The School Newspaper of Southwest Career and Technical Academy.

Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow

All content by Hanae Furugaki
Administration is currently organizing to ensure a safe and successful ceremony for seniors. In contrast to last years drive-thru graduation, this years graduation will include pre-recorded speeches and a smaller audience at Orleans Arena. Senior year went well for me as I still was able to spend time with the people I care about even though it was in a reduced capacity, senior Micheal Brock said. It’s obviously bittersweet as it’s [graduation is] saying goodbye to a part of my life, but I’m excited for the future.” Photo Credit: MD Duran

In-person graduation scheduled for June 7

May 19, 2021
Abiding by the guidelines, senior graduation 2021 will be held in person with limited capacity
Toxicity’s relationship with gaming has created a negative image over the years. The extreme pervasiveness of toxic players has left most with no options, but to simply tolerate and normalize the behavior, despite its hatefulness. I’ve played online games practically my entire life, so Ive had my fair share of toxicity, sophomore Ashley Harris said. Unfortunately, we can never get rid of toxicity anywhere, and we do what we have to do to get rid of trolls and rude people. We do our best to make a safe bubble for everyone, which is what the rest of the gaming community needs to replicate.Photo Credit: Florian Olivo

The increasing toxicity of gaming culture

April 30, 2021
Toxicity and its normalization continues to exist it online gaming communities.
Due to coronavirus precautions, CollegeBoard is giving students the choice of taking the exam in digital or paper format at home or school. Individual testing schedules depend on three exam dates for each subject between early May and mid-June. “The biggest pro [to taking the test at home] is probably being safe from any exposure to COVID-19, sophomore Yusra Shafique said. You might also feel more relaxed and at ease since you’re in a comfortable, familiar environment rather than being stressed by going to school and sitting in a classroom with other students.
Photo Credit: Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu

Examinees given options for 2021 AP Exams

April 6, 2021
Collegeboard offering digital exams that can be taken at school or home for safety reasons.
Where are They Now: Nikki Molina

Where are They Now: Nikki Molina

March 19, 2021
Class of 2016 graduate Nikki Molina is now a Navy engineer.
Q&A: Do you agree with Superintendent Jesus Jara’s plan to return high schoolers to in-person learning by April?

Q&A: Do you agree with Superintendent Jesus Jara’s plan to return high schoolers to in-person learning by April?

March 12, 2021
Students of various grade levels share their input on whether they agree or disagree with the Superintendent's plan to return high school students to physical learning in April.


March 5, 2021
Whether it is a breath of fresh air outside or safely quarantined in the comfort of your own home, there are numerous activities you can engage in during this weekend from photoshoots to attending a virtual yoga class.
February marks the beginning of Black History Month as teachers integrate traditional Black History Month topics as well as more current topics in their curriculum. “I keep in mind the importance of it that its not just a month its a mindset,” social studies teacher Jessica Kelly said. “You cant understand whats going on today without knowing the history behind it.” Photo Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images

The Enduring Significance of Black History Month

March 4, 2021
Conversations in the classroom are now extending to include current events.
Enjoy the luxurious view and healthy dining at Strip View Cafe

Enjoy the luxurious view and healthy dining at Strip View Cafe

March 2, 2021
Strip View Cafe offers various meals, desserts, and drinks to enjoy in the relaxing atmosphere outdoors.
While many of us are locked down in our homes, sophomore Genevy Machuca has found a way to utilize the time by making homemade cookies to sell online with her close friend Alyssa Yozamp. The new business offers cookies in a variety of flavors, such as red velvet and peanut butter. Credit: Genevy Machuca

Online cookie business owner: Meet Genevy Machuca

February 11, 2021
Sophomore Genevy Machuca shares her story of being an online cookie store owner
Schoolwork and busy schedules have made students prone to sleep deprivation. The consequences of sleep deficiency are serious and this widespread issue can cause various health issues. “There are so many reasons that sleep deprivation is hindering the success of our teenagers,” Psychology 101 teacher Benjamin Lacombe said. “There is a connection between sleep deprivation and irritability, bad temper, weight gain, memory, and other mental health issues. Maybe we would see a reduction of these problems in teenagers if they just got more sleep.” Credit: Icons made by Flat Icons from

The teenage sleep deprivation epidemic signals alarms

February 5, 2021
The teenage population suffers from sleep deprivation issues.
Starting after winter break, adding new teachers has allowed for smaller class sizes for core classes. After a large intake of freshmen, many classes were larger than normal. “I love it at Southwest,” Whitney Lopez said. “Coming into the distance format, the biggest challenge was how do I adjust all these things that I know we used to hit on, but also, do I need to make adjustments so that I can kind of lighten the load a little bit, so that it’s not so overwhelming all the time.”

New faculty joins Southwest for second semester

January 14, 2021
The addition of two new English and a science teacher have aided in reducing course sizes.
Working on her laptop from her usual Google Meets spot, sophomore Heron Yonas works on a PSA project to raise awareness about the harmful effects of reusable plastic masks. For the project, members took pictures of masks they found around the neighborhood and compiled them together in a video. I love how this club keeps us up with the new environmental issues, Yonas said. Honestly, if it werent for this club, I would be completely blind to everything going on. Photo Credit: Heron Yonas

Environmental Club studies COVID’s impact on non-reusable products

December 10, 2020
Environmental Club members take steps to change their lifestyles and raise awareness to help the environment during the pandemic.
PODCAST: Discord Schooling

PODCAST: Discord Schooling

December 1, 2020
Student Discord server Fever Dream joins the Southwest Shadow to talk about their experience using the platform as a community.
Intently measuring with her eyes, sophomore Jayden Licanto makes precise cuts in her onion, as part of her knife skills lab. Home labs allow students to experience hands-on learning in a virtual classroom during the pandemic when physical teaching is impossible. With everything thats been going on, school has been really challenging, but I think doing at home labs is actually a good opportunity for culinary students, Licanto said. For me, freshman year was kind of stressful because I didnt really know where anything was in the kitchens. Now, Im in my own kitchen, and I have the luxury to redo a lab or take more time on it if Im confused. Photo Credit: Jayden Licanto

Culinary II students start at-home kitchen labs

November 12, 2020
Culinary II students participate in at-home labs to further their cooking knowledge and skills.
In My Eyes: Niel Soria

In My Eyes: Niel Soria

November 6, 2020
Sophomore Niel Soria shares snippets of his daily life.
Q&A: How will you be spending your three-day weekend?

Q&A: How will you be spending your three-day weekend?

November 2, 2020
Students from varying grades answer how they will be spending their long-awaited three-day weekend.


October 25, 2020
Halloween events you can enjoy during the pandemic with your friends and family.
In a synchronized pose, junior Carson Amen and his dance mates precisely hit every beat in their demanding choreography at the 2018 Battle of the Year performance in France. He has been breakdancing for six years and is aiming to compete in the 2024 Olympics. Dancing has definitely taught me the value of hard work and how important it is to find something youre passionate about, Amen said. Its also allowed me to meet a lot of new people. Its been a huge part of my life and something I cant imagine not doing. Photo Credit: Carson Amen

Dancing Fanatic: Meet Carson Amen

October 22, 2020
Dancing machine, Carson Amen takes his breakdancing to the next level with his fixed mindset towards achieving his goals.


October 22, 2020
Kennedy Taylor shares some fun facts about herself in a short video questionnaire.
Where Are They Now: Asami Tahira

Where Are They Now: Asami Tahira

October 19, 2020
Class of 2018 alumni Asami Tahira shares her story in the Air Force after graduating from the Fashion Design program.
DRAW MY SHADOW: Ashley Harris

DRAW MY SHADOW: Ashley Harris

October 7, 2020
Young business owner Ashley Harris talks about her journey of starting and growing her online store.
Among Us is a multiplayer game full of strategy and betrayal where crewmates must work together to complete tasks and deduce the imposters identity before they are killed. Rating: A
Photo Credit: Innersloth

Test your friendship in ‘Among Us’

September 28, 2020
'Among Us' is a perfect party game full of betrayal and funny moments to play with friends.
Offering a great range of different types of drinks and snacks, Ume Tea Shop is open to anyone looking for a cozy place to study and chat.  Rating: B

Find your favorite flavor at Ume Tea Shop

September 23, 2020
Offering a variety of drink options ranging from teas to smoothies, this is the place to go for a quick refreshment.
Eric Ward

SPARK: How the Animal Foundation is responding to the global crisis

September 17, 2020
Spokeswoman Kelsey Pizzi shares how the Animal Foundation is overcoming obstacles to continue operations amidst the pandemic.