Cover Story
Back to the Future

 
  How’s this for a grandiose invitation to a non-Kardashian birthday bash? “With input from all who live, work, and play in our city, Imagine Boston 2030 will define a vision for the future of Boston leading up to its 400th birthday,” the city writes. “Under the leadership of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, we will work together to create the first citywide plan in 50 years. Imagine Boston 2030 will guide our approach to preserving, enhancing, and growing the city’s neighborhoods in a way that promotes shared prosperity, sound public investment, and a healthy environment and population.” From treacherous street violence to time-consuming T troubles, Teens in Print staff members offer an inventory of concerns they believe the city needs to address by the year 2030. To register your own ideas, please visit the website http://imagine.boston.gov/ or http://imagine.boston.gov/smslaunch/ to text.
A Busload of Worry One thing I would like the city to focus on as it plans for 2030 is the efficiency of public transportation. I notice that there are many cases in which buses are often delayed. Passengers have to wait a long time before a bus shows up. This is becoming an issue because people often can’t get to their destinations in the expected time. -- Katy Zhen // Staff Writer
Green Team

In the year 2030, I would like the city to focus on making Boston greener. It’s important that we protect our environment now before the damage we’ve done gets to the point of no return. Enforcing laws on littering would help fight pollution. I would like the city to build more windmills and plant more trees. Let’s keep our home clean!

-- Sela Winder // Staff Writer
A Vote for Democracy  The city of Boston should focus more on educating young people about politics and it’s structure. Besides the fact that I think young people should be able to vote at 16, I also feel that we should at least know about the ins and outs of the beliefs and values that laws are built on. We need to be educated in political science starting in the seventh grade. That way, by the time we are 16 we will have a better knowledge of why certain events take place in history and we’ll know if people really have the rights everyone thinks we do. -- Caesar Loving-Manley // Staff Writer
Amping-Up School Budgets  I would like the city to work on its funding of public schools. As a student in the system, I have always noticed things that require fixing. Sports teams are also in need of financial support. I would like to see help for all kids, regardless of gender, race, immigration status, or financial standing. -- Princell Feliz Franco // Staff Writer
Under Construction  As it plans for the year 2030, I want the city to focus on renovating the poorer neighborhoods. Some people are afraid to pass by because they look dirty and old. This not only affects the passers-by but also the residents. Many of them have struggles in their lives and turning the areas around them into more productive sites might be a help. -- Osman Fofanah // Staff Writer
Tech Vs. Dreck In the year 2030, Boston should focus on improving the city’s infrastructure. Eventually the landscape will get old and technology will come a long way in the next 15 years. We should create better buildings, lighting, and roadways.  -- Ambrose Fernandez // Staff Writer
Haven Help Them  In the year 2030, it would be awesome if the city could focus on making shelters for most, if not all, the homeless and less fortunate people living on the streets. Before these people were without homes, the places where they lived actually had meaning to them. Once homeless people enter a shelter, they should be treated with the utmost respect -- as if they were a guest at your own home. Counselors should be provided, too, so the homeless have the correct support and motivation to want to get back on their own. But while they are in these shelters, the homeless should not feel either oppressed or belittled by the staff working there. -- Jamillat Doumbia // Staff Writer
 A Lesson Plan for Leaders  I would love the city to focus on schools. Compared to other countries, America is behind when it comes to education. When our system fails, it disables our economy and country from growing. Students are not allowed to really explore their interests. Many drop out or don’t go to college. Parents need to pay attention to the schools their children attend and make sure they are providing the appropriate environment. School plays a major role in success, and if not given the right conditions, students are prone to fail. I really hope the city of Boston, as part of the first colony to give public education, can contribute to the reformation of schools in the US. -- Elebetel Assefa // Staff Writer
Aiming for Change By 2030, let there be no guns on the street. -- Katherine Bernardez // Staff Writer
Civic Engagement  By 2030, I would like to see the city help its residents become more engaged in their community. I think that many citizens are unaware of what is happening in the city, and that is what’s causing them not to be active. An effective system that ensures that all of its citizens are aware of what’s occurring is vital to establishing safeguards against negative activities like violence, damage to the environment, and poor people being displaced from their homes. --Antiah Thornton // Staff Writer
A Grimy Time The year 2030 can be filled with marvelous technology, fashion, and maybe even social acceptance. Yet even if all these things come to light, there will still be a lack of beauty in this city without clean streets and fresh air. This city has everything a young man like me could want: a decent educational system; different clubs, programs, and opportunities. Yet if my surroundings are dirty and moldy what’s to stop me from being a product of my environment? How positive will my future be? -- Evens Louis Jean // Staff Writer
Food Stamp of Approval By the year 2030, I’d like to have expanded economic support for all the groups that feed the hungry. I want to see developed inexpensive, easily mass-produced, nutrient-rich and calorie-dense food to provide to the homeless and those who cannot afford to subsist. I’d also modify the food stamp system so that healthier foods are cheaper than fast foods. To lower the cost of living, I would provide incentives for landlords to lower their rents. -- Sabiel Sanz // Staff Writer
Tortured by the T In the near future, I wish to see the public transportation system improved. I want to see the MBTA mature. Right now, it’s sloppy and expensive. Many people who use this mode of transportation do so because they’re on a budget. I want to see my generation not have to struggle to get to school or back home or not go anywhere because they don’t have enough money for their bus passes. -- Melanie Baez // Staff Writer
Student Groans By 2030, I want the city to work on making college free for low- income families. There are students from all over the world who want to go to college but can’t afford it. On top of tuition, students have to pay for books, food, and other necessities. -- Janelle Rodrigues // Staff Writer
Gang Peace  I would like the city to focus on stopping all gang violence. -- Devon Spears // Staff Writer
A Break from Prison  If we want the year 2030 to be better, we should begin by changing ourselves and then these around us. We should make more places that support this young generation -- like afterschool programs, youth centers, and jobs -- instead of sending them to prison for committing minor crimes. Many become criminals to survive and support their loved ones. -- Rosa Sanchez // Staff Writer
Straight from the Art The city needs to focus on creating a place for people to do more public art. Since graffiti is illegal, they should make a space for these artists to put up their work and then clear those walls after a certain amount of time. -- Christine Freeman // Staff Writer
Substance Abused  I think the city should focus on drug information centers. Our youth are constantly being introduced to new drugs. They need to be informed so they can be prepared if they ever encounter any of these substances. -- Marley Pusey // Staff Writer
On the Bus to Nowhere  The mode of transportation could be better so that people could get to where they need to at the right time. Some MBTA buses aren’t consistent, which causes students and employees to be late. -- Shanyka Charles // Staff Writer
Street Safe In the year 2030, I would like the city of Boston to focus on providing safer streets. -- Tyesha Marius // Staff Writer
Stress Relief  By 2030, I would like the city to focus on equality. I feel that people here are always stressing about how they are perceived due to certain characteristics. We should all be met with the relief of not being intimidated because it will make people more comfortable with who they are and with those around them. -- Yvonne A. Dunkley // Staff Writer
Project Exodus The city should change the public housing system. They should allow people to stay in the projects for a limited time. This way, young people don’t grow up in a bad neighborhood and eventually become influenced by the gang life. If they continue to stay there, they will never leave and get other opportunities to succeed. -- Abdou Bah // Staff Writer
Critical Condition Approaching the year 2030, the condition of public schools is a major issue. More funds are necessary for the betterment of education quality. We need improved textbooks, upgrades to the already-obsolete technology, as well as more nutritious lunches for students. -- Jialin Zhen // Staff Writer
Where there's Smoke there's Ire As I stand in the bus stops, what bothers me the most is when people start to smoke. One thing our city can do to help non-smokers like myself is to create a public building near every neighborhood with machines that purify the smoky air and release it outside. Although this might encourage smoking by providing such a place for the cigarette crowd, it won’t harm others that are choosing to be healthier. -- Anilda Rodrigues // Staff Writer
F for School Food  One thing the city should focus on is better school lunches. Maybe half the students eat these lunches while the other half starve. This is a major issue because good nutrition is an essential part of a student’s academic performance. -- Rose Koumbassa // Staff Writer
MBTNay  The Boston transportation system needs some serious help. -- Adamajan Bah // Senior Editor
A Mission to Lower Tuition  I’d like to see the city create lower costs for state colleges. The high price of tuition is a major reason many high school graduates do not pursue their dream careers. We should be putting tax money toward making college more affordable. This would essentially lead to many jobs being made and a rise in national income. -- Clinton Nguyen // Staff Writer
Mending Boston's Broken Bond The city is a marvelous one. But I feel there is a lack of community, an absence of the sense that something bonds us Bostonians together. It seems like the only things we share is our love for Dunkies and occasional trips Downtown. Boston needs to establish an awareness of what once united us. Its communal vibe has been diminished by separation. Copley Square is for the wealthy to shop, Chinatown for Asians to work, and so on. But before we set goals for 2030, we must be prepared to face them. It seems like we are only #BostonStrong when someone decides to tear us apart. Or show us that we’re broken. -- Kawtar Bennani // Staff Writer
Real Change? Get Real!  There is nothing here that we can change. We still haven`t put homeless people in shelters; we haven`t put recycling in their proper places. If we want change, we need to start with the small things and if we can`t do that, then how can we move onto the bigger things? -- Djibril Conte // Staff Writer

 

 
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School
"Education is the light that can illuminate all your paths"
When you walk in a dark path, all you want is a light. Education is the light that can illuminate all your paths. I grew up in Jordan. The first day in my school was like being in a garbage can where no one cares about you or whether you learned or not. There was food on the floor and broken desks and tables. All the teacher did was sit on his desk, drinking coffee and hitting anyone who was late or forgot their homework. I woke up every day at six in the morning -- not because I was excited for school but because I couldn’t afford the bus. I walked two miles to school and would get there late. That was like hell. I would find the teacher standing outside holding his cigar and his long stick and he would be so happy to hit me. He didn’t hit me once or twice and he didn’t stop when I started to cry. He only stopped when he felt tired. I started to skip school every day and went to work illegally as a trash picker. Trash picking might sound like a disgusting job but it paid me good money and helped support my family. All I needed to do was take the things that rich people threw out and that could be sold to scrap collectors, like metal or furniture. At the end of the day, I would go to the river to wash off the bad smell. When my parents asked me where I got the money, I always said  found it or borrowed it because they might have a heart attack if they knew their son was picking trash instead of going to school. One day in 2012, I remember my father telling me that we were leaving for the United States tomorrow. I collapsed on the floor. Today, I’m excited to go to school. I’m living a beautiful life. I’m finally on my way to achieving my mother’s dream of me going to college. When you are educated, the doors of happiness will open for you.
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Swordfights, space warriors, and great music -- “Steven Universe” is about all that and much more, a magical show about a magical boy. The Cartoon Network program has many reasons behind its huge audience. The fan base not only includes kids, but teens and adults, who are charmed by this funny, cute, surprisingly deep, and LGBTQ-friendly offering. The main character is a young and sensitive boy named Steven. And here we already see how different this show is: Steven is presented as pretty much anything but traditionally masculine. He is not afraid of showing his emotions in front of his friends and family. With all these gender norms built up in the media, it’s good to see a cartoon protagonist who breaks those pesky stereotypes. Steven is being raised with the help of three alien warriors called the crystal gems. Their bodies are actually projections generated by their stones -- think of it like holograms but with mass. The crystal gems and his father take care of Steven after his mother, who was also a crystal gem, gave up her physical form to birth Steven. His mother leaves Steven with some of her gem powers. This makes Steven a gem/human hybrid. At one point, Steven fuses with Connie, his human friend, and becomes “Stevonnie” -- a genderless being. In that episode, they even refrained from using gender pronouns for the time they were “Stevonnie.” This innovative show portrays many types of multi-faceted relationships and displays love in a unique and positive manner.
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I draw because it makes me happy. I draw to get a different view on things. I draw to let my emotions out. I draw because it is simple…and hard. I draw and then I can be recognized by others. I draw because it’s something to do when I’m bored. I draw to show that I can get through a challenge by myself. I draw because for every stroke of my pencil, pen, colored pencil, marker; for every line, dot, or color I put on a paper, it’s like I’m putting a piece of myself there. And who doesn’t want to put a piece of themselves into everything they do?
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Latest News
Meet a Young Reporter: Adamajan Bah
Teens in Print student writers come from neighborhoods and schools across the city. Meet one young reporter, Adamajan.  When a friend offered free pizza one afternoon during her freshman year, Adamajan Bah did not hesitate to accept the invitation. She soon found herself among fellow “TIPsters”. She looked around at the other students, hard at work writing their next big story, and pictured herself among them. She recalls a conversation she had with TIP Coordinator Ric Kahn that afternoon: “I asked him, ‘Why do you write?’ He told me he writes to express himself… I want to do something like that.” Adamajan’s first interview was “awkward.” She remembers nervously standing in Copley Library, stuttering over her words and earning weird looks from teens. Panic began to set in—what was she going to tell Ric when she came back with no sources?—when one passerby offered to be interviewed. Adamajan had to ask this girl, “Are you for real?” before reeling through her list of questions—and successfully making it through that first interview. She remembers the “amazing feeling” seeing her name as the byline of her first published article at TIP. Amidst her excitement, she shared her accomplishment by sending the article to the one girl that made it possible that day in Copley Library. Those days of awkward interviews seem far in the distance for Adamajan, who aspires to be a leading voice for her generation. Her passion for writing shines through when she focuses on one of her favorite topics, her religion. She uses writing to shed light on the struggles of being Muslim in America. In one article, Adamajan describes being terrified of not knowing how other will react when she wore a hijab—the Islamic headscarf—to school for the first time. Despite her fears, Adamajan knew the importance of sharing her experience. One of many things that motivates Adamajan to write is the hope that her words will be comforting to others similar to her. As she says, “By me expressing myself and expressing the struggles I’ve had in my life, in my 17 years of living, I feel like other people can relate to that.”She pictures herself incorporating her passion for writing and religion in college by studying abroad, to fully immerse herself in a different culture and belief system. Adamajan plans to attend a four-year college to study medicine and religion or education. She will be the first in her family to attend college.  
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