Happiness is… the MAD Academy!

This week I have decided to write about an academy I am a part of within Santa Barbara High School, called the MAD Academy. MAD stands for Multi Media Arts and Design, where students are given the opportunity to learn skills such as how to use photoshop/illustrator, social media, photography, and film over the course of their four years in high school. I decided to join the MAD Academy because I wanted to find something I would be passionate about in high school, and I hoped to become a more “tech-savvy” girl (I’m still not that great with computers).


This last week the sophomore class had the pleasure of going on a retreat together for team building and some fun! We went to the Montecito Sequoia Lodge in King’s Canyon where we were surrounded by the beautiful scenery of  snowy slopes and giant pine trees, and I was instantly overwhelmed with happiness! The snow days consisted of: ultimate snowball fights, sledding, attempted cross country skiing, snow hikes, jacuzzi time, and some fun card games! Being on that retreat away from technology and stress from school work, we all were brought closer together as we were reminded what the MAD Academy is all about! On this retreat we all realized that the MAD Academy is truly like a family!

Another amazing experience I have had was back in January when the MAD Academy went on a service trip to Tijauana, Mexico. This is an annual trip that the MAD Academy goes on and it was my first year attending! In Tijauna, us MAD students got the privelege of helping build homes for families in need. Over a span of five days, we set up camp, and were split into about seven groups each assigned a worksite for three days to build the families’  homes.

During the three working days, we were able to connect with the families we built the homes for. What was most astonishing to me, was how happy the children were even though they did not have some necessities that we take for granted everyday. To see the start to finish product was amazing, and what made me thankful and happy was the smile on the family’s faces when we gave them the key to their new home. This experience was enlightening, and the feeling of giving back and making a difference in someone’s life was indescribable.

It makes me happy to feel that I am capable of making a difference even when I am only a high school student.



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