Rhythms of Inclusion: Weston Ranch High School Celebrates Hispanic Heritage
Empowering Students to Embrace Culture and Community
On a warm Friday afternoon, lively music echoed in the halls of Weston Ranch High School as students danced along to familiar Spanish melodies. The music and dancing were part of WRHS’s week-long festivities, which kicked off on September 18 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The schedule of activities included folklorico performances, a Caballero (Cowboy) roping contest, and a special shout-out to Latinx in athletics and science. To conclude the lunchtime fiestas, on Friday, students lined up on stage with posters highlighting public figures in the Hispanic community and invited others to learn about people of the Hispanic culture.
Jaelina, a junior at Weston Ranch High School who participated in Friday’s event, said, “I wanted to be a part of teaching people about Latin heritage. I know I’m not of Latin descent, but I think teaching people about it is still important. I also think it’s important for students here to see someone of their culture represented.”
Students who were not a part of the presentations were going from one student to another, learning and soaking in information about the Hispanic culture by asking questions and learning from their classmates. Staff observed and joined the fun by participating in a Spanish-themed photo booth.
Though the week’s focus was on Hispanic culture, in the halls of Weston Ranch, there is a greater sense of community and belonging, a place where students can connect and learn from one another.
Weston Ranch High School staff member Jacquelin Ochoa, who serves as an advisor for Hispanic-focused Baile Folklorico and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) clubs, has also noticed that culture-based activities have allowed students to embrace themselves more wholly.
“As they express their culture [through dancing], I see the confidence in their smiles. Even their parents have told me that they’re getting more confident,” she shared.
This lunchtime festivity was a glimpse into the school’s ability to be a safe haven for individuality, a quality of Weston Ranch that does not go unnoticed by its students.
A junior at Weston Ranch High School, Sunny Sandu, stated, “Weston Ranch has a multitude of diversity. Students feel represented and see themselves amongst their community and so it's amazing. I believe my school does really well with letting us feel represented and I believe Weston Ranch administration has done a really good job with letting us be seen.”
- Weston Ranch