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Retrospective Speech

Hello everyone, for those who don't know me my name is Anthony Ruiz. Being at
VISA was never easy for me. Most of you can agree with me that Vaughn isn't your
regular high school. Being here at Vaughn has taught me many things. At first I disliked
VISA because I didn't know anybody besides my brothers friends. Most of my life I
never liked to change the way I do things.Coming here to VISA as a freshman I wasn't
satisfied but now that I'm almost done with high school, Im excited Now let me tell you
my adventure being here at VISA.

Being here at V.I.S.A. taught me how to be more college ready, and how to be a
Global Citizen. In my freshman year I had many opportunities to grow. One project that
changed my perspective was my This I Believe Essay. The purpose of this essay was
to focus around a belief that you hold about life or the world. The essay should tell the
story of how you came to hold this belief and how the experience affected you. I told a
story about my personal life how my parents would argue and eventually split us
because of their mistakes. I ended up growing up without a male role model to guide
me. What I learned from this experience is life isnt always going to be simple and the
actions I chose to do will not only affect me but would also affect the people around me.
The skill I gained to prepare me to be more college ready was how to use MLA format.
The site that I used to help me be more college ready is Word Document. It made me
more prepare for college by knowing how to work with the Word Document. This essay
helped me understand what I believe and understand other things. Another interesting
fact is it changed my perspective on how I understood, see and comprehended my

belief. The purpose of this project was to learn to give ideas anywhere and understand
the M.L.A format of writing. With this project we described a unique perspective on a
situation, event or issue.

Another projected I enjoyed doing was the Edible Cell Project. The goal of this
project was to learn the parts of a cell and know each function. The Edible Cell project is
a project where I got to use my creativity to design this Edible cell and make it edible.
First, I had to decide what type of cell my partners and I wanted to make. The choice
was between animal cell or plant cell. Then we verified how the organelle looks and
compared them to similar food types so it could be edible. My team and I bought a giant
cookie and added Starburst, chocolate, Red Vines, and gummy bears to represent the
edible cell.One skill I learned about cells its a very important mamals because with out
the cell humans wouldnt have tissuel . Another skill learned is to be creative and have
fun with the project.The concept in completing this artifact was to identify the specific
cell of the plant cell. This project will affect my future by knowing what a cell is for future
My Freshman year wasnt that bad. There wasn't such of a big difference from
freshman to sophomore year. During my sophomore year I joined a non profit
organization called Youth United Toward Environmental Protection or YUTEP.
YUTEP was established for youth wanting to make changes in their community. I
took action in participating in planting tree events, and street clean ups (go to
picture). Not only was I the change in my community, but doing this helped raise
awareness to other locals by showing them that planting trees and cleaning up

street benefits the environment and makes Pacoima truly beautiful. Before I was
never involved with helping the community but after joining this program I
became more interested in making a better place for the new generation.
My first semester of my sophomore year was coming to an end quickly my last
opportunity to grow as a sophomore was in my history class the whole sophomore class
went to a field trip which was to The Museum of Tolerance. Going on the field trip
affected my growth in knowledge because I was introduced into a world issue that I
didn't take very seriously. Student should be able to visit the Museum of Tolerance
because it teaches them human rights not only to understand the Holocaust in a
historical way and confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our world today. It
took a while for me to realized what I learned. But after thinking about it, I learned that
we are not so different after all I now realized that everyone around the world goes
through similar problems. What I mean by this is everyone has problems and difficulties
and the only way to move on is by having a positive mind. Going to this field trip made
me more prepared to take things more seriously such as getting a job or in school.

Along came my Junior which I was told was going to be the hardest year by the
upperclassmen which it wasn't true. Maybe it was because I had NORMAL classes. My
junior year I feel like I took the most initiative. (show picture of journal and gold tree) In
Mrs. Feurys Art class we learned to reflect upon ourselves. Exploring your inner-self
through art has a much deeper meaning than just coloring and drawing. Before I couldn't reflect
upon myself but after doing examples of reflecting every morning in the beginning of Mrs.
Fureys class, I learned to reflect upon myself and explore into my inner-self which I couldn't do

in the beginning of the first semester.Now that I know these skills I am able to understand the
artists perspective. Now every time I'm in class its easy to reflect on the artist and write what
the artist is trying to tell you through the painting most of the painting tell a personal story or
global issue. One area I thought will help me in life would be to view different perspective and to
be able to take criticism to improve my way of thinking. This will help me to be prepared and
take challenge. Before I had no idea how to draw even though I took art for three years in
middle school but that was pointless. The reason why it was pointless because we just drew
what we wanted to draw or paint what ever we wanted to paint; we also didn't have a lot of
materials to work with so it was harder for the class to participate in projects or in class
assignments. But after Mrs. Feurys class I really felt opened minded toward certain things such
as paying attention in class which is very important.

Junior year quickly ended and now Im here in my senior year of high school. It still
seems very unreal but it's exciting to leave this school and begin a new chapter in my life and
that is to go to college. My last assignments in which I showed growth would be my career
search project and my government thesis paper. Both these assignments helped me in my
college and readiness. My thesis paper taught me to elaborate on an idea by providing credible
information. I knew the process of writing thesis papers but after doing this last one it helped
me fix the problems I had with citing sources and gathering information. Even though writing the
thesis was difficult for me I always tried my best. This one last thesis paper made me more
prepared in college by being able to citing sources and gathering information without it being
plagiarized. Before this paper I had an somewhat understanding on how to properly cite my
sources but after completing little work handouts I am now more college ready.
Also my thesis taught me that certain subjects are looked at differently, which I learned
by recognizing perspectives. I had to prove a point: whether or not eco friendly cars should be
used in Formula 1 (F1) or keep the old traditional way of using standard engine. I didn't know

this was a big issue in the world of F1. I learned that fossil fuel is a global issue because
humans have used most of it and the planet is running out of fossil fuel. Before this project I
didn't know the difference from fuel efficiency engines, I didn't know how an ecoboost car can
really make a difference in the racing industry and now that I know this this is important
The career search helped me kinda of figure out what I want to major in and do after
college. The career search made me research careers I'm interested. Before this project I knew
what career field I wanted to do which was something with cars but I didn't know exactly what.
While I was researching careers, I learned that reaching your goal isn't easy there's going to be
obstacles such as deciding if this career is the best for me. The reason why I would want to
become a car designer is because all my 18 years from being alive I have loved cars. Im not
really into how fast my car can go, I'm more interested in how aerodynamic the car is; I'm more
interested in how clean the curves are in the car. Im that type of guy that would just look at their
car for hours and keep their car clean and well maintained. I am looking forward to using all of
these skills I have learned towards college, no matter how hard the obstacle will look I'm still
going to try my very best in achieving my goals.

The advice I would give to the VISA faculty is to keep doing what they are doing to make
the tenagers here at VISA more college ready and more globally aware. I have no complaint
due to any student academics. In my opinion academic support is a good way for student to
catch up in their class. I really don't have any complaints: the yard moms are really nice to me,
maybe that not the case for most of us, you guys just need to give them a chance trust me. The
advice I have for the underclassmen is to join any club that VISA offers. It will really benefit you
in the long run. I regret not being involved as much as I should of been. And for those who give
VISA such a hard time just because we are not a NORMAL high school but that's the best part
of our school. By now you guys should know this school is more mentally challenging than any

other schools. Even though we dislike most of the work we are given it is only preparing us to be
ready for reality--what really going to be like after high school. One last word of advice when
you're a senior and you have Ms. Burnett DON'T THROW ANY CLASS WORK AWAY! trust me.
So enjoy the ride and accept the help you can get.