You and the World 3: Homelessness

​Hello, my name is Nashay Day, and for my You and The World Project, the topic that I chose was homelessness. For all of you who do not know what 'You and The World' is please click here and here for my previous blog posts. For my agent of change portion of the project, I tackled the issue of homelessness several ways. My first portion of my agent of change was a survey, and the results can be found here but in summary, the survey was pretty much based on various people's socio-economic status, and stances on homelessness. I took that data recorded, and analyzed it and I saw that 100% of the people surveyed did not believe that homeless people should stay the way they are, and they roughly 85% said that they were willing to do something to help eliminate homelessness. 

For the next portion of my agent of change, I went to Mercy Hospice, a women and children's shelter in Philadelphia. 
During my time there, I donated money and toys to the shelter, and spent sometime talking to the people there.
The people there were so down to earth and appreciative, and I was touched by there vulnerability with someone that they didn't even know. 
But I knew that for my final part of my agent of change that I wanted to take a risk, and really make a change.

For my final part of the agent of change, I decided to walk the streets of Philadelphia donating to, and helping homeless people. 
During my interviews I endured some trouble, but I stuck it out and I felt pretty good about my outcome, I
really helped these people and to see my interviews click hereI was very astonished by some of the things that were said, but I feel that I was able to make a change. 

Looking back on my You and the World, I feel like I really made a change, and that I am now a real

Blog Post #3

         Hello there! It’s me once again! As you guys know for my You and The World project I was fortunate enough to make a difference on a cause that I personally picked, teen suicide due to bullying. This is my final post on my journey with teen suicide due to bullying. On this final blog post I will be informing you about my agent of change part.

      What I did for my agent of change part was quite interesting and fun! I presented a movie called “Bully”. Bully is a 2011 documentary film about bullying in U.S schools. I presented this movie to my advisory and we watched it for 3 advisories. After the movie ended we had an awesome discussion. The room was set up very different from the one in a classroom. We had chairs around in a circle so everyone had the opportunity to see each other and focus when a person was talking. We had a very productive discussion. We discussed the movie and the topic as well. Some of the questions were;  how did this experience changed them in some sort of way, what they learned about bullying etc. Most important, how this experience changed their point of view. I was very impressed with the stupendous responses I received. The discussion went incredible.


   This whole process to me overall was incredible! I’ve never done anything like this ever in my life! Out of all the projects I’ve done, this one turned out to be one of my favorites. I felt very productive at all times during this project. I felt an immense satisfaction with myself as a person because I knew that what I did, was right. I took a bit of my time to impact other teens. During this project I’ve changed a couple things. I wasn’t thinking of presenting the “bully” movie, nor having a discussion with my advisory. I was originally going to join a walking marathon in philadelphia to raise awareness about teen suicide due to bullying. I was going to originally do the walk. It was very hard for to me decide, because I wanted to do both. I took time to think about what I was going to do my for agent of change. Finally I got drafted to the best option, which was to present the movie to advisory.During this experience, many things went well for me. The discussion went extremely well, and I was very proud of the outcome. I’m a shy and quiet person, therefore I was very nervous when it came to the discussion. Specially because I was in charge of keeping the conversation going, but most important; leading the discussion. Since this was a project that I had to present I felt that I had to code switch. Especially because I was talking about a very important topic; It had to be treated with seriousness. Having a discussion about what dress looks better, is very different to a conversation about bullying. It’s still a conversation with teens but just with different restrictions. Other than that, the movie turned out to be enjoyable by the audience, so that went pretty well. Although there was some difficulties, I tried my best to encounter them. During the movie, there was too many interversions along the way.Technical difficulties were always present, but I tried to make the best of it.


When I first started to look for an idea, I thought of bullying right away. I knew it was a very common world issue and I wanted to become part of it. I knew that bullying was bad but I didn’t think it was a big deal. I always knew that I if I wasn’t the one being bullied, than I was in good shape. I only thought of myself. I know realize that it just takes one person to be the difference. The minor things can support another person, and you never realize that. I see myself as a new person. You and The World shooked me in the way that I was very surprised. It changed me in a good way, I’m very fortunate. While I was watching the movie, Bully, I felt some type of way when I reflected myself as one of the bystanders. If you guys don’t know, a bystander is someone who knows what’s being done to you, but doesn’t step up to help you. It haunts me think that as I was being a bystander someone could’ve taken their life. Consideration, is the word that lives in my heart.I understand that bullying doesn’t take one day to end. It’s a process that I’m willing to take, because it all starts with one. Now, I see myself in the community as someone who both; is still learning and who prefers to follow and collaborate in a group. I believe that you can learn new things every day, although I did explore teen suicide and bullying deep in length I still believe that I can learn new things. Specially if I collaborate with other people, it think in this particular case I rather be a follower than a leader. It all adds up to one thing. What do I take from this experience. This experience has been incredible even the littlest things. It has made me reflect as a human being. It has made me grow and think outside the box. I’m extremely proud of the person I am today. You and The World has been no doubt, Amazing.

Thank you guys for your time and remember, it only takes one, be the difference! :)

Click here for Blog Post #1

Click here for Blog Post #2

Click here for Bibliography 

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Screen Shot 2013-05-14 at 10.56.55 PM

You and the World Blog Post #3: HPV/Cervical Cancer

I’m back and it’s May! It’s now time to wrap up the final part of my You and the World project, an Agent Of Change. Since my last blog where I did an interview with my mom and shared her story, I’ve brought it to whole other level. To make my big shabang, I decided to do a presentation on HPV/Cervical Cancer Awareness in front of Science Leadership Academy’s entire 9th grade class. After arrangements were made, on May 1st, 2013 I went to the Franklin Institute and gave a presentation on awareness and then brought up my mother to share her story. At the end we gave out teal and white ribbons that were hand crafted by my mom; the colors that symbolized HPV and cervical cancer awareness. 

Getting to where I did wasn’t an easy decision for me at first. The idea of a grade wide presentation was awesome, but actually finding the will to do it was hard. So then I decided that maybe a presentation in front of my advisory would cover it, but I like to be different with what I do so during spring break I emailed Luke Van Meter. Luke handles most relations with the Franklin Institute and SLA, so I asked him if I could go up during April in the Musser Theater to present in front of the 9th grade. After ironing out details I went up on May 1st and presented. Was I nervous? Absolutely. Do I regret my decision?Never. The overall point of this was to get a message across to at least one person, and I ended up with 125 instead.

This project has impacted me greatly. I learned so many new things about HPV, cancer, health issues on both men and women, what was really happening to my mom, etc. I know my project has been heard and that the message was received because if you weren’t listening to me, you definitely heard my mom. I’ve gotten messages and people thanking me for my presentation afterward, but I’m just glad they listened and didn’t fall asleep. What I’ve taken as an experience was public speaking. I feel like it’s helped increase my leadership skills greatly which was something I was very bad at before. I’ve learned that I like to work and think independently as opposed to following someone in a group. It’s all part of my high school development as both a student and a person.

The following video is an edited version of my presentation, but if you want to see the full version I’ll leave a youtube link as well. And that concludes my You and the World project of 2012-2013

Other Links:

Blog Post #1

Blog Post #2

Annotated Bibliography

FULL Presentation Video

Photos Below

HPV Photos

YATW Blog 3 Hurricane Sandy

Hello People, Today I am writing my last of my 3 blog posts on Mrs. Dunn’s English 9 Blog. Yes I know it is sad, but I will continue my agent of change and help the Jersey Shore rebuild from the horrific damage done by Hurricane Sandy.

Some Background Knowledge: 

Over the last year, I have been informing people all throughout the SLA community about Hurricane Sandy Relief. Now the reason I picked this topic is because I was effected by this. It destroyed where I spent my summers for 14 years of my life. I also chose this because most of the people in my school saw it as 2 days off. I saw this as a life changer. I knew I needed to help some how and some way.....

I had to do something, like start donating or making shirts, but I had no structure. When Mrs. Dunn announced this project, I knew exactly what I would do. Hurricane Sandy Relief. 

What I Did:

The Donation Jars I made are at the bottom of this post.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been collecting money for the Hurricane Sandy Relief. I put donation containers in my mothers work which is at the Franklin Institute in their private executive kitchen and over 35$ were raised there. I also did presentations to my Mom, Dad, and my Mom’s Boyfriend. I sat them down and explained what I was doing with this project and exactly what my agent of change was. It was very successful and in those cases I raised over $40. Now I am a huge Supreme Collector, Reseller, and Enthusiast; now over the last month I have made over 15 sales. From the money that I made, I set aside 10% to donate to the cause. I raised over $20 from that.

Over that time I raised over $95 for the cause and all of that money will be going to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief. 

I am still getting donations from family members and I will do the final tally of donations by May 23rd. This will be an ongoing project. 

Some challenges I encountered when I was doing my agent of change was how to get myself out there. Well like I said above I went up to my family and that is where I got my word out to and I was collecting money from them. 

The Impact:

Some people lost it all and that is not fair at all, they never deserved this.This may not sound like a lot of money raised, but it actually is. This $95 is going to a great cause. The money is going towards the nails that help rebuild a families house, the wood planks that allowed the kids to play cars on, the clothes that the families use to wear, and the food they use to eat.  I feel that this will go very far and that the people that have actual organizations are doing such a great thing. The families that you are helping are so happy and thankful for what everybody is doing for them. 


I am sorry, but this is coming to the end. There will be no more blogs, but there will be more donations. There are plenty of ways to donate and there are so many organizations being started for this. I will list them here: 

All of these sources are very legit and will help people. 

Thank You For reading and staying till the end!

Links to other blogs :

Blog #2 

Blog #1 


Blog Post Three: Why Abortion is Wrong

Hi, I am Andrew Roberts.  if you remember,  I have posted two other blogs on this subject, which are here: blog 1 and blog 2.  I am one of the only conservative minded people in my school, and stand up for my opinions and beliefs.  One of those is abortion.  I think that the conservative, pro-life side of this issue is not presented enough, and wish to change that.
I must say quickly that being in a liberal city has influenced my opinions.  It has helped me see the whole story of every topic, and has helped me decide on each.  I want others to be able to do the same.
I have enjoyed this whole project on the whole.  I enjoy debating with others on topics such as this and also their topics.  I think that this has also helped me clearly define my beliefs about abortion, but there were most definitely bumps along the way.  At the beginning, I had was very stressed out about this project.  What would I write?  How would I be able to hold my ground?  What would I do for my Agent of Change part?  I had two or three hard nights of this, but I think that I have learned much from that and am proud of the work that came from this.  One thing I decided along the way is that what really needed to be done was to get my side shown.  I did not originally thing of this, but later I realized that that is kind of what I was doing all along:  giving my reading audience that facts that are hidden by the media.  
I think that because of these posts and my research I am much better educated on this subject.  I will be much better prepared for debates I will have in the future; I actually did debate one of my classmates, and, while I did not "win", I did do much better than I thought I would.  I had a way to answer every question and a defense for (almost) every point.  If I continue my interest and passion in this issue (which I most definitely will) I think I will be able to make a bigger impact on this city, and these blogs were the start of that passion.
My agent of change part went along with that theme.  Part of this project was to go out and do something to change your issue.  Wanting to get the word out, I decided to attempt to publish an Op-Ed in several newspapers.  Starting out with my first blog as a base, I change =d it to be more of an editorial and not a blog.  I also made the quality of writing higher in hopes that I would get published.  I sent this Op-Ed (entitled The Other Side) to the Daily News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and a student-run online newspaper called Mighty Post (you can see that site here).  I was very disappointed by the response.  The Daily News sent me an automated 'we have received your submission' email and the Inquirer sent nothing.  Someone at Mighty Post sent me a detailed email about editing my op-ed, and I was grateful for the care he showed.  However, I emailed him back two weeks ago and have not heard anything else.  I did try to get my op-ed out as much as I could, putting it on my facebook page several times among other things,  but I was hoping for more.  I will continue to try to get this published.  I was able to make my op-ed into a newspaper article format, which you can view here.  Google Docs uploaded it terribly, to better view it download it.  I will also include the pdf as a picture in this blog post.
Thank you for the time you gave to me by reading my blog, and if you want to contact me feel free to do so at  

Blog Post 3

Boys Ultimate Beats Abington Friends

In their final warm-up game before the State Qualifying tournament this weekend, the SLA Boys Ultimate team had one of their most convincing wins of the season, beating Abington Friends 15-4. SLA was led sophomores Brian Birkmire with four goals thrown and two goals scored, Julian Makarechi with two goals scored and three goals thrown, and junior Nuri Bracey with seven defensive blocks. 

The team plays in the Division 1 Philadelphia Area Championships at Archbishop Carroll on Saturday, go Rockets!

Human Trafficking: Agent of Change

As you know from my previous blogs this is a blog for the You and the World Project. My name is Milahn and this is my agent of change blog. This will be the final blog for this project I hoped you enjoyed and/or found my information given in the past useful. For an Agent of Change part of this project I went out in the world to try to help trafficked women in the United States (Philadelphia). Helping these women showed leadership, helpfulness, and confidence in what I believe in. 

For the final part of the You and the World Project I made twenty toiletry bags and donated them to the human trafficking center. All of the bags consist of tooth brushes, toothpaste, and soap. Additional items were added to the bags such as powder, deodorant, lotion, perfume, and mouthwash. These items weren’t in every bag but each bag received the same amount of items. Also the bags each had a snack, a bag of chips or hershey kisses. The items were donated to me from the dance ministry at my church. A mass text was sent out to the entire ministry and almost everyone contributed. The ministry runs from ages 4-18. The bags were taken to the shelter on May 8th but the bags were all made April 29th. The shelter was located in Kensington. At about 9:30 p.m. I arrived at the shelter. The volunteers really appreciated the bags especially since it was coming from a teenager. They were very surprised to see that a child, such as myself, was interested in helping a very important issue in United States. 

My process was very long. My original idea was to volunteer at the shelter with my mother. This experience would have been an advantage. I would have experienced how to work with other people that were in need of help. I had to change my idea because I wasn’t allowed to volunteer unless I was eighteen mainly because of safety. After trying to see if i could volunteer at a couple other shelters and getting the same response I had to find something else to do. My next option was to give a presentation with specialist on human trafficking. By this time there wasn’t enough time to put together a presentation so my last option was to make bags and donate them. This idea seemed to work out better than I thought it would. Even though I would’ve liked to go to the volunteer I feel as though I still helped out a lot of women. 

This project has impacted me a lot. I used to go to nursing homes, shelters, and drives because I had to for school. I never thought I would want to go just to help out people. This project helped me realize that there is a lot to do in this world and a way to make a change. Now I see myself as someone who can lead to help human trafficking i the United States be recognized as a highly important issue in this world. I am still learning more and more about the issue everyday through research. I will take a lot from this project such as leadership, confidence, and change. These three things will help me on my journey to help stop human trafficking. 

Click here for website
Click here for blog #1
Click here for blog #2

Every Animal Deserves a Home... Part 3

As you know from my previous two blog posts, my name is Ava, and I am a teenage girl from Science Leadership Academy that is making a difference in the community. I can’t believe I am already writing my third and final post to this project.

(Click here for my first blog post. (Every Animal Deserves a Home) Click here for my second blog post. (Every Animal Deserves a Home... Part 2.)

For my Agent of Change part in my You and the World service project, I have been volunteering at animal shelter for 7 months now. I started in early November, and have been going as often as I can. Overall, it’s been an absolutely inspiring project, and without having this due for English class, I don’t think I would’ve gotten into it so easily! Helping people is one thing, because you can communicate and encourage them to improve themselves and the community, but helping animals is another thing, because they can’t speak our language, and don’t have anyone to speak up for them. Through this project, I have learned so much and have been able to say that I’ve been making a difference in the world, one animal at a time.

To begin, I had to take an orientation session at Operation Ava, the shelter where I have been volunteering. They helped you get to know the ropes, and know exactly what you have to do, and where everything is. After that, you were free to go to the shelter as you pleased, walking dogs whenever you could manage, and playing with cats. I began by walking dogs in the yard, so you could get a feel for the dog, and understand how to hold the leash, etc. After a while, I could walk them out on the street and through the park. I started playing with cats as well. The cats were really adorable. I was petting one cat named Brody, and then leaned down to pet Soza, and before I knew it, Brody was on my back and licking my neck. I also washed and groomed lots of dogs. It’s strange when you wash the first one. There’s a huge sink, large enough to fit a pitbull, and there’s a hose connected to the top. Most of the dogs liked getting cleaned, but some didn’t like it, and I got all wet. 

This project has had an extremely huge impact on me. I realize that through just coming to the shelter, the people there are so nice. They have since then inspired me to be more outgoing. Being in front of people, or with new people has been really hard for me, but by taking the opportunity to help animals, I’ve also been helping myself. I have definitely seen the difference, and I’ve been saying as much as I can to new people. 

So far, I haven’t encountered any problems besides the fact that I can’t go and volunteer everyday! I have ice hockey four times a week, now that the season is over, so it’s been a little difficult to squeeze in the volunteering, but I’ve managed so far.

I feel like I’ve also inspired other people, because when I tell people about how I volunteer at an animal shelter, they might want to get themselves to go and volunteer as well. 

In the community, I see myself as a female teen that people may be bias towards. I know that through my experience, teens have many stereotypes, such as being lazy, listening to loud headphones all day, being rude, and not caring about school or the people/things around them. I hope that through this project, people will be able to have a more open-minded view on teens, and realize that the stereotypes are not all true, and that we can be whatever we want to be. I know that I’m still learning, and that nobody is perfect, but through this project, I have been striving to be a better person. I’ve usually been a follower, depending upon the group of people I’m with, but since I started volunteering, I’ve realized a definite change in my schoolwork. I’ve been taking more of a leadership role, and I feel that I’m becoming someone that represents Science Leadership Academy better.

I’m going to take this newfound courage and leadership, and use it to make a better community for everyone. I think that I have already started subconsciously, becuase I’ve been taking a leadership role in school already!

Please click here for my bibliography.

I hope you take the time to watch my video showing the shelter, dogs and cats, and featuring a few brief interviews that were done with the Operation Ava family. Please like, subscribe, or share with your friends! Operation Ava said they might even be able to feature my video on their site, so please like and share! It will also be passed along to the founders and their mother by the director of Operation Ava!

To watch an amazing video, please click this sentence. Thank you!

Please watch my video! Over 10 hours of work went into it. :)

Picture Below:
Sade Lawal holds Pompom, one of the dogs featured in my video.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-14 at 9.28.17 PM

YATW Blog#3:Animal Abuse and Cruelty

This is the third and final portion of the You and the World project I have been working on for the past six months. My first and second blog have both led up to this one post where I present the work I have done in the world to combat the problem of animal abuse and neglect. Just as a reminder, the You and the World project is an assignment that allows my classmates and I address an issue in the world that we want to assist in eliminating, We simply try to help solve the problem or be part of the solution by volunteering or raising awareness. So here is what I did.

I went to Operation Ava at 3rd and Poplar St. in Downtown Philadelphia and volunteered roughly 10 hours so far walking dogs. I do plan to continue my work there because it is requested you volunteer there at least 25 hours or three months, but I also enjoy working with the dogs, so for me, it is not even like working. I have served my 10 hours over 5 days, April 9th, 10th, 16th, 22nd and May 2nd. I worked an average of 2 hours each visit because I usually went after school and I had homework to do after I was done there. During my time here, I walked/played with about 20 or more dogs and sometimes the same dog multiple times. I have really enjoyed working with all of the dogs and cats at Operation Ava.

The process I went through to compete this project was first, submitting a volunteer application. I was scared to do it at first because it would be my first time volunteering by myself and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to provide the help that the animals needed. Eventually, I sent in the application in less than a week, I heard back about going to orientation. That was really exciting for me because that meant, they thought I was good enough to work with the animals at their shelter. I went to orientation on April 7, 2013 with about 10 other people and I was very nervous about meeting all of the people because I am usually a shy person, but I was fine in the end. The next day was the first day I volunteered and I didn’t know what to do at first. Then I asked the girl at the counter what I should do, and I was told to take some of the dogs out in the yard. When I did that, I met another volunteer and she helped me through the rest of my first day. She was a really sweet senior at a high school nearby. I have not seen her since then though. My confidence with the dogs has improved greatly. I now take them for about 20 minute walks each which means I walk 5 or 6 dogs each time I volunteer. I think everything I have done at Operation Ava has gone very well with exception for one dog, Charlie. He is a Chihuahua and I decided I would take him into the yard and let him run around a little bit. I got to the yard and took him off his leash and he did his thing, but when I went to bring him back in, he refused to let me put his leash back on. As a result, I was chasing him around for a good 10 minutes to get his leash on and by the time I did, I was exhausted. I haven’t taken Charlie out since then. I think that is the only problem I have ever encountered during my volunteering. Everything is great with the volunteering I have been doing.
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Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 7.26.53 PM
This project has ben a life altering experience. Since doing this project, I have been propelled to spend more time with my own dog, Oreo. It has also helped me to be more confident in the things I do and look on the bright side rather than the dark. For example, I worried about what I would do if I did not get cleared to volunteer at Operation Ava when I could have thought about what I would do when I was cleared. I am more comfortable exploring new areas on my own as well because when I was volunteering, I had to get to know the area and where to take the dogs for the walks and even getting there was a new adventure. Because of this project and the work I have done, the world and community can know more about animal abuse and neglect. From both the video I have put together on my experience and through my previous blogs that inform people with facts on the issue. In the community, I see my self as a tremendously helpful person who can make an impact and cares enough to spend free the time I have volunteering and walking dogs, as a full-time high school student. It may not seem like much, but many other kids would not even take the time to think about doing something as positive as working and socializing with dogs. Especially since many of the dogs in shelters have been through more traumatizing experiences than many people will ever go through. I believe I have given the dogs I have worked with, some relief from the stressful environment that comes with being in a shelter and reassurance that they are truly loved.

What I will take away from this project is a new understanding of what ’volunteering’ is and bonds with all of the animals I have worked with and the ones I have yet to work with. From this experience, I have also learned that I am much more independent than I once thought. A year ago, I would not have had the audacity to go somewhere I have never been, by myself and volunteer to work with people and animals I have never met before. Or to take Septa there, because this year is the first year I have really had to take it anywhere. One final thing I have learned is, no matter how young or old, shy or confident, you can make a difference somewhere as long as you really want to. I hope from my experience, I inspire others to go out and make a difference in the world. 

I am really proud of all the work I have done with this project and thrilled with what it has turned out to be. Thank you to Ms. Dunn, for giving us this wonderful opportunity to go out into the world and make a difference. This is absolutely, one of the projects I will remember for years to come.

Click here for my bibliography.

Des O'Donovan Agent of Change

For my “ You and the World “ project I choose to focus on the issue of animal vehicle collisions. After researching this topic I realized that there is a major issue with vehicle collisions involving deer. I live near Wissahickon Valley Park, and in the park their have been deer that have been hit by cars. I decided to focus my issue on local deer collisions. 

On a particular road near my house their have been some collisions with deer. Wissahickon Avenue runs between Carpenter’s Woods and the rest of the Wissahickon. Many animals, including deer, have to cross this road. The road is very busy, and the cars move very fast. Occasional collisions with wildlife are almost inevitable. Maybe if people knew about the risk of hitting deer, they would be more careful, thus reducing the number of collisions.

So, for my agent of change part I was able to get a deer crossing sign posted on Wissahickon Avenue, so that drivers will know to watch out for deer. The sign isn’t actually posted yet, it will take a while before the Streets Department manages to get it put up, but I do have verification that the sign will be posted.

It may seem like getting a sign posted is a pretty easy task. But trust me it’s not. Putting the sign up myself would be illegal, so I had to request it from the Streets Department. The problem is that making a request is not enough. In order for the sign to be posted I needed to get other people to request the sign. I put up signs around West Mount Airy and on the bulletin boards in the park telling people to go the Philadelphia Streets Department website, and request that a deer crossing sign be posted on Wissahickon Avenue. 

Presentation on my Process:

I also raised awareness of my issue by requesting that people go to the Streets department website, and report deer road-kill incident, on the Friends of Carpenter’s Woods website. People saw my signs and I got some publicity. Someone saw my sign and promoted my cause in the Chestnut Hill local newsletter, and in January, while I was photographing a dead female deer on Emlen Street, Brian Rudnick interviewed me about my project, and wrote about it on his blog. Also Barry A. Bessler, Chief of Staff

Office of the 1st Deputy Commissioner, Parks & Facilities Philadelphia Parks & Recreation requested that the sign be posted to the streets department. He also pointed out to them that there are deer vehicle collisions that occur on Allen's Lane, which is near Wissahickon Avenue.

Chestnut Hill Local Article Rudnick Article:

I needed to do a lot of things in order to get this to happen. The first step in getting this done was to request that the sign be posted on Wissahickon Ave. to the Philadelphia Streets Department. I also needed to write to Cindy Bass from City Council.  

In order for a deer crossing sign to be posted in an area, the area needs to be declared a deer crossing area. For that to happen, there have to be reported incidents of deer being killed in said area. The problem I ran into was that there weren’t any reported incidents. This was annoying because I have seen four deer killed by cars on Wissahickon Avenue in the past two years. 

1. A six-seven month old female fawn struck by a car, found dead ten yards from the road in  October of 2011. Her stomach was swollen due to the impact.

2. A full grown, eight point male found dead one hundred yards from the road in November 2011

3. A doe found dead 100 feet from Wissahickon Avenue in December 2012.

4. A young male with his antlers cut off (featured in photo) found on the edge of Wissahickon Avenue on January 3, 2013

There was also an article about a deer that was hit by a car on Wissahickon Avenue after being chased by a dog, which I put in my first two blog posts, in the Friends of the Wisshickon Newsletter. I sent this, along with the other incidents I had seen, to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. I also asked others to report any incidents they might have seen. I contacted David Dannenberg, who is on the Board of the Friends of the Wissahickon. He lives near Wissahickon Avenue and he had some incidents to report himself. 

Click here to read about them

The main way that I wanted to go about solving this problem was to get a deer crossing sign posted, and to get people to watch out for deer. But as you can see by some of David Dannenbeg’s incident reports, and the article in the Friends of the Wissahickon Newsletter, off-leash dogs chasing deer across roads, and into oncoming vehicles is also causing these collisions. It is required by law that dogs remain on leash in Fairmount Park. This to insure the safety of people, dogs, and wildlife. Sadly this rule is often broken by dog walkers, causing dogs to harm wildlife. Some of theses collisions could be prevented if dog owners kept their dogs on leashes.  

I received email conformation from Job Itzkowitz that the deer crossing sign will be posted. It will take a while for it to be posted because these kinds of things take a while, but it will happen. This sign will hopefully reduce the amount of deer getting hit by cars on Wissahickon Avenue, and make Carpenter’s Woods a safer place for wildlife. Deer are abundant in Fairmount Park, and we have to learn to co-exist with them. Despite the fact that there is an over population of them, and they destroy gardens, demolish plant species, and spread lyme disease (which I have gotten twice) I think that deer are beautiful, peaceful animals that deserve to be protected from vehicles, as do all other species of wildlife.

This project has shown me that getting change to happen is a challenge. When I first started my Agent of Change I thought that it was going to be pretty easy. But it turned out that I had to get a lot of publicity and support to make this happen. I think I greatly benefitted my community by getting this necessary sign posted, and showing others that this is a major local issue. I made an impact on the rivers in my neighborhood and the local wildlife. This project was largely an individual project, buy I couldn’t have done it without the support of The Friends of the Wissahickon, the Friends of Carpenter’s Woods, from the Philadelphia Streets Department, City Councilperson Cindy Bass, The Pennsylvania Game Commission, Brian Rudnick, and my Mom and her connections with the Friends of the Wissahickon, and the help of my Community, and their willingness to take action on this issue. Thank you.

Blog 1

Blog 2


YATW Blog #3: Teen Depression

Since the second blog, I’ve taken my plans into action. Almost every week on Thursday, I’ve asked some class mates to come and join the SLA Support Group Lunch. Surprisingly a hand full of students arrived. It’s fine to start small, it’s easier to control.  I’ve had about 4-5 or so support group lunches and they’re around an hour long. I hold this lunch in my english teacher’s room during Y band lunch. This group of kids are ranging from 9th grade to 12 grade. My idea was to generate a “theme” for each week. For example, our discussions have been well organized with the help of Siobhan, our school's counselor's intern. She’s been guiding my support group lunch into something more planned out.

The first week, which was the introduction, consisted of getting to know each other and explaining what “Safe Space” is. Safe space is basically an area where students can say anything they wish and not get judged. Also in the safe space, we’re not allowed to discuss what happens outside of the area, therefore defeating the purpose. The students who came to the lunch, understood and followed that main rule. At first the group of kids were extremely shy about sharing. I thought, I’d talk about myself and my story first so my peers can see that it’s fine to talk about personal infomation regarding their lives. Everybody only shared little things in the beginning, which I’m alright with. They were making progress. It turned out totally different than what I imagined before the actual lunch took place. In blog oneoriginally I wanted to create a formal support group where everybody sat in a circle and discussed their problems. I've looked up images of "Support Groups" and that was the major theme of them. Here's one example that I looked off of when thinking about a support group.  Thinking back to it, that was such a horrid idea. I' I'm glad how it's really chilled and relaxing, and not stiff. 
The next week I held the gathering, we talked about what depression is, what it looks like (symtoms), and how does one cope with it.  The great thing about having these free discussions, is that we jump from one topic to another. In that hour lunch time we might either talk about the main subject or a couple different ones regarding depression. During the second or third lunch, I’ve been noticing an abundence amount of comfortablity within the members. They’ve been sharing more and they are comforting each other. This project has already impacted my life because I have this bond and trust with this group of people I’ve never thought in a million years I would ever talk to in my high school life. People are actually looking forward to my lunches now on. The people who are attending frequently are my motivation to go on wared through out my four years of high school.
photo 5This picture was taken on April 18th, 2013.

The theme of this week was Friends & Family. During the discussions, the key points were jotted down on the board. This shows how we jump from topic to topic but still relating back to the main theme of the week. 

Here is my Bibliography 

YATW Blog Post 3 Zoe Schwingel-Sauer

Food labeling is my game and Zoe is my name. If you’ve been following my previous two blog posts (which will be listed below just in case you haven’t) you will know that for my You and the World project done in my 9th grade english class I have been researching all about food labeling. I think that it is now a hot topic of this year especially in the United States. More and more people are becoming aware of this prominent issue and protesting against it. I believe that within the next couple of years some major changes will be made!

For my You and the World agent of change I decided to help those who wanted to shop for organic and GMO free food. For my agent of change I made a pamphlet on exactly how to shop for these items and also gave a little information to educate more people on the subject of food labeling and what is actually in your food (disclaimer: it is gross). I made these pamphlets and then decided I needed to hang them up someplace I knew that people would have easy access to. I live in Mt. Airy and also just so happen to be right around the corner from the Weaver’s Way Co-op. This little mini-grocery store has strictly organic and locally grown food products which made it a perfect match for where to put up my pamphlets. Right outside the Co-op, protected from the rain, is a huge bulletin board where anyone can hang up anything from house listings to babysitting advertisements. I pinned up quite a few of my pamphlets and plan to replenish them as needed!

The process of my You and the World had it’s ups and downs but eventually everything worked out nicely. When it came to choosing a topic for my You and the World project I had originally gone with gay rights. However I realized that there were also three other people with that same topic, too, so I felt that it would get all the attention it needed without my help! While in 8th grade I had read the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and watched Food Inc. I became acutely aware of how terrible this affair is. As I was pondering over what my topic of choice should be, I remembered what I had learned the previous year. At the time I knew that the issue of labeling food had not been recognized as big deal because it was (and still is) perfectly legal for companies not to include the antibiotics or GMOs the put in the product on the label. I knew I had found my topic! For blog post 1 I did a lot of research on what was currently happening with the government’s involvement and what was happening on a national level. For blog post 2 I did my individual research which consisted of my going out and buying organic and ‘natural’ peas and comparing them. I also talked about success stories of a store and restaurant that had gone all organic and local. When it came to deciding what my agent of change should be I knew that I wanted to make others aware of my subject while also helping them find food that had no GMOs and was all organic. I also knew that I wanted to make my finished agent of change available to everyone. Originally I had thrown around the idea of putting an ad in the Weaver’s Way newspaper but that costed money, so I decided to make a pamphlet that was easy to understand and convenient to just stick in your purse or shopping bag.

This project has definitely left an impact on not only me, but I believe my

community, too. I had a little previous background knowledge on the topic of food

labeling and the food industry but with this project I did a lot of in depth research and

definitely grew more knowledgeable about the entire food industry and what’s

happening in relation to our country. I used to occasionally eat at a fast food

restaurant when I was on the road traveling with my family but not just the idea of the

food repulses me. Fun fact: Chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s are sprayed with

0.2% of
Tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), which is a chemical that if consume 5

grams is proven to be fatal. I feel that my project has had an impact on two

communities. One, my internet community as I have shared the link to my blogs with

my fellow peers, and multiple people have told me how much they learned. My second

community (my physical one), Mt. Airy, has been impacted by my pamphlets that I will

continue to hang up and give out to anyone who wants to know more about what they

eat and where/how to get the “good” food. I feel that I can take a leading role in my

community by helping out in the numerous organizations surrounding me and by also

providing the community with my own creations like my pamphlets. I also think that I’d

like to collaborate with those around me, especially the youth in my neighborhood,

because I feel that we as a group have a powerful voice. I will take away from this

project the learning of my topic in general but also how everyone can make an impact

big or small in this world and that all or important. I know that creating my pamphlets

won’t solve all the food labeling issues in the country but it’s a step forward by

educating people on it and helping them eat right.  

Blog Post 1

Blog Post 2

Annotated Bibliography

Video Proof!

Below is a documentation of my process of making and putting up pamphlets!

Photo captions:
1. The pamphlet so everyone can have access to it!
2. Myself standing next to the pinned pamphlet.
3. The Weaver's Way Co-op sign.
4. My pamphlet on the bulletin board.
5. The first printed copy of my pamphlet.
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YATW Blog Post #3

For the final post of this year, not only did I have to research my issue on Bullying, but I had to go out into the world an address the issue to someone, or a group of people this was called an Agent of Change. I knew from the beginning I would teach a younger group of kids about the affects of bullying, when the time came I just needed to find the right group of kids. I had been in regular contact with my former principal at AIM Academy and when I told him about the project and my idea he replied saying that it could be possible for me to teach there. He gave the email of the lower school principal and told her about my idea. I didn’t have a backup plan so when I had no response I began to worry and try to think up new ideas, luckily I got a response a few days later saying I would be presenting the the fourth grade class.

When I arrived in the classroom I had time to set up and by the time the students arrived they were very excited. Some students didn’t want to talk about their feelings towards bullying and wanted more to play games and goof off, but some students were happy to talk about their experiences and their feeling towards bullying. However I came prepared, being a former student there I know that the kids can’t simply learn from a presentation, so I started a few activities with them. They first activity one that I thought was clever, one student was asked to squeeze some toothpaste onto a strip of tape, when they finished I asked the student Jamie, to put the toothpaste back into the bottle. It was pretty funny because Jamie really tried to put the paste back into the bottle, after a few tries I asked her what the significance of squeezing toothpaste onto tape was.  She didn’t know, so I explained the purpose of this is to show how you can say something mean very easily, but its much harder to take back whatever you said, however you can clean up the mess. At that point I stripped off the tape from the table and threw it in the trash, the students were amused.

The next activity was called Wrinkled Wanda, the students drew “Wanda” onto paper and wrote mean things to say to someone, after they were done I told them to crumple up their paper. After about five minutes of some serious crumpling, they were done and I told them to open up the paper and put it to the side. Then they took another piece of paper, and drew another “Wanda” however on this paper they wrote nice and sweet things to say to someone, mainly the opposite of the mean things they wrote before. Now they had two “Wanda’s” one nice and the other mean, now they thought that they were done and began goofing off I asked them what the difference was between the two, some said they were opposite categories but one girl, Jamie from my toothpaste activity said that one was wrinkled and the other wasn’t so, I told the students to try and get the wrinkles out to make it look like the nice one. They tried very hard but they couldn’t get the wrinkles out and the lesson was pretty self explanatory, you can try but every mean thing you say to someone or mean thing you do to someone, leaves a wrinkle and you can try to smooth them out, but it never goes away until you say you’re sorry.

The final activity wasn’t a drawing activity it was a writing activity but I thought it would be a good way to end the class. The students got a small survey with simple instructions, you had to write examples of times you were a good friend, or a time when you were brave. The second part was to give examples of people who loved you or a time when you made a good decision. I worked with to kids, Jamie first she was having trouble thinking of examples and also writing her answers down. Since the school is a place for children with learning disabilities including dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADD, and ADHD, teachers and guest teachers are allowed to write for them. So I wrote down Jamie’s answers for her, when she was done she was very eager to show her teacher and I began working with the boy who sits next to her Christopher, he was having a lot of trouble thinking up ideas so I worked with him and he came up with his answers, all of them.

At the end of the class some kids found the lesson to be a time to goof off with their friends, but other students like Jamie and Christopher found the class to be fun and it seemed like the two of them really needed a class like this, to understand what bullying is, and how they can prevent bullying. I found the experience of teaching a group of children very exciting, I’m not saying it was easy but I loved watching their faces express when I talked about something or someone explained an experience with bullying.

Click Here for my Blog #1
Click Here for my Blog #2

Click Here for my Annotated Bibliography

YATW Blog #3

For the last part of my You and the World project I did a presentation to my advisory. If you're new to my You and the World blogs then you should look at my past blogs before. Click here to see my first blog post. Click here to see my second blog post. I made a iMovie about gay rights. The purpose was to inform others on the problems that the LGBT community faces today. I presented on April 25, 2013 to a class of about 20-30 students. After the presentation I ran a very short discussion on the video and answered questions anyone had. Even after my presentation I was asked questions not only by my friends but other stream members as well about my topic. If you would like to view my video I have a link at the bottom of this blog.


       My presentation to advisory

  (Click picture to enlarge)

My process was very challenging yet fun. At first, I wanted to raise money in some way and donate it to LGBT places such as The Attic or the Human Rights Campaign. That didn’t go so well because I saw other people that had the same topic doing similar things for their project too. So, I went with a movie instead to present. I wanted this movie to be funny but serious. To execute a plan like this I incorporated multiple pictures and narration. I had pictures that came up as soon as I said a word or two that related to it. For example, I said “What has the world come to?” and for the picture I used a world with a question mark on it. I found this to be creative and fun to make.

The problem I encountered during this project was finding a song that would set the mood for the movie. I didn’t want a song that was highly sad or depressing. As a result, I chose to use “It Ends Tonight” by All American Rejects and leveled it out with “One Day” by Matisyahu.

I think personally the overall project went well. I am proud of what I made. If I had to choose what I think was the best part, it would be my choice in the words and tone  used in my narration. I believe I used it to my fullest potential. It is my goal to have people acknowledge and possibly make a change in the world we live in. If you’ve read my other blogs you can probably understand where I’m coming from and agree.

This projected impacted me in many ways. It’s easy for someone to say that they support an issue, but to actually make an attempt to change the world is another thing. I first had to ask myself “Am I really supportive of Gay Rights or am I just saying that for my project?”. The answer was clear seconds later. I support gay rights regardless of what anyone says. This project has allowed me to see my true self.

The project impacted my community by leaving them with questions. At the end of my video, I left the question “Are we truly equal?” Just as I said in the beginning, I had not only my friends but other students asking me about my topic. They had a thirst for knowledge of gay rights and I quenched their thirst.

I see myself as someone who is still learning. I’m still learning about life itself. I’ve still got a long way to go until I can become an actual leader. I’ve been told I show some leadership qualities at such a young age. My plan is to become a leader, not a follower. I want to set a path for myself, not follow someone else’s. Now if someone wants to follow my path by becoming a leader themselves...well it's a little hard to explain that.

This is, unfortunately, the part where my blog ends. Though my desire to have equal rights for everyone will not end. I will continue to fight for gay rights. I won't be documenting my acts or travels through blogs anymore, but maybe you'll catch me one of these days in the act. I appreciate the time you took into reading my blogs and maybe, just maybe, you can be the one to step up and make a change. 

Click here for my bibliography. 

To access my pictures dealing with my presentation click here

To see my video click here

Josh Berg Agent of Change Post

For my Agent of Change portion of my You and the World project on alienation of the elderly, I played music at a housing facility for the elderly. More specifically I went to Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley, which was previously known to me as just "Stapeley" sans "Wesley enhanced living". I am not sure how long it was like that, or even if it changed at all. I do think they changed the sign however. I wanted to do something like this because playing music is something I enjoy doing as well as is something I am not abysmal at. I would be a subpar agent of change if you do something that ends up worsening the lives of those you are trying to help. I did went in to play on the 21st of April with my father playing bass and a friend of ours playing guitar and even singing. 

I wasn't sure about what I wanted to do for a substantial amount of the brainstorming time we had to think about what we wanted to do for this portion of the project. My strategy to figure out what I wanted to do that could be beneficial to others, was to think about things I possessed some skill at. If I did something I was awful at, I can't imagine people would be able to get much help from what I did. In preparation we practiced songs that we might want to do. We kept in mind our audience and did song's that were catered towards them. This ended up paying off as many of the songs were recognized and interaction between musicians and audience was had, as well as reminiscence of times in the past. I called the facility and booking a date was easy. I imagine that finding free activities can be difficult. Overall, the idea stayed the same except for our having a guitarist was not true from the start.

This wasn't the first time I had played at a place like this, however it still felt good to do a deed where we could potentially be helping people. I really do hope that the people watching us at least enjoyed it, or it helped them not to be bored or something. It doesn't really matter how small. I think that I am still in the process of learning how best I can help the community, despite this experience, although, I am sure that I have also taken a step forward to realizing my full potential as a steward of the community. I think that I learned that everyone has the potential to aid their community if they make good use of their skill set.

Blog 1
Blog 2
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Philadelphia - homelessness & hunger

blog #3 hunger/homeless canned food campaign

I was at quite a standstill on my “you and the world” project for the majority of this year. I was at a loss for what I should do to advance my campaign, and where I should go with it in the last quarter. I had not really been sure of what I would do to assist my cause on a local basis, everything I planned on doing did not seem to work out. my inclination to come up with a viable option was draining quickly, when I remembered something.

The school I attended for middle school would always run a canned food drive and I was always interested in the process. An administrator and I exchanged a few emails, and within a day I knew how I could help my cause. The cans and non-perishable foods would always go the food pantry at saint mark’s church, and the best way I could help was to donate more cans. It was fairly late in the game to be starting my project, but I had high expectations and threw together some signs and boxes. I thought that I could help out the food pantry for at least the last few months of school, just by donating what cans we could accumulate in the short time period.

In hindsight I should have advertised more adamantly for my project, seeing as no one really payed any attention to it.  I gained enthusiasm for the project as time progressed, but never acted properly or at the right time. Seeing as my project slightly fell flat (in terms of actually causing a change) I plan on continuing to run my canned food drive for as long as I can (haha, “can”). I will do my best to run a proper advertising campaign, including announcements in the newsletter, signs around school, and going around to alert different advisories about the drive. I would like to really make an impact on the homeless and hungry people in my community and am disappointed that I could not do as much as I would have liked for this project.  Saint Mark’s church has been around for over 20 years, helping out hungry people and spreading happiness to the less fortunate. I would like to continue my canned food drive at SLA and hopefully begin something that could change lives.


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Internet Privacy: the Post for Change

I'm Tobi Hahn, and my You and the World project was on internet privacy. The agent of change portion of my project happened at the same time as the reintroduction of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a controversial internet privacy bill which was voted down last year. It would allow the government and corporations to share your private browsing data without a warrant or any justification. You could file a complaint saying that your data was used in a wrongful way, but CISPA also has a clause that keeps the use of your information secret. It could be abused for warrantless wiretap, copyright enforcement, and targeted ads. It is in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. After it passed the house, I presented to my advisory about it. I explained to them how the bill would impact everyday internet usage, and encouraged them to sign a petition. On April 25, the Senate stopped CISPA in its tracks by refusing to vote on it. But CISPA is far from dead. It was voted down in the house last year, but came back this year. It is likely to come back again, possibly in separate bills.

My process changed significantly with the reintroduction of CISPA. My presentation was originally going to be about how you could improve your privacy on the internet, but then CISPA was reintroduced, and I recognized it as a bigger issue. If CISPA was passed, there would be no browser settings you could change that would preserve your privacy.

I encountered some problems with scheduling my presentation, as there were many presentations happening at the same time. I managed to find a time to present, however, and fixed the problem.

I think my presentation went well, as it raised awareness about CISPA. CISPA got little coverage in mainstream news outlets, and it could have had negative consequences for internet privacy if it was passed.

This project impacted me, as I saw that it was possible to make an impact in my community, even if it was just my school's community. Before it seemed like something that was not really possible to do without huge amounts of people and coordination. I think I am still learning how to make an impact, though, as I think I could have done a bit more. I only did one presentation and probably had time to do more.

For my presentation, I talked about what CISPA was and why it was a threat. I also talked about how it could be abused, and what you could do. Josh Berg said that my presentation was very informative, and it made him more aware about the topic.

You can see my slide deck below.

Since my presentation was before CISPA's defeat in the Senate, it seems a bit out of date now. I have made an up to date Prezi slideshow about why CISPA is a threat. You can see it embedded below.
Thanks for reading my Post for Change. I enjoyed doing my You and the World project and making an impact in my community. You can read my first blog post(it's on internet censorship) and my second blog post by clicking on them, and you can see my annotated bibliography here.
Please sign a petition to stop CISPA at

Homelessness And Poverty In Philadelphia: Agent of Change

This is my third blog post in a series of blog posts about homelessness and poverty in Philadelphia. You can look at the first post here, and the second post here.

For the Agent of Change portion of my You and The World Project, I volunteered at the People’s Emergency Center (PEC). The People’s Emergency Center is an organization which helps people, often women and children, who are homeless and who need help with things like getting a job, school work, or finding a place to stay. It provides housing as well as many different programs teaching children and adults valuable skills. When I got there, Tan Vu, Director of the Digital Inclusion Program met me. He gave me a quick tour of the facility after which he sat down with me and talked about what they did and what I would be interested in doing. One of the first things Mr. Vu talked about was the digital divide. He explained to me that many people are not able to get access to computers or internet. Since nowadays, computers are such a big part of our lives, it is hard for these people to get ahead. I always had a computer in my house. While it was not necessarily surprising to me, I really had not thought about how many people do not have computers in their own home. One of the programs they have at PEC is called Digital Inclusion. This program tries to break the divide. It tries to give people who cannot afford it, access to computers and internet. Children can participate in a ten week program in computers. After that, they get a free computer along with a Clear modem so they can connect to the internet. While I am volunteering at PEC, I will be refurbishing computers for people who finish the programs and get computers. I also perform maintenance. This whole experience, specifically the Agent of Change part of the project has impacted me greatly. I have enjoyed the work I have done at PEC as I get to help people and work with computers, both things I enjoy doing. One of the things Mr. Vu told me about was how hard it is to make sure children continue to use computers. I think that for people at SLA especially, the idea of NOT wanting to using a computer is strange. For so many people, computers have become an important part of our lives. I While I volunteered there, I was surprise how much I learned. I got to learn a lot about the inside of a computer. I got to see how to take out a hard drive or replace/add RAM. When we think of volunteering as a society, I think we generally think of strictly give. However, volunteering as I have experienced it has been both give and take. At some point during my experience at PEC, a little girl came into the room where I was working and said to one of the people who worked there “I will never forget”. It was unexpected but I thought it was really amazing. I got to see how volunteering really affects people. I just got there and had not done much but it helped motivate me. I saw how what I do can really make a big difference.

Random Acts Of Kindness

Since my last two blog posts, (which you may view here Blog 1 Blog 2), I have made my hollow and cavalier promises into things more concrete and worth of time. Many weeks have passed between what I write now and what you have last read of my experiences. During those weeks I took the opportunities given to me and went hands on the projects I wrote about. It’s extraordinary thought how much the human mind can accomplish when setting one’s goals. It is even more extraordinary though how much more the human mind can accomplish in numbers. I have put a great amount of care into all the stuff I did to get involved with the community. I wouldn't feel right however without including the people that aided me in my journey. Therefore before starting you readers, who have so graciously chosen to read my blogs, on inspiring events produced by your fellow members of society, I will first thank those who deserved to be thanked. For everyone who is mention in this blog I seriously could not have done any of this without you. All of you guys have proven just and have involved yourself in the campaign to human kindness more than I have.

My You And The World project revolved around human kindness. I wanted to do something deeper than helping an old lady cross the street or paying for someone’s food. I wanted to be kind to people’s emotions. Nowadays there are tons of problems in the teenage world merely because we are all too immature to be nice to one another. Part of my project gave people the occasion to change that. I created a Google-Doc page where people could go on and just give positive reviews about their friends. So far the whole thing has been a real success and I see smiles in the hallways all because of things I’ve said on the Doc. I encourage everyone to go on and say a couple of things for yourself. The link to it is right here.

Other things I did included unveiling everyday forbearance on people’s parts. You’d be surprise on how people strive to do good in this world. I feel that knowing you made someone happy that day is a gift in itself but I really wanted you guys to see how all of your classmates interacted with each other. It is seriously heartening knowing that we live in this community where we all take pride in helping one another. If you want to see the documented pictures/photos click here.

As a christian I take self pride very seriously. In order to accomplish my goals in this project I had to actually go out and start doing acts of kindness. I don't believe in tooting your own horn or trying to make yourself look good. Pretentiousness is something I don't look fondly on. So instead, I decided to observe my neighborhood for good deeds that other people did. I even made a journal to keep track of things. On April 5, I witnessed my 4 year old sister let my brother use the TV in the livingroom even it was her turn to use it. On April 9, I saw a man drop his wallet while walking to the store. Before I could register to go and pick it up for him a stranger walked by and gave it to the man himself. So inspired by what happened I went home that day and talked to my older brother. He then turned around and followed in the stranger’s footsteps. On the 10th of April he came home and told me that he did his best to be a good samaritan in his school. On April 12th I saw my friend Brandon lend my other friend William a pen. It was all these little things that really made people’s day better.

My process hasn't ended yet for I am still trying to expose the generosity people have in their hearts. The distance that I have accumulated already though has been kind of great. At first there was a few problems but after I solved them everything went smoothly. One of the most pronounced problems that I had was trying to figure out what to do. It was hard trying to figure out the whole meaning of kindness. At many times I was trying too hard, but what I noticed was the whole point of being benevolent was not to be selfish. All I was doing was going out in the world and showing off all the good things I’ve accomplished. What I really needed to do was to show off all the good things other people accomplished. That is how I came out with such a community reflected project. It wasn't about me, it was about everyone.

I have a hard time controlling my emotions and mostly only the bad emotions come out. I haven’t been the most selfless person in the world and I am still not. The thing with this project though is that it helped me so much to be a better person. I wasn’t the only one impacted by all of this. The chain reaction of friendliness made tons of people’s days better I could really feel all the positive energy radiating from everyone.

I don’t see myself as a leader and I don't see myself as a follower. I don’t see myself as an observer and I don’t see myself as an unveiler. Samaritan is too high of a title and libertine is too low of a title. Instead I see myself as a vindicator. I do things for a purpose and only do things if they are worth it. I saw the chance to make people see how our world still had people who cared as worth it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this. It starts chain reactions, that eventually when big enough, could really revolutionize the world in tranquillity. I encourage everyone everywhere to walk alongside me. If you recall my research on Pay It Forward  in my last two blogs then you will be proud to know that I am trying to start a Pay It Forward Philadelphia. Please email me at if you are interested.

Here is the link to my bibliography.

Litter Blog 3

When 9 people fill twenty enormous trash bags with litter in one hour, you know you've made a difference.

I'm Zack Hersh, and as an Agent of Change for litter, I organized a litter pickup around SLA, on April 13th, 2013 from 12-1 pm. While it wasn't quite the turnout I had hoped for, the nine of us picked up pounds and pounds of litter on 22nd Street and the disgusting Trader Joe's parking lot and green space. We left the area much cleaner and greener, and went home feeling satisfied.

But it took a lot of effort to get there. First, I had to familiarize myself and get to know the issue inside and out, and I did that through my first and second blog posts. Afterwards came the pickup.

The only thing I thought would really make sense to do for my Agent of Change part was a pickup, especially of the local community. This was narrowed down from other possibilities being Raising Awareness, Money for Organizations like "Keep Philadelphia Beautiful", and petitioning or trying to get more trash cans put in.

My vision was a bunch people all gathering around SLA, and working together, making a difference, and having a good time, in purging the neighborhood of litter.

Once I had the idea and vision in place, it was time to set a date, and time. It was a surprisingly tough decision. I was conflicted between having it be after school or on the weekend. If it was after school, it would be much easier for more people to come. But that would've limited it to mostly SLA students, and most sports, including baseball and track, have practice after school every day. With a weekend pickup, this wouldn't be a problem, but it would be harder to get a turnout. 

Ultimately, I decided on a weekend pickup, and scheduled it two weeks in advance for Saturday, April 13th from 12:00-1:00.

The next, and most important part of my process was getting other people to join me. 

I made flyers, and put them up all over school. I made posts to Facebook. I got two announcements in the Advisory memo. I talked to people directly. And, after all that, I had 3 people in total who said they would come, plus me and my parents.

But things have a way of working themselves out, and following that motto plus help from friends, when the pickup came, we had nine people in total.

Ridding the streets of all the garbage felt really good, and really satisfying. In that way, devoting myself to this issue, and being an Agent of Change, has strongly impacted me, for the better. Even the first two blog posts, researching it, and spreading the word, really made me feel like I was making a difference. It really made me feel like I was doing something right. I feel that this project, this experience, has strongly instigated fundamental, significant growth in me, and this is visible through my actions and who I am after this. It showed myself that I can lead, and surprised myself with what I am capable of. This was a demonstration, awakening, of leadership I didn't know I had. 

In the end, I can go to sleep at night knowing that my community is different, better, cleaner, because of me. Knowing I started something that snowballed into so much more than I ever thought it would. 

Knowing that I impacted, knowing that I changed my community, and almost without realizing it, let, and inspired others to do the same.

Click here for my bibliography.  


YATW Blog 3: Agent of Change

Blog 3: Agent of Change
Jesse Shuter

Hunger and poverty in Philadelphia is a serious issue. It is also the issue that I chose to learn and teach about. As part of the experience of helping to abolish hunger in Philadelphia. Through a youth organization that I am a art part of called Gratz JCHS, I joined a program called food for thought. I volunteered with this program nine times, I went on the following days: October 15th; October 29th; November 5th; December 3rd; January 7th; February 4th; March 4th; April 8th; and May 6th. The program entailed going to a kitchen at a synagogue near where I live. As a group we would cook varying meals including all the main food groups (meat; vegetables; starch; fruit; etc.). We would then package the food and deliver the food to a variety of organizations that bring food to people that cannot afford the food and would otherwise starve. Sometimes we would even deliver the food to homes for old people. 

Another event that I took part in was going to the Ronald McDonald House. Together my family and I, along with two other families that we are friends with went to the Ronald McDonald house to cook a meal and serve it to all of the people staying at the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald house is for families that have children in the hospital and cannot afford a place to stay while their children are getting special treatment for their illnesses that they may not be able to get anywhere else. By serving the food we provide these families with a meal and we also try to brighten their day and take their minds off what may be going on in their lives. I volunteered at the McDonald House once on March 3rd, and I will be doing it again on June 2nd.

When I started this project my plan was to learn more about Hunger and Poverty in Philadelphia and try and help some people along the way. My process began by choosing my topic. I wanted to choose an important topic, but at the same time I wanted to choose a topic that people seem to be ignoring. Sadly there were many options, but one issue that I felt needed more attention was povery and hunger in America. This was a pretty broad topic, so I wanted to narrow it down. Then I thought that there was no better way to start then by fixing poverty and hunger in my backyard; in my home; in my city. That is how my topic became Poverty and Hunger in Philadelphia. At the same time my friend had just joined the program food for thought and he told me it was a very rewarding experience so that was how I got involved in that program. By the end of my experience with poverty and hunger, I had been affected by my new experiences. By meeting these people and learning what they are going through on a daily basis, I have come to appreciate what I have more, and I also have become more invested in the programs I am participating in.

Through this project, I feel that I have helped many people. If it were not for me there would be many people that would not have meals and that is an experience that I cherished. I was also able to take a leadership role and got many of my friends invloved in the food for thought program, just as my friend had done for me. I the community I see myself as someone who is still learning. I truly believe that I can and will make a difference, but I believe that the small steps that I am taking now are playing a large role in what kind of leader I will be. The experience I gained from this project will influence me to continue participating in programs where I can help people and make a difference.

If you would like to see my first blog click here. If you would like to see my second blog, click here. If you would like to see my bibliography click here.


YATW Blog 3: Littering and its Affect on the Environment

This is a continuation of my first and second blogs. If you have not read them, I suggest you do and then come back and read this one.

My name is Miles Cruice-Barnett. My English class at Science Leadership Academy is doing a “You and the World” project. What is a you and the world project? What we do is pick an issue in the world, or nation, or community, or wherever, and we do research on it. We then post a few blogs about it and go out and try to help fix the issue. My issue is about littering in public places and how it can affect the environment.

For my agent of change I organized and participated in a litter cleanup at Jefferson Square Park.

Organizing the cleanup was harder than I thought it would be. First I had to find a date that worked for me and then I had to see if people were available to to it. I had to do it during the week because I had no free weekends. In the end only a few people showed up, but we worked for over an hour and cleaned almost two bags of trash.

We took lots of pictures and you can see all of them here by downloading the PDF.


There was definitely a lot of trash in the park and we made it better for the community and the environment. I found that though organizing a cleanup can be hard, doing them can be fun, and when you are finished you know that you have made a change in the world. When I first started I thought it would be boring work, but even with few people we worked well and had fun. I will definitely be organizing more cleanups in different areas and trying to get people involved in making the world a better place


This is the Bibliography for all of my blogs.

Agent of Change: Cradles to Crayons

For my “You in the world” project, witch consisted of three consecutive blog post about any worldly topic, I choose international adoption. It all started with my first blog about international adoption. Then in my second blog post I interviewed my mother about her process if adopting my older brother.  Some might say that adoption, was a noble choice of topic, because through my blog I could stress the importance of adopting children in our great nation, instead of adopting abroad because it’s what all the celebrities are doing. But I did not feel like I am making a big impression by sitting behind a laptop. I felt like I was just spewing out a bunch of baloney that sounded good, just for a grade. I thought of myself as selfish and heartless every time I worked on this project. Because I knew when it came time to actually do something to help with awareness, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. Yeah I had a few good Ideas but nothing really seemed to make the impact I wanted it to.

Volunteer work? Sure, but where? Not at an foster home the kids there would despise me, a kid who has both her parents coming there to pity them, not the way I wanted this to end, besides I couldn’t find any home that would allow a 15-year-old volunteer, whatever. So I was just going to give up on this project, write a sappy apology for why I didn’t have an “Agent of Change”, as my english teacher calls it, part to my third blog post. The one thing that I had to have in order to get an “ok” grade on my third blog.  I was about to give up on my cause, even though it did mean a lot to me, and my third blog and move on with my life, excepting my bad grade. But before I officially gave up I decided to give up on my project I decide to do one one google search to see if there were any options I had missed.

It was through that search, on the fourth page of results, is when I found it. The thing I had been looking for. I didn’t have to make a big comment, it didn’t involve me being put in an awkward piston, and best of all it supported my cause. What I found was the web sight for the Cradles to Crayons organization. Cradles to Crayons is an organization that collects clothes, books, and all other things kids, who either who have parents who can’t afford it or children who don’t have parents to even try to afford it, need.  After finding the perfect fit I automatically singed up to volunteer two time over the course of April. I signed up for two times, because I wanted one time to get used to the way they worked, and the second to get the pictures I needed for my blog post. But as the saying goes “Nothing ever goes as planned.”

A few weeks later, one morning, I told my mother that I would be home later than usual because of my volunteering. She had know before then that I was going to volunteer at a place for my “You In The World” project, she just didn’t know where. That morning when I told her about me being late because of volunteering, she asked where I was going to be, like a good mother should. When I told her where I was I was going to be, she freaked out as any good mother should. I was a little disappointed at first, of course, but I saw he point it was farther away from home than I was used to. So I agreed to not go that time and let her drive me in two weeks, witch is when I signed up to volunteer for the second time. Except what was going to be my second time was going to be my first. My next attempt at volunteering didn’t go as well either. The day stared out great, I went to school, and after play rehearsal, my mother was supposed to pick me up afterwards and take me to the “Giving Factory”, witch is what Cradles to Crayons store, sort, and distribute their donations. While at rehearsal I got a text form my mother saying that our car had broken down. Of all the rotten luck. After that I didn’t have any other days to volunteer lined up, and my obligation to my cause happened to slip my mind, replaced with the excitement brought on by spring break. After coming back from spring break, my duties to my cause were brought bake to the for front of my mind, when my english teacher reminded me about them. That reminder made me hard pressed to get my volunteer work done.

I emailed Cradles to Crayons again, but instead of get an email back about when I could volunteer again, I received an email saying that I couldn’t volunteer because they didn’t have any open slots for me to volunteer. So I talked to my mother and she stent an en email to one of the coordinators for Cradles to Crayons.  He got back to her and they set up a date for my mother and I to volunteer. 

The next thursday my mother an I went to the “Giving Factory”. When first getting there we walked into the front room where they collect all donations. There where a LOT of donations, even the people who came in to volunteer that day brought in more donations. After signing a media release form our group, of about 10 people, were giving orientation. In orientation the talked about all the usual things, like what they do that the organization. The assignment they gave my grope was something they called “shopping”. “Shopping” is when you walk around there area where they have stored, sorted, an cleaned donated items, and pick up items, like jackets, clothes, shoes, and toys, that were requested by social services or other organizations for a designated child. (Here is a link to a picture slideshow of my time volunteering at Cradles to Crayons.)  After we finished our “Shopping” the volunteers in charge told us more about how we could help more.

Even tough my “You And The Wold” has to end here, that does not mean I have to stop here. I plan to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons  as often as I can. Not because it supports my cause, or because the work was easy and  very rewarding., even though it is. But because it was fun. But because I know the work I do there will help the children in need, for the rest of their lives. 

Here the link bibliography of research that helped me through the journey of this project.

Historias de inmigración- Wynn y August


Manuel fue un inmigrante ilícito, y el habla sobre sus historias de cuando ellos cruzaron la frontera a los Estados Unidos. Habla sobre trabajar en Illinios y ganaba dinero por sus hijos y esposa. Cuando él cruzó atrás la frontera de Chicago a Mexico, no tuve problemos y estaba feliz porque estaba con sus hijos y esposa. Estaba importante a trabajar en los estados unidos porque Manuel podria ganar mucho dinero, por cinco meses en Illinios ganó más dinero que ganó por tres años en México.  


1) What border did Manuel cross to/from?

2) Why did Manuell illegally cross the border from Mexico to the U.S.?

3) Why is it so dangerous to cross the U.S. border?

4) What are some reasons that Manuel might not have been able to cross legally?

5)  5 months salary in the U.S. Is equivalent to how many years salary in Mexico?

6) Where was Manuel’s family when he went to the U.S.?

7) Where in the U.S. did manuel go when he immigrated?

8) How did Manuel physically get across the border? I.E. on foot? by car? by plane? by boat?

9) How long did he live in the U.S.?

10) Who did he live with in Chicago?/.,jhg