Kayli Guthrie, 17, from Boston Latin Academy, says that she remembers hearing about the situation in Africa back in April, and that it has made her think differently about education. “I feel very sad for these kids,” says Guthrie. “All they wanted was an education and they were punished for it. With everything that was going on, I realized how grateful I am to have the right to go to school.” In April, some 300 Nigerian girls were abducted from a school in northeast Nigeria. These secondary school students were woken up by gunfire and taken by an extremist group called Boko Haram, which when translated from the Hausa language means “Western education is a sin.” At press time, most of the girls were still missing. In America, many of today’s youth do not take advantage of the educational opportunities they are offered; they take much for granted. Yessenia Tejeda, 17, from BLA, feels fortunate for being able to acquire knowledge. “Education is something that should be valued, not hated,” says Tejeda. “Those girls were willing to risk their life to learn….This event really made me value my life and recognize the significance of the education I receive.”
Jacelys Suazo, 14, who resides in Roxbury, never heard about the abduction before it was mentioned to her, and her reaction wasn’t any different than that of many others. She was astonished.
“Wow! I didn’t realize that stuff like this can actually happen,” says Suazo. “Learning about this makes me feel grateful that I can go to school without putting my life at risk.”
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Relationships
Boo-boos: How to heal from teen breakups

Jean Dertelus, 18, from Hyde Park, says he has a cure for a bad breakup.

“Flirt with other girls,” he says. Dertelus says his relationship lasted about six months and it didn’t end on good terms; he really cared about her and it was hard to get over. Heartbreaks may not be a one-time thing. They can come and go. You feel so empty and alone and that every moment spent with that person was a huge waste. Donizete Fernandes, 17, from Madison Park High School, says it’s best to seek out your circle of friends when things go wrong. “Chill with your boys more,” he says. Fernandes says he and his ex-girlfriend dated for about a year; she wasn’t right for him, he says, but they still remain friends. Ellie Caisey, 17, says you should be around friends and family to help you get over things while remaining patient. “Take time for yourself,” says Caisey, who goes to the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, “and wait for better to come.”
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Edmund Yu, a senior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, doesn’t believe that you select your friends as much as they select you.

“I believe that in the world we live in we shouldn’t choose and be specific of what kind of friends we want,” says Yu. “My group of friends are an interesting group, each coming with a sense of creativity and loyalty.” Seventeen-year-old Joey Hunt, from the O’Bryant, agrees that the process of finding friends is not always as it seems. “I believe that specific people come into your life for a reason and once they’re in your life they stick around whether you like it or not,” says Hunt. “I know it’s time to cut someone off when they stop caring for me and being there for me.” In the social aspect of the new school year, many students are trying to find themselves. They are developing an interest in different activities and beliefs. As part of that, they are quickly evaluating the types of people they surround themselves with. “You choose your friends, but who you are exposed to in the world is determined by how outgoing you are and your social circle,” says Tony Nguyen, 18, from the O’Bryant. Nguyen lists his criteria for friendship as loyalty, respect, and being laid back but knowing when to be serious.
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First Person
The pain of immigration continues
  After lunch, everyone came to English class ready to learn. I was in fourth grade. I sat next to a kid named Kevin. He immediately went off about how he didn’t want me there. He yelled out in front of the whole class: “You should get on a boat and row, row, row all the way back to Africa.” When will people who migrated to America be accepted? Centuries after the first immigrants came here on the Mayflower, prejudice against the foreign-born is still causing pain. I was born in Senegal. I came to the US when I was two. It hurts deeply to know people dislike you because of where you’re from. I’ve been going through the same thing ever since I went to public schools. I remember when I entered the fifth grade, one of my classmates had the nerve to make weird noises and ask me if I understood what they meant. Of course, the whole class broke up with laughter. Recently, I was at a local gym. A boy working there wondered about my ethnicity. I told him I’m African. He asked if I lived in huts and walked around naked. Really?
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Marquicia Phillips-Gadson, 17, from Dorchester, believes that actress Taraji P. Henson has the perfect body because her top half matches her bottom half. Of course, the perception of the textbook body changes through time, and can fl wlessly switch from thick to thin. If you search the Internet for the ideal body in 2014, shapely Kim Kardashian might well appear. “I mostly see the perfect body in the media and it’s always curvy with big bottoms,” says Mikayla Willingham, 15, from Boston Latin School. It has not always been so. In the ’20s, a boyish flapper figure was the rage. In the ’30s, women accentuated their hips as they flaunted their figures. In the ’40s, slender silhouettes returned. In the ’50s, women embraced their natural non-starved bodies, like that of Marilyn Monroe. In the ’60s, it was let’s be skinny like Twiggy. In the ’70s, tanned and toned was in. In the ’80s, athletic hardbodies ruled. In the 90’s, everyone wanted the emaciated runway model look. In the 2000’s, it’s all about having hourglass bodies of thin waists and fuller frames. For 16-year-old Isaiah Bowman, who goes to school in Dorchester, that description has him declaring: “I want a girl like [actress] Meagan Good.”
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