Academics, sports, travel: Student summer experiences

Mackenzie Greco and Lily Kellams

Summer is the time that people look most forward to. Trips to the beach, barbecues with family, and movies with your friends are numerous parts of the summer experience that many ETHS students indulged in this past summer. 

Aside from the basics, many students also explore new places around the world, prepare for their upcoming sport seasons, and work with fellow classmates, taking advantage of the few short months of summer they have before returning back to school. For seniors, much of their summer includes college visits, essay writing, and setting goals. For incoming freshmen, many seek advice from older siblings or friends about how to navigate their new school environment. Many students spend their summer within the Evanston area, more specifically ETHS community.  

Over the summer, ETHS facilitated various summer camps catered towards specific sports to maximize exposure in the offseason. Freshman Jazmyn White-Pratt participated in the girls volleyball and basketball camps, both of which were run by ETHS coaches. 

Each camp provided different activities and focused on various components and skills of the sport. White-Pratt enjoyed her time at the basketball camp, where she was able to master the basics while also getting a feel for the program. 

“At the ETHS basketball camp, we basically did the kinds of things that the high school girls would do in practice…going into the skills and sharpening them so we’re ready for the upcoming season this winter,” she says.

In addition to the ETHS basketball camp, White-Pratt took part in the ETHS girls volleyball camp, as well as the Volley4Change camp run by ETHS seniors Meg Houseworth and Margaret Adams, as well as Niles West senior Cherie Animashaun. Both of these camps allowed White-Pratt to improve her confidence on the court, while advancing her skills to prepare for tryouts.

“In Volley4Change, we went over the basic skills, sharpening them and making them better. We had a beach day at the end which was very fun. At ETHS volleyball camp, we went more into the technical aspects of volleyball and the controls. The camp was preparing us for tryouts,” White-Pratt states.

While summer acts as a break from school, students who have an important role within the ETHS community still had responsibilities to adhere to. Student Representative Nicole Yao was hard at work while many of us were basking in the sun. She spent much of her time coming up with ways to start the school year in a positive way. Safe to say, it’s working!

“The last two weeks of summer, [Mr. Pond] and I [figured out how] to make the transition easier and that kind of stuff,” Yao states.

Summertime urges students to explore new places and spend time away from home. Senior Jonah Ross spent the end of his summer break exploring the Southern part of California with his family. Ross enjoyed his trip by visiting colleges, spending time at the beach, and walking the streets of Los Angeles and San Diego.

“More towards the end of the summer I went to Los Angeles and we kind of went all over the Southern part of California to visit some schools and stuff like that. I visited UCLA, UC San Diego, and I visited Pomona [University] to maybe play basketball there so that was good,” Ross states.

During his time back at home in Evanston, Ross spent most of his summer working at Soul and Smoke, a takeout barbeque restaurant in North Evanston. 

“I worked at Soul and Smoke, which is a barbeque spot right by Fleetwood [Jourdain Center] and it was kind of a last-minute job, but I worked there for a majority of the summer. I did a little bit of everything. It’s more of a takeout spot, [so] I would be a cashier, greet the customers, and handle GrubHub and Doordash orders,” Ross states.

Very rarely do high school students engage in different internships, but when they do, they are as invested in it as they are in their school work. Junior Stella Hostine has been in her current position for almost two years and continues to express how much she enjoys it. 

Holstine has been invested in political change in the Chicagoland area since middle school, and she finally joined a team to make her impact. “I’m an intern for the US. House of Representatives, more specifically for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who represents the ninth congressional District of Illinois…But I also was a fellow for Alexi Giannoulias, Secretary of State campaign for the upper North Shore operations and field work.”

In most cases, students work at an internship for the experience, and a lot of the time people intern in the field they are interested in. Holstine was moved to make a change and wanted to be as involved as she could, by contributing to the helpfulness granted by interns.

“I’ve always been involved in progressive change. Especially now with recent events in our society such as the overturn of Roe v. Wade. And the Black Lives Matter protests happening back in 2020, because I got my internship when I was around fourteen, during that time. If I can be a part of the progressive Democrat change..[it makes it worth it],” Holstine expresses. 

As summertime comes to a close and we start to reminisce about our break, ETHS students are remembering the joy that summer vacation brings. The fun with friends, the trips with family, and the break from school that is well deserved, “That’s what summer’s supposed to be about right?” Yao states.