Cover Story
2020: Choose Your Fighter
Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America [CC BY-SA 2.0], The White House from Washington, DC [Public domain], United States Senate [Public domain]
With the 2020 presidential elections rapidly approaching, an entire new generation of voters will be given the task of choosing our next commander in chief.  This may seem like a daunting task, especially after the polarizing results of the 2016 race. In order to best prepare this new generation of voters for what is literally the fate for the free world, it is important to hit the ground running with researching and supporting our candidates of choice. With the GOP already having Donald Trump in office, it is unlikely the president will face much opposition from his own party as he seeks reelection. On the other hand, the Democratic party has already had 20+ contenders throw their hats into the ring. It is up in the air who will actually end up mattering and who will end up 2020’s “Jeb Bush.” Here’s your guide to some of the biggest names in the race.

Joe Biden: Uncle America
You know him as: Former U.S. Vice-President 
The VP to 44th is back with oval office ambitions.  Having run twice before in 1988 and 2008, Biden has the experience needed to run a campaign. As a white, centrist, male and a throwback to the Obama-era, Biden has garnered an intergenerational fan base of boomers, millennials, and even the Gen-Z kids who grew up on the Obiden bromance. This however, might also be his downfall, as some say he represents a dated version of the Democratic Party that is a definite turn-off to younger, more progressive voters. 
Platform Highlights: Rebuilding the middle class, recommitting to our global allies, protecting voting rights

Bernie Sanders: Grandpa America
You know him as: U.S. Senator, Vt.
Taking the biggest L of 2016, Sanders lost the Democratic presidential nomination in favor of Hillary Clinton. Sanders, like Biden, has intergenerational backing and significant political experience, but is perceived as out of touch by some younger Americans. Policy wise, Sanders identifies as a Democratic Socialist, a title that can sound scary to some. As a Democratic Socialist, Sanders is dedicated to addressing social inequality, advocating for programs like universal health care and free college tuition. 
Platform Highlights: Universal healthcare, expansion of social security, Green New Deal

Beto O’Rourke: The Southern Sk8r Boi
You know him as: Former U.S. Representative, Texas, 16th District
From to his objectively weird punk rock days to wooooosh-ing through Whataburger on his skateboard, Beto O’Rourke has left an impression on young voters as a politician they could get along with. His awkward charm and relatability have earned O’Rourke a sizeable fanbase. A grassroots politician, O’Rourke refuses to accept any money from corporate PACs, and has publicly denounced “pay-to-play” politics. Allegedly, he’s also a really good tipper, so make of that what you will. 
Platform Highlights: Ethical campaign finance, universal healthcare, strengthening unions

Pete Buttigieg: The Mayor
You know him as: Mayor, Southbend, Ind.
 Mayor, Veteran, last name that no two people pronounce the same way, all titles given to one Peter Buttigieg—but should president be the latest addition to his already lofty resume? Buttigieg is certainly an attractive candidate to younger voters, being barely of age to take office himself and standing firm on policies like affordable health care, and combating climate change. His veteran status and experience in local government also gives him some props, but for some, it cannot be looked over that “Mayor Pete” is just that: a mayor of a small town in Indiana.  While Buttigieg still has significantly more political experience than our current POTUS, it is still a subject of debate as to whether or not he is currently capable of Commander-in-Chief status. Despite this shortcoming, he is certainly progressive, and not just in the buzzword sense.  Buttigieg’s stance of “We cannot find greatness in the past” will be something to think about as we draw ever closer to 2020.
Platform Highlights: “Medicare for All Who Want It,” debt-free college, federal investment in infrastructure


Kamala Harris: The District Attorney
You know her as: U.S. Senator, Calif.
“Speaking truth, demanding justice”: this is how Senator Kamala Harris’s website describes her. Supporting platforms of increased minimum-wage and tax cuts for the middle class, Harris is steadfast in her beliefs. Recently, Harris called out Biden for the 1994 “crime bill” he pushed as generating mass incarceration, showing she is not afraid to critique her opponents. Similar to Buttigieg, critics have cited her inexperience as a major obstacle she will have to overcome, having yet to serve a complete term on the federal level. 
Platform Highlights: Combating climate change, free college, assault weapons ban

Elizabeth Warren: The Hometeam
You know her as: U.S. Senator, Mass.
Having served as a Massachusetts senator since 2013, Elizabeth Warren brings yet another flavor in this prospective presidential sundae. Warren has a detailed game plan outlining exactly how she’s going to enact her agenda as president. From collapsing corruption on Capitol Hill, to supporting middle class families, to enstating foreign policy “for all,” her diplomatic attitude and persistence has won many over. 
Platform Highlights: Support for Planned Parenthood, Diplomatic Foreign Policy, Anti-Corruption 

Andrew Yang: The Wild Card
You know him as: a startup CEO
Andrew Yang is a candidate with some particularly peculiar primary platforms. Yang has focused on automation and universal basic income. He has made some utterly bizarre statements such as “If I’m in the White House, oh boy are we going to have some fun in terms of the cryptocurrency community” and “All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society.”  His aggressive push for universal basic income is a source of great contention, with some arguing that it will support low income families, while others argue that it will devalue the dollar.  Regardless, Yang’s long shot campaign will be, if nothing else, fun to watch play out.
Platform Highlights: Universal basic income, Medicare for all, “human-centered capitalism” 




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A&E
Percy Jackson Musical ‘The Lightning Thief’ Electrifies Audiences
Chris McCarell as Percy Jackson in "The Lightning Thief" on January 3. / Jeremy Daniel for The Huntington Theatre
Have you ever expected absolutely nothing, then not only be pleasantly surprised but almost immediately enthralled by a theater performance? Well, that feeling and I got pleasantly acquainted Thursday night at the Huntington Theatre during “The Lightning Thief”. 
 For those who haven't read the fantastic Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series, “The Lightning Thief” is about outcast Percy Jackson, a demigod living in New York, and his quest to retrieve Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt from the depths of the Underworld. A pretty tame story as far as Greek mythology goes, but enthralling nonetheless. Along his journey, we’re introduced to a pantheon of characters from  Grover, Percy’s goat-man best friend, to Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena and brain of the group. Together the unlikely trio is pitted against a “greatest hits” of Greek gods, monsters and titans.
 My biggest concern as both a closeted musical fan and a diehard fan of the Percy Jackson books was the translation from page to stage. How would they handle the fights? The witty dialogue? The very literal presence of gods and monsters? My fears were quickly diminished by the obvious thought and care that was put into this production.  As a musical, “The Lightning Thief” is a rare example of an adaptation that is arguably better than the source material. In particular, the music stood out as entertaining and catchy. A particular favorite was Mr. D’s hilariously negative, “Another Terrible Day,” in which he gives much-needed exposition about the world the play inhabits by describing just how much he hates his life. 

The entire cast's performances deserve commendation, especially Ryan Knowles’ performance as a variety of characters including a centaur.  Through his commanding stage presence and high-energy delivery, his performance made this cynic “LOL” a multitude of times.  The ensemble also deserves recognition, providing no small amount of laughs to an already humorous show along with providing a sense of atmosphere to the definite benefit to the performance overall.
All in all, despite a hit or miss situation, “The Lightning Thief” rarely seemed to miss, with a campy and self-aware, yet heartfelt tone throughout the 110-minute show.  It is not going to change your life, but it's also not going to sour the reputation of a Gen-Z classic, in fact, it may even make you wanna take another crack at the source material. While it still seems utterly bizarre, this is the crossover that gets it right and it’s without a doubt a fantastic way to spend a summer night. 
The Lightning Thief will be ‘bringing the thunder’ to The Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue) from July 17-28. Tickets start at $30.

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La Taqueria on Facebook
Visit: The Norman Leventhal Map Center
Although it’s only a single room, the Norman Leventhal Map Center, nestled in the Boston Public Library, squeezes in masterfully curated rotating exhibits. The information is presented in an accessible and engaging way, and there are small nooks with fun activities for children and adults alike. Previous exhibits have centered around maps as art and the history of Boston, while the one currently running is about westward expansion. Whether you consider yourself a map connoisseur or are just looking for a fun, quick, and free (!) activity, this is the place for you if you enjoy art, history, good museums, or just want to learn something new.
700 Boylston St., Boston.
MBTA: Green line at Copley


Eat: Double Chin
Double Chin, located in Chinatown, is a Chinese restaurant with a sweet and relaxed aesthetic that will welcome you and your friends in for a good treat. Muted colors, pretty lights and even a porch swing make for a cozy setting reminiscent of a 2014 Tumblr bedroom. If you go with a few people, I recommend ordering an entree each, and sharing them among your friends. The crispy noodles with pork is a highlight—the balance of peanut oil, vegetables, and pork will have you munching until there’s nothing left on your plate.
86 Harrison Ave., Boston.
MBTA: Orange line at Chinatown


Eat: La Taqueria
In Hyde Park, La Taqueria is a small but colorful Mexican restaurant that you will find yourself entranced by. The atmosphere is set with appropriate songs in Spanish and stunning murals that make you feel like you’re on the set of the popular joint all the friends go to eat at after school in a Disney sitcom. If there is anything I am a snob about, it is black beans (the best ones explode with flavor in your mouth with garlic-y hints and a pure bean taste), and La Taqueria satisfied my expectations and my stomach (but don’t get it wrong, nothing can top the black beans mi abuela would make). The chewy and smokey steak fajita fill you right up, and the street corn was my personal favorite, with mouthwatering the chipotle sauce and butter pairing beautifully with the grilled cob.
636 Hyde Park Ave., Boston. 
MBTA: 32 bus and others


Drink: TeaDo
Sitting in view of one of Chinatown’s iconic gates, TeaDo offers appetizers, desserts and, of course, boba tea. TeaDo also has several board games including Jenga and Connect Four, so that you and a friend can enjoy some friendly competition as you sip on one of their specialty teas and munch some onigiri. Make sure to come back soon so you can try their dumplings, puddings and variety of milk, black and green teas.
8 Tyler St, Boston.
MBTA: Orange line at Chinatown

Play: Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Were you sitting in the theater watching Avengers: Endgame thinking, “Dang! How cool would it be if Miles Morales, Deadpool or Ms. Marvel were the ones punking Thanos?” Luckily, reality can now be whatever YOU want it to be with Marvel's Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. The third installment of the classic UA series will allow you to assemble your own team in a race to collect all the Infinity Stones before the mad Titan, Thanos, and his nefarious Black Order can get their hands on them.
Available for Nintendo Switch July 19.

Watch: Spider-Man: Far From Home
(to the tune of the 60’s Spider-Man theme)
Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
He’s in Europe, Spider-Man. 
That guy’s a wizard; he can fly. 
Nick Fury still, has just one eye. 
Look out for “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
“Spider-Man: Far From Home,” starring Tom Holland, Zendaya and Jake Gyllenhaal, premieres July 2. 

   


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Thanh pho co Hoi An
Ho Chi Minh City
By: Quynh Anh Thach

I love the city
I love the city buildings
I love weather here

Animals
By: Cristiana Ramos Timas Dos Santos

Animals—they are
the best company, man’s best
friend and part of life.

Math
By: Danilson De Pina Da Silveira

Add and subtract stars
take notes, explore difference
khan academy.

Animals
By: Dawens Desroches 

Dolphin, elephant,
cat, bird, tiger, monkey, fox,
chicken, dog, lion.

Soccer
By: Elias Sultan 

I do love to play
soccer, my favorite sport, 
I like Ronaldo.




Love
By: Elili Sultan

I love my mother 
I have my family love 
I love injera. 

Me
By: Hafsha Akter

I love my country              
I like my garden flowers 
I am a student.

Weather
By: Huy Le 

Today there is rain.
Snow storms— very dangerous.
The sun—very hot.

My Art
By: Ksenia Clark 

I draw a dolphin,
multicolor drawing sky,
drawing school for kids.

Family
By: Simone Resende Pires

I love my sisters
I have two sisters—all mine
my funny sisters.

Food
By: Tien Nguyen 

I like black milk tea 
in Vietnam— pho very good
I love hamburger.

Dessert
By: Dahyana Feliz Diaz

The ice cream is cold,
ice cream has different flavors,
helado frio.

Science in a New Language
By: Ery Mejia Vallana 

My organism
experiments are the best,
give me a second.

Watermelon
By: Fabrina Abreu Rosario

The reds are tasty,
the reds are my favorite part
the reds drip water.

What I Eat
By: Fleiver Ramirez 

Yo como uva
me gusta el tomate 
yo como sopa. 

Island   
By Paola Reyes Maria

The water is blue.
On the island there’s cocoa
the wind is blowing. 


Jardín  
By: Yolainis Trinidad Troncoso

Me gusta rosas
las rosas son hermosas
rosas bonitas.

El Cielo
By: Johan Arias de la Cruz 

Cielo azul
la luna resplandece
estrellas grises.

La Pizza
By: Nikaulys Suero Guzman 

La compran todos
me encanta la pizza
salsa tomate.

Animals
By: Aneuris Mateo Nova

Snake is poisonous 
Lion—King of the jungle 
I love animals.
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“Are they speaking about me? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t pass my test and I won’t be able to pass to the next grade?” “How do you feel today?” “… Good…” 
These are the thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis. Because I was born with the developmental disorder autism, I find it extremely hard to speak about my emotions and feelings, even to the people closest to me. Autism affects one out of 63 American children, making it a common disorder. So why do I feel so alone with it?
I noticed that I was different when I was in public and the sounds of trains made me go insane and cover my ears and cry. I’ve noticed that the simple gesture of making eye contact when speaking to someone is like climbing Mount Everest for me. When I was four I did not speak. I was put into several varieties of therapy such as speech, music and regular therapy where they would ask me about my emotions, which to this day I still have a problem speaking about. 
I was six when I met Julie. I was hesitant and didn’t speak to her for about two weeks, but as I opened my book of life I realized that she understood me, and till this day is the only person I am comfortable sharing my emotions with. Julie would stay silent with me when I chose not to speak and would help me decipher problems when I couldn’t control my emotions. When I was nine Julie declared I was prepared enough to control my emotions. I was overjoyed and happy to feel like a free being. When I was nine my parents and I were at the Esplanade for the annual fireworks show (a tolerable noise), and as we left it started to pour. I wanted to run to the station but my body just stood there trembling and I felt the tears coming. My father had to pick me up and cover me with his jacket while people stared as I cried in the rain. They did not know me and my story and my many small but mighty accomplishments before this incident.
By my own choice, I decided to transfer to a school closer to home during fourth grade and it was small, which made making friends easier. The school I was in before was too large and my autism made navigating the school feel like I was walking for hours. When I arrived it was thrilling, until a boy came up from behind me and humped me with a pencil between his legs during lunch one day. This was confusing, but I knew that it wasn’t okay. This and several other bullying incidents caused me to be paranoid and scared about the other kids around me. I would wake up crying and pleading with my mom not to send me to school. This traumatizing experience forced me back into therapy at the age of 11, with a guy named Cooper. He also changed my life by helping me let go of the suspicion that everyone was out to get me. 
We talked a lot, and this time around therapy felt a lot more mature. Because of Julie, I was able to express my emotions to a therapist much easier. After a bit, Cooper thought that I was ready to trust the world. So after a combined seven years of therapy, I´ve learned to truly appreciate the small feats. When I made my first friend in school I thought that was a call for celebration. So I write this essay to inform you, reader, that you are trustworthy, but to warn you that you do not know everyone's story. You have just walked in on one chapter of their book, and you have no right to judge without asking about their accomplishments and past.


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ME
I ask myself sometimes what is right and what is wrong.
Yo soy de sangre Mexicana,
and will forever be. Pero I wonder,
does being born here make me mudblood, 
like Hermione Granger in Harry Potter? 
But then I sit, look at my skin, look at my hair and I see the eyes of a fighter— 
I see that I do so much for my family, who will always have their hearts open. 
And my wonder, am I half or am I full Mexican, comes to an end.
I will always be loyal to the country where my roots come from, 
to the place my grandfather died, and the body of my godfather was sent to. 

MEXICO
Si, I was born here in the U.S., 
my home almost 3.3 miles from here.
My heart will never beat to American colors pero 
de Mexico na mas.
I may not have been born el la tierra santa, 
but I grew up in a Mexican household.
Though my accent might not seem Mexican, 
eso es porque, crecí en un area Dominicana all my life.
Though I never felt in the right place here in America,
or Roxbury,
I've only ever felt close to home while in East Boston, Revere, Chelsea—  
they are latinos close to mi tierra, not like those in Roxbury.
So my question is to where I belong, 
where my heart takes me, which has lead me to open up today.


Who?
You think you know me,
You think you’re my friend, but you have it wrong.
You have no idea what my WHOLE story is.
You ask me, 
“Why are you sad, what’s wrong?”
Nothing's wrong, I peep and fall back. 
It took me a few good blows to realize people’s true colors 
But here I am standing strong, overcoming things I thought I’d never do.
So no, you’re not my friend,
God is my friend, though I'm not always nice to him.
He’s seen my ups and downs, 
he knows my WHOLE story, and didn't stop loving me.
And those who know part leave ASAP
So the question is who am I?
A fighter
A soldier
A big sister
A daughter 
More importantly, I am a Mexican. 
With all the dirt the President hands on us, I only become prouder,
because he does not know each and every one of our stories.
So do you know who I am?
Pues eso si, que es un no. 


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TiP Journalists Tiffany Cespedes, Jacob Downey, and Mariella Murillo
On May 9, around 175 people showed their support for student literacy by coming out to Pros&Conversation, WriteBoston's only annual fundraiser. Mariella Murillo, student journalist and sophomore at Boston Arts Academy, delivered a passionate speech about finding her voice in writing. She received a standing ovation—the only one of the evening. We think it's safe to say that her speech was an inspiration.

The following is an excerpt from Mariella’s keynote speech: 

Ever since I was young, I have loved to read, write and tell stories. My mother loves to brag about how from a young age when she would read to me, I knew exactly when to turn the page. I remember the first chapter book I read (Magic Tree House #8, Midnight on the Moon), and knowing even then that I wanted to make stories just like that one. Over the years, I have made up hundreds of characters my brother and cousins would pick when we would play games and go on adventures.
As I grew older and dress-up became less appealing, I knew I had to find another way to get these stories out. So, I would write versions of my life as it was happening in a diary, or would even take characters that exist in the real world, my own friends and family, and put them into new worlds that I had created—essentially just fanfiction of the people in my life.
However, you can’t really go up to your teacher or friends with your journal and ask “Hey, is this any good?” I was never able to figure out how to take the bits and pieces of my writing and make it into something an audience can enjoy, or even understand. So, my characters stayed as characters, never entering a story. I had scenes planned out in my head, but trouble finding how to make them fit in a bigger picture. It was like having the pieces of a bridge, but not the tools I needed to put it together. I had the ideas and I had the skill, but I wished I had fresh eyes to help push me and mold what was in my brain into something well done. That’s why, in fall 2017, I joined Teens in Print. 
I still remember my first meeting—I was greeted with the coolest conference room I had ever been in. But, to be honest, I had never been in a conference room before. I will never forget that I was instantly treated as an individual. The Teens in Print staff welcomed me despite knowing nothing about me, or what I could bring to the table; they were ready and willing to help me become the best writer I can be. With the Teens in Print staff supporting me, I finally had the help I needed to finish a piece of writing that made sense, told a story, and could be read and understood by an audience. Writing articles for Teens in Print allows me to be creative while still giving me the roots I need to for writing in school and college.
Without Teens in Print, I would have continued through high school and college believing that I had to wait before I could truly share my writing with others in a realistic way. The day when I would be able to fulfill the dreams of a little girl lost in her fantasy novels. And now that day is every day for me, as I stand before you as a published journalist, with people coming up to me and expressing how much they enjoy my writing. Being exposed to journalism is the first stepping stone of reaching the future I want as a writer. Impacting people with my writing is something I have wanted to do ever since Mary Pope Osborne impacted me with her stories of a brother, sister and their magic tree house.  


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In the wake of the Flint, Michigan water crisis, lead in tap water has become a major concern across the nation. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority rated Boston’s tap water as “excellent” in 2017. Yet, in the same year, water test results at some public schools rivaled the amount of lead and copper found in Flint, Michigan at the peak of the water crisis, according to the Boston Globe.
Boston has seen a marked improvement in water quality in public schools. This is a good thing, but 94 of the 125 Boston Public Schools still report their water fountains to be offline, according to the BPS website. While factors like old buildings and water fountains that don’t work influence the results, this still demonstrates that water quality is a big problem.
The city spent $411,000 on bottled water and cups for public schools during the 2013-14 school year, the Globe reported in 2015. The city tried to fix water fountains the following year as part of a $300,000 project, yet most of them are still offline.
To enforce water safety policies in schools, BPS regularly tests the water. During 2019, the school system will test 859 drinking water units, 473 of which are fountains, said Katherine Walsh, BPS’ Sustainability and Environmental Resources Manager. Walsh is one of the people working to ensure the safety of students’ drinking water. While 93 units, or 12 percent, failed initially, by June 2018, only four samples had lead levels above the safe level, Walsh said. “In other words, 99.4 percent of the online drinking water units did not have lead safety issues.” 
Despite BPS’ efforts, students at Match Middle School remain unimpressed. A poll of 46 of my eighth-grade friends found that 39 percent of them drink the tap water at the school.
Leonard Rivers, one of the respondents, thinks that it’s unfair that the water fountains aren’t online at all schools. “It’s weird to know how much money and how much schools care about the drinking water but then after all this money has been spent, it’s still a bad result,” Rivers said, referring to the 76 percent of fountains that are offline.
Clearly, the drinking water situation in schools is a major problem. With BPS spending the amount of time and money that they have to fix this issue, it begs the question as to whether all these efforts are enough.


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