Student Presentations Increase in Third Annual Passion Day


William Hsieh

Sophomore Peter Pan discusses his passion for travel photography while sophomore Kevin Du speaks about his love for math. Both students attempted to attract others to the fields that have defined their lives.

The 3rd annual Passion Day featured over 30 student speakers on Feb. 22, allowing students to attend three one-hour sessions, either speaking or listening to others. This year’s Passion Day did not feature a keynote speaker, allowing students to attend sessions that were specifically enticing to them.

“For students, it’s hard to get up in front of your peers, take a risk, share something’s that very personal to you… It’s a great skill to be able to [speak in front of peers],” Library Media Specialist Pam Quiros said.

While previous years were almost exclusively led by teachers and other adults, students this year decided to voice their opinions, being more willing to speak and inspire others.

“I wanted to do a Passion Day session because I’m really passionate about the field of environmental science and marine biology,” junior Shawn Lee said. “So I wanted to teach and do activities related to my passion as it’s fun for me, and I also hope to get other people interested in something I’m very passionate about.”

One popular session was the performance of the band Cardboard Prison. Featuring juniors drummer Derrick Peng, rhythm guitarist Nicholas Hung, lead guitarist Yash Menon, and bassist Zayn Hamoui. The group performed five songs from their extended play album and focused on their songwriting process. The session was particularly interesting due to their efforts to inspire other people to get involved in non-traditional music.

Another popular session was the “Interfaith Panel,” which featured several panelists talking about 10 different religions and their impacts on the world. While talking about religions has been considered taboo in years prior, students felt it was important to raise awareness. The session was allowed students to learn about different religions from the perspective of their fellow students.

“It is an empathy exercise essentially. If citizens are going to make informed decisions, they are going to need to understand the religious beliefs of others and how those play into the decisions they make,” Resendez said.

With students talking about all types of topics, it creates a more open environment where people will be more willing to speak about issues that are important to them.

“I think students need to learn to advocate, and the younger we can get you guys to speak about things and talk about things and be passionate about things, the more you’re going to realize that this is something that I feel comfortable with,” assistant principal Kris Linville said. “Anytime a student can take the opportunity to speak, I think it’s a powerful learning moment for that student.”

The administration’s increase in opportunity for students to exercise speaking and advocating skills have culminated in students going so far as speaking to legislators in Sacramento.