Jerry Harold

                               NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL

Q: What clubs/activities are you engaged in at your school?

A: I’m part of the WHYY media labs program which specializes in film/journalism, it’s part of a company called WHYY in Center City, Philadelphia. I am also a member of Indo Pak which is a Middle Eastern ethnic organization. I participated in the multicultural show with them by performing their dance in front of my school. I also did a talent show that was sponsored by Tony Danza. 


Q: What do you want/plan to do after high school?

A: I plan to hopefully work on music because I recently joined a band just right before quarantine started. I also would love to publish my own novel because I’m a vivid reader and love to write.


Q: What is your best memory from senior year? 

A: Definitely when I was performing for Indo Pak. I was the only non-Middle Eastern person in that organization and performing with them in front of the school was a very daunting experience. In the end, everybody did their best and we all formed strong bonds with each other and made new friends in the process. 


Q: What is your best memory from all of high school?

A: When I performed for the talent show, it was my first time ever performing on stage and I asked two of my friends to perform with me. We practiced once or twice a week and when we auditioned, we somehow landed 5th for the auditions’ top performance. We were really surprised. We sang “Your Song” by Elton John in front of the school. This has helped me get stage experience for when I work on music in the future.


Q: What is your greatest achievement? 

A: My greatest achievement was forming a band in my high school for the talent show. It was my first time forming a band. Unfortunately, it disbanded when the pandemic hit which led to the cancellation of the talent show this year. 


Q: What is one thing you will miss about your school?

A: The friends that I’ve made throughout the 4 years, I wish them success in college.


Q: Friends that I have made throughout the 4 years.

A: I’ve made a lot of friends throughout the 4 years and it would take me 2 pages or more to write them all. If I were to narrow it down to the most important ones, I think it would be Jan Lopez and Shibin Sebastian. Jan is a good friend of mine from the IB program, he is academically driven and got to Boston University this year with a full scholarship. He also performed with me in the talent show as a pianist. Shibin Sebastian is the president of WHYY and president of Indopak and really made my 4 years memorable as a friend.

Q: How has your high school experience shaped you?

A: It has made me become more confident in myself and has enhanced my critical thinking and public speaking skills. 


Q: What has been your most formative high school experience? 

A: During my junior year, I met this girl in my biology class, we had arguments from time to time but at the same time were very close like siblings. She encouraged me to do the talent show and I couldn’t have done it without her. Due to an argument that broke out between us last summer, I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to her. It just shows how a person can leave your life if you take those small moments for granted. If you’re reading this, all I want to say is thank you. 


Q: Do you have any advice to give to incoming freshmen? 

A: High school is a transformational process into adulthood. Those 4 years will change the way you think, look, and everything you thought of yourself. It’s a process of digging deeper and finding who you truly are. In order to do that, you will make plenty of mistakes in the process but that’s okay. High school is where you make plenty of mistakes in order to learn from them so you won’t make them again once you graduate and are thrown into the adult world. 


Q: How are you feeling during the quarantine? What are you doing to keep yourself engaged?

A: I’ve been reading books such as “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman and “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami. I also am writing a novel that I’m hopefully submitting for a contest in June. Also, I’m learning piano and am currently learning “Chopin Nocturne no.2”. 


Q: How do you feel about your senior year being cut short?

A: It is definitely very unfortunate for all the seniors this year. We have been preparing 12 years to see ourselves in a cap and gown and to walk down the aisle to receive our diplomas. Unfortunately we can’t do that and also senior prom is canceled. I actually had the guts to ask someone out to prom this year and was looking forward to it and sadly it’s not going to happen.


Q: If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?

A: I would change the school lunch and breakfast. The school lunch has been nothing but terrible and inedible. Lunch and breakfast in school is essential for students because it fuels them and helps them be more attentive in class. Proper school lunch and breakfast is crucial. 


Q: If you could change one thing about the school district, what would it be?

A: I would change the underfunding of some schools. Some schools, including mine, are underfunded and funding is necessary for the school community to function.


Q: If you could change one thing about Philadelphia, what would it be?

A: Definitely the school system, I think Philadelphia’s school system needs improvement and it favors certain schools. I think that’s why some kids are being disadvantaged in terms of learning and educational experience.