I used to go to the beach everyday after school to contemplate the most beautiful landscape in my city. I also went there to play soccer on the hot sands with my friends, or to help my dad fish. He used to ask me and my other two big brothers to help him bring the boat back to the sands and help him take all the fish to the fishmongers in my village.
One day after school I went to the beach as I usually did, but something different happened. There was a girl named Mirrian who I had always liked. I always thought that she didn’t pay attention to me because I have really dark skin, but I was wrong. She came at me wearing a long traditional Cape Verdean dress and said hi. She was really short, with chocolate skin and brown eyes that looked like caramel candy. 
She told me that she had always wanted to talk to me because she had always loved boys with really dark skin and afro hair just like mine. My heart started to beat fast. Imagine the girl that you always wanted, the girl that you had a crush on, liking you back. 
That day, we talked for hours and hours, appreciating the beautiful view from the beach. The next day after school, I was rushing to go to the beach and find that beautiful girl again.
The thing that I liked about her the most was that she was a hard worker. She was 20 years old.
We talked to each other for two months before she decided to be my girlfriend. I worked so hard to earn her love and respect. 
At the age of 17, I lost my virginity.
3 months later she told me she was pregnant.
I felt like my entire world was falling apart. I was only a 17-year-old boy with no job, a full-time student with dreams to achieve. 
I had two options. One: tell her to leave me alone and leave her by herself. Two: drop out of school, forget about my dream and work to provide a good life for my future child. I chose to drop out of school and work really hard to have my little baby.
At first, life seemed as confusing as the card deck of a magician. I had no idea what would be the best for me. I had to talk to someone else, someone old enough to understand my situation. I decided to speak to my mom because I was so afraid to tell my dad; he was a straight parent with a lot of rules.
When I told my mom what happened, she got mad at first, but then she told me to keep the baby and not to drop out of school. 
Then, it was time to tell my dad.
Once my dad came from work, my mom told him about the news. He got really upset, he yelled at me and almost beat me, but after an hour of talking he told me that he would help in everything that I wanted in order for me to stay in school. When I told him that I wanted to drop out from school he slapped me so hard I couldn’t feel my face.
“Everything that I did for you in order for you to go to school is not considerable?” He asked. I didn’t answer back, I just walked away without talking, crying inside.
After days of fighting over the same thing over and over again, our relationship wasn’t good anymore. Not only were my dad and I not on good terms, everyone was criticizing me because I didn’t listen to them—I dropped out of school.
After two weeks my dad told me he would help with my future baby, providing me everything. I refused. I’m an independent and proud person. I couldn't sit and watch my parents work really hard to provide me with everything. 
I dropped out from school and started to work withEnapor,” a huge company in Cape Verde that is responsible for all the exports and imports. At first I used to to carry heavy products on my back and had a lot of back pain. But nothing was more important than the life of my baby.
I remember days that my friends would pass by and make fun of me, saying I was stupid and dumb, because I was working for myself, my baby and my girlfriend. That made me cry a lot, but their words weren’t strong enough to make me give up on everything. 
My workplace is where the boats dock to unload products from island to island or from different countries, where people travel to other islands in Cape Verde. I used to feel so cold at night, and hungry, because I used to eat once a day. I didn’t have time to take care of myself for long. I worked so hard that sometimes I couldn’t feed my soul. 
I used to get home at 9 p.m. tired, hungry and stressed, because everyday I had to walk an hour and a half in order to get home. I knew it was dangerous to walk by myself during that time. 
I worked really hard to feed my baby, my girlfriend and also help at home.
After seven months my baby came into the world. It was a boy, with beautiful dark skin, and eyes that looked like the moon. My baby was a big boy—healthy and beautiful.
His mom and I could not stay together because of many problems. I wanted to marry her, but the fact that she was older than me made her thoughts different from mine.   
After almost one year I met the love of my life and we have been together for 24 years. 
She was a tall woman with light skin and was really skinny, with beautiful natural hair. But, she had a lot of attitude. 
She was the opposite of my first girlfriend, as she liked to fight over everything and her attitude was the most horrible thing. But she was trabadjadera, ahard worker.”
When she was only 15 years old, she used to take care of her little brother, the house and help her mom sell cookies.
When my baby turned a year old, he started to get sick a lot so he left to live with his mom and grandma. Unfortunately my baby boy never got better and died with a fever. Then a few years later, God blessed me with a baby girl who I named Cleusa. I have two children, Cleusa and Nilson. I’m still working hard to give them everything that I can afford, but I will never regret what I did. 
 

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These unique bookstore are centered around Downtown Boston. Yesterday, we went out and explored many bookstores from many different type of bookstores. We explored these six book stores because we found them interesting and they have something that is not too similar to everything else. 
  1. Located at 338 Newbury St., Trident Booksellers & Cafe is the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and browse through shelves of books. The two-story store sells a wide variety of books and knick knacks, as well as amazing food. The cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, accompanied by amazing milkshakes and desserts. The comfort food is top quality and affordable and the restaurant offers many options for vegetarians and vegans. Due to a fire earlier this year, Trident is temporarily closed but is in the process of renovation and will be reopening at the end of August.

  2. A hidden bookstore resides in 15 Court Sq., near Government Center, in a big building with many offices. The door of the tiny Peter L. Stern & Co., Inc is covered by window shades, with the words “Open by chance or appointment” printed on the door. After forcefully ringing the doorbell, you may be lucky enough to make it inside the store, if it’s open at that time. Inside, you will find an abundance of books, mostly historical, and antique portraits of famous figures. The store shys away from publicity, and would rather be found by chance rather than by advertisement, but is certainly an intriguing shop to visit if you can stumble upon it.

  3. Barnes & Noble is located on 114 Boylston St. The bookstore is next to Emerson College and they have a lot of Emerson-branded apparel, including sweaters and shirts. Additionally, they have books of different categories, ranging from nonfiction and historical fiction books. 

  4. I Am Books is located at 189 North St. They sell stuffed animals and toys for kids, like fun pens and coloring books. The bookstore has many Italian books, in keeping with its Italian origins. The store is refreshingly modern and very colorful and sells a lot of new books. The owners are friendly and make sure the customers can find what they are looking for. 

  5. The Commonwealth Book Store is an off-street book shop that also sells many antique historic books and maps ranging from a minimum of $125. This was the most cluttered and disorganized bookstore we visited.

  6. We interviewed the manager of the Brattle Book Shop, Nicole Reiss, who informed us on the history of their bookstore. “We go out to people's houses and buy books,” Reiss said. “That's how we get most of our books. So we travel all over the northeast.” This is the most unique store we visited, as they have bookshelves outside, along with moveable carts with many cheap books. According to Reiss, the shop has been on West St. since the 1960s, but it has been in existence since the mid-1800s. 
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Imagine you are going to the train station and see about 50 people waiting. You wait for a 15 minute orange line train only to find out that you can’t get in because the orange line is full. How would you feel? What would be your reaction?
The public transportation system in Boston is below optimal. You have to wait long delays to get into packed train cars or buses. The people of Boston are put into a tough position because they either have to drive through hellish traffic or pay to use the sad system of public transportation that we have. The average train often takes 10 to 15 minutes to arrive and can take longer if there's delays. Bostonians are clearly annoyed about the system, with one Boston citizen saying that the bus takes “ forever” and that they “hate the 28 bus.”
 When asked about the traffic conditions, one Boston citizen said that it was worse in the morning and that they “would get on at Oak Grove, which is the first stop going inbound, and… often wouldn't get a seat.”
The average train car in Boston holds only 60 people. In 2019, we should try to add more train cars or buses so that the transportation system is smoother and can fit more people inside of a bus or train. 

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AFH Photo//Kiara Maher
We’ve all failed at some point, whether at school or in our personal lives. But for someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), failure seems to be a lot worse. As someone with ADHD, I feel distressed daily. Completing “normal” tasks seem impossible, causing me to feel defeated. It’s very important that people understand this condition and the people who live with it. While you may not be able to help their brains, you can help by being supportive and educated on their symptoms.
There are two kinds of attention deficit, inattentive (ADD), and hyperactive (ADHD). The difference is, if you have ADHD, you have trouble staying still for a long period of time. ADD is a mental hyperactivity, where your attention is everywhere.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of ADHD include fidgeting, forgetfulness, trouble following directions and controlling emotions, switching quickly from one activity to the next, being easily distracted and frequent daydreaming. ADHD is on a spectrum, so not everyone struggles from symptoms in the same way. The severity varies and depends on factors such as environment, diet and how often you exercise. 
Some of these symptoms can lead to serious consequences. For example, according to CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), youths with ADHD are “overrepresented among crash and fatality statistics than their non-ADHD peers.” This not only puts ADHD drivers at risk, but others as well. 
People with ADHD also often suffer panic attacks. These feelings, according to Dr. Andrea Spencer, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Boston Medical Center, make teens with ADHD “blame themselves and feel demoralized.” Michelle Privé, clinical social worker at Boston Medical Center, said that ADHD can also lead to “academic and social difficulties, which may increase feelings of frustration, irritability, sadness, low self-esteem, or loss of motivation.” Over time, these feelings can make you feel depressed, or contribute to depression. 
Despite the challenges I’m destined to bear, I felt relieved when I finally understood the reasons for my inattentiveness and frustration. But it wasn’t long after that I perceived the stigma many have about ADHD—that those on ADHD medication haven’t tried hard enough to control their symptoms. From personal experience, I can tell you this is not true. 
It isn’t me who wants to take three hours doing one assignment. I want to finish my homework as early as I can, I want to sleep by 10 pm each night and I want to be able to control my brain so that I complete my tasks on time. I am sure this applies to many others who also have ADHD, but we have little control over our brains. 
I have tried to overcome my ADHD. I’m on a pescatarian diet, limiting foods with preservatives, artificial flavors and colors in attempt to eliminate factors that may trigger symptoms. I try to find a “perfect” place to study and do homework, where I can focus. But blocking external distractions is not enough. Even in these “perfect” environments, it’s nearly impossible to get my undivided attention on what’s in front of me. I often feel as if I’m a total failure, that I can’t accomplish anything like a “normal” person.  
“I wish people would understand that ADHD can make it hard for those who have it to focus on one thing at a time, and people keep pressuring us,” said Illea Hutcherson, a student at the William W. Henderson Inclusion School.
Regardless of the stigma, it is important for ADHD to be treated. Understanding your disorder and what works for you will force you to create coping mechanisms early on, before life gets even more hectic to manage. ADHD is typically treated with stimulants, which increase neurotransmitter dopamine in the central nervous system, while improving focus, attention, planning and organization. Dr. Spencer said these medications are safe and effective when taken as prescribed. She added that “up to 90 percent of children with ADHD can get relief from their symptoms with medication.”
There are also natural ways to improve ADHD. Privé suggests using tools to help you stay organized, such as a daily planner or apps on your phone. Limit your distractions by keeping your phone away while you are doing homework, or sitting near the front of the class in school. Use a timer if you work best under pressure. Lastly, practice mindfulness or meditation. By practicing these strategies, your symptoms and feelings may improve.
ADHD may seem pervasive, and while it still impairs one’s life, it’s not the worst thing. People with ADHD tend to be very enthusiastic and we get excited over the smallest things. We also have a very special talent—the ability to hyperfocus. Many writers, engineers and artists with ADHD are successful at their jobs because of this superpower. Hutcherson said, “drawing  helps my mind focus and settle because I really enjoy it and it just helps me get use to focusing on my work more.” Use your hyperfocus to your advantage by finding a productive activity that helps you alleviate your stress, as Hutcherson has. This lessens your feelings of failure, because you know what you’re a master in.
Helping the ADHD community begins with acknowledging their struggles. Instead of judging or ridiculing them for their mistakes or their behavior, let’s start helping them turn their feelings into feedback on how they can improve. People with ADHD love trying new things and failing at something new is perfectly okay. It merely shows how determined and resilient we are.


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AFH Photo//Darren Hicks
Want to get free college credit before graduating high school? According to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the state provides a program called the   Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership, which “provides opportunities for high school students to take college-level courses free of charge and simultaneously earn credit toward high school completion as well as their future college degrees.” While only a handful of high schools offer this opportunity, students should push for dual enrollment in all Boston Public high schools because they can earn free college credit and gain experience with college, plus it may increase the college graduation rate. 
Dual enrollment gives students experience with college academics by allowing high school students to take high school and college courses simultaneously, for free. Securing your future by taking college classes during high school will bring students one step closer to success. According to edsource.org, “Dual-enrollment classes have been shown to give students a preview of the college experience and permit students to amass some post-secondary credit before even enrolling at a college or university.” In other words, dual enrollment helps students get more college experience while being in high school. 
Fernando Rodriguez, a college coach from Sociedad Latina, wishes he could have taken dual enrollment classes in high school so that he would have been more prepared for college. “It would have given me an idea of what professors are looking for in my work,” he said. “Also it helps students to balance their time...you’re taking on additional work and that's something a college student does.”  
Additionally, dual enrollment may increase college graduation rates. According to a study done by the Community College Research Center, “Students who participated in dual enrollment in high school had significantly higher cumulative college GPAs three years after high school graduation than did their peers who did not participate in dual enrollment programs.” A better college GPA gives students more opportunities to get a better job post-graduation. 
Dual enrollment helps high school students experience the lifestyle of college. It can boost their interests and allow them to experiment with career paths, while building up valuable credits and creating a successful network. Dual enrollment puts you on the right path for a successful future. 
















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