How Ambitious Are Our Wolves?

Are students taking advantage of the myriad programs and classes offered at Van Nuys High School?

By Julia Pfau, Perspectives Editor

Here at Van Nuys High School the opportunities seem limitless.

From diverse school clubs, AP classes, three Magnet programs and decorated sports teams, students can pursue and enrich any of their interests.

But are students really taking advantage of these programs? Do they strive to grasp these opportunities? Where do they really aspire to be in the future?

It seems many of the students at Van Nuys High School have wasted no time thinking about the future and articulating their ambitions.

When asked what she would like to pursue, 10th grader Hannah Therese stated, “If I had to decide now, I would like to be a composer or musician performing in Carnegie Hall. I currently play the flute and have been absolutely in love with the instrument for a while now.”  

Therese explains that taking AP Music Theory and Rhythm Lab at Van Nuys helps her learn more about composing. She is able to gain knowledge and receive advice from teachers here at the school. Therese explains that teachers and the culture at Van Nuys High play a big role in her academic success.

“Even if I’m not certain where I want to be in 5 or 10 years, what I know for now is that I want to compose, and that’s what matters” said Therese.

“I would like to be in college, hopefully with my own apartment and a dog someday. I haven’t really given it much thought,” mused Perla Barajas, an 11th grader at Van Nuys High, about the next few years.

Barajas explained that she is looking into a performing arts or environmental science field.

“When it comes to Van Nuys classes, I don’t want to invest all my time on just AP classes. I prefer clubs like Actors in Action,” she said. “It teaches me how to communicate with others more. Honestly I probably wouldn’t be doing this interview without the club, it really helped me feel more comfortable expressing myself and I have made some amazing friends there.”

According to Barajas, Van Nuys High School’s Performing Arts program has definitely helped her grow both as a student and an individual.

Ten years from now, 12th grader Anna Pfau sees herself having earned  a PhD. in a neurological or medical field.

“I’m fascinated with how the brain works, both biologically and socially,” she said. “Ever since I found out my friend was suffering from mental illness I have wanted to learn more. After doing research I found myself captivated by the human brain.”

In pursuit of her goal, Pfau is currently in the Medical Magnet Program and has taken sociology and AP psychology classes. She also takes AP Research.

“I take most classes to reach my career and study goals outside of school. I have taken a bio psych class, abnormal psych class, and AP research class,” she went on. “Along with this I have volunteered with a psychologist and at the UCLA lab as well as with kids who suffer from neurological issues.”

Overall, Pfau believes that the programs offered by the school are playing a big role in her path to a neurological field.

At Van Nuys High School, the opportunities do seem to be limitless, even for students who don’t dream as big as Pfau.