The Blue Tent

Throughout the school year, you’ll usually see a big blue tent, with letters reading “Arc”, set up at Maywood Academy’s quad during lunchtime and after school, for events made specifically for the students. Using huge speakers to blast America’s biggest hits in music, the Arc staff can capture a good amount of students’ attention in coming down to the quad and participating in the events that they are hosting. 

Arc is a school program that encourages students to stay after school to participate in new activities. Arc leadership is one of many branches of Arc, that helps the members become better leaders through planning and hosting events.  

Anai Loera has been the main head of the whole Arc after-school program for 4 years and dedicates most of her time and work to the program despite her busy life. One of her goals is to encourage MAHS students to be involved in different events organized by Arc. From giving out pink lemonade to honor Breast Cancer Awareness, to bringing a live Mariachi group for Cinco de Mayo. Her coordination has been proven successful due to the amount of participation shown in the events. 

She doesn’t take all the credit for it, though. She instead credits her Arc leadership students who come up with the ideas, creations, and planning of the events. Anai also applauds her assistant, Regina Gomez who is her right hand and makes her job easier. 

Regina is a Maywood Academy alumni and admits to her students that Arc Leadership didn’t really exist back when she attended. I do wish the arc leadership back then could’ve been as strong as today’s because if anything I feel that our leadership classes have only gotten stronger and more dedicated over the years. If the leadership class had the stability and reputation it has today, I would’ve wanted to be a part of that.

Long-time member, Daisy Lopez, addresses her four-year journey. At the start, members in Arc weren’t close to each other and we were more distant. But throughout the semesters, working on events and planning everything, it helped us gain confidence with each other and with our Arc coordinators. Arc definitely grew every year since I’ve been there. I did recommend it to my friends…they joined and are still a part of Arc till this day.

Gina Castillo, one of the friends Daisy recommended, shared her experience as well. “Being a part of Arc Leadership allowed my creativity to flow as well as to share my ideas with others. The thing that was most challenging was trying to understand each other when we all [leadership students] had different ideas and perspectives.”

Daisy also reflected on the ups and downs that come with joining Arc Leadership. “One positive thing about leadership is that we can contribute and participate in different ways. The most challenging is sometimes we get a ton of people which can lead to crowded areas, making it harder for us to control. And sometimes an event that we worked hard on doesn’t get as much attention from the crowd which can sometimes be disappointing.”

On Tuesdays and Fridays, at 2:30, you’ll either see the leadership students and coordinators all sitting down inside the school’s cafeteria or library. You’ll be able to witness them planning their events from scratch, sharing their ideas out loud, and most of all, working together as a team. 

Anai and Regina want the best. “Arc leadership’s main goal,” Regina said, “is to teach students on how to be a mentor and conquer real-life difficult situations in the future.”