I am a Trailblazer.
My name is Ariana Hoshino, and I am a junior at Woodlawn. I came to Woodlawn in 7th grade, worried about losing all my friends and the familiarity that came with my old school, but I immediately felt at home. The teachers focused on me as an individual and the students were welcoming and inclusive.
At Woodlawn, students support their fellow students - we work together, learning how to combine our collective strengths so that we form a better team. We help our classmates understand a topic rather than simply providing answers. Students truly care about other students.
Our teachers support the students by being personally involved in their lives — from asking us about our opinions on Walking Dead every Monday to catapulting students into a passion they might not have ever known existed in themselves. For me, that passion is filmmaking. When I was a freshman, I took a “Medicine in Movies” elective, where a group of girls and I made a PSA about mental health stigmas. The film eventually found its way to the Woodstock film festival where it was recognized and awarded. None of us could have ever imagined we could make such a difference in the area of mental health. But we did.
Although film is my main passion, I can’t ignore all of my other interests I have been able to explore and pursue — photography for the yearbook, competing on the varsity swimming team, designing our 2014 homecoming t-shirt, being the president of the UK in intermezzo of fall 2014, and making elephant toothpaste out of dish soap, sodium chloride, and hydrogen peroxide in chemistry class — these are all just small parts of the sorts of things that have sparked my interests.
And that all leads me to the most important part of Woodlawn: I’ve learned how to support myself. I know what my strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes are, and where I want to go and what I want to do after I leave this beautiful campus and venture out into the daunting “real world.” There is so much to do, so much to see, so much to learn, and so many opportunities to take. And Woodlawn has shown me how to replace the fear with excitement!
If so many wonderful things have happened so far, I can’t imagine what my senior year has to offer. I guess I have no option but to take it by storm. Watch out Woodlawn, here I come!