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The News Website for Glendale High School

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The News Website for Glendale High School

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Emma Gonzalez Always Keeps Her Head Above Water

Water polo captain also wants to spread creativity at GHS
Emma+Gonzalez+Always+Keeps+Her+Head+Above+Water

Senior Emma Gonzalez is the current captain of the Glendale High School girls varsity water polo team and the co-president of the Creative Writing Club. She is also co-president of the Book Club, secretary of the National Honor Society, and the event chair for the WE Club. Outside of school, Emma enjoys hiking, reading, and hanging out with her friends. Her favorite book is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Emma first heard about water polo after joining the GHS swim team during her freshman year. She was a competitive swimmer when she was younger and wanted to resume the sport in high school. “Joining water polo was a spontaneous decision, but I’m really happy I [joined],” Emma said. 

For Emma, the biggest challenge of being on the team is facing her own insecurities in water polo. Everyone’s performance was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so regaining lost skills has been hard at times. 

Emma’s favorite part of being on the team is how warm and welcoming the space is. “I know that if there are ever any issues, we can bring them up publicly and discuss them as a team,” she said.

According to Emma, being a Nitro athlete is “very competitive.” She feels that each year, the stakes grow higher since you move up grade levels and take on more responsibilities on the team.

Being a captain can be challenging at times since Emma has a very busy schedule. However, balancing her many activities is very rewarding in the end. Her teammates also make her very proud to be their captain, as they are very patient with her and try their hardest at practice. Emma is hopeful that the team can make it to the CIF playoffs this year.

Emma believes that anyone can and should join water polo, as no prior experience in the sport is required. “I personally did not know what water polo was before I joined the team,” she admitted. 

Coach Vardanian and the rest of the girls on the team are very welcoming toward new players, and they teach you how to play as you go along. Furthermore, the team is a very friendly environment and gives you the opportunity to form genuine friendships.

After getting her head out of the water, Emma also focuses her time on the GHS Creative Writing Club.

Originally, Emma founded the Poetry Club, because of her passion for writing and reciting poetry. She was then approached by senior Kristina Kugaevskaya (Hey! That’s me!) who had an enthusiasm for creative writing. Emma decided to widen Poetry Club to include other types of writing, such as songs and short stories, as well. 

The purpose of the Creative Writing Club is to “write, read and present creative works to each other.” During club meetings, the members critique each other’s work, and they discuss future community service events. 

So far, the club has completed a project within GHS, in which the members wrote letters of appreciation to their teachers, as well as another project, in which the club partnered with the Adult Recreation Center to write Thanksgiving letters to the needy elderly who were spending the holiday alone. 

“We have also done a few poetry readings,” Emma said. “The members gathered at a local coffee shop and read their poetry to everyone.” Emma hopes that she is able to organize a few more readings this year and involve more students outside the club to come and watch the recitations. 

The biggest challenge of running the Creative Writing Club, according to Emma, is that there are not enough members to organize the large-scale events that she had wanted to do when first creating the club, such as meeting outside of school and sending letters to each other to receive anonymous criticism. She hopes that more people become interested in the club, as they start to see some of the projects the members get to do.

Emma thinks that more people should join the club because “it expands one’s ability to write, not only in the creative sense but also in the academic setting.” She believes that developing your personal writing style and voice can help you to be a better writer in the class, and help you to better enjoy difficult subjects. 

“The Creative Writing Club is also a safe space for writers to share their work and meet people who think in a variety of ways,” Emma stated proudly. “You will never be looked down upon, no matter how you think or what your writing abilities are. It is a space for growth and acceptance.” 

After high school, Emma wants to pursue an undergraduate degree in STEM. She wants to go to medical school and ultimately work in the field of dermatology or psychiatry. 

If you are interested in joining the water polo team next year, please contact Coach Vardanian at [email protected]. And if you are interested in joining the Creative Writing Club, please contact Ms. Tumanyan at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Kristina Kugaevskaya
Kristina Kugaevskaya, Editor-in-Chief
Kristina is a senior at Glendale High School. She is the co-president of the Book Club and the Creative Writing Club, and she is the secretary of the Red Cross Club. In her spare time, she loves reading, baking, and going out into nature. In the future, she hopes to travel Europe and pursue a career in writing.
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