By Grace Lee
DCI has been one of the biggest parts of my high school experience. But all the pictures I took, captions I wrote, videos I filmed and edited, posters I designed, podcasts I produced, and board meetings I attended were never a part of my plan until September of my freshman year.
By Sofia Nagy
“That sounds interesting. Might as well check it out.” That was quite literally what I thought when I read that paper announcement hanging near the main office building as a first-semester freshman student. Without expecting much of my application, I was summoned for one of the most nerve-wracking interviews of my entire life, and before I knew it, I received an email that read as follows “...we look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Monday, September 10, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. in the AHS Library Media Center. Congratulations, and welcome to #ausdDCI!” Surely enough, there I was on that sunny September afternoon with a myriad thoughts darting through my mind, not knowing how drastically I would grow and how many enriching experiences I’d be able to accumulate throughout the next 8 semesters of my life. Looking back at those 4 years as a graduating senior, I can tell you that they did turn out to be “interesting,” but they were much more than just that!
Two things that you will hear Mr. Foran repeatedly say throughout your time in DCI are: “Opportunity optimization,” and “you get what you give.” This internship is one of a kind because of the amount of freedom that it gives the interns in both the creative and time management senses. You assign yourself your own tasks, and you come up with your own projects. Can you do the bare minimum, do what everyone else is doing, hide in the back, and call it a day? Sure, you could, but you will promptly begin to observe how the peers who are always first to raise their hand, readily bring new ideas to the table, and go above and beyond rapidly develop their skills, become comfortable with the idea of taking risks, and transform into trail-blazers because they are putting in the work and effort. My advice to anyone who is a DCIer goes as follows: Do your very best at everything you do, but keep in mind that the only person you should be competing against is yourself. The more leaps you take out of your comfort zone, the greater your growth will be.
Work and seriousness aside, the second point that I’d like to get across is this: Have fun! DCI is a professional internship with high standards, but it is one that also offers so many opportunities to develop friendships, grow closer to your peers, laugh when you finally figure out what was wrong with the camera, have an exhilarating back-and-forth event coverage run alongside a DCI buddy, and realize that DCI is a family. Don’t place yourself in a continual state of stress and frenzy, because the DCI family has your back, will be there for you if you need help, will not be mad at you for an honest mistake, and is a place where you truly belong! Well, that’s just a little bit about my DCI story and experience… go write yours!
By Joyce Pang
When I found out about DCI, I have to admit I was pretty excited. Finally, there was a program that encompassed so many of my interests- photography, graphic design, videography, website design, and journalism. Plus, it didn't take up a class period ( I was in a shortage of slots). I knew I had found a gem… but I really did not want to do an interview.
Fast forward 4 years, I’ve been a manager for the website, DCI Instagram, and the Keepin’ It Arcadia Podcast Team— the LAST (and I mean very last) thing I thought I would do. See, when I joined, I had no intentions of broadcasting my voice on Spotify (I hated hearing my voice on video) or interviewing people (i mean hello? STRANGERS!!!). I was approached during one of my first DCI meetings by Jeffrey, an outgoing, well-spoken speech and debate/FBLA kid who managed the podcast. Jeffrey kept urging me to try a hand at the podcast team, and I joined, quite frankly, because he was so insistent and welcoming, and I, as a freshman, did not quite know how to get out of it (HAHA).
Little did I know, joining the podcast team was the best thing I could’ve done for myself. Being forced to interview people for the podcast, along with other terrifying incidents (like the time I was voluntold to give an impromptu speech-EEK, or the time I interviewed Olympic medalist Mirai Nagasu -read about the incident here), DCI has pushed me out of my comfort zone multiple times. While this was often awkward and nerve-wracking, it has caused me to be (through small steps), a more confident person speaking in front of groups and making my voice heard.
That’s why I’m so happy that in my freshman year, when I was reading my application over for the tenth time, scared to Hades and back about the possibility of my first interview ever, I still decided to press submit. And that when uncomfortable opportunities arose in DCI, I took them (not always confidently, but I mean… I’d like to say it still worked).
By Bethany Chow
I must say that when I first applied to join DCI, I thought it would be a Very SeriousTM program with students that worked with the Public Information Office (POI) of our school district, formulaically creating videos, taking photos, and managing the AUSD social media accounts. Three years later, I’ve realized that my assumptions were only half true. Yes, DCI works with the POI, but the POI is more than an acronym—it’s two people, Ms. Nuuvali and Mr. Foran, who are a few of the most passionate and driven people I have met during my time in high school. Additionally, DCI isn’t a class where you’re taught to make videos, take photos, and manage social media accounts. It’s real life experience.
I cannot express how thankful I am to DCI for truly allowing me to experience the Arcadia Unified School District through varying perspectives. DCI was the program that challenged me to take chances. It was DCI that allowed me to attend a full rehearsal of Arcadia High’s acclaimed Arcadia Stage Spring Performance. I’ll never forget watching the casts’ amazing acting and singing in the massive Performing Arts Center all alone with a camera in hand. In DCI, I progressed from making simplistic videos about clubs I attended and was familiar with to creating videos on a brand new CIF-winning League of Legends Esports Team. Attending sports games with front row seats was not something I would have expected to enjoy, but DCI gave me that opportunity too, from the CIF Finals of Co-ed Badminton to the nationally recognized Arcadia Invitational. I’m proud that I grew from a sophomore who couldn’t seem to understand how Facebook worked to the manager of the AUSD Facebook Page of over 8000 followers.
With that said, this is my advice to you, whether you are a hopeful applicant, current DCI member, or website passerby: take your chances, join DCI, and delve enthusiastically into AUSD, a school district of unparalleled depth and inspiration.
By Kathy (Kailin) Liu
Hi everyone! My name is Kathy (Kailin) Liu and I am an 8-semester DCI senior who will be graduating this June. As my high school career comes to a close, I am so grateful that DCI has been with me every step of the way. Aside from being a rare, professional opportunity that has introduced me to numerous hard skills like photography and graphic design, to soft skills like capturing an audience and interpersonal collaboration, DCI at the end of the day is a family. DCIers come from all corners of campus and it has been an honor to work alongside musicians, artists, performers, athletes, student representatives, academics, and so much more.
To my incredible fellow interns, my only piece of advice would be this: keep being amazing. DCIers are positive, professional, and passionate about what they do inside of DCI and out. Look to your left and look to your right. DCI is brimming with talent, connections, and support. If we give our all to this family, this family will give its all back to us. You guys grab onto opportunities and by doing so, create a path forward for others beyond DCI to thrive. Whether it be through writing articles, recording podcasts, or judging middle school entries, you guys lead by example in the subtlest of ways. A great leader is not always the one known for their work. Just like how our names follow the caption, our kind of leadership allows others to shine so that the entire community can shine collectively instead of individually.
Thank you all for being such incredible inspirations. And to Mr. Foran and Ms. Nuuvali, thank you for being the best mentors I could ask for. From your never ending troves of puns to invaluable constructive criticism, you have instilled so much confidence in me these past four years. I would not have had the confidence to attempt all that I have accomplished without your and the DCI family’s unfailing support. Now, although I will be adding alumni to the front of my DCI title, DCI remains with me in my actions, abilities, and aspirations. Thank you, love you guys, and until next time, this has been Kathy Liu, from AUSD DCI! *cue AUSD Today logo and AUSD ending card*
by Joya Sarkar
On March 31, 2022, DCI was able to attend and cover Spring Preview in person after three years. On this Thursday afternoon, DCI interns attended to either help out at the DCI booth or take photos/video for publication! The team had a great time informing the community about DCI and what interns do for the district. Make sure to check out DCI's coverage for Spring Preview on the AUSD Instagram and Facebook pages!
by Joya Sarkar
On March 17, 2022, DCI's AUSD Today Broadcast News team was awarded a CalSPRA (Excellence in Communications Awards Program) Award of Excellence in Multimedia/Visual Communication! Our interns on the AUSD Today team work hard to produce broadcast news videos to share important news and information with the Arcadia Unified School District community. A huge congratulations and round of applause to our interns for their continuous hard work and dedication!
by Joya Sarkar
On February 14, 2022, DCI interns, Claire Li and Jodie Tran, presented about Instagram's Reels to the DCI team. DCIers were informed about the many benefits of reels, when to film a reel, and how to edit a reel.
On October 4, 2021, DCI Intern Danielle Workman presented specific functions on Google Sheets to the team. DCIers learned the different vocabulary of Google Sheets, basic functions, and one advanced function called "sort." DCI now knows how to apply these concepts as high schoolers on our budget, volunteer hours, task list, and more.
One of the many cool aspects of DCI is learning from peers with different interests and expertise. During skill presentations, which are entirely student-led, students can teach peers about subjects such as photography, graphic design, editing, platforms and tools, professionalism, and real-world skills. Skill presentations are also a good way to practice public speaking, an often daunting task. Thank you to everyone who stepped up and has taken the time to create and present skill presentations this year! We hope you find them helpful!
Blog Posts Written by DCI Interns and Alumni