If Granada Hills Charter (GHC) were to have a spokesperson, Angela Yang would be well suited for the role. Halfway through her high school career, she is accomplishing more than most alumni during their entire time at GHC - myself included!
The oldest of three siblings, Angela leads an active lifestyle. She is a sophomore in the School's STEM program, a part of three Academic Teams, and four clubs - of which she holds officer positions in each, three AP classes, two honor classes, and a member of two advocacy groups! Her level of involvement resembles a student with an abundance of school pride. How did she gain such dedication and enthusiasm as a sophomore?
GHC's reputation interested Angela before she was part of the School's community. In middle school, Angela was involved with a nonprofit organization in which GHC students also participated. This introduction, Angela explains, was indirect. GHC students “all seemed smart, capable, and with lots of school pride”, a zeal that transferred over to Angela and since remains. Angela says these GHC students "presented the School as very engaging, a good place to learn more and grow their interest,” all qualities that Angela looks for in quality education. As a result, Angela urged her parents to enroll her in GHC.
So, does the school’s reputation meet Angela’s expectations? No, she says it exceeds them. “It is even better than what I imagined. I was impressed with the number of activities and programs, and how nice and welcoming everyone was - a good school that supports their students!”
GHC aims to prepare students for the 21st-century workforce and life. The strong foundation Angela receives through her clubs, teams, and activities already demonstrates their benefits outside of the school arena. For example, in Robotics, she does not simply learn programming skills but she practices soft skills such as leading a team, managing others, scheduling her time wisely, and communicating effectively.
Partaking in the Speech team has “totally transformed” Angela's life by allowing her to break away from shy tendencies and gain confidence. Angela says she looks forward to coming to school because there is always something new to learn, “[learning] brings me a lot of joy”.
As Ms. Yang deduced from the GHC students in her nonprofit, Granada Hills Charter is filled with passionate peers who are as dedicated and involved in their studies just as she is. This mutual fervor is “part of what makes all the activities fun! Especially when you have people willing to contribute just as much as you are, who are not only smart but easygoing and helpful,” notes Yang.
School pride, motivation, and enthusiasm are great values but to truly succeed academically, execution is key. With a schedule as full as Angela’s, efficacy can be daunting. She combats this by finding true excitement in her activities, “I really like them, I see a purpose in all that I’m involved with”.
Purpose fuels her motivation to continue forward. This motivation is enhanced by to-do lists Angela can check off each day, knowing exactly what must be done to accomplish her goals. And a strong support system can alleviate the heaviest of loads. For Angela, the symbiotic assistance she and her teammates share is a big help in getting organized and fulfilling all her commitments.
“I’m not perfect. There are days when I get home really tired and all I want to do is scroll through my phone,” Angela shares. Although this is her first reaction, she practices the habit of delayed gratification and explains, “I want to do well because it’s not easy to succeed - you have to be very driven to meet your goals.”
This powerful drive stems from Angela’s parents, who have instilled unwavering fundamental values which are paying off in her academic career. Angela states she does not want her parents to worry about her, “I know they work very hard and spend a lot of time and money - especially with my younger siblings. I want them to know that all the effort they put in my education will pay off.” Her parent’s personal stories about growing up poor and putting in the hard work inspire Angela to work just as hard and prove that all the difficulties they encountered and overcame are worth it.
Angela puts it simply, “I love them a lot.”
In the future, Angela sees herself attending a top-rated university and landing a fulfilling job. Her long-term goal is to be “happy wherever [she is] in life.” For Angela, happiness means being with family and friends, and working at a job where she gets to learn and challenge herself. With all that she juggles, may her constant joy for all she does remain.