Cover Story
Hope
AFH ARTWORK
Despite a rampage of foreign and domestic troubles, Mageney Omar, a sophomore at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, says she is confident about tomorrow -- and the days after.
“I’m still very hopeful about the world we live in because I know that we have built a strong foundation that cannot be torn down easily,” she says. “The US has strong leaders who are not going to fail the people.”
Barack Obama appealed to many young people in 2008 with his candidate’s message of hope and change.
However, much has changed on the hope front since Obama became president:
ISIS and their bombings and beheadings. Doomsday displays of North Korean nukes. Unrelenting climate unrest. Crazier than ever, out- of-control college costs.
Donald J. Trump.
“I’m not hopeful because no amount of hope will change the bad things happening,” says Kiana Mclean, a sophomore at the O’Bryant.
Yet many teens and their peers say they remain fervent in their faith about the future.
A survey last year of young people born between 1996 and 2000 discovered that 65 percent of these so-called Generation Z members, from 46 countries, felt at ease going forward, according to the global research firm Universum.
Of course, other surveys say, these are not the wide-eyed, teenage optimists of yesterday but, rather, more of a group of eyes-wide-open realists.
Their gritty, tough-it-out attitudes can be seen in a 2014 Northeastern University report that found: Even as the financial burdens of future education weighed heavily on teens, 65 percent understood that the value of a degree was worth the monetary sacrifice.
Many in this generation say they believe that positivity can go a long way in dealing with devastating current events, a position that, observers say, also manifests in the youth’s maturity and insistence on equality for all.
“You can focus on the bad stuff but that isn’t everything in your life,” says Alejandro Melguizo, a sophomore at the O’Bryant. “If you can see the good, you can survive.”
For many students, the realization that there’s a big, bad ball of misery out there doesn’t terrify them.
It just makes them want to change things up.
“I know there are people that are homeless, starving, or in a worse condition than I am,” says Rayven Frierson, a sophomore at the O’Bryant. “Yet I live life with a positive mind-set. I have faith that the world will realize their mistakes and fix it.”
This article was prepared in collaboration with 826 Boston.
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Free Write
He is freedom
His name was social security.

He was built of 9 numbers with bright blue eyes. 
He was the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Late at night he would visit me, 
Reminding me that I am lost without him.

He would visit me at job applications to show me what I am missing out on. 
I was jealous of everyone that had him.

What did he see in that blonde-haired light skin girl?
She doesn’t know how to treat a man. 
She inherited everything she got. 

These? 
These are hard working hands. 

I crossed the ocean for you, 
That girl didn't even move a finger 
But it was never enough. 

He always picked those gringos over me. 
I wanted to let him know that I am great without him. 
I spent 5 years looking for you. 
Now I’m done chasing you...
But then there he was again at the job application, 
Beautiful as can be. 
I fell for him again. 
I wanted him,
I needed him, 
everyone needs him. 

He is freedom, he is hope.
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I wish I could make this sound poetic
I wish I could grab my brain and wring it out 
Until everything I wish I knew 
was soaking my feet 
right there for me to look down and see.

Maybe then I could put reasoning into words that weren’t ‘self sabotage’ 
And my name
Maybe then I would know who I am
Know why I am

How do I say it’s all my fault with grace
How do I say I hate who I’ve made myself 
Like Edgar would 

The blame I could spew at others, I swallow 
Instead of it going down like warm tea in a sore throat
I’m swallowing glass shards 
I once looked at my reflection in 

I’m a mystery to myself 
Don’t know if I’m hollow or overwhelmed 
A coded book with a foreign language I don’t understand 

I wish I could make this sound poetic 
I just don’t understand it 
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I speak my heart
My every word
So true.
The sentences flow
My every word
So melodious.

She looks me back
With those deep brown pools
Which dig into my skin
As though she can see
My every thought
My every wish.

A silence spreads
Vibes of disappointment
Fill the room
Wrapping around my form
Choking me.

My gaze dropped
To the floor
Where I left
My courage.

A quiet apology
Escapes my lips
No louder
Than the buzzing
Of a bee.

I wish to leave
But her gaze
Pins me down
To my position.

I whimper,
Wishing her to look away
To forget
All I said.

I close my eyes
Wishing to melt
Into the floor
To forget
All I said.

I wish every moment
To be a nightmare
To simply drift away
As I open my eyes.
A wish
That never
Follows through.
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A&E
Movies and musicals have a symbiotic relationship
Courtesy of Playbill
If you enjoy musical classics like “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Lion King,” or more popular ones, like “Hamilton,” “Mean Girls” and “Beetlejuice,” then continue reading. 
Recently, musicals have become even more popular in American media. In particular, the movie industry has paid more attention to Broadway by adapting actual musicals into movies. This is important because adding musicals or musical-related scenes into movie theaters widens the audience for the art form of musicals.
One musical that widened the audience for musical theatre was “The Lion King,” which is not just a popular animated Disney film made in 1994 but is also a classic musical that has been playing since 1997. It has warmed the hearts of many with its touching story of a lion cub, Simba, who is destined to be king. When his envious Uncle Scar gets in the way of his rise to the throne, disaster strikes. This musical is the third-longest Broadway show with 9,176 performances according to PlayBill.com. While it has always been popular on Broadway, it has also had major success on the big screen. Even after Disney made its cartoon version in 1994, in 2019, they made a new live-action animated version. 
The trend of movies becoming adapted into musicals does not stop there. For example, “Beetlejuice,” which started as a 1980’s Tim Burton film, follows the story of a demon named Beetlejuice who haunts and kills couple Barbara and Adam, to teach them how to be a ghost. Years after the Tim Burton film first premiered, “Beetlejuice” has gained so much popularity that fans of the film also enjoy the musical on broadway. 
On the other hand, popular musicals becoming adapted into movies widens the audience for those musicals as well. “The Phantom of the Opera” is another major musical, which began in 1986 and became a movie in 2004. It follows the story of a young soprano girl who falls in love with a murderous musical genius living under the Paris opera house. This musical is the longest-running on Broadway, with 13,246 performances according to Playbill.com. After the movie played in 2004, the music became more popular with a wider audience. 
Musicals play an important part in many people's lives all over the world. Movies are increasing the audience for musicals, which makes people appreciate this important art form more than ever before. 
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