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.”
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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.”
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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
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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.
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Death and destruction came five years ago, on January 12, 2010. It was just another routine day — until the earthquake hit the ground. I was coming home from school. I dropped my backpack and went to the living room to start my homework. Outside, it was as bright as a light bulb. And then, suddenly, it got dark. After a few moments, I heard people yelling, glasses and plates breaking. “Oh my God!” I screamed. “What’s going on?” The ground began to shake. I was terrified. I ran to my cousin, who was inside my house. Her eyes were filled with tears. So were mine. We wrapped our arms around each other and stood in the middle of the room like statues. We prayed. I heard a lady outside, saying: “Get out of the house guys. Hurry!” We started running, still holding each other’s hands. The lady hugged us. I could feel her heart beat. I thought the ground was going to open. I thought it was the end of the world for us. The earthquake in Haiti took more than 230,000 lives and left about 300,000 injured. I thought about my mother. She was at work. I heard a car coming down the street. I saw my mom get out and spread her arms open. I ran to her and grabbed on tight. Just the feel of her warm body comforted me without any words.
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