Here at the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC), we believe the best way to better public education is through the power of youth voices. As part of the December 9 National Day of Action to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education, BSAC students helped facilitate a Boston Truth Town Hall meeting at Madison Park High School to discuss the future of Boston Public Schools. This meeting, taking place alongside public actions in other cities across the country, was a first step in trying to unite Boston’s educators, parents, students, activists, legislators, and community members in finding solutions for its public schools. At this gathering, BSAC students and other young people shared their ideas with community members and led discussions on how to improve Boston Public Schools, including the need to ramp up mental health resources in the system. By helping facilitate this event, BSAC proved that youth themselves can generate powerful ideas to better their schools and inspire adults to do the same. Although most students cannot vote, they still represent our city’s future. As prospective voters and leaders, students have a voice politicians need to hear to have a sense of what’s coming Boston’s way. BSAC runs entirely on the premise that student voices can make an impact on even the most powerful leaders who run their city. For more information on BSAC, email bsacofse@gmail.com or come to a steering committee meeting every Monday afternoon, 3:30-5:30, at Madison Park High School.
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A great person is not just someone with lots of money but one who sacrificed his own life to make millions live their dreams, a person who loved his nation as much as he loved himself. And Nelson Mandela, who died on Dec. 5 at age 95, was one of these people. In terms of transcending the ego, living in the world is indeed difficult but the secret is to identify with the ego and to use it as one uses a mask. Just as when a teacher is strict with a student, the ego expressed is for the benefit of the student, not for the benefit of the teacher. This was one lesson Mandela taught me as he fought for the rights of all South Africans. Imprisoned for nearly three decades for his battle against white minority rule, he came out ready to use his personal power to end apartheid and foster democracy. “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come,” Mandela said in his acceptance speech upon becoming South Africa’s first black president, in 1994. For me, as an African, Mandela was a great source of inspiration for all he accomplished, including winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Because of his integrity and inspiration, I can only hope I may have the chance to change the world’s views as much as he did. Nelson Mandela, you were the kind of person we needed to make our world a peaceful place to live. May your soul rest in peace.
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I don’t think this kind of education would work for me. If I saw a computer outside, I wouldn’t merely start using it randomly. I think an inside education like school is better because the students meet new people and work together. By knowing a lot of people, it makes you fit into your environment. A computer can probably give you all the answers to the questions you have. But it cannot drive a car for you, or walk for you, or even go to the movies with you. It cannot replace a human brain.
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You like when it’s dark, when it’s black. You feel more alive. There’s nobody outside. You get more space. Everything is black and then the lights appear out of no- where. In the day, the lights seem to get lost. They don’t stand out like they do at night, white contrasting with black. All the buildings are lit up like stars. It’s beautiful. Why are the lights still on when most people are done working? There’s no traffic at night. The cars just speed along with their headlights leading the way. You love the height at night. You can look down and see the world from a better view. It’s just you and the city. Down below, the bridges come alive. It’s always windy. It gives you a good feeling. The air brushes by your face and takes away all your problems. You forget about everyone and everything for a minute. Under the bridge, the lights shimmer on the surface of the water. The water looks shiny. It looks blue. Then you hear the police cars moving down the roadway. Don’t be alarmed. The darkness is pierced by their blue lights, which beam like a shield protecting the city.
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Baseball is important for people in the Dominican Republic because they love this sport and many are poor. So, a major way out of poverty is to become a professional baseball player because they think they can help their families make a better life. A March article on forbes.com found that over 500 players from DR have made it to Major League Baseball since 1956, including current stars like David Ortiz and Robinson Cano. These days, according to the web article, about one quarter of all players on minor league teams are from DR. Come spring, you will find lots of Dominican teens in Boston practicing their base- ball skills after school in hopes of becoming the next Big Papi.
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