IV High: Trib­ute to Ivanna Or­nelas B7

Imperial Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - BY JO­CE­LYN SWAIN South­west High School Stu­dent

The start of 2017 at South­west High School was marred by sad­ness. The school lost a bright star, Ivanna Or­nelas.

Ivanna’s lov­ing mother, Pa­tri­cia Or­nelas, said above all that her daugh­ter was self­less­ness.

“I could see her kind­ness. She would give up any­thing for her brother or her dogs. ‘I’ll give it you Dad, or I’ll give it to you Mom or Ivan’ and she wouldn’t have it,” said Or­nelas.

Ivanna wanted noth­ing more than to be an av­er­age teenager with teenage prob­lems. She re­tained her teenage spark of re­bel­lion, even through her ill­ness.

“Just mak­ing jokes about her dad, we were al­ways try­ing to joke about things, peo­ple, us, about each other. Were al­ways jok­ing about us, that al­ways made me smile,” Or­nelas said.

Her smile was al­ways bright­est when pok­ing fun at one of her fa­vorite peo­ple.

“If Dad was wear­ing shorts that didn’t look right it was, ‘Oh why’s my dad wear­ing that?’” Or­nelas said. “We were al­ways jok­ing around and mak­ing fun of each other.”

Her hu­mor helped her through the hard times that she faced and she fought to smile even when she didn’t want to. She smiled un­til it felt real and she ac­tu­ally felt happy.

“Ivanna had a quote in her room say­ing ‘Fo­cus on smil­ing’ and she would tell me, ‘Mom I need to fake my smile.’ She was al­ways try­ing to feel happy,” said Or­nelas.

Jean­nine Enz, a South­west High School teacher, kept in con­tact with the fam­ily through­out their dif­fi­cult time of mourn­ing.

“She al­ways had a smile no mat­ter what she was go­ing through,” said Enz. “She never felt sorry for her­self. I know she’d get sad, like she’d get feisty, too. Her mom would tell me about how she’d get feisty with the nurses. I never saw her have a pity party.”

Her friends and fam­ily saw her as a light in a dark world, with a pure heart and kind soul. She strove to live her life to the fullest and smile while do­ing it.

“I al­ways saw her smil­ing, she was al­ways giv­ing ad­vice and she al­ways made peo­ple feel bet­ter well she made me feel bet­ter,” said South­west ju­nior Dan­nia Guer­rero, 17.

She de­rived hap­pi­ness from her fam­ily and friends. Among that se­lect few were her two dogs, her con­stant com­pan­ions, whom she loved dearly.

“Her dogs were her life, Dulce and Daisy,” said Or­nelas. “Dulce has been with us for 11 years. She got Dulce when she was 6, and Daisy is Dulce’s daugh­ter. She’s 3.”

De­spite her love for her dogs, any­one would be bark­ing up the wrong tree if they thought she wasn’t so­cial. Quite the op­po­site in fact, her friend group was full of peo­ple who loved this beau­ti­ful strong and lov­ing per­son who smiled as she be­came a part of their lives to make it bet­ter with her love and sup­port. Jo­ce­lyn Swain is a ju­nior at South­west High School and wants to join the Navy after grad­u­a­tion.


Ivanna Or­nelas smiles at the cam­era dur­ing a trip with her fam­ily.

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