The noisy gym cheered for 25-year-old Alex Georgiadis as she won a championship with her co-ed volleyball team. They worked hard for this moment. While their team wasn’t part of a professional league, their win symbolizes the benefits of playing on a co-ed team, or a team with both males and females. 
Professional co-ed teams could have victories similar to Georgiadis’. If women were allowed to play on professional sports teams with men, the combination of their skills would make the team better, and it would help motivate other women to join the sport.  
Women have been fighting for a place in sports for many years. During the 20th century, women were finally allowed to participate in the Olympics. This gave them the chance to earn gold medals and have their name imprinted in history. There was Gertrude Ederle, who won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay in the 1924 Olympics. In 1945 Babe Didrikson Zaharias became the first woman to make the 36-hole cut to qualify to play against men in a PGA Tour. Wilma Rudolph was the first woman to win three gold medals in track and field in 1960 Olympics.  
In 1972, Title IX changed the game for women. Title IX is a “federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal funding.” Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of gender is not allowed. Now, we have women’s teams for sports such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, track and soccer at high school and college levels. There are also some professional women’s sports teams, like the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s National Basketball Association. 
However, co-ed sports are nowhere to be found in the world of professional sports. Even though women can technically participate in professional sports leagues like the NFL and the MLB, there is a strong social stigma that stops them from playing. An article in ESPN tells the story of Okiima Pickett, a running back on a D.C women’s football team. She dreamed of playing on the Redskins, but never made it close to the NFL because she was prevented from playing on her high school football team in Charlottesville, VA. Her coach told her he didn't want to see her get hurt, demonstrating the social stigma against women in sports typically played by men only. 
Fans are ready to see something new for a change. “I think it’d be interesting if females and males played on the same team,” my uncle, a Boston Celtics fan, said. 
If professional teams were co-ed it would lift the social stigma and encourage girls to play. Georgiadis stated that she would like to see more females playing in professional sports, and she would like to encourage others to do so as well. Since men’s professional teams are very popular, females playing on those teams would catch the attention of many other women.  
Maybe these teams believe that they’re fine without women in their league. Maybe they don’t want the way their league runs to change if women are added. Maybe they believe that they’ll be criticized by fellow fans if they add females to their teams.  
However, that shouldn’t be true. If the MLB, NFL, and NBA refuse to change, there should be new professional leagues made for co-ed teams. Maybe someday there’ll be a professional co-ed league for volleyball, just like Georgiadis’. Maybe, because of their skill, these professional teams will have a lot of wins, just as Georgiadis’ team won. Maybe someday, the professional sports world will realize that women can benefit their teams.
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Once, when Boston resident Jeff Paddock was a teenager, he saved up all of his money. He had about $250. He was saving to buy a leather jacket that he liked. About two weeks after buying his jacket, his friends got tickets to a concert. He wanted to go so badly that he asked his mom for money to buy a ticket, but she said no and his next paycheck didn’t come for another few weeks. Paddock learned a lesson from this whole experience.  
Now, Paddock is the financial empowerment coordinator at Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion, a nonprofit organization located in the South End. Here are his tips on how teens can better manage and budget their money.  
Make sure you have money set aside for emergencies.  
You never know what’s going to happen—if you lose your bus pass, need to buy necessities, or realize you forgot to buy something for school at the last minute—you want to make sure you have money to cover it. “It is important to spend less than you make,” Paddock said. If you have leftover cash, try putting it in a special pocket in your wallet or a different place to make sure you don’t spend it and have it nearby in case of an emergency. 
A good way to learn how to make a budget is to draw it out on a piece of paper, so you can see how much you have and how much you spend. 
If you realize you spend too much money, here is a good way to make sure you can manage your money! First, make sure you have paper and three different colored markers. I suggest using red, green and black markers. Use the red to draw how much you are spending. Use the green for how much you have. Use black to draw what you want to buy. With this you can see how much you spend. Make sure you always have money left over. 
Don’t let technology fool you: if you click “buy” too many times on a website, you might buy your item more than once.  
Lots of teens have access to Amazon and other online shopping sites. If you want to purchase something and you click “buy” three times, you might end up buying that item three times and spending three times the money. When you click buy once, wait for it to say that you bought the item instead of clicking buy again. Technology requires patience.  
Spend less than you make. 
This is important. You always want to keep this in mind while you're shopping or trying to budget. It is always good to spend less than you make because when you get a job you will get paychecks and if you have money left over you can add that onto your budget from your next paycheck. Or, if you have an allowance you can add on to your extra money with your allowance.
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Taza Chocolate Factory Tour 
If you are a chocolate lover this is where you should go. At the Taza Chocolate store, you can watch them grind cacao beans using hand-carved granite millstones which results in a bold tasting stone ground chocolate. You can go on a chocolate tasting tour Monday through Friday from 11 am - 6 pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 10 am - 6 pm. The cost is $8 per person and online reservations are required.  
Taza Chocolate Factory, 561 Windsor St., Somerville.  
Ice Skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond 
Not only is the Frog Pond a place to go in the summer for the spray pool, but it’s also amazing in the winter. You can spend an afternoon skating on perfect ice and getting bites to eat from the snack bar. This place is great for a date or entertaining your children. People 58 inches and over only pay $6. Those under 58 inches can skate for free. If you don’t have skates, you can rent a pair for a very cheap price: $12 for adults and $6 for kids. I recommend this because I had so much fun skating here when I was younger. I enjoyed spending time with my friends and getting a snack.  
Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston. 
Skywalk Observatory 
The Skywalk Observatory is a closed room with clear windows where you can see all of Boston. It is an amazing view and imagine how wonderful it looks during the winter with all the snow and the trees. You can also go on a audio tour and get a 360 degree view of Boston. You can see wonderful famous landmarks such as the Hancock Tower, Fenway Park, the Boston Common and Public Garden. The Skywalk is open all days of the week from 10 am - 8 pm. If you are going in the winter I would recommend going in the afternoon before it gets too dark out. In the end, it is all up to you what time is best for you to go and see the splendid view.  
Skywalk Observatory, Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston. 
Hot Chocolate Flights at MET Back Bay 
The Hot Chocolate Flight at MET Back Bay debuted earlier this winter. The flight features four hot chocolate creations that are great for a stormy winter day. The four unique flavors include classic, espresso, caramel sea salt and white chocolate peppermint. The drinks are all served in tall, clear glass mugs, each with unique garnishes. The classic hot chocolate is comprised of vanilla chocolate, whipped cream and mini toasted marshmallows. The espresso hot chocolate is garnished with an almond biscotti, the caramel sea salt has whipped cream and a caramel drizzle, and the white chocolate peppermint has crushed peppermint stick and a candy cane. This is perfect for a cold winter day to go out with friends.  
MET Back Bay, 297 Dartmouth St., Boston. 
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Cancel the crab rangoon: It’s time to serve up authentic Chinese cuisine
We've all been there: you walk into a foreign restaurant and become puzzled by the menu. You randomly choose something—eenie, meenie, miny, moe—and the food turns out to be awful.  
Many teens enjoy Chinese food, but few are knowledgeable about the authentic cuisine. When local teens are asked to name as many Chinese foods as they can in under two minutes, common American-Chinese foods like fried rice, lo mein and chicken teriyaki are mentioned. Most authentic Chinese food is very different from American-Chinese food. It is not over sauced and does not contain a lot of grease. Authentic Chinese food is split by the many regions of the country and each region's style varies from others.  

Cantonese Cuisine 
Cantonese cuisine originated in the Guangdong province and it is the most eaten Chinese cuisine in the world. An authentic Cantonese chef will preserve the food's natural flavor, so little spices are added and there are not a lot of calories. The flavors of Cantonese cuisine are usually mild, fresh and slightly sweet. Some of the most popular Cantonese dishes you should try are Chinese steamed eggs, white cut chicken or char siu (barbecue pork). I have tasted all three dishes and they are wonderful. Think of a smooth ride on a water slide, that’s how smooth the steamed egg goes down your throat. An authentic Chinese steamed egg dish has the consistency of jelly and it is usually coated in light soy sauce. The Chinese white cut chicken is both juicy and tender, and it preserve the natural taste of chicken. The chicken is chopped into pieces and coated with light soy sauce to give it a golden look. Char siu has a reddish brown coating and tastes slightly sweet. Skewed over the fire and constantly coated with spices, char siu is moist on the inside and slightly chewy on the outside.  
Since many Americans are accustomed to deeply flavored food, authentic Cantonese food might taste very bland to them. To get the best authentic Cantonese food experience, I recommend slowly working your way from American-Chinese restaurants to authentic Cantonese restaurants, and dialing down the over flavored taste. A recommended Cantonese restaurant to try is Jade Garden, located in Chinatown on 20 Tyler Street. 
Sichuan Cuisine 
Sichuan cuisine, from the Sichuan region, is favored among the youth because of its spice. Sichuan cuisine is most famous for it's hot and spicy flavors, especially the must-have seasoning, Sichuan pepper. After eating Sichuan cuisine, it's usual for people's mouth to feel numb. Some famous Sichuan dishes you should try are the pockmarked granny bean curd, sesame oil chicken and Sichuan hot pot. Personally, anything that contains Sichuan pepper is saliva-inducing and appetizing. 
Hunan Cuisine 
Hunan cuisine, from the Hunan region, is also hot and spicy like Sichuan cuisine. The difference is that instead of numbing your tongue to the point where foods start to taste the same, Hunan cuisine stimulates your taste buds so you can taste the flavors. Hunan food is even hotter than Sichuan food and a bit sour. Some famous Hunan dishes that you should try are boiled yellow catfish, Mao's braised pork and dry-wok chicken. 
Fujian Cuisine 
Fujian cuisine originated from the southeastern province of Fujian and has a long history dating thousands of years. Fujian cuisines uses natural ingredients from mountains and the sea like wild herbs, mushrooms and bamboos in their cooking. The flavors of Fujian cuisines are usually light, with a slight sweetness and sourness. Some famous Fujian dishes are crispy skin fish rolls, clams in chicken soup and drunken ribs. 
Shandong Cuisine 
The last region on this list is Shandong which includes different kinds of seafood in their dishes because Shandong province is near a coast. An authentic Shandongese chef aims to preserve the natural color, taste and cut of the food. The flavor of Shandong cuisine is slightly salty and sometimes crispy. Some famous Shandong dishes you should try are sweet potato with caramelized sugar, red braised king prawns and dezhou stewed chicken. 

If you ever complain that your local American-Chinese restaurants cooks bad food, you haven't eaten real Chinese food yet. The next time you enter a Chinese restaurant, order white cut chicken instead of chicken teriyaki, char siu instead of dumplings, crispy skin fish rolls instead of crab rangoons and oranges instead of fortune cookies. 
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The following are excerpts from an English class assignment at Boston Community Leadership Academy. The students were instructed to recount a childhood memory, using descriptive and literary devices. These are their stories: 
As I looked out the window my eyes were like a camera trying to capture the beautiful landscape that was a few feet away from the truck. We passed by vast luscious green mountains that even the Discovery Channel couldn’t compete with. We drove through towns filled with love, family values and children who played baseball with a bottle cap and a stick in a dirt field. This goes to show that us Dominicans make the best of what we have, and of our current situation. We make lemonade out of the lemons life throws at us because that is what we are raised to do. It wouldn’t be like us not to. -Arvin Villar

I really wanted some cupcakes, so I went to the cash register and stole two cupcakes. Heading out, I felt badly because I had just done something I knew was wrong. Also, I knew if my mother found out she would be furious and would think negatively of me. As I was walking back home, I took a bite of the warm cupcake and it melted in my mouth. But, there was still an awkward feeling in my stomach that took away some of the joy of eating it. I was a thief. How could I live with that?  
As I went inside and gave my mom the two loaves of bread, I saw the cupcake wrapper fall to the floor and my heart began to beat faster and my mouth was dry. This was it, the moment I had been dreading.  -Casselia Dossantos

The thing is, I hated the rain, and I still do. Rain meant I couldn't stay outside with my dolls. I couldn’t make cakes out of mud. Rain meant I had to stay inside and do nothing but sit and listen to the adults talk about problems that nine year old me found boring.  
So imagine how happy I was when it stopped raining later that day. As soon as I heard people talking, I was instantly out the door and looking for my cousins. We went on to search for the best rocks. You may be wondering why we were searching for rocks, and it’s because we had to wrap them in blankets and pretend they were babies. Of course, we had dolls, but our parents kept them on the highest shelf where we couldn’t reach them. Why? Well, because they knew we would rip them apart to the point where they would be missing most of their limbs, or we would lose them. After finding a rock that was round, smooth, and the right size, we looked for the best spot where we could play without being bullied by the older kids. -Daisy Correia  

I was playing my Playstation 3 at the time. I was playing, “Call Of Duty Black Ops 2,” to be exact. I was playing with my red and black Turtle Beaches, so I could hear everything that was going on in the game. I always had my mic muted, so I could hear people talking trash, but they could never hear me with my ‘squeaker’ self. Everyone in the game lobby was talking to each other and cutting each other off. After two matches with the same people, I decided I wanted to talk too. I un-muted my mic when the next game started and said, “Hi guys.” 
 Conversations sparked up in the game chat, people trying to figure out who just said that and why this person sound so young. I heard someone shout out, “Who’s squeaker is this?” My heart drops and I mute my mic as one of the people in the game calls out everyone’s name one by one, trying to see who was the squeaky little boy. I hit the middle button on my controller and quickly made my way to the playstation mic settings and straight to the voice changer. I made my voice deeper and returned to the chat, where this guy was still listing out names. When he finally got to my name I un-muted my mic and said, “Yo?” Everyone was dying of laughter and told me that my voice changer was super noticeable and that I was the squeaker from earlier. I didn’t deny it, but only because I was pretending I didn’t care about what they were saying, as I switched my voice back to normal.  -Joshua Ward 

I fumbled my phone as I looked through my recent calls to call my mother. Ring….ring...ring…”you have reached the num-” CLICK.  
Something is definitely wrong. My guts are telling my brain and heart right now, and I can feel it all over my body. She doesn't take long to answer my calls. She especially doesn't miss them.  
¨Ma, where are you?¨ I say, trying not to sound worried. 
¨Baby, something happened to Angel. Baby, Angel was shot.¨ 
Suddenly, I hear my brother’s sobs and his voice overlaps my mother’s from the passenger’s side of the car.  
¨He's dead! Mami, he’s dead!¨ My brother screams from the top of his lungs, “He's dead.¨ I hear a loud thud over the screams and cries. 
“Ma! Mami!”  
Did I just lose my cousin, brother, and mother in one night? Later I realized what I thought to be a car accident was just my brother punching the windshield. I could hear the faint screams from outside the car. My mother screaming and my brother huffing and puffing. They had gotten out of the car hysterically. 
My mother just lost her nephew who she loves as her own, as if she carried him nine months in her own womb. My brother lost his best friend, the only person that could talk some sense into him and guide him. My family broke into a million pieces that night. The pain and sadness was unbearable, it almost felt physical. It almost felt like at any second I could die from a broken heart. 
On the way to the hospital I couldn't cry anymore. My eyes were experiencing a drought. My thoughts were blank as if I was in a deep sleep and my whole body was put on anesthesia. I felt a tingle through my body like television static. It felt like a million years had gone by and I was still in that car. We pulled up to the emergency room entrance where the lights blinded my dry eyes. It was like seeing the light at the end of a tunnel. My family stood outside in the humid air. I could tell we all had a million thoughts and emotions running through our minds. We were all so close, yet so distant in our own little worlds. In that moment I realized how it took something so tragic to happen to bring us all together. -Jeilyn Ortega

Where did the ball go? I checked under the cabinets, table and chairs. My cousin pointed towards the bed and I started to crawl towards it. I wanted to climb the bed and even though it looked like a skyscraper, I knew how to get up there. I needed to find something that was like a box, that I could push next to the bed. I couldn’t find one, but I found what my mom puts on the bed all the time, the iron. Little did I know that it was a torch compared to my soft baby hands. I took no mind and decided to push. I put my left hand first, hisss, I immediately felt the pain. My hand felt like bacon frying on a skillet. My hand couldn't move my because it was glued to the iron, so I sat there for a few seconds until my sister came and took my hand off. When she seperated my hand from the iron it was like a grilled cheese, and my hand was as pink as raw beef. Oddly, it didn't hurt at all. I'm guessing my nerves were burnt right off. The last thing I remember was smelling bleach and a whole lot of cleaning supplies.  -Manny DePina

It was a Friday afternoon: May 24, 2013. It was pretty chilly out, so I throw on my Nike sweater to wear around the house. As soon as I put it on, I hear a scream from my sister’s room. At the time, my sister was pregnant. Immediately I knew what it was: her water broke. My mom comes rushing down the hall and screams, “WHAT HAPPENED’” in Viet. She gets the keys to her car and brings my sister to the car. My mom, sister, and I all head to the closest hospital. My sister’s heartbeat was out of control. As we arrived at Boston Medical Center we enter through security and find the closest spot possible. I text my sister’s boyfriend at that time, “Yo Bro, Shelly is giving birth.” -Jason Huynh
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