We are the students of the Mills High School Journalism class, led by Adviser Kelly Hensley.
Kaitlyn Chan (12) — Kaitlyn Chan is in her third and final year of Journalism as co Editor-in-Chief. Her time spent with the Thunderbolt has allowed her to work with some of the oddest and brightest students at Mills, for which she is thankful. Her favorite articles bring to light unknown issues, spark discussions across campus, or evaluate the plausibility of a Korean drama plot. On the side, she runs a high school meme page, captains the robotics team, and fights existential crises. She is currently reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.
Herman Peng (12) — Herman Peng is the former Opinions Editor, current co Editor-in-Chief of The Thunderbolt, and (hopefully) your future best friend. He enjoys talking in his free time, talking when he’s busy, and occasionally forming those talks into coherent sentences to be printed on The Thunderbolt. Herman likes staying involved in the community, and aspires to pursue this interest into a career in law and political activism. A man of strong opinions, he loves Stephen Colbert but can’t stand Jimmy Fallon. He envisions The Thunderbolt being more than just a newspaper, but a full-fledged media team, and is supremely confident that this year’s Thunderbolt staff will be the one to make the jump.
Editors and Managers
George Calderon (12), News Editor — George Calderon is the News Editor of the Thunderbolt and in his third year of journalism. He loves to meet new people, try new things, and discover curious concepts about himself and others. Passionate about biotechnology, environmental science, and his chickens, he cherishes his experiences working at the Exploratorium. From managing a team of writers to pondering the nefarious activities of horses, he is always game for a conversation. Or a mango.
Pauline Yang (12), News Editor — Pauline Yang is currently a senior who is starting her second year in the Thunderbolt as News Editor. She is an avid student and active member of the Mills Community, contributing to other organizations such as Varsity Tennis, Captain of Dragon Team, Chairman of the board for Interact, and Public Relations of STEM club to name a few. For hobbies, she enjoys painting, bullet journaling, cooking, and eating food. On the side, she volunteers at the local art school Art Attack, as a student intern teacher assistant, and is also currently developing a Virtual Reality game based on Schizophrenia and other mental health disorders. Her future aspirations are to work in the STEM field, but for now, she hopes to make the most of her last year in the Thunderbolt and at Mills.
Cara Ip (12), Features Editor — Cara Ip is a senior here at Mills High School and is the Features editor for the Thunderbolt. Ip is planning to pursue a career in Computer Science crossed with humanities, but believes that Journalism is a great opportunity to strengthen not only her writing skills but also her leadership capabilities. She enjoys spending her spare time wishing to adopt a dog, completing adult coloring books, and stressing out like an average high school student. She is thrilled to work with such an amazing team and hopes you enjoy the newspaper!
Rebecca Kim (12), Center Spread Editor/Web Manager — Rebecca Kim is finally (!!!) a senior and is excited to spend her last year in Journalism as the Center Spread Editor and Web Manager. She enjoys reading and writing introspective works on Medium and perfecting her Spotify playlists (follow her @kbcca for playlists for your every mood). She also appreciates having profound conversations with UBER drivers and strangers on MUNI, and jumps at opportunities to expand her mindset. Rebecca spent her summer taking business and microeconomic classes at a community college, trying to figure out what she’s going to do in her future (but still has no idea). She hopes you come to love the Thunderbolt as much as she has. <3
Sarah Huang (12), Opinions Editors — Sarah Huang is a current senior and Opinions editor of the Thunderbolt. Passionate in chemistry, philosophy, and international relations, Sarah hopes to be a part of the effort to create a more sustainable future for our planet. She enjoys expanding her worldviews by participating in Model United Nations and interacting with her many multi-talented peers. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, playing music, and drinking MILK TEA (the best drink in the world!).
Ava Chen (12), Chief Media Editor/Sports Editor — Ava Chen is a super cool senior at Mills High School. She has been committed to the Thunderbolt for the three years, earning the positions of Chief Editor of Media and Sports Editor. Besides writing totally awesome articles, Ava enjoys watching Korean Dramas, listening to Kpop, editing random videos, cracking jokes with her best friend Taylor, and staying at home. After school, Ava enjoys walking around Millbrae with her friends, Taylor and Kieffer. While Ava is also heavily dedicated to the Thunderbolt, she also participates in the Girl’s Golf Team, Mills Drama, Model United Nations Club, Leos Club, and CSF. She is also an Ambassador for the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce. A fun fact about Ava is that she recently took a jiu jitsu class! Although this will be her last year, but she will always be a Mills Viking at heart.
Amanda O’Dea (11), Entertainment Editor — Amanda O’Dea is currently a junior at Mills and also the 2017-18 Entertainment Editor for The Thunderbolt!! This is her second year in the journalism class and she is super-excited to entertain you all year long! Besides being part of this prestigious paper, Amanda is also a member of the Mills Cross Country, Track, and Mock Trial teams. As of now, Amanda is re-re-reading the Harry Potter series for the seventh time, working at the San Francisco Zoo, and writing the next great American novel. In her precious (yet quite limited) free time, she loves solving the first side of Rubik’s Cubes, spending time with her wonderful family and friends (all cats included), and voicing her support of the Oxford Comma.
Sarah Chang (10), Co-Business Manager — Sarah Chang is a current sophomore and Co-Business Manager for The Thunderbolt. She loves taking on challenges and learning new things. Chang is an avid reader of both webtoon and paper books. She hopes to continue improving her writing skills and being part of sustaining the newspaper through both her business and leadership skills. Outside of school, you could find Chang learning how to AP Physics with Sarah and Robert, watching Korean dramas with Kaitlyn and Ava, or laughing alongside her brother, Michael. She hopes to have another great year in Journalism and is excited for the years to come!
Daniel Xuereb (10), Co-Business Manager — Daniel Xuereb is in his second year of Journalism and first year being Co-Business Manager. For his sophomore year Daniel is focusing on getting good grades, making lots of new friends, and trying not to flunk out of school. This year Daniel is also planning on continuing his work with Peer Helping and Interact Club along with joining many more in the future. Daniel’s looking forward to all the excitement that this year has to bring whether it be pulling an all nighter studying for a quiz, or being emotionally unstable thinking about where he’s going to go to for college.
Ahmed Alsabbah (12) — Alsabbah is a senior at Mills High School who enjoys writing at school and in his free time. He hopes to be able to contribute to the school newspaper in a variety of ways, and he is interested in learning the makings of a good journalist. Aside from a strong aspiration for learning, Ahmed is an avid sports fan who enjoys watching and playing a multitude of sports. He is also a very strong believer in the art of relaxation. He believes that having the ability to relax is very necessary for finding success and achieving one’s true potential. Ahmed is a part of several clubs at Mills, including Contemporary Media Analysis and Computer Science club. He is known for his expertise in yellow shirts and for manning the cash register at the local Chipotle establishment.
Ezra Chan (10) — Ezra is a sophomore at Mills and a first-year staff writer for the Thunderbolt. If she had to choose three words to describe herself she would probably choose hardworking, shy, and curious, though Sarah would describe her as unique, “because it is a nicer way to say weird.” Outside of school she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, volunteering at the Peninsula Humane Society and with the Leos club, watching movies, and failing at sewing. She is also an avid reader but is extremely indecisive and can’t choose a favorite book. She is very excited to be a part of the Thunderbolt and hopes to improve her writing skills this year.
Justin Dunbar (10), Photo Manager — Justin Dunbar is currently a sophomore at Mills and is in his first year of Journalism. He is super excited to join The Thunderbolt and work with such an amazing crew. In his free time, Justin plays sports, especially baseball, as he is currently on the Mills JV Baseball Team. He also enjoys spending time with his amazing family and friends. Justin is striving for great things, hoping to go to a top notch college and get a job associated with sports. He would love to play, but would also love to broadcast, and, of course, become a sports journalist. He is looking forward to a great year and being able to make contributions to help make the newspaper even better.
Gillian Garcia (11), News Media Coordinator — Gillian Garcia is currently a junior at Mills and a first-year staff writer of the Thunderbolt. She dreamt of Journalism as a freshman and finally took the opportunity as a junior. Gillian is thrilled to work with the experienced editors of the newspaper to boost her skills as a writer and develop those of a journalist. She is eager to extend her impact throughout the Vikings community. With a strong spirit of service, she is the devoted secretary of Mills High Key Club, as well as an active member of CSF and Red Cross. She enjoys reading LITerature, writing (obviously), walking everywhere (but to nowhere in particular), and consuming boba. She has always greatly valued news sources, big and small, digital or print, and encourages everybody to #staywoke.
Adrian Ghilardi (11), Creative Consultant — Adrian Ghilardi is a junior at Mills and brand new to the Journalism class. His free time is spent on a soccer field, at a Boy Scout camp, hanging out with his dog, or playing/watching CounterStrike. He aspires to join the eSports industry sometime in the future, and start his own business. He is a Life Scout of Boy Scout Troop 355 and a member of the Cutter Scout Reservation staff, also known as Venture Crew 869. He has looked forward to joining the Journalism crew all summer.
Hoatson Kwan (12) — Hoatson Kwan is enrolled as a Senior for the 2017-18 school year at Mills High School. This is his first year of joining the humble and talented team of staff-writers and editors at the Thunderbolt. Kwan was born in Daly City and moved to the San Mateo District at the age of 10. He is an independent and diligent student who enjoys dabbling himself in the realm of writing. Amongst the various types of writing composition, he particularly pertains to storytelling and poetry. Journalism is a great opportunity for Kwan this year as it provides him with the experience to further enhance his writing artistry. Apart from writing, Kwan takes pleasure in volunteering his time as a tutor to students big and small. He cares a lot about others and wants everyone to achieve their academic goals. For leisure, Kwan likes to incorporate a balance of both an indoor and outdoor lifestyle. He enjoys hiking and traveling to foreign places. Indoor hobbies include doodling, playing video games, and (when time permits) binge watching HK Dramas.
Brielle Lam (9) — Brielle Lam is a freshman at Mills. This is her first year of Journalism and her first year of being in a school newspaper. She joined The Thunderbolt because she loves to read and write. You can usually find her on her couch at home reading a new book. Brielle is looking forward to her time here at Mills and in the Thunderbolt. Outside of school she is usually reading, binge watching a new show on Netflix, or eating. She’s hoping to improve her writing and leadership skills in Journalism. She is looking forward to this year.
Rachel Lam (10) — Rachel Lam is currently a sophomore at Mills and a first-year staff writer for the Thunderbolt. She is excited to work in an environment filled with talented and hardworking writers. Outside of school, Rachel plays for two soccer teams, practices the piano, and reads fairy tales. She loves working with children, so she volunteers weekly for Parca REACH, a child care program for kids with and without developmental disabilities. This year, she aspires to improve on her writing skills and develop her journalistic voice through her contributions to the Thunderbolt.
Emily Leung (9) — Emily Leung is a freshman at Mills High School and is excited to be part of Thunderbolt. She has a passion in writing poems and short stories. Emily hopes to obtain an English language and literature degree and become an author. In addition, she aims to fulfill her dream to become a surgeon. To help achieve these goals, she writes daily poems, having faith that the more she does it, the more her writing can improve. Additionally, she studies hard in school to get good grades. She believes that joining Journalism will be the next step towards success. Apart from her goals, Emily loves solving puzzles, playing American and Chinese style chess, reading mangas, watching anime and Korean dramas, and socializing. Her favorite authors are Meg Cabot and Colleen Hoover. When she is stressed out, she calms herself by playing the piano. Emily Leung is looking forward to contribute in Journalism and become a member of Thunderbolt.
Desiree Lin (11), Live PR — Desiree Lin is a junior who is extremely excited and honored to join the Thunderbolt crew! Although she is a newbie, she is quite eager to learn about the world of journalism with an amazing group of peers! Desiree is a very kind, generous, and hardworking girl who has a strong passion for community service. She is a part of many clubs such as Interact, Millbrae Leos, CSF, and Peer Helping club. Not only is Desiree extremely involved with clubs, but she is also involved with her school’s leadership class. When Desiree isn’t busy running around school preparing for different events, she enjoys playing tennis, catching up on sleep, sipping milk tea, and watching makeup tutorials on Youtube. Desiree honestly loves making new friends, so get to know her! Following her on Instagram/add her on Snapchat @desiree.lin
Jessica Lin (11), Center Spread Assistant — Jessica Lin is a first-year staff-writer who is cherishing her opportunity of finally being part of the amazingly eloquent Thunderbolt crew. She is a hardworking and ambitious student, challenging herself with academically tough courses, but still finds time and spirit to fully dedicate herself to both badminton and soccer teams. In return, she has been handsomely rewarded with great teammates, coaches, and awards (lucky much?). She prides herself in being a strong and reliable leader (who should, in theory, be heard by all her teammates from across the field/gym), and has had the privilege of captaining her past teams as well as currently leading two clubs, Mills Red Cross and Mills California Scholarship Foundation as the co-president and co-vice respectively. If you want to find her at school to compliment her, close your eyes and listen for the loudest, most sarcastic voice. She begs you to financially support the Thunderbolt so she can hopefully report on her favorite topic: the amazingly talented sports teams at Mills!
Albert Lu (12) — Albert Lu, aka the Canadian kid, is a current senior and first-year staff writer for the Mills Thunderbolt. He is an avid student who aspires to be the Prime Minister of Canada. He works everyday late into the night perfecting his journalistic and diplomatic voice. All jokes aside, Albert is heavily involved at Mills High School and is part of the Academic Decathlon Team, Future Business Leaders of America Club, CSF, and Model United Nations. In his spare time, Albert loves to read about current Canadian news events and also pursue new academic opportunities specifically in the business field. He continuously strives to do the best he can and hopes to attribute his positive work ethic to the wonderful staff of the Mills Thunderbolt.
Kieffer Manalang (12) — If you say Brad Pitt’s name there’s always one name we can think of and that is Kieffer Manalang. Kieffer Manalang is an awesome senior at Mills High School and in his first year of Journalism as a Staff Writer. Aside from getting gains for his brain, Kieffer is part of the Men’s Varsity Volleyball team and does Dragon Boat. Kieffer apparently likes to perform and he is part of Mills Drama. Cooking, sleeping, singing in the shower and watching Youtube videos are some of his hobbies. Kieffer hopes to learn on how to become a better writer with the help of his friends! Kieffer is the coolest among Ava and Taylor !
Aiden Neely () —
Taylor Nguyen (12), Illustrator — Taylor Nguyen is an amazing senior at Mills High School and is excited to be joining the Thunderbolt class as a first-year staff writer. Aside from her academic life, Taylor participates in several extracurricular activities such as Taekwondo, Swimming, Golf, STEM club, and Theater Crew. Taylor’s hobbies include drawing, playing Pokemon, and watching many television series. She also enjoys listening to chill beats while eating good food and texting the core four. One fun fact about Taylor is that she has a paired nickname with the Chief in Media, Ava Chen: Sherlock and Watson. Look out for her comics in the newspaper!
Anjuli Niyogi (9) — Anjuli Niyogi is a freshman at Mills and new to the Thunderbolt team. She is a hardworking, open-minded individual who is excited to be working with a passionate group of experienced writers. She is not afraid of a challenge or the idea of having a little extra work. In her free time, you can find her cooking, playing piano, reading, and spending time with her friends, family, or dogs. She aspires to enter a work field in the future with plentiful writing opportunities. However at Mills, she hopes to leave a lasting impression and growing knowledge.
Jack Peng (10) — Jack Peng is a sophomore and is in his first year of Journalism. He is excited to work with such an amazing and smart crew. He strives to challenge himself every day and tries to work his hardest no matter how small the task is. An activity he did to challenge himself was to intern at the district and help write and copy content onto the new school websites. He hopes to make the school newspaper better and appealing to everyone.
Chacha Tahng () — Chacha Tahng (12) is a staff writer and after taking an unfortunate gap year away from the Thunderbolt, she is back for one last time. She is an avid participant of the Mills Drama program, as well as being the president of the Drama Club. She is also the Vice President of the club Students for Social Justice, advocating for minorities and voicing her opinions to others who either agree or disagree. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with the people she loves and is constantly singing, writing, playing guitar, or eating Japanese food. She hopes to end up pursuing the arts in New York City after she graduates, or anywhere else that is far, far, away from here. Her life goal is to one day have an ice cream flavor honored after her– and peace in this world. 🙂
Luna Teoh (12) — Luna Teoh is just a girl who loves to be absorbed in the fantastical escapes that books and writing provide. She is pretty much obsessed with the roots and origins of words and almost everything related to linguistics. This year is her last year of high school (thank goodness), which is why she seized the opportunity to join Journalism in an effort to give a voice to the silenced. She strongly believes in both spreading kindness, advocating for and helping those in need, and the pertinence of taking care of your emotional well-being. If you ever need help with anything- i.e. any advice, kindness, and/or positivity- please feel free to come talk to her 🙂
Hailey Ung (10) — Hailey Ung is a sophomore at Mills High School and brand new to the Thunderbolt. Hailey is a passionate and enthusiastic student with a love for writing and The Hunger Games! Here at Mills, Hailey participates in the Fall play and Spring musical. In her free time, she also plays soccer for AYSO and sings Hamilton songs loudly with her friends. In the future, she aspires to become involved in the world of acting, a passion of hers that she loves using to entertain those around her. Hailey hopes her experience as a member of the Thunderbolt team with help her become a better writer and student.
Steven Yee (12), Web Manager — Steven Yee is a senior at Mills and the current co-Web Manager. He has joined the Thunderbolt in search of his journalistic voice among these resolute and articulate writers. He loves to improve himself every day by staying organized and challenging his mind and body. And while normally reserved, he is a talkative and outspoken guy at heart. Steven likes chillstep & house music, kpop, intense kungfu movies, and the occasional heart wrenching kdrama. He is an avid supporter of gaming and esports and aspires to make a hobby of vlogging and Twitch streaming. With a background in coding, web development, and an eye for aesthetics, he hopes to contribute his skills to create nothing less than the best. By popular demand, he is bringing back the new and improved TryVikes! Fun fact: He also wakes up at dawn and takes cold showers for the sake of morning grit. Follow him on Twitch @Ferocityee and soon YouTube!
Leanna Yu (9) — Leanna Yu is an enthusiastic freshman who is ready to join the Thunderbolt! She is a friendly, outgoing student, and wants to accomplish many goals, including improving her writing skills. Leanna enjoys learning about photography and history, and spends most of her time exploring, laughing, shopping, or playing with her dog. Leanna loves to stay positive and meet new friends, but she also is a diligent worker! She hopes to put a big, bright smile on your face when you read the newspaper!!
We are The Thunderbolt, proudly serving the Mills community.