people of Pioneer
Written by Mac VanRenterghem and Harrison He
"I have a job at Pioneer because my dad is Mr. Lowder, and they happened to need a Community Assistance. I fit that job pretty well. I taught a school for shoe shine boys in the Dominican Republic before, and that was an amazing, informative, and eye opening experience. I taught them about basic hygiene- how to save money, get a clean shower, and so on. The students here seem a little less grateful for their opportunities, and they’re more goal oriented; there’s a lot of things they want to achieve. The world is full of people that seem eager to learn though, especially those who are struggling to get by. It’s so different being with people who have money vs people who don’t. I also went to Italy for a few years to do some teaching. There it was really weird because they drive on the wrong side of the road. The best pizza in the world is in Italy though, as well as gelato. These international experiences really gave me a new perspective on the world. I’m not going to forget them."
"I really enjoy science; I’m taking a biology course at the U of M and I spend a lot of time outside of school studying science. My professor has a really interesting protein lab. [Science] runs in my family. My dad is a scientist and I like to go to his lab. I’ve once did a surgery on a zebrafish; they have muscles in their eyes that regenerate. It’s called myectomy. The eye muscles in zebrafish don’t react to certain aspects of the surrounding environment, allowing them to not have vision problems, such as double vision. With zebrafish, you can cut that muscle and we’re trying to implement its tissues into human research."
“I started losing weight when I saw friends at Tappan playing sports; I wanted to play sports too and got into basketball, soccer, etc. I listened to what my dad said, getting fit to have endurance and stamina in soccer. It’s my favorite sport because a lot of my friends play and I’m good; I’m on varsity. I fool around a lot, but I still get my work done to keep grades up. My parents want me to shoot for as high as possible, and I want to go to college and play soccer because it’s something my parents wanted me to do; I would be the first in my family do play a sport in college. I want to major in engineering, because I’m pretty good at math, although I don’t know about my career yet. I play lots of video games; Super Smash Bros. and an older version of FIFA. From Kindergarten to Fourth grade I went to Fortis, a school in Ypsilanti. It was very different coming to Ann Arbor Public Schools; the teachers, people, and races here are completely different. I think those differences are for the better.
"I’m Patrick, and I play football here; I’ve done that for all four years, but I probably won’t play after high school. Personally, I think of myself as a hard worker, and I like the grind and getting things done. I like to be able to understand what I’m doing, and I’m usually modest about what I do, even though that’s ironic. I’m more of an introvert, kind of shy, and I don’t like to express myself, except when I’m playing basketball at the YMCA. My family is pretty quiet; my mom likes to be by herself. I mainly apply introverted characteristics to sports and school; that’s part of the reason why I’m interested in being an environmental science or entomology major in college. Entomology is the study of bugs and insects. Going outside is a big part of these majors, and I enjoy being outside very much. I like camping; sometimes I go with my family in South Dakota and Utah. My family usually goes to Black Hills Badlands, South Dakota, and looks for rocks, and sometimes Utah for hiking at Arches National Park. I don’t like to mountain bike though; I think it’s too out there."
"I’m a member of PPI (Positive Peer Influence). It’s been a big part of my life, like a brotherhood. It allows me to have a positive impact on the school. In school, I enjoy taking AP Government, and especially AP Psychology; I think it’s a dope class, and Mrs. Bullinger’s teachings in AP Psychology can be applied to the things I do in my everyday life to influence those around me. I’ve also involved myself in the hip-hop culture by writing music. I started in 7th grade, and did it as a pastime. I was interested in the culture and community that it brings. It acted as an outlet for me and allowed me to feel better and express my own thoughts in music. I released my first song on SoundCloud my freshman year, and it was pretty well received, so I continued to do so later. I want to combine my music with the way I influence those around me, and I can use music as a way to express my message to others. People can apply a lot of the music I have written to their struggles. I want everyone to understand that life is not always easy and there are a lot of obstacles that come with it, but you can always push through it and accomplish great things."
"I’m from Pohang, South Korea. I lived there until I was around 2 or 3 years old. I can still remember that we lived by the beach, and it was pretty sweet. Everyone there was Korean. It’s pretty high tech and new, and in Korea they always tear down old buildings and replace them with new ones. Schools are really competitive in South Korea; you have to test into public middle schools and high schools. There’s lots of pressure to perform well academically there. The average student in South Korea would be a top student in the US. Education is very important in Korea and my parents told me that the school uniform you wear determines your standing in public. People lowkey disrespect you if you don’t have a good school uniform; it’s a completely different society. We moved to Connecticut on the east coast; on the east coast there’s a lot of towns and cities. I lived in West Hartford, a suburb of Hartford. It’s lowkey really democratic, but not as extremely liberal as Ann Arbor. The people there are lowkey more moderate. It’s mostly white, with some Hispanics living there as well. When I was going into 8th grade, we moved to Ann Arbor because of my dad’s change in jobs. He’s an engineer at Mercedes-Benz. I really like Pioneer in Ann Arbor; it’s extremely diverse, and it was the first time I found myself in AP classes with several Asians; this was not the case in West Hartford. I take 4 AP classes: AP Calc BC, AP Gov, AP Chem, and AP English. I’m also in Concert Band Purple. I’ve done well here, and I like the school."