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When I Was 17: Mr. Raven

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In 2012, when he was 17, La Quinta High School history teacher Mr. Raven was in his junior year at Valley View High in Moreno Valley.

Raven, as expected, enjoyed history class the most — finding it easy and fun. He liked his teacher, leading him to begin considering the idea of pursuing a history-related career after high school. He chose not to participate in any sports that year, instead dedicating his time to his extracurricular ASB class. He noted that he enjoyed the fact that there was a lot of work to do in ASB, but no reports to write or tests to take. Raven said that he feels high school in 2018 is mostly the same as it was when he was 17: stressful, but still manageable.

Outside of school, Raven enjoyed playing video games on his Xbox with friends. That year, he also became interested in watching baseball and football. He didn’t need a job at 17, but considered a future career in programming, IT, or other work that required computer skills. His love of history was the ultimate deciding factor in becoming a history teacher.

Right out of high school, Raven started work at a movie theater and attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. After completing his studies at GCU, he began studying education at UC Riverside. Raven graduated from Riverside in 2017 with his teaching credentials and master’s degree in education and began his first year at LQHS just a few months later.

Mr. Raven’s advice for high school students is to stick to their goals and not let opportunities slip by. “If you want to do something, do it,” he said. “Keep your goal in mind and focus on it. You don’t want to regret not taking advantage of opportunities.”

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