International Patriot Interviews

by Thiago Rego. Photos by Jose Roca

Freedom High School is one of seventeen public High Schools in Orange County. It was classified as an  “A” school in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The school has been open since 2003 and was originally to be named after a deceased Marine, but after the September 11 attacks in 2001 the county decided to rename as Freedom High School (FHS).

Each year FHS has brought more and more students from different parts of the world teaching discipline and respect to all. 2017 isn’t any different.

This year in Freedom High School around 3,800  students enrolled in the school, 57% Hispanics and 43% Non-Hispanics. For each of those new students, there is a different experience in changing schools and/or countries.


When a student changes a school, there is a lot of consequences, both mentally and physically.

According to a research made from Warwick-Medical School in U.K, “Changing schools can be a wrenching social and emotional experience for students principally to students from other countries.”

Dr. Swaran Singh, a psychiatrist and head of the mental health division at Warwick, was curious about the connection between school moves and mental health issues.

After the analysis of nearly 14,000 teenagers born between 1991 – 1992 following up until they were 16 years old, Singh says that “Switching schools 3 or more times in childhood seemed to be linked to an up to two-fold greater risk of developing psychosis-like symptoms such as hallucinations and interrupting thoughts.”

The negative emotional experiences students go through in trying to adjust to new schools can have physiological consequences as well. “ Repeated experiences of being defeated in social situations leads to changes in the brain and in the dopaminergic system” Singh says. Bullying is another consequence that can happen with new students.

“While the new students are trying to adapt to their new school, there are some students that just make the adaption worse” said Guilherme Lapiccirella one of the new students from Brazil.

Bullying can have a lot of effects on a student including anger, depression, stress and also suicide. The student who is bullied is affected, and the bully can also grow up to develop different social disorders and has a  higher chance of engaging in criminal activity. (SOURCE:


To see how new students were feeling at the new school, three interviews were done with different types of students.  They were asked to answer some questions about our school environment.


One of the students that were interviewed  is Carolina Oliveira, a Freshman in FHS, she has been in Orlando for more than 5 years and she originally came from Brazil.

Carolina Oliveira, freshman

Reporter: “What are some difficulties in high school?”

Carolina: “There is a lot of homework in high school, also the starting time of the High School it’s quite different from Middle School. Another difficulty is to find new friends in the school, since I moved to Freedom High School, not all my friends from my old school moved to the same School as I. Also, the school is much bigger and it’s easy to lose yourself”.

Reporter: “Is it very different from your previous school?”

Carolina: “Yes there is way more students and the classes are a lot more difficult”.

Reporter: “How are you feeling in the new school?”

Carolina: “I’m enjoying it. I found some of my middle school friends and we are all getting adapted to high School”

Reporter: “How did you feel when you were switching school?”

Carolina: “I felt lonely and a little scared”


Next was, Guilherme Lapiccirella de Castro Leite, who is originally from Italy.

Reporter: “How are you feeling in the new school?”

Guilherme: “Blessed to be here in this beautiful and giant school, I’m also feeling inspired to study in a school like this.”

Guilherme Lapiccirella de Castro Leite, junior

Reporter: “Do you think language made your experience in High School difficult? If so, which difficulties?”

Guilherme: “Yes, the language made the school and subjects more difficult, and also makes it harder to understand the teachers.”


Ellen Palatinsky is 16 years old and she is originally from Poland she has been in USA for less than a month.

Ellen Palatinsky

Reporter: “What are some difficulties in High School?”

Ellen: “It’s too big, sometimes I get lost…Also, the teachers  normally just speak english and it’s hard for me to communicate with them, mainly when there is no one in the class that speak my language.”

Reporter: “How are you feeling in the new school?”

Ellen: “I’m scared to have to meet new people at school and have to speak English all the time”

Reporter: “Do you think language make your experience in High School is difficult? If so, which difficulties?”

Ellen: “Yes! To understand the subject, to ask questions, communicate with teachers and to work in groups”


The students interviewed are only 1% of the entire school, but their voices were heard by you, the readers. With these interviews, we can conclude that language can greatly change the school’s experience for students who are not fluent in English.Among five students, one of them, Singh, has already changed school more than 3 times in his life.

New students have a lot to learn and a lot of time to spend in school. Over time students will get used to school and find friends to interact with. They may also find sports that they like or clubs to socialize and build relationships. Everything is just a matter of time.