Grateful to be a Warrior

By Maddon Hoh-Choi

After four tumultuous, eventful, and fantastic years, I could not be more proud to say “Yes, we’re finally graduating!!” 

As the Editor of the Westmont Yearbook and a writer for The Shield, I have had the privilege to interact with students of every grade, sport, club, and class. In the aftermath of online learning, we’ve grown to appreciate our mental health and gained a renewed understanding of the importance of each other. 

I have witnessed our teams come together and give their all, such as the Tennis Team which started almost completely from scratch after COVID. 

I have been inspired by our incredible clubs, like the premiere Period Club, providing resources and uplifts women on campus.

I have seen the pride and joy represented by new cultural clubs, such as this year’s South Asian Student Union. 

Moreover, the array of classes and compassionate teachers have truly enabled us to develop our interests and prepared us for fantastic careers.

As teenagers and young adults in an ever-changing world, we have had to grapple with so many challenges, from climate change and gun violence to unprecedented levels of mental health struggles. But our education and experience at Westmont have prepared us to face these challenges head-on. Because we’re Warriors! 

Behind the scenes, our teachers and faculty have played a supportive role in making every day an opportunity. 

From the laughter and joy of our electives to the intellectual curiosity ignited by our AP classes and the energy and passion offered by our creative classes. These are just a few examples of outstanding classes taught by amazing teachers who have guided us through our high school journey. 

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the staff — who don’t get nearly enough credit — playing a supportive role in our growth, such as Rene Klaus, our college counselor; hardworking individuals who make and serve us food like James, Mr. Noel; and our trusty watch dogs, Matt de Cesare, Geordie Hamilton, Jennifer Halas and Jason Miller, who always keep us safe, and finally our athletic and activities directors, Adam Perez and Laura Slandana, who make events like these possible. 

I’m truly humbled to be able to graduate as the son of a first-generation immigrant family and attend college at the University of California, Berkeley.

After 4 years of growth, learning, and personal development, I am proud to say that we are all better prepared for whatever the future holds because we all went to school here. 

So, my fellow graduates, let us take a moment to celebrate our accomplishments and look forward to the exciting possibilities that lie ahead. We have so much to be proud of.  No matter what college you go to, what trade you enter, or what path your future takes us on, I have no doubt that you will all go on to do great things. But for now, we can simply enjoy the fact that we did it. We’re graduating!!!