Grace Villafane, 17, from Boston Community Leadership Academy, says she doesn’t like Boston because it’s boring. “It’s the same thing, there’s nothing new,” she says. Villafane visits places that she is already familiar with, and with people she knows. She wants to live in LA because she believes it’s more exciting. Shanelis Pena, 17, from Madison Park High School, says that she has been in Boston for way too long and does not like it. “Everywhere you go it’s either bad or you can’t go there,” says Pena, who feels it is too dangerous to travel around certain parts of the city due to gang-related violence. Pena says she would rather be in New York because she thinks it has more entertainment and she can get around with no questions asked. Genesis Seda, a sophomore at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, isn’t much of a fan of Boston, either. “Boston is alright,” says Seda. “It’s not the best or the worst.” Seda says she would very much like to be in New York because there is more variety than in Boston. She also likes the fashion in New York more than that of Boston, and thinks she’d have more success being her own person in New York because she feels that in Boston everyone copies each other
Read more…

Gulbahar Ozseferoglu, 18, from Another Course to College, thinks that young girls who want thigh gaps are ridiculous.

“Having a thigh gap isn’t going to make you more attractive or do anything for your self esteem, it’s just going to make you feel like you are a part of the trend,” says Ozseferoglu. “I would never try to get a thigh gap because I think it’s weird and disgusting.” Thigh gaps are a large space between your legs when standing with feet together. Women are furiously working out or undergoing surgery to achieve the sought-after “thigh-gap” look. But many teens say that striving for thigh gaps is a problem because they attract the wrong attention. Glendy Carrasquillo, 17, from ACC, is not one of those girls obsessed with that body effect. “No I wouldn’t get one,” says Carrasquillo. “I didn’t know it was possible.” Kievaughna Copeland, 18, from Dorchester, has a natural thigh gap but isn’t fond of the body-shape movement. “Girls need to accept themselves for who they are,” she says, “and stop trying to become everybody else.”
Read more…
Seventeen-year-old Ajay Pangilinan is a senior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science who wants to go to Northeastern University or UMass/Amherst. If he gets rejected from these colleges, he would be mad at himself for not trying as hard as he could in high school. “Northeastern is in the heart of Boston,” says Pangilinan. “But on the other side, I like UMass/Amherst because it is in the middle of nowhere and they have everything to accommodate each student in their school.” Senior year is very stressful. College acceptances make you feel proud of yourself, but those rejections can break your heart. Eva Wu, another senior at the O’Bryant, wants to stay in Massachusetts for her college career, but also wants to study abroad. “If I would get rejected from a certain college I would be upset, but I am sure I would be able to move on,” says Wu. It’s not just juniors and seniors worrying about college denials. Alissa Felton-Vasquez, a sophomore at Madison Park High School, already has her dream school picked out: Fordham University. “One day I was searching up colleges, and I really liked this one,” she says. “I want to go to college in New York because I have a lot of family there.”
Read more…
At the beginning of the new school year, you might have noticed some changes to your student T pass, going from the usual five days to seven. The Boston Student Advisory Council has been advocating for an affordable and yearlong T pass for high school and college students for years. After countless petitions and rallies, the state finally agreed to expand the student pass to cover weekends. BSAC has also launched a new campaign that centers on climate change. BSAC working group members met every week this summer to discuss ways in which they can raise awareness and make a difference in the Boston community. We met with multiple city councilors and asked them if they were willing to support divestment from fossil fuel companies and help Boston move towards a cleaner and greener city. Another project we are working on is for the student member of the Boston School Committee to have the right to vote. The main argument for this is that the students are the stakeholders in our schools and are the ones with firsthand experience. Also, the student on the Boston School Committee spends the same amount of time and energy as the adult members, yet when the time comes to vote the student is excluded. For more information about BSAC, check out the Boston Student Advisory Council Facebook page or email Maria Ortiz at mortiz@ bostonpublicschools.org
Read more…
In America, 7,000 students drop out of high school every day, according to dosomething.org. To challenge the statistics, a group that includes a journalist, musician, scientist, financial advisor, and community activist came together in a SundanceTV reality show called “Dream School” to inspire more than a dozen dropouts to rediscover their love of learning. This experimental learning lab operated against a backdrop of educational testing and more testing and a focus on memorizing sometimes meaningless material over acquiring practical knowledge. “Dream School” lessons included studying biology by getting close to nature; music via a visit to a recording studio; and economics through the lens of personal finance. Teens say that students should remember: Just because you received a bad grade in school doesn't make you a bad person.
Read more…