AFH Photo // Mariana Melara
The dilemma most kids face today is that they can’t get a job without work experience, and they can’t get work experience without a job. Maybe, if they are like me and an immigrant to the United States, they were delayed in their ability to even get a work permit.  
To have a job in United States, you first need to have a social security number. Since I was not born here, I had to apply for citizenship in order to get a social. This process alone can take years to finish and there are fees that one has to pay. This is especially difficult if you are unable to have a job first. This can discourage teenagers like me who, when they finally get their work permit, come to the conclusion there is no work to be found. 
 Companies often want someone with prior experience so they tend to hire fewer teens. From an employer’s point of view, this makes sense. Why hire some clumsy, temperamental teenager who you’d have to train for days, when you can get someone who already knows what they’re doing.  
Most kids don't want jobs because they believe the payoff is not worth the time. After all, $10 an hour on the weekends won’t help you save up for college, and standing for hours on end ringing up bags of groceries for a couple extra dollars in your pocket doesn’t seem like a good use of time. That's why finding a job that won’t bore you to death, but will also give you a decent paycheck, is difficult.  
Here are the common steps I encountered while on the job hunt:
Step 1: Finding a job that suits you 
I started my job hunt by looking at bigger stores. I imagined myself like internet sensation Alex from Target, but something about Belkis from Walmart didn't really sound right. Then I thought about fast food restaurants. After all, Chipotle could always use an extra hand. But, smelling like tortillas after my shift is not something I was looking forward to. I later turned to retail stores like H&M, Urban Outfitters, Dicks Sporting Goods and TJ-Maxx with the main incentive of employee discounts. 
Step 2: Fill out numerous applications 
You can go to stores directly and ask the manager for an application, but most are done online. I started to apply to DSW, but realized that I could not answer questions regarding previous job references, so I decided not to finish the application. It is overwhelming feeling like I somehow got the short end of the stick and not being able to do anything about it. I am a proud immigrant but I wish it didn't hold me back in my job search. I realized that if I kept getting discouraged I would never finish any application. I am already at the bottom so I may as well go up.  
Step 3: Find references 
References are recommendations from people who have seen you do good work and are willing to talk about it. Reach out to any previous community service programs you have been a part of, and kindly ask if they would write you a reference letter. Teachers and coaches also work. My math teacher, who is also my math club leader, was my reference. I felt that he has seen me work hard, lead my group, and bring people together to problem solve effectively. 

Step 4: Create and upload a resume 
This is challenging mainly because I didn’t see how me taking two advanced placement classes and being a member of the math club could possibly coincide with being a shoe saleswoman. Nonetheless, I was committed to being honest in my application process.  
Step 5: Hit submit!   
Waiting for a phone call or an email can be  nerve wracking to some. I don’t know if I will get accepted, but the fear of being rejected no longer holds me back. The application process taught me that there is nothing wrong with putting yourself out there, and there's also nothing wrong with trying something new. 
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AFH Photo // Aijanah Sanford
A long, long time ago, in a place far, far away, Nike shoes weren't around to help track star Koroibos win the first Olympic track race.  
According to Greek history, in 776 BC, Koroibos, a cook from the city of Elis, won the first 600-foot race. Track is told to be the first and only Olympic game in the first 13 Olympic festivals. Marathons were also much longer than they are now, some being over 100 miles long! According to the Boston Globe, it wasn't until 1921 that the International Association of Athletic Federations officially reduced the marathon to an official 26.2 miles.  
 Let’s see what some Cristo Rey High School track running teens have to say about their lives as athletes.  

What motivated you to run track?  
Ralph Lambert: I like running. It gets my legs ready for soccer. 
Samuel Kabeya: I like sports. 
Stencia Bastien: I can run fast. 

What do you do to become faster?  
Ralph: Training, squats, and jogging. 
Stencia: Running for buses, running in gym class, racing friends. 

What is the hardest thing about being on the track team? 
Ralph: I get nervous during track meets because I've slipped once during a race.  
Samuel: The feeling of competition is intense. 
Stencia: Controlling my breathing as I run.  
How has track affected you physically? 
Ralph: I lost weight and gained it in muscle, so I weigh the same. 
Samuel: I’m trying to stay fit.  
Stencia: I'm a fit person, I have a fast metabolism. 
What is the most efficient form to run in? 
Ralph: With your hands straight, run like you’re elbowing. Start low to the ground and slowly pick yourself up, straight back.  
Samuel: Leg exercises help you run more efficiently. 
Stencia: Knees high with lots of adrenaline.  
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AFH Photo
You’ve tried it all. Asking people directly for what you want. Giving subtle hints. But, you still haven’t gotten the results you’re looking for. With the help of these small psychological tricks, you will be able to pull the strings like a master puppeteer. In the two scenarios below, you will see the act of subtle manipulation through successive approximations, which are small steps one can implement into a social situation to reach an ultimate goal. 
Scenario #1 
Francine, a mother of two and a psychology professor, prepares dinner.  In the background, her children play disruptively with legos, causing nettlesome clinking sounds as the thin plastic bricks fall onto the wooden floor.  
When the food is ready, she announces for her kids to come eat. They mumble a pesky remark and continue to play. Being opposed to physical discipline, Francine has an idea.  
She calls her sons to put away their toys, a small, simple task.  
She then tells them to put away the box in the closet. After they do, she suggests they take all the unwanted items in the closet and bring them to the curb. As they are already in the closet, they agree, resulting in a cleaner closet and a happier mom.  
With that mess resolved comes the real issue: vegetables. “Hamilton and Harvard, would you like to have three stalks of asparagus or five?” They choose three, versus the usual none. 
All the actions Francine has performed may not strike you as unpeculiar. Yet, when analyzed, psychologists can see the intended acts of subtle manipulation she executed to make her day a bit better. With the goal of having her kids complete their prolonged chore of cleaning their closet, she made this happen by using the “foot-in-door” technique.  
This is the strategy of compliance in which a small task is completed, leading to a larger one. In this case, it was the simple task of putting away their toys that resulted in the larger task of cleaning the closet.  
Getting them to eat their vegetables was done with the tactic of “illusion of choice,” which confines them to eating vegetables while maintaining that open choice and illusion of free will. 
Scenario #2 
Aaron, a psychology student, walks into the seating room before his interview for an internship at Tufts University. Shaken with anxiety, he recalls his last psychology class and begins to chew gum.  
He suddenly realizes he forgot to print his résumé, which prompts him to rush to the nearby printer.  To his dismay, there is a line, but he quickly gets to the front by incorporating the magic word “because”into his request to cut the line.  
After printing, he goes back to the waiting room. The door swings open and reveals the interviewer extending his hand. Aaron shakes his hand with a firm grip, bright smile, and direct eye contact. Sitting down, he notices that the interviewer's plaque reads “Johnson.” Aaron states the name out loud before asking about his day. He flashes a smile before proceeding to subtly follow the interviewer's move, such as folding his hands together.  
Aaron lands the internship.  
Aaron, a psych 101 student, incorporated some hacks into the situation. This included ways to palliate social anxiety and make yourself more appealing. That is why Aaron chewed on a piece of gum to alleviate his anxiousness.  
Ellen Gillander, a PsyD student from the Massachusetts School of Professional Studies, states the science behind this simple yet effective trick. “Studies have shown the act of chewing gum reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is commonly referred to as the stress hormone.” 
The use of the term ‘because’ is from a 1977 Harvard ‘copy machine’ study. The term, no matter how ridiculous the excuse given after, short circuits people’s brains to make them view your favor as important, leading you to get what you want.  
Aaron also made sure to make direct eye contact. This displays comfort more than inconsistent eye contact. Saying a person’s name aloud and smiling has a similar effect. Smiling is also a way to trick your brain into making yourself happier, and when you radiate happiness it becomes contagious to surrounding people.  
Subtly following a person’s actions is another way to make them subconsciously like you. For example, when Johnson placed his hands on the table, a few seconds later Aaron would do the same. This establishes repertoire and builds rapport to set a sense of trust between them.  
Gillander gives insight on how this tactic is based on the science of mirror neurons. “Studies have shown that every person has what are termed mirror neurons; neurons in the brain that are activated by witnessing someone else perform an action.” 
Now you are equipped with tricks of manipulation. Use them wisely! 
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AFH Photo // Arryanna Wilson
 As someone who has dreamed of becoming a writer since I was young -- like, six-years- old young -- I’ve come across different blogs, videos and books offering writing tips. Like many others with similar creative outlets, I have struggled with being insecure about my writing. To help combat this, I did research and dug up some useful tips.  
Some ran the risk of making my writing worse, while others helped me see a vast improvement in my writing almost instantly. The latter are the tips I want to share.  
Oh my God! I’ll be the first to admit that this is one of the most generic tips any writer could tell you, but it does not matter, because it works wonderfully! Prior to putting this into practice, I had issues with forgetting story ideas. I also had problems expressing many of my feelings verbally to others. Having the ability to write about them whenever possible led me to be able to let out my emotions and break down mental barriers that have stopped me from writing more stories in the past. Translation: this is a heck of a cure for writer's block.  
Tip 2: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil   
Something can’t really be evil if it eventually could be used to write a killer story, right? Ironically, this tip means to be SUPER nosy. It doesn’t have to be in an obvious or annoying way, just be extra observant of the world around you. Next time you’re on the bus, listen to the conversations of the people around you. Take in their mannerisms and stories. Hey, if you’re confident enough, start up a friendly conversation with someone. 
 Try to watch the sunset every night. Think about those little changes in your best friends behaviour when they’re upset. Find a different route to walk home one day. Subjecting yourself to new experiences, as well as acknowledging the small changes in everyday events, can open your eyes to a new perspective. All the new details can bring more life into your writing. 
 This is what lets you express more through your words and helps you notice the difference between “her hair had purple highlights that looked pretty when it moved.” And, “her hair was a winter sunset, the lilac and indigo hues fighting for dominance with every turn of her head.”  
Tip 3: Read as much as you write 
 I have found nearly all of my inspiration to write through reading. Read whatever you enjoy, as well as things you feel could fit into your writing style in the future. For people who have creative outlets, originality and uniqueness derive from collections of stolen ideas. The broader your literary palette, the more inspiration you'll be able to draw from and put into your own style.  
Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to copy and paste the entire Harry Potter series into a word document and say it's yours because you love it so much. But, it could be useful to reference things like J.K. Rowling’s writing style or methods and use them to help mold your own individual style. 

 I hope these tips have inspired you to become more interested in writing and that they will help the future writers of our generation to flourish and grow like the beautiful literary flowers they are. 
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AFH Photo // Kim Han
The spread of false information regarding biology and sexual health is causing women’s rights violations worldwide. The most common misconception involves virginity and the role of the hymen - the thin tissue that stretches across part of the vaginal opening.  
 Some falsely believe that an intact hymen is proof of an individual’s virginity and that if broken, that person is no longer a virgin. However, a hymen can be stretched through vaginal sex, or remain intact. It can also be broken for reasons unrelated to sexual activity. This misconception harms women across the world and causes shame, rejection from career opportunities, and in some cases, even death.  
 In some countries, if a groom finds his bride’s hymen did not break or “bleed” during intercourse, she is deemed not a virgin, and therefore outcast or can face death. 
To this day,women are subjected to virginity testing in Indonesia when seeking military careers. In 2015, called for an end to virginity testing of female military recruits and the fiancees of military officers in the Indonesian armed forces.  
In October of 2016, the Huffington Post reported that in Eastern South Africa, in the KwaZulu-Natal province, the uThukela district awarded “maiden bursary” - or scholarships - to unmarried, young women who preserved their virginity with proof of an intact hymen. Gender and human rights activist fought to repeal these scholarships, but cultural leaders are fighting back saying that virginity testing is an integral part of their culture.  
 These examples of women being mistreated because of false information are unfair and unreasonable. They are human rights violations of women, as it damages their access to opportunities and minimizes their physical autonomy.   
Attitudes towards virginity in the United States have begun to evolve. However, there are still people who believe the myth of the hymen. High school students across Boston have different views on the truths and myths on whether an intact hymen is linked to virginity.  
Rayven Frierson, a junior at John D. O’Bryant, believes there would be a “popping” inside of a female’s reproductive organs when the hymen is being broken.  
Daxel Santiago, also a junior at O’Bryant, said, “if you’re stretched out, then you’re not a virgin.” He quickly refuted his own claim by saying, “but you can lose it by playing sports.” 
 He ultimately agreed that there should be a lesson on this topic in health or biology to fix this misunderstanding. 
Stephen Fiascone J., M.D., a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, offered further insight. He said a hymen can rupture through sports or use of tampons. Some girls are born with hymenal tissue that covers the entire opening, crosses in the middle of the vaginal opening, or may have little to no hymenal tissue.  
A solution to stop the spread of false information is to have a robust and thorough sexual education course. Teens should be prepared to face the world with accurate and reliable information that encompasses reality. Not only would this help prevent ignorance in the U.S., but potentially set an example for science and women’s rights around the world. 
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