Back to School

As summer sixteen comes to an end, the beginning of the school year kicks off. The nerves, excitement, and sadness that always come with back to school returned to the Newport HarbDisplaying IMG_4697.JPGor students as September 6, 2016 arrived. Once the first few weeks went by the students became more acclimated to their school schedules and doing what it takes to get to their classes by the time the bell rings. “Coming back to Harbor for my junior year I was most worried about the classes I was going to take. This year I am enrolled inAP US History which is a harder class to take and requires a lot of work. But surprisingly it has not been that hard and the chapter summaries are every other night which is nice” shares Betsy Calder. Displaying IMG_4698.JPGBack to school also means getting to rekindle friendships that were out of touch during the summer, but also meet new people. “The beginning of my school has started off pretty good, I am enrolled in some classes that I have found interesting, meeting new people, playing water polo, and love the teachers I got. This year I am most looking forward to meeting other students!” says Kaela Whelan. Through the transition of summer to fall and vacation to school there are many transitions that happen within each school year. One of the most anticipated changes for Harbor students is sophomore to junior, the year Harbor students can finally go off campus for lunch and are considered upper classmen. Rusball Venalonzo reveals that, “Being a junior at Newport Harbor High School feels really cool Displaying IMG_4696.JPGbecause it means you are almost done with high school, but also have more responsibilities that are challenging like test prepping. The best part of being an upperclassmen is probably not having to worry about leaving campus, and becoming more mature with more responsibilities.” Back to school time has started to come to an end as the month of October is right around the corner, the students have made it through the first month and can look forward to see what the rest of 2016 and 2017 have in store for them. Written By: Andie Lee

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Childhood Cancer Awareness


Diana Gonzalez, a junior at Newport Harbor High School, shares her experiences with childhood cancer.
Death is not an easy thing for anyone to understand, least of all a child. That's the thing. You just don't expect it. When my 4 year old cousin, Justin González, was first diagnosed with Neuroblastoma- a form of pediatric cancer- I was blinded by the illusion that it would be like those St. Jude commercials: cute bald kids dancing around the hallways of the hospital. But it isn't like that at all. Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 4.16.28 PM The chemotherapy caused constant vomiting, respiratory complications, and it weakened his immune system- later causing more complications, and the rounds of radiation weren't any different. After numerous rounds of radiation and chemo, in late July of 2015, we were told that there was no evidence of disease. We couldn't believe it; the emotion that took over is something indescribable. We were breathing again...we were no longer suffocating on the anxiety that everyday brought due to the uncertainty that accompanies people with the diagnosis of cancer. Justin was finally home and playing, he would go around kicking his soccer ball screaming "Goal!" and singing aloud to Disney songs- such as Frozen-Let it Go (his absolute favorite). A month later, when Justin was having his monthly check up, the look on the nurse's face said it all with the discovery of an unnoticed lump. Our hearts lied heavy as Justin was rushed to the hospital for scans- we knew what was coming, but the thing is, nothing prepares you for something this heavy. And there it was. The screen lit up- and it wasn't just one but it was numerous tumors surrounding his lungs and heart. And I wish I could say that from there things got better. This time I promised myself that it was going to be different- I was not going to allow myself to turn away or be swayed by the delusions of what the media portrayed about cancer. Cancer isn’t just about radiation, loss of hair, and chemo; it is about desperation, complications, and hanging onto hope when things aren’t going your way, it is about being resilient when life gives you every reason to break. I was going to embrace what is and make the best of it. I was going to be there for him now more than ever- every step of the way, and that was a promise. With hesitation, I then chose to open a support page on Instagram, sharing my cousin’s story and updating those in my community about his health. Looking back, I didn't expect his story to grow much. I was wrong though, his bravery and journey was followed worldwide. His very presence touched many. As a team- Team Justin González- we all decided on creating something of unity so I designed and ordered purple silicone bracelets that said "Team Justin Gonzalez" with a golden ribbon (the color for childhood cancer) on both ends. These bracelets are now worn worldwide, all over the United States, Germany, Chile, Canada, Africa, Spain, and many more locations. Some days there were little to no complications- these days were the best.  I would be playing by his bedside a game of bingo or we would both escape into our imagination and build silly creatures with playdoh and give them funky haircuts. Then there were days where it all went wrong. Days where his lungs would collapse and fail him, so as a result he'd have to rely on an oxygen machine and mask in order to breathe properly- the frustration and hopeless was felt throughout the entire hospital room. Days where we would be playing and he would grow silent and break into tears, and with great desperation he would say he wants to feel better. Days where he would mask the fact that he was heaving for air, holding onto his side where the tumors were located, and he would simply mumble to us that he was okay and flash us all a thumbs up. Smiling became harder for all of us as the tumors spread and the percentage of survival dropped, but with the massive growing support of those on his Instagram page and our amazing community, they managed to make him smile. His happiness became our happiness. They spoiled him with many boxes of toys, letters, drawings, and money. Every time they sent him a package he would ask us to take a picture so he can thank them, every picture he would smile- and for just that moment…everything was okay. The smile that formed onto his face was something different. It was like watching a rose blossom or a sunset time lapse right before your eyes. It stretched from ear to ear and was accompanied by laughter of pure innocence and beauty. After seeing the joy that these boxes brought him, I was inspired. I got this crazy idea. A great idea. I want to do that. I want to be the reason why a child, who is being stripped of the many things we take for granted, would smile. So one day, with hesitation, while I was sitting by Justin's side, his hand in mine, I told him and my family about my idea of sending caScreen Shot 2016-06-04 at 4.16.20 PMre packages to kids fighting life threatening illnesses all over the country and while my family found it complicated, his immediate smile drove me towards certainty. And in reality, that's the only approval and motivation I needed.  So now, without any hesitation, I created a name for these packages-- Golden Warrior Packages-- and immediately took action. And at first I struggled getting started due to the various factors: shipping costs, costs for the toys, clothes, and supplies. However, on January 26th, I sent out my first box. The smile that formed on that little boy’s face, it was beautiful. It was pure, and it was hope. Everything seemed to be going great. I would spend most of my hours by Justin’s hospital bed, watching cartoons, reading him a book, or simply just talking to him about the many things we would do, from going to Disneyland, to playing soccer, and simply just singing our hearts out to every Disney movie out there. During my free time, I would work on gathering toys, clothes, drawings, and gathering many more items for these care packages and slowly I began sending out two care packages every two weeks. Things continued for awhile like this, and I just wish it could have been like this for just a bit more. Justin continued his radiations, but when the results came in, luck was not on our side. The tumor had spread to his entire left lung, parts of his heart, and numerous nerves around his body. Doctors said that there is only one way out, but the thing is, this other option had many risks. It was a surgery procedure to attempt to remove the tumor; the problem was that the chances for survival were less than 1%. But that 1% kept us pushing for the possibility of getting our little Justin back. It was a possibility of life and that alone is enough to continue this battle. The day finally came, February 25th; Justin was prepared and he then entered surgery. Every minute that passed held so much desperation. Desperate for it to all be okay. After 12 long hours, Justin beat the odds. He fought like the strong boy that he was. He was moved into the recovery room, but just a few minutes after he was hooked up to the appropriate machines, things took a sudden shift. He was heaving for air, his eyes rolled back, and he was turning purple as everyone was removed from the room and Justin was rushed back into surgery. After another 12 hours, Justin was back in the recovery room. He looked different. He was swollen all over, he didn’t wake up, and he was hooked up to many more machines than before. We were told that during his surgery, things got too complicated so they had to remove his entire diaphragm and left lung. From here, things just continued to drop, slowly, agonizingly slowly. After three weeks, Justin was finally able to move, he no longer relied on an oxygen mask, and he was flashing us all a thumbs up again. Seeing this much strength, we believed it was all getting better. He continued his radiations however since the surgery, it wasn’t the same. The treatment would have him sleeping all day; I would get to the hospital and I wouldn’t be able to hear him call out my name like before. He’d be sleeping, he’d be crying, and he’d sit in silence. In April, everything was getting too hard. Doctors continuously told us there was nothing left to do, however, Justin continued with treatment. Slowly, his body was giving in. He was unable to breathe on his own, he was unable to digest, and he was unable to stay awake for more than 5 minutes. I would get to the hospital, hold his hand in tears, and he would turn to me and with the little strength he had left he would brush away my tears and say, “Be strong, we have to be strong”, not much after he would close his eyes and fall into deep sleep with heavy medication. The sight was painfully piercing, as I felt so hopeless and desperate to have him back. I felt guilty in a way, guilty for the little I could do. On April 12th, I went to visit him in the hospital, and he could no longer open his eyes. I remember that day so clearly. I was by his bed, kissing his cheek and forehead, I held his hand in mine and cried for hours promising him that it will all be okay, we will make it out. He’s proved the impossible, possible many times. This will be another of those times. I wanted him to wake up…to open his eyes. Tell me this is a nightmare, and not our goodbyes. I began talking about all the good times, and for me they were every single day. I began to make promises, I promised him that whatever happens, I will continue to spread awareness, I will fight in his name, in his honor, I will share his story and his bravery, and whatever happens, we don’t forget any of it. When it was time to leave the hospital at 1a.m. of April 13th, my heart ached. I wish I knew then that it would be the last time I would see him with life. I wish I knew then that things weren’t going to be the same anymore. That after this day, a few hours later, I won’t be by his bedside telling him funny stories, seeing him roll his eyes and cross his arms, and that I won’t see him simply smile and say my name with such happiness. A few hours later while I was in school, I got the call. I was told that Justin had passed away. I couldn’t believe it, and I still can’t. And some may say I’m in denial, and that it’s normal. But you see it’s not his absence that I am in denial of. It’s the manner in which he was taken. I refuse to accept that Justin was taken in a way so unjustified. It was wrong, it was agonizing, painful, and it wasn’t right. With his diagnosis, and constant hospital visits, I was exposed to the reality. The reality of children being only 3.8% of the cancer research federal funding, whereas adults receive massive federal funds. This infuriated me. Justin was so much more than 3.8%. The 4 kids that pass away every day from childhood cancer are much more than 3.8%. Everyone knows what the pink ribbon stands for. But hardly anyone understands the golden ribbon; the ribbon that holds our nations future- the generations yet to come. It’s truly sad to see a kid in a hospital; it’s no place for them. They should be outside, running, screaming, going to school, and simply living out their years of innocence. And that’s my goal. My goal is to change that. It is in my desire to help advocate for childhood cancer awareness, to honor Justin’s battle. To keep him alive through the memories and my actions of helping others who are currently undergoing or just starting their heavy journey. Now more than ever, I will send out care packages, continue to lead and create fundraisers and campaigns to help families who are struggling, and share Justin’s story so that maybe no other family has to go the undergo such a heavy loss. So that maybe no will else will have to see someone that young slowly slip away within their very presence. So that maybe one day no kid will have to die of such a monstrous illness. Every passing day now, I live through his example and I use his page to spread awareness and honor his bravery. I learned many things from life because of this. It never goes as expected and life itself is too ironic to fully understand. It takes sadness to know happiness and absence to value presence. Most importantly I learned the true definition of strength. Every now and then, the memories knock the wind out of me. The emotions of hopelessness and guilt take over, but I somehow manage. I get back up and follow the many examples that Justin left behind. His strength to endure any obstacle inspires me to carry on with the war against childhood cancer and like Justin said, “Be Strong, we have to be strong.” And that’s exactly what I’ll be. I’ll do exactly what he did and flash a thumbs up; it will all be okay.  

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Summer Plans

IMG_0671Since summer is approaching, we wanted to know what people's plans are. Rachel, a Freshman, is looking forward to spending most of her days at the beach this summer and also playing a lot of tennis. So far she has no travel plans but will probably end up going to Palm Springs or Catalina for a weekend this summer.

Nikki, also a freshman is looking forward to going to the beach as well and is also planning on spending most of her summer relaxing and not having to worry about school.

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Written By: Kate La

 

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Coachella or Coachillin?

Few students at Newport Harbor go to Coachella- however many want to. Cost, time, and a place to stay, are constant struggles in the overpriced festival season. I decided to share my past Coachella experiences, in order to establish a better definition of Coachella, other than the typical “music festival” response. Credibility Note: I have been to Coachella twice- Weekend Two VIP 2015 & Weekend One GA 2016.


  430e0343-a40c-42a0-8af9-25fec2352e1cFirst of all, you choose your crowd. You can choose to hang out with either the “crazies” or “normal” people. The common stereotype of Coachella is that everyone is crazy and wild, however this is not always the case. When I first went to Coachella, I went to Weekend Two. If you are going to Coachella for the first time, I would definitely suggest going to Weekend Two. There are around 30,000 less people there when compared to Weekend One. Also, tickets are cheaper (if you buy off of Craigslist)! This year, I decided to go to Coachella Weekend One. Honestly, it was way more crowded than last year- but this might be because the lineup this year was better than last year. I ended up going with General Admission because of the price. I got two tickets the night before Coachella Weekend One this year and paid more than face value because I waited until the last minute. Secondly, go on Craigslist to look for wristbands. Seriously. The wristbands are usually cheaper than face value. The most important thing to do is to download the actual Coachella App in the Apple Store. This way, you can register your wristbands in front of the person selling them before you spend $500+ for wristbands that might not even work (yes, sadly many fake Coachella wristbands are on Craigslist). This year at Weekend One, I actually witnessed two people’s wristbands be denied from the scanners to get into Coachella because they unknowingly purchased fake tickets over Craigslist. Usually the best time to go look for wristbands on Craigslist is two to three days before the festival. On the day of the festival this year, people were charging $700 and up just for General Admission tickets, which were about double of the original face value. Just plan ahead. If you do not have the time and money for Coachella, just go for one day. Drive up to Indio and have a friend try to find wristbands on Craigslist on your way there. On Sunday night, one day tickets were just $100-$150. You can sleep in your car if worst comes to worst and you do not find a place to stay. Sleeping in your car does not cost any money, and many people who attend Coachella do this because all hotels are sold out or extremely overpriced. Note: I attended all three days of Coachella Weekend One. I stayed with family friends and did not pay for a hotel, nor sleep in a car. Coachella also has a campground but I have never tried it. Do yourself a favor and buy a Shuttle Pass. This way, you get to avoid the approximately 1 mile walk to Coachella through the camping section. Also, when leaving Coachella, you still have to walk a bit to get to the shuttle, but after you get free water and get dropped off at a hotel. Once at a hotel, try to get an Uber. Even better, on the actual shuttle try to secure an Uber. Let me warn you that Ubers during festival nights are very overpriced and unavailable. Make sure you have Lyft and Uber apps from the Apple Store on your phone for options because all Taxi lines are busy and take at least an hour to arrive. ***Phone service is very limited at Coachella- sometimes my phone worked, sometimes it did not. It is horrible and great at the same time because you truly get to enjoy being in the moment. Since service is limited, I recommend printing out the concert schedule and times beforehand- and trying to put them in a plastic cover of some sort. This is because of the wind/dirt/regular wear and tear will destroy the normal printer paper. To organize what bands I was seeing and at what time, I circled bands on the schedule. This way, in case your phone dies or you do not have service, you do not have to worry (that much). Coachella usually posts an official picture with the final lineup and times on their website. Lastly, relax & enjoy yourself! Written By: Jordan Golden

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AP VS IB

Many students are currently making the decision; IB or AP? We are here to help sophomores with this decision. When I first came to Harbor, I asked many people what “IB” was. I was never given a straight answer and was always confused as to what it entailed. Well, here is information that may aid you in your decision:

  1. IB tests are focused on short answer
  2. AP tests are focused on multiple choice
  3. In the IB Diploma Programme, you must write an extended essay, take TOK, and be involved in a CAS project, which is an activity/service for your community, take three HL courses, and have 6 IB classes total
  4. TOK means Theory of Knowledge- which currently is offered as a seventh period class and as a night class for athletes
  5. HL IB courses are two years and students are given college credit for completion
  6. SL IB courses are one year and students are not given college credit IF they are not in the IB Diploma Program
  7. Also, IB helps if you want to go to college in a different country
If you are interested in IB or the IB Diploma Program, talk to Alma Di Giorgio for more information and your counselor! If you are a freshman, then attend College Knowledge Night next year to get extra information. Keep in mind that both AP and IB courses look great on college applications and prepare you for college. Written By: Jordan Golden

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Valentines Day Thoughts

Valentines Day can either be viewed as a loving holiday or just a cheesy excuse to celebrate. We decided to ask students about their views on the holiday and compare their views. First, we asked the girls perspectives, one of which was Betsy Calder, a sophomore, shared her thoughts with us on Valentines Day. 27396328-d528-47d0-ad0e-311d846f17e5 She said that it is anything but a cheesy holiday and she loves all aspects about it. Her favorite part about Valentines Day is the flowers and bouquets that are gifted. Betsy believes that everyone in a relationship should celebrate Valentines Day! Processed with VSCOcam with e1 preset Another sophomore, Maddie Ciano, believes that Valentine's Day "would be great if everyone had a significant other. But seeing as that is obviously not the case, Valentine's Day seems to be a commercialization opportunity for most restaurants and stores. It is a great money-making opportunity and if you love someone you should show it to them everyday and not just on February 14."  Well said, that's right, you should show your significant other that you care for them everyday. If you don't have a Valentine, then just hang out with friends. In the photo, Ciano is pictured on the RIGHT with a friend. Written by: Jordan Golden & Kate LaGrandeur

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Holiday Traditions


Kate LaGrandeur:
  As the holiday season is approaching we went around and asked students about their favorite holiday traditions. Sophomore Holly Kanen, told us that one of her favorite traditions is going to Disneyland every Christmas Eve with her family.  She loves how all the decorations are put up and it is something she looks forward to every year. Other Sophomore Kaela Whelan told us that being surrounded by friends and family every year is something she has always done and is her favorite thing about the holiday seunnamed-2ason.                 Kaela Whelan unnamed-1             Holly Kanen
Stephanie Ramirez:
  What are your family's Christmas traditions? Bella E Marler-Mulvenna “My family will come to our house and have a huge dinner. Later we will swap presents and varies whether it is on Christmas Eve or Christmas day since we switch it every year.” What is your Christmas wish for this year? Melissa Lima “I want Justin Bieber for Christmas because he’s hot and I’ve been wanting him since 2008.” Bella E Marler-Mulvenna “I want to have my great grandmother get through another Christmas, she’s 98.” What your favorite Christmas song or movie? Eunice Nacho “I love hearing the song Oh Christmas Tree. I don’t know why it’s weird.” Bella E Marler-Mulvenna “I love the movie Home Alone and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer by Dean Martin is hilarious.” Would you rather have to ruin the illusion of Santa for kids every year or listen to any Christmas song until your ears bleed? Melissa Lima “I would rather ruin Santa to kids every year.” Bella E Marler-Mulvenna “I would rather have my ears bleed. I wouldn’t want to do that to kids.”
Jordan Golden:
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Julia Gregory

{Sophomore Cheerleader @ NHHS}

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Griffin Saltron

{Sophomore Surfer @ NHHS}

What are you thankful for during Christmas time? Julia Gregory: "I'm thankful for the opportunity Christmas gives, to spend time with family and friends." Griffin Saltron: "Time I get to spend with my family." What food do you eat? Julia Gregory: "On Christmas my favorite food is probably all the deserts, especially apple pie. But during the whole season I drink peppermint mochas." Griffin Saltron: "Tons of grub." What do you want the most for Christmas? Julia Gregory: "The Rose Gold iPhone 6s 😍." Griffin Saltron: "My two front teeth."   What do you and your family do to celebrate christmas? Do you decorate your house, if so, how? Julia Gregory: "We visit a lot of family and go to tons of dinners and brunches throughout the whole holiday. We decorate with a really big tree and lights up on our house. My mom puts up poinsettias and wreaths everywhere around the house and we even have a blow up Frosty the Snowman on our rough." Griffin Saltron: "Drive to a bunch of houses to visit family and  grub hard."          

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Is Halloween Celebrated Everywhere?

In Germany and Sweden, Halloween is not an official holiday. Some people celebrate it, but most people don’t. If you walk down a German or Swedish street, you wouldn’t know it was Halloween. This is because people don’t decorate their houses like they do here. Not a lot of people go trick or treating, but the people that do go, are mostly young kids. If you go, you can`t assume that every house will be prepared with candy. Linda (German Exchange Student): I have only been trick or treating once and that was when I was little. It was mostly because I went to a birthday party and all the kids wanted to go trick or treating. I dressed up as a traditional witch.


  Alicia (Swedish Exchange Student): I have been trick or treating a couple of times when I was little. I dressed up as a witch, but since October is a cold month in northern Europe, I had to cover my costume with a jacket, hat and gloves. In Sweden, most parents make their make Halloween cards before they go trick or treating. You give the cards as a thank you to the people that give you candy and if you don’t have a card it is kind of impolite. We were both excited to celebrate an American holiday and be a part of the American culture. We saw this as a great opportunity to spend time with our host families. We both dressed up and went trick or treating with our host siblings and friends. It was interesting to see all the decorated houses and it was fun to try a lot of American candy that we had never tried before.

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29th Annual Spirit Run

FullSizeRender-1Newport Harbors 29th annual spirit run was yet again a success. This run is always an amazing way to connect with members of the community while also supporting our outstanding school. We decided to interview some participants to see what they thought of the run. Sammy Kerrigan, a sophomore was able to take part in the 5k feature race and exclaimed "I liked the energy and excitement of everyone around me and yes I would do it again." Amelia Bruscia explains that she loved participating in the spirit fun because "It helped me get exercise and stay in shape and I got to run with all my friends."           Another extraordinary aspect of this race is our color run! This is the second year the color run has taken place and it has been a favorite of many of the participants. Sophomore, Rachel Dangl says "I liked the color run because I did it with my friends and it was super fun to get covered in color." The color run is such an amazing event here at Newport harbor and shouldn't be missed by anyone! Don't forget to participate in this Newport Harbor event next year!

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Got Halloween Costumes?


Halloween is one of the very few nights in which we are able to dress up as whatever or who ever we like and get candy for doing so.  From detailed makeup looks, to crazy clothing, the costume possibilities are endless.  There’s the pumpkin carvings, terrifying decorations, to even just watching scary movies in honor of Halloween. Let’s be honest though, what we mostly care about for Halloween are the costumes. There are the types of costumes that will haunt our dreams from that day forth, to creative costumes that when you first gaze upon it you don’t understand what you are looking at until they explain the concept to you. To help get into the Halloween spirit we asked students on campus what they are planning on being for this Halloween.

Stephanie Ramirez- I asked around the students of Newport Harbor to see what they were going to be for Halloween this year. I asked Joellez Lopez what she was going to be and she said that “she was going to be Stacy from an Extremely Goofy Movie” since the movie was a favorite of hers. IMG_0438
  • I then proceeded to ask her what plans she had for Halloween to show off this costume which she then replied that she was going to trick or treat and how it did not matter how scary a house looked “if it had candy [she] was there.”
I also asked Anthony Agama what he was going as for Halloween and he answered by telling me his plans to “be blackmail by dressing in all black and having mail attached” which was meant to show his download (6)creativity. I also asked him what his plans were for the Halloween to which he responded that every year on Halloween he “trick or treats and [he] tries to fill a pillowcase of candy. [He] also likes to go with friends and walk around the haunted houses nearby and walk in the mazes and just have fun and enjoy the night.” He makes a great point that even though costumes are a big part of Halloween it’s also about enjoying yourself no matter what you are wearing.

Jordan Golden- Another creative costume idea was dressing up as the "Taylor Swift Squad". Commonly referred to as "squad goals" (pictured from left to right), Hannah Hobrecht, Juliana Martinez, Holly Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.08.49 PMTaylor_Swift_Bad_BloodNance, Blake Ling, and Sara Grams imitated this talented group of celebrities featured in Taylor Swift's Bad Blood music video . Hobrecht was Selena Gomez, Martinez was Gigi Hadid, Nance was Taylor Swift, Ling was Zendaya, and Grams was Karlie Kloss.

         

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