Published in the February 15 – 28, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Isabella Giubileo

Isabella Giubileo

I remember how I felt on my eighth-grade graduation day — excited, nervous and very optimistic. I understood the upcoming year would be challenging, but I knew I was armed with the knowledge I would need to thrive. As I walked on the stage and accepted my diploma, I looked out at the crowd and felt confident I was ready for my next four years at Notre Dame High School.

I had been at my old school for nine years, and grew alongside my close-knit class of 35 students. The idea of leaving them behind and moving to an all-girls high school terrified me. I had always had them beside me as a mini support team. We all dreaded graduation day, when we would have to go our separate ways.

However scared we were, we were 10 times that amount excited. Something about high school made us curious. We were all armed with the skills and knowledge we needed. We had a group of teachers cheering us on, assuring us that we would succeed at our new schools. They had taught us all we would need to know: how to make friends, what to do when we fail a test, and how to deal with tricky subjects. We had all the tools we needed to fly, we just needed to take the first jump.

I know that the confidence they instilled in me helped me to succeed. When teens are optimistic of their future transitions, such as to a high school, it becomes much easier. But in order to have this optimistic outlook, teens have to be armed with the right skills. Giving teens a solid education and a good support team is key. Assuring them that everything will be OK can seriously help with a teen’s outlook.

When I had to transition between schools, I was really worried. My family and school community helped to assure me that it’s OK to feel this way, but not to let this feeling take over everything. If you go into something, whether it be a new school, a job interview, or a rough patch in your life, having a positive outlook is important. It can change a bad situation into endless opportunities.

If I went into my freshman year of high school with a negative outlook, I know that I wouldn’t have had all the wonderful opportunities I have today.

My advice to you is to be optimistic and support others. You never know how far a good outlook will get you.

Morgan Hill YAC member Isabella Giubileo, 15, is a freshman student at Notre Dame High School in San Jose. Her favorite thing to do is painting her nails, reading and photography.


To learn more about the Youth Action Council and the 41 Developmental Assets, visit