Wish Week reflections written by Journalism 1 students.
Freshman Genevieve Geoffrion
This was my very first Wish Week at Vista, and if someone asked me what word I would chose to describe it, all I would say, is “wow”. At Mountain Ridge, I would have described Wish Week as boring and pretty uneventful, so going into a Wish Week at Vista, I took it with a grain of salt, not expecting it to be much different from how it was at the middle school. Instead, my mind was blown. I walked into school the first day, and saw this huge G hanging above the commons, and posters and signs everywhere, every pod in the school decorated with a different theme. I smiled, knowing that what I was about to get into was the real thing, the whole point of Wish Week. I saw all of the events, the themes for everyday, and through it all I had never seen such a large group of people join together and just be kind, happy and united.
On Friday, I entered into a sea of blue shirts, hardly no one was not wearing a shirt. That day was really special, because it was when I understood what and who all of this was for. Seeing Gabby’s face light up into a smile when she saw everyone, and I was really, really happy to have participated and contributed to the week. I was so proud of the school, dancing and celebrating not ourselves but another person, the event joining us into one large mass of people who learned through everything that happened how to be a good person. I feel like the impact this week has left on me and the whole school will last for a long time to come, and I know that I will certainly remember this. I will remember it not only for how much fun I had, but for the feeling I got when I saw how when everyone came together, we could make someone like Gabby so incredibly happy, and that is truly a feeling I will never forget. It feels a thousand better than doing something for yourself, especially when you are participating in something so much bigger than yourself. If you contribute just a small amount of yourself, it makes a difference, and I saw that throughout the week in the togetherness and happiness that we showed Gabby.
Freshman Teagan Dunn
Everything about the experience we had as a school will be embedded into my heart forever. I am inspired and truly fulfilled by the joy, love and gratitude Gabby shared with each individual. Watching her on stage as a famous little girl within seconds made me realize the importance of life, and made the little things I complain about wash away. I am so grateful I got to experience the wish of Gabby who was diagnosed with Leukemia, a wish she got to pursue with Mountain Vista High School. I hope it allowed her to forget about the pain and hardships she endures everyday.
It has taught me to live life to the fullest, smile more often, and appreciate the little things around me, rather than focus on the small things that come no where close to what little Gabby goes through. Watching what she has experienced with cancer for a year and a half has made me realize that life is full of ups and downs, but you can choose how they impact you and your will to strive with every opportunity you are offered. You can’t control what happens, but you can control how you choose to let it influence you. Gabby has showed me to appreciate every second I am given to live this beautiful journey called life. Thank you Gabby. You have inspired me, you have changed me.
Senior Jeff Barker
This past wish week was definitely one to remember and I think was the best one I have ever been apart of. It was truly a really great experience and I feel like there was a lot of effort and work put into every aspect of it. It still hasn’t hit me to think that this was my last wish week and it definitely is one that could end it off for me. All the seniors, I felt knew how big and important this week was and responded with all that support that was there this past week.Im glad to have participated in some of the events. I’ll definitely miss Wish Week when I graduate.
Sophomore Mallory Prescott
Though I have only been at Vista for a year and a half, I saw more spirit and passion in the these teenagers’ hearts than I have in my entire life. It amazes me how in just one week our school can come together and change children’s lives forever. We raise money, cheer, donate, laugh, participate, and just have an all around incredible time helping kids less fortunate than us. Our small community of students, teachers, friends, and family can unite and make wishes come true. This has always inspired me to “Be a Good Person,” after all, it inspires everyone. I first discovered Wish Week in eighth grade, and I had seen things I had never seen before. Peers and friends connected to raised money for a lovely little girl, her name was Marlee. Her wish was so sweet and pure it was hard to not help her. Of course, having been in middle school, I wasn’t able to see her, but that just made me even more excited to come to high school and participate then. When Wish Week finally came the following year, I was ecstatic! I was a freshman ready to see what the high school had planned. However, I didn’t think that the they could be any more spirited than we had been at middle school, but boy was I wrong.
During just the first day of Wish Week, I was blown away. The assembly and the introduction of our new wish kid, Kenyan, was beyond touching. Our school also had plenty of events, fundraisers, and, my personal favorite, spirit days (I was lucky and remembered to wear my white “Be a Good Person” shirt from the year before). I loved seeing everyone so happy when participating, plus they had some great costumes. The events and organization amazed me and I silently thanked the incredible people that made this all possible. After all, if it weren’t for them, I would have never seen such selflessness and compassion in my community. By the end of the week, I was dying from anticipation. I needed to see how they would top off such an spectacular week, but most of all, I wanted to see Kenyan! And I wasn’t the only one. As we all poured onto the bleachers, I saw everyone around me was just as excited as I was to see Super K. We were wearing our new shirts, grinning, laughing, and preparing ourselves for Wish Week’s grand finale! And the finale was quite grand indeed. Seeing all of our work pay off in such an stupendous way was awe inspiring, and being able to see Kenyan for the first time was heart melting.
After that incredible week, I prepared myself for the next Wish Week, because I knew it would be even more phenomenal than the last. I could never have prepared myself for this. I did my best to get engaged earlier, so I made a few decorations (just a couple music notes) and read the Wish Week magazine. That was how I first learned about our new superstar, Gabby. Right from the start I fell in love with her. Everyone realised how precious, sassy, and adorable she was and we decided we would do our best to participate. Walking into the school on the first day was magical, with all of the gorgeous decorations, I saw just how dedicated this school was. I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to make and put up those decorations. The kick off assembly was moving, we got to learn about her bravery, strength, and absolutely stunning smile. Gabby and her family have been through so much, and the empathetic reactions of those around me proved that this week was going to be unbelievable. The events over the week were so engaging, the dress up days’ costumes were so creative, but what was most inspiring was the fact that we were coming together to grant wishes, change lives, and do something bigger than ourselves.
Once again, anticipation was rising as the assembly grew closer and closer. When it finally arrived I was excited to see how they would introduce Gabby, so when she strolled down on her red carpet I felt my heart skip a beat! Cheers filled the air as we all finally got to see the precious girl that was the star of this Wish Week. Gabby was gorgeous and beautiful and I know we all loved getting to hear her during her interview. However, when she mentioned that she has been bullied, I felt the rage and sympathy rise up around me. Her family’s story was heartbreakingly beautiful and being able to see her so happy and strong before us all made everyone in the gym become her fan. We even got to see Super K again! It was a fun and emotional assembly, but I thought that after the “Party Cheer” we would flee from the gym to return to our usual classes. But I was wrong once again. The lights went off and the music was blaring, and I was surprised to say the least because I had not planned on going to a rave when I woke up that morning. I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would, it was just a bunch of fun hanging out with my friends and seeing our Wish Week stars hanging out on the stage. I even saw a few crowd surfers that were having the time of their lives. From what I could tell, everyone really enjoyed it (despite in the broiling gym), and Wish Week in general. I know for sure that I did. Sadly, for many seniors this was their last Wish Week at Mountain Vista, but it was definitely one to remember. Making Gabby famous was everyone’s goal and hopefully it can continue to be everyone’s goal. I hope that we’ve been able to raise even more money than last year to make her wish come true. She’s already met Slacker and Steve, and be the star of an Imagine Dragons concert, and now that she’s met Vista, she can move on to become more and more famous. After such an unbelievable Wish Week, I can’t wait to see how Gabby’s wish unfolds, and what Wish Week will be like next year.
Sophomore Rachel Gregoire
Mountain Vista is where the fun is at; I am so proud of our school, students, staff, and community. Last year, I was a freshman who came into the school with two goals- to get good grades and to get involved with school activities. I tried to go to as many sports games as I could, and all of them were great and fun. Then came Wish Week, and I was so excited. Hearing about it at the middle school was nothing like actually experiencing it! Every person in our school gets involved, and we all come together to grant a wish for an amazing child. Last year, Kenyan was introduced into our lives, and I do not think he will ever be forgotten. We granted seventeen wishes last year while making Kenyan a very happy superhero. Although this week was pretty amazing, the week of February fifth is very hard to top. This year’s Wish Week was absolutely incredible, and I will always remember every minute of it. We met the most amazing girl who brought tears to our eyes and love to our hearts, sweet Gabby. Her amazing smile and spunky personality were gifts to everyone who participated in Wish Week. I have to say, the final assembly was one of the most fun times of my life. Not only did every student have fun and dance to their heart’s content, but we made Gabby famous. Nothing is more precious than that. To see around two thousand “Be a Good Person” shirts and what looked like one million glow sticks jump around at that assembly made my heart happy. I could not be happier with our school’s dedication and devotion to a great cause. My life has changed because of Wish Week, and I cannot wait to meet our next Wish Kid! Thank you Mountain Vista students and staff for being so amazing and caring!
Junior Payton Land
Wish Week to me means that you are giving all of your attention onto someone else. It means that you are making a little boy/girl’s dream come true and having that feeling is something that will overpower all of my other feelings for the rest of my life. Ever since I was an 8th grader as Mountain Ridge Middle School one of the only things I was looking forward to in highschool was Wish Week. Every high schooler I knew would rave about how amazing it was and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself. My freshman year we had Marly, my sophomore year we had Kenyan and this year we had Gabby. Every year it has gotten better. The feeling of helping out a family in need, is all I need but when the staff of MVHS throws a concert in honor of our special little girl something I never could have imagined. Having events throughout the week is an incredible way to get everyone involved and an even better way to raise money to make a kid’s dream come true. Wish Week is something that I will hold onto and remember for the rest of my life.
Senior Macey Moyer
I’ve always had some harsh feelings towards Wish Week – I’m not going to lie. The distaste I’ve had for it since I moved here has not gone away up until this Friday. To me, Wish Week was a way for Mountain Vista to come out on top once again. I mean, why would we broadcast a whole week of events, if it wasn’t about the money we were raising? To me, Wish Week was a way of making ourselves look better, while exploiting a child with cancer. The t-shirts we wore symbolized nothing, if our actions didn’t back up the saying. Since I moved here, I could’ve thought of a hundred different ways to benefit Make-A-Wish, other than through making the week into a contest.
I just recently moved here a year and a half ago. One of the first major events I remember from last year was Wish Week. However, I was not quite sure what it was, as nobody had really explained the concept of it. I went to the opening assembly, participated in spirit week, but I ended up skipping Friday’s assembly. For these reasons, I never had the same attachment to Kenyan as all my fellow students. The whole week was a major detachment from my school.
When this year rolled around, I had this aura of negativity directed towards Wish Week. I suppose most of that came from not really understanding why we did it. To me, it all seemed like a way for Vista to come out on top for the most money raised in 5 days. I attended the Monday assembly and broke down, when I watched the audio of Gabby, crying about how she hated what Leukemia did to her. I never understood why we did it, until then. Since I’ve never experienced cancer in anyone close to me, it never sat with me. Hearing someone younger than my little sisters, in pure sadness- so raw and vulnerable- made me break down in our gym. It finally resonated with me; this week was about making someone, who doesn’t have the assurance of life, feel alive.
Because of my attitude prior to Wish Week, I didn’t take any days off of work, so I was not able to attend any of the activities. However, I found myself following up with them on the school’s Twitter page. I was determined to see the other side of Wish Week. It was my decision to attend the Friday assembly. I went into it unknowing, because of my absence last year. I bought my “BE A GOOD PERSON” t-shirt and glowstick. I sat on the floor, right next to the stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect. When everything suddenly began unfolding, I, once again, was reminded why we were doing this- for Gabby. I chanted with my classmates, stood against the rope of the stage, and screamed for Gabby. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced such joy. Finally getting to see what Kenyan looked like, and seeing the smile on Gabby’s face had me questioning why I didn’t come last year. Nothing compared to watching a child, who has no way of knowing if today is their last day, radiate with the same happiness I get when I win an award I’ve worked so hard for. To think that I contributed to making a child’s dream come true, is something unexplainably wonderful. Never in my time here at Vista, have I ever been more proud to be an eagle- never. I wish I could feel this way forever, and I wish Gabby could feel the way she felt, in that moment, forever. This was all for Gabby.
The distaste I had for Wish Week definitely has diminished, although I don’t think there’s any reason to brag about it or broadcast it publicly. I do believe it should be something within our school and for our school only; I mean, if we’re doing it for our Wish Kid, this shouldn’t be something that’s flaunted or used as leverage over other schools. Despite this, I cannot explain the immense feelings of love and charisma that this Friday has brought upon my soul. I truthfully do feel a connection to something bigger. I will continue to support Make-A-Wish for years to come. I, truthfully, will never forget this Wish Week. I’m excited to hear about how many Wishes that Vista was able to grant in 2018.