By Kylie ’22 and Paige ’22
From a commute filled with views of rolling hills and sprawling urban streets, to a day full of opportunities to work with world renowned film studios, nonprofits, corporations and top research universities, growing up in Los Angeles is never boring. Marlborough’s central location between Hollywood and Koreatown as well as its proximity to both the skyscrapers of Downtown LA and the powdery beaches of the West Side make each student’s experience truly unique. The hobbies students participate in and the ways they spend their weekends have been heavily influenced by living in LA.
Access to a diversity of culinary styles and restaurants is just one example of how living in Los Angeles has impacted Marlborough students. In response to a survey sent out by The UltraViolet, 94% of 50 corespondents reported that going out to eat is one of the main LA activities they take part in.
One student explained how the accessibility and exposure to an array of restaurants and cuisines has played a large role in how they experience LA.
“I feel like eating at cool restaurants alone with your friends starting at age 14 is probably the most LA thing that I partake in,” Darcy Bass ‘23 said.
In addition to exploring the food culture of Los Angeles, Marlborough students also enjoy the quintessential LA monuments that have famously made this city so special. In response to the survey, many students reported hiking to the Hollywood Sign or visiting the Griffith Observatory as the most “touristy” activities they have participated in.
“Living in Los Angeles, I have been exposed to so many cultures and people. I find that the intersection of the new and old to be the most distinct feature of Los Angeles.” Brodie Bojorquez ‘22 said. “The Griffith Observatory is one of my favorite examples of this fusion, as it is an incredibly significant landmark that overlooks the myriad of communities and new ventures that Angelenos are a part of.”
Other activities that students reported participating in included walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame, catching a play at the Pantages and day trips to Disneyland.
There is no denying the influence the consistently blue skies of Los Angeles have had on the outdoor activities students spend their time enjoying. According to the survey, 88% of the students said going to the beach as one of the most popular LA activities they participate in. One student explained how the good weather and access to the beach encouraged them to discover new sports and hobbies.
“I definitely think it has greatly influenced the amount of beach sports I have participated in and is the reason I did [Junior Lifeuards] training,” Lara Meyer ‘25 said.
From growing up amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, to exploring new neighborhoods through food, Marlborough students expressed how the unique aspects of Los Angeles have defined their adolescence.
“It gives me a lot of access to unique activities that would have been unavailable to me in a different city,” Abigail Byrne ‘24 said. “Living in LA, there are so many events and opportunities for going out and having fun.”
“Cultivating purpose” is one of Marlborough’s core values. To many students at Marlborough, this means engaging with their community and the world around them in meaningful ways.
According to a survey sent out to the student population, 25% of students said they engage with their LA community through community or volunteer service frequently, while 67% of students said they sometimes participate in community service. Organizations such as Heal the Bay, Teen Line and the Westside Foodbank are some of the organizations that Marlborough students work with.
Survey respondent Byrne elaborated on her dedication to volunteering work in Los Angeles.
“It [community service] is very important,” Byrne said. “Acts of service allow us to make a difference in our community and take steps towards creating a Los Angeles community that benefits everyone.”
Within the school community too, community outreach is promoted to the students as a fulfilling way to get involved with Los Angeles. All-school Community Outreach Representative Beverly Cohen ‘22 has spent much of her high school career emphasizing the importance of community engagement and creating resources for Marlborough students to get involved in volunteer work.
“It’s important for students to get involved because we are in such a culturally diverse city,” Cohen said. “You really wouldn’t be taking advantage of Los Angeles without getting involved in the community.”
8th grade Community Partnerships Representative Madison Moon ‘26 is motivated to participate in community service because of the hands-on learning experience it provides.
“Community partnership inspires me because it enhances learning opportunities by providing students with various resources and experiences,” Moon said. “Through these partnerships, Marlborough students are able to give back to the community and help those in need.”
Survey respondent Lara Meyer ‘25 explained the different ways in which members of the Marlborough community can give back.
“It’s [community outreach] very important because there are a lot of people struggling in the community and giving back with either time or money can help a lot of people that make up the city we live in and love,” Meyer said.
With a department at Marlborough dedicated solely to Social Justice and Community Partnerships, getting students involved in the Los Angeles community is a core part of Marlborough’s commitment to “transforming [Marlborough’s] partnership with Los Angeles, ensuring that [Marlborough’s] program and campus benefit our students, our city and our planet.” This mission is a part of Marlborough culture that is reflected and strengthened by the student body.
“As high school students often coming from a place of privilege, it’s really important to interact with people who are different from you,” Cohen said. “Outreach is important because it’s doing real work that anyone of any age can do. This work will impact you socially and emotionally while also giving you real skills and experiential learning.”