Carving Out Memories

International Student Mentor Group members carved pumpkins together to celebrate Halloween

What better way to celebrate Halloween than carve pumpkins? On October 25th, in the spirit of Halloween, Juan Diego’s International Student Mentor Group held a friendly pumpkin carving contest, with the best carver receiving a giant cupcake as a prize. International Student Mentor Group is a program in which international students are paired with local students at Juan Diego. The student mentors act as helpful guides to international students during their transition to JD but, over time, make great friendships with their international student.

The group helps to unite international students and local students as one at JD. Mr. Hoshino, the assistant director of Juan Diego’s international office, says the program helps to acclimate the international students in the community.

The international student mentor group plays a vital role in helping our international students become acclimated to our school community. The mere fact that it provides the opportunity for them to interact with their domestic peers is priceless.”

— Mr. Hoshino

Each month, the group hosts fun events for the students to participate in, strengthening the bond between the international student and the mentor. The club is primarily run by science teacher Ms. Chen as well as junior Erin Garzella. “It is a joy helping bring the world and its diversity to Juan Diego Catholic High School,” Mr. Hoshino said.

Students sit and wait for the contest to begin.

Students scooped out the “guts” and seeds from the pumpkins before carving Halloween-themed designs.

For many of the international students, it was their first time carving a pumpkin.

The commons became a pumpkin carving factory…but not without a mess.

Angellica Wu shows off yummy festive cupcakes that were provided.

Finished product: All of the carved pumpkins were placed on one table for teachers to judge and decide the winner.

My paired international student Mary Huynh and I carved a cat face into our pumpkin.


Photo Credit: All photos were taken by Madison Hanna, Mr. Hoshino, and Mr. Murphy.