My name is Ali Nguyen and I am a senior graduating on May 22nd, 2023.
I have been part of the journalism program at South High School for four years. I started taking the introduction classes during my freshmen year but sadly, was sent home in the spring due to COVID-19. I then joined the school newspaper, The Torch, during my sophomore year. It was a fully remote experience but nonetheless, exciting. I was also made an editor that year. During my junior year, I became the assistant editor. I am now the editor-in-chief and thank this program for giving me the best 4 years of high school I could ask for.
Journalism, by definition, is the activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast. While this statement is true, the experience stretches beyond. It has given me the platform to write, speak, and post about issues that matter to me and other students. It’s given me wonderful friendships and a safe space to call my own. At The Torch, I have never felt unwelcomed, judged, or left out. There is room for anyone with any interest, whether it be music, sports, current events, or even fashion.
This year’s staff has welcomed me with open arms as their editor-in-chief. I remember being so nervous on the first day of senior year and wondering if I could live up to the expectations. The support systems in this room have calmed my nerves since then.
Jeffrey Welch, who is the advisor for The Torch, has been the ultimate rock for me. He has listened to me vent about anything, ranging from school to my personal issues. I can say with great confidence that many of the students that have entered his room feel the same way.
Anthony Gonzalez-Medina has also been a rock. I met him in person during my junior year and I remember thinking “Wow, this kid has a lot of energy” and he still does. He is my assistant editor this year and will be the editor-in-chief during the 2023-2024 school year. I am beyond proud to call him my friend and fellow editor.
While this has been me gushing about this program, it is all true. Without this publication, I would have not enjoyed high school as much as I have so far. It’s taught me a great deal of wisdom, improved my work ethic, given me a sense of leadership, and for that, I thank Jeffrey Welch.