Carol Hứa enters Coco Leaf, a popular cafe near Fields Corner in Dorchester that mainly serves Vietnamese desserts. Already, she greets a girl sitting near the door. I don’t know if she knew her or not. As I stand up from the table, she approaches me with a nice “hello” and asks if she can give me a hug. Hứa seems happy and excited, smiling brightly. I haven’t seen her since February when I participated in the leadership program she led. After ordering her iced coffee, we sit at a spot near the window and talk. 
Up until February, Hứa was the youth program director of Viet-AID, an organization that provides accessible and affordable services to the Fields Corner community. She grew up living in public housing in Dorchester and attended Boston Latin Academy. During her high school years, she was involved in Asian American work by participating in the youth program Asian Voices of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment. 
Hứa believed she wanted to be a history teacher until her senior year in college when she saw a job opening at Viet-AID, one of the few places in the city that focuses on the needs of Vietnamese youth. “You know, many of our families are from working-class families. So we need academic support that's bilingual and bicultural,” Hứa said.
Viet-AID does much more than just give youth academic support. They also provide families with affordable housing and childcare, volunteer opportunities for high school youth and a summer program open to first through eighth-grade students. Viet-AID is not just for Vietnamese children, but for kids all over the neighborhood.
Hứa said she was thrilled to accept the job at Viet-AID because it allowed her to do so many things she probably couldn’t do as a teacher. “It was kind of like a really happy marriage where as a youth worker, I get to teach, I get to organize, I get to plan events, I get to do a bunch of things...” she said. Hứa has led youth programs that teach about identity, Vietnam’s history, gentrification and oppression.
When Hứa was young she was confused about her Asian American identity. Programs and community centers like Viet-AID help youths with these kinds of problems and expose them to their own histories and cultures. Hứa felt bad about speaking Vietnamese, even when she enjoyed it as a kid and felt proud. “I went through this transition of like being really proud and then being taught that if I was speaking anything besides English, I'm going to have an accent that's going to be really bad. And then I internalized nativism, right,” Hứa said, describing how it felt growing up.
From being insecure to speak Vietnamese and internalizing nativism, to working at a Vietnamese American community center for six years, Hứa inspires and gets young people thinking about tough Asian American topics. 
When reflecting on her teenage years, Hứa tells me about being a part of Asian Voice of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment and how important it was for her. “It was my first time being able to have a space to talk about my identity as an Asian American person...meeting Asian American college students and going to conferences,” Hứa said. When it came time for her to teach a program that provides a powerful experience for youth, Hứa made sure she was making a mark and helping participants. Through watching Vietnamese American films, having important discussions about immigration, resettlement and lived experiences, the youth interns are then able to conduct their own projects that can range from leading workshops for eighth-graders to writing books starring Asian American characters. Through these projects, the youth are able to grow and learn about their culture and history.
Even though Hứa no longer works at Viet-AID, she was originally inspired to join their team because she wanted to impact the youth. “I think the inspiration is really thinking about how can I support young people to be seen, to be heard, and help some feel affirmed through what they're learning. And really mobilizing them to use our power for good both individually and collectively.” Hứa said.
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Caleb Bove
The Faneuil Branch Library sits in a place no one would expect it to sit, a massive stone building across the street from a YMCA. However, the library seems to be exactly where it needs to be, resting at the center of the Oak Square neighborhood like the keystone at the center of an archway. The person I am there to meet is an incarnate representation of this stability. Having worked at the Faneuil Branch Library for 50 years, Dorothy Keller has fought for funding from the city government, hosted many fundraising events for the community such as the annual “Funky Auction” and has allowed the library to be used as a place of education for both children and adults.
The library itself gives off an aura of safety, with twin maple blossoms outside drooping low over the front pathway into the building. Inside, there is silence, not born from a fear of noise, but from a calm that fills its absence. Keller believes in enforcing this safety. “[Libraries] are the only place that's open to everyone. I mean, it's not a school. It's not a senior center, it's a place where everyone can walk in and feel welcome.” She thinks libraries’ ability to provide free service to anyone is a big part of why they are necessary additions to neighborhoods.   
Keller’s parents moved to Boston from Lowell, something she thinks of fondly as “a wonderful idea.” After World War ll, she and her siblings were born, and their parents moved from a triple-decker to a single-family house in Dorchester close to Lower Mills. Her father worked as a carpenter, and her mother stayed at home during her childhood, but later went on to become a lunch monitor. At 15, Keller got her first introduction into working in a library. 
“I decided that I would apply for job … to shelve books,” Keller said. “And in those days, you had to take a test to work at the library. So I took the test and got a job. I just love the fact that they were very warm people, and that they cared about their community. And it just, it was just a great place to be.”
Unfortunately, libraries are often undervalued by those who fund them though they are invaluable elements of most communities. She explained that it’s not enough to have just one main library in the center of the city. There should be branches in different neighborhoods to reach as many people as possible.
There have been a large number of budget crises in the history of libraries in general, and it is not a pattern that looks to be ending soon. Keller believes that as a female-dominated field there is some discrimination as well.
“I think that that certainly has a has had a negative impact on salaries and how, you're right, how librarians are viewed,” she said.
Keller asked the librarians at the front desk if we could go into her office. The question is just formality, the office will always be hers, even now that she is retired. Once we enter, she reaches up to a shelf, retrieving a large tome of photographs and articles. She handles it gingerly, turning each page with such great care that I am hesitant to touch it myself. Inside is the history of the library we are standing in. In some ways, it has changed, but in others, I am surprised to find, it hasn’t changed much at all. 
When I ask Keller about the impact of technology on the usefulness of libraries, she happily informs me that it has only made the sorting and transport of books easier. 
“I mean, with the electronic catalogs for library collections, anyone can get what they need. And that's a wonderful thing,” she said. “It's great for a librarian to have the interaction with the patron. But I mean, the fact that you can put in a couple of words and come up with a book that you need...it's such an advance.” 
While the creation of the internet may not have helped the number of people who use libraries directly, Keller is confident that libraries will always have a purpose in their original use, that of a sanctuary.
Though Keller is now retired, the Faneuil Library that she helped support for 50 years will support the Oak Square community for the foreseeable future. Not only will she always be a welcomed and beloved member of the neighborhood, but also a source of knowledge and kindness.  
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If you want to see a girl fight off her enemies using walnuts and police officers track down criminals, you should watch “Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon.” I love Korean dramas because they’re romantic, cute, dramatic and creative. Yet, it’s sometimes hard to find one that perfectly embodies all these great features. The K-drama, “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon,” definitely went above and beyond my expectations as it was the perfect mixture between romance and crime. 
This series stood out to me right away when I found out there would be some crime involved since that’s rare for K-dramas. It follows the life of a young woman, Bong-soon (Park Bo-young). Bong-soon has superhero strength which she inherited from her family line. After being caught using her powers, she is hired to be a bodyguard for AINSoft’s President, Ahn Min-hyuk (Park Hyung-sik), because he has been receiving death threats. Additionally, Bong-soon uses her strength to help her childhood crush and current police officer, Gook-doo (Ji Soo), find a dangerous kidnapper in her neighborhood. The plot mainly follows the different kidnapping cases in the neighborhood and what the police do to prevent them while Bong-soon and Min-hyuk keep up with the cases as well and come to their own conclusions. 
While I usually watch dramas for the romance, this one kept me interested because of the action. The constant anticipation on who the culprits were and whether they were going to be tracked down in time always kept me interested. The actors were engaging and kept the show lively, natural and genuine. The directing made me feel like I was actually there with them and we were going through the same problems and accomplishments. Whenever there was an investigation in the police office, the camera showed an overview and focused on each member so it felt like I was actually there in the conversation and making eye contact with each of them. Whenever someone slammed on the table or fell down, I could also feel the intensity with how the sound effects were created. The soundtrack always came in during the right moments and always made the scene feel extra special. During romantic scenes, soft songs played such as “You’re My Garden” by Jeong Eun Ji, while upbeat songs like “Super Power Girl” by Every Single Day played during fight scenes to hold the excitement and intensity. 
The way the action and romance related made me keep up with the different relationships as well. Bong-soon and Min-hyuk were truly partners in crime because they would track down the culprits together. I loved Bong-soon’s personality and how she is sweet, yet strong and powerful. Bong-soon complements Min-hyuk’s character, as he is funny and sensitive. While it is Bong-soon who has the strength, it was cute to see how the two interact in a friendly manner. With Min-hyuk’s joking personality and Bong-soon’s superwoman characteristics, it was obvious this drama would involve some comedy. 
The fights Bong-soon was involved in were funny and enjoyable to watch. However, there were some comedic aspects I didn’t find funny. At the beginning of the show, Bong-soon continues to call Min-hyuk gay which then becomes a joke in a few episodes. Later on, there is a gay character that appears but he is shown as weak and is ridiculed. Bong-soon’s mother also acts abusively to her husband which I didn’t find funny either. Homophobia and abusive relationships haven’t been something joked about before in the previous K-dramas I’ve watched, and I felt that the drama could’ve been a lot better without these sorts of jokes. 
This K-drama was also very unique with how the roles and characters were cast. Usually, if there is a male character in business, like President Min-hyuk, the woman character would usually be a worker in the office or a secretary. This was not the case for this drama. Bong-soon is a bodyguard which is really different from what I’ve seen before. With Bong-soon in power, I believe this gave the message of women having the strength and being looked up to. I saw Bong-soon as a superhero. The casting for Bong-soon as the main character with great strength coming from a long line of women in her family is empowering. 
The show also brought up the real-world issue of human trafficking when they showcased the kidnapping crime that went on throughout the series. The kidnapping case gave insight into the culprit’s actions and we were able to see his motives. There are multiple cases of women kidnapped in the neighborhood, and they’re all taken to a secret location. These cases allowed the audience to be aware of the issue of human trafficking and to gain a better understanding of how to stay safe and contact the police if they ever found themselves in that situation. 
While this drama was always captivating, some scenes were scary and it would’ve been appreciated if there were occasional trigger warnings. This wouldn’t be a good drama for people who are scared of kidnapping and fights, so I would say to watch with caution. 
Overall, I’d recommend this drama because it’s thrilling and romantic, which makes it fun to watch. With previous dramas I’ve watched, none of them had action and romance as high quality as “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon.” It followed a unique structure that wasn’t predictable. Many K-dramas follow a cliché storyline that mainly focuses on romance. “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon” is going to be a K-drama I’ll rewatch for years to come. 

All episodes of “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon” are rated PG-13 and are available on Viki.
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Grand Theft Auto V is an action video game that originally debuted in 2013 for Playstation 3 and XBOX 360. It has a really good realistic quality. The streets in the game look like you're on google maps and the buildings range between tall and medium making it look like downtown New York.  
The game takes place in Los Angeles, known as “Los Santos” in the game. The story follows three criminals and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a government agency.
The central plot of this game is that a character named Michael owes the government favors. In the past, he did bank heists, and the government contacted him to convince him to work for them. These corrupt government agents got in touch with Michael to plan a heist on the FBI office. Michael got a team together and got the job done.  
There are three main characters forced to carry out illegal heists for the government agency and they all play different roles. Michael is the strategic leader who helps the group stay on task. Trevor is a retired pilot who follows Michael’s directions, and Franklin is the contraband expert who is the youngest and balances the team.
What makes this game fun to play is the graphics, the story mode and the overall quality. If you play online you can connect with your friends and have fun together. You can race each other, do heists or attack characters who are trying to mess with you or have a car that you like. 
Even though the game is really good, what I don’t like about it is it crashes. But that is the only downfall of the game.
Though it came out six years ago, players around the world still play GTA V. There are many ways to interact with this game, you can play it, watch how to play it or watch a re-cap that talks about the game setting, its creation and the voice actors who played the characters. 
A lot of people are playing other games now, like Fortnite, but I still think GTA is epic. It had a worldwide impact on the gaming industry when it came out. The graphics are still excellent, especially on the PlayStation Pro. GTA V has a great multiplayer mode and feels realistic to the point where it feels like you are truly driving the car, planning the heist or walking into the bank.
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Lufus Philip
Arriving 30 minutes ahead of time to set up, JP licks welcomed me with a calm setting. Right after walking out of the bathroom at JP Licks I looked straight ahead, and suddenly this figure appeared right in front of me. She wore casual clothing which complimented her short black hair. Through her glasses, my eyes met hers. With a firm sense of belief and furrowed eyebrows, she asked if I was the person she was meeting. At first glance, I saw a woman who's able to approach others that she may not know in a way that welcomes them. She embodied extreme confidence that everyone can benefit from.
Neema Avashia, a middle school teacher at the McCormack, was born and raised in Virginia to immigrant Indian parents. As a child, she grew up in a tight-knit Indian community.  Moving to Boston, the place she currently resides in, was a new environment and experience for her. She started her journey here to attend a teaching program called the Boston Teaching Residency which put a twist on things. 
“Instead of going to a university and learning how to be a teacher by sitting in a college classroom, you actually were in school every day,” she said. “So you did the whole school year with a mentor teacher, and then you took classes at night.”
What sparked Avashia’s interest in teaching is a very heartwarming story.  At first Avashia did not see herself as a teacher until she was in college and was tutoring at an elementary school where she taught a kid how to properly write his name. Avashia stated “ And I was like, wait a minute, that kid's gonna do that for the rest of his life. And there was something about that, that felt really powerful.”
But even if you realize what you want to become and are passionate about, there isn't always support from your family. And in the beginning that’s how it was for Avashia. Her parents are immigrants who pushed the idea of Avashia having  a job that doesn't necessarily involve teaching kids but produces a high income. Avashia said, “And I think they kind of have this expectation that like, both my sister and I would go into careers that were very, high paying or  high powered. And I think they were really worried that if I became a teacher, it was almost like taking a step backwards.” 
Avashia has been teaching at the McCormack for 16 years. She has been able to prove to her parents who weren't fond of her becoming a teacher that teaching really makes an impact on communities and the kids that come from them. 
As a teacher Avashia is able to code switch from being a teacher to being a student to achieve different goals. As a student Avashia thinks “Okay, I need to listen really hard and ask lots of questions and kind of be a student, and not assume that I understand anything and not assume that I know anything, but just be like, teach me, teach me everything you can teach me help me learn, what it's like to be you what it's like to live the life you live.”
There isn't a single soul alive or gone that hasn't dealt with personal life struggles. Like everyone else in the world Avashia has fought through her fair share of challenges. Avashia faced the challenge of struggling to maintain relationships with people due to political circumstances.
Avashia says “I think, since Trump's election, it's been a lot harder, because it sort of feels like people who I love and who I grew up with, a lot of them voted for someone who basically is against me.”

This placed Avashia in sort of a dilemma. “Like one is like it made me sort of doubt my relationship with those people and be like, wait a minute, if they think these things how could they have cared for me or been close to me?” 
She felt as though the government's verbal attacks on her people were endorsed by some of her friends. That lead her to feel like an exception among her peers back home. Paving the way for Avashia to keep a bit of a distance between her and Virgina. 
“I was supposed to go back a couple weeks ago, and I didn't go because I sort of felt like I couldn't. I didn't know how I was gonna face people there and not think about who they elected or who they voted for the whole time. I couldn't get it out of my head.” Avashia isn't able to see herself in Virginia anymore to the point where returning would only hurt her internally. 
After all the questioning was done Avashia kindly agreed to take a picture. After that, one of the most memorable things was our high five. It was quick and simple but that high five made us seem more like friends rather interviewee and interviewer. It was a deeper connection rather than me just performing a job requirement.
“I wish that there was a way to like, not mess up in the beginning,”  Avashia said. “ But what I know about teaching is it's a kind of thing that , you're always messing up and  you learn from your mess ups and you get better.”
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