Cover Story
Extra!!! Extra!!! Teen Tops Ticket!!
Sade Brooks
AFH Art // Andrew Chaupetta
Say you were elected the first teenage president of the United States. What would be your top priority? 
Sixteen-year-old Rayven Heath, from Dorchester, believes first and foremost that the brazen misuse of guns poses a colossal threat to America itself. 
“As soon as I step into office,” says Health, “I’d institute a standardized state test where the person has to follow a specific protocol -- otherwise they face unfavorable consequences.” 
Heath wants intense, ongoing scrutiny of the potential gun owner, including questions about why the person needs the weapon, and training for that individual about when and when not to shoot. 
Penalties ranging from gun-license revocation to prison would be levied on those -- both civilians and law enforcement -- who betray their stated intentions of firearms use, says Heath. 
Of course, as far as any teen actually topping the ticket, Article II, Section 1, of the US Constitution clearly states: 
“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” 
Putting constitutional constraints aside -- as some of the major party candidates have seemingly already done in their quests for the White House -- teens say that by raising serious concerns about the future of the country, many youth have displayed more maturity than at least several of the clownish, adult contenders. 
For 19-year-old Abbie Williams, of Mattapan, job one would be to repair the shredded state of race relations in America by putting those who feel left out and left behind on more equal footing with those who hold a superior power standing in society.
“Adults and children should see role models who have a high status, who have influential positions, and more importantly, these people should look like them,” says Williams. 
Part of that could be accomplished, teens say, through heavy educational investment. 
Sixteen-year-old Maya Alaoeasheg, from the South End, feels that building high-quality schools would help level the field for kids from different backgrounds and give them the same opportunities to advance. 
“America has numerous disadvantage gaps between the rich and the poor,” she says. “In my opinion, the education gap is most detrimental. It’s expanding and it does concern me. I would build the best high schools all over the country and have the best certified teachers enlightening future generations.”

Here are other major issues on the minds of American teen members of Generation Z who were polled in 2014: 
  • • Equality for all; 
  • • Universal, free healthcare; 
  • • The right of everyone to become a US citizen regardless of where they were born or how they came to the country; 
  • • More college affordability; 
  • • Being better educated about personal finances; 
  • • Commanding their own futures. 

Source: Northeastern University

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AFH Photo // Hanh Nguyen
Kaylee Bonilla, 15, from East Boston, thinks that learning how to stay fit is an important part of the school day. 
“Gym offers so much for students, such as a healthy-maintained lifestyle,” Bonilla says. 
Phys-ed classes have long been a staple of the traditional American school system. 
But over time, teens say, some programs have not remained as muscular as they could be. 
And for many, that’s just fine. 
“Physical education doesn’t teach the reading, and writing skills we need,” says Jovana Michel, a sophomore at New Mission High School. “It doesn’t teach basic math skills that we will need in the long run.” 
Others feel, though, that their gym instruction comes on too strong. 
“I am told when to work out and how many hours I have to work out,” says Shameka Joseph, a senior who goes to school in Dorchester. “You should be able to choose and be productive at the same time without feeling forced.” 
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AFH Photo // Adriana Daliee
When Kevin Durant jumped to the Golden State Warriors from the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer, he sent a bad message to young people. 
Had he come to Boston, it would have been a tough trip to a title, but KD could have put real meaning behind his star-player status by carrying the young Celtics on his back to a championship. 
Instead, KD is now seen as a ring-chasing slacker who took the easy way out by joining a team already stacked with talent. 
As teens, we often want to take the shortcuts to success -- only to find out later that we would earned so much more knowledge and gratification by putting in the extra work. 
The adults around us -- whether in our real lives or just in our hoop dreams -- are supposed to set an example for doing things right. 
In this case, KD the superstar sharpshooter clearly missed the mark. 
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The crowd rose from its seats this spring as the beat dropped and Clark D burst on stage. 
Clark “Clark D” Lacossade is a 17-year-old rapper from Boston Latin Academy who traces his budding career back to several years ago when his ELA teacher assigned a creative assignment involving complex sentences. 
Clark D produced a poem and recited it to a composed beat. 
“I felt like a king,” he says. 
Now he’s hitting major venues like the Middle East Downstairs. 
Inspired by J. Cole, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and others, Clark D says he tries to set himself apart by rapping, producing, and engineering his own music while writing lyrics that express the drive and determination to become successful. 
In 10 years, he says, “I imagine myself being an international superstar, entrepreneur, humanitarian…[and], most of all, very happy.” 
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AFH Photo // Mariana Melara
“Oh, Alexander Hamilton 
“When America sings for you 
“Will they know what you overcame? 
“Will they know you rewrote the game? 
“The world will never be the same, oh” 
Jennifer Browne, a senior at Boston Latin School, says that she’s not really a fan of rap music but she likes the “Hamilton”soundtrack. 
“ ‘Hamilton’ brings a different sort of life to that style of music by using it to explain something that normally isn’t explained [through music]: American history, Colonial American history,” says Browne. “It makes history come alive in it’s own new way that’s more relatable to the people of our generation.” 
Long-considered the domain of older audiences, musical theatre has become very popular recently -- among all age groups -- since the hip-hop hit musical “Hamilton” debuted on Broadway in August of 2015. 
The story about Alexander Hamilton’s life as one of America’s founding fathers will be touring nationally in 2017-2018 and is expected to make its way to Boston. 
The play’s impact is being felt not only on stage but also in the classroom. 
Mary Whelan, a freshman at BLS, says that her US history teacher incorporated “Hamilton” into a few of her lessons. 
“She showed us more of the educational songs about the battles and stuff,” Whelan says. 
Erica Jurus, a junior at BLS, says “Hamilton” has brought people together in a variety of venues. 
“We have a Facebook group for Broadway,” Jurus says, “and there are a lot of “Hamilton” fans on there.” 
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Back Off, Bashers!
Serenity Mendez
AFH Photo // Cuong Huynh
Instead of a team of ghost-catching funny men fighting against paranormal activity in New York City, this summer’s remake of the 1984 original features a team of ghost-catching funny women. 
As soon as the reboot appeared, there was intense backlash on social media -- mainly from men. Early reviews showed the average rating from men was a 3.5 out of 10 while women graded it a 7.5 out of 10, according to 
The movie’s trailer had started an instant outburst by males, revealing the double standard of female-led movies. 
In fact, both films share the same concepts. If the first one received better reviews, many women are now concluding that it can only be due to gender bias. 
While the new “Ghostbusters” is not a classic piece of art by any means, neither was the first. 
A mediocre movie is a mediocre movie whether it is led by women or men. 

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AFH Photo // Quang Le
Show choir is a performing ensemble of students who sing and dance, both of which I love. For the past six years, I’ve been working on my triple threat: singing, dancing, and acting. So when I saw the poster for “Pizazz” show choir auditions, I instantly knew I wanted to be part of the group. 
On the day of the audition, I was nervous but also excited. There were some people I had met before in the school’s spring musical. They reassured me that as long as I smiled, I would be fine. 
The vocal audition didn’t faze me because I’d had lessons for two years plus experience singing in my church choir and neighborhood theatre group. 
On the other hand, I was absolutely terrified during the dance portion. During the group audition, I completely forgot the ending. However, I took the advice I had been given by my friends and put on the brightest smile I could. It was this strategy, in addition to the vocal tryout, that got me into show choir. 
Joining show choir was one of the best things I did in my freshman year of high school. 
It helped shape me into more of a leader. In the second half of the year, I taught myself the music on my own time and then helped others during rehearsals. I also urged the importance of a mezzo-soprano section, which is often overlooked. 
I opened up and made many new friends, too. 
Everyone there feels like family and has their own pizazz that they bring to the group. 
I admit that I am an introvert and enjoy being by myself, in the quiet. But there’s something about being on a stage that helps me step up and let my voice be heard. 

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