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YATW Blog post #1 Finding a Cure for Cancer

Hello. My name is Gabrielle Cromley and I am a student at Science Leadership Academy. For my English class, we were asked to do a project called You and the World in which we were to write three blog posts about a subject that was important to us. We have to make a change in the world or the community to help benefit our cause.

I chose to write about finding a cure for cancer and how medical malpractice and lack of government funding is preventing researchers from reaching their full potential. This issue is meaningful to me because I lost my cousin to lymphoma cancer. He received a sepsis infection from the hospital and was never able to recover. Watching him suffer and holding his hand as he took his last dying breath made me realize that no one should ever have to go what he went through or die from the negligence of others. He was also my godfather and he has a special place in my heart so I want to do all I can to make sure that he receives vengeance against this illness. This is also an important issue to me because I want to become an oncologist one day and medical malpractice and cancer research would directly relate to this career.

Cancer is a disease that is caused by abnormal cell growth and reproduction rapidly. The cell’s DNA is damaged which causes the cell to not perform actions normally. There are many types of cancer that can attack parts of the body and spread throughout it. Cancer causes physical, mental, emotional, and financial suffering for patients and their loved ones. As stated by the World Health Organization, “It is the main cause of death worldwide. Deaths from cancer worldwide are expected to continually rise to an estimated 13.1 million deaths by 2030.” In the United States alone, cancer still causes a substantial amount of death, most of which should have never happened.

Amounts of new cancer cases and death

You may think a hospital is always the safest place for the sick, but this is not always true. Many hospital patients’ lives are prematurely ended due to infection which is caused by negligence, medical malpractice, and just plain carelessness. “More than 45,000 cancer patients die from hospital caused infections which also wastes $8.1 billion,” states Miriam Falco in “Hospital-acquired Infections Lead to Substantial Loss in Life and Wastes Billions” Since cancer patients have immune systems that are susceptible to disease and infection, more precautions and care needs to be taken in order for the patient to be safe. As described below by The National Center for Biotechnology information, patients who are unknowingly not responding to treatment are likely to receive an infection depending on their type of cancer.

The frequency of infection is related to the type of underlying neoplastic disease, and most   infections occur in patients who are no longer responding to the therapy of their neoplasm. About 80% of patients with acute leukemia, 75% of patients with lymphoma, and 50% of patients with multiple myeloma develop infection during the course of their disease, and infection is the proximate cause of death in a substantial fraction of these patients.

If doctors are unknowledgable to the fact that a patient is unresponsive, it could cost the patient his or her life. To learn more in depth data about infections in cancer patients click here.

A patient can also die or get worse due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation are harsh treatments that greatly affect the body, and for some people the effects can be deadly. Click here to read more about these therapies and their effects in “Death by Doctoring”.  We should not limit ourselves to to only two main types of treatment. Through research, we can possibly find a more efficient treatment and maybe a cure.

The last obstacle that has to be faced before a cure can be found is government funding towards cancer research and for that matter all types of scientific research. According to  The United States government only gives 2% of their budget to all scientific research. Chief medical officer, Richard L. Schilsky said, “This trend could potentially devastate future cancer research, just when we are on the verge of achieving major progress against cancer and identifying the next generation of effective cancer therapies.” Science is the door to the future that holds advancements and new opportunities that can help our world and we are going to disregard findings that could save lives. Also, cancer research is very expensive along with other forms of scientific research. Research cannot be conducted if there is no money to pay for what is needed. You cannot put a price on a life, which is why we as a country should do everything we can to help cancer patients out of their pain and suffering.

Graph of the United states budget



YATW Blog post #1; School To Prison Pipeline

School To Prison PipelineThe picture depicts public education and Prison Industries as two business men and the public education is feeding the prisons students since as the small mouse states “ follow the money”.

Hey my name is Jesse Stevens and I am currently a freshman at Science Leadership Academy in Philly. For English 1 me and the rest of my peers were asked to choose an issue in the world that we cared about and create three blog post on the matter. The issue that I choose to type about is the School to prison pipeline that affecting students everywhere.This pipeline ruins lives and breaks families and needs to be stopped. In this first blog I would like to just bring this subject to your attention and draw you in so that not only I'm the one making a change but so that you the reader can too.

2 new prisons worth 400 million dollars. Now what happened to the schools and getting an education?Just like the title states this blog and the many that will come after will be about students who are pushed out of school and are being thrusted into prison as a result of the school districts negligence. Students cannot compete against the high risk testing, zero tolerance and are expelled from their schools or even drop out because of these harsh facts. Also the fact that schools are getting less funding for extra programs such as music or art and less funding for guidance counselors. Things that schools really need so that students can be successful.

This issue has great significance because It can and is happening to us.Students educations are being halted by all of the problems that the school districts are having. Since student are not being properly educated and getting kicked out of schools the future of this world is being destroyed since the kids are being sent through the criminal justice system and now have a record.With the record they can’t get a good job, get into the college they want and just overall just have a tougher life than people without a record. to add on once they get a record and can’t do any of the things I previously stated they are more likely when they get out of jail just to go right back for similar reasons that they got locked up for in the first place. Right now to me it feels like a power struggle between  Education v.s Incarceration. As you can see the significance of this issue is huge as it can dictate our future and should impact the way you think about the school district and what needs to be done.

Many students get suspended but here are a few specific statistics that explain my point further.Statistics from the American Civil Liberties Union show that:

  • Black students make up 13.6 percent of Pennsylvania's student population, but they received almost half of the out-of-school suspensions, at 48.25 percent.

  • Seventeen percent of black students were suspended at least once, a rate five times that of white students.

  • One out of every 10 Latino students were suspended at least once, one of the highest Latino suspension rates in the country.

  • Students with disabilities were almost twice as likely as other students to receive out-of-school suspensions – 11.1 percent versus 5.7 percent.

  • Black students with disabilities received OSSs at the highest rate of any group – 22 out of every 100 were suspended at least once.

These statistics are up to date and are very shocking. Not only are healthy kids are being suspended and getting put through the criminal justice system but disabled kids have a higher suspension rate! How come disabled kids are getting suspended more? They can’t help some of the things they do but thanks to certain school policies they don’t even get a chance. Beside the fact that there are more African-Americans and Latinos(so much for equality) being suspended but more importantly the ones that need a little more help in school are just getting kicked out and pushed towards the streets and eventually prison.We have to stop this but for that to happen we need to know more.Stay tune for my next two blog post so we can figure out how to break the school to prison pipeline and help students all over the world. Lets do this together. You the reader can now also be an Agent of change in your own way by getting more people to know about this.See you later!

Here is a link to my annotated bibliography

Also here is a link to a cool game so that you can learn more about the pipeline  


Blog Post #1: Minimum Wage

Chloe Epstein



Blog post #1: Minimum Wage

The U.S.’s  most recent recession started in 2007, and ended in 2009. The effects were devastating, leaving many people without jobs. Today, in 2013 the unemployment rate has decreased to 7%, it was at its highest at 10% in October of 2009.  Although more people have jobs, many of the jobs that people are being employed in are low- income and minimum wage jobs. My essay is focused on raising the minimum wage and how it could benefit the working poor and the economy. I feel strongly about this issue because I think its wrong for people to have to work 40 hours per week and barely get paid enough to support themselves or their families.

The federal minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour. Tipped employees like waiters, hotel maids, bartenders, etc. only receive $2.13 per hour. Full time students are paid only 85% of the minimum wage and given fewer hours, so they can attend school. Once they graduate or leave school they must be paid $7.25 per hour. As you can see this amount of money isn’t very high and many Americans are angry because they feel it isn’t enough income to get by in America. Recently many minimum wage employees, specifically fast- food workers, have been protesting against their employers for a higher wage. Because of this, the government has been deciding if it should raise the minimum wage. Many Americans are unaware of what’s happening with the recent minimum wage debate including the different sides of the issue and the basic facts. That is why I think this topic is significant.  There's much to know about minimum wage and people are very unclear about it.

If you ask corporations and conservatives what they think about raising the minimum wage, most would say it’s a “job killer.” This isn’t  a new opinion for these critics. Since FDR tried to raise the minimum wage to 25 cents per hour conservatives have argued it will increase unemployment and destroy the economy. In 1937 The National Association of Manufacturers said raising the minimum wage "constitutes a step in the direction of communism, bolshevism, fascism, and Nazism." But, the truth is the main reason why conservatives argue against an increase in the minimum wage is because the big corporations that pay so little to their workers give a lot money to Republican campaigns. More specifically, conservatives tell the public that minimum wage workers already earn over $47,000 per year. But, if you do the math $7.25/hour for 52 weeks is only $21,112 per year. And many workers make even less than this amount because not all of them work 40 hours per week depending on how much time they have. Conservatives only tell the public these ideas to protect corporations and ultimately themselves.

This picture shows the amount of hours needed to afford a two- bedroom apartment. As you can see It takes a lot more than 40 hours.

To be comfortable, a family with two children needs at least a 2 bedroom home. But, at an average market value no minimum wage worker in the United States can afford even a 2 bedroom apartment working 40 hours a week. This is how little these workers are paid and this is why so many people are fighting for a wage increase. And while the employees only earn $7.25 per hour, top executives of companies earn $9.4 billion per year which is $4,517 per hour. To make matters worse $7.25 is even lower than the minimum wage wage was in the 1960’s in terms of inflation. Is this really fair?

This picture shows how the minimum wage has gone down since the 1960’s in 2012 dollars.

If we want society as a whole to thrive we have to make sure we all have equal opportunities. We shouldn’t give so little to people who work just as hard as their employers. And even if a fast food employee and the executive of the company have much different jobs that doesn’t mean one doesn’t deserve enough to make a living and support their family. After all the research i’ve done so far, I wonder what the life of a minimum wage worker is like and how they get by. I hope to know more about how we got to this point and what is the government going to do about it. Next time I will come with more information to support the increase on minimum wage and show what it can do for the United States of America.

Click here for my annotated bibliography!


World Hunger


My name is Hanna Dunakin and I go to Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am in Ms. Dunn’s English 1 class. Ms. Dunn recently introduced a new project called “You and the World” (YATW). We are supposed to pick an issue in the world that interests us and we believe is important. During the project we also have to find a way to help the issue we chose, and make people aware of it. You can volunteer, donate, create an organization, make a blog, or anything you think could help.

World hunger and Poverty have always been a interest of mine. My mother has always tried to help the people in need by buying them clothes, food, and during Christmas, toys for kids in need.  Although both hunger and poverty are important issues, hunger is part of poverty. I want my project to be about a specific issue, instead of a general issue.

Nearly 870 million people suffer from undernourishment in the world, that’s one in eight! 852 million of those people live in developing countries, which is 15 percent of the population in those countries. 100 million children under the age of five suffers from hunger and underweight. Each year it has been estimated that nearly 10.9 million children die, at least five million of those 10.9 million die because of malnutrition. This is our future generation dieing. Who knows, our next president could of been part of that group. What if person/s who could of found a cure for cancer, or a solution to immensely decrease the rate of world hunger, died in that group? We could do so much more than what we are doing now. Sometimes I even wonder, do people really know how serious and dangerous this issue is?

Hunger is usually described as starving or lack of food for a couple hours and you need a snack. Hunger is not that simple. The definition of chronic hunger, from, is:

Hunger is a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971)

  • the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food

  • the want or scarcity of food in a country

  • a strong desire or craving

This is a very important issue because it’s not getting the attention it deserves. There are walks, runs, and fundraisers for issues like, childhood cancer (or cancer in general), AIDS, diabetes, etc. but there aren’t any for World Hunger. Although there are organizations that conduct fundraisers to collect canned food and toys for the people in need, it’s not enough. In reality hunger kills more people than AIDS, Malaria, and tuberculosis combined! I’m not saying I don’t care about the people who suffer from these illnesses, because I do. What I’m trying to say is, if hunger is a bigger world issue than three world issues combined, maybe hunger should get at least the same amount of scrutiny.  

The UN (United Nations) has started something called the Millennium Development Goals. It is a series of goals concerning world hunger. For example, obliterate extreme poverty and hunger in the world, decrease child mortality, and many other goals that the UN hopes to accomplish by 2015. Is that enough time to accomplish all the goals they have set, including the goal for poverty and hunger? The goals can be found in the United Nations website. Below there’s an infographic of the UN world hunger and poverty goal:

The UN is bringing awareness to this issue. They set a

goal that they hope to accomplish by 2015.

There is another organization called Heifer International where you can donate money to give a family in need a heifer, goat, or water buffalo. The reason a family gets an animal and not money is because these animals give the families something called the 12 Cornerstones. This is better than money because it gives families immediate help. They wouldn’t have to spend lots of money on their own animals because the animals given to them are donated. If they got money they would buy food and clothes because it would be the only affordable thing for them. With animals they can get nutrition and clothes for no cost. Heifer International works in 36 countries and have helped 20.7 million families so far. Imagine the number of people they have helped.

There need to be more organizations like Heifer International and the UN Millenium Goals if we truly want to bring awareness to this issue. Runs and walks should be organized to raise money for organizations like Heifer. Families need something they can hold on to, something to raise their standard of living during the long term. Money can’t do that which is why the Heifer organization is a great example of what we should be doing. Setting goals always helps people to push harder so that they can accomplish it. That’s why the UN made a goal to fight against hunger and poverty. A man named Rob Rhinehart came up with a simple idea for a solution that could decrease the amount of hunger in the world. Small steps like these turn into huge steps by the end. These are things that the entire world should be doing. 870 million people need our help. Future generations need our help. World hunger needs to be eradicated!

Stay tuned for my next post!

UN Goal


About Heifer International



YATW Blog #1: Sex Trafficking in India


The Not For Sale organization helps victims of Human Trafficking.

Hello my name is Kayla Cassumba and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy in Ms. Dunn’s 9th grade English  class. We were given a year long project called You and the World (YATW). For this project we had the option of choosing an issue in the world that we are interested in knowing more about. The following is the issue I have chosen: sex trafficking. Now you might ask why does a fourteen year old girl want to know about sex trafficking , such a harsh issue that I have probably never experienced? And my answer is that there are other fourteen year old girls going through tribulations and anguish that I can not even imagine. So the least I can do is educate myself and others to try understand the best I can.

According to United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Human trafficking (which includes sex trafficking) is defined as :

the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

This is an international issue that affects men, women, and children. After reading an article in the NY Times , I decided to  choose India as the country I want to focus on because of its highly concentrated sex trade which contributes sex trafficking to be the “third largest global crime.”  In March of 2013, India’s Parliament passed a law making sex trafficking a criminal offense. “But the gap between enactment and enforcement remains unacceptably wide.”

There are many  techniques on the enslavement of women and children. This can range anywhere from gender discrimination to poverty. They promise these women well paid jobs  in order to support their poor families. Soon these innocent girls end up in this lucrative  trade that  will never escape their minds.  The sex traffickers abuse their victims physically, psychologically, and emotionally.The amount of women and children being trafficked just in India is enough for a recent article to name India a “poisonous hub”. and that is exactly what it is. These vulnerable girls, from ages as young as 11 years old, are being “poisoned” by the immoral minds of these traffickers that do not care two cents about these vulnerable girls.Vulnerable is the key word here. The fact that they prey on the poorest ones that unintentionally put themselves in a position to be sexually exploited. To be forced into marriages that they might not even know about. To help their families , so they sacrifice themselves to seek a “well paid” job.

South Asia is currently home to >2.5 million HIV-infected persons, 95% of whom are from India.”How does that make you feel after reading that epidemic? Did you know that HIV-infected women and children have a higher chance of being co-infected with Syphilis, Hepatitis B and other STIs. The health risk of sex trafficking does not just affect India but the entire South Asia. HIV can be spread fast and easy if not protected or educated. Here are other tests conducted in Nepal that affect South Asia.

After reading this post I hope you feel compelled to help victims of sex trafficking in any way possible. Whether you do directly or indirectly it is guaranteed to save a persons life. Many global organizations offer the opportunity to do so. On the CNN website under “The CNN Freedom Project - Ending Modern-Day Slavery” have a list of organizations with ways to help. Here are some featured :

  • Not For Sale -

Not For Sale, based in California, accepts donations and has many suggestions as to how you can help, including ideas for students, artists, etc.

  • Save the Children-

With Save the Children, you can join the fight against human trafficking by donating financially or by sponsoring a child.


UNICEF accepts donations and provides training manuals on the subject of human  trafficking.

  • End Human Trafficking Now-

End Human Trafficking Now, based in Switzerland, is the first worldwide initiative to engage the private sector in anti-trafficking efforts – enforcing its vision of zero tolerance to human trafficking. The association accepts financial donations.

Feel free to do any additional research and keep up with me for Blog Post #2.

Annotated Bibliography


YATW#1: Buy American!

After learning about the labor conditions in China, the country we import the most from ($425 billion worth of imports in 2012) through some disturbing news stories, I realized that it would be a very good idea to try to purchase American made products whenever possible. This not only drives money away from cruel labor practices and towards the American manufacturing industry, but helps reduce our trade deficit. The trade deficit is the amount we export minus the amount we import from a country. If this number is negative, it’s called a trade deficit. If it’s positive, it’s called a trade surplus.

Foxconn builds circuit boards for Apple and other tech companies. Their factory in Shenzhen was the site of several worker suicides in 2010.

So, are these labor conditions that bad? Well as you saw in the hyperlinked text, it is so bad that people kill themselves over working conditions. There is an entire website dedicated to reporting poor working conditions in Chinese factories. According to this report, “deplorable working conditions characterize Apple’s supply chain,” indicating that things like child labor, inhumane hours, and insufficient pay for living are par for the course in the Chinese manufacturing industry.

On a more positive note, buying American goods will reduce our trade deficit because less money will leave the country to pay for imported goods, while our exports will not be affected by an American initiative to buy domestic. In addition, buying American made products will provide incentive for companies to move manufacturing to the United States. For example, a scenario:

    TOY FACTORY, 2017:

ADVISOR: Hey boss! Our sales just dropped a gazillion percent!

BOSS: Why did this happen!

ADVISOR: Our focus groups say they’ll only buy American made, and our toys are made in China!

BOSS: You heard the customers! Move production to the United States!

    In conclusion, you should buy products made in the United States, because by buying foreign made products your money goes toward unscrupulous business practices and increases our trade deficits. Buying American made products also encourages manufacturers to move to the United States because you are willing to spend more for a domestically made good. The extra cost is merely $4 for a cell phone! Is ruining your local economy worth it for $4? In addition, I have a few more questions to leave you with:

Why don’t you buy things made in the United States?

Do you check where the things you buy are made?

Did you know about poor labor conditions in China before reading this article?

Do you know anyone who makes an effort to buy domestically produced goods?

E-mail me at with your answers, if you feel strongly enough to do so.

Here you can find an up to date ticker on the United States trade deficit.

Here you can find the bibliography for this post.

YATW Blog Post #1: Bullying, Depression, and Suicide

Hi there! My name is Ebony Ream. For my Freshman English class, we are to choose a world issue that we feel strongly passionate about. There are different parts to this project. The first part is the research. The other one is actually going out into the world and taking action to help fix it.

My issue is surrounding bullying and its outcomes, specifically depression and suicide. Why? Well, in my experience I used to be bullied because of my weight and being a “teachers pet.” However, it has stopped and I have been able to get through it. My little sister is currently a victim of cyber bullying. Everyday, she would get dirty and nasty text messages from girls she used to call her “friends.” Those messages used to bring her down every single day and night. As her older sister, it hurts to see someone you love, go into the state of depression; exactly being  the reason why I feel that this is a huge issue to not only my family and community, but in the world.Thankfully, my little sister has gotten better each day and is still improving today. Unfortunately, there are many young kids that I know that aren't really able to and the outcomes are tragic.

In the picture, it looks like the girl is around the ages of 10-12. She’s in very deep thought with a very blank and empty face. It seems as if she’s been unhappy for a long period of time.

The causes of most kids’ and teens’ depression mode is no other than bullying itself. There are many types of bullying. Some of the major ones are school, cyber, neglecting, etc. All of which are either physically or mentally. According to this website I cited, girls between the ages of 10-14 are more likely to be targets of bullying resulting suicide.

The information provided on this website, shows how kids in younger ages will more likely grow up into self harming, as a sign of depression. If you take the time to read the information from the website, it offers other resources leading more deeply on depression and the symptoms and signs of how you know that your child is depressed.

Instead of just researching information using articles or pictures, I decided to also watch videos about real life happenings and felt that these three were the best out of the many that I watched.

  • Stand up for Change is a mini video about how you should speak out if you see something that should be changed. Neglecting is a type of bullying that also causes depression. In the video, a boy is being neglected by one of his friends, whenever he’s around a group of “cool” kids. The boy turns into his depression state, and finally decided to take his life away.

  • STRAIN is a mini video showing a real life scenario of how two best friends are broken up because one decides to join “the cool girls” team. That is what exactly happens in this video. So, there are two best friends and one decides to start hanging out with the popular girls. From what I see, they seem to be pressuring her to stop being friends with her best friends, and so she did because she wanted to be part of their “crew” or “cliche.” That made the friend feel depressed because not only have the friend been ignoring her, but the popular girls have been bullying her and hurting her physically. In the end, she ended up killing herself by overdosing on pills, the night of their school prom.

  • Cyber Bullying Virus is a video basically explaining how cyber bullying works and how fast it could spread because of all the access to technology. I wanted to aware people of how cyber bullying works and the results of it because cyber bullying is one of the major and main bullying.

Another thing I would like to focus on are these two graphs right now: (Click here for further information)

Just by looking at the graphs, there are major differences in the heights of the bars. According to these graphs, high school students have a lower enrollment than the elementary but that could vary whether it is the amount of kids in each grade. However, if paying attention to the years of the elementary chart, between the years of 2009-2010 the total amount of kids would be 325, but after that, the numbers started decreasing.The same thing goes with the high school information. Seeing that from 2010-2011 the total is 331, but between 2011-2012, the rating decreased rapidly to 297 total. The school board suggested that the causes for this may be bullying.

Click here for the link to my bibliography.


You and the World Blog #1: Animal Cruelty in America

My name is Jaiye Omowamide and I am a ninth grader who attends Science Leadership Academy. For my English class, my teacher Ms.Dunn asked us to think of and choose a problem in the world that we feel strongly about. Automatically, I thought of animal cruelty and abuse in America. As a child, I've always had a deep affection for animals. I feel as if it is my duty to share with the world, the horrors, as well of my thoughts and feelings on this problems.

As of December 2013, has reported 19,334 cases of animals that were treated in a inhumane way in which 17,100 of those cases were reported in the United States, and that’s not all of them. While hundreds of cases are reported, thousands go unreported and are ignored.

Neglect and abandonment seems to be the highest form of abuse used against animals. Pet expert, Laura Maloney wrote an article for USA Today on her thoughts on animal abuse. Below she wrote:

Animal cruelty could be divided into two categories: intentional cruelty and     unintentional cruelty or neglect. Intentional cruelty means an individual has purposely inflicted physical harm or injury on an animal. But neglect is much broader: It could mean an animal has been denied the basic necessities of care, such as food, water, shelter or veterinary care; it could also mean that the pet parent is unaware he or she is doing anything wrong and simply needs to be educated on how to properly take care of the animal. And at its most basic level, it simply could be the state of being homeless — which is the highest risk factor for any animal in this country.

  Did you read that correctly? Of course intentional cruelty is unable to be solved on my behalf because of the barbaric mind of the beholder, but unintentional cruelty can be! As stated above, neglect is caused because the pet owner has no idea that what he/she is doing is wrong! This is where I come in. I want to use my knowledge to guide those into treating animals with respect and dignity.

This pie chart shows the different types of abuse inflicted on animal throughout the U.S

Following neglect and abandonment is hoarding at 12.3 percent, shooting at 11.7 percent, fighting at 8.7 percent and beating at 7 percent.

Now it’s my turn to challenge this problem. Throughout the next two blogs, I am going document my status as well as provide new information for readers to let them know how I tackle this situation. My goal is to fully educate others on this problem so they can also help the world with one of the many, horrible things it has to offer. I want to make a change and change starts with you! Look out for my next blog!

Click here for the sources that I used and the annotated bibliography





Childhood Obesity: An Escalating Crisis

Childhood Obesity: An Escalating Crisis

Hello, my name Is Luke Watson-Sharer. I’m 14 years old and I’ve always wondered about many national  and international problems.  Since attending Science Leadership Academy, I realize i can make a difference. In my Freshman English class we have been given a challenge to make a difference. Our  project, You and The World, requires us to research an issues, post on a blog, and participate in community service. I know there are many international issues that need to be addressed from Israeli occupation of  Palestine, the Syrian Civil War, human trafficking, and the U.S. drone war.  There are also many issues in the U.S. that need to be addressed including funding of public schools, poverty and the huge wealth gap, and health care.  Nevertheless, I wanted to address a problem affecting many youth but often ignored by youth.  I decided to learn about  childhood obesity.  Obesity not only affects physical health but also emotional health.  I wonder why children of different ethnicities, heights and regions of the U.S. are impacted by obesity.  I also want to know why it is a “growth” epidemic and how it can be halted.

Obesity is a daily problem.  Obesity costs the United States about $100 billion per year.  Unlike a cold or even the flu, obesity does not last a few weeks.  Obesity can consume one’s life.  Today, over 23 million children in the U.S. are obese.  Children and teens who are overweight are susceptible to  chronic illnesses like Type 2 diabetes.  They are also at risk for  high blood pressure. Both of these conditions may shorten their lives.  Since 1980, the percentage of obese children from  6-11 years old increased from  7% to 18% .  Obese teens, 12-19 years old, have increased from 5% to 18% since 1980. Most obese children are at risk of becoming an obese adult with a  very high risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Obesity not only leads to chronic illnesses but also less quality of life . You may also find other possible threats to kids here Medical News Today Childhood Obesity Facts.,11323/mode,content/a,cms/

This is a body scale of issues of childhood obesity.

Austin's Story

This is one of many stories of kids overcoming obesity with diets and other ways of losing weight and staying healthy.

In Austin’s story, he decides to lose weight because his mother is diabetic.  Austin loses over 40 pounds.  This raises his self esteem.  This has convinced me the goal of my project is working to end obesity because it damages self esteem.  While the risk of other diseases is important, damage to self esteem is the most important. lack of self esteem leads to depression.  Depression is debilitating and may lead to suicide. Overweight youth may be teased and mocked for their weight.  Like in Austin’s story, increasing your self esteem and gaining confidence by losing  weight is possible. This may also lead to a decrease in bullying.  Nevertheless, losing weight is not easy.

Some people are genetically prone to gain weight while others are naturally thin.  How should we support people who want to lose weight?  There are many ways to manage and lose weight.  Eating fewer calories is key;  healthy eating is also important.   Exercising instead of spending  too much time using technology and watching TV helps one lose weight. Consistent exercise, whether on an athletic team or running steps in your house, is necessary.  It is also important for parents to be involved in supporting their child’s weight loss.  Parents should know what foods are served at school and what food the child purchases outside of school.  Next, parents should keep healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables in the home instead of junk food. Last, family members needs to encourage each other to increase determination and  lifestyle changes.  Long term weight loss requires healthy eating and exercise.

Currently, I am wondering if overeating and unhealthy eating is a habit,  a family trait or a mixture of both.  I also question the role of advertising and companies that produce unhealthy food.  Also, who is to blame?  Is it the children and parents who purchase the junk food, the child that does not stop eating or the companies that promote unhealthy living?  Is it environment, genetics or both?  I hope to learn how I can step up and help contribute to helping kids in our country and in the world lose weight and gain self esteem in the fight against obesity.

Every year in the U.S.  there are over 300,000 deaths due to unhealthy eating and obesity.  Obesity also makes youth more susceptible to bullying, depression and suicide.   This can be prevented. We need to encourage each other to eat healthy foods and exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight will improve self esteem like in Austin’s story.  Ending childhood obesity will not be easy or quick but we do not have a choice. The materials, physical and emotional costs are too high to ignore the epidemic of childhood obesity.

You can view my Annotated Bibliography here.


YATW Blog Post #1: The Stigma of Mental Illness

Hi! My name is Isabel Medlock and I am a freshmen at Science Leadership Academy. This year in English class we had to choose an issue, research it and then try to do something to raise awareness of the issue or help solve it. The issue I chose is the stigma of mental illness. The reason I chose this topic is because mental illness has interested me before and after reading a little bit more about it I decided it was a good issue to choose. Another reason I chose this issue is that some members of my family are affected by a mental illness.

People perceive mental illness with a negative perspective and that leads to prejudice, discrimination, and stigma. The Mental Health Commission defines stigma as a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart. Many people think that mental illness only affects a few people when in fact in a given year one quarter of adults are diagnosable for at least one mental disorder. Another common belief about mental illness is that all people with a mental illness are violent and should be kept in a hospital.  In a 2006 Australian study it was found that 1 in 4 people thought that depression was a sign of weakness and would not employ someone with depression. 1 in 3 people said they would not vote for someone with depression and 1 in 4 people thought that people with schizophrenia are dangerous.

This is a chart that shows the percentage of adults with a serious mental illness by state:

People who have a mental disorder are discriminated.  In England, if you have a mental health condition you are not allowed to serve on a jury. You can also be removed as a director of a company if you have a mental disorder. In a video I saw one woman said that she wanted to join a local weight loss group. When she told the counselor who ran it that she had a mental illness she was told that she shouldn’t join because she would be disruptive and the other members of the group wouldn’t want someone with mental illness in their group. There are just a few examples of ways that people with mental illnesses are treated unjustly.

In 2008 only 13.4% of adults received treatment for mental health problems. That’s a little over half of the adults diagnosable with a mental disorder. The reason people aren’t seeking treatment for their mental disorders is the stigma surrounding mental illness. The stigma makes people too ashamed or embarrassed to get the help they need. 90% of the people who commit suicide have depression or another mental disorder. Most of these deaths could have probably been prevented if these people weren’t afraid to get the treatment they needed. It’s important that we change the view on mental illness so that people are no longer afraid of getting help and don’t choose to end their lives. People with mental disorders have to live with the stigma and the discrimination every day and it isn’t fair.

These two newspaper headings are examples of how the media portrays those with mental illness.

After researching this topic I have new questions. How did people view mental illness in the past and how has their view changed since then? Are there illnesses that are viewed more negatively than others? Why did people start viewing in a negative way?  How are children and teenagers affected by the stigma of mental illness? As I keep researching this topic I hope to find the answers to all these questions. I also hope to find more stories about the experiences people have had living with mental illness.

Watch for my next post!

Here is a link to a video of a man with schizophrenia and his mother discussing the stigma.

Mental Health Discrimination Bill video

Annotated Bibliography

The Seriousness Of Bullying


       Hi, my name is Ali Driggers. I am a freshman, and my class is doing a project called You And The World. My post is going to be about bullying. Bullying is a very serious problem in the U.S.A. It affects people in very negative ways. Bullying affects peoples’ confidence and many have committed suicide because of this issue. People give up hobbies due to the fact that they have been picked on because of them. Bullying is something that should not even exist.

          There are many forms of bullying. One popular form is called cyberbullying. Cyberbulling is when people use technology to bully others without having to come face to face with them in person. Social media is one way people do this. People also bully through texting. According to, this form of bullying can cause deadly violence, some of  it self inflicted. That is one example of the seriousness of the issue. If something is this harmful, and deadly, we need to put an end to it. Regular bullying is just as bad.

           Bullying is the third most leading cause of suicide. Certain kids have a huge risk of being bullied. The kids at risk are the ones who are “overweight or underweight, wear glasses or dress differently, are new to a school, or unable to afford popular clothes,” says People going through depression, anxiousness, and self esteem issues are at risk. If a kid is viewed as powerless, annoying, isn’t very popular, or is in the LGBT community, he/she is at risk.  People are also bullied about what they wear, how they live, or their religious beliefs. According to, there are 4,400 bullying suicides a year. But what if that is not true? What if it increases and goes up to 4,400 per group (including each letter in LGBT, with depression, anxiousness, and self esteem being separate groups), each day?! That would be 70,000 suicides a day! If that happened, that means there would be 25,696,000 suicides from bullying a year!! That could actually happen.

       (That is an actual boy. His 12 year old best friend killed himself due to being bullied. Does he really deserve this?)

          People have hopes for things. People want their favorite sports teams to win a world series or super bowl. I bet some of those suicide victims could have been hired by the MLB or the NFL, and could have made that team a super bowl or world series winner. Too late for that. One of those victims could have created a clothing brand for women, featuring the coolest and prettiest items. But that person is DEAD!! Citizens all across the U.S should be concerned about bullying. One of those suicide victims could have gotten poverty extinct from the U.S, or could have made sure every kid in our country could be educated. That person is dead, deceased, and will never be met, seen, or heard again!! Bullies are murdering people that would have changed the world for the better. If you care about anything at all, than you should should know about one our nation's worst diseases, and that is bullying!! Right now, we have billions of kids and teens in the U.S. Every time a kid dies, that population goes down! And bullies are contributing to this awful fact.


            Bullying is not a good thing at all. People that don’t commit suicide still go through problems. People have their confidence gone down, and people consider suicide. Bullying victims may also turn into bullies as well. That means the number of bullies is being multiplied. And some bullies have multiple victims, which could mean multiple suicides. Even if they don’t commit suicide, they could be sad or depressed. That is not good at all. Bullying victims could live in fear their entire lives. Bullying victims could also become criminals if they feel that the world is against them. This is huge example of how bullying is destructive to our society

          The conclusion of this article is that bullying is a disease. People are not only getting hurt because of it, but some are dying because of it. Ending bullying would be very helpful to our society in so many different ways. One question I have is this: How is a bully created? Another I wonder is how you can make even the most cruel bullies stop what they are doing. I hope to learn about ways to help kids cope with bullying, and ways to have bullies stopping what they are doing. This way, the nation will be able to figure out how destroy bullying for all eternity.


YATW Blog Post #1: Animal Abuse

When people are angry do they take anger out on animals?

     People with problems tend to abuse animals and neglect them of basic necessities like food, shelter, and water. I believe when people are angry they take their anger out on animals. They do this because the animal is either the closer target or they find joy in abusing animals. So some things that I have found in the website (you can click here), is that facts show that 13% of animal abuse come from a domestic home.  As I researched I have found something on how abuse can affect a child, so when a child is young they learn about abuse by being a victim of it or have witnessed it. So as the child gets older and as he/she gets a certain development with anger issues they would tend to build up anger, and then the child would take their anger out on animals. If the child has not began to seek help by the time as an adult they would go after other things such as peers, children, adults, even the elderly. To them these people would be considered a vulnerable opportunity. Also, family members being held against for child abuse also had abused animals. In in more than half of these cases, an abusive parent had killed or injured a pet a child victim continued the cycle of violence by abusing a pet.

          In one study that i have found on this website is that, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes. Domestic violence victims whose animals were abused saw the animal cruelty as one more violent episode in a long history of indiscriminate violence aimed at them and their vulnerability.Another study that I have found is that, a lot of pet owning women entering women’s help treatment centers reported that they have  injured, harmed, killed or even threatened family pets for revenge or to  control victims and that 32% reported their children had brutally injured a pet or killed a pet. As I have found in my studies about my topic and things that I have heard from the world is that pets may suffer unexplained injuries, health problems, permanent disabilities at the hands of abusers, or disappear from home.

This is a picture of a pit-bull named Remy. This dog was found in June 2013 she was a victim of animal cruelty and abuse. When the ASPCA found her she had two broken legs, skin disease,  and severe muscle atrophy, she also was so weak and frail that that she could not stand or walk. This was caused because she was a victim of animal abuse. To me this is what happens when people are selfish and does not care about the needs of an animal. Although animals are not humans does not mean that we can look at them as a piece of trash, they are still living beings, and we can still treat them with respect as we would want someone to give us.

      This is a picture of a cat named Kylie she was a victim of chemical burns. She was found late last year when a dog owner found her. Kylie was in a lot of pain and it took several surgeries so that Kylie could be healed. Everyone at the hospital fell in love with her as she began to recover. So like I said I do not understand how can people do this to defenseless creatures, Kylie was affected by chemical burns that caused her to lose lots of skin, Kylie is a survivor.  


    This is a dog rescued from a puppy mill, I am not sure what this puppy’s name is but it was found on a facility with a lot of other animals. These animals were rescued in 2011 and people were complaining about these animals. These were animals with problems like mold and matted fur, suffering from infection, dental disease and various other ailments. This is a link to this page if you would like to get more information on that topic.

      One reason that I became interested in this topic is because growing up I hated to see the commercials with animals on them that makes them look really said, and it gets a little emotional. So, doing this is a way to help relieve my sympathy and to get the word out to others. I am hoping that this will encourage people to help abandoned animals in need and if this comes across someone with one of these problems to get treatment or counseling.  


      This concludes my blog on animal abuse if you have any comments, please leave them below and if you would like me to answer leave them below as well thank you for reading my blog. For further information visit my bibliography.



Hurón Rabioso Producciones

Antonio Ibrahim, Francisco Biggs, Cristobal Fey

Spanish 2 D

Antonio: Hola Señor Biggs. ¿Qué tal?

Fransisco: Bien, gracias.

Cristóbal: Se sentar por favor

(Francisco sits down)

Cristóbal: La primera pregunta yo quiero pedir. ¿Qué experiencia tiene usted?

Francisco: Sí, yo trabajo con photoshop y hacer videojuegos en mi computadora

Cristobal: Perfecto, usted va a necesitar este.

Antonio: ¿Qué programa utiliza hacer videojuegos?

Francisco: Yo utilizo Java.

Antonio: Bueno. ¿Podemos ver tus juegos?

Francisco: Sí, estos mis programas.

Cristóbal: ¿Comó tiempo hacer estos programas?

Francisco: Todos de ellos tomó cinco días.

Cristobal: Hmm, Impresionante

Antonio: ¿Porque trabaja sus compania?

Francisco: Me gusta hacer juegos.

Antonio: ¿Qué todo?

Francisco: Tengo experiencia, y me gusta hacer juegos.

Cristobal: ¿Dónde trabajó antes?

Francisco: Yo interné a EA para ocho meses.

Antonio: ¿Qué hizo usted a EA?

Francisco: Yo trabajé su otra programadores en ellos proyectos nuevos.

Antonio: ¿Comó que?

Francisco:  Yo trabajé Mirror’s Edge 2.

Cristobal: ¡Yo no puedo esperar para esta!

Antonio: Yo no puedo esperar también.

Francisco: Gracias.

Antonio: Una pregunta más. ¿Que horas y días puede usted trabajar?

Francisco: Voy a poder trabajar para lunes a jueves y para ocho y cuatro.

Antonio: Esta es bien.

Cristobal: Si, usted espesa más horas de trabajo. Usted puede manejar lo, confiar me.

Cristobal: Gracias por su tiempo Señor Biggs.

Antonio: Si, Nosotros somos contentos a tener usted trabaja para nosotros.

Francisco: Gracias, Hasta la semana que viene

Cristobal y Antonio: ¡Adios!




Daniela Nearn


Me gusta tu guión.

Natalia Monroe


It is very good, I don’t think you guys need to make any corrections.

Aaron Block


Bella Mezzaroba


Cameron Hinton


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Media Fluency

In my slide is a Mclaren P1, my favorite car, and it is facing a road which is shown to have no end. For me that means that we can’t see what is in the future, but shouldn’t spend our time guessing either. I like the quote, and even though it might not represent me, it is how I try to be. I balanced out the picture and the writing, by having it on opposite sides of the slide. The bright orangish color of the car makes it stand out from the background.

In the second picture there is a Pagani Zonda with the words "No Stopping." Many people didn't have any criticism, but it was suggested that the words were moved from in front of the sun. I learned more about how to balance out the slide, pictures to words, and how to make the picture bleed off the page.

(Click on picture to see both.)
Media Fluency (3)
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YATW #1: The Fur Industry

The Fur Industry

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress

can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”   

— Mahatma Gandhi

Hello, my name is Antonio Flores, I am in 9th grade at Science Leadership Academy. I chose to research the Fur Industry for a project called You and the World for English. The Fur Industry is a well known issue in today’s society. The Fur Industry uses the fur and skin of different animals to create clothing items for people. Many people including me are against this because it results in the deaths of many animals that could then become endangered. I chose this issue because I love animals. I think that it is strange how people can wear the skin of animals and not think about all that it went through. I oppose people who wear fur coats. This is some of the information that I put together and it is also something that you should know.

The most spent on fur in the United States was 1.82 million dollars in 2005. However in 2002 the world total of money spent on fur was around 11 billion dollars. Hong Kong is the biggest producer of fur in the world, it annually imports $320 million worth of fur. Around 1 billion animals are killed annually for their fur, with about 80% of them being rabbits.

When people feel that anti-fur trade groups aren’t working, they may become animal rights extremists. The animal rights activists/extremists have gotten 92% of Americans to not agree with them, but disapprove their methods and to get them to look at what they are doing instead of why they are doing it, creating a greater divide between our current situation and a solution. Crimes of animal rights activists have been added to the same category as “from hate-filled white supremacists…to highly destructive eco-terrorists…to violence-prone anti-government extremists…to radical separatist groups” as stated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. People have been taking actions through revenge of the animals, possibly without knowing how it could damage what they stand for.

While researching I came up with some questions. I want to know how many people are against fur-trade and how it correlates to the amount of people who own a fur accessory. I also want to know other reasons why people buy fur accessories besides how “it’s warm.” I also want to know the best sites to go to, to find more helpful information. I hope to learn the answer to them.

I hope to learn more about the fur trade. I think that it is sad how 1 billion animals are killed because of their fur. I am surprised that animal rights activists are so violent to get their point across, or to take avenge animals. I want to know who to go to and what to mention in my next blogs.

Here is my Bibliography.


YATW #1 Exposing the Bias-Women in Engineering

Hello!  My name is Indee Phillpotts and I am a freshmen at Science Leadership Academy.  For a project in my English class we had to choose a topic that interest us and that we care about.  I chose women bias in the Science and Engineering workfield.  I am a young women, and although unsure of what I want to be when I grow up I deserve to have as many options as possible.  

For years and years women have been considered worthless and less important than men.  It was an unwritten rule that the men had the jobs and the women took care of the cooking and cleaning.  That is not the case now.  In these days women have more rights than they’ve had in the past centuries; but there’s still a long way to go.  For instance, men are paid more than women.  On average a women working full time makes $.70 for every dollar a man makes.  But pertaining more to my topic only 11% of engineers in the world are women.  Leaving the other 89% to be men.   

It’s unfortunate that such a small amount of women are in that workfield when women are as capable as men at these jobs.  Like Ada Lovelace for instance.  The majority of people have no idea who she is and what she has done.  That is insane because Ada Lovelace was the worlds first computer programmer.  Without her we wouldn’t be where we are with computers.  If a man was the first computer programmer he would probably be considered the “father of computers.” Which coincidentally when googled is Charles Babbage, Ada's lifelong friend. Charles Babbage actually enlisted Ada to translate a french memoir by mathematician Louis Menebrea, to which Ada added incredibly important notes that would be used by Charles. I'm curious to know if Ada was living in more recent times if her talents and accomplishments would have more recognition then they did back then.


Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) First Computer Programmer.

During World War II when all of the men went to fight in the war, women got to show that they are capable of working too.  Since women were never really introduced to the jobs that they could temporarily have, the government  created a fictional character named “Rosie the Riveter” to inspire women to get jobs.  Women were inspired all right!  Before the war only 1% of people in the aircraft industry were women.  That number jumped to 65% during the war.  Women who had never worked with large machines or engines were doing equally as good a job as the men.  Sadly when the war ended women were replaced with men in their jobs and everything went back to the way it was.   This probably contributed to why the women rights movement came into action.  Once women got a taste of those jobs they wanted more.

Rosie the Riveter, A fictional character created during WWII to motivate women to

get into the workfield.

There’s proof that women are as able as men to do “man's” work.  But then why in present day do less women study for these professions and aspire to be engineers?  It is said that by the age of 4 children are conditioned to think that boys have trucks and build things and girls have dolls and play dress up.  Before children are even taught to multiply and divide they already have it put in their minds that girls can’t do certain jobs.  Because of that conditioning it’s a given that boys will dominate in those fields. This puts girls who want to work in those areas in hard positions.  It’s hard to feel comfortable in an environment when you’re the only one of your gender.  Girls in single sex schools even have a higher participation in physics than in co-ed schools.  Probably due to the lack of competition.  The bias in these work fields is impossible to ignore; especially from a woman's standpoint.  If women and girls are informed about this topic, then maybe we can move toward a more accepting and less biased future.



YATW Blog #1: Concussions in Young Athletes

Hello, my name is Cacy Thomas and I am a 9th grader enrolled in Science Leadership Academy. In my English class we were told to write 3 blogs about an issue that we are passionate about and would like to spread to the world. This is my first blog post and my issue is concussion awareness and research in young athletes. I have cared about this subject since October 2nd, 2011 when I received my third concussion following my first and second concussions on June 6th, 2011 and July 17th, 2011. All within a five month period my life was completely turned upside down.

Before I received my head injuries I had many instances where I had no idea what was going on or even what a concussion was. So just to clear the air and make sure you know what I am talking about, a concussion as described by Centers for Disease Control is,

"A type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump,

blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.”

Click here to see a short video explaining more in depth of the definition of a concussion.

The anatomy of a concussion from The Seattle Times.

My story started in 6th grade. I was outside at recess when I turned around and a football hit my left eye. I didn’t think anything of it until my head kept hurting a few days after the incident. My mom took me to my pediatrician and they were more concerned about the 10% chance that my eye socket was fractured rather than my consistent headache. They sent me to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and the doctors were wondering why I was even there. Only one person told me that I had a “mild” concussion and that it was no big deal. So I shrugged it off, kept playing sports, and doing all of my normal activities. Then on July 17th, 2011, just one month later, I was at a soccer camp and took a bad header (when someone hits the ball with their forehead so it goes in the opposite direction) where I could not remember what I ate for lunch or dinner. Again I was told I received a “mild” concussion and returned to play the next day. Three months after the second incident I was knocked over and kicked in the head in a soccer game and was immediately dizzy and disoriented. We finally went to a concussion specialist and realized that this was serious. Finally after 2 years of physical and emotional rehabilitation, taking 8 different medications and vitamins, being home schooled for about a month, and only using technology for about 15 minutes a day I have been cleared by 2 out of 4 of my doctors. These injuries have affected my vision, emotional state, school work, and my athletic ability. I can never play contact sports again and will never be able to fulfill my dream of becoming a professional soccer player.

One example of a header from where a young girl is preparing to head the ball.

Hundreds of thousands of young athletes are experiencing what I went through; I can’t stand to see that happen to anyone. My concussion symptoms will stay with me forever because of the lack of research of concussions and other head injuries. The fact that my pediatrician was more worried about my eye socket than potential brain damage is very frightening! We can prevent or lessen the dangers of concussions through research and awareness. Things such as baseline and neuropsychological testing are some examples to help know where your cognitive skills were before and after the injury. Neuropsychological testing is explained by The Sports Concussion Institute as,

“...designed to measure cognitive skills and abilities such as intelligence, problem solving, memory, concentration, impulse control, and reaction time, to name a few. At the Sports Concussion Institute, both computerized and standard paper-and-pencil tests are utilized to gather evidence-based, comprehensive data on cognitive functioning before (i.e., Baseline Test) and after (i.e., Post-Injury Test) a concussive injury occurs.”

Here are just some statistics from I think you will find to be very eye-opening. I believe that these numbers can be brought down with proper care, recovery time, and awareness.

50% of "second impact syndrome" incidents - brain injury caused from a premature return to activity after suffering initial injury (concussion) - result in death.

Female high school soccer athletes suffer almost 40% more concussions than males (29,000 annually)

Female high school basketball players suffer 240% more concussions than males (13,000).

400,000 brain injuries (concussions) occurred in high school athletics during the 2008-09 school year.

15.8% of football players who sustain a concussion severe enough to cause loss of consciousness return to play the same day.

Children in our society are not only feeling the physical symptoms of head injuries, but also psychological. Many have been diagnosed with depression, like myself, because they can’t play the sport that they love. I am wondering how I can reach out to those kids in need. And will they be willing to be open and share their stories with me? I hope to learn more about how each individual person is affected differently because no two concussions are exactly the same. I also want to further my research in the psychological symptoms of a concussion to help make a difference in the lives of those who have suffered from concussions.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and feel free to check out my bibliography to see all of my various sources. Also look out for my second blog post!

Click here to read about the very real concussion stories of Ben Zipp, David Bosse, Zack Lystedt, Brandon Schultz, and Matt Peterson.

YATW Blog Post 1: Do you Care?

What Are We Doing To Help The Forgotten of Philadelphia?

Hi my name is Kai Burton and I attend Science Leadership Academy. As a ninth grader in SLA and a student in Ms. Dunn’s english class I was asked to write three blog posts about a topic that I care about. I’m choosing to write about the overlooked citizens in Philadelphia who needed help and turned to the leaders of our state.

(A photo of Gov. Tom Corbett)

   (Mayor Nutter “caring” for his citizens)

But instead of feeling secure, relieved, and helped they feel helpless and unimportant and overlooked. I want to  hear the stories if these citizens and help them feel like somebody still cares. I’m choosing to help out through the Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry, a ministry devoted to helping people who need it most.

The Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry is a private non-profit organization committed to helping families and individuals in the north west who find themselves in                crisis. The Crisis Ministry helps people by supplying them with food, clothing, food, and other emergency assistance based on that individual’s emergency.


(The Crisis Ministry is run out of this church)

The clients of the Crisis Ministry have turned to people like Eileen Jones, the director of The Ministry, to seek assistance. Although programs such as the Crisis Ministry are great and can really be asset to the community it’s not the job of the kind hearted citizens to protect and assist these people. Our city has failed by overlooking the people who they feel aren’t immediately important to the city. What others fail to realize is that some of these people aren’t always educated and don’t know how to be important to the rest of us. So instead sectioning them off into places like the projects we should be helping them and encouraging them so they can be a real asset to the community.

Education is key if we want this part of the community to join the community. I’m not saying that we should drag everybody to school  because that’s just unrealistic. I’m saying that we should educate them on how to help themselves. Although the Crisis Ministry helps people settle down there is so much more to it after that. We should be teaching people how to: paint walls, tighten pipes, how to deal with your toilet overflowing. Skills that people can actually put to use. The greater germantown area is falling behind. Germantown is place with so much potential, but we just have to care a little.

Our leaders don’t care enough about us. Men like Tom Corbett haven’t walked in their shoes, and neither have we. But we see it everyday as citizens of Philadelphia. We need to care or our city will suffer. I want everybody to listen and hear the voice of overlooked and forgotten and remember that they need to be heard, and they need our help. Obviously listening to them isn’t the government’s priority, so it needs to be ours. Together we can help to take back our city.

Please visit My Annotated Bibliography to view more photos and learn more about the ministry as well as Philadelphia.


YATW Blog 1: Video games... Stay Calm!

My name is Adam Cavalier, and I am a 9th grader at Science leadership Academy on 22nd and Arch. For a project, we were given a choice to take on a problem in the world and post blogs about your opinions, facts etc. So, my project is on violence in video games and how violent video games don't cause aggression differently than a non- violent game and how there are ways we can lower the violence and aggression.

So, A new game just released and you decide to pick up the game to try it out. The game turns out to be ridiculously annoying and challenging. You get so angry the controller ends up creating a crack on the wall. You end up returning the initial game and decided to pick up a completely different type of game that had no relations to the first game. The game is played for a while. Also, this game turned out to be ridiculously annoying and challenging. There goes another controller…

No matter what type of video game is played, it will cause aggression depending on your experience and not the actual game. Playing “Call of Duty” and “Hello Kitty Adventure” can both lead to aggression. I have played video games my whole life and I can truly say I have had aggression from a lot of video games. Not just violent ones. It’s the games that seem super difficult, annoying, and challenging. I think there are results to this huge problem mostly every gamer has in their life. either they could go and play some casual games that most likely won’t cause aggression. Or, some games that seem challenging need to include a more balance difficulty level. Mostly every game should give the gamer a choice of difficulty. Not just some games. Mostly every game should. This could possibly end the broken controllers, the broken walls, and taking out your anger on someone else (which i have experienced). All the money that is wasted on controllers won’t be wasted anymore. You might say to yourself “Can't we just protect the controllers better so they don't break?” It is a possibility but it will still be able to knock over stuff. And the controllers wouldn't have the original feel a gamer is used to. Maybe next Generation…

If you're a gamer or your friend is a gamer, you should be very concerned about this topic. If the friend gets mad at a game, that friend might take it out on you.

As said by “Forbes” blog post, “...aggression behavior doesn’t stem from video games: It stems from competition.” This means that aggression does not come from what the game is; it comes from what you do in the game (gameplay).

“Violent juvenile crime in the United States has been declining as violent video game

popularity has increased. The arrest rate for juvenile murders has fallen 71.9%

between 1995 and 2008. The arrest rate for all juvenile violent crimes has

declined 49.3%. In this same period, video game sales have more than quadrupled.”

This is a very good example of how violent video games do not cause aggression. Just because video games are violent doesn’t mean they will cause people to be violent. When moving on to my 2nd blog, I hope to get more research on examples of huge situation (involving violence) about video games. That would sound very interesting. Also, What games mostly cause aggression in video games?


This is a picture of a screen that gives the

option for a difficulty level. this is an

example of something we need in every game.


This is a picture of a kid getting very

mad at a video game. This is a

situation that should be avoided,

This young kid should not have to

scream and feel angry.



YATW Blog Post: African American student test scores

Blog Post #1

My name is Brandon Jones and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. In my English class we were given an assignment to tackle an issue we found and blog about it. The issue I picked was the  test scores of children from different ethnicities and how the scores of African American children were alarmingly low.

For my blog post I researched and found many interesting and informative articles. This particular article reported that African American children scored lower than European Americans in Vocabulary, Reading and Mathematics test. This true, but aggravating statement made me realize how serious this issue is. It is disheartening to read that the gap between the two ethnicities starts before children enter kindergarten and sadly leads into adulthood. The article states that even though this problem cut down since 1970, the average African American child still scores 75% below the average Caucasian child and on some tests, African American children score 85% below Caucasian children.

*above are the percentages of white, black and hispanic students who scored at or above proficient on standardized test*

The article here and the graph above, concerns me and makes me wonder what could be done about this issue. To solve an issue, you must first address the problem, however for his particular issue, there are many possible problems. One being improper funding for students. In Lower Merion, the School District spends $21,399 per student and the School District of Philadelphia only provides $11,078 per student. Another problem is racism and making children feel lesser than what they can be.

As for the solutions, I could go on for days about the possible theories and solutions on solve the issue at hand. Sadly, most of the solutions might not work. For my YATW(You and the World) project me and my partner are going out in the world and going to try to find a solution to this impending issue.

The link to my bibliography is here

YATW Blog #1: Arbitrary Future

“Man begets, but land does not beget. ”

Cecil Rhodes

Hello, my name is Quinn Grzywinski, and I’m a ninth grade student at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA. This is the first blog of three  for my English class; for a project that involves us choosing a subject of interest and writing about it, as well as getting our writing into the world, which is in some ways the whole purpose of this project. I choose overpopulation for my subject, and this blog post provides some key statistics and a possible solution. Hope you enjoy.

I want you to picture something. Imagine a pond, somewhere deep in the forest, full of the richest resources for aquatic life you could imagine. So obviously, the fish that live in this pond flourish, living long healthy lives, and reproduce frequently. But after a few years, the amount of fish has become disproportionate to the pond. and the resources that the pond once had has been used up, and without all the resources the fish die.

This is a grim metaphor for what awaits us if overpopulation is not considered a serious issue to the world. Every minute approximately  269 people are born  and about 108 die; the population is rising every minute, and by the year 2020, yes only 7 years from

A chart of the world’s current population density (

now, the population will reach 8 billion, from its current 6.5 billion. This troubling statistic raises the question. How much people Earth hold while still running high on resources? According “Many scientists think Earth has a maximum carrying capacity of 9 billion to 10 billion people”, so  by that time will there be enough food to eat? Well from the 2 billion tons of grain that the Earth produces every year, we could actually feed a population of 10 billion. Vegetarians. For a population of 10 billion omnivores, only about 2.5 billion or so could be fed. How long do we have? According to the same article, we will reach a population of 9 billion in 2050, and the fabled 10 billion in 2100. You can view the complete article here.

So what does this mean for all major institutions like medicine and energy? Well thanks to resources like clean water running dangerously low, tensions between nations could well result in wars and conflicts. Another is that unemployment and poverty will become a lot more common, because while the population of any given nation may rise significantly, the total jobs may not. A rise in unemployment levels could result in an increased crime rate, and homelessness. I’ve already mentioned that since food may become a lot more rare than it once was around 2100, things like food shelters may become much more scarce, since they may not even be enough food to go around even more the more privileged ranks of society. Global warming may play a part as well, because since coal and natural gases are already being overused, the polar ice caps will melt, and CO2 will be released in dangerously high levels.  

A future coming all too soon… (

However, there is ways to combat the problem. According to a pension I found online, the proper way of dealing with this problem is fairly simple: proper sex education and family birth planning. This way, the number of humans joining the planet can decrease to more fairly balance the deaths per minute. But we seem to be on our way there already. United Nation estimates show that the average sizes of families have been getting steadily smaller over time. The article on explains, “globally, the fertility rate is falling to the "replacement level" — 2.1 children per woman, the rate at which children replace their parents (and make up for those who die young). If the global fertility rate does indeed reach replacement level by the end of the century, then the human population will stabilize between 9 billion and 10 billion.” This means with the proper education and control, we may be able to control the population at a relatively safe level. It won’t be by any means ideal, but at least, it will be survivable. At this “replacement level” the human races population will come to a halt.

So all in all, overpopulation is a serious problem. It will increase global warning, flare tensions between nations, and even may lead to a global energy crisis. But it is by no means a fixed event. All it takes is to properly educate our children and families, and make them understand the consequences of having a big family. If we can teach the new generation, then by the time we reach 10 billion, we will be in control. However, if the proper steps aren't taken, if families do teach and be taught what to do, by 2100, the world, will be at a point where it may be already too late to reverse the damage. Let me remind you, 2100 isn't some distant future, some made-up number, but a future my generations descendants may well have to face, or even maybe well before that. With it being very hard to predict when our species will reach 10 billion, this scenario may happen even sooner, which only increases the need to start worrying about this issue now. Because once we reach 10 billion, it won’t be a gradual decline, where there’s plenty of time to repair the problem. It’ll be more in fashion to falling off a cliff. What happens next lies in an arbitrary future.  

Thanks for reading! See you in Blog #2!

My annotated bibliography is here.