Youth sports are a staple in every growing city. The notion that we must keep our youth busy year round is one that is well received nationwide. Here in DHS, our Junior All American Football and Cheer program has proven to be a successful model of consistency for our youth, but has also served as a means for our community to rally together. After watching social media explode with images of championship trophies last week, I was able to catch up with some of the program leaders and learn a little bit! Randi and Traci Miller, thank you for chatting with me, their interview responses are below:
How many teams and divisions are there? And what are the age groups?
“We have 15 cheerleaders total. We broke them into teams by sibling groups to cheer to cheer at the games. We had 3 teams for the games ( freshman, and 2 sophomore teams ) For competition we had two groups , the younger girls(5-8) and older girls (9-13) and a chapter cheer. Football we have 5 teams ages 5-14: Tiny mites, freshman , 2 sophomore, and Juniors teams. We have about 100 football players … wow!”
“Our football and cheerleaders ages range from 5-14. We had a large amount of kids in the 10-12 age range that wanted to play football so we had to break that group into two teams . This is something that was a first for our city, the scheduling was challenging and it made our teams play at different cities but It was worth it to make sure the kids were able to play.”
Youth sports can be overwhelming at times! Why do you guys do what you do?
“My husband and I are active with our elementary school’s baseball and football. It takes up a lot of our time but it is totally worth it. Everything we do is for our kids and the kids in our community. I told myself a long time ago before we had children that I would be as active as I could in their school and sports until they didn’t want me to be involved. I enjoy spending the extra time with them and the kids we have met with school and sports. I think being a positive influence to my children is very important. I spend my time taking them to practice, I might as well help [the team] while I am there. As far as the cheer program, it is very hard to keep this program going, not many people have wanted to volunteer for this. I wanted to do my best to help run it and make sure the girls were able to continue to cheer. I knew several girls from last year would I like to return and continue to cheer, so I ended up volunteering to make sure they were able to. It’s so rewarding to see smiles on their faces and knowing that you helped put it there. It does get stressful at times but when I see children happy that is all that matters.
With so many negative things attempting to grab our kids’ attention, why do you feel this program is so important?
“I think it’s important because when you see the kids progress and the friendships they have made with other kids, they become encouraged to do their best… and they enjoy it! I feel like having additional activities it encourages children to do better in school and have positive attitudes as well.
What types of positive impacts have you seen?
“There is child I have met that was acting out in school before becoming involved… but once they became involved and realized they enjoyed having something other than school, it made them behave better while at school and encouraged them to make more of an effort with their school work. I have also met a few girls who joined cheer that were very shy, now at the end of our season they are more outgoing. Their confidence levels have increased and they have become a few of our best cheerleaders.”
I have read about past super bowl championships (we even celebrated a couple at our church) and current champions (both football and cheer) what successes have we had this year?
“We just had our conference cheerleading competition this past weekend, our team were in 3 different events and we finished 1st place in 2. We had our girls into two groups , a younger group (5-8) and an older group (9-13) both groups received 1st place. I am extremely proud of our girls! [Also], We have one of our 5 football teams (Sophomore Gold) headed to the Super Bowl this weekend! (and they WON the Super Bowl!)
Anything else you’d like to add?
“Our board always encourages more kids to join our program, and [we desire to] have parents become more active . We also are continuing to find ways to be more involved with our city and our community. We are looking forward to next season, we plan on doing our best to fundraise and get donations from businesses.”
Randy added, “I do it for the kids, my children and children of our community. I want to see our community wearing Eagles jerseys around our city, and not the jerseys of Palm Springs Indians or the Cathedral City Lions. I want our children to be proud to play in DHS and play for our Eagles and one day get the opportunity to play for the DHSHS Golden Eagles. I became a board member because I saw a need, the past 2 years looked like a struggle and I wanted to help make the league better as a whole any way I could. And I think I’ve done that. Helping set up snack bar, doing the announcing during our home games, ordering spirt gear. [I am] Just trying to make sure these kids look good, have fun and have a place to play at the end of the day.”
President Gabriel Munoz added, “You’ve got to have Determination and Heart if you want to Succeed…. play with passion… Determination and Heart [will lead to] Success”
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend the academic awards show at DHS High. As I reported to you, I was amazed at the academic excellence and overwhelming brilliance on display. Dozens of students received awards for having achieved GPA’s(Grade Point Averages) well over 4.0, with some as high as 4.5! To me, this is a testament to a Principal (Caroline Cota) and staff who push and motivate our students to excel, strong family support, and pride in achievement. Kudos again to our students. However, amongst the names I heard were 3 students who caught my attention. 3 students, all with the last name Kaushal graced the platform with GPA’s over 4.0! Obviously I had to inquire about their connection and I discovered that they were family, two sisters and a cousin. This week I was able to sit with them and discuss the things that drive them to achieve in the classroom and beyond.
The seemingly reserved Jeashan Kaushal (pictured on the right) is a junior with a 4.16 GPA. He kind of ‘came alive’ when I asked him about his favorite subject, quickly letting me know that anything science related is exciting to him. He has plans to attend UC Irvine, and while he is undecided concerning his major, you can tell that he is destined for greatness. He credits his drive with his parents stressing that Education is his way, his ticket to a better life. He believes that his academic pursuits will create a pathway for a better life for his family. Lastly, he declared that DHS has been instrumental in his achievement because of, “the motivating teachers who won’t allow you to settle.”
Sophomore Janvi Kaushal (4.5 GPA) is the youngest of the trio ([pictured center), and the one with the biggest smile! She is a math superstar and credits the older two for being an example for her. Like her cousin, she strives to achieve because she has a desire to help create a better life for her family. Although one may think that the pressure can be overwhelming for such a young lady, she almost effortlessly takes it in stride saying, “If I get a bad grade, my parents always tell me not to stress, don’t worry.” Kind of hard to imagine what a bad grade would be for someone with a 4.5 GPA! She concluded her portion with excitement while she boasted on the large offering of Honors and Advanced Placement classes DHS High has to offer.
Last but certainly not least senior, Bhavna Kaushal 12 (4.6 GPA) displays a radiant an contagious energy! (pictured left)! She is the older sister of Janvi and desires to study Computer Science at San Jose State. Like the other two, she firmly believes that she will position herself to provide for her family, but she also believes that because she is the oldest, she must set the example and inspire the younger two. She is very active in the community as well! She volunteers as a tutor at Julius Corsini Elementary school and she loves that DHS affords her the opportunity to interact with city officials such as the Mayor and Council Members. What I left impressed with however was her drive. She said, “Some people (even parents) may say a B [class grade] is ok… [however] I say it is not ok!”
All three students will be the first to attend and graduate (yes they will!) from Universities here in the United states and they all share the same conviction, one that pushes them to place their families in better positions going forward. Each one hinted at the struggles and challenges their parents overcame in India, and almost use those memories as fuel to achieve. They understand the importance of the moment, they are all role models for their 5th grade sisters and are paving the way by way of examples of leadership and scholastic superiority. They are also involved in several clubs on campus (AVID, Rotary Interact, and the Book Club) Talk about jewels in the desert!
Citizens on Patrol!!!!
You see them throughout the day cruising through residential areas. You often notice their interaction with residents of our community, but may not be aware of what they do. Our Citizens on Patrol unit play a vital role in keeping in our city beautiful and welcoming. Kent Andersen, 9 year Citizen On Patrol officer and Treasurer was gracious enough to answer some questions for me.
Why do you do what you do?
“I do it because I care about the city I live in. So many people only complain about our city but you need to do something to help. There are many ways to help, I just found this interesting and I knew it [would make] a difference.”
Why are COPs so vital to our city?
“We are a small police force trying to do a big job. We are an extra set of eyes for our police. They can’t be everywhere so when we are on patrol, we are another presence on the streets. If we see something, we call it in. If there is a traffic accident, we can assist with traffic control freeing up an officer to go back on patrol. At crime scenes we can ensure the area is secure so the investigation can go smoothly. Every officer we replace is now free for other calls. At special events we can assist so that all goes smooth. We also transport legal documents to the court in Indio every week day so that office staff aren’t taken away from their duties.”
Want to get involved? They’re currently recruiting new volunteers!
“We are looking for people who want to make a difference. You need to pass a basic physical and Department of Justice check. We ask for 8 hours of service per month with a meeting the last Tuesday of the month. There are many ways to help so if you aren’t comfortable patrolling, you can do court runs or assist at community events. Right now, one of our biggest needs is for people who can assist on call outs which can happen at any time. These can be short or long depending on what is happening. Every COP goes through training with our training captain (Karen) so you must be available to work with her. For more information, head over to https://www.cityofdhs.org/police-department !
Danny Holt is Back!!!
Our world renown classical pianist is ready to launch the 6th season of the
Desert Hot Springs Classical Concert Series!
Kicking off the 6th Season of Desert Hot Springs Classical Concert Series (begins in January 2020), Founder & Artistic Director, Danny Holt, will present a benefit concert for Desert Hot Springs High School’s music program on Monday, December 9 at 7 p.m. in the Theater at Desert Hot Springs High School, 65850 Pierson Blvd., Desert Hot Springs. The entire community of DHS and the Coachella Valley are welcome. Admission is free, thanks to underwriting from the City of Desert Hot Springs Community and Cultural Affairs Commission, support from local businesses, and individual donations. All Cash donations at the door will benefit the high school’s performing arts programs.
“In our sixth season, we’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Palm Springs Unified School District to bring concerts to the local schools,” said Desert Hot Springs Classical Concerts Founder and Artistic Director, Danny Holt. “Our regular series of four concerts at Grace Church will be bookended by concerts at Desert Hot Springs High School in December 2019 and May 2020, including my upcoming performance on December 9th.”
About Danny Holt…Pianist Danny Holt has been called “exceptional” by the Los Angeles Times, and The Record (Waterloo, Ontario) described him as “the classical music equivalent of an extreme sports athlete.” He brings his boundless energy and wit to performances of classical repertoire as well as music by the composers of today. He has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl, and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Blue Man Group, among others. Gramophone called Holt’s Fast Jump CD (Innova Recordings, 2009) “a compelling showcase for Holt’s innate virtuosity and gregarious temperament”. When he’s not traveling to perform or teach, Holt calls Desert Hot Springs home. He founded Desert Hot Springs Classical Concerts in 2015 to bring classical music to the community. For more information on the Classical Concert Series, visit: www.DHSclassicalconcerts.org .
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