Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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Sun Youth Forum Bios - 2013

About 1,000 students from 52 high schools across the Las Vegas Valley participated Wednesday in the 57th annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum. Here's a closer look at 10 of the attendees, chosen at random.


    Youth Forum
  • Annika Marie

  • Age:15
  • High School: Palo Verde High School
  • Class: Junior
  • Clubs/Activities: Cross country, track, National Honor Society
  • Favorite Book: "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini
  • Favorite Movie: "The Breakfast Club"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? Coldplay, Local Natives
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: Gun control and gay marriage
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: United States international relations
  • Plans: Attend a four-year university and hopefully get a pharmacology degree.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? Based on my accomplishments.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? Five years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: There are always fun things to do and see.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: I don't know, it's pretty good.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: I do think college will make a difference. People with good degrees are harder to find. I think the economy has gotten better since the low. It won't be easy but it should be okay.
    Youth Forum
  • Austin Lopez

  • Age:17
  • High School: Centennial High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: Science Olympiad, Science Bowl, cross country
  • Favorite Book: "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • Favorite Movie: "The Amazing Spiderman"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? OneRepublic
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: Education. Nevada isn't very highly ranked compared to other states.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: The state of the world economy.
  • Plans: Attend college to be a chemical engineer.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? Every Friday I suit up, so I'm always remembered for wearing bow ties.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? 17 years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: I really enjoy that we can go to the Strip any time.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: It's hot.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: I definitely think college will help a lot. I'm optimistic about getting a job the field I'm going into.
    Youth Forum
  • Dominic Graber

  • Age:17
  • High School: Clark High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: Show choir, chamber choir, drama club
  • Favorite Book: "The Vast Fields of Ordinary" by Nick Burd
  • Favorite Movie: "Silver Linings Playbook"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? Pentatonix
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: How we focus more on gambling than on education.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: The typhoon in the Phillipines.
  • Plans: I want to go to college for a theater major and a minor in social work.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As the guy who won a Tony on Broadway.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? Nine years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: It's a big city, there's lots to do.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: The porn boxes on the Strip sidewalks. They're gross and unnecessary.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: I do think going to college will make a difference if you can specialize. If you want to stay with the times you need a degree.
    Youth Forum
  • Justen Aguiniga

  • Age:16
  • High School: Sunrise High School
  • Class: Junior
  • Clubs/Activities: Art club
  • Favorite Book: Anything by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Favorite Movie: "Captain America"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? All Time Low
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: Education. Nevada has one of the lowest education budgets in the country.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: Equal rights. Not all countries are fair, especially to women and minorities.
  • Plans: I plan to go to a university and eventually want to get into law school.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As someone who did their best to achieve their goals.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? 16 years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: Meeting people in school. We all have fun with each other.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: No one really cares about what happens here.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: I was pretty optimistic at first, but I've been trying to get a job and there's not a lot of opportunities, especially for teenagers. Nowadays it seems like you need a college diploma just to get a minimum wage job.
    Youth Forum
  • Noah Yaffe

  • Age:18
  • High School: Green Valley High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: Forensics, tennis
  • Favorite Book: "The Will to Power" by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Favorite Movie: "The Departed"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? Curren$y
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: The state of education. It's not respected across the country and makes it harder for students to get into colleges.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: Constant intervention by the United States in other countries with a lack of justification.
  • Plans: I plan to attend college to study biochemistry.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As super smart.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? 18 years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: The heat.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: You can't do anything until you're 21.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: I'm pretty optimistic. College is pretty much a necessity, but if you tailor your education to the fields with job opprotunities, you should be okay.
    Youth Forum
  • Yasmeen Kaboud

  • Age:18
  • High School: Green Valley High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: Theater, Varsity Quiz, National Honor Society
  • Favorite Book: "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
  • Favorite TV Show: "Criminal Minds"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? Country, Top 40
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: The lack of diversity in our economic system.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: Water scarcity
  • Plans: Going to college to become a criminal profiler.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As someone who brought diversity to her school in a good way.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? 18 years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: Saying you’re from Las Vegas is a conversation starter.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: The stigma that comes with it.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: Pretty optimistic because I want to get a pretty substantial degree.
    Youth Forum
  • Avishay Chand

  • Age:17
  • High School: Sierra Vista High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: Wrestling, Teenage Republicans, volleyball
  • Favorite Book: The Bible
  • Favorite Movie: "Forrest Gump"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? Sublime
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: The sway the gambling industry holds over the state.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: The U.S. being the world police.
  • Plans: Serving a mission for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, going into family law.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As the state champ for wrestling.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? 14 years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: The people.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: Gambling.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: Not too optimistic, but going to college will help.
    Youth Forum
  • Eeraj Junaid

  • Age:17
  • High School: Liberty High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: Student Council, National Honor Society, AP Club, Best Buddies
  • Favorite Book: "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
  • Favorite Movie: "Catch Me if You Can"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? One Direction — obviously
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: Budget cuts toward education.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: Everything going on in the Middle East.
  • Plans: I want to work for the United Nations.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As a leader.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? 15 years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: The malls, everything is open for a long time.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: The heat.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: Not very, but going to college will help.
    Youth Forum
  • Jacob Marino

  • Age:17
  • High School: Cimarron Memorial High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: Theater
  • Favorite Book: "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Favorite Movie: "Pulp Fiction"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? Daft Punk
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: Water
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: Terrorism
  • Plans: Go to Portland State University for a technical degree in theater.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As the guy that was at the right place at the right time.
  • How Long Have you Been in Las Vegas? Four years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: The people.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: The heat.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: No, to be completely honest. Going to college will help.
    Youth Forum
  • Raven Govelovich

  • Age:16
  • High School: Moapa Valley High School
  • Class: Senior
  • Clubs/Activities: National Honor Society, Autism Club, debate, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
  • What do you like to read?:Articles on current events
  • Favorite Movie: "Despicable Me"
  • What Are You Listening to on Your iPod? Country
  • Current Nevada Issue That Most Concerns You: The lack of educational help for special-needs students.
  • Current World Issue That Most Concerns You: Foreign relations
  • Plans: Go to school to become a special educator.
  • How do You Want to be Remembered at Your High School Reunion? As the girl who didn’t conform to what was popular.
  • How Long Have you Been in Clark County? 16 years
  • Best Part About Living in Las Vegas: So close to everything.
  • Worst Part About Living in Las Vegas: The congestion.
  • How optimistic are you about getting a job in this economy? Do you think going to college will help?: Very, because I know there is a need for the profession I want.

Compiled by Sun reporters Conor Shine and Bethany Barnes.