Garinger seniors help build home

By: Yahya Abdur-Razzaq and Savannah Wilson

Did you know Garinger high school students and staff are helping to build a house?

The house is for Habitat for Humanity and will go to a disadvantaged family of four when completed.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Habitat for Humanity are in a partnership called Senior BuildUp. The program is for seniors from across CMS high schools to come together to build a house for a family in need. Garinger is striving to raise $2,500 to help the project. A Garinger student also worked at the site earlier this spring.

Once Habitat finds a family in need of a house, the family has the opportunity to help build the home. That means students who are helping to build the house get to interact with the future residents of the home.

Out of the 19 students from CMS high schools, senior At’Lea Byrd represented Garinger at a student workday March 6.  She worked for five hours on helping to build the foundation.

“It was fun and enjoyable,” Byrd said.

In order to raise money, the Garinger community has sponsored staff versus student basketball games, sold Autobell car wash tickets and has given teachers the chance to pay to wear jeans each Thursday. So far, Garinger has raised $ 600.

A phone-a-thon aimed at Garinger alumni is another way that seniors are going to try to collect donations. Seniors will spend a couple of hours calling former Wildcats during the evening of Thursday, May 9.

Garinger is taking donations from the community as well and plans to spread the word through Facebook and Twitter. Donors also may contribute online.

For details about the project, visit To make a donation for Garinger’s fund drive, click on “Central Zone,” then “Garinger High School.”

The Cultural Fair

Karina Cortez, left, and Ms. Perreras, right, performing at the Cultural Fair. Photo by Keonna Wilson

By Eric Salinas and Keonna Wilson

On March 28th the feel of success and enjoyment was present in the cultural fair.

A large crowd was attracted by the scent of the diverse types of food, vivid colors from different flags and music from different countries. The cultural fair is an event that started in 2012, at Garinger High School it has been arranged by Ms. Perreras.

This portrays the great cultural diversity that is present in our school.
Students and teachers that volunteered were a great part of this event. Many of them made expositions of the country they originated from or the country that they were interested in. Some people even brought some of the traditional food from their countries and they also wore some of the traditional clothing.

Attendees were able to learn new things from different countries.The event ended with the performances of some of the students who volunteered.

The woman behind Kemmi’s success

Kemmi Pettway poses for camera as the sun hits his face

By Pedro Segundo
“It’s very easy to work hard when you’ve got someone pushing you,” said Kemmi Pettway.
From a very early age, Kemmi has been pushed: pushed by life, pushed by his coaches, but most importantly, pushed by his mother.
His mother is the person who always saw something special in him, the person who would push him to be better than the rest and the person who would motivate him at the hardest of times.
From a very early age, Kemmi saw struggles in life, and everything he has experienced and gone through is what defined his character and the person he is today.
Kemmi, 18 and a senior at Garinger, remembers when his mother took him to work with her. He remembers when he had to spend eight hours waiting in the booths while his mother worked in a fast food restaurant.
His mother bought him the first football he ever owned.
“She always pushed me to be better than the rest, not just average,” Kemmi recalled recently. Even when things were not looking good for him, at times when he felt like giving up, he never did because his mother motivated to keep going, to keep trying and not give up.
That perseverance has finally paid off. Earlier this year, Kemmi was accepted to UNC Chapel Hill, where he will play football and major in business. The Charlotte Observer featured his successes in a Sunday article in February, explaining how a recruiter visited Garinger to sign him on.
Being recognized on the field – and in the media – were two of Kemmi’s long term goals.
Education, however, always comes first.
“School is my priority; football was just a way for me to get into college without having to worry my mom about college loans,” he said.

His mother is still paying her college loans to this day.
To put it simple, his mother is his role model because she pushed him to be what he is today. Now that he is off to Carolina, his motto is “Work hard or stay home.”

Behailu (Ba-HI-Lou) offers creative edge

Painting is one of several artistic offerings at Behailu Academy. Several Garinger students attend each week. Photo by Diego Araujo

By Diego Araujo
Ba-HI-Lou is how the “Behailu” in Behailu Academy is pronounced.
This academy in the nearby NoDa neighborhood focuses on finding your voice and transforming  into an artist.
The academy specializes in a variety of artforms that draws a faithful group of Garinger students each week.
For example, there are classes that teach students hip hop dance, computer animation and even drawing or painting.
It is a non-profit organization whose number one goal is to help people find and express their voice. Local artists teach the classes based on their skill.
Deedee Mills, the founder of the program, guarantees that once you join the academy, you will certainly enjoy every minute of Behailu and discover something new of yourself.
David Gamble, a student that attends Garinger High school, says he enjoys Behailu very much because of the energy it gives out towards the community, the freedom it offers and the creative learning experience.
Lexus Williams, also a student at Behailu, recommends the program to people who want to learn new skills and says the people in it are creative, open-minded, and fun.
Check it out!
Are you interested in helping the community and discovering art? Behailu Academy will be open to the public during the NoDa Studio Tour this weekend.
The tour is 6-10 p.m. Friday, May 3rd and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 4th.
Visitors will get to see one-of-a-kind art work by the young artists, such as drawings, paintings, photography and live performances. The event is FREE.
Behailu is located at 451 E. 36th St., Charlotte.

Ask Homegirl

How do teenagers nowadays deal with bullying?

How do we handle this situation if we are ever exposed to it?


Home girl has never been bullied so I can’t speak from experience, but what I do know is that bullying nowadays has actually gotten worse. Students feel “Lame” or “Un-cool” because they go tell an adult or their parents. I honestly think what should happen is that the victim should stand up for themselves and not always depend on the adults. Which leads to another situation: teachers and staff at the schools really don’t enforce bullying as well as they should.
If you know anyone being bullied, or witness someone being bullied, be a friend and help out.
I bet they can’t take two on one!
Home girl out!

Ms. Hendee gardens in Haiti

By Kimberly Monge
It is our normal daily routine at Garinger High School to learn the objective with help from our teachers.
Instead, one of our teachers was selected to go to Haiti for a couple of days to help other students.
The teacher selected was Ms. Hendee, an Earth and Environmental teacher. She was chosen to go because she wanted to help others and experience new things from other cultures.
On Friday, March 8, early in the morning, Ms.Hendee met up with people from UNC-Chapel Hill at Charlotte Douglas Airport. They were on the way to Haiti to run a health clinic, and Ms.Hendee was to help the children at a children’s home put a garden in on the rooftop.
Ms. Hendee stayed in Port-au-Prince, at an orphanage home called New Hope Haiti Mission. During those days, the whole group planned to run a health clinic for the children who lived at the orphanage.
“When the earthquake hit in Haiti in 2010, I wanted so desperately to go. However, a mentor of mine mentioned that I would not have a skill to bring and would take jobs away from Haitian people,” Ms. Hendee said.
“I didn’t want to go back to Haiti until I had a skill. Garinger taught me how to garden. I brought that skill to the garden in Haiti and learned even more.”
In Haiti, their morning breakfast was spaghetti, fried chicken and heavy eggs with boiled plantains, even though the traditional meal for Haitians is rice and beans.
The water from Haiti was polluted so nobody could drink or bathe in it.
Ms Hendee said that the surprising thing is that all the groups had to be sitting inside a cage when a vehicle was driving them to a location. Otherwise, it was a long walk because they had to wake up early in the morning with the young girls so they could get water for everyone in the orphanage. It was an hour walk to go to the river and go back to the home, get dressed and go straight to school.
Ms. Hendee said the education for Haitians is expensive because it is a private school. If students wear the uniforms inappropriately or if the students are late to school, they are suspended for one week.
In the New Hope Haiti Mission, six teenagers take care of the other children. Two older boys named Macintosh and Ricardo take care of the children’s school work and every night they would put the children in prayers before sleep.
Four older girls named Anel, Daniela, Joelle and Marie Carmel, make sure that the children eat their food and clean the house. The saddest part is the oldest boy is almost 18 years old. In a couple of months, he will have to leave the orphanage and start out to search for jobs like the adults.
The leader of the orphanage, Scott Salvant, is living in Haiti with his wife April and their five children. He said that Haiti is his new home.
Salvant is trying his best for the orphanage; lately they have been having some issues.
The orphanage does not want to add more orphans because recently they have added two young boys who physically abused some girls and were kicked out. The girls that were abused were having nightmares and were frightened to go outside.
After she returned, Ms.Hendee set up a Skype call with her 4th period class and AP students. Garinger students met Salvant and Macintosh, Ricardo, Anel, Daniela, Joelle and Marie Carmel.
The orphans told the class that they would love to come to America; one of the eldest males wants to work here as a doctor.
They said that they love to play soccer and basketball and one of the things they enjoy is watching soccer matches on their mini TV/radio.
Ms. Hendee is happy with the outcome.
“It was an opportunity to expose myself and my students to a different culture. I also was able to serve in knowledge, experience, and relationship building. I feel so blessed I was able to go and cannot wait to go back,” she said.

Spring Concert

By Ashlee Galbreath

Did you enjoy the winter concert?

If you did, you will enjoy the spring concert.

If you didn’t attend last time, come enjoy the concert this month.

The concert will be at Garinger High School on May 15, 2013 at 6 p.m.  in the auditorium. Watch your classmates show off their talents in dance, chorus and band.

The dance program is run by Ms. Haith. It’s her first year at Garinger High School and she has brought new styles to dance at Garinger with different types of choreography and themes to the pieces that the dance class performs.

She was really excited about her first concert in December. Now, she is even more excited about the spring concert.

“The kids have grown as dancers from the last concert,” Haith said.

Students in her class know that Ms. Haith really enjoys her classes and teaching dance. Watch out for dance when you come to spring concert because they have something exciting to show the audience.

So come support your Garinger Wildcats in this last show of the 2012-2013 school year. It is free and it will be worth your while.