Cover Story
Dear Politicians: Am I Next?

February 14, 2018.

We rolled out of our beds, ate our breakfasts, brushed our teeth. We rummaged through our closets to find the perfect Valentine’s Day outfits, and we spent an extra moment gazing in our mirrors before heading to school. We went about our normal schedules, rolling our eyes at the couples making out in the hallways, spurning the cafeteria food in favor of Valentine candy. We packed up. We went home. We kissed our parents goodnight and we slept soundly in our beds, our biggest worries being our grades and our plans for the future. We woke up the next morning and began our routines again.  

But that was not a luxury everyone had that day.

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AFH Photo//Kat Morgan
It’s payday. I rush to Eastern Bank to cash my check as I call Domino's Pizza for pick up. Finally, I get to eat! I spend 20 whole bucks on a large three-topping pizza for myself. On my way to Domino’s, I pass my favorite clothing store: Forever 21. I walk in thinking “Well… I can cap my spending at $30. I just got paid, so I can afford that!” An hour later, I walk out with bags of clothes scolding myself, “Man… I really just blew my entire check.”
Many teens enter adulthood without learning the basics of personal finance. After graduating, most Boston Public School (BPS) students find themselves unprepared for the hardships of adulthood—including managing their money. What good is learning math if you can’t keep yourself from accumulating debt or doing your own taxes? 
Ideally, high school is supposed to prepare you for the responsibilities of everyday adult life. With so many high school graduates going into business professions, it is alarming that a study by ING Direct discovered that 83 percent of teens don’t know how to manage money. Money management is something high schools should be teaching comprehensively in their classrooms, especially because many people open their first credit card during their senior year. 
Money management is an essential skill to master—and I’m not alone in this opinion. By  interviewing fellow BPS students from different high schools, even the most prestigious ones, I found that none had ever taken a finance class nor did they know how to manage their money responsibly. 
 “I always hear from people how difficult it is to deal with money management,” said Sophie Carleton, an 18-year-old senior at Boston Latin School. “I guess I will have to go through it myself and find out.” 
“I really don't feel comfortable at all [with finances] just because I have never been really taught anything about it,” said 16-year-old John D. O’Bryant student Bryana Cueto.“The only person to teach me is my mom. [She] tells me the basics of having a debit or credit card, but nothing beyond that. Considering she had never been taught anything about finances, I feel like she's doing the best job anyone has done about this.”
To learn more about their parents’ experiences with money management, I asked the students how their parents learned about finance. Carleton explained that her parents “were never taught about money management. They had to struggle with these things because they didn’t have any resources to.” Similarly, Cueto answered, “My mom had to teach herself and had to struggle to learn gradually how to get out of her own debt and build her credit.” 
The fact that Cueto and Carleton are part of the 84 percent of high school students who desire more financial education was not surprising. Instead, what is shocking is how the parents of these students, and certainly many others, are not equipped with proper knowledge on the subject themselves. Yet, they are responsible for educating their children on money.
It should be the schools’ responsibility to teach kids how to save their earnings and budget the money they do wish to spend. This does sound odd—one would think this is a parent’s job. However, many parents are uncomfortable teaching their kids about finances. As it stands, only 26 percent of parents feel prepared to educate their children, according to EverFi. Since some of themweren’t educated on finances and were forced to wing it themselves, they will likely pass down bad financial habits to their kids. It’d be much more helpful if an expert on the subject would teach our students instead. Perhaps, there could even be a financial class for both students and their parents.

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AFH Photo//Adam Nguyen
I was at school near the lockers and this girl came up to me and said,“Tell me why ‘so-and-so’ had your name in her mouth and said she was going to run up on you after school.” I honestly didn’t care, I was just upset that she kept talking about me. But I came to find out that she didn't say anything about me.  Also, a few years back, a former 8th grader came to my class and tried to fight a 5th grader over a boy.
Students in middle school and high school go through a lot of drama when people lie on each others’ name. Basically, they do it by saying that another person said something about someone else. But in this case, I’m going to tell you about people saying someone said something that they didn't say. This situation can happen anywhere like school, outside, and over text. I think this is an important topic because it turns into fights and sometimes it becomes violent, and it should be stopped. An 8th grader once said,“Finding out someone’s fake after y’all was cool is was like talking to snake your whole life.”
If you have ever dealt with someone who came up to you and said that someone said something about you that wasn't true, you should honestly not pay attention to it because it’s a waste of your time. If you’re upset, I think you should just go to the person and ask if it was true, but don't say who told you because then it turns into more drama. Also, don't go up to the person who told you saying, “Oh, you lie too much,” or “You’re a whole lie I'm cutting you off,”etc. Just don't go up to them at all because obviously they do it to start stuff or to make you mad. If you ignore drama, you will be able to focus on your school work and anything you need to focus on. Also people won't see you as a drama addict (a person who loves drama). I personally have had a lot of experiences with kids who started drama with me, and I noticed that the more you keep to yourself, the less your name comes up into people's mouths. 

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AFH Art//Dennis Farguarson
Their names are Ayo and Teo, and they dance and sing. They dance hip hop, if that's what you call it. They do the folks, milly rocks and they do reverse.
They are also brothers. Ayo is 21 and Teo is 18.They inspire me. I love their dance moves. My favorite is Teo because I think he’s better than Ayo, in my opinion. 
I love their dance moves and their music. Some songs you should listen to are “Rolex,” “Better Off Alone,” and “Like Us.” These songs will make you turn up, especially if you don’t know them yet. I really love “Like Us.” I always play it in my room. Their first song was “Rolex,” and that was on the Hot 100 board. Here’s how they came up with the name for the song, according to an interview from Billboard.
Ayo said, “We went to the mall and saw Rolexes in different colors and faces. I sent pictures to our manager, and he texted, ‘Get out of the store now.’ But we really wanted them!”  
Teo added, “After that, I was like, ‘Bro, we have to make a song about a Rolex.’ I recorded ‘Rollie Rollie Rollie with a dab of ranch’ on an Auto-Tune app, then we went to the studio and figured it all out.” 
Ayo and Teo gained a fan base on both Instagram and YouTube for their live dance videos and personalized choreography. Before the fame, Ayo had been dancing from around the age of five. He and Teo danced at the BET Awards in 2016. Their dream collaboration is with the Migos. They said that they’ve been into the Migos for so long, and they always wanted to talk to them. 
Ayo said, “We have to come hard with the music now, cause ‘Rolex’ is a big song. We don't wanna stay with that one-hit wonder title. We wanna keep coming, follow in the footsteps of Rae Sremmurd.” Now Ayo and Teo are making a project that is almost complete and the project is the album. I can’t wait for it. I’m so excited for it, and I hope you guys are, too.

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AFH Photo//Kiara Maher
Are you passionate about music? Because I am. 
Ever since I was a baby, I have loved music very much like it was my life, and it wouldn't be love out of just listening to it. When I hear music, I automatically want to sing along or dance or even act out the words. When I hear new songs, I like to listen to it over and over again to catch the melody and rhythm. Each time I listen to it, I get deeper and deeper into the beat, but I also take time to listen to the words to feel what that artist is feeling in that song because I know that every song has a message, and if it doesn’t, it’s trying to prove a point. 
Many artists don’t just sing or rap for the money. Many do it to entertain people and let out what they feel through something they love. Some like to let out a passion through their passion.
I personally love the entertainment industry because it all catches my attention, no matter the show, movie, song, or dance, and it doesn't even matter the genre. I prefer hip hop and R&B before anything else, but I feel like if it’s good, it’s good. Your taste shouldn't have to matter towards something that is generally good.
When I was a toddler, I’d hear music and start to do little cute “dances” and ever since then, my family knew I’d be passionate about music. I used to even write some corny songs and grab a broom and sing it to my mom and others. As I grew up, my songs got deeper. They started being more serious and more relatable, and my songs actually mean something now.
When I write songs, I like it to be quiet so I can focus, but not too quiet because that kind of bothers me. I guess that’s because I'm always listening to music loudly, that's just my thing. It's very rare to hear silence in my room. My relationship with music is very serious! Taking music away from me is like taking breathing away from me, but don’t let that fool you. Music and I have a wild love-hate relationship because sometimes I feel that I’m not good enough or my voice isn’t good enough for me to sing or rap. I’m passionate about what I do, but I have doubts. I know I’m not the only one, but it’s just an insecurity.

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AFH Photo//Yvonne YanYing Chen
Lately, I’ve been thinking about this thing called sexism. If you don’t know what sexism is, it means when you judge a boy or girl by their gender. This world is sexist and many people are sexist, but no one knows or even thinks about it. Even educated people who are so-called “smart” can be sexist.
 Here’s an example that proves that educated people are sexist. One day I was in school. It was around 3:25 pm, and I was talking to a teacher.  I had just gotten my ears pierced a few day ago, and she asked me,
“Don’t you think you’re too young to have your ears pierced?”
I replied, “No, I’m not, I’m 13.” After that I said, “Do you have a daughter?”
She said, “Yes, I do.”
I replied, “So, does she have her ears pierced?” 
She said, “Yes.”
I said, “How old is she?”
She replied, “Twelve.”
Then I said, “Just because I’m a boy, I can’t have my ears pierced at a younger age? That is sexist.” She didn’t want to argue with me.
 Another example is that one day I was in math class and one of my friends was ripping up paper, and she thew it on the floor. My math teacher didn’t see who it was. When she saw all the paper on the floor she said,
 “Whoever ripped up this paper, man up, and pick it up!” I told my teacher that that comment was really sexist.
 Here’s another example from school. I was ELA class and my teacher told me a story. She told us that last year she was reading a book to her 8th grade class, and she would pick on the boys to answer her questions. Finally, one of her students last year asked her why she always called on the boys. 
Here’s one final example with boys. One day I was playing basketball, and I got hit and and it hurt really bad. I got mad and cried, and someone told me to “stop being a female body part.” And I thought to my myself, “That is sexist.”
 The reason I’m giving all these examples is that you don't have to be dumb or smart to be sexist. I don't blame you if you are sexist because the whole world is. I am sending this message out to stop that. STOP BEING SEXIST!

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AFH Photo//Mariana Melara
DIYs have taken over the Internet because they’re so handy. Have you heard about DIYs?
DIY (do-it-yourself) is a great way to get something in your hand, whether you need something or you just want something to do for fun. DIYs are a great way to save money and get new household items. 
DIYs save money by getting it done without having to leave home (most of the time). You’re able to make it with reusable items found in your house. You’re basically doing this every day with your hands, cooking, for example, you’re “Doing It Yourself.”  Just find a couple of videos that you like on DIYs and try one out.
A type of DIY you should try is slime. It's gone viral. People have been making this gooey substance throughout 2017. It's made from glue and laundry detergent, borax or contact solution. This DIY could be for entertainment. There’s also asmr videos that you can post online, and lots of people enjoy them. Some examples are clear slime balloons popping slime and even edible slime. There's just so much slime that you could think of. But some people pick the weirdest ones, so get as creative as you want.
Some other  DIYs you can try out are room decor to make your room pop out more. These handy hacks could be like adding color to your room or organizing your room to look fashionable and neat. Some ways you could do that are by making colorful shelves or lights. Another DIY that most people like for room decor would be a letter in your name with light bulbs in it. It could be meaningful words or just a letter in your name.
Some older teenage girls would like videos that show cute ways to organize makeup. They could use cute shelves and clear drawers to know which one to use. Even videos that explain clothing organization are cool, and so are videos that show how to pack clothes to make more space in your luggage or closet. Another way you could make a DIY is by using cloth. 
These are some ways DIYs could help you be an organized person and a person that cares about the environment by using DIYs in your life. This will help the environment because plastic and other things that could be recycled could be used in your DIYs.

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