Horse Power


Courtney Huitt

Mustangs are greatly encourages to “run with the STAMPEDE” .

Courtney Huitt, Photojournalist

During their time at YLHS, students become very familiar with the slogan “run with the STAMPEDE.” But what does it really mean to “run with the STAMPEDE”? This statement is more than just a clever play-off of our mascot, the Mustangs, to get students motivated about being involved in the school. It is a unifying statement, encouraging students to “run” together as well as containing a powerful message, using the term “stampede” to convey the potential YLHS students have to make an impact on the community. Alone, the word stampede sends a significant message as it stands for service, teamwork, achievement, mastery, passion, ethics, dedication, and excellence. Students here at YLHS are encouraged to exhibit these traits to succeed throughout their high school career and onto their future.


Katrina Wynn (12) exemplifies the values of YLHS with the community service she partakes in. Wynn started volunteering two and a half years ago at St. Jude because she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field since she was seven. So as soon as she turned fifteen and a half, she applied to St. Jude because it was the closest hospital to her. Now Wynn volunteers in the ER and sepsis units to assist nurses with whatever she could do. “It really helped me to understand what life as a healthcare professional is like” Wynn reflects, “and made me even more determined to be like the nurses and doctors I worked closely with.” Wynn is constantly looking for more opportunities to see how different fields work and she even had an internship at the ICU for the Keck Medical Center of USC this past summer.

Wynn was also able to integrate her love for music into her community service with a music therapy quartet she started where Wynn plays the violin at St. Jude every Friday to “share [her] love for music and show everyone the impact that music has on the entire atmosphere of the hospital.” Most recently, Wynn joined the youth leadership team at St. Jude where she worked closely with the volunteer coordinators to plan the annual showcase fundraiser for the “Care for the Poor” program and will be receiving an award for 400+ community service hours at St. Jude. “Volunteering is just something I find so amazing” Wynn reveals, “because it allows for me to give back to my community and be involved in a field I want to work in later on in life.”


Making YLHS the best school in our community requires the involvement and teamwork of the staff, parents, and students. As a member, and current President, of ASB, Lauren Bui (12) is well aware of the teamwork necessary to enable our school to thrive. Bui states that teamwork is really important in ASB because “there are so many jobs and tasks that need to be completed on a day by day basis. By delegating these jobs, we are able to create a greater impact on campus. Bui also shares her experience with teamwork in sports; “as a member of the Women’s Varsity Tennis team, teamwork is important because we all contribute to achieving victory and we are all each other’s biggest supporters.”


At YLHS, achievement is categorized by the expectation is that all students will be prepared to continue their success in some form of higher education. As a senior at YLHS, AJ Song (12) was recently accepted into one of the most competitive colleges with an acceptance rate of a mere 5%. In the fall, Song will be attending Stanford where he hopes to major in biology/biomedical engineering because he aspires to become a doctor in the future. Being admitted into an Ivy League School was not an easy task. Song has taken on a rigorous schedule throughout high school packed with AP classes, extracurricular activities including Academic Decathlon and orchestra, and varsity tennis practices and games. All of Song’s hard work has indeed paid off with his acceptance into Stanford that will ensure him a bright future beyond YLHS.


For Mustangs, mastery is defined as having full command of skills necessary to build a foundation for post-secondary goals, shown through AP and standardized test scores. One student who has specifically achieved mastery here at YLHS is Cole Robinson (12). With a GPA of 4.65 that ranked him in the top ten percent of the school, Robinson is the epitome of mastery justified by his list of academic accolades and achievements. He scored the perfect score of a 36 on the ACT, a perfect score on the SAT Math 2 Subject Test, and an impressive score of a 740 on the SAT Chemistry Subject Test. Throughout his high school career, Robinson has filled his schedule with rigorous AP courses, earning perfect scores of fives on the Spanish and Calculus AB AP tests.


Passion is an important aspect in the “Stampede” motto because it acts as a driving force for Mustangs to succeed. Athena Kieu (12) shares her passion for the arts with The Wrangler. “In all honesty, I basically live at school” Kieu admits, “I spend my hours in ceramics and filming Mustang Mix.” Kieu shares that she is really passionate about ceramics. Currently, she is trying to complete her AP portfolio and while it is not easy, she states that she genuinely enjoys the challenge. As an anchor for the monthly broadcast at YLHS called Mustang Mix, Kieu adds that Mustang Mix is also something she super passionate about because she can communicate to the school and be a fun personality on the screen for students. For Kieu, being involved in video productions and Mustang Mix is “an incredibly amazing opportunity that [she is] very grateful to be a part of.”


At YLHS, students are expected to display ethics and make choices that demonstrate a sound moral base. Students are taught to act with honesty, as required by the Academic Honesty Policy, to build a strong character that will advance them in life beyond high school. One of YLHS’s missions is to produce students with strong morals that will help them succeed in life. In regards to the Academic Honesty Policy, throughout high school Sarah Ruggles (12) has learned that “cheating on tests and other assignments is not worth the consequences that come.” While she has never faced these consequences, she has learned from watching the misfortune of others and agrees that “in the end you are hurting yourself more by cheating than if you just accept the bad grade and study harder for the next test.”


Allison Provenzano (12) shows characteristics of the STAMPEDE motto through her dedication to sports. Provenzano has been involved in track throughout all four years of high school. Her older brother ran track so growing up, Provenzano always attended his meets. Watching her brother inspired Provenzano to join track in high school. Provenzano admits that “balancing academics and athletics can be difficult at times, but with good time management and dedication [she] was always able to stay focused and get school work done when needed.” Running track has also taught Provenzano the value of patience and hard work because she explains, “one does not become a great runner without being patient and trusting the process.” These traits helped Provenzano to be able to focus on excelling in school as well as in track.


When it comes to excellence and surpassing or exceeding the norm, Payton Janish (12) is no stranger. For example, as a senior, the norm would be to take the minimum required four classes. Instead, Janish exceeds this expectation by taking a full schedule of six classes. With her AP class filled schedule, Janish is in the top one percent of her class, currently ranked second with a weighted GPA of 4.78. She was awarded AP Scholar with Distinction, which involves scoring a 3.5 or higher on 5 or more AP exams as well as the Mustang Academic Scholar award, meaning that she has maintained a 4.0 GPA. Janish is also a National Merit Commended Scholar which means that she represents the top three percent of PSAT scores. On top of that, Janish has been awarded the Certificate of Merit by the Society of Women Engineers in 2018 for her achievements in mathematics and science.