Presentation Panthers Passions

Sarah Avila, Reporter

During this semester, three Pres students have accomplished some remarkable things when they’re not on campus. Check out what these students are doing outside of class in their unique extracurricular activities.


This past March, sophomore Valerie Wu won the National Gold Medal at the 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards with her essay titled Tiger, Dreaming. She first entered writing competitions in 8th grade where she won the Regional Gold Key, and since then has submitted lots of entries, including 30 essays just this year. In this particular two page essay, she discusses how she overcomes stereotypes with references to natural selection and biological evolution. She pulled inspiration from her thoughts on ethnicity and race as well as her feelings of transferring from a mostly Asian middle school to Presentation for high school. Wu looks forward to attending the National Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall this June.


During winter break, sophomore Gabriela Nguyen self-published her own “meme book” called All These Jokes But You Won’t Take Me Seriously with 58 pages of quality memes. She received positive feedback for her memes that she posted on Snapchat and compiled them into a hard copy book format. Using a self-publishing website called The Book Patch, Nguyen designed her book online and sent it for print within two weeks. Through presenting her book in her English class and handing out copies at school, she has already sold about 20 copies. And with plans to turn the book into a trilogy, look out for more of her meme books in the future.


In mid-April, senior Amy Santos participated in the NDCA National Championships and placed third as a semi-finalist with her fem-rage speech. With the debate topic being free speech on college campuses, her argument discussed how women and minorities are being discriminated against in debate because judges don’t want to vote for contestants that don’t fit the norm; that is, white men. The third year speech student learned about fem-rage through summer debate camps she attended last summer, where she focused on feminist literature and ideas. She continued researching the topic and worked on perfecting her argument for most of the school year. Despite many tough competitions in these last few months, it surely paid off for Santos with this rewarding success.