding racism in modern society, but his most intriguing statement was that the attitudes and stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner, can be explained by “implicit biases”.

He explained how these biases, whether pertaining to positive or negative outlooks on others, are placed in our brains subconsciously. These thoughts and feelings are provoked, unbeknownst to the individual, by the instincts engraved deep inside by common societal beliefs.

Ever since Adam and Eve first sinned in the garden, humans are imbedded with God-given shame, explaining why it is considered wrong to walk around naked. We do not wear clothes because clothes are better than no clothes; we wear them because society underwent a huge physiological change, in which it became abnormal to be naked in public. This is an example of implicit bias.

Observing the demeanor of each individual panelists, I noticed that the younger speakers were more passionate and outspoken about their opinions. Pastor Binion, arguably one of the most influential religious leaders in Fresno County, was calm and collected throughout the majority of the interview.

Binion, who lived through one of the most oppressive times for African-Americans, the Civil Rights Era, had a slightly different way of thinking compared to the other panelists.

I believe that having grown up in such a hard situation, Binion has witnessed much more of a positive change for his people. The younger panelists, I would assume, have only heard the horror stories passed down from loved ones, sparking anger inside.

Since the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, treatment of the African-American community has steadily improved. Unlike Binion, the younger panelists, although still affected by a white privilege, have not experienced as significant of change in societal behavior.

Binion’s on stage presence and unruffled poise challenged the audience to focus on common interests and apply I Corinthians 13 to living out a tactful and respectful lifestyle.

If I have taken away anything from attending this event, it is this: Racism, no matter the minority affected, has always been and always will be. However, looking at past conditions and comparing them to today, it is safe to assume that they are changing for the better as long as both parties focus on common interests and can listen to one another without getting defensive.

I look at the timeline of the persecution of African-Americans, which began nearly 300 years ago, and compare it to that of other cultures, such as the Jews who have been discriminated against for thousands of years, and it gives me hope that this civil conflict will soon diminish.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @namoodnhoj. The Well Community Church can be reached via Twitter: @wellchurch. Faith in Community can be reached via Twitter: @FIC_Fresno.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 6 article, Superintendent speaks: Why FC?. And please check out Hope Fresno unites pastors in racial equality (Video) for more information.

By |2015-02-13T00:00:00-08:00February 13th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|2 Comments

COLUMN: Superintendent speaks: Why FC?

IMG_5665 copyJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive
Why FCS?

As I sit having my morning coffee, I find myself thankful for where God has brought me. Not only in my own personal walk with him but my latest assignment: Fresno Christian Schools.

A little over a year ago, I prayed about whether or not I should move from Kings Canyon Unified School District to FC. ‘Why FC?’ was a common refrain. I loved where I worked and I loved my community in Reedley; I still do. So, why FC?

I began to think and pray about God and his people:

Did you know that only 25% of Fresno County are practicing Christians?
Did you know that only 4% of 16-29 yr. olds have a relationship with Christ?

But, why FC? I had a campus of over 650 students that I was able to show the love of Christ and FC only has 460.

Then the answer was revealed. While there are more students in Reedley, there was more potential to make disciples at FC. Disciples that can be openly and intentionally trained to be missional in life. Our public schools need Christ followers on campus as students and staff. Some are called there, but we are called here for just a time as this!

Questions not statements are often the best way to follow God. Statements are narrow and direct and unless coming from God are fallible. Questions to God position us to receive from Him. It is hard to be in His will when we are not asking what it is. My world was changed over a year ago, changed for the better.

We are called here for this time, this season. You were born in this generation! Not the one before or after you but now. Our paths have crossed at this time for His purpose. Our only question? what is your part in God’s plan? God has a plan for you at FC, at your local church and in your family.

Take time to meditate on what the Lord has for you. It would be sad for you to attend FC most of your life and not ask ‘Why FC?’ Ask the question, He will answer. You are a world changing generation! I believe in you, now go ask…’Why FC?’

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)

For more from Jeremy Brown, check out COLUMN: Fall initiates change in campus focus and Jeremy Brown announced as new Superintendent

Jeremy Brown can be contacted via Twitter: @FCS_Supt or via the office phone at 559.299.1695.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne.

For more from the superintendent read, Campus grows through Christ, fellowship.

By |2015-02-06T00:00:00-08:00February 6th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Students cast off selfish actions for #RAKweek2015 (VIDEO)

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.45.20 AMThe Great Kindness Challenge

Students put away their selfish habits for a week of Random Acts of Kindness.

Imagine a world without kindness. A world where there was not a caring person, or anybody who had the simplicity to make someone feel loved. That is a world I do not want to live in. Random Acts of Kindness Week is Feb. 8-15 and we need to start the awareness now. We need to admit our self-centeredness, put it aside and find simple ways to change that pretense.

The Feather Online and student leadership are piggy-backing on The Great Kindness Challenge. In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and #RAKweek2015 (Feb. 8-15), students should take into account to be kind to others, and change the world for the better. Often, we go about our everyday lives, forgetting to acknowledge the people around us, because of that fact that we are already wrapped up in our own problems.

The Great Kindness Challenge, if you choose to accept it, will hopefully bring out the greatness in you, because we all know there is greatness in all of us, we just have to dig deep enough to find it. There are many ways to participate, some of which include simple, kind gestures such as giving a compliment to five people per day, make a new friend, bring a flower to the office staff, or offer to help a custodian.

When all is said and done, it should become a habit. A healthy habit where we will all put our greatness together and make this world a kinder place. as Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

With that being said, as Random Acts of Kindness Week approaches, I encourage all of you to take the Great Kindness Challenge, find the greatness within yourselves, and help to make this world a better, kinder place.

Student leadership will be posting a poster on the downstairs hallway this week. Please take the time to add your name and take the Great Kindness Challenge. Be responsible, respectful and accountable to be kind these next two weeks and beyond. As someone to partner with to write out ways you will be selfless this month.

Additionally, students will have an opportunity to serve and show kindness Feb. 19. The high school students will be off campus to engage with the community and help with graffiti removal, Neighborhood Thrift, the Poverello House and others.

Additionally, please post your challenges to others via The Feather comments at the bottom of this article or Twitter: #RAKweek2015.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronlilne. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @ashhasthescoop.

For more opinions, read the Feb. 1 article, Super Bowl XLIX blog: Roggenstein in Phoenix.

By |2015-02-02T00:00:00-08:00February 2nd, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Freshmen prepare for the future through hard work, service

IMG_6615Alexis Kalugin | The Feather Online Archive

Freshmen Devin Pitts and Nathan Mount

Freshmen Devin Pitts and Nathan Mount discuss ways underclassman can prepare for college including grades and involvement.

As junior high students transition into high school, they are forced to come into contact with the omnipresent fear of college. Students everywhere struggle with the process of getting the proper information for planning out how to attend the college of there choice. While this fear is real and present, there is always a way to deal with these challenges namely by following the structure and rules within the school, yet there is always a personal choice involved with choosing your college. Freshmen prepare for the future through their choice to become hard workers rather than acting carelessly with their grades.

High school is the preparation of students for the work load which will surround them in the college world. Freshmen assume that they can fool around and be careless with there grades yet these grades are a real part of whether or not they are allowed into the college of their choice. This irresponsible opinion is prevalent within the schools and freshmen of today. It will lead to frustration and disappointment in there years to come as they struggle to attend the college of their choice.

While grades are an incredibly important factor to a students success the friends with which they spend there free time is ultimately the final decision. As a teen grows up they learn to fit in to there surroundings, this is all well and good, but it can often prove fatal. High school is a melting pot of beliefs, ethnicities and study habits, people want to fit in, but if the cool kids refrain from working or paying attention in class then, will you as a freshmen be similarly influenced? This belief is the bane to all freshmen and if you fall into this trap, a four-year university may be just out of reach.

These two matters remain the core problems for freshmen and if they follow those two thoughts then a final push could be the ace in the hole as colleges view your resume. Schools provide extra curricular activities, by joining a few of these clubs or sports to view you more intently. By following these few, yet important ideas a freshmen can make there way into a college of there choosing.

Another important way to prepare for college is to talk to your school counselor about it. Counselors can help you with plans on how to be successful throughout high school and be as prepared as possible for college. So make sure that you set up a few appointments a semester just to discuss college preparation further.

It may seem like there are a lot of things to do to prepare for college as a freshmen but in reality, with hard work it can be pretty simple. Just remember to make a four year plan with your counselor and be involved with things not only in your school, but in your community.

Contributed by Sports Editor, Joshua Carter.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 27 article, Generation neglects the morals of historical legacy.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Devinpitts.

By |2015-01-28T00:00:00-08:00January 28th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Generation neglects the morals of historical legacy

Martin Luther King Jr. was a bringer of salvation to the black community, a humble man with selfless ambitions. Mr. King had so many great words that he shared openly with all who would listen, yet so many people in today’s generation can barely grasp the full scope of his words and his sacrifices.

Why did Mr. King sacrifice so much when he did not have to? That is a question that may be answered through a look at his lifestyle and philosophy. King had everything an African-American man in the 60’s could dream of: a house, well-paying job, beautiful wife and loving children. The reason he gave up everything is because his culture, his people, his brothers and sisters needed someone’s love and leadership. This was a burden that only Mr. King could carry; he became the Atlas of his people.

The iconic ‘I have a Dream‘ speech echoes through the fabric of history and stands as the highlight of the American Civil Rights movement, but many things had to happen before this speech was delivered. If we, as a society, truly observed King we would realize that his dream was dreamt in despair and in sadness as he watched the cruelty his people had to endure. King displayed that not all dreams are created in comfort and kind environments, sometimes they are born out of desperation.

Mr. King had a light that shown through the darkest of tunnels, that persevered through the coldest of nights, that endured not because he wanted to, but because it had to. He stood when no one else would, he marched even if no one would. The greatness of this man is immeasurable; it is a shame that this generation neglects the morals of that he stood for.

Perhaps the reason why his purpose and sacrifice and other great works are seemingly ignored is because our society no longer values what Mr. King valued. Mr. King stood for something, but now in todays society standing for anything, or making definitive statements; is frowned upon. Some of us even believe that moral absolutes are an artifact of an inferior time and no longer serve a purpose. That the only absolute we need to care about is our own “happiness”.

If we continue down this path; where pleasure is all that matters; then we will see a truly dark world. Learn from the example Mr. King gave to us, stand for something. Stand for your moral absolutes, do not fall prey to the apathy and selfishness that has swept through our nation like a plague. Stand as Mr. King stood, then maybe, just maybe we could come to understand the gravity of all of his words.

For information on MLK, make sure to read the CNN article “The greatest MLK speeches you never heard“.

Follow the Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. These writers can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein and @GarchaKevin8.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 21 article, COLUMN: Pushing through.

By |2015-01-27T00:00:00-08:00January 27th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Pushing through

People often make promises to themselves in the heat of the moment; making vain and empty attempts to change themselves. But when push comes to shove and action is required the interest in the promise wains and the body and mind become lax and unwilling. New Years resolutions provide an excellent example of unkept promises and goals. The interest and determination in resolving ones problems simply fades into the recesses of the mind as time marches on ever forward.

Statistically; about 45% of Americans usually make New Years resolutions. Promising to usually lose weight, improve their livelihood, or change their personal and social lives. Only about 8% of these people are actually successful in their endeavors.

I often find myself laughing and making fun of these people for making promises to themselves that I know they will not keep, but I too am guilty of almost the same crime. While I do not publicly pronounce my desire to make changes in my own life; I do think to myself quietly how I should improve. I know that my life can be improved, and I often know how to go about making it better, but when it comes down to actually performing I just lose interest.

The key to achieving success in these endeavors is in short commitment, perseverance and tenacity. Pushing through, the art of never giving up. The late Stuart Scott is a prime example of this. He was only able to become one of the big shots on the ESPN network due to his own ability and sheer tenacity to draw people in. Mr. Scott is a testament towards hard work and perseverance.

The Feather has also had a history of persistence through hard times, but also failures when our determination was needed the most. For us to truly succeed we must not let our goals slip away from us; we cannot lose focus as we have before.

The Feather has also had a history of persistence through hard times, but also failures when our determination was needed the most. For us to truly succeed we must not let our goals slip away from us; we cannot lose focus as we have before.–Rees Roggenstein

With the new school year beginning and we return to our daily routines; we should remember to give our all from the start. It might be hard; it might exhaust us, but we must persevere. If we do not we can fall through; we can lose track of our goals. Always persevere and never forget your priorities.

As the law of inertia states; a body in motion stays in motion, and a body in rest stays in rest. It is easy to become lax and easy going over the period of a long break; to fall into the trap of inertia. But in order to succeed; to break this habit; we must stay in motion. We must not lose sight of the gold; we must constantly move forward no matter how hard gravity pulls us down. We must always persevere; we must push through.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @RRoggenstein.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 16 article, EDITORIAL: Respecting the boundaries of free speech.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather,  Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

By |2015-01-21T00:00:00-08:00January 21st, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

College Corner: Managing the FAFSA

IMG_3773-2Jason Swain | The Feather Online Archive
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be an intimidating process for both parents and students. Although completing the application can be somewhat confusing, potential pay off can be well worth the time and frustration.

From academic years 2006?07 to 2011?12, the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students at 4-year degree-granting institutions receiving any financial aid increased from 75 to 85 percent.

One of the biggest reasons I have encountered for students not completing the FAFSA is because they believe their parents make too much money to qualify for financial aid. Even if this is the case, not filing for the FAFSA can disqualify students from receiving scholarships through their college that often require completion of the FAFSA to qualify.

With the addition of the Middleclass Scholarship in the 2014-2015 academic year, some students who would not have received assistance in the past are now eligible for grant money if they will be attending a CSU or UC campus.

In speaking with Miriam Villasenor, Public Contact for the Fresno State Financial Aid Office, her biggest piece of advice was not to miss the Mar. 2 priority deadline.

“By missing this deadline students are no longer deemed as priority students,” Villasenor said. “And the likelihood of receiving financial aid may decrease significantly.”

She also encourages families to take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. By using this tool, a family’s tax information can be transferred directly from the IRS website to the FAFSA application, allowing the report to be as accurate as possible.

After completing the FAFSA, colleges will receive a report stating the family’s estimated financial contribution (EFC), in other words, how much the family can afford to pay toward college.

According to the Minnesota Office of Her Education, “The amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive is determined by subtracting the EFC from the total price of a specific school. Don’t rule out any school simply because of price. Your financial aid eligibility increases as the price of a school increases, but the expected family contribution stays the same.”

Students make several mistakes on the FAFSA, which is why it is so important to read every question carefully and have a second set of eyes to look it over.

Villasenor stated that a common mistake is for students to report their parents? income as their own income, which could significantly decrease the amount of money they will be eligible for.

Sean Moore from SMART College Funding states that 80 percent of completed FAFSAs contained one of more mistakes, particularly related to claiming assets.

“Pay close attention, as this can make a huge difference in how much aid you receive,” Moore said. “For example, money in a retirement account won?t count against you, but money in a checking account will. Small family businesses also aren?t a counted asset, so don?t lose out on money by incorrectly including assets that should be uncounted.”

Although mistakes are easy to make, there are professionals dedicated to helping parents and students complete the application. To get answers to your FAFSA questions or to begin the process, please visit their website.

There are also several local workshops that families can attend to learn more about the FAFSA. Workshops labeled Cash for College allow students the opportunity to earn a $1,500 scholarship.

Local Fresno area workshops:

Feb 18, 6-8 p.m. Fresno Pacific University (AIMS Hall)
Register here.

Feb 26, 6:30-8 p.m. Cash for College Workshop at Clovis Community College Campus (for more information, email

Other local Cash for College Workshops. Register here.

For last year?s article about the FAFSA, click here.

Follow the Feather via Instagram and Twitter: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 13 article, New staffers reflect on fall semester.

By |2015-01-20T00:00:00-08:00January 20th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Halfway there

IMG_0551 copyFeather file photo

Senior Christopher Grossman

Here we stand, halfway through the school year. For some, the first of four such years. For others (like me), this is the end of a long, difficult journey. That being said, it allows for a moment of reflection and understanding concerning what has been accomplished and what I still need to do.

This turning point reminds me of halftime of a basketball game. As a basketball player, I consistently parallel life experiences with my experiences playing the beautiful game. Halftime is the midway point in a basketball game, where both teams take a short break to rest and talk strategy.

In our lives, we must go over strategy concerning not only school, but life in general. Life has a tendency to get in the way of the things we want, and our character can unknowingly change as a result of that.

I personally have been taking strides in my life and walk with God to rethink my priorities in life, and continue to search out His plan for my future. The recent strides that come to mind were made in the past few weeks, the “halftime” (if you will) of the school year.

In student leadership, we have spent a good amount of time reiterating the importance of self-development and usage of partners or small groups to nurture spiritual and intellectual growth. Through this time, we have revamped the class structure and usage of the leadership period, pointing towards an increasingly efficient group of leaders.

It is my encouragement to you to take a step back from the daily struggles and business of your lives to think about what it is that you stand for. With a better understanding of what it is that one stands for, I believe that that person is better suited to make gains in their life, no matter what area of life it is in. — Christopher Grossman

Through these times, I have seen those around me in the class develop their own mental and spiritual characteristics that will influence how they lead their peers and how they develop into young adults.

Knowing that I will be headed off to college next semester, I’ve been trying to grow my own character in a way that reflects Christ. Though I face challenges daily at Fresno Christian, I simply see them as opportunities to minister to those around me and grow in my spiritual walk.

One of my favorite childhood references is from Calvin and Hobbes; when Calvin would be forced to put up with a less than favorable situation, he would always be told that it “builds character”. There was always a silver lining.

It is my encouragement to you to take a step back from the daily struggles and business of your lives to think about what it is that you stand for. With a better understanding of what it is that one stands for, I believe that that person is better suited to make gains in their life, no matter what area of life it is in.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Chrisgrossman.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 13 article, New staffers reflect on fall semester.

By |2015-01-14T00:00:00-08:00January 14th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: New staffers reflect on Feather fall semester

jadonateKyle Bell

Nathan Mount and Jaden Ventura reflect on their first semester as freshman reporters on The Feather Online.

Jaden Ventura

Looking back on our first semester of journalism, we now see how far we have come and how many skills that we have learned. We were fortunate enough to be guided and taught by such a highly accomplished staff that we now have the privilege of contributing and working with for months.

We hope to continue on this path and earn the opportunity to work our way up, so maybe one year we will have the great experience of becoming more than writers. We are very happy with the decision that we made in joining The Feather back in August, and hope to excel through the time spent in journalism in our first Feather fall semester.

In the beginning of my time with The Feather, I was very eager to learn. Except for realizing that it is a lot of hard work and effort, nothing at all has changed: I still hold the same amount of eagerness that I had that first month.

One of the many reasons why I wanted to join was because of all of the positive things that people had mentioned to us about the elective. So far, I can honestly say that everything I have heard has fallen short to what I have experienced in the time that we have been here.

One of my favorite things about being on the Feather is being able to interview people. Whether it be fellow classmates at school, or a complete stranger, all opinions matter and they help to give a different sort of perspective on things. It also gives human feeling, emotions, and opinions which are a nice element to have in an article. — freshman Jaden Ventura

When I first started out, I was determined to make a difference on the Feather. I wanted to inspire our readers and help myself to become better at communicating with others. Later on, I realized that instead of making an actual difference on The Feather, I should just start with something smaller and then work my way up gradually.

One of my favorite things about being on the Feather is being able to interview people. Whether it be fellow classmates at school, or a complete stranger, all opinions matter and they help to give a different sort of perspective on things. It also gives human feeling, emotions, and opinions which are a nice element to have in an article.

I am incredibly content with my decision to join journalism. Even though it can get challenging at times, no matter how tough the situation, you need to remember why you joined and commit to the idea that you will succeed.

Nathan Mount

During our first semester in journalism I learned a lot of new things. Although it was hard transitioning from my old elective to this one, it was definitely in my best interest. I learned a lot of interesting things that will not only help me in writing in other classes but will also give me skills for my everyday life.

Coming in to this class this semester, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. Little did I know, it was going to be a great experience for me. [/fusion_builder_column]

[Greg] Stobbe, on the other hand, is an awesome teacher and he has motivated me to keep pushing on to get done what needs to get done.

In conclusion, we both got a lot out of this class and are dedicated to the decision to continue in the class in the future. We feel that it is in our best interest, and that we will get a lot out of it.

We definitely will continue taking this class throughout high school and possibly carry it out through a career. Overall, it is a great opportunity to learn a lot of different skills to use throughout your life and to have more choices in what you want to become as you get older.

These writers can be reached via Twitter: @_JadenVentura03 and @nate10messi1.

For more opinions, read the Jan. 9 article, COLUMN: Be an Olympian in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

By |2015-01-13T00:00:00-08:00January 13th, 2015|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

College Corner: Conditional acceptance

Warkentin2Jarrod Markarian

Academic advisor Michelle Warkentin speaks to the juniors and seniors about college acceptance letters and Conditional acceptance.

As I purchased the last gift off my family’s wish list (thank you Amazon online shopping) I gave a sigh of relief knowing that I no longer have to deal with the stress of fighting over parking lot stalls and waiting in endless checkout lines.

I still have the wrapping and the baking to do, but the worst part is over. I cannot help but think of my high school seniors in a similar state with college applications. Not quite time to enjoy, but for a moment they can rest, knowing that the hardest part is over.

In an attempt to advise my students about what to do at this point in the year I interviewed some local college admissions representatives about what to do now and how students should interpret a letter notifying them that they have been “conditionally accepted.”

Erika Contreras, Outreach Ambassador at Fresno State advises students to tie up loose ends and not slack off during their second semester of high school.

“I would advise students to make sure there are no lose ends,” Contreras said. “They’ve just finished applying to college but submitting the application is not the final step.”

She reminds students to make sure they’ve paid the application fee, submitted any other documents required, applied to programs such as EOP and Smittcamp, and applied for available scholarships and financial aid.

For information about these and other Fresno State scholarships click here.

For students who are planning on attending a college such as Fresno State, the application is just the start of the college checklist. In March students need to accept or decline admission to Fresno State and register for Dog Days, the mandatory student orientation held over summer.

Submitting documents such as SAT/ACT scores, residency forms and official transcripts is also important. The conditional acceptance is not taken off of a student’s account until all required documents have been submitted.

Try to think of your senior year as not just finishing high school but training for college. Offers of admission to the University of California are provisional until the campus receives your final official transcript and verifies successful completion of all coursework required for UC eligibility. You can jeopardize your admission if you fail to maintain your academic performance next semester. — Dustin Noji, Associate Director of Admissions at UC Merced

“Being ‘conditionally accepted’ means that students have been accepted on the CONDITION that they continue to meet admittance requirements,” Contreras said. “The grades they receive for their final semester really matter.”

Dustin Noji, Associate Director of Admissions at UC Merced, also talks about the importance of senior year grades.

“Keep up with your academics,” Noji said. “Most campuses admit students with the expectation that their academic records the last year of high school will stay similar to what they were when they applied, or will be even stronger.”

Noji also states that how students finish high school is often a great predictor of how their first semester in college will be.

“Try to think of your senior year as not just finishing high school but training for college,” Noji said. “Offers of admission to the University of California are provisional until the campus receives your final official transcript and verifies successful completion of all coursework required for UC eligibility. You can jeopardize your admission if you fail to maintain your academic performance next semester.”

Noji went on to explain that although unfortunate, it is not uncommon that they have to rescind a student’s admission at orientation because the student did not meet their conditions of admission.

How easy it would be to fall into the trap of becoming complacent and slack off on grades during the final semester, but do not let this be you! A conditional letter of acceptance is a huge accomplishment and something to be very proud of.

However, the ball is not out of your court yet. It is still up to you to turn in all documents needed for final acceptance and maintain good standing in your courses through graduation.

My final words of advice are to use this time during Christmas break to relax and refocus in order to prepare for the final semester of high school. Do not give any college a reason to double-check your admissions status. Instead make this next semester your best semester!

For more opinions, read the Dec. 9 article, The truth behind modern headlines. For more on College Corner read, College Corner: Financial Aid.

By |2014-12-15T00:00:00-08:00December 15th, 2014|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Ice rink festivities offer Christmas atmosphere

Fulton1Jayden Ventura

Feather staffers comment on their Holiday experience at the Fulton Ice Rink.

Seasonal rink scheduled to open Nov. 13

During the Holiday season many people in Fresno are looking for a way to cool down and have a fun winter experience. This year, along with many of the Christmas events happening around town, the Fulton Mall will be hosting the Downtown Fresno Ice Rink this winter.

The ice rink is located at the Fulton Mall in Mariposa Plaza and is open from Nov. 13 through Jan. 19. The Ice Rink is a family oriented event and hopes to see those values on the ice.

For some that means, having some eggnog and sitting by the fire. For others it could be going to the downtown ice rink for an icy experience.

By the time we arrived at the rink, there was already a lot of people on the ice. As we got on the rink, it was a little difficult to glide amongst the professional figure skaters.

They made it look so easy, but to our surprise we soon discovered that it was quite the contrary. Right when we got the ice skates on, it was like a completely different atmosphere.

Most people’s first reaction would be to stop and get balanced, but as we found out, the only way to keep balanced was to just keep moving. While we skated, we were accompanied by a diverse selection of today’s popular music.

The scene of the rink quickly helps you forget about being in Fresno and instead in the snowy wonderland. Aside from it being somewhat tiring, the entire experience was exhilarating in every sense of the word.

We definitely recommend going down to the ice rink whether it be solo, or with a group of friends. Either way we are sure it will be a fun activity for all.

The ice rink opens daily at 11 a.m and closes at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. From Sunday through Thursday the rink opens at 11 a.m., and closes at 9 p.m.

On the weekdays, the price for admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children who are 12 and under. On the weekends, The prices for admission is $12 for adults and the cost for children is $10. The cost for admission includes skate rentals and the ability to skate as long as desired for the day.

Season passes are also available to purchase for individuals or for a family. The cost for an individual season pass can be purchased for $49 for and adult and $39 for a child.

Family passes are also available, which includes as many as four children and two adults for a price as low as $99. For $20 more, additional children can be added to the family pass. You can purchase your tickets and season passes here, or on their website.

Follow The Feather via Twitter and Instagram: @thefeather and @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @nate10messi, @_jadenventura03 and @Devinpitts.

For more opinions, read the Nov. 24 column, COLUMN: Winter school spirit.

By |2014-12-02T00:00:00-08:00December 2nd, 2014|Column, Community Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: The American illusion; justice for all

photoCreative Commons 2.0 Flickr Fibonacci Blue.

Editor Trevor Beal comments on the riots during Black Friday.

Once again America was gripped and enthralled in a tragedy, one that sadly is a regular part of inner city life, police vs. the public was the narrative. The emotions of loss, anger, pain, distrust and confusion still linger because of Aug. 9, 2014.

Last week a grand jury made up of Ferguson, Missouri, citizens was presented with the challenge of approving the state of Missouri’s case against officer Darren Wilson or denying the state the opportunity of trial, due to lack of evidence.

The jury denied the case, and outrage ensued.

Not only in Ferguson but across the nation, people of all backgrounds took to the streets and expressed their opposition.

I do not believe that the protesters views and outlandish opinions on the grand jury trial are valid, at least if we look at the facts.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in only 11 of them.

These statistics shows me that for the defendant to not be indicted, there has to be extraordinary proof of his innocence. But the seemingly overwhelming proof to suggest the innocence of Darren Wilson is not enough to silence some extremists.

I had the opportunity to be in San Francisco during Black Friday, the day after the grand jury decision. I travel to the city every year to witness the annual lighting of the Macy’s Union Square Christmas tree and partake in the devilish shopping deals.

In the square at the lighting this year over 110,000 people were present, and surprisingly to me protesting insurgents took this opportunity to advance their hatred of government and established order.

Our justice system is the most fair and well put together in the world, that does not make us immune to mistakes. To err is human, we can not expect to be 100% correct all the time, there is no possible way to avoid the human error.

Trashing our entire way of justice and the way in which we decide the guilt of someone, whether they are White, African American, Hispanic, Asian or Middle Eastern should not be determined by isolated instances or by the loudest and most violent critics.

I witnessed a group of 10 or so African American men destroy the front window of the Crate and Barrel outlet store on Stockton Street in San Francisco to steal the merchandise inside.

Trashing your own city will not bring any restitution or even sympathy to any groups cause. Respectful and peaceful protest with actual plans and goals such as the March on Washington in 1963 produced quantified and meaningful results.

I watched profanity laced insults spatter the protective visors of riot police that stood statue like in the face of pure hatred. Men that risk their lives on a daily basis to protect the very same people that have no respect for them.

Do the common thugs care one bit about what happened to their “brother” in Ferguson, or are they out to use him for their own gain?

They defile his name and bring hypocrisy down upon themselves and their culture. Hate of order and love chaos is their motivation.

Their goal is not to change our justice system to be more fair, rather it is to benefit themselves! And to use any excuse possible to create chaos! This is their American illusion. Chaos is an easier more care free way of life, with no consequences and no responsibility.

6,493,000, that is the number of African American families in America today according to Kids Count Data Center, 67% of those families have only one parent present.

This in itself is a tragedy, can we truthfully look at that statistic and assume the black culture is concerned with responsibility and consequences of their actions.

Who am I to put an entire race into a box of irresponsibility, I can only point out trends and logical facts in their way of life.

The real issue that inevitably includes race is, does our justice system need reform and should we change law enforcement policy? Many critics of our system have cited the lack of black police officers, especially in Ferguson, where only three out of 53 officers are African American, as a contributing factor to police vs. public violence.

The critics suggestion is to require police departments to be as diverse as the community they represent. For example, Fresno would be expected to have 46% White officers, 8% African American officers, 44% Hispanic officers, and 2% other.

If we adopt this policy what will stop us from making the argument that nearly 70% of America is White, therefore we should have a White president, to be fair of course.

In 1776 our forefathers declared to the most powerful nation in the world at the time, England, that we would no longer be subject to their oppression. Since that day we have not looked back and have continually strived to become better.

With every domestic issue we conquer we become stronger and stronger, no matter what the extremists on both sides say we are all Americans no matter what color we are. We all stand united under the Stars and Stripes.

The writer can be reached via Twitter @2015Beal.

For more opinions, read the Dec. 2 article, Ice rink festivities offer Christmas atmosphere.

Front page photo provided by Creative Commons 2.0 Flickr Fibonacci Blue.

By |2014-12-02T00:00:00-08:00December 2nd, 2014|Column, Uncategorized|0 Comments

COLUMN: Winter school spirit opportunities

IMG_0551Feather file photo

Senior Christopher Grossman share Winter school spirit ideas to get involved during the winter season.

So, we have made it through the first few months of school; there’s only a couple weeks left. Now what?

Well, we’ve already passed Homecoming, fall sports are over, and holidays advocating “family time” are upon us. So how are we to stay involved in school? Well, Student Leadership has your back. There are a few different ways to get involved before we all buy new calendars. New winter school spirit opportunities to get involved are lining up.

The first is the annual Fall Festivus, to be held Nov. 25. Tickets are only $15, and can be bought in the High School office. Just as last year, dinner will be served, and we’ll be watching a movie outside. That being said, make sure to bring your own blanket! There will be fire pits, complete with “s’more stations” to accommodate all of your marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker needs.

This is sure to be a chill, relaxing night with your friends and a great way to meet and socialize with other students. It will be from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., and if you have any other questions, be sure to ask myself, or any other member of the Student Leadership team.

An ongoing event that will be ending December 9 is the Canned Food Drive that we participate in every year. Students are encouraged to bring canned food for families in need in the Pinedale area. Each class will have their donations recorded, and whichever class brings the most will be rewarded before the semester comes to a close.

A new event that is starting up this year is the Christmas Tree Lane Walk, where all students are invited to meet at Fig Garden to walk Christmas Tree Lane, Dec. 10. Student Leadership would love to see you participate in a Ugly Christmas Sweater competition, and the student with the ugliest sweater will win a free Starbucks drink.

After meeting to hold the contest and take a few pictures as a group, students are free to break off and walk the lane with friends.

While this is all going on, be sure to be preparing for your NOTS movie, as filming and editing always take longer than expected. Classes should be deciding on what movies they will be recording during advisory periods, and script writing should be wrapped up by Christmas break.

All this aside, involvement starts with you. Student leadership would love to see every student be a part of some sort of school event, and if you have any questions or comments, my door is always open.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Chris_Grossman.

For more opinions, read the Nov. 20 article, College Corner: Financial Aid. For more ASB columns, read the Oct. 27 article, COLUMN: Be a spirited participant at homecoming.

By |2014-11-24T00:00:00-08:00November 24th, 2014|