Scarlett Gray and Claire Stromseth

Scarlett Gray and Claire Stromseth

By Scarlett Gray

Staff Reporter

Well-read activist and Fleabag fanatic Claire Stromseth is a senior returning for her second year on staff, now as The Sentry’s first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Correspondent. Stromseth’s passion about DEI issues came to fruition after living in Asia for ten years.

“I lived in Vietnam for one year and Beijing, China for nine years.… We moved here when I was ten, because my dad started working for the State Department,” Stromseth said.

She will forever be grateful for the experiences she had while in Asia and feels it has given her a better perspective on the world.

“I like to think I have a very global perspective on things…. I think I notice things more easily that are norms to people here,” Stromseth said.

Stromseth spends her days passionately fighting injustice and encouraging others to do the same.

“I’m leading United Youth Advocates this year, which is a club that gets together and discusses current events,” Stromseth said.

When she is not changing the world, you can find Stromseth on the tennis court or curled up with a good book.

“I play tennis a lot, both school and club, and I also like to read a lot…. My favorite books are Normal People, The Name’s Sake and Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race,” Stromseth said.

Her love for The Sentry made Stromseth return to Room 249 for her final year at Yorktown. While the academic aspect of the class is engaging, it’s the relationships she cherishes.

“I really do enjoy writing, especially for news … but something that brings that all together is the community we have in here and the feel of a family,” Stromseth said.

Although The Sentry has a special place in her heart, Stromseth looks forward to other classes throughout the school day.

“Usually, my favorite classes are English and history, because I love to write and I love discussing current events … I think World and U.S. History and Government give us good baselines for what’s happening now,” Stromseth said.

Although she is glad about where she ended up, Stromseth cannot help reminiscing about the other side of the world.

“If I could go back and visit one place, it would probably be Beijing, because I still have a lot of family and friends there, and I can remember the streets,” Stromseth said.

She loves the streets and Beijing itself, but it’s her family that makes the city special. If she had a time machine, it’s the first place she would go.

“I would probably go back in time, just to kind of discover more about my family’s history and my relatives … [especially] my grandfather on my mom’s side,” Stromseth said.

While she still has some questions about her family’s history, the experienced senior has certainly learned some things over the years and has advice for underclassmen.

“One, don’t overwork yourself; you really want to spread out all of your work. And in terms of the more social side, just kind of fake your confidence until it’s real, because it’s a strategy that worked for me getting to know people and putting myself out there more,” Stromseth said.

While her time at Yorktown is slowly coming to an end, Stromseth is grateful for all of the friends and memories she has made here. Even though she doesn’t want high school to be over, she is excited to get her college applications in and over with. The Sentry will certainly miss Stromseth’s diverse takes on issues but looks forward to the articles she will write this year and what she will do in the future.


By Claire Stromseth

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Correspondent

Despite having only spent two years in high school, Sophomore Scarlett Gray has more life experience than many of the upperclassmen that surround her. Having spent time living in Asia, her global upbringing is cause for her unique lens on life. 

Gray elaborated on what her experience abroad has taught her.

“I think it made me notice a lot more things, especially in school, just like how different schools are here compared to overseas, and how people interact with the world and how people talk about issues,” Gray said. 

Gray plans on contributing this perspective to her role as a first year reporter. Although Gray spent a few years in Japan, she has had plenty of time to adjust to the American lifestyle. Her busy schedule here in Arlington reflects the dedication of a student athlete. Gray spends three hours six days a week at the Arlington Aquatic Club 

“So it’s usually like school, swim, and then homework, so I usually don’t get to do a lot outside of school,” Gray said. 

Not only does this exhibit her devoted work ethic, but it also demonstrates how Gray is team oriented. This is confirmed as she recalls her favorite memory from her high school career thus far: The high school swim and dive state championship.

“I didn’t compete, but I was there….To see everyone come together and cheer for one goal was really special,” Gray said.

The swim team is not the only place she will have a trusted community in her high school career. Gray eagerly beams as she talks about what she is looking forward to in newspaper. 

“Building bonds with people and really learning about people and just learning how to write better,” Gray said.

Gray is going to be a great asset to our newspaper’s typical family environment. While already busied by her pact schedule and benevolent mind, forming connections and writing is not all she is vehement about.

“I’m really passionate about baking. If I could do it all day long, I would,” Gray said.

Little does she know, her baking will come in handy for Sentry family parties and brunches. It should be noted, baked goods are not all she will be bringing to our newspaper. Along with pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies, Gray’s favorite treats, she will be bringing the perseverance she learned from her greatest role model: her grandfather.  

“I look up to my grandpa a lot. He worked hard for a lot of things in his life, it took him eight years to get through college because he paid for it all himself…. He worked his job at night to pay for college during the day,” Gray said.

Not only did he teach her the trait of ‘never giving up,’ of which she is most proud of, but he also invoked her desire to learn. This becomes evident when hearing her speak about every sophomore’s most difficult course.

“People say AP World is a lot of work, and it is, but I don’t know, I kind of like sitting there and learning,” Gray said.

Although we’ve already seen a sneak peak of this driven sophomore in our intense annual bootcamps, we cannot wait to see Gray further apply her mindset to her articles this year. The Sentry cannot wait to see what she brings to our paper.