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Help The Hopeless

      Help The Hopeless

In my previous blog post I gave some important facts on the homeless people. Such as the different causes of homelessness. One cause of homelessness as discussed in my previous blog is economic problems such as low incomes and lack of affordable housing. Also talked about the amount of people that were homeless last year. January 2014, on any given night there was at least 578,424 people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. I also talked about the different types of people who become homeless. For example, U.S military veterans who come back to find themselves homeless in a few months after they've served for the military.

I found a lot of new information after my first blog post. I've learned that their are different kinds of homelessness. One that I had researched was Chronic Homelessness. Chronic Homelessness is when someone with disabling health and behavioral health conditions is experiencing homelessness. According to researched they are trying to end it from 2015-2017. I've seen Chronic Homelessness myself. It kills me inside to see those people suffering not only from Homelessness but from other personal health issues. Another issue I've found during researching was Homelessness being restricted in some cities. Cities like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and  Lawrence, KS has banned panhandling in some of the different parts on the city. Also the fact that the local citizens of the specific cities actually signed petitions to stop the homeless from getting any help. In addition to my previous blog post where I talked about different types of people who become homeless and I found out that the majority of the youths become homeless usually because of family divorce, neglect and abuse which is really heart breaking.

Researching about homelessness was very interesting and really heart breaking. So I took it upon myself to do a survey about people stances and opinions on Homelessness. The responses were not as surprising as I thought they would be. I expected more harsh answers after researching about Homelessness. Although, the responses on one my questions shocked me. The ninth question(¨Should there be homeless people in a country where we live around money?¨) responses shocked me after I seen that people have answered yes. Almost half of the people who answered this question said yes. This survey helped me understand more of the opinions that the people have on Homelessness. Although I was not surprised with most of the responses, I personally believe those responses was because of the community the people are in. Considering that most of the responses, well all of them were sent to people of my school, I feel like that couldve been the cause of all the answers. Somethings Im still left wondering is, what if i had sent this survey to different types of people from different money classes or depending on where these people live. Something i am looking forward to doing is, giving money to the homeless and giving them hope and to keep pushing.

Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 3.57.49 PM.png

Survey response to question #9


Homeless spikes to restrict homeless from staying at that place.

Heres my Annotated bibliography!

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The New Face of the Workforce

The issue I’ve decided to tackle for my You and the World project was women’s rights within the workforce, as seen in my first post, Women make up almost 50% of the working population worldwide, and even still aren’t being given adequate pay or benefits. There’s no excuse for this injustice in the 21st century, considering that less than 100 years ago we were fighting for voting rights. What is the reason for this? Why are women still on the lesser playing field than men?

The first reason I think is the lack of education on this topic. Some women don’t realize their difference in pay between men until entering the workforce, and that discovery continues once they get pregnant and require maternity leave. I feel that education is one the biggest ways to combat this issue because women are still blinded by the fact that there is still imbalance amongst the sexes.

The second reason this issue is still prevalent in society is the ambiguity of women entering the workforce and not tapping into their full potential, which I covered a bit in my first post.  I recently interviewed reporter and journalist Ema O’connor of the popular media website Buzzfeed , and she responded to this question with: “It is not all men's responsibility to pay women more, a huge part of it is women being timid in pursuing their career, not feeling their self-worth and therefore not trying. This is a deeply ingrained societal problem that parents (future and current), schools, and employers need to work together to change for the next generation.” Gender stereotypes grow from the absence of education and also lack of female confidence, but also the ignorance of those who therefore buy into gender stereotypes. 0bc0292.jpg

The third reason for this problem is cultural and religious views. Like I mentioned in my previous post, women are only seen as providers for the household which in some cultures is a huge part of a woman’s life. In the survey I conducted over the course of last week, I found that out of the twenty-one girls that answered, two said that women are not seen with importance in their households and cultures. Screenshot 2015-05-12 at 12.07.47 PM.png

survey results

Though the number is quite small, this is a sad reality that many face, which leads to the mindset that girls adapt which holds them back from pursuing their dreams which may involve work. We need to place the image of the modern working world of women into the minds of our young girls, thus creating a generation of fearless and powerful individuals who can undertake any career they wish to pursue. I also spoke with Buzzfeed video producer Ashly Perez who spoke a bit about how women are seen in her family and culture. “My parents are both from very male-dominated cultures (Cuban / Filipino) but my family is full of strong women, particularly on the Cuban side. Men might be in charge, but women are feared and respected.” This is the mindset we must enforce into our future generations because even though people may come from societies where women aren’t valued, girls can still believe in their potential and be brave enough to take on whatever they choose. hqdefault.jpg

The fourth and final contributor to this topic is the beliefs that have stained our society for generations. There are still large amounts of men who believe that women have no place in the workforce, which weakens the populations of female workers. I feel as if this generation is doing a good job eliminating the issues we encountered with sexism in the past, but we have a long way to go. Both men and women need to collaborate to end this issue, so that our future workforce can be fully integrated and equally diverse. Some further questions I have about this issue are how long has equal pay affected women and what kind of sexism and gender stereotypes are still experienced in the workplace amongst women today? Below are some charts that show the participation and pay in the workplace between race and gender in the last year. Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 7.24.15 PM.png

chartsScreenshot 2015-05-11 at 7.22.15 PM.png

Annotated Bibliography

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Educate the Uneducated!

For a recap the project that I chose for my PIC is the issue of animal abuse. I chose this topic than any other one because I have a lot of history with understanding animals that were abused and I want to educate the public about the topic. Also, I see animals as living creatures just like humans are living creatures.  Animal abuse is simply when an animal gets harmed, neglected, and/or a does not care for an animal responsibly by a person. In other words, to hurt or to be cruel to an animal would be against the law no matter what.  This the significance of the public being aware of the issue is really serious.

The issue of animal abuse does not only have negative impact on animals but it does a negative effect on humans. When someone abuses an animal they may be an more likely to cause violence. Also, if a child witnesses animal abuse they are at greater risk of becoming abusers themselves! Moving on, if you think that think that animals were only abuse in the one physical way you obviously never heard of the brutal acts of factory farming and Circuses. 99% of the food that come from farms are from factory farms which are focused on getting money, what is easier, spending the least amount of money at the price of the animal's’ life. Also, another example of heartless groups are circuses because the beat, whip, sometimes denied food and water, all to force them to learn their routine. This leads to diseases, damage, injuries and death of the animals.

As seen in the image above animals are forced to do tricks that there body is not meant to do.

For my original research I planned to collected data on a survey so I can  educate the public really is about animal abuse because my main goal is to educate the public. Unfortunately, according to the survey I took not that much people are informed of animal abuse. For example,

  • 10/23 people got question #1 right

  • 9/23 people got question #2 right

  • 3/23 people got question #3 right

  • 21/23 people think that animal abuse is a big issue.

  • 17/23 people are aware of factory farming.

  • 5/23 people are aware of animal testing.

Survey Results

The results helped inform me on my PIC issue because this research show how uneducated the public is about the issue of animal abuse.  The average person would fail my survey! Which brings to help out the issue of animal abuse and you have to educate the public so that they know what they are dealing with. This added to my understanding of animal abuse that a lot of people do not take animal abuse seriously.

Now that I have done my research I have some strong personal opinions on how people did on my survey. First of all, I would like to say that I am more disappointed than mad. For example, somebody really had the nerve to say that dog and cock fighting should not be banned because it has been a culture for many years and that would be horrible if it was banned. Also, the average grade for my survey is a failing grade. One thing that I am still wondering about is why my community is so uneducated about animal abuse. In addition, I still need to find more information on what drives a person to abuse an animal. I am thinking of of making a website for my as my Agent of Change part for Blog #3 because I know how to make one and it can easily educate the public. Furthermore, for my website I will be interviewing some employees at the SPCA for a page for my website.

Annotated Bibliography

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Internal Affairs : Investigated (Blog Post #2)

Haven't read post #1? what are ya doing? click here to read it

 In my journeys into finding out more about the ever so secret investigations of Internal Affairs, I decided to interview Kelvyn Anderson, the acting director of the Police Advisory Commission to have a frank and honest talk about the issues of the Philadelphia Police Department.

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Kelvyn Anderson Executive Director of the Police Advisory Commission 

Mr.Anderson : Hi I'm Kelvyn Anderson I am the Executive Director of the Police Advisory Commission  In Philadelphia

Lydia: How many complaints a year are made to your organization?

Mr.Anderson :  There are approximately 1,000 or so complaints citizens complaints that are filed against the Philadelphia Police Department  annually. That not only includes complaints filed with my organization but also with the Police Department as well.

Lydia: So you would say Police Misconduct is a problem in Philadelphia?

Mr.Anderson: It's an issue in any city in America as a question of how we define what misconduct is and what we intend to do about it

Lydia: What types of complaints are made?

Mr.Anderson : Complaints are usually divided into a couple of broad categories. A Psychical Abuse complaint would be a complaint where an officer used some type of force that caused an injury to the victim. Whether that be a shooting, some other type of psychic confrontation between an officer or a citizen. The other types of complaints include complaints that are called Abuse of Authority. Which the person says that the officer did something in some instances did not do something required by the authority that police officers are given. So yeah Psychical Abuse complaints and Abuse of Authority complaints and those make up the bulk of the complaints we receive from citizens.

Lydia : What is done to investigate these complaints?

Mr.Anderson. : If a citizen files a complaint with our agency or Internal Affairs an investigation is conducted usually consists of taking a statement from the person. If there are other relevant documents that show the situation the person is in such as police reports or surveillance video all sorts of information. Interviews with people who were at the scene. We try to see that a thorough investigation is conducted into the person's complaint.

Lydia : What are some limits to the authority of your organization?

Mr. Anderson: Commission is a civilian oversight agency which means that most agencies like ours don't have the power to actually investigate. We can only make recommendations to take certain actions.

Lydia: Has the city taken any action to help further your Organization?

Mr.Anderson:  Recently some reports from the federal government and commissions that the Police Commissioner Mr. Ramsey have made recommendations in empowering agencies like the Police Advisory Commission. So I think you're going to see other commissions in other cities in the country deal with issues. Not only misconduct and generally how we define what policing is in our country.

Lydia : How many Police Officers actually receive punishments for their actions?

Mr. Anderson: That number is usually lower than complaints actually filed. That depends in large part on the type of complaint. Often it's an officers word against a citizens word. Those type of situations get revised in some neutral way. It's a sustained complaint which means you don't have enough information to prove what the citizen says or what the police officer says. But now that we are going to start to have body cameras some of that will change .

Lydia : What is the process of an Internal Affairs Investigation?

Mr. Anderson: Internal Affairs has a wider authority my agency does in respect to citizens complaints other types of incidents involving police officers. Internal Affairs investigations run from shootings to more traditional types of complaints which we also handle Abuse complaints or verbal abuse complains. Verbal abuse complaints is another category I forgot to mention earlier.

Having gotten information from Mr.Anderson, I wanted to hear the side of the Police Department. I reached out to a friend of mine so I could interview her mother. She responded with that she would ask but I never heard any further than that. So I looked over the internet to find interviews in which any officer in Philadelphia mentioned a change in the handling of affairs.

In my search I found a article on the subject. Charles_Ramsey_600.jpg

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey

"We need to get the complaints. We need to be able to do a thorough and complete investigation and let the cards fall where they may," Ramsey said. "I will definitely deal with these five [districts] in the meantime, we have reinforced with our personnel that if a person wants to make a complaint against a police officer, give them the form.”

However the Commissioner in a Metro News Article exposed to have been “quietly beefing up Internal Affairs” . He was quoted to have said, “It’s just for the good of the department. The bottom line is if there’s an allegation against an officer, we have an obligation both to the public and the officers accused to have it resolved as quickly and as thoroughly as we can,.”


Puerto Rican Day Parade screenshot

Do any of you remember the Police officer from the Puerto Rican Day Parade who punched a woman? After the public quieted down, he was rehired in the PPD. So are Philly's citizens really getting their fair trial with internal affairs investigating these claims?

For my Agent of Change, I will be hitting home at SLA and giving Red Stream the facts of the Philadelphia Police Department in a detailed presentation.

Annotated Bibliography (New sources)

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Being Accepted Is Crucial For A Teen...

In my Blog Post #1, I discussed the issue of peer pressure surrounding teenagers. This topic stood out to me because this issue affects a lot of young boys and girls everyday. Every teen wants to be accepted by some group of peers in their teenage lives, and many will do things they usually wouldn’t do to be accepted by them group of people. As I stated in my Blog Post #1, certain activities like smoking, drinking, doing drugs, stealing, and breaking the law are mainly what teens are pressured into, which I found out from one of my sources. Activities Involving Peer Pressure  

Since my Blog Post #1, I did in fact find some new information and compelling opinions from people around the world about teen peer pressure. I read in the comment section in a site talking about Teen Peer Pressure that it seemed more people felt teenage girls were more pressured by their peers than boys. I can say myself that I agree with this statement because in every grade there is always the cool girls or ¨cute girls¨. The ones that wear make-up and attract attention from the guys. These kind of teenage girls tend to pick on the girls or talk about girls that aren't as popular as they are. In conclusion less popular girls begin to change their appearance, personality, and their view on life to be accepted by the cool group of girls. Teenage Girl Peer Pressure

                                                        Not being Accepted Can Hurt Someone's Self-Esteem

¨It can be hard on teenage girls as showed in this picture, and with the group of teens just laughing this girl doesn't help this girl's attitude towards her teenage life.¨

Words That Surround Teen Peer-Pressure

             ¨This image shows important words to surrounding the meaning and effect of Peer Pressure.¨

For my Original Research, I created a short survey for different teens to take and receive different perspectives on what they think peer pressure is and how it has affected their teens years. My Teen Peer-Pressure Survey I sent this survey to only people I knew had a word or two on the issue of teen-peer pressure and how it affect their life. Here are some of my survey results. My Teen-Peer Pressure Survey Results One question I wanted to reflect on is the second question. ¨What is your definition of teen peer pressure?¨ And my responses were a lot similar, when another teen pressure or influence another into doing something that the other person wouldn't usually do and the only reason why they would do it is to be approved and welcomed as a friend. These responses connect with a lot of others teens that answered that question, which gives me a thought that most teens think similar on the what peer pressure is in everyday life.   

The results I received back from different teens on this issue informed me that they all seemed to go through the same thing. Breaking the rules or smoking because of their peers doing it. Being a follower instead of being a leader, and not realizing what is right from wrong. Survey results I found on the internet brought up a good point that teens boys and girls break the rules as a group decision. If all of your friends wants to go rob a corner store, and everyone is in besides you, they will single you out to not being cool and you will be pressured into making a choice. Many times that teen will tag along because of wanting to be accepted. This survey helps add the knowledge of why some teens are affected by their peers. And once again, it comes down to being ¨cool¨, ¨down¨, and accepted by your fellow peers. Since I have done more research I feel personally the reason teens face the effects of peer pressure is because being gossiped about. Teens see on a daily basis, mainly in school, others being picked on and bullied and many teens don't want to fall victim to bullying. So what do they do, they join in with the bullies which makes them cool to the ¨cool kids¨ in school. Connection between Bullying and Peer Pressure Even after additional research on this topic, I wonder if teens believe their experiences gave them more confidence in themselves to accept themselves as who they are and never try to change for others, or do they just look at them as mistakes to learn from. Lastly, for my Agent of Change for Blog #3, I am thinking of doing a presentation in my advisory, and for any other teachers/staff that would like to watch it based on the issue of pressure. My goal is to make it as interesting as possible. I hope to be working with an Organization called Child Development Institute, which works with issues involving children and teens. Here is their website CDI Website

Annotated Bibliography

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Helping Instead of Torturing

In my Blog Post, I introduced my topic for the “You and The World” project. It is about animal abuse. I mentioned my experiences on the animal abuse topic and included online research and informational facts about abused animals. I talked about an animal in my Blog Post #1 named Lincoln who was brought to a high-Kill shelter. On 5/10/15, I visited the SPCA center on Erie Ave PA 19134. This building is a no-kill shelter. A no-kill shelter means the shelter does not “put down” animals to make more room, or doesn't have the rule, “If this animal does not get adopted in “a certain amount of time” it will be “put down”, or does not “put down sick or injured animals.” A high-kill shelter is the opposite of a no-kill shelter. On 5/10/15 I have learned a lot about the topic of animal abuse from the Paws building and the SPCA. My tour guide has sent me a slide about their information on animals and abused dogs. I have learned that some animal shelters do not rescue their animals themselves. Instead, they receive the animals from an animal control team. If not for shelters like Paws, who receive their animals, most animals would be “put down.” For my original research, I decided to do an interview and a field observation. I have recorded my Interview, I have come up with these questions:

Do you  work with abused animals?If so, what is your specific job?

Have any abused animals come in recently?

What is the average amount of abused animal coming in?

What is the ASPCA doing to prevent animal abuse?

How do abused animals act once they are in the aspca building?

Do you think that a little discipline is necessary?

How long does it take for an animal to get used to the facility?

Do owners bring in their abused animals or do bystanders bring them in? Or is there a team from aspca who go out and search for signs of abusement and or abused animals?

For my Field Observation I received a tour from Jennifer Johnston, a SPCA worker. Also visited a PAWS- Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society building.


                                                                                             This is Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter now is now paws with an ear infection, The animal control group does not support injured animals, if Paws did not save him he would have been put down. Now in better hands, paws have nurtured him and put a dog cone on him so he does not scratch his infected ear.



This is Robin, Robin has an eye infection, He was rescued from the animal control group. When he came into Paws both of his eyes were swollen shut and covered in gunk. He was kept in the back until he has healed. Two days ago today (5-9-15) he came out into the open, but he is extremely shy because he wasn't used to the attention. Also, he is afraid with all the dogs barking.


Plum was found caught in a fence, on April 15th she needed surgery to cut of her leg. She is now in the Paws- Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. If Paws did not help Plum, The animal Control group would not bother to heal or care for her.

At the SPCA building, I was given a tour. I took recordings of our conversation and videos of parts of the facility. My original research helped inform me on my issue from the specific animals I have met and the interview. I have learned about how SPCA gets animals and how they react in the buildings. I now understand more about what animal shelters to to prevent abuse and what they do to treat them. My personal Opinion is about the animal shelters and animal control groups and animal mills. I think the animal mills and controls group should be illegal, what is the point of having a storage for animals where they are starved and caged. But I think the animal shelters are doing there best at keeping animals safe and healthy. I think they have the right idea on helping the poor animals who don't have a right to say what happens to them. I am still left wondering about what drives people to abuse animals and when and why do they get a thought to. Do they enjoy injuring animals? For my Agent of Change, I am thinking of doing some sort of teaching lesson where I would go to schools and day camps and teach children/teenagers about my issue and show them the right way to treat animals.

All of my online research is in my Annotated Bibliography.

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Refugees need help, and we can help them.

PIC: Original Research

In my first blog post, I talked about the Syrian refugee crisis. I explained how there are over 11 million Syrians being forced out of their homes, and almost 4 million being forced out of their country completely. How people are forcibly being removed from their homes without all but the most basic necessities, because of a war that they don’t take part in. There are refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt, in need of water, clean water, blankets, and hygiene items. People are being exiled from their homes for upwards of 17 years, and there are over 2 million child refugees, most of which receive no educational support at all.


After some additional research, I also learned about how the refugee crisis has impacted the surrounding countries, such as Iraq. The Huffington Post says that there have been hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fleeing their country, because of the increased population in addition to the fighting occurring in the country. I also learned about what things are being done about the issue, such as the International Rescue Committee, or IRC. The IRC is supporting refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Jordan. They have reached hundreds of thousands of people with medical supplies and winter emergency kits, in attempt to help the millions of refugees around the region survive the risks that surround them. They provide sanitation, clean water, education, and emergency kits to refugees living in camps. They support women and girls who have survived sexual violence, and help to reunite children that have crossed the border on their own with their parents and families. They are one of the multiple organizations trying to help the refugees in need to survive and make it through the hardships that they have and are experiencing. I also did an interview with Melissa Fleming, Head, Communications and Public Information Service Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency, or UNHCR.  The following is the transcript for the interview:

This interview aided me in multiple ways. It helped me understand how the UNHCR is trying to help the refugees, through registering them, helping identify their individual situation and needs, so they can help them with what they need the most help with. I also learned how the rate of the refugees is at the moment. The number of refugees is still increasing, with no signs of slowing down, however less countries are willing to let Syrians into their borders, so there is an increased number of Syrian refugees displaced inside of Syria. This also helped reinforced what I already thought to be true: The public knows far to little on this issue. Few people truly know what is happening within the crisis, and many people don’t care, or fail to realize how big the crisis truly is. I believe for this issue to make the most substantial progress possible, more people need to be aware of it. This is an important issue that needs far more attention than it’s getting.

I have decided that for my Agent of Change, I will do some type of fundraiser, such as a bake sale, in which all profits I make will be donated to organizations such as the IRC who are trying to help Syrian refugees, as to provide them with more things such as blankets, food, clean water, and hygiene items, or anything else that they need. I am doing this because it is the most realistic way for me to be able to raise money for Syrian refugees, and help them as much as I can, to hopefully impact the life of one family living in the crisis for the better. This has been my blog post on the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and my Annotated Bibliography is accessible here.
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Bailey Britton Capstone

The initial inspiration behind this project was myself having Crohn’s Disease since I was 11 years old. Even though I have had this disease for such a long time I wanted to learn even more about it and be able to teach the students and teachers in the school about it. This project not only required me to use what I already know about Crohn’s Disease, but it required me to do even more research about it. My out of school mentor was my gastroenterologist, which in other words is a digestive system doctor, and she helped me because when I was younger she explained Crohn’s to me in a way that made it easier for me to understand and easier for me to explain to people who have no idea what it is. As a result of this project, I was able to learn even more about my disease and I was able to teach others about it. I hope that this helps people understand what Crohn’s Disease is and how it impacts people’s lives.

"Closing in on a Cure for Crohn's." WNDU RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about doctors trying to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease. This is useful to me because it lets me know how many people in America suffer from Crohn’s Disease and what it is. It also explains that there are treatments for the disease but there is no cure for it. It also explains the trials doctors are doing to see if they can cure Crohn’s Disease. It also says how many countries are using the MAP trial of antibiotics. This source also has the background of Crohn’s Disease and how long people have known about it.

"Crohn's & Colitis." CCFA: What Is Crohn's Disease. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about what Crohn’s Disease is. This is important and helps me because even though I know what Crohn’s Disease is it gives me a better understanding of how to describe it to the people I am going to present to. This source also tells the symptoms and signs of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). Also, it tells me who it affects and what the causes of Crohn’s Disease are. This helps me because I don’t know everything about Crohn’s Disease, and this site helps me to know most things I do not know.

"Crohn's Disease Center: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Tests, and Treatments."WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, the types of IBD, the causes of Crohn’s, the tests that are done to see if a person has the disease, and the types of treatment that is done. This is useful to me because in my presentation I want to talk about the types of treatments that the people with Crohn’s Disease have to go through when they are sick and even when they are healthy. I also wanted to talk about the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and the signs that you may have Crohn’s Disease. This source helped me a lot with things I needed to know.

"Crohn's Disease Diet Plan: Foods to Avoid, Low-Residue Diet, and More."WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source is useful because it lets me know the diet that some people with Crohn’s Disease have to be on. It talks about the food that will keep you from getting a flare up (when the stomach gets so inflamed that you have to go to the hospital). It also talks about what certain foods they can eat when they are in a flare up, because they can only eat specific types of foods. This source also talks about why it is a good thing to have a diet plan when you are on Crohn’s Disease. This source is going to help me explain the diet plans that people with Crohn’s Disease have to follow. 

Interview. Everyday Health. N.p., 1 Nov. 2007. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source is an interview with Pearl Jams lead guitarist, Mike McCready. He talks about how his life has been since he has gotten diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. He speaks about how having Crohn’s Disease impacts his life while he is on tour and how sometimes he had to stop in the middle of a concert because he was going to get sick. In the interview he says, “I was quite embarrassed by it and ashamed and wanted to not talk about it and hide.” This helps me with my Capstone because I want to talk about how it is okay to not be shamed of having Crohn’s Disease.

Interview. The Crohn's Colitis Effect. N.p., 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source is also an interview. It is not an interview with a famous person, just an ordinary American citizen named Stephanie Hughes. The interview talks about how having Crohn’s Disease has her impacted her whole life, including her family, college, friends, relationships, and her day to day life. She also kept a blog about having Crohn’s Disease called The Stolen Colon. This is useful to me because it’s always good to know other people’s experiences with Crohn’s Disease instead of just basing the whole project off my experience with living life with Crohn’s Disease.

"Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source is useful to me because it talks a lot about Crohn’s Disease and what it is. It also talks about methods to treat it and how those methods work for different people.  It’s also useful because it also says that people kept video diaries through their recoveries from them being sick. I find that useful because it lets me know how people go through the recovery process in their own ways. I could use this source to help me describe Crohn’s Disease, the methods that are used to treat it, and the way people go through the recovery process. 

"Crohn's Disease." Treatments and Drugs. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source helped me because it informed me about the treatments and drugs used to help Crohn’s Disease. It also says that sometimes when the Crohn’s Disease gets really bad the person that has this disease has to get surgery to remove the parts of their bowel that has the disease in it. The source also lists the different types of drugs that are used to treat Crohn’s Disease. Next to the different types of drugs it also describes what that type of medicine does to help the Crohn’s Disease. This source is useful to me because in my presentation I would like to talk about the different types of medication that are used to treat Crohn’s Disease. 

"Crohn's Disease." Crohn's Disease. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source is useful because it provides significant information about everything about Crohn’s Disease. It talks about what Crohn’s Disease is, what causes Crohn’s Disease is, how it is diagnosed, the diet, what the complications are, and more. This is very useful because even though I have other sources that explain what Crohn’s Disease is, they all explain it in different ways, and that makes me think of how I want to explain it. It also explains the causes instead of just listing them like the other sources did. Also, none of my other sources spoke about what the complications were and that helps me because I would like to speak about that in my presentation.

"Crohn's Disease Doesn't Care If You're Famous." N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides me with information about some famous people that have Crohn’s Disease. It also informed me about how their life was with Crohn’s Disease and when they got diagnosed. This source helps me because in my presentation I want to teach people that even famous people have Crohn’s Disease and they are not ashamed of it. Even though we may not know about famous people having Crohn’s Disease, some people with it do interviews, so it is okay not to be ashamed. Also, I want to teach who I am presenting to about how many famous people have it. I want to do this because I want to compare how many famous people have Crohn’s Disease to how many people who are not famous have it.

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Starting to Make a Difference

After learning many startling numbers, and scary facts about gun control from my first blog post, I began to wonder about what further research I could do, to look at a different view of this. I started thinking a lot about gun control, and what I could use what was right in front of me all along. I did some further research, and found that over the years, that teens usage of firearms have been increasing. With that said, it brought me to a question, if more teens began to get involved in these sorts of incidents, maybe they don’t know what they are really in for. In our “You and the World Project”, we have to make our own difference, and do our own research, so in that case, let me tell you what I did. The fact that I am focusing my project on a younger audience, I found my myself in the best place to do my own research. Surrounding by teenagers, from all different backgrounds, exposed to a variety of different things, I made a survey about gun control.

Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 12.37.13 PM.png
Here is an image of my survey that I made for my original research.

I had a variety of questions, asking if they knew what control was, and they opinions on the use of guns. One of the questions I asked was what they thought of when they hear the word, “gun”, and all where answered with something violent, and nothing that would make you feel good. I also was surprised with the data I got. Almost all of the responses I got said they were aware of what gun control was, but then many did say that can are and can be safe. So my results where a very interesting mixture of rights and wrongs. Although I found a wide variety of responses, I did notice one thing. The majority of said that they did have a personal experience with a gun, whether it was a family member, or even first hand. Many of the responses were startling, and upsetting to know that so many of my fellow peers have experienced such upsetting accidents all because of a gun. After doing my own research, I started to think about how I could make my voice heard, and have people think about this issue. Then I realized that because I was focusing on teens, I should use the tactic of spreading the word on social media, and making posters to grab their attention. I don’t want to attack them, or bore them with a not so interesting presentation, so I am deciding on grabbing peoples attention by making posters and putting them around my school and the city. I think I might make an original design, and include facts about gun control to make people think and to grab their attention. Hopefully if people see my posters, they can share it on social media, and maybe use a hash-tag I provide it with, and maybe, if I end up getting the outcome I want it will go viral. Hopefully my adventure continues to move smoothly, and I can transfer into a real agent of change by making a difference in my project.  

To read my first Blog Post, click here!

To read my bibliography, click here!

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Melanie Harrington Capstone

For my capstone I decided to make a fitness patch program that girl scouts of all ages could earn. There aren’t many patches dedicated to fitness and health that girls could explore.Fitness is something that I find very important and I wanted to give others the opportunity to learn about it. I created two sets of requirements for girls to follow depending on their ranking (Brownie, Junior, Cadette, etc.). I then put these requirements into action by conducting an event with the girls at one of our weekly meetings. Everyone who participated will be given a patch for their hard work. I learned a lot through this project, like how to plan events and how to work with children of all ages. I think the girls that I worked with really enjoyed themselves and learned valuable things about exercise and taking care of their body.

Below are the requirements for the Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts that I created.

Fitness Is Fun Patch Program

Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Patch Requirements: Must complete at least 8 requirements (3 skill builders, 3 technology, 1 career exploration, 1 service project)

Skill Builders

  1. Learn how to do two new exercises for each of the following body parts: calves, thighs, abs, and arms. Incorporate these into a fitness routine of your choosing and add some cardio work as well. Cardio exercises may include jumping jacks, high knees, and zumba.  

  2. What is self-esteem? Research the way exercise and fitness has an effect on a person’s self-esteem. Do people typically feel better after they exercise? Why or why not? Share your findings with a group.

  3. Being fit is more than physical. There are a lot of mental aspects that tie into fitness. Research 3 different mental disorders that benefit from eating healthy and exercising. How does this help?

  4. Using the right equipment is essential for any activity. They help prevent injury and provide different uses that vary from activity to activity. Choose and research three different sports (these may include running, dancing, gymnastics, etc.) and what equipment they require and why. What injuries do these pieces of equipment prevent?

  5. Yoga is another great way to exercise and stay fit. It promotes both mental and physical health and emotional balance. It can be used as a strengthening exercise and as a way to stretch and elongate your body. Research different kinds of yoga and incorporate them into your fitness routine.

  6. Being fit is more than simply exercising. In order to be truly fit you must find a balance between staying active and eating healthy. Differentiating between what is healthy or not can be really hard. This is what nutrition labels on food packages are for! If you are doing it right, you should be able to eat whatever you want, but in moderation. Find a new healthy snack that you think you will like and try it!


  1. Research different ways that technology is used in sports. Some things to consider are how sports channels broadcast and comment on live sports events, how scoreboards in basketball games are used, and how people use technology to stay up to date with sports.

  2. Research different ways in which technology is used in the running world. How do runners track their progress? How do races time thousands of people all at once? What are some tools that people use to track their diet and exercise?

  3. A person’s heart is one of the most important organs in their body. It is imperative that their heart stays strong and healthy especially when they are engaged in physical activity. What are some different heart conditions and how has technology changed the way we are able to detect them and monitor them?

  4. What are some different types of equipment that a person might see in a gym? What parts of the body do they work?

Service Project

  1. Run a workout clothes drive in your school or girl scout troop and donate them to your local thrift store.

  2. Research the way performance enhancing drugs affect the body. Make posters to hang in your school protesting their use.

  3. Reuse an old running shoe or sneaker as a flower pot to plant something of your choosing. Take care of your plant until it has grown significantly and then plant it in a local garden or park.

  1. Volunteer at a local race for runners/walkers. Pay attention to the type of planning and organization that goes into running an event that large.

Career Exploration

  1. Learn about and research 5 different careers involving fitness. How long do you have to go to school? What are some responsibilities that come with the job? Are these things that seem interesting to you? Share your new information with a group.

  2. Interview a personal trainer at a gym. Ask them how they keep their clients motivated, what techniques and tips they have for working out and staying fit, and how they got to become a personal trainer. Feel free to ask any questions you are interested or curious about.

  3. Read two stories about women who have impacted the world of fitness. What did they do? Why was it significant?

  4. Watch a documentary on a famous Olympian or sports player. What are some obstacles that they faced? How did their dedication affect their current position? What other things factored into being successful?

Below are pictures from my event on May 5, 2015.


"4 Yoga Poses That Should Be Part of Your Cool-Down." ACE Fitness. The American Council

on Exercise, 14 May 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.



One of the requirements for my patch program is to learn different yoga stretches and to incorporate them into a workout routine of your choosing. I chose this requirement as one of the activities I will be completing with the girls during my event. I’m not very familiar with yoga and this site was one of the first helpful ones I came across. I must admit however that I was skeptical about this sources reliability. Upon doing some research on the American Council on Exercise I found that they were a nonprofit organization that offers fitness certification, education, and training. This source provides different cool down yoga poses that would be great to stretch different parts of the body at the end of a workout.

Ambassador: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2011. Print.

Brownie: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2011. Print.

Cadette: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2011. Print.

Collins, Sonya. "The Truth About Stretching Find out the Best Ways to Stretch and the Best

times to Do It." WebMD. Ed. David T. Derrer. WebMD, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 29 Jan.

2015. <>.

WebMD is one of the few medical sites that I can truly rely on. I’ve used this site before in the past to conduct research for multiple classes. It is a very well known site that diligently provides sources for the information published by them. This article gave me great insight on the pros and cons of stretching before and after a workout. They has been a strong controversy recently regarding whether doing  static stretches before a workout is the best thing for you. This article has taught me something new about stretching that I can and will share with/teach the girls during my event.

"Cool Down Postures." The Mobile Yoga Workout Blog. N.p., 9 June 2010. Web. 29 Jan.

2015. <>.

Whenever I conduct research I am always wary about different websites that may come up in my google search. This blog was one of them. I don’t normally put a lot of trust into homemade blogs and websites because they’re just not very reliable sources. They’re often filled with more opinion than fact, never cite their sources, and it’s hard to connect the site back to a publisher/author. However, this source has proved to be useful by providing me with detailed descriptions and pictures of yoga poses that would be perfect to include in my event. The poses on here are unique from any other source I have used and all of the information on this blog was corroborated with other sources of information.

"Cross-Training." Senior: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA, n.d.

N. pag. Print.

Over the years girl scouting has changed a lot of things. For example, their badge books. It’s hard to keep up with all of the new changes, especially if you are accustomed to the old ways. One of these revolutionary ideas that the Girl Scouts have come up with is to promote more empowerment to women as opposed to their physical and mental wellbeing. This patch is one of the very few new fitness patches I could find in any of the badge books, including the ones or the younger girls. This patch was created by the Girl Scouts of the USA and I completed this badge as a senior myself. I found some of the activities in here helpful for finding things to add to my event while still planning. This source challenges girls to get moving and create their own workout routines and sports events.

Daisy: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2011. Print.

"ELEMENTARY: MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015." CrossFit Kids. CrossFit Kids, 25 Jan.

2015. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

Harrington, Melanie A. Workout Routine. Philadelphia: Google Docs, 29 Jan. 2015. PDF.

Hayward, Lee. "A Beginners Guide To Gym Equipment And Workout Accessories." Lee

Hayward's Total Fitness Body Building. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.


Interest Projects: For Girls 11-17. New York: Girl Scouts of the United States of America,

1997. Print.

Junior: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2011. Print.

"Make Your Own." Ambassador: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the

USA, n.d. N. pag. Print.

This was another badge in the newer badge books that proved to be helpful. Because I am

creating and running my own patch program, I needed to think about how I was going to design the event/requirements and how I was going to get badges. This section in the Ambassador badge book is walks you through step by step the process it takes to complete and earn a badge. This gave me an idea of how to set up my patch requirements for each age level and I was able to find a website that enabled me to order or design my own patches.

Mezzaroba, Isabella, Nia Godwin, and Haley Arici, comps. Ambassador Troop #97234. 29

Jan. 2015.

I have been a girl scout for 12 years. During this time I have made a lot of friends, all of whom have supported me in any endeavors that I have had prior to this capstone idea. We’ve planned to teach at patch programs before for younger girls but we have never been left in charge to plan the actual program itself. From my experience teaching at these patch programs, I know that I’m going to need to enlist the help of my fellow girl scouts to set up, clean up, gather the girls, run different activities, etc. I can’t handle 44 first graders on my own for two hours straight. These three girls have agreed to help me when the time comes to carry out my event.  

"Nature, Science, and Health: Women's Health." Interest Projects: For Girls 11-17. New York:

Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 1997. 82-83. Print.

Peanut/Nut‐Free Snack List. Ohio: Buckeye Valley K12, n.d. PDF.


One of the skill builders in my patch requirements is to learn about a healthy snack and

then try it. This is one of the experiences that I will be giving these girls during the event. Some of the girls in each troop are allergic to peanut butter so in order to ensure that everyone can get a healthy snack that provides protein, salt, and carbs, I researched different healthy snacks that don’t catin any peanut butter. This PDF is from a school district in Ohio and it lists the nut-free snacks that the school provides its children. This gave me the idea of giving the girls cheese sticks and pretzels.

Perry, Marc, CSCS, CPT. "Best Full-Body Stretch Before You Work Out." The Huffington

Post., Inc, 10 Aug. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.


I have used the Huffington Post when conducting research for english papers and other various assignments. I find that popular news papers like this one tend to be filled with reliable information. In this article, I learned about different full body stretches to do before a workout. This source not only provided me with ideas on how to stretch at the beginning of a workout, but it told me that dynamic stretching is a lot better for your body before a workout as opposed to static stretching. It also explains that dynamic stretching moves full groups of muscles at a time to get the moving.

"Practice with Purpose."Junior: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA,

n.d. N. pag. Print.

Printable 5-4-3-2-1 Workout…Cardio and Strength! 2012. Fit Fab Cities. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.



Senior: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2011. Print.

Shaffer, Alyssa. "Stretch for Greater Flexibility." Fitness Magazine. Meredith Corporation, n.d.

Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

Sindoni, Barb. "Creating a Girl Scout Patch Program: Planning." Personal interview. 27 Jan.


I have known Barb Sindoni for about 9 years and she’s been a girl scout leader for close

to 30. Her knowledge on the ways of scouting is far beyond anything I have experienced in my 12 years of girl scouting. I picked Barb Sindoni to be my mentor for my Capstone as well. She really knows her stuff when it comes to girl scout protocol and has a lot of experience with dealing with girls of all ages and planning events for them. I sat down with her in a meeting this past week and we discussed the next steps of my project. She provided me with useful tips and information on where to take my project from here.

"Sports & Fitness - #60858 Fitness Is Fun." Joycrest. Joycrest, Inc, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.



Joycrest is the website I will be using to order my patches once my patch program is over. Every girl who participates will receive one patch that I have specially chose for my event. I know a lot of people who have used this website before and when I began asking where I can find a place to get patches, Joycrest kept popping up. This source gives me a wide array of categories to choose from when picking a patch. I can order in bulk and the price changes for each patch depending on how many I order at a time. This is a great resource to get the rewards that my hardworking girls will deserve. This website also allows me to personally customize any patch of my choosing.

"Sports and Recreation: On the Playing Field." Interest Projects: For Girls 11-17. New York:

Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 1997. 164-65. Print.

"Sports and Recreation: Sports for Life." Interest Projects: For Girls 11-17. New York: Girl

Scouts of the United States of America, 1997. 176-77. Print.

"Staying Fit."Junior: The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. N.p.: Girl Scouts of the USA,

n.d. N. pag. Print.

"The World of Well-Being: Sports." Girl Scout Badges and Signs. New York: Girl Scouts of the

United States of America, 1990. 44-45. Print.

"Top 25 At-Home Exercises." ACE Fitness. The American Council on Exercise, n.d. Web. 29

Jan. 2015. <

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Misunderstood Kids

I decided to do my project on misunderstood kids who also might struggle with Social Anxiety and Depression. This topic is something that people that many know about but don’t understand. Often times kids are judged, mistreated, and left out of things simply because people can’t comprehend what they are going through or how they feel. Sometimes jokingly calling a friend “ugly” or “fat” can mean a lot more than what you think of it. I really want to reach out to people regarding this subject because social anxiety and depression are both things I struggle with and also something people should be more aware about. This is significant because others don’t realize how much the things they do or say affect others. It is important for people to know this because this has ruined people’s lives.

People often mistake anxiety as people just complaining about things when in reality they’re just
scared. Of course I want to go out in public with my friends, but with thoughts holding me back it’s like being in the ocean and you’re the only one who can’t breathe. When you struggle with anxiety, you don’t think these thoughts because you want to. You can’t help it. The same thing goes for depression. No one wants to have crying spell after crying spell and hide in the bathrooms at school in fear of people  questioning. All anyone ever does anymore is judge people things based off little to no information on the situation. Depression isn’t just something people say they have for attention. It is and actual medical condition that people actually have to get treated for. It isn’t just a random feeling you have from time to  time. It comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain. A lack of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine  can cause major depression episodes and can easily be treated with a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor which can also treat anxiety. It’s time that we get the word out there about this Mental Illnesses and save lives. 

People shouldn’t have to lose out on friendships and opportunities because of an illness they can’t help. It’s
time for a change and I want to be a part of it.
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Airport Security | Blog Post #2

Christian McCormac
Ms. Giknis
Blog Post #2 (X Band)
11, May 2015

The topic I am writing about is airport security. I want to explain to people why I feel like airport security guards go too far to protect people. They have the job of keeping us safe but they go too far with the scanners and pat downs. I decided to get two views on this topic. I have already shown my view points in my first blog post. I have the second viewpoint from a interview I did with a airport security guard.

Below is the interview questions and answers:


  1. How long were you a airport security guard?

“I was a airport security guard for 6 years.”

  1. Describe being a airport security guard in one word.


  1. As a security guard what did you do?

During my years with this occupation all that I really did was pat people down, and watch the scanner.”

  1. Why did you stop being a security guard?

I decided to go back to school to become a Respiratory Therapist.”

  1. How did some people react to you searching them?

There were times when people would verbally attack me for invading their privacy.”

  1. What was the craziest reaction you had ever gotten?

A lady had become very upset with me watching her on the monitor that shows the body scan. She then verbally attacked me and hit the security equipment with her purse.”

  1. How did you feel about invading people's personal space?

I felt confused. At training they made it sound like everything we did was for the safety of others but when you're in the field doing the actual work you feel like a creep.”

  1. Have you ever been attacked verbally or physically while doing your job?

I have been attacked both verbally and physically on multiple cases by people enraged with being searched.”

  1. Did you feel like you were harassing people when you did your job?

Yes, I felt like I was invading the personal space of others but it was my job so I had to do it.”

  1. How did your fellow workers see the job?

I remember my friend David Johnson quit because he didn't feel right doing the job.”

A airport security guard watching a scanner. Source

This interview proves my point. Even a former airport security guard admits that he felt uncomfortable doing the job. This is proved when he says ¨I felt like I was invading the personal space of others but it was my job so I had to do it.¨ This shows that even airport security guards did not love their job. They did it because they had to. Now I am thinking about spreading the word about airport security. I will make posters/flyers and pass them out to people. On these flyers I will explain why airport security guards have too much power and I will use the former airport security guard to back me up. I will pass out the flyers in public places such as school and maybe give them to random people I see.

I continued my research and found this article. This article shows how big the problem is. It also shows that there are other people fighting the problem besides me. I believe that if I pass out the flyers that I can make a show more people how big the problem is. I believe that if people can realize how big the problem is, then we can take the next step of making a change.

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Julian Makarechi- Capstone

My name is Julian Makarechi, and I am a senior at SLA. For my senior capstone I decided to organize an Ultimate Frisbee tournament with my fellow SLA Varsity captain, Brian Birkmire. This tournament was held in Oaks, PA and Edgley Fields on April 25th & 26th. It was a no brainer for me to incorporate Ultimate in my capstone because it has played a major role in my life, since freshman year.". With the help of my coach/mentor/principal, Chris Lehmann, I was able connect with many vital contacts that helped make my tournament successful. One of the first major steps I took was to create a website that detailed information about my tournament and a spot to register. Once I finalized all the specifics, I was able to announce my tournament at a captains meeting in March. In total, 28 teams signed up,for the 4 available divisions. Throughout the whole project I must have sent hundreds of emails about checks, field layouts, schedules, and team registrations. The two weeks before my event were extremely hectic and stressful because of everything from getting teams registered to creating schedules and laying out the fields. I had to make sure everything was in place, everything from having the right amount of cones for every field, at both locations, to making sure we had parents that could volunteer to bring food to the fields early in the morning were in place. While this project was a stressful because of some setbacks and difficulties, I am very proud of the product that Brian and I came up with. Since I would like to go into sports management, I feel like this tournament taught me a lot and gave me some experience.



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Back To The Basics

In my previous blog, I explained that I am here to raise awareness for ALL mental illnesses not just the common ones that everyone knows about. 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illnesses but not many people understand that said Americans suffer from a greater variety of mental illnesses. Not a lot of Americans understand that when it comes to Mental Illnesses there is more than just Depression and Bipolar disorder. But in this blog I will like to backtrack a little and focus on the fact that many Americans know little about Mental Illnesses period.

To get a sense of what 1 in 5 looks like, try this in class. Count off each person in class. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. (repeat) Every time you get to five, that person has a mental illness. Add up the total amount of people who ‘have a mental illness.’ Next compare that to the amount of people that are in the class.

A survey given out by the American Psychiatric Association found that 44% of Americans know little to nothing about mental illnesses. 44%. That means only a little more than half of Americans know something about mental illnesses. On top of that, one- third of Americans mistakenly think that emotional weakness is a major cause of mental illnesses. With many Americans suffering from mental illnesses, the lack of knowledge is very dangerous. Sometimes they just know the wrong information. A popular myth of Mental Illness is that children do not experience mental health problems. Due to this believe less than 20% of the children that do have a mental illness get the treatment that is needed. Another popular myth is that people can control their symptoms will sheer willpower. You cannot tell a person who is depressed to cheer up and believe that if they try very hard, they will not be depressed anymore. It just does not work like that. Another popular myth is that medication is the only solution for mental illnesses. Medication is not the only solution. The more common and helpful solution is also therapy.

I myself wanted to test what exactly do people know about mental illnesses, so I designed a survey to test just that. My results are as followed. The very first question I asked was “What is Mental Illness?” The answers were very unique but a specific answer stood out to me. The second was “When somebody is getting crazy.” This result stood out to me because this is exactly what I have personally heard people say when talking about mental illness. Crazy. That is why 31% of adults say that even if they had a mental illness they would not seek treatment. Simply because they fear what others would think of them.  My survey also tested about their knowledge of specific mental illnesses. Namely, Lycanthropy, Aboulomania and ,a familiar one, Alexithymia. 80% of my survey takers correctly answered what was Lycanthropy and Alexithymia. 60% correctly answered what was Aboulomania. Yet when I went back to ask them feedback on the quiz, the majority of them claimed they had either guesses or used context clues. Only one knew the correct answers simply because of the fact that they knew someone with those mental illnesses.

Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 10.49.55.png

When asked “What is Mental Illness” these were the responses I received.

My final two questions, were on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being very severe “How severe is Mental Illness?” 50% said 5, 40% said 4 and the remaining 10% said 3. The other question asked on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being very important, “How important is awareness of Mental Illnesses?” 90% said 5, 10% said 4. I am glad to see that many of my survey takers understand the importance of mental illness awareness. Now I wonder if any of them will help me do anything to raise that awareness. On May 16, 2015, I am planning on doing the 5K run/walk for Mental Illness. This walk is sponsored by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is done to raise money and awareness for Mental Illness. I am wondering how many people would be willing to join me on this event. Registration is free but if you have any more questions, you can consult the NAMI walk page and the walk page.

Le Bibliography


Safety Is A...Funny Thing.

As I write this, I have just returned from my second large convention, and my friends very first. (she’ll be kept nameless due to privacy) When telling her friends that she were going to said convention, the first thing they asked of me was to keep her safe. No “have fun” or “congrats on your first con!” just… “Keep her safe.”

Keep. Her. Safe.

Last time I wrote about this, I gave light to a very difficult and important situation. I explained the differences between cosplay and consent. I mentioned people who had been in the moment with it. People who had been sexually harassed and assaulted. Some being more lucky than others. But mostly, I talked about why this is important. Why cosplayers being blamed for their sexual assault and harassment is important and shouldn’t just be shoved off like everything else.

More than 40% of convention goers are female. About a quarter of them report being sexually harassed.  So when the first response to the word convention is safety, you should know something is wrong.


A week prior, I sent out a survey to a group of 25 cosplayers; asking about their convention/cosplaying experiences with sexual harassment. The responses were something that brought me to tears.

Have you ever first hand been sexually harassed at a convention (or just when you were in cosplay)?:

Out of 25 responses, 15/25 people have reported being sexually harassed or assaulted. 11/25 were minors.

With this question, like many of the questions, you were given the option of a simple yes or no if you felt uncomfortable with it. The following are the six stories I was given.

Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 21.22.56 - Edited.png

5/6 of those stories happened to minors.

Have you ever seen someone be sexually harassed at a convention?:

Out of 25 responses, 13/25 people have reported seeing someone be sexually harassed or assaulted.

With this question, I noticed distance. Only six people answered with more than a yes or no. Only two gave me stories.

Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 21.38.29.png

Now- this is where things get...tricky.

The question that came after those two asked about reporting the harassment. Many conventions, and usually meaning big conventions like Comic-Con, have a very vague policy against harassment. (Or they might not even have one at all.)

When going over the final results of this question, 11/18 responders had not reported it. Some people simply said no, (a few going as far as to say they were scared or afraid of being in trouble.) but...some people went a bit farther.

Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 21.46.07.png

You can find the rest of the survey here.

One of the very first questions asked was “Have you gone to conventions alone, and if you have were your parents worried? Did they warn you about predators?” (not exactly like that, they were separate questions.)

Only 8/25 people said their parents were worried, or warned them.

They were minors. Kids as young as 14 being warned about sexual assault. Kids that are dressing up innocently as their favourite characters to have fun. Not have sex appeal.

That’s gotta sound wrong to someone other than me.

Working towards a change sounds incredibly ineffective.

So, I think I’ll say “I’m going to make a change.” instead.

So that when someone mentions conventions or cosplay your first thought is not “Be safe!” or “Aren’t you worried?” it’s something like “Have fun!” or “Enjoy yourself!” or “I’m so jealous!”

Because that’s all any of us want.


“How to lie with statistics”: 1st Post

Group members present during the discussion 

Adam F, Alhaji K, Lala D, Michael

Here is the link to our Audio

What your club discussed 
In the discussion we talked about what the author points were in each chapter. Something that we always wanted to manage in the discussion, was making sure each main point was met. We talked about the points we didn’t understand we used that to our advantage it indeed helped move the discussion along.

How you discussed it
It was an open floor for all of us to speak. It really was all hands on deck for everyone to talk.

Any points of conflict/disagreement in discussion
None that interrupted the discussion.

Questions that came up as a result of the discussion

What is Old Gold?
Where does the author find his studies?
Is it possible to connect the findings in this book with other themes in class?

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RubyJane Anderson, Global Fiction Project

This inforgraphic is about oil spills in the Niger Delta. Since the 1950s, the oil-rich Niger Delta has been a hub for oil drilling. But, the region's lack of infrastructure has made it difficult to regulate oil companies like Shell. There are many oil spills in the Niger Delta, and they are rarely cleaned up. The oil companies blame the oil pirates, and the people living in the region blame Shell for not guarding it's product as well as it should be.
In this graphic, I pulled quotes that explored the perspective of the pirate, Shell, and the Nigerian government. No matter whose fault it is, it cannot be denied that all of these oil spills have been disastrous of the people of the Niger Delta. The water is unsafe, but they rely on it to survive. The fish in the rivers have died, and it's very difficult to get clean water. These oil spills are killing people, and it's time for the guilty parties to take responsibility and clean up these messes. 
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