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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Samantha Vojslavek

Samantha Vojslavek, Features Editor

Sammi Vojlavek is a senior at Millard West and this is her first year being a part of the CATalyst staff. She has been a member of the Yearbook staff for three years and has found Journalism as an opportunity to broaden her experience with broadcasting and different types of writing. Outside of Journalism, she is involved in cross country and track and field. She enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends and family in her free time.

All content by Samantha Vojslavek
Displayed above is senior Chloe Hackbart’s title page for her project she submitted for the 2021 ArcGIS StoryMaps Challenge for Restoring Our Ocean ran through National Geographic to spread the word of the effects of climate change around the world. Placing third from competitors across 20 other countries, Hackbart took this experience and applied it to the bigger picture of helping those being affected daily due to the climate crisis. “Although it was nice to receive an award for my project, I was happier about the fact that the cause I focused on was able to reach such a large audience around the world,” Hackbart said. “I wanted the people who read their story & looked at my maps to gain an understanding of the immediate & detrimental effects climate change is having on our planet right now.”

Project change

December 21, 2021

Omaha’s ninjas

December 20, 2021

Spreading holiday cheer

December 17, 2021
Posing beside one of his original cheesecake flavors, freshman Jahongir Ergashev takes great pride in his cheesecake company run with his mother. Beginning the Home & Joy cheesecake business two years ago, Ergashev has grown with his company through the help of his family. “My plans are pretty ambitious,” Ergashev said. “I know my mom and my brother believe in me, and they tell me I can implement whatever I plan for Home & Joy no matter what. They let me be ambitious, and so I am not afraid of challenges. I want to open a small bakery next year with the help of my brother who is a realtor at Berkshire Hathaways, and he will find a place for us.”

Baking dreams a reality

December 10, 2021
While training after earning her second-degree black belt, sophomore Olivia O’neill stands in a defensive block position. Training at Omaha Blue Waves since she was five, O’neill is now training to achieve her third-degree belt, or the Sam Dan. “Practices, or classes, throughout the week focus on multiple different things,” O’neill said. “Weekday classes lean more towards traditional martial arts, in other words, everything you will need to advance to the next rank. Saturday classes consist of more extreme martial arts. This is reserved for tumbling classes, classes to make creative forms, and weapons classes.”

A kickstart of confidence

November 30, 2021

Littering PSA

November 10, 2021
Placed on tables in the library among several other rows sits a crafted tombstone. Made by higher level French students, these headstones were made to signify famous people who have passed and provide background or significance to the person and their life. “We did a tour on Monday of the cemetery after it was all set up, and the students created questions to ask their classmates about their headstone,” French teacher Sara Karst said. “My other students created headstones for their ‘alter egos’ or ‘spirit animals.’”

Bonjour French Week

November 10, 2021
Performing in Minnesota at this year’s BOA Championships, senior Preston Ward plays the trombone. Besides playing his instrument, Ward is one of the Majors and is in charge of monitoring the band as a whole during performances. “One thing I found challenging while performing was making sure the band stays in tempo at all times,” Ward said. “Throughout the show, some sections were not in sync with each other, and it is my responsibility to bring them back together.”

Loud and proud

October 27, 2021

Coding for kids

October 6, 2021
Donating blood for the first time, senior Luke Hudek participates in the fall blood drive. Heading into this experience, Hudek felt waves of emotions but was prepared and aware of the benefits his donation would provide. “Overall I had a good experience, and it’ll be very beneficial to keep donating,” Hudek said. “I want to donate in the future because nothing bad can happen to me and only good things can happen to people who need the blood.”

A drive to provide

September 30, 2021
Conversing with a volunteer during her district-required mock job interview, freshman Evalinn Eisel answers the questions given about the fictional job she applied for. Approaching the interview, Eisel came well prepared with the essentials for each interview: her job application, resume and reference sheet. “Overall I think I did pretty well because I was given good feedback,” Eisel said. “I felt it was pretty easy to answer the questions and follow along.”

Inside mock job interviews

September 20, 2021
Sitting among the stairs at the infamous Roman Theatre in Jordan, junior Sarah Qaud journeys throughout the country to popular attractions such as this one. Taking a trip to visit her family living outside of the United States, Qaud spent 38 days outside of the country this summer. “The Roman Theater is mindblowing, and it was so interesting how Jordans would just sit and walk around it normally, whereas I was acting like a whole tourist,” Qaud said. “There are no words to describe how much I enjoyed it.”

A great escape

September 14, 2021
Gathering among her relatives, senior Lauraine Komla-Ebri shares an African dish called Fufu, which is native to her home country, Lomé. After an absence lasting over 10 years, Komla-Ebri revisits her childhood home with numerous family members who traveled from Italy and France.“This trip made me happy in many different ways,” Koma-Ebri said. “Getting to see family I haven’t seen in years and revisiting where I used to live and go to school was like a distant happy memory.”

Home at last

September 2, 2021
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