AFH Art//Jennifer Thai
Some people may think I’m delusional when I hold them above my head, wiggle them around as I look at their chubby faces and bright eyes, and then I dare to talk to them as if they are understandinganywords that are coming out of my mouth...but I know what I’m doing. 
Becoming a pro-babysitter isn’t that difficult, but it requires patience and willingness. 
Because babies can’t talk, when things aren’t going right for them, they cry. But that’s not because they’re bad babies or that they don’t like you. Maybe they just don’t like you yet...but don’t worry, pro-babysitter Anilda is here to save the day! 
All babies really need, besides the obvious stuff, is attention. Like any of us, they want to feel close to someone, feel appreciated and entertained. That entertainment does not require much preparation either. Sit with them, talk to them, play with them. Make them feel like they are the only thing you have on your mind. They may seem like they are not listening, but they are—they just can’t respond using words, so instead, they make sounds. These sounds are signals that you are doing your job right. 
People sometimes forget that babies are like us, and talking to them like they can understand you is not anything crazy. It is simply normal. 


Read more…
I used to be pretty unmotivated when it came to school—until I started writing prettier notes. I know, this sounds dumb and how your notes look shouldn’t be your focus, but this genuinely helped me get better grades. Having prettier notes made me excited to take in knowledge. I looked forward to making adorable headers and footnotes so much that I went from barely taking any notes to writing down extra information just so I could use my new pink gel pen. Here's how you can also please your senses and create easy, aesthetically-pleasing notes.
First, know that color is your friend. While taking notes with rainbow-colored gel pens won't give you anything but a headache, having a page of unicolor notes just ensures that none of the most important facts stand out. You should find good highlighters or accent markers that you love.
 I firmly believe that diagrams, arrows and bullet points are essential parts of any complete set of notes, so those are the pieces you should highlight. I also color code my highlighters by class to keep me organized and headache-free. English is pink, science is blue, and math is green. This is the perfect recipe for simple but beautiful notebooks.
Next, create large, eye-catching headers. I write out my headers in all caps with a marker and write over that text with smaller cursive writing as a cute accent. From block letters to stamp markers, there are endless options for an adorable header.
Hopefully these allow you to not only step up your note-taking game but your grades as well. Good luck, good studying and goodbye. 


Read more…
Our generation’s obsession with social media may seem unhealthy on the surface, but a daily dose of scrolling through healthy content can bring motivation, creativity and laughter. Instagram is a great spot for all of the above. Here are four accounts that will amp up your positivity.


@benzank
I love photography, and I love pieces that brings out the photographer's personality. Ben Zank takes simple, yet quirky pictures. His photos feature models, but you can never see their faces. The setting is always vast, like an empty highway, rainforest, or the beach. Sometimes the models are naked, but in a way where their nakedness is not inappropriate. After scrolling through a few photos, you start to appreciate the hard work the models endure by holding such difficult positions. 

@jacquemus
When I hear “beauty,” I think of women and the natural silhouette of their figures. French designer, Simon Porte Jacquemus, curates and designs his Instagram feed tastefully to showcase his beautiful clothes on beautiful women. I fell in love with his account after seeing the variety of models, their many shades of skin and hair textures. The women in his photographs often pose in sunny, natural settings, giving followers the urge to go on summer vacation. Jacquemus’s clothes provide a pop of color among the millions of photos in my feed. 

@emilyelaineoberg
Sponsorship and ads eventually get tiring, but this Instagram influencer doesn’t force her agenda. Instead, she promotes positivity and unity of women. Emily Oberg’s account features vintage streetwear, sneakers and fitness. She often shows us her workouts, the sneakers she prefers when exercising and water bars! Oberg shows her followers her home cooking, and promotes drinking water. She pushes supporting women-owned businesses, and the general collaboration of girls. 

@onegigco 
One Gig Co is a local apparel and skate shop in downtown Boston. Their Instagram feed features Boston-themed t-shirts, jackets and shoes that are all painted or printed by local artists. The owner of the store is extremely laid back; he will reply to anyone who comments on his photos. OG is a retail store but the Instagram photos make it seem like an art gallery instead, with sculptures and a variety of paintings. There are occasional skating videos and posts that show off the staff’s personality. The store also posts about incoming ice: necklaces, grillz and rings. This account is a physical representation of culture.


Read more…
AFH Photo
“Teens in Print was out of my comfort zone because I didn't like writing. But knowing that I have support makes me want to write more, and feel more comfortable with my writing."  
Yoskar Melo is a youth organizer for Sociedad Latina whose work is published in this issue of Teens in Print. After his first meeting with program director Carla Gualdron and AmeriCorps VISTA Alyssa Vaughn, he, along with the six others in the program, began writing about a topic he is passionate about, smaller class sizes in school.
For seven weeks, Melo and the other youth joined Gualdron and Vaughn for a crash course in journalism in the cozy, third floor meeting space at Sociedad Latina. Established in 1968, Sociedad’s mission has been to support and uplift the greater Latinx community in Boston. Through the Pathways to Success program, Sociedad seeks to introduce innovative solutions to the most critical problems facing Latinx across Boston. It offers year-round programs in education, civic engagement, workforce development, arts and culture.  
 The first thing you’ll notice upon walking into Sociedad is that this is no normal office. The space is a renovated residential building, giving it an inviting, homey vibe. Students can be seen working on homework, music, community projects and everything in between. The walls are lined with Latin American art, created primarily by the organization’s many students.
 No youth program is complete without a really cool mentor and Sociedad is no exception, thanks to Wilmer Quinones. “I want to enable [my students] to become the leader that I want to become, so I try to provide them with as many resources and opportunities as possible,” he said.
Quinones, 23, started volunteering at Sociedad during high school but loved the program so much that he is there to this day, helping Latinx teens. Quinones’ goal is to give his students the means to find the right career. He accomplishes this by introducing his students to programs like Teens in Print and sending them off on internships so they can ultimately find out who they want to be. 
One such student is Jennifer Mendez Perez, a senior at Madison Park High. Perez’s experience with Sociedad has helped her overcome shyness and motivated her to learn more about her community. Having never had an opportunity to write outside of school, she feels that Teens in Print has given her the opportunity to “show the world what I think is important and why it should be more important to them.”


Read more…
 Inside a little white church, on an improvised stage, you peek through the curtains to see the audience anticipating the spectacle to come. The pianist's hands press down on the keys as you and your fellow actors come out from the wings. The show begins. 
Located at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in South Boston, VSI Teen Theatre is one of many organizations across Boston that allows teens to not only act, but participate in the behind-the-scenes magic that brings a performance to life. Theatres such as these are where budding actors start on the long road to stardom.
Plenty of young people dream of walking down the red carpet as the DiCaprio and Jolie types applaud. However, even if your dreams are less performance-focused, theatre is still uniquely beneficial. For example, it’s an excellent way to develop social skills. Having participated in theater since I was 6, I’ve enhanced my public speaking skills and forged relationships with some of the most important people in my life. But do not just take it from me—take it from your peers who have found their calling on the stage. 
Antoine Gray Jr., a sophomore at Boston Arts Academy, began performing as a way to do something productive with all his Red-Bull-esque levels of energy. Acting has helped him break out of his self-proclaimed “bubble of crippling social awkwardness.” 
“As someone who has hated being themself at times, having the opportunity to step into someone else's shoes for a little while and live someone else's truth is really amazing,” said Gray. Performing is not something Gray does for acclaim; rather, it is a passion for entertaining others that drives him to bring a smile to the audience. “If I make can make one person in the crowd smile— even if I completely blew it—if I make someone smile, then mission accomplished,” he said.
“Well, it [theatre] has definitely been good for my ego,” joked local actor and expert breakdancer Kenny St. Fleur, also a students at BAA. Prior to joining an ensemble, St. Fleur was mostly a solo act on and off stage. If you were to meet St. Fleur, you would not believe it, but he was introverted for much of his childhood. But in 2016,  Kenny got his first big role, playing William Barfee in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” While doing his self-choreographed “Magic Foot” dance, St. Fleur earned a roar of applause as the audience fell for the former outcast. “I really love the craft and having everyone come together and seeing that end product,” he said. “It’s beautiful.”
Over the course of putting together a show, the cast becomes like a family. For her cast, actress and production manager Marion Downey is the glue that keeps the family on the track to success. Downey spends many nights at production meetings, getting into the nitty-gritty details of show magic, and spends her days reciting lines and rehearsing scenes.
After several starring roles, including Seymour in “Little Shop of Horrors” and Adolfo Pirelli in “Sweeney Todd,” Downey shines backstage, taking up a number of technical roles. As production manager, she sets up and inspects the rehearsal space, oversees the creation of costumes and props, and communicates messages between the director and cast. Her responsibilities are teaching her the discipline and leadership skills she needs to be successful in her future career.
Theater is more than performing, more than putting on silly outfits, saying silly words, and dancing around a stage. It is exposing yourself to something new. It is developing skills that will last a lifetime. It is meeting new people and forging new relationships. It is overcoming your challenges and making the world your stage. Because in the end, all the world's a stage anyway—isn’t it time you find your role? 


Read more…