Manual Arts student speaks at USC Annenberg

This article also appeared in the Toiler Times, the student newspaper of Manual Arts High School.

by Carla DeLeon

On December 4, 2010, I was selected from my journalism classroom to present my school’s newspaper article at USC. The program with which I was going with is called Youth Media Los Angeles Collaborative. In the auditorium there were about 100 people, everyone from all over LAUSD. I was happy I wasn’t going to be the only student presenting.

I didn’t have much time to prepare my presentation because I arrived about 25 minutes before the event started. This made me very nervous; I wasn’t exactly sure about what it was I was going to say. My mentor, Silva, helped me out with as much as she could and prepared a presentation with for me.

When the big day came, my mentor was directing people to the auditorium and helping others. While she did that, I was in the back with her laptop thinking of what exactly I would say for each slide of the Prezi. Silva wasn’t able to help me out as much as I wished she could because she couldn’t be at ten places at once, but thank goodness that my boyfriend Carlos, my friend Kerlie, and brother Marvin were there to help me out.

The event started at 11:15 a.m. A lady taking photographs was telling us to go inside the auditorium. Silva, Mike, and the director of journalism school, Geneva Overholser, began the event. After that, high school students and college students presented on women’s rights, Cesar Chavez, public matters, and more.

The whole time, I was counting down for when it would be my turn. I was a nervous wreck. I felt cold sweat running down my neck and I was shaking like an earthquake. Soon I knew I would go up to the podium. Carlos was telling me to relax and that it would be okay, but I didn’t want to listen. I believed it wasn’t going to be okay until I was home.

When my turn finally arrived, I went up on stage. The prezi Silva prepared malfunctioned. I figured I had already started everything wrong. After a few seconds the prezi started working so I began to talk about my article, which discussed teen suicides among gay, lesbian, and intersex students.

When all the presentations were over, the audience began asking questions. Public matters and Alejandra Cruz were receiving most of the questions so I figured I was safe because no one would ask me any questions. I was dead wrong. Out of nowhere, people began asking me questions.

But by the end of the day, I felt such a relief to be done with it. Even though I did have a few problems, such as forgetting what to say and not knowing how to answer the audience questions, I had a good time and the experience was amazing. Knowing I can present something in front of many people felt good and I can’t wait to do it again.


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    We need honest government with integrity.
    “Good leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion”

    Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for.
    As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.

    Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job.

    Action speaks louder than words.

    YJ Draiman for Mayor

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