Courtesy of Winnie Ruan
When I entered the room, my math teacher Jillian Kilcoyne looked like she was prepared, standing tall and confident. She was wearing something professional, a shirt and a skirt, and sitting on her desk looking ready with her hands crossed.
Kilcoyne is originally from Worcester. Her first job was a cashier at Walgreens. 
“I went to a private school in Worcester for high school and Emmanuel College,” she said. Kilcoyne studied education and math because she was very passionate about studying and teaching math when she was younger. 
At one point, Kilcoyne wanted to quit during college. 
“I wanted to drop education and didn’t want to become a teacher anymore because mathematics was a lot of work and it was very difficult,” she said. “A lot of my friends supported me so I continued.”
She is currently teaching ninth graders at the Josiah Quincy Upper School. I had her twice for eighth and ninth grade so I’m kind of close with her. She is nice and cares about the students by asking, “How are you doing?” and “Are you okay?” She sometimes buys us candy and snacks. Being a teacher needs a lot of patience, which she has, but teaching freshmen is quite interesting. She tries her best to teach new things to the class and get them developed for the future. 
At the end of the interview, I thanked Kilcoyne again. After, she started putting some of the chairs up that weren’t already on the tables. Then, she erased the whiteboard. She went back on her laptop and continued doing stuff that teachers do.
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Courtesy of Jessie Li
As Michael Hanson walks into the photography lab filled with iMacs, he sits down at his usual desk located at the center of the room.  His tall figure defines him as a football player in a photography lab. As we start talking, I learn that one of his favorite quotes is, “Discipline equals freedom,” from a writer he follows. Hanson explained that the more disciplined you are, the more you're able to stay on schedule. As a photography teacher and a football coach at North Quincy High School, the most challenging part of his career is time management. 
There never seems to be enough time for him to introduce different assignments to students therefore, he has to modify lesson plans. With the lesson plans, grading, staging shows, and student’s artwork events, Hanson said he “wished there [were] more hours in the day.”
To ensure he has more time, Hanson follows an efficient daily schedule. He usually prepares for the day the night before. Having a busy morning, he wakes up early and brings his three children to school before going to work. His afterschool schedule varies at different times of the school year. For instance, in the fall he’s the position coach of varsity football and offensive coordinator for the JV’s.
Despite the busy schedule, he still has priorities. “My main goal is to help each student become a stronger, more creative communicator,” said Hanson. With the understanding that not every one of his students is going into the arts, the classes he teaches can provide useful life skills that can apply to any career path. Students can communicate their personal and unique ideas using the art he teaches, and he believes that any art is the artist trying to convey an idea to the audiences. The arts also encourage a person’s creativity. Hanson believes his students should explore topics they are personally interested in. “The best way to ensure success and creativity is to chase what you’re really into,” he said.
What inspires Hanson is many of his great teachers and coaches. They shaped the course of Hanson’s life and provided redirection when he needed it. Hanson believes being a teacher simply means being a positive presence in other people’s lives. “It really is the great occupation I can think of,” Hanson said. 

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Courtesy of Wendy Zhu
I met up with Jaden Fergus at the gym in the middle of Boston Latin Academy (BLA), and we walked to the upper library to find a quiet place for the interview. He was wearing a black Anti-Social Social Club hoodie and khakis. We pulled chairs from the closest table and sat across from each other. 
“I’ve always had an interest in flying since I was a little kid and I pursued that,” Fergus said. He started flight school at Beverly Regional Airport in 2014, taking one-on-one lessons as a sixth grader. After Fergus got accepted to BLA in 2014, he started a new hobby, photography. At first, he took pictures with a friend who took urban exploration or “urbex” photographs of rooftops and abandoned buildings. From there he started taking pictures of people, thinking that if they wanted their pictures taken and he could do the honor of making them look good, he could make money from it. People learn about him through connections, word of mouth and social media, so most of his gigs are paid shoots.
 Being a student pilot is very difficult. Fergus has to take on a lot of responsibilities as a student at BLA and a young pilot. “Honestly, everything about being a pilot is challenging, but like anything else you do, you practice and get better at it,” he said.
As he overcomes these challenges with practice, he enjoys flying more and more. His favorite part about being a pilot is the freedom of it. He’s able to go places that many can’t, such as flying to Cape Cod to just grab some lunch and fly back.
Fergus learned to make time to balance school, his photography gigs and flight school. He is regularly booking photo shoots and finds that making money by doing something you love is the easiest and most fun way. 
“The plan is to do commercial piloting for the rest of my life,” Fergus said. “I will be getting my license in December.” All of his experiences as a pilot have been very eye-opening and he’s loved every moment of it. 

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Courtesy of Link Nguyen
 Lisa Estrella “Liv” Yang is a courageous Asian American business owner in the nail industry. She grew up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and felt different from the other kids. In this society, Yang was different from the other kids. She came to the United States as a second generation refugee, and most of her peers couldn’t relate to her experience of post-war trauma. Additionally, very few spoke her native language of Hmong, creating a cultural barrier. 
Yang started doing nails when she was in elementary school as a way to cope with bullying and depression. She was able to express herself through nail art. 
“You can show different facets of yourself depending on the occasion and still be true to yourself,” she wrote in an email. “I am grateful for my ability to express myself through nail art because that medium offers so many textures, colors, and embellishments that are interchangeable depending on the mood.” 
Her inspiration for creating press-on nails originated from her very first makeup social where she witnessed how nail polish positively affected people in her refugee community, the Hmong people who fled to the U.S. for shelter after the Vietnam War.
Yang attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There, she created a pro-self-esteem movement which attracted young women from all over campus to talk about beauty standards over a nail polish session. In 2014, Yang was selected top four out of over 16,000 competitors for an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City in Sally Hansen’s nationwide “I Heart Nail Art” competition. As a queer Southeast Asian woman, Yang always felt like she didn’t fit in. She lived in a state where the population was 80 percent white and only 2 percent Asian. The definition of “beautiful” in her community was white beauty.
“Growing up I felt excluded from the definition of ‘beautiful’ because rarely did I ever see a darker-skin Asian woman who was short and average size,” Yang wrote. Her experience of not being able to fit into a “one-size-fits-all” mold brought her to Boston, where she started the company Faceted Beauty.
 Yang faced many challenges throughout her nail journey and as founder and CEO of Faceted Beauty. “There are so many uncertainties as a startup,” she wrote. “My role as Founder and CEO is mitigating risk every day to ensure the survival of the company. Challenges can range from finding new customers to finding the right talent for the Faceted Beauty team.” However, her challenges taught her how to manage failure and how to get back up.
 As an entrepreneur, Yang enjoys going through the process of bringing positivity into people’s lives with nail art. She has always been “proud to be joining a long history of courageous Asian and Asian American business owners in the nail industry.” Now, Yang is getting ready to launch Faceted Beauty in Fall 2019, to promote their mission that “beauty goes beyond a one size fits all." 

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Courtesy of Kenny He
I took the escalator at the Galleria Mall up to the second floor. After turning the corner, I saw a line of people waiting outside of Foot Locker. I knew what they were here for: reserved sneakers that customers didn’t pick up. I saw Timmy Hogan, next to Elijah Hardaway Drizzy, a fellow sneakerhead, cracking jokes about the people in line, like, “Ooooh I’m telling you’re a reseller.” We had nothing to do but sit around until 3 p.m. when Foot Locker started letting the unclaimed pairs go.
Hogan began reselling sneakers in 2012, at the age of 12. “I used to go to conventions to sell my shoes and I sold through Facebook pages,” he said. Secondary markets were a little slow back then because smartphones and the internet were not as far-reaching then as they are today. If you didn’t have money for physical advertisements, you didn’t get much traffic. So, Hogan didn’t get until 2017. 
“I made around $120,000 in 2018 through reselling and $40,000 so far in 2019,” he said. Now, in 2019, there are online marketplaces like StockX and GOAT that dictate the price of a product. They are the middlemen between retail stores and anyone else who couldn’t purchase the shoe initially.
A few months back, there was a special release of the Nike SB Dunk “Green Lobster” that was exclusive to Boston. Hogan was lucky to be one of the first people lined up at Concepts. This shoe was a collaboration between Concepts and Nike. He got one pair by camping outside Concepts and another pair on the website. A few days before the release, the price of a pair dropped from nearly $1,500 to $400. Hogan sold both pairs for around $500, about market price. 
Online markets like StockX and GOAT have pros and cons. A majority of the items listed there dip within the first week of their release.
“It’s kinda bad cause it drives down the market,” Hogan said. “I remember like a few years ago before StockX and GOAT were there, [the] market was high on a lot of items.” 
Often, people panic and sell for whatever money they can get back. An example is the regional exclusive Yeezy Boost 350 “Clay.” On drop day, the price actually surged. But after Adidas orders started being delivered, prices started dropping. A size 10 in mens went from over $400 to around $350. 
Hogan managed to get his hands on 33 pairs. If he sold all of his pairs, he would make about five grand in profits. However, he’s deciding to wait. 
 “Hold them cause they’re just gonna go up in price over time,” he said. He’s predicting that within six months, some sizes for the Clays will reach $800.
There is often controversy with high-demand brands like Supreme, Adidas, Nike, Bape and Off-White. Some claim these brands are taking product away from fans and collectors, thus ruining the culture. Others complain that they couldn’t get a pair because of resellers. 
However, high demand makes it harder for everyone to cop, not just resellers. “I’m a reseller myself so reselling doesn’t really bother me. If you want to be a collector, be a collector,” Hogan said.
Extremely high-profile releases like the Air Jordan 1 “Solefly” and the upcoming Air Jordan 1 “Travis Scott” continue to cause conflict between sneakerheads, as some have resorted to selling fakes for profit. 
It is almost impossible to tell a fake pair from a real pair without comparing or using a black light. “I think fakes are the most terrible thing in this game, not only does it mess with resellers, [but] it also messes with collectors as well because if they buy a shoe they’ve wanted for a long time and its fake, that’s terrible,” Hogan said.
 At the recent sneaker convention Boston Got Sole, the event was hosting a raffle for a pair of the Travis 1s. It turns out that their pair was fake. “There was an outstanding amount of people walking around with fake Travis Scott Air Jordan 1s that are currently selling around $2,000, although the host of the event did well with blocking them out,” Hogan said.
Drizzy and Scott Stornaielo, owner of The Vault Lifestyle Boutique in Lynn, busted about four people with fake Travis Scott 1s during the two-day event.
At the end of the day, it’s harder to make a living from reselling nowadays. As the sneaker consumer market grows, the stock is spread among more people, allowing fewer people to have excessive amounts of product. “Buying all Clays $500!” Hogan said jokingly in the Foot Locker, and we walked out into the spring breeze. 

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