What does it mean to pave your own path?

Palo Alto High School freshman Kate Nelson does it every day — whether literally, at cross country practice, or figuratively, by managing her daily routine with Type 1 diabetes. Nelson’s journey is detailed by Managing Editor Ajin Jeong and staff writer Asha Kulkarni in our cover story “Trailblazer.”

Senior Rachel Chang is a trailblazer in her own right, forming new paths within ultimate frisbee. In “The Ultimate Game,” Photo Director Ines Legrand and Digital Director Ashmita Rajmohan profile Chang’s journey to the international frisbee stage.

Freshman Lara Saslow’s defiance of stereotypes by playing football is the definition of trailblazing. In “The new normal,” staff writer Nadav Sternheim explores how Saslow’s love of kicking put her at the center of a nationwide discussion.

Beyond profiling some of Paly’s trailblazers, the stories in this issue represent some of the most compelling topics on our collective conscience.

Staff writer Anna Van Riesen and Features Editor Miya Whiteley detail efforts to prevent a recent outbreak from stereotyping the people affected in “Managing Monkeypox.”

Kulkarni and Art Director Palina Kuzmina’s “Polio in Palo Alto” digs deep into the Paly Journalism Archives to report on our town’s past with polio, and specifically the parallels between the historic outbreak and our current world.

In “Too Good to BeReal,” Culture Editor Annum Hashmi and staff writer Austin Eng explore how an app aimed at minimizing social media problems may actually perpetuate those same issues. On the cover, we took inspiration from the twisted perspective of BeReals — where one photo is taken forward and the other backward — to capture Nelson with a full-body mirror as she lays on the track.

When our newsroom doors reopened in August, we welcomed in a new class of Verde staff. It’s been a pleasure getting to know each other as journalists and as people.

As you explore this issue, we hope that you’re inspired by Paly’s trailblazers. See you back here in November.

On the cover

Freshman Kate Nelson lays on the Palo Alto High School track captured in a photo by Photo Director Ines Legrand during sunset. Arms crossed, and with a determined expression on her face, Nelson looks at her reflection in a mirror. Nelson’s Continuous Glucose Monitor can be seen on the back of her arm, an outward sign of her day-to-day routine with Type 1 diabetes. The setting and her choice of attire make it clear that she is a runner.

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