Naila Castaneda Guevara: Bringing the Spirit to AFHS


Photo Credit: Naila Castaneda Guevara

Danielle Nickerson, OwlFeed Lifestyle Reporter

When football is in season it’s always hectic for Naila Castaneda Guevara. She leads the Agua Fria High School band in their halftime performance, the audience proudly cheering, the colors of red gleaming out of the crowd, then she finds herself quickly rushing to get ready to perform with the school’s cheer team. 

Naila, a senior, has been here at Agua Fria High School for all four years and finished strong in her final year.

Naila has a very outgoing personality and was very involved in extracurricular activities. She did band, cheer, choir, jazz band, and wrestling her sophomore year, along with ROTC and winter percussion her sophomore and freshman years. 

Naila hates stereotypes, so much as to even break the stereotypes in her own life. She has been a cheerleader since she started walking, so a really long time ago, but officially started cheering here her third year. 

“I got into band so I would try to break those stereotypes that were held against me,” Naila said. 

When it comes to expressing herself she does not hold back, as she expresses herself through her style. She said that the way she dresses determines how her day goes, having an influential effect on how she feels. 

“If I dress in colorful things, I feel in a very good mood,” she said.  

Like many others in high school, Naila does not have any specific plans after she graduates. But she does want to involve herself in something music-related. 

“If I do not major in something music-related, I would love to be a music teacher, or something like that,” Naila said. 

Her passion for music is significant, heavily influenced by what she listens to, as her favorite artist is The Weeknd. Music is another form of self-expression in Naila’s life. Music is an inspiration to her, as she loves being involved and surrounded by it, as it is something that inspires her. 

While talking to a close friend of Naila’s, it was very obvious that I was not the only one who thought of Naila as a bright and positive person. Drew Evans, a senior, who has known Naila for four years at Agua Fria High School, described her as having a “very nice energy,” and “bringing light to some things,” and I couldn’t agree more. 

While getting to know Naila in a short period of time, I realized that she really has a calming and optimistic mindset. When asked about what stands out about Naila, he said, “l feel as if that is something really unique and infrequent to find nowadays.” 

I am sure we all look back into our past and think about what could’ve been, but we have to look and see what did happen. 

Nostalgia is something that everybody relies on to move them forward, relying on those things you wish you could have or should’ve done. According to philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.” Naila is entering a new chapter in her life, and it’s a huge thing to look back at the past and start learning, especially from those things she wishes she could have done. 

Naila wishes she told herself to be more approachable, and she wishes that many freshmen take her advice to get close to many people, and have a group of friends who would be supportive of her no matter what. 

I realized over the years that high school is much more enjoyable when you are a part of a family and have a close group of friends that are willing to support you through everything you do,” Naila said. 

Like many other teenagers, I think we can all agree that having a reliable and supportive group of friends is very important to have especially in high school.

Being in band was like having another family to Naila. She wishes them all nothing but the best in the future. As her time with them was really memorable here at Agua Fria. 

One thing she is looking forward to in the future is trying new things. 

Naila is heavily motivated in getting out there and experiencing the world. She enjoys getting out of her comfort zone, saying that it “pushes her” to achieve new things. She mentioned how she never really will have this experience again. 

“I am never going to be able to experience high school again, so I am just doing it all now so I don’t regret not doing it later,” she said.

One thing she wishes we all take from our time in high school is just to “enjoy our time” and make sure to slow down and enjoy the moments we do have together here. 

“Also just to enjoy the time you have at the school, whether it’s with friends or sports because one day we are lost looking for our classes and making friends, then it feels like in the blink of an eye we’re standing in our graduation gowns,” she said.

 Naila made sure to leave her mark here at Agua Fria making sure she is never forgotten through all of her kind words, and outgoing personality, she will be missed as a student here at Agua Fria High School. We are wishing her nothing but the best and all of our kind, most uplifting words to send her off into that great and bright future ahead of her.