Happy 100 Year Anniversary Clarion!

In order to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of The Clarion, we will be bringing you the voices of alumni who have written for the school newspaper, reflecting on their experience in Clarion and life beyond high school.


Alana Wilkins, Class of ‘97

Alana Wilkins

Twenty-five years have passed since I was the proud Clarion Editor-in-Chief, working diligently with Mr. Castle and my fellow student writers to monthly create our masterpiece that inspired, educated and entertained Selma High. Joining The Clarion staff back in 1992 as I began my freshman year, I was terrified to share my words, thoughts, creativity and self with everyone on campus. With the encouragement of the seasoned Clarion staff, I soon gained confidence and understanding of this privilege we had to write and the responsibility to bring facts, information, insight and perspective to Selma High.
Many fond memories of high school include the late night collaborations between our writers, editors, photographer and fearless leader Mr. Castle. Often our deadlines included a Sal’s Party Tray as we finalized the latest issue content and literally were cutting and pasting it together with rubber cement. We were a hardworking and dedicated team of young adults, who had a whole lot of fun together. We took pride in our work and wanted each paper to live up to the anticipation felt by us and our fellow students. Be it my light-hearted horoscope or fashion column, to a more in-depth piece celebrating Kwanzaa or exploring Prop 36-Three Strikes Law, I wanted to inspire, provoke thought, and create a conversation where various perspectives could be explored and even possibly change the way people think. Having The Clarion as a platform to connect with my peers, discover our voices in a fun, safe and creative space, is an opportunity I am forever grateful for.
My grandest Clarion memory is President Bill Clinton‘s visit to Lincoln Middle School, the first day of my junior year. That day I fully realized the power of a Press Pass and the responsibility and honor it was to be a journalist. President Clinton spoke of the importance of education, fair wages, college loans, the economy and the value our agricultural community held—ironically, the same issues we are still talking about today. As I stood in the press zone with the adult journalists, I felt a sense of purpose, pride and obligation to make a difference in this world. I didn’t know exactly how, but I knew I wanted to make the President proud.
I have not yet pursued professional writing or journalism, but the lessons and experiences gained at The Clarion strongly influenced how I approach life—continually seeking knowledge and truth, fostering friendships, meeting deadlines, overcoming adversity, all which ultimately shaped me. I’m continually inspired by Selma High School students and the positive impact you make in our world.
Please stay curious, ask questions and always challenge beliefs (especially your own).

Alana Wilkins was a Selma High Valedictorian in 1997, a UC Santa Barbara graduate of 2001, a lifetime happiness connoisseur, a health and wellness guru, a philanthropist and world explorer. She funds her lifestyle working for Labcorp, introducing life-changing autoimmune and neurological laboratory testing to physicians in the Los Angeles area, helping to provide answers so people can live happier and healthier lives.