Here you will find short clips from interviews conducted by the students of High Tech High Chula Vista. These are people who formed are past, present and future.
I was down in combat, visiting with my counterpart on the Boxer [Naval ship]. He and I had worked together a lot, so I was down there chatting with him when the chemical alarm went off. The Captain screamed down from the bridge, and I don’t have a gasmask, because I had had to turn mine into the ship before I transfered. We think it is the real thing [Saddam Hussein had threatened chemical attacks]. So we are standing there next to the Captain’s chair in combat, everyone is standing there with a gasmask except me. I looked at my friend, who was the tactical action officer on watch, and I said “The captains up on the bridge, right? He said “Yes”. I asked if he had a mask up there, he said yes, so I grabbed the Captain’s gasmask and put it on. [laughing] At that point I don’t care, it’s just about survival you know. Everyone around was shocked, but my friend just laughed, he knew. So anyway, I think that was one of those memorable moments.
-Derrick Johnson (San Diego)
No, there is some some stuff that is, and some that is not, there's the violence and I don't like that, but I still love Tijuana.
-Bertha Villa (Chula Vista)
The biggest lesson goes in both black and white. Black showing how people can be so cruel to each other and on the other side it can show how people can be so caring and giving without it being monetary or no hidden agenda behind it. It expands the whole gamut of good and bad.
-Robert Pe (Chula Vista)
Being in ministry, that’s a great challenge. We’ve never thought we’d be doing what we’re doing now. I kind of wish we could have done it a lot earlier, when we were younger, but God has a better plan. We love people our way. We’re open. We’re not regular old folks. I mean, we don’t sit all day with canes. We walk, we run, we laugh. We have accomplishments. We like music, we like theatre. We enjoy life and I think the best legacy of all is that we love God and to the best of our ability, we love people.
Be with your family, be with your friends, be with them in the moment doing things that makes you happy in that moment
-Patrick Roche (San Diego)
I have lot of favorite memories of the family but the one that sticks out the most would have to be the night we camped out in the living room. The reason why is because we had so much fun imagining and pretending we were outside versus inside and how we set up the tent and how we were going to sleep in there. So even though we were inside the house, we had pretended that we were doing things as if we were outside. You guys bought into it and you guys were like “Yeah!” and so excited, and the pictures we have of that night of all of us together and how we were joking around on how we need to watch out for bears — it was so much fun.
-Tony (National City)
“A lot of times I think it worked better back then, it was a simpler time where people would love each other because of their character and who they were and not what they had. Now everyone has too much freedom, too much time, and more money so it’s lost its meaning.”
-Isabelle Mendoza (National City)
When we had our first son, your father would leave early for work and the baby would still be asleep, then come home at night and the baby would be asleep too. Your father worked in the US, So we decided to move so that he could spent more time with his son. In the first 10 years we were here I crossed the border every day — I had the idea that we were going to go back, that we would get our citizenship and then go back.
When we became citizens, we had your brother, we had you, and I was pregnant with your sister, and the situation in Tijuana was worsening. Safety was a problem and you were settled into school so we stayed. Returning wasn't the best option.
-Maria Elena (Chula Vista)
We got a call in Golden Hill that some guy was going after his girlfriend with a gun, and so I get there first, and I was waiting for my cover unit which was a K-9 officer. This guy was a really big dude, like 6’4”, 250lbs. And as we're walking to the apartment complex, the guy is coming out of the complex and he sees us and turns around and starts running down the hall, so we’re chasing him through the back, he has a gun in his hand, and he jumps this fence which must have been like 10 ft. tall. I’m behind him so I jump it and I look back and I'm thinking to myself that the cop backing me up, there's no way that he is going to be able to jump the fence. Next thing you know, I hear the fence crash down, and my back-up keeps chasing the guy, and the K-9 Officers end up finding him, and he ends up resisting and he gets bitten by a dog and we all lived happily ever after.
-Carlos Amezcua (San Diego)
I was writing all these really intense, deep songs about feeling lost, and feeling alone. You know, everyone just kind of looked at me like, “What’s wrong with her?” when I just really hurting. I just needed my parents. I was 11 when I wrote my first song. It was about my sister’s friend being really sad, because she had just broken up with her boyfriend. Actually, that song was about Vic from Pierce the Veil. He (Vic) would come over and play music with me, and I remember my first show was going to his show. At that time they were called, “Early Times.” I think he knew my situation at that time. He knew I was really into music, I was trying to figure it out, I was young, and my parents had just divorced. I think he was really just trying to be encouraging to me, because he knew I wanted to play music.
- Jo-El Tapia (Chula Vista)
We never had a meal with just our family, there was always somebody’s friend over. I would always remember Tony’s friends saying, “Hey mom” — to my mom — “I hated zucchini till I met you! Came to your house and knew I had to eat that zucchini.”
Because my mom made everything with zucchini. She used to make zucchini cakes all the time. She would grate it up and put mini chocolate-mint chips in it.
-Jean Miller (San Diego)
I was still confused on whether I was scared or not. Our job was to go behind enemy lines and intelligence. You had take picture of activity that was going on, you had to do ambush patrol, you have to snatch prisoners, and at times try to assassinate key figure officials that were against the US. But I will not go into assassination for your school report because it's not that nice.
When I first went on patrol it was already nasty. We were already in contact — in other words, we were in a firefight. There was so much adrenaline in me I was just thinking about surviving.
I was born in Los Angeles, CA on August 29, 1989. I started school in this small church school where everyone was friends with everyone, because we're like 3 years old you're gonna be friends with everyone. I moved to a different school starting middle school and that’s when the bullying started, but a lot of kids at my school were getting bullied because we were the inferior class at the moment and yeah, of course I have gotten bullied before, I think everyone has gotten bullied in their life some way, emotionally or physically. There’s was this thing in my middle school that if you told on these people that bullied you, you were called a snitch and they would say “snitches get stitches” and that was in middle school when it all began.
-Nelson Contreras (Los Angeles)
You know there’s certain behaviors that people do that aren’t healthy for themselves and the people they’re around. I try to learn from that, I try to model how a good person is, you know, we’re tasked with that responsibility, and I take that responsibility seriously. There are a lot of behaviors that, as a young person, I totally have left behind. And I want to continue being better at becoming the best person I can be, and I hope that shows to the students, that I care about them, and I want to be the best person I can be.
-Ted Cuevas (Chula Vista)
In my senior year I was kind of fed up with all my sports and my dad just told me I should row in college, so I said "Well, why not?" So we decided to look into colleges and yeah I would say that my dad was the whole reason why I got into rowing. He is also the reason why I love staying in it.