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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A&E
Percy Jackson Musical ‘The Lightning Thief’ Electrifies Audiences
Chris McCarell as Percy Jackson in "The Lightning Thief" on January 3. / Jeremy Daniel for The Huntington Theatre
Have you ever expected absolutely nothing, then not only be pleasantly surprised but almost immediately enthralled by a theater performance? Well, that feeling and I got pleasantly acquainted Thursday night at the Huntington Theatre during “The Lightning Thief”. 
 For those who haven't read the fantastic Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series, “The Lightning Thief” is about outcast Percy Jackson, a demigod living in New York, and his quest to retrieve Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt from the depths of the Underworld. A pretty tame story as far as Greek mythology goes, but enthralling nonetheless. Along his journey, we’re introduced to a pantheon of characters from  Grover, Percy’s goat-man best friend, to Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena and brain of the group. Together the unlikely trio is pitted against a “greatest hits” of Greek gods, monsters and titans.
 My biggest concern as both a closeted musical fan and a diehard fan of the Percy Jackson books was the translation from page to stage. How would they handle the fights? The witty dialogue? The very literal presence of gods and monsters? My fears were quickly diminished by the obvious thought and care that was put into this production.  As a musical, “The Lightning Thief” is a rare example of an adaptation that is arguably better than the source material. In particular, the music stood out as entertaining and catchy. A particular favorite was Mr. D’s hilariously negative, “Another Terrible Day,” in which he gives much-needed exposition about the world the play inhabits by describing just how much he hates his life. 

The entire cast's performances deserve commendation, especially Ryan Knowles’ performance as a variety of characters including a centaur.  Through his commanding stage presence and high-energy delivery, his performance made this cynic “LOL” a multitude of times.  The ensemble also deserves recognition, providing no small amount of laughs to an already humorous show along with providing a sense of atmosphere to the definite benefit to the performance overall.
All in all, despite a hit or miss situation, “The Lightning Thief” rarely seemed to miss, with a campy and self-aware, yet heartfelt tone throughout the 110-minute show.  It is not going to change your life, but it's also not going to sour the reputation of a Gen-Z classic, in fact, it may even make you wanna take another crack at the source material. While it still seems utterly bizarre, this is the crossover that gets it right and it’s without a doubt a fantastic way to spend a summer night. 
The Lightning Thief will be ‘bringing the thunder’ to The Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue) from July 17-28. Tickets start at $30.

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La Taqueria on Facebook
Visit: The Norman Leventhal Map Center
Although it’s only a single room, the Norman Leventhal Map Center, nestled in the Boston Public Library, squeezes in masterfully curated rotating exhibits. The information is presented in an accessible and engaging way, and there are small nooks with fun activities for children and adults alike. Previous exhibits have centered around maps as art and the history of Boston, while the one currently running is about westward expansion. Whether you consider yourself a map connoisseur or are just looking for a fun, quick, and free (!) activity, this is the place for you if you enjoy art, history, good museums, or just want to learn something new.
700 Boylston St., Boston.
MBTA: Green line at Copley


Eat: Double Chin
Double Chin, located in Chinatown, is a Chinese restaurant with a sweet and relaxed aesthetic that will welcome you and your friends in for a good treat. Muted colors, pretty lights and even a porch swing make for a cozy setting reminiscent of a 2014 Tumblr bedroom. If you go with a few people, I recommend ordering an entree each, and sharing them among your friends. The crispy noodles with pork is a highlight—the balance of peanut oil, vegetables, and pork will have you munching until there’s nothing left on your plate.
86 Harrison Ave., Boston.
MBTA: Orange line at Chinatown


Eat: La Taqueria
In Hyde Park, La Taqueria is a small but colorful Mexican restaurant that you will find yourself entranced by. The atmosphere is set with appropriate songs in Spanish and stunning murals that make you feel like you’re on the set of the popular joint all the friends go to eat at after school in a Disney sitcom. If there is anything I am a snob about, it is black beans (the best ones explode with flavor in your mouth with garlic-y hints and a pure bean taste), and La Taqueria satisfied my expectations and my stomach (but don’t get it wrong, nothing can top the black beans mi abuela would make). The chewy and smokey steak fajita fill you right up, and the street corn was my personal favorite, with mouthwatering the chipotle sauce and butter pairing beautifully with the grilled cob.
636 Hyde Park Ave., Boston. 
MBTA: 32 bus and others


Drink: TeaDo
Sitting in view of one of Chinatown’s iconic gates, TeaDo offers appetizers, desserts and, of course, boba tea. TeaDo also has several board games including Jenga and Connect Four, so that you and a friend can enjoy some friendly competition as you sip on one of their specialty teas and munch some onigiri. Make sure to come back soon so you can try their dumplings, puddings and variety of milk, black and green teas.
8 Tyler St, Boston.
MBTA: Orange line at Chinatown

Play: Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Were you sitting in the theater watching Avengers: Endgame thinking, “Dang! How cool would it be if Miles Morales, Deadpool or Ms. Marvel were the ones punking Thanos?” Luckily, reality can now be whatever YOU want it to be with Marvel's Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. The third installment of the classic UA series will allow you to assemble your own team in a race to collect all the Infinity Stones before the mad Titan, Thanos, and his nefarious Black Order can get their hands on them.
Available for Nintendo Switch July 19.

Watch: Spider-Man: Far From Home
(to the tune of the 60’s Spider-Man theme)
Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
He’s in Europe, Spider-Man. 
That guy’s a wizard; he can fly. 
Nick Fury still, has just one eye. 
Look out for “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
“Spider-Man: Far From Home,” starring Tom Holland, Zendaya and Jake Gyllenhaal, premieres July 2. 

   


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Thanh pho co Hoi An
Ho Chi Minh City
By: Quynh Anh Thach

I love the city
I love the city buildings
I love weather here

Animals
By: Cristiana Ramos Timas Dos Santos

Animals—they are
the best company, man’s best
friend and part of life.

Math
By: Danilson De Pina Da Silveira

Add and subtract stars
take notes, explore difference
khan academy.

Animals
By: Dawens Desroches 

Dolphin, elephant,
cat, bird, tiger, monkey, fox,
chicken, dog, lion.

Soccer
By: Elias Sultan 

I do love to play
soccer, my favorite sport, 
I like Ronaldo.




Love
By: Elili Sultan

I love my mother 
I have my family love 
I love injera. 

Me
By: Hafsha Akter

I love my country              
I like my garden flowers 
I am a student.

Weather
By: Huy Le 

Today there is rain.
Snow storms— very dangerous.
The sun—very hot.

My Art
By: Ksenia Clark 

I draw a dolphin,
multicolor drawing sky,
drawing school for kids.

Family
By: Simone Resende Pires

I love my sisters
I have two sisters—all mine
my funny sisters.

Food
By: Tien Nguyen 

I like black milk tea 
in Vietnam— pho very good
I love hamburger.

Dessert
By: Dahyana Feliz Diaz

The ice cream is cold,
ice cream has different flavors,
helado frio.

Science in a New Language
By: Ery Mejia Vallana 

My organism
experiments are the best,
give me a second.

Watermelon
By: Fabrina Abreu Rosario

The reds are tasty,
the reds are my favorite part
the reds drip water.

What I Eat
By: Fleiver Ramirez 

Yo como uva
me gusta el tomate 
yo como sopa. 

Island   
By Paola Reyes Maria

The water is blue.
On the island there’s cocoa
the wind is blowing. 


Jardín  
By: Yolainis Trinidad Troncoso

Me gusta rosas
las rosas son hermosas
rosas bonitas.

El Cielo
By: Johan Arias de la Cruz 

Cielo azul
la luna resplandece
estrellas grises.

La Pizza
By: Nikaulys Suero Guzman 

La compran todos
me encanta la pizza
salsa tomate.

Animals
By: Aneuris Mateo Nova

Snake is poisonous 
Lion—King of the jungle 
I love animals.
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“Are they speaking about me? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t pass my test and I won’t be able to pass to the next grade?” “How do you feel today?” “… Good…” 
These are the thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis. Because I was born with the developmental disorder autism, I find it extremely hard to speak about my emotions and feelings, even to the people closest to me. Autism affects one out of 63 American children, making it a common disorder. So why do I feel so alone with it?
I noticed that I was different when I was in public and the sounds of trains made me go insane and cover my ears and cry. I’ve noticed that the simple gesture of making eye contact when speaking to someone is like climbing Mount Everest for me. When I was four I did not speak. I was put into several varieties of therapy such as speech, music and regular therapy where they would ask me about my emotions, which to this day I still have a problem speaking about. 
I was six when I met Julie. I was hesitant and didn’t speak to her for about two weeks, but as I opened my book of life I realized that she understood me, and till this day is the only person I am comfortable sharing my emotions with. Julie would stay silent with me when I chose not to speak and would help me decipher problems when I couldn’t control my emotions. When I was nine Julie declared I was prepared enough to control my emotions. I was overjoyed and happy to feel like a free being. When I was nine my parents and I were at the Esplanade for the annual fireworks show (a tolerable noise), and as we left it started to pour. I wanted to run to the station but my body just stood there trembling and I felt the tears coming. My father had to pick me up and cover me with his jacket while people stared as I cried in the rain. They did not know me and my story and my many small but mighty accomplishments before this incident.
By my own choice, I decided to transfer to a school closer to home during fourth grade and it was small, which made making friends easier. The school I was in before was too large and my autism made navigating the school feel like I was walking for hours. When I arrived it was thrilling, until a boy came up from behind me and humped me with a pencil between his legs during lunch one day. This was confusing, but I knew that it wasn’t okay. This and several other bullying incidents caused me to be paranoid and scared about the other kids around me. I would wake up crying and pleading with my mom not to send me to school. This traumatizing experience forced me back into therapy at the age of 11, with a guy named Cooper. He also changed my life by helping me let go of the suspicion that everyone was out to get me. 
We talked a lot, and this time around therapy felt a lot more mature. Because of Julie, I was able to express my emotions to a therapist much easier. After a bit, Cooper thought that I was ready to trust the world. So after a combined seven years of therapy, I´ve learned to truly appreciate the small feats. When I made my first friend in school I thought that was a call for celebration. So I write this essay to inform you, reader, that you are trustworthy, but to warn you that you do not know everyone's story. You have just walked in on one chapter of their book, and you have no right to judge without asking about their accomplishments and past.


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