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Brandon Melo, Junior, Orestimba High School

Parent(s): Michael and Denise Melo

Born in: Modesto

Favorite subject: Math

Favorite food(s): Pizza and burgers 

Favorite superhero: Ironman 

Favorite app: Netflix 

Words to live by: “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it; you either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”  

Favorite artist: Kane Brown

Last book read: “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hobbies: Cooking, watching Netflix and mowing lawns

Brandon, now a junior, explained that the transition to Orestimba as a freshman was very difficult because he came from Sacred Heart Catholic School in Patterson and only knew two people at OHS. But as time went on, Brandon shared, he quickly began to meet more people and also loved the inviting feeling of the staff and faculty to make him feel comfortable.

“When I first got to OHS I  didn't know a lot of people due not going to Yolo and the elementary schools here,” Brandon told Mattos Newspapers. “Before I knew it I was making friends, and also the staff and faculty here welcomed me and just made my transition so great."

Brandon is active in various clubs at Orestimba, such as the NCLUSD Musical Theatre Department and Gaming Club, along with being the junior class president on the Student Council.

After some rough spots early on, he said, the Student Council meetings (held via Zoom) are running smoothly.

He reported that all council members are able to attend all meetings as they are able to set up a time that works for everyone. Another positive, he mentioned, is that all advisers are able to give input to all topics discussed at meetings. Even if they were unable to attend they are able to get a summary of the meeting and leave email comment to provide input.    

Also, Brandon has been involved with NCLUSD Musical Theatre Department for two years as part of the backstage crew. He recently moved to managing special effects for the shows.

Like all other students in the district Brandon has been learning remotely. He said distance learning was very difficult in the beginning because not all teachers were checking in on students and the situation was often confusing. Now, Brandon said, he is able to get a lot more motivation to do his work with the help of teachers who check in through email to make sure things are running smoothly.

Looking forward to his senior year at OHS and planning his departure, Brandon stated that he  wants to attend a four-year college but has not yet made a choice of schools.

He is using his time in high school to experiment with what he truly likes before deciding what he wants to do as a career.

“I want to use this time in high school to see what I truly like as a career path because I like so many different classes," he told Mattos Newspapers. "I’m sure it will come to me soon.”