Epic Students Follow Leadership, Art and Music Dreams

Alondra Ortiz, center, performs with Epic Choir Club (Photo Provided).

An advantage of attending Epic Charter Schools is that students have flexibility to attend school while focusing on their passions.  

Three Tulsa-area Epic students explained how they spend their time pursuing passions outside school.

Alondra Ortiz: Leading the way

Alondra Ortiz at her induction into the National Honor Society. NHS is one of her many leadership activities (Photo Provided).

Alondra Ortiz attended public school until 2018 when she switched to Epic. Since then, she’s been a dedicated student-leader, participating in multiple clubs and events, something that would have been more difficult in traditional school.

“It’s so much easier having all the flexibility, and still being able to go out and meet my best friends with these clubs,” Ortiz said. Epic has made things more convenient when it comes to schoolwork as well, she said, adding: “It’s a great way to stay organized, but you get to decide what you do.”

In her free time, Ortiz takes singing lessons. She took advantage of her experience when she attended an Epic expo. At the expo, she discovered the newly established Epic Choir club. She joined right away and has been part of it ever since. 

She is also a part of Epic’s Key Club. Ortiz  previously served as president for Epic’s Hispanic Student Organization. She has participated for three years and said she loves attending in-person events and sharing Hispanic culture with other students. 

“I would let them try different foods or teach them a game played in Hispanic countries,” Ortiz said. “It’s also great for the students involved because they get to experience their culture without actually going to the country.” 

Ortiz has volunteered at various food banks. She used this experience to help plan events and community service projects for Epic’s student council. 

Alondra Ortiz, center, performs with Epic Choir Club (Photo Provided).
Alondra Ortiz, center, performs with Epic Choir Club (Photo Provided).

“The type of person I am, I want to be able to show others that you can multitask and do as many things as you’d like while still being happy. It’s all about having that balance in your life,” she said. 

Ortiz hopes the leadership experience will help her in her dream job as an anesthesiologist. 

“You have to take control and figure out what’s best for your patients – and yourself,” she said. 

Emma Pena shows off her artwork (Photo Provided)
Emma Pena shows off her artwork (Photo Provided)

Emma Pena: Taking art to new places 

Ever since Emma Pena was a little kid, art called her name. Pena, a senior, has been an Epic student since fifth grade. 

She loved to doodle and sketch as a kid, but what really drew her to art was YouTube. Pena was mesmerized by the site’s artists. This led her to explore her own art. She mixes traditional and digital styles, and she most enjoys experimenting with color blending and textures. 

: A painting of a dog demonstrates artist Emma Pena’s style. Pena has shown her work around the state as an accomplished painter (Photo Provided).

Pena has seen her work featured throughout the state  — around Ponca City at The Perk Beverage Co. and The Poncan Theater. In Oklahoma City, Pena’s work is featured on the Artist Wall at the popular Don’t Stress Meow’t Cat Cafe. She has participated in local shows and the grand openings. Pena is concurrently enrolled at Pioneer Technology Center, studying visual communications and is an honor roll student. Pena said Epic allows her to focus on what she loves most. 

“Since I’m able to do my school work anywhere, and with hours that work best for me, I am able to do other activities like work on art projects when the creativity and inspiration are flowing,” she said. 

Art has proven to be rewarding for Pena, and garnered her recognition and positive reactions statewide. Her advice for others looking to expand on their art is to practice, practice, practice.

Judah Walcott lives for music. His passion is producing, and he recently dropped a single on Spotify (Photo Provided).
Judah Walcott lives for music. His passion is producing, and he recently dropped a single on Spotify (Photo Provided).

Judah Walcott: All things music 

If you search Spotify, you can find Judah Walcott’s latest musical release.  

Walcott, a freshman at the Tulsa LC,  spends his free time in all things music – primarily producing.  

Walcott developed a passion for music from his parents after

seeing their love for it. 

When he was little, he remembers his parents always having music playing, and he would dance around the room. 

He started teaching himself hip-hop moves and eventually took some classes. Walcott’s dad was in a band when he was younger, and Walcott remembers listening to him play. His dad also taught him to read music, which later became beneficial in producing music.

Walcott said he can see himself as a music producer as a career and enjoys the creativity of producing.  “You can’t run out of things to do,” he said. 

Walcott sings and plays virtual instruments. The genre of music he likes making is R&B, as well as hip-hop. 

Perhaps his proudest achievement is dropping his single, “Glow,” on Spotify. 

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