Summer spotlights: Students pursue passions over break


Photo credit: Eli Amar Halevi

Senior Daisy Marmur performs in the Maccabiah Games in Israel. Over the summer, Marmur represented the United States in the Olympic sanctioned event in rhythmic gymnastics.

By Lizette Gonzalez, Features Editor

From teaching in bilingual preschools to representing the United States in rhythmic gymnastics, Archer students took time this summer to explore their passions and interests. From June to August, students participated in different summer programs, took pre-college courses, traveled around the world or picked up a summer job.

Sophie Landers: Bilingual Education

Junior Sophia Landers worked at the Ecole Claire Fontaine preschool this summer to pursue her passion for bilingual education. She has focused her service work around this passion since her service learning proposal in ninth grade.

“I was an assistant teacher and volunteered over summer of 2021, and I loved it so much that I did it for all of 2022 — I got a full job this summer,” Landers said. “I teach dance and read and teach French to the kids. We really focus on immersing them in the culture of Spanish and French instead of just teaching them, so incorporating my love for dance has been a cool way to teach them the cultures too.”

Before coming to Archer, Landers attended Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles for 10 years, which she said is why she enjoys teaching the language to other kids who have had a similar journey as her.

“My favorite part is seeing their faces when they learn something new and seeing them improve. I never thought I, at this age, would be able to do this,” Landers said. “A lot of them are traveling from Europe or aren’t here a lot, so they need a little more help and support. Knowing that I had a role in helping them grow means a lot.”

Daisy Marmur: Rhythmic Gymnastics

On the other side of the world, senior Daisy Marmur spent three weeks in Israel representing the United States in rhythmic gymnastics at the Maccabiah Games, an Olympic-sanctioned event for Jewish athletes around the world.

“The first week, I was connecting with Israel and touring around and learning a lot about the history of Zionism and Israeli culture,” Marmur said. “The second week, I was training and competing and the third week we were celebrating our accomplishments. It was a really cool experience to be able to meet some of the gymnasts that I had looked up to over the years because, currently, Israel is ranked number one in rhythmic gymnastics.”

As a rising senior, I feel like hearing about everyone’s accomplishments this summer and what everyone has been doing has been an exciting part about being back. Everyone took the time to do something that they were really passionate about.

— Daisy Marmur ('23)

Marmur has participated in rhythmic gymnastics for 11 years and trains four to five hours a day, five days a week. She said that her experience this summer felt like a celebration of all of her hard work over the years and of the lessons the sport has taught her.

“I have really good time management from it. I’ve noticed that it’s apparent, some of the lessons I’ve learned in gymnastics, through my relationships and connections with people,” Marmur said. “I decided to use a song [for my routine] that was in Hebrew, and I didn’t realize what a big song it was in Israel. So, when people heard my music, everyone would sing along to it, and I thank gymnastics for showing me the value of a community in that sense.”

Helen Solis: Medical Exploration

Senior Helen Solis spent her summer in medical labs participating in the Osborne Head and Neck Medical Scholars Program where she engaged in workshops led by doctors from distinct medical specialities.

“It was a very cool opportunity to see if anything interested me and also be able to go inside the operating room and learn the different day to day life of a doctor,” Solis said. “I was very happy that this one was hybrid — lectures online and lab work in person — so I really took advantage of those opportunities and took some risks.”

Solis said she felt a mix of emotions when she shadowed a surgeon performing a Rhinoplasty. She said that it felt surreal to be physically in the room seeing the behind-the-scenes of a live surgery.

“We really don’t see what is going on in the operating room. Being in the room with the surgeon made me realize just how much responsibility and dedication these doctors have,” Solis said. “It was really inspiring and eye opening because we forget how big of a deal operating on people is because they themselves are people too.”

Sydney Curry: California Politics

In July, sophomore Sydney Curry spent four days at California State University, Dominguez Hills attending The African American Leaders of Tomorrow Conference. This program provides Black students in California the opportunity to engage with California legislatures.

Sophomore Sydney Curry poses for a picture at The African American Leaders of Tomorrow Conference’s graduation. Curry spent four days at California State University, Dominguez Hills learning about state politics and laws. (Photo Courtesy: Sydney Curry)

“My favorite part of the conference was getting to do the mock hearing. We basically heard about a bill towards reparations for Black Californians, and I represented the people that would write the bill in real life,” Curry said. “I got to answer questions about the bill and how it would affect different people, and that was a cool experience because while we were presenting, there were different California legislatures actually there.”

After completing the program, Curry was then offered an internship at Assembly member Tina McKinnor’s office for the remainder of her summer. During her internship, Curry said she was able to further establish her passion for politics and was grateful for the opportunity that resulted from being willing to explore and dedicate time to a different field.

“I was able to learn about the legislative process and see the ins and outs. This experience really allowed me to meet people across the state and open my eyes to what I want to do in the future,” Curry said. “Summer is the perfect time to jump at opportunities and take those risks that really only can happen once.”