Bianka Ruiz

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?

Working With Others

I have seen that one of my strengths is working with others. I worked alongside many other volunteers at the Remembrance Walk and I was able to work well with them to get the track set up before people started coming to the walk. I feel that one of my weaknesses is doing things without being told, because I always hesitate before I help others because Im not sure if I should help or not.


I am beginning to learn how well I can explain myself, which happens to not be as well as I thought, and how much patience I have and what I need to do to gain more. I have learned that I need to work on tutoring others with the things I know, because when I try explaining things to people I usually take a long time to get my point across. Although I love helping people, I need to work on becoming more patient when others don’t understand the things I try to explain.

What challenges have I been through?

Coastal Cleanup

One of the challenges I faced when participating in the coastal cleanup was finding the right weeds to pull and finding trash that has already been pushed far into the undergrowth. It was hard knowing what to do when I have such a limited knowledge of plants and weeds, so I had to be extra careful to only pull weeds and not the regular plants and flowers located along the way.

There weren’t many challenges during the setup and cleanup of the walk but it was a bit difficult to get everything set up when some people in charge were not prepared. This led to a lack of materials which sent a few other students and myself back to the school to get the supplies and run back to the track before the people began coming.

In what ways have I started new challenges?

Coastal Cleanup

Now that I know how much the coast needs to be cleaned up, I have decided to begin the challenge to do this on a smaller scale every time I go to the beach or even just go out to the park or such things.

In what ways have I developed new skills?

Coastal Cleanup

I know I developed the skill of recognising certain kinds of weeds through the flowers and other plants, and I know how the coastal clean up system works.

I have developed my skills with working alongside adults and other people my age. I am a bit more patient when it comes to other students and I listen to instructions given a lot more.


I have developed the skill of tutoring other students. I have gained more patience when working with people who don’t understand something. I have also learned more about my limits in what I know and what I need to review on for later on in my own classes.

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?

Coastal Cleanup

I went out to Huntington Beach with a group of classmates and a teacher to help in this activity. Going out of the way that far to participate in a weekend activity that I usually wouldn’t do took commitment but I went through with it and now I definitely think it was worth the time.

Cleaning Up

I showed up to the Walk even though it was early in the morning and helped set up, even though I could have blown it off and stayed home. I also helped afterwards to clean up, even though my club hadn’t signed up to help the clean up. I felt that my help would be appreciated and so I stayed.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

Coastal Cleanup

I worked alongside other schools and organisations to help in the effort, which was interesting because we were all spread out so evenly that we were able to work efficiently in a slightly cramped space. It was also interesting to see the amount of other groups that came out for this activity.

Remembrance Walk

I worked alongside many other students and teachers to help with this activity. I thought it was fun to get together with many of my friends from other clubs and such and work on this activity, because we not only helped the community but we helped many of the people who come out to walk and remember the loved ones that are gone.


I was able to work well with the sophomores that I was tutoring while helping them. I thought it would be harder to work with them because of the age difference and because I’m really not that patient but I ended up feeling good about the work they got done.

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?

Coastal Cleanup

Having a clean, litter free environment is something that should be dealt with on a global scale, which is why this activity was started. I believe that if every coastal city had a few groups of volunteers go out and clean up the areas around the beaches a few times a year, the problems in our environment would be reduced a lot. Also, if this type of mindset was applied in any natural habitat, I think that the world would be a much cleaner place.

Remembrance Walk

While it is not global importance, remembering the people in our lives who have passed is an important part of life and working in this activity was a great way to do that. While I did help with setting up, I also joined in the walk and being able to do something to give back to the community like this is something I think could be done on a global scale.

Remembrance Walk

I think morally it is a great thing to join in this activity because it gives people one day of the year to openly think about loved ones who have passed away. Ethically, I think this is an amazing thing to join in on because it shows that I participate in community service and that I like to give back to the community, which is what the Charter Oak Community Scholarship is all about.

Coastal Cleanup

Ethically I am giving back to the world. I go out to the beach very often and going to clean up the trash and make it healthier is one way I can give back to the environment I use. Also, it sets a good example for everyone else to begin cleaning up as well.

Creativity 5/31/2013

I helped decorate the lobby and worked in the lobby during the play The King And I. I sold candy grams and programs along with a few other drama students. I learned about the inner workings of of the setup for the play and got to see and experience the difficulties of getting everything ready for opening night. It got pretty stressful during the last few days before the first showing, but somehow we managed to pull it off and did wonderful every night. We raised a lot of money and I had a great time while I was at it.

Action 5/31/2013

I volunteered to be a helper at the summerndaycare at Glen Oak. I was there for three days out of the week, 9 hours a day. While there, I helped keep the kids entertained, helped the teachers to take care of them, and helped clean up and set up all of the activities for each day. Although I was not the only volunteer, I did a lot of work throughout the week. Every Wednesday, I went with the older kids to the Santa Monica Peir, and Mondays we would go to the pool. I learned the difficulties of taking care of school age children and keeping them busy, as well as having a job that required working with people that I didn’t really like. I learned how to run a daycare as well and how to deal with all sorts of sticky situations, from sick kids to angry parents to fights between coworkers.

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