Featured Athlete

By: Alessandra Serrano
North Hollywood High School

I remember when I was five, I would play with the sticks at the park and launch them into the air. My parents would bring bikes, toys, and balls to the park, but I would never use them. I always preferred playing with the sticks instead of the toys. I loved throwing them into the trees and possibly knocking down a pinecone.

My parents noticed that I would never play with any of the toys, so they decided to make me a small bow and arrow out of a few tree branches. I would ask to go to the park frequently just so that I could try out my hand-crafted bow. Although I tried really hard to hit my targets, I never could. I would get pretty mad, because my shooting methods wouldn’t work, so instead of trying to hit a target, I would just shoot the air and see how far my projectile would go. My parents thought it was just a phase, and that I would get bored of it easily after playing with it a few days. However, that’s not what happened.

Alessandro Serrano, North Hollywood High School

Alessandro Serrano, North Hollywood High School

When I turned eight, my parents bought me a toy bow, a plastic bow with arrows that couldn’t pierce anything. I was the happiest I could ever be because I would finally be using a bow that wasn’t made out of twigs. As time went on, I would ask for more sophisticated bows, but they were too expensive so I had to stick with toys. When I was twelve, I researched online and found a shooting range that gave free classes to beginners on weekends – no experience or equipment needed. The Hunger Games recently became popular that year, so there were many people at the range trying to impersonate Katniss Everdeen. Although I had to endure two hours of lessons and waiting just to shoot three arrows, I experienced something that I was passionate about since I was five.

I kept going to that same range, until I arrived at North Hollywood High School. I was told about all of the extracurricular clubs and sports, and I really wasn’t interested in many of them. One day, when I was going to the park with my little brother, I searched up the school website to check the calendar for the next week’s events. I was surprised to find that there was an archery club meeting being held every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At first I thought I must have been looking at the wrong calendar, for there couldn’t have been an archery club at my school. I excitedly told my mom about my new discovery, and she told me to go and be a part of the club.

When the day came, I hurriedly walked to the area where the archery club met and was welcomed with opened arms. The club members were amiable and told me everything I needed to know about their group. Our club supervisor, Ms. De La Fuente encouraged me to be a part of their team, and she has supported me ever since I joined the club. She has helped all of us, especially me, live our dreams of being able to shoot on a weekly basis. Without her kind support and guidance, the North Hollywood High School archery club would not be here, and I wouldn’t be able to do what I’ve always wanted to do on a regular basis at my school.

So many people like my parents and Ms. De La Fuente have supported me throughout my wild journey, and now they’ve given me the opportunity to do something that I am really passionate about. I only wish to be able to motivate other people who are interested about the lovely sport that is archery.