Alumni Profile: Sandra Rodriguez, class of 2009

Sabrina Villalobos, Staff Reporter

Contributions by Natalie Gastelum, digital editor

Sandra Rodriguez, an MVHS alum from the class of 2009, visited the Journalism virtual classroom as a guest speaker on September 28. Rodriguez talked about the struggles of balancing her personal life and being a student mom. With her experiences, she reminded us that even through difficult times, we need to be kind to ourselves as we do our best. 

When Rodriguez was a student at MVHS, she was a part of the Viking Scroll as a photographer and writer. She recalls having great teachers and ROP programs when she was a student at MVHS. 

Rodriguez became a mom to her first child, Odin, at the age of 16. After graduating from MVHS, she took two years off to work. Later, she attended Pasadena City College.

After Rodriguez graduated from Pasadena City College, she committed to Cal State Northridge (CSUN). She wanted to attend school that was close to home and study mental health.  

She loved CSUN’s strong Psychology program, campus, and the many opportunities that were offered to her. Rodriguez was involved in the Blues Project, a volunteer program that promotes awareness and education about mental health. Rodriguez was inspired to join from having kids – her second child, Irissa, is now 5 – and how being a student mom has affected her mental health.

Rodriguez was able to use the writing and critical thinking skills that she learned in Journalism at CSUN for studying her psychology major. “Much of what is taught in the field of psychology alongside the social and behavioral sciences, is to think holistically and take in many different perspectives and populations other than our own,” said Rodriguez. She explains that it was easier for her to analyze concepts from an unbiased perspective from what Journalism taught her.  

She graduated from CSUN with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology in 2020 and is now involved in mental health outreach.

Rodriguez believes that attending a CSUN was a better choice for her than a UC. It was much more affordable for her and classes were smaller. 

Being a student mom, she found ways to take care of her mental health. Rodriguez advised current Vikings to be honest with yourself and create goals.  

She was able to overcome the struggles of balancing being a mother and a student. She strategized an hourly study schedule that included time for breaks and time with her kids as well.

Her advice to students who want to continue their education is to try not to be caught up in expectations. Rodriguez said, “It’s okay to go at your own pace and do what feels right for you at a pace that feels right. That being said, if you find yourself being the first in your family or social circle taking on this challenge like many of us first-generation students have, don’t be afraid to be the pioneer for your family.”

Sandra Rodriguez celebrates her 2018 graduation from Pasadena City College with her son, Odin, and her daughter, Irissa. Photo courtesy of Sandra Rodriguez.
Sandra Rodriguez celebrates her graduation from Mountain View in 2009 with her son Odin. Photo courtesy of Sandra Rodriguez.

Pets relieve stress

Metztil Hernandez, page editor

During these critical times, many of us might be feeling stressed or down. One of many solutions can be in your back yard or home: a four-legged friend.

Two studies done by Elizabeth Scott, MS, and an article from a monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have shown that animals can help improve your mood and relieve unwanted stress. Scott’s research also shows that spending time with animals also lowers blood pressure.

Last fall semester, PREP held a Puppy Therapy Event before finals. They also conducted a survey after the event. Their survey showed students had enjoyed the event. It also showed students felt much more relieved after the first 10 minutes of the event.

Vikings Alexandra Ramos and Anabell Flores shared photos of their four-legged friends with us.

“Charlie is a boy. He is 6 months old and he has this favorite toy mouse. He plays with it all day long, running back and forth.”
Alexandra Ramos (’21)
Anabell Flores (’22) shared this photo of her dog Smokey.

What should i pack in an emergency evacuation?

Sonja Nguyen, contributor

This year we have lived through one of the worst fire seasons in California history. Not only that, but we are already living in earthquake territory, specifically near the San Andreas Fault. Due to circumstances like these, it is always good to have an emergency plan and knowledge of what to pack in case of evacuation.

Animals

Make sure they are going to survive the emergency too! It is in your best interest that they are microchipped and/or have an ID collar with the phone number of a family member. However an important note to remember: most emergency shelters will not allow pets so if you have a pet, make sure you know that wherever you’ll be staying will let your pet stay with you.

Important papers

Even though teenagers don’t normally keep their own paperwork, they should know where it is kept and they should make sure that those papers are the first thing that is brought with their family in case of emergency. This includes but is not limited to Social Security cards, immigration records, immunization records (for pets as well if you have one), birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, proof of insurance, passports, and a list of contacts.

Money and Keys

You may not know where you’re going if you have to evacuate but you can bet that you’re going to need money there. Credit or debit cards are vital too. You do not want to lose access to essential items after an emergency, so bring the keys to any safes, mailboxes, or doors.

Medication and First-Aid Kit

Bring a week’s worth of medication with you. This includes inhalers, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and their batteries, and contact lenses. If you can, have the prescription handy as well. Also, injuries may occur while you are on the way to your evacuation safe place so have the first-aid kit with you. Also, make sure to bring a face covering for each person to filter contaminated air and to stop the spread of illnesses that can be transferred through coughs and sneezes.

Food and water

Have 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food and 3 gallons of water per day per person. It is also smart to have a manual can opener with you as well.

Clothing

Try to aside enough clothes to will last a week. It’s best to have clothes that are lightweight, can be worn in layers, and/or waterproof. It is also important to have a jacket and a pair of comfortable closed-toe shoes for each person as well.

Hygiene Items

Remember to be sanitary wherever you are going! Bring along wet wipes, hand sanitizer, feminine products, a toothbrush for each person, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toilet paper . Another important note to remember is that baby supplies may be hard to find wherever you go so carry along a week’s worth of necessities if you have a baby in your household.

Technology

Bring along a flashlight, a hand-turned radio, and extra batteries for both. Pack your electronics as well. Don’t forget the chargers! It is recommended that you have prepaid phone calls or coins for phone calls.

Other Essential Items 

Bring a multi-purpose tool, plastic bags, toilet bags, and a local map with two evacuation routes marked. Have a whistle in case you ever need to signal for help and have plastic sheets, garbage bags, ties, and duct tape to protect locations from airborne contamination. 

If Circumstances Allow

Bring along “comfort” items and other things you consider valuable, like family or personal photos. Have your computer information in a hard drive or flash drive that you can bring ready to go. Pack paper plates, utensils, paper, pencils, books, games, and activities for the family. Pack a blanket or sleeping bag for each family member as well.

This may have been a long list but it highlights what is most important to pack so that, should the occasion ever arise, you aren’t wasting time wondering what to bring. Get ready, get set, get going! Stay safe, everybody!

Drawing by Sally Hoang, cartoonist

aaede scholarship

The Scroll is pleased to share information for a scholarship opportunity presented by AAEDE. Please see the attached flyer provided by AAEDE for details.

Senior issue

Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, the Scroll has created its 2019-20 Senior Issue as a digital edition. We hope to return to our usual print format in Fall 2020.

Please click on the image below to read the Senior Issue.

Ly ngo, scholar-athlete

Yatz Michua, lifestyle editor; contributions by Nicholas Mireles and Anisa Robles, staff writers

Photo courtesy of Hao Ngo

Sophomore Ly Ngo has accomplished maintaining straight As throughout the school year. She stays determined and works hard to maintain good grades. Her 4.2 GPA ranks at number 5 for the sophomore class. 

Ngo said she stays focused in order to get the grades she wants. She also studies for all of her tests. by using study guides and her notes. 

She said that what helps her the most is paying attention in class while she does her work, to make sure that she is understanding the material. 

Ngo shared that one of her fears is to fail at reaching her goals of “having good grades, being involved [in school] and having a good work ethic.” In order to prevent that, she does her homework and attempts to not procrastinate.

After school, she participates in volleyball, basketball, and track. In volleyball, she played outside hitter for most of the season, with some time at middle. For basketball, she is a shooting guard and a small forward. 

During her time on the track and field team, Ngo has done a variety of events, including discus, hurdles, and long jump. 

Ngo made varsity in all three sports. 

Volleyball Coach Geodi Sunabe-Davidson said, “[Ngo] is a hard worker and a great team player.” She continued to say that Ngo is a quiet leader but her teammates feed off of her energy on the court. She also said that Ngo is very coachable and makes adjustments when coaches give her feedback. 

Sunabe added that she is excited to see what Ngo can do in her junior and senior years.

Ngo doesn’t want to struggle with not getting things done, so as soon as she gets home, she eats, showers, and does her homework. She also tries to do as much homework as she can during 7th period.

Since Ngo is in the top 5 of her class, you might assume she stays up late to study. However, Ngo said she goes to bed by 11 to ensure she gets enough rest.

SUDOKU – May 29

Our last Sudoku of the year! Check back next week for the solution and additional end-of-the-year features!

Last week’s solution:

Senior diploma day

Viking Scroll staff

MVHS will host a car parade on June 4 for Senior Diploma Day.

According to an email from Principal Jose Marquez, diploma distribution will take place from 1 – 5:30. Seniors will arrive in a car with family members at assigned times based on alphabetical order. 

Each car will follow posted signs to arrive at a stage in front of the gym, where each senior will leave the car in order to collect their diploma cover and pose for photographs. Family members must remain in the car, and all people entering campus must wear masks.

Further details are available in this attachment to Mr. Marquez’s email.

MVHS will also broadcast a Virtual Commemoration Ceremony on its website on June 4 at 7:30 pm. 

The events on June 4 are not intended to replace the traditional graduation ceremony, which has been postponed till November.

According to an email from Principal Jose Marquez, diploma distribution will take place from 1 – 5:30. Seniors will arrive in a car with family members at assigned times based on alphabetical order. 

Each car will follow posted signs to arrive at a stage in front of the gym, where each senior will leave the car in order to collect their diploma cover and pose for photographs. Family members must remain in the car, and all people entering campus must wear masks.

Further details are available in this attachment to Mr. Marquez’s email.

MVHS will also broadcast a Virtual Commemoration Ceremony on its website on June 4 at 7:30 pm. 

The events on June 4 are not intended to replace the traditional graduation ceremony, which has been postponed till November.

Student Checkout

Jessica Valle, digital editor

Student checkout for the 2019-20 school year will take place from May 29 – June 3. 

Seniors will check out on May 29, juniors on June 1, sophomores on June 2, and freshmen on June 3. 

Students will drive through the Viking Stadium parking lot to visit each of the checkout stations. Seniors have nine stations, while the other students will have four stations. Stations include textbook and library book return for all students, and cap and gown pickup for seniors. 

The diploma distribution for seniors will be on June 4.