Cover Story
Words to Live By

What Do You Believe In?

To see the change, as they say, you must be the change. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others. You can’t give what you don’t have. Picture this: You love yourself and you start a relationship with someone. You both have self-confidence and have built a strong bond. When it comes to making decisions, you think about not only what you want but also what your partner wants. You want to balance the situation to please both of you. When you get to the point where you constantly do this, eventually you’ll do the same thing with every person you meet. Your perspective about life changes. Once you’re able to love yourself and therefore love others, your decisions will always be based on both your desires and how other people could also benefit. You will realize that those choices are born in your heart. And that is when you start to experience happiness and enjoy life. There’s nothing more satisfying than that. Even as many people nowadays strongly identify with the idea of doing just what their own minds want and not worrying about others, when it comes to social issues and things that affect us all as human beings, we must determine how the whole world would benefit. As we aspire to be better human beings every day, we can start the change with small things. Since we all make mistakes, if we at least try to do what’s right, that’s all it takes to contribute to the idea of creating a better place.
“Always take responsibility for what you have done; never put the blame on someone else.” -- Kevin Predestin

“Because there is no right answer, you must question everything -- even what you think is absolutely right.” -- Betiel Brhane
“All humans should be kind and help each other. We should not only do things that benefit and satisfy ourselves but benefit our surroundings, too.” -- Sydney A. Napoleon
“We cannot be speechless when humanity is being taken away from us. Being silent only encourages the tormentors to do more harm.” -- Sherley Valeus
“You will never reach what you want as long as you don’t wish for others to reach what they want. Stay humble and pray for each other.” -- Mohamed Abdi
“We must fight for equality of human rights.” -- Ida Alves
“It is right to help poor people; it is wrong to show off what you did for poor people.” -- Rosadys Pujols
“Believe in who you are not what others think about you.” -- Silvania Rodrigues
“Everybody who has money should respect and care for people who are poor.” -- Marie Lourdes Louis
“Life is like a song; if we skip a part of it, we will lose the meaning and beauty of it all.” -- Jessy Vaz
“We should think with our minds and also our hearts because our decisions may satisfy us but harm others.” -- Jessica Andrade
“We should be meditating in our lifestyles so that we can have a better future for the whole world. Live, think, and act positively.” -- Carla Miranda
“It’s right to have patience. Otherwise, you will not achieve your goals.” -- Amal Ibrahim
“Sometimes, we should disconnect from technology so that we can connect with people. It is right to create a nexus between human and human.” -- Dan Huynh
“We as fellow human beings should always act as one and work for the good of all and not for selfish needs. Become heroes, not criminals.” -- Claudio Ribeiro
“You have to make decisions on your own because nobody can help you choose the right thing to do in your life.” -- Yahirianis Wilson
“It is not right to judge anyone based on physical appearance.” -- Jing Chen
“We need to be mature enough to understand the importance of not hurting others and treating them the same way we would like to be treated.” -- Jesuina Fernandes
“What is right is when you never care only about yourself. Although there are many selfish people in this world, there are many others who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the happiness of others.” -- Merline Mathieu
“We must not neglect to do good for others even if it’s not to our own advantage.” -- Shelove Adelphin
“Always listen to what your parents say.” -- Maria Araujo
“People should always be nice with their best friends and not share their secrets.” -- Eriken Calderon
“Because we make choices in our lives every day, we must think wisely for the good of all.” -- Witney Clervil
“We should not let viciousness and payback manipulate us. As people say: ‘What goes around comes back around.’ ” -- Nandley Charles
“You should never judge someone until you walk a day in their shoes.” -- Aguinaldo Gomes
“It’s OK to think in a different way because that is what makes us all humans.” -- Carolaine Ribeiro
“Being selfish is inane. We all have the same blood color. Therefore, it is ethical to give hands to whoever is in need because your support may change the entire society.” -- Charles Rubens Victor
“It is good to have fun but not to play with other people’s feelings.” -- Nicol Casilla
“Everyone makes mistakes. You can learn from them and understand life better.” -- Gissel Santos
“It is wrong to bully anyone. We should show that we support them.” -- Elsa Tejeda Guzman
“How can we have a good society if we do not treat others the same way we like to be treated?” -- Felizmina Cardoso
“It is wrong to do something unfair just to help others.” -- Lucia Barbosa
“We should always show positivity towards each other.” -- Marlice Martins
‘‘It is our obligation to help those who are lost to get back on track.’’ -- Ronny Pimentel
“We should always look for the best solution to a problem in the real world.” -- Victor Depina
“We need to be aware of our society and how each one of us makes a difference in it.” -- Eriberto Perez
“Never take what people say to you as a big deal.” -- Jhon Wilky
“It is right for people to help each other as a team.” -- Alfredo Frias
“We should always care about each other.” -- Danes Bien Aime
“It’s our responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves.” -- Adilson Pina
“We should always respect and protect each other for a safer society.” -- Johana Sainma
“Appearance is not reality.”  -- Candido Pina
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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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