Constant Battle for Affordable Healthcare

The content of the last post addressed what The Affordable Act and Obamacare wa\. The fight for affordable healthcare is being fought through the Obamacare. Obamacare is threatened of being terminated by President Donald Trump. Even though, Obamacare opens opportunities to poor families and middle class families, Trump still wants to take it away. The Affordable Healthcare Act is the same as Obamacare. The Affordable healthcare Act is called an act because it was an attempt to increase the Healthcare market and making insurance available to more people.(First Blog Post)

Since last blog post, I’ve gathered information from multiple sources and conducted research on my own. I’ve interviewed a nurse at my mother’s clinic. I am well acquainted with her so it wasn’t a problem interviewing her. I initially was supposed to interview a rising RN (registered nurse) that mainly focuses on The Affordable Healthcare Act but his schedule was too busy. As a result, I ended up interviewing another nurse dealing with Obamacare. I’ve conducted the interview over the phone with nurse Jelysa. Questions I asked involved the Obamacare users, the nature of Obamacare, the benefits of it, the downsides of it, and some opinionated driven questions.

Jelysa isn’t only a nurse, she gives patients information on Obamacare. She first offers the patients the opportunity, then explains how it can benefit them. If the patient’s accept the offer, she sets them up for Obamacare, as other workers would do in the clinic.  My newly found information also had a humanely “touch” to it. Jelysa expressed how she felt about the President taking away Obamacare and the flaws of it. She said Obamacare isn’t perfect because participants have to pay a fee at first. However, she believes Obamacare should not be taken away because it has helped the poor and Middle class. Interview with nurse Jelysa.

IMG_4171.JPG (1).jpegJelysa(right) and my mom(right) at work.

I’ve gathered new sources explaining more of the Affordable Healthcare's nature. The act’s three primary goals are to make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“tax credits”) that reduces costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. Support medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally. Compared to my interview, these goals seem to be true and are the main goals the act wants to achieve.

Agent of Change is the process of doing something that relates to my topic that will have significance. My Agent of change will involve me working in a clinic that verifies patients for Obamacare. I will be working with nurse Jelysa and in some cases by myself in the clinic verifying patients for Obamacare. I will spend long hours working with patients and helping them getting set up for Obamacare. I understand that I am literally working without pay but nonetheless it will be a great experience working with various patients and helping them get acquainted with health insurance.

IMG_4168.JPG.jpegFamily Practice Care Clinic. Where Jelysa works at and where I’ll be working at

Annotated Bibliogrophy

Week 3 - Day 2 - blog - negative/positive space

There is positive and negative space all around you. Positive space refers to the main focus of a picture, while negative space refers to the background. 
I found it by looking at what was the main drawing which was the tree and found it easy to figure that anything that was not a part of the tree was negative space.
Negative space is important because it can help you highlight specific things It can also help us see an image more clearly. Yes, because it can bring contrast to the image. You can use negative space to help bring attention to a specific place. it makes things stand out more than the other.

Remember Me? Well, There's More!

Remember me? The kid with the Black Lives Matter project. If not, let me catch you up. Previously in my last blog post, I spoke about the significance of the movement, and why it was important to me. I think it’s safe to say I did pretty well. But let’s not get off topic because I’m sure you’ve been waiting for more. In my research, I’ve dug up more interesting facts and information that I’d like to share with you and the world.

When I first began this project, I hadn’t even thought of how the Ku Klux Klan reacted to the start of this movement. In my recent research, I’ve learned that there are multiple BLM Hate groups. The most popular one is ‘White Lives Matter’. White Lives Matter is a Neo-Nazi organization, similar to the KKK. According to the coordinator, White Lives Matter “has no ties with the KKK.” On their website, their are 917 documents hate groups, and 33.1 percent are white supremacists/racist towards African Americans. This is a incredibly high amount for the BLM Movement to deal with. But in even more interesting news, there are 193 Black Separatists groups, which have ties to the Zulu and Black Panthers.
This is a photo of a black separatist army.
This is a photo of a black separatist army.
Now, for my original research plan I decided to do two options, an interview and a field observation. For my field observation, I went to a BLM Philly event, which was a speech about hunger in our communities, and while I was there, I conducted interviews. The community was so energizing and engaged in the topic at hand. Everybody had questions and concerns, and people were relating to the topic in friendly conversation. There was little hostility and the environment made me feel comfortable. Of all the people I spoke with, my best interview, was with a middle-aged man, with 5 children. Unfortunately, I cannot present the audio recording, but he believed that very little progress has been made in reference to the BLM Movement. “As a black community, we only seem to galvanize when a large controversy takes place, and then at that, we only talk about it for a few days until it dies off.”
Photo BLM Philly Poster
Photo BLM Philly Poster

That was the statement I most agreed with because in the media, when we hear about an African-American being killed by police, we only tweet the hashtag for a few days before we move on to the next thing. This is not how I think we should handle situations. Unity is key. We should scream until our voices are heard. We should fight until the truth hurts. This is the only way we’ll make a difference. Once we realize that as a community, we’ll be successful.

Thank you for making it to the end, and for coming on this wonderful journey with me. If you learned something new, feel free to let me know! That means I’ve done my job. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me: Until we meet again, I’m signing off.

See my annotated bibliography here.

Photo of those who attended the BLM event.
Photo of those who attended the BLM event.

Rape Culture At It's Finest

Hello again, are you ready for round two? As you may have remembered, I have a passion for discussing rape culture and victim blaming. Here is some previous insight into my research on the topic. To recap, rape culture is a society that tries to justify rape, as well as other forms of sexual assault. Whereas victim blaming is putting blame on the victim as if rape is their fault.

Before I get into my personal research, I also did more online research to get more and more insight into what the internet has on my topic. What I found was a site that showed me common myths about sexual assault. Some included myths about how sexual assault cannot be performed by a spouse,  how people with disabilities are not common to be sexually assaulted, that men are not victims of sexual assault, that if you stay away from strangers you are less likely to be raped. This source showed me common ideas about sexual assault in the world, and it also showed me some statistics to break those myths. For instance, I learned that 60% of child sexual abuse cases are performed by someone the child knows outside the family, and 30% are assaulted by family members. I also learned that a person is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds, which is about a minute and a half.

In my first post, I talked more about examples of rape culture and victim blaming. In the beginning of this post, before my survey results, I am going to share some sad and shocking statistics. In my source, I read statistics that ranged from 2012-2015. Furthermore, I found that 91% of sexual assault are female, and 9% are male. I was also a little surprised to learn that eight out of ten of rape cases, the victim knew their attacker. I found these facts, and more, believably heartbreaking.

Onto my survey. After doing my research on my topic, I was really excited to get my real life research. Get to know what the people thought. Those “people” being my fellow peers in the SLA community. And in order to get the information I wanted, and the information I wanted to get was whether there were examples of rape culture and victim blaming in my own school community. So to get this information, I crafted a survey with five central questions. There was the basic question of what gender people identified with, and then I got into more heavier questions.


This picture above shows the results from one of my questions. I asked this because I knew it would be a sneaky way of tricking my survey subjects without pressuring them into the answers I wanted. These results show how 15/44 people believe flirtatious behavior is a possible cause of rape, and 13/44 believe that revealing clothing is another cause of rape. These percentages are just to name a few.


This was another one of my big questions I wanted answered. You might ask why. Why is this question so important? It is so important because results and percentages like are examples of rape culture. Are examples of victim blaming. People that believe modest clothing, less selfies, and ladylike behavior are the people that are representing rape culture in the SLA community.

My survey helped and taught me more about my topic. I mean, I had people I know, my own age, represent rape culture and victim blaming. And that really disappointed, upset, and saddened me. If you would like to view my full survey results, here it is.  

I am still wondering on how I can make a change in rape culture and victim blaming. Whether it be going around school and doing something, or going to a sexual assault crisis center, I am still figuring out what I want to do. What change I want to make on this issue.

For more information, check out my annotated bibliography.

The Basis in Becoming a Dancer

My first blog post informed readers how ballet is known to be dominantly white sport. I also stress how the black community of dancers is slowly growing but still fails in being showcased in big productions. I showed how discrimination in an art also ties to social issues. If social justice is something you believe in, my blogs should resonate with you. Different forms of the arts are meant to express the human creative skill. Skills can be mastered by anyone with practice. The main idea and question focused on is; why are colored dancers discriminated? From past research I found out how old sayings and practices got in the way, of their being colored dancers, and  more.

There is one more topic to add onto my past research on roadblocks in the dance world for African American ballerinas. That is the fact that “raising graceful little toe-touching, leotard-clad ballerina children—now, that's a big ticket item,” according to Katy Osborn’s truthful blog “This is how much it Cost to Raise a Ballerina. As you may know, dating way back to Civil Rights Movement Era and before then many African Americans didn’t receive luxury, high paying jobs due to racism. Besides the fact that many African Americans weren’t allowed to dance, I believe ballet not being diverse relates back to that point in time where many couldn’t afford its expenses.  Therefore, children doing extracurricular activities such as dance wasn’t possible. The items needed to practice and train as a dancer include leotards, tights, costumes, tuition fees, ballet shoes, $100 pointe shoes, and that’s not even all.

I created an amazon shop cart including, the basic necessities for practice. Imagine thes prices times maybe 2 or 3, because you need more than one thing to practice in, and have just in case. Also, imagine adding additional items such as dance school tuition, and costume fees. This picture is just a small expenses to cover a dancer.

In addition to my last ballerina’s who sought to defy racism, there’s also Misty Copeland's mentor, Raven Wilkinson. Raven Wilkinson made it to the well known, famous Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1955. This was way before the Civil Rights Movement begun. During, her time as the first black ballerina touring the Jim Crow South she was told to blend in, even by applying white powder to her face. In WEB exclusive interview with her, she told them how if someone asked if she was black she’d have to lie. She even said in the interview, “I didn’t want to put the company in danger, but I also never wanted to deny who I was.” Margaret Fuhrer, the interviewer asked Raven a question that's centered around what my project is about. “What are your thoughts on ballet’s continuing diversity problem?”, was the final question. Raven Wilkinson responded in a series of question many do not know. “My never-ending question is: When are we going to get a Swan Queen of a darker hue? How long can we deny people that position? Do we feel aesthetically we can’t face it? I think until we start seeing it regularly, we’ll never believe it. But I’m sure that won’t take another 60 years to happen.”, she said.

Besides investigating other interviews done by others, I decided to hold one of my own with an African American dancer since the age of three, Sabree Primus. She is one of my teammates at “The Pointe Dance Studio” and “Straight to the Pointe! Dance Company.”  She also dances at The High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), a place she believes is diversified to it’s best ability. My first question for her was: Do you believe when dance departments/theater is searching for new dancers do they look for a specific race? Sabree gave an interesting reply saying, “Yes, I do believe they look at race, because they’re looking for the race that fits in with the race they already have.”  She then touched on what I wrote in my last blog about how African American bodies are different than others. She also believed that white people have better technique because, of that.

This is “Straight to the Pointe Dance Company.”

Next, I wanted to speak to Sabree about blacks in dance worldwide. Some of her beliefs were very different, some were also the same. Sabree Primus said Blacks in dance get the recognition they deserved which surprised me. When I followed up with the question;” Does it depend on the style?”, her answer was still no being that she thinks blacks get recognition for the new styles and creating new techniques. She gave Hip-Hop as an example to look at. Her answer for this was skeptical for me. We then talked about differences in black and white dance schools, and how we think white dance school focus more on technique and black dance schools focus on the soul, embracement in movement, the performance, and some technique. As black dancers we also talked about how being an African American dancer is physically and mentally hard. It’s physically hard because we have to build better techniques, and mentally challenging being that you don’t see as many professionals which brings your hopes down.  

Finally, to do something about dancing being diverse, Sabree thinks a good approach would be to have more integrated dance school, dance products that come in color, and more people spreading the word. I would love to see these changes. As an agent of change in this topic, my goal is to create a hashtag for social media. I would gather my dance team, to take professional dance pictures around the city, to spread the word.

Check out my citations!

HIV/AIDS: The LGBTQ Side Of Things


Hello. My name is Shyann Davis. In my last Blog Post I talked about what HIV/AIDS were. In this link it is just another summary of what I talk about. HIV/AIDS are a type of STD and STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. And AIDS stand for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. You can get these sexually transmitted diseases by having sexual contact with someone. But something new I found was that HIV/AIDS are most likely found in teenagers because of using drugs, having constant unprotected sex, and mainly not getting tested to see if they have contracted the disease or not.

In this link it shows the impact of HIV/AIDS in the LGBTQ communtiy. I learned that every 1 and 6 gay or bisexual men are diagnosed with HIV. “Transgender women in certain communities have 49 times the odds of living with HIV. 19% of the LGBTQ population has HIV/AIDS but only a little bit of them tell others so that they can get treated. They are scared to tell others like their friends, family, and associates because of how they might react. Some people are homophobic, this means they dislike homosexual people. This is why part of the LGBTQ community if scared to tell others because they don’t want to be pushed aside because of their sexuality. Many of them don’t tell their friends or family members and that could cause the HIV/AIDS to get worse over time.

Gay, bisexual men, and transgender women show the highest in having HIV/AIDS in the LGBTQ community. The anti-LGBTQ group has discouraged many to not get tested. But when they did get tested they and they were found positive they were given poor treatment because of their sexual orientation. The LGBTQ gets very little funding so they can get a treatment for their HIV/AIDS. The only day of the year that lots of money and care is put into helping them get through the rest of their years is on December 1. This is the only time, and this was proven, when the LGBTQ community feels more comfortable coming out because they know that there are other people like them who are going through the same feelings they are.

The Los Angles LGBTQ Center gives each and every one of their patience the care that they deserve. This is one of the few qualified centers to treat the LGBTQ commuity. “We practice a holistic approach to treatment, helping clients manage all aspects of living with HIV, through counseling, nutritional advice, and support groups. Our Clinical Research Program offers clients the opportunity to participate in a number of clinical trials. In fact, no organization offers a wider range of specialized services for people living with HIV. In addition to physicians and nurses, our health staff includes social services caseworkers, mental health counselors, and a staff nutritionist. And our on-site pharmacy makes it easy and quick for you to fill and pick-up your prescriptions. We accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, most major insurance plans, and some HMOs. If you are uninsured, we can help you get insurance through Covered California or determine your eligibility for medical and drug assistance programs.” This is the summary for the center on their website. I searched for the best center but when I read this, I thought that this is a good helpful center for the LGBTQ communtiy because it doesn’t just give them the medicine and send them home, it also helps them get over drug abuse and medical assistance.

This is my first blog post and this is my annotated bibliography.

Rough Cut Films w/Live Scores by Relache- Fergie's Pub (Wed, 5/24 7-9pm)

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 3.19.20 PM
Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 3.19.20 PM
2017 Rough Cut Film Fest- Select Films w/ a Live Score by Relache 
Reserve your tickets here-

Rough Cut is back at Fergie's Pub for another unique live event bringing together original films and live music.

Relache, Philadelphia's renowned new music octet now in its 38th season, will perform live scores and improvised music for original videos submitted to the Rough Cut Festival.

Supported by the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, composer and Relache musician Chuck Holdeman has been collaborating with Rough Cut @ SLA film students throughout the school year to realize brand new musical scores to premiere at this special event.

by Juliana Concepcion

"Mt. Sion"
by Tito Mazzucchi, J Celli, Pablo Salvatierra, David Williams

"We All Fall Down"
by Nat Hilton, Kate Kopf, Wes Midgett, Kaamil Jones, Sam Montgomery, Siani Davis and Lyle Seitz.

Other Relache musicians including prominent avant-garde jazz keyboardist Ron Stabinsky will provide live improvised soundtracks to accompany screenings of several other Rough Cut Fest Official Selections.

SLA's own singer/songwriter Cacy Thomas (Berklee College of Music Clsss of 2021) will perform her new single "Slowly" to accompany the premiere of her new music video. 

Tickets ($10) for this unique event are limited (50)
-Q&A with the filmmakers and musicians follow the performances
-This is a family-friendly event!
-2 FREE drink tickets, compliments of Fergie, are included in the cost of your event ticket. (21 and older for alcoholic beverages, ID Required).

More about Minors Running Away

In my previous blog post about Minors running away. My initial research started off being about the missing DC crisis, but plans changed so my new revised topic is teenagers running away from home . Ive researched more things having to do with minors running away.

In the previous post about running away something that was mentioned was that running away is illegal. Some things that could happen if a minor runs away and gets caught, is the minor could go to a juvenile detention center, be placed in a shelter or group home, or be taken back by a police officer. To further my knowledge and understand what people my age thought about running away I created a survey. The survey consisted of seven questions. The responses to the survey came from people who are considered minors. The point of the survey was to see what the youth know about running away. Something that was surprising about the results was that more than half of  the people who took my survey did not know that running away is illegal Screenshot 2017-05-18 at 9.21.17 PM.png

My original research taught me a lot about my peers. Another questions that was on the survey was if the person has ever thought about running away. The results were shocking. Most people who answered the question responded that they have thought about running. This was very appalling because based off the people who took the survey I would expect that to be majority of the answers. The follow up question was what was the reason behind running  away.  The most popular answer was family problems. Overall my results showed me that you should never assume what happens in somebody's house hold or behind closed doors.Screenshot 2017-05-18 at 9.45.12 PM.png

Screenshot 2017-05-18 at 10.14.44 PM.pngThe survey results gave me a better understanding of what people knew and thought about running. It let me know that not many teenagers know a lot about the issue and it's affects a lot of teenagers. Most people don't realize that running away is a big issue. In the beginning of this project, before I started researching anything about this topic , I didn't know if it was organizations that helped teens thinking about running away. There are organizations that help teens before they run away. What the organizations do is basically talk to teens and tell them that they are are other solutions to whatever problems that are happening. Two major organizations that help are Safe Place and National Runaway Safeline . Safe Place is a nation wide organization that helps teens who don't feel safe and need help immediately. The National Runaway Safeline is a prevention line. They have four ways to connect with a 24 hour member who is trained to help. When I started off doing this topic I didn't know how much it affected others. Now learning about it , it makes me feel like more people should know about it
especially parents or guardians should know the signs of when something is wrong. The next part of the You and The World project is the agent of change. For my agent of change I am thinking about two different things. The first idea that I thought of is doing a presentation on the statistics of running away and presenting to my peers to raise awareness. My second idea I thought about is making flyers with organizations that help and ways that people can help their friends get through their issues. Thanks for reading, check back soon for my agent of change.

For more information check out my annotated bibliography

Toby Mast Capstone

June of last year my sister and I financed a 4,000 dollar vending machine. The vending machine was set up in the local non-profit bike shop Simple Cycle.

The bike shop location did really well at first netting around $400 the first month. Sales didn’t drop till the school year and colder temperatures came, however, we were still sustainable and doing better then we had expected.

vending machine
vending machine

This is the point where I decided to make this my capstone.  I was considering two options for expansion involving a charity next door called  Joy in the City, where if sales stayed high, I would franchise a new vending machine, and if the sales dropped I would move the vending machine over to their building.. A few weeks after we got permission from Joy in the City to move over (sometime in october I think) they shut down, This was followed by the bike shop shutting down for the winter because the owner left. In the following months the machine struggled.

vending sales
vending sales
When the rats first came I just moved stuff around, however after that major disaster I learned it is important to overreact to simple problems rather than do the bare minimum.
The final step I took for this project was making an excel sheet of all my sales and inventory information. Maintaining this earlier would have allowed me to deal earlier with the problem of expiring food.With the bike shop back and buisness and us avoiding Philadelphia's soda tax I am excited for the future of this business.

Boxed by:Alexa Lahr

Summary: I wanted to write a play about solitary confinement and what it does to the brain.  I chose to have 6 people play the prisoners.  Throughout the play there is movement and songs that show what's going on in there heads.  There is group monologues and regular monologues throughout the whole play.  This is a move abstract piece not at much props as there is movement.  There should definitely be character development in the actors movement throughout the play.

Character List

Jeramy, A teenage boy, 17 years old who is African American and is new to prison.  In Juvenile Justice Service Center. Lives in Philadelphia.

Samantha, Teen mom still pregnant 17 years old.  White women has been in prison for a month. In Juvenile Justice Service Center.

Tomas, 25 year old man African American.  Has a wife and kid. In Polunsky.

Wendy, Black women who has been been in solitary confinement twice this is her second time she’s 30.  In Idaho Correctional Center.

Tobias, White man who is an addict.  He is 25.  In Idaho Correctional Center.

Trisha, African American women who is in Polunsky.  She is 28.

Police Officers, there are 6 of them they may be playing also prisons throughout show

Scene 1

(There is a set with 3 cubes big enough to stand in.  This is where the people will be mostly performing in.  The set is more center stage and takes up most of the stage just some room down stage for dancing. The scene will start with a projection of “This is the story of 6 prisoners in 3 different prisons across the USA; 2 adult prisons and one juvy” When the projection goes up a light is shone on 6 prisoners facing upstage so their backs are to the audience.  Their hands are up.  There is a line of police officers that come on  stage of them so they are looking at the audience and they put handcuffs the prisoners.  Once the handcuffs are on the police do a step movement and freeze and look at the audience.  The song “Prison Song by System of a Down” starts to play and a big dance breaks out this involves a lot of step movements and the prisoners and police are dancing at each other with anger.  Once song is over they end with prisoners on their knees head down and officers above them kicking them down. )


To “The Box”

(Everyone stands and in 2 rows split and the 3 prisoners that are on top take the latter up and when they are all in the doors shut all at once - and they all look out at the audience at once with worry in her eyes and lights out)

Scene 2

(Everyone in boxes faced out in actors neutral)




Just a part of the 2,220,300


Locked into the US jail system


Increasing the numbers


20% of the prisoners in the world


But the US is only 5% of the world


In the..


Juvenile Justice Service Center




Idaho Correctional Center


Just another with our hands up

(everyone puts hands up)

and eyes to the ground

(everyone looks down make sure both of these movements are in senque)


Just another teenager














Locked in these (beat) boxes.  When I got in this jail I thought how much worse could it get..


Then they caught my cocain I hid in the bathroom


I got caught sneaking around and then having a mental break down..I snapped at the officer.


(air quotes)

talking back to the officer


Getting a little to upset when they wouldn’t let me talk to my wife and kids


So now we are stuck


And apparently it can get worse

(Song “Locked Up” by Akon starts to play this contains in movements that are in sync with each other not all movements have to be in total sync though.  There is a bed in the room so movements on bed too.” )

Scene 3

(There is jail bars that are down stage everyone.  There is the 6 prisoners hanging, laying, leaning or doing something else against the jail bars.  There is a going to be projections maybe a video that shows information about prison.  As this plays actors are frozen.  After video actors come to life and there is background noise to make it seem more like prison. There is a light that focuses on Samantha as she walks towards Trish.  Than only a light on them)


(there is a sound of throw up runs on to stage with a panic)

Trish! Trish!

(say in panic)


(standing up from leaning against bars not paying attention)

Samantha! Calm down what is the matter?



Trish I think I’m pregnant.


What how!  Samantha have you been with a gard..


Shit Trish.. I wouldn’t let myself be touched by one of those bastards.  It was before to prison.  It can’t possibly get worse than this.

(falling to ground holding on to prison bars)

*This is played by one of the police guards they need to look more like a teen because in this scene they are playing Trish’s friend in Juvey.

Scene 4

(Lights go out on Trisha and Samantha and are on Jeremy staring out the jail cells in stillness and silence.  A guard walks up him.)


Why are you just standing here shouldn’t you be in your room


Yes.. um .. I just ..


Get your ass back in your room!  What did I tell you about wondering!  Lights out!!  


I was just going for a walk!


Go to your room now !


I can’t.


(reaches in the cell and grabs Jeremy up close to him you can see how this could bring pain to Jeremy)

When I say to do something you do it NOW!!!

(say in a baby voice)

Do you need me to call your mommy

(Throwing Jeremy back and he falls to the ground)



Leave her out of it!


What did you just say?


SHUT UP! I don’t belong here!


You’re right. You don’t belong here.  Send him to the box!

Scene 5

(The prisoners are in the boxes and are laying around our trying to make themselves busy)


Today is day 3 of solitary confinement.  I think back on the 17 years that I have had and wonder how I’ve gotten here. My mind is twisted with the past all the mistakes I’ve had and how I am the reason why I am in the box.  Going into Juvy unknowing what I may face. I had my whole life planned in front of me. I wanted to go into the business world.  The rest of the people around my hood in Kensington didn’t have the same goals as me. My mom has raised me to be a world changer and someone who is willing to go out and get their money.  So that's what I did.  My mom was having trouble paying for the house bill being a single mom.  I did have a job at Walmart but it just wasn’t enough.  So my friend suggested I trapped.  I figured what would it hurt?  Many of my friends did it and I would only do it for a month or two-- just till I had enough to help my mom out.  Then I could go back to the way things were.  But then one day I was selling on the corner of Allegany and a guy came up to me-- someone I have never sold to before. He wanted to buy some cocaine...

(A guy comes in and takes drugs from his hand and immediately he twists Jeremy's wrists into cuffs.)

That is why I am in jail now because I was trying to help my mom out.  Now I’m already locked in “the box”... just for trying to help my mom.

Scene 6

(in the boxes scene starts with a big knock on the door and them shaken back to reality real quick then food is shoved under their door.)


Dinner time!

(Everyone slides the plate up to themselves and picks up the dried chicken that doesn't really look like chicken)



(Some refuse to eat and then began going back to their business while others pick at their food and try to eat it)


(picking at the chicken and observing in detail)

1..2..3..4..4..4 plus 30 plus 1..2..3..4..4..4.. This is my second time in the shoe. So I’ve learned a few things to make your self not go completely insane. Routine is the key.

(getting up acting out routine all the prisoners do the same.  The schedule is all scattered at first and then by the end they are doing the moves in sync. This part they all should move almost like they have a weight on there back and are forced to do routine not to do crazy. Also they should be ending each other's sentences to show that they all do the routines)

First is the waking up.


Followed by staring at the ceiling and counting to 100 5 times.  It’s good to keep things in the consistency of 5 rounds.


Sometimes 3.  Then it's my wake up workout routine.  It’s good to stay in shape and to keep the blood flowing.  If I just stared at the ceiling all day I may go insane. So I do 5 sets of ten of push ups, crunches


Squats, and I lift the books I do have.  Then it’s time to wash up.. Well as best as I can I go to my sink wash the face in circular motions.  Brush my teeth very well.  My parents, growing up, always told me to sing through..


Happy birthday twice for my teeth to be perfectly healthy. Then time to read the books that are provided right now I have been reading my books and trying to memorize the pages.  Maybe when I’m out of here I’ll surprise


People with my great knowledge from these books.  Then it’s time for the writing… wait I forgot something.. DAMN IT.. DAMN IT.. DAMN IT!!!

(All of them begin to  freak out.  This freaking out is a dance though with a rhythm.l)


I forgot to include the meals...

Scene 7

(when they are calming themselves “mad world” by gary jules begins playing instrumental there is a knock on the door and the door opens for for recess they all turn towards back away from the door and they put their hands behind their backs and they are handcuffed and carried out.  As the come down stage they are all going to sing mad world.  When they are all in the courtyard they are uncuffed this shows how they react to each other. This dance needs to be slow and somber.  There can be body weight dancing with each other. This is when you react to each other when you touch each other and you put your body weight on others almost like trust falls but dancing.  When they touch on another you can see they feel very uncomfortable afterwards. They feel this way because many prisoners that are in the shoe in their time outside don’t know how to react to other people because of being isolated to long.)

Scene 8

(Everyone is continuously walking and reacting to each other in a sacred manner in front of the boxes)


Imagine being locked in a 6 by 8 foot room


Days on end


Not knowing when the sun goes up or sun goes down


Painting a picture in my mind of the outside world.. making up the times of the day.


Locked up


Forget human touch

(goes over to Tobias and has an intimate connection.  Looking deep into each other's eyes then suddenly gazing off)


It’s all forgotten


Trying to learn again

(moving up to someone and moving  away)

But I know I am going to just leave them in a hour what's the point


(sitting in the corner)

I feel as though my memory of how to act around others is locked outside these bars



Scene 9

(guards all come out in a line and calls to them all)




Trapped again

(they all grab a prisoner and a screen that you can only see shadows from when light is shone on it is rolled onto to center stage and one at a time they are pushed behind the screen and you can see them getting stripped and searched the officers are screaming “bind over” and “clean” then they gather their stuff and go to there cell.  There is an instrumental through all this.  When they are all in there rooms laying on there bed or sitting the door is shut and all at once they turn to their wall and write a tally mark and say day 8. Lights out.)

Scene 10

(This part is going to be people scattered throughout the stage and there is going to be a words over the speaker talking about being locked up in solitary and there is going to be screaming.  The actors are going to be looking at the audience as there is a projection of the american flag on them. The national anthem is going to play out and then it's going to remix to a song that has to do with the system being wack.  When this song comes on there is going to be an upbeat dance with stomping and the police are going to come in and dance to.  By the end of the dance the bars are going to be brought back on the stage and there going to be pressed against or on the floor by the officers.  Then lights are shut out and curtains are closed.)

More About Anxiety...

Hello, it’s Briannie Matos again, a Freshman at Science Leadership Academy and I am doing the You & The World Project. In my first blog post I stated a lot of facts and statistics about anxiety. Anxiety is a very personal topic for me and you can look at my first blog post for more information.
In an article I read called Hundreds of Psychology Studies are Wrong talks about how genetics can be related to why people have anxiety. This article was just recently posted on May 1, 2017 and it states in another recent article called  The Conversation researchers went around a hospital and examined the anxiety of parents and children. The article also talks about how the absence of a father can affect their children dramatically, more specifically their daughters. Their daughters could become sexually promiscuous at a young age, meaning having sexual content frequently and not caring who the sexual partner is. Genetics can have something to do with it anxiety because as a child you can naturally have traits from your parents. Just how you can have your mother’s looks or your father’s looks, you can have anxiety through genetics. Many people in my family has anxiety, so having anxiety through genetics could be true.

This is a photo of my aunt, Lisette, who suffers from anxiety and my grandmother.

For my original research I decided to interview my aunt, Lisette from New
York. She is someone who has to take medication to control her anxiety. Since she is in New York, she agreed to have the interview over the phone. During the call, one thing that stood out to me was when my aunt says her anxiety begins because everyone always depends on her and she doesn’t know how to say no. My aunt can be a very nice and at times way too nice. When my aunt’s anxiety is to crazy to control she sometimes has to cancel her plans because she gets in a bad mood and doesn’t feel like doing anything.
As a mother it can affect her on many ways because whenever her children need her sometimes she can’t be there. It’s really overwhelming for her because when she can’t control her anxiety and when her anxiety kicks in, she can be very emotional. My aunt would start hyperventilating and she would just begin to cry. I asked her What advice would you offer other people who deal with anxiety?, her answer was, to not let anyone depend on you as much, and that it is okay to say no sometimes. A way my aunt copes with anxiety is using religion. For example, she listens to gospel music to calm her nerves and let the positivity in. She also reads Joyce Meyer books who is a Christian author and a speaker.
You can visit my annotated bibliography for more information of the resources that were used.

Here is a photo of me while doing my interview over the phone with my aunt. She was so excited to help out because she would also love to help others with anxiety.


Mi Poema En Espanol

   Mi FAMILIA  Mi Familia es muy grande y muy loco. Mas o menos.

 Mi Familia son altos y bajitos, Mi familia son comicos y tienen talentoso.

Mi Familia trabajan duro, y son inteligente.

Mi familia son buenos cocineros, Buenos atletas.

Mi familia es ruidoso y contento.

Mi familia Tiene un monton de ninos  y   Un monton de adolescentes.

Me encanta familia para siempre !

Otter Jung-Allen Capstone

A global poetry competition that I have competed for and won before, Brave New Voices, refused to randomize bouts in 2016, and made all of the East Coast cities compete against each other. This meant that the predominantly Black and brown teams, such as Atlanta, Hampton Roads, Philly, and DC, were forced to cancel each other out in order to try and make it to finals. This has not been the first time cities on the East Coast have been marginalized while those in charge claimed they were pushing “diversity”. So I wanted to do my part to give visibility to the people I knew deserved it. After coordinating extensively with Yolanda Wisher, Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, and Lindsay Tucker So, Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate official administrator, and drawing of multiple budget drafts, we decided to have each city submit to an online form. The entries would be from 14-19 years old poets from the respective cities, and the judges would be the Youth Poet Laureates. After the deadline, the winners would be compiled into an inclusive anthology, published by Penmanship Books. Each city had between 3-9 poems for their section, and each YPL wrote their own introduction for their city’s part of the book. I wrote an introduction for the entire book. Publication is expected to happen before June.
Screenshot 2017-05-19 at 12.09.11 PM
Screenshot 2017-05-19 at 12.09.11 PM
Screenshot 2017-05-19 at 12.11.20 PM
Screenshot 2017-05-19 at 12.11.20 PM

Otter Jung-Allen

Annotated Bibliography, Capstone Project

Ameer, Justice. Queer of Faith. N.p.: WusGood Magazine, n.d. Print.

Before the initial Capstone research process began, Mr. Kay gave this book as a gift from a feature he attended in October. Justice Ameer, the author, is a non binary Black trans person who writes prolifically concerning their gender and the way in which their body’s presentation, appearance, and sense of constant change interact with the world and people around them. This book improved the chapbook being constructed for this Capstone because its language, imagery, and consequent impacts on its reader gave this chapbook a better sense of minimality and emotional honesty. Finding similarities between the experiences and feelings of Ameer’s poetry and that of the poetry involved in this project, it was a learning experience to annotate the book in order to learn from it.

Browne, Mahogany L. Smudge. Minneapolis, MN: Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2015. Print.

This book of poetry represents a different style of writing than the chapbooks that are commonly published by American media. Mahogany L. Browne is known for her storytelling nature and understandable language onstage, but Smudge reflects these qualities along with frequent utilization of abnormal sentence structure, punctuation, and spacing choices. When annotating this chapbook in pencil, this Capstone project will cherry pick the best options made in Browne’s writing in order to experiment further with the design and language of its poetry. Risks are made to be taken within art, and this chapbook reflects better than any other how effective, impactful, and unique it can be when an author takes them without hesitation or reserve.

Davis, Kai. Music & Marrow. Philadelphia, PA: 2 Pens & Lint, 2012. Print.

Kai Davis is an American poet who has won many various accolades for their poetry and performative art, and both their stage presence and literary expertise has driven the backbone of this Capstone’s chapbook project. This particular work describes love, relationships, and depression from the point of view of a queer woman. The writing exercises simplicity and straightforwardness in order to cut right to the reader’s emotional boundaries. The personal, and often political, tone of the chapbook gave this Capstone project some insight into how an author picks apart feelings in order to make the experiences of having them both relatable and non condescending. Davis speaks to a large, general audience. Her poetry connects to not only those who understand, but also those who earn an understanding through reading her work. This is the tone that this Capstone chapbook is working toward.

Hartley, Marsden. “The Business of Poetry.” Poetry, vol. 15, no. 3, 1919, pp. 152–158.

This source directly connects the poetry aspect to business and how they connect in mass media. This concludes how art overall can affect business to change in order for art to assimilate into the field. This also dissects which types of poetry do best in business with humor, personal story, or shame. By weighing out what poems are most personal, most humorous, and most experimental, the book will be an outlier in what is needed in the industry. This reveals what will do better in business and in the world of poetry. It also compares how the business side of poetry may be different from history and the present. This concludes with predictions about the future of poetry and business.

"Home." Philly Youth Poetry Movement. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. <>.

Philly Youth Poetry Movement helped with leading youth poets in weekly slams to ensure that they get used to writing and writing better. Workshops target certain aspects of writing tools to build on to the poets abilities. By using the weekly workshops, each poet can build on what it takes to become a better writer and performer, all in all, becoming a better slam poet. This site helps organize a timeline of when and where each event takes place in order to navigate a more communicative process for poets. This has made it possible for all Philadelphia poets to come to this safe space in order to become an overall better person.

Kaur, Rupi. Milk and honey. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015. Print.

The book's layout shows how creative a best selling book can look. To get a more unique book, the anthology will include a similar or a different type of creative layout to show a variety of ways poems can be displayed in a book. This book is different from the other sources because this source will be used to show how a popular book differentiates from other conventional books. This can be used in the project to find different outlets of formatting the book. The book itself can combine different outlets of art while also focusing on poetry by making it a combination and making the art connect to the poetry instead of letting it be its own dynamic.

Kay, Sarah, and Sophia Janowitz. No Matter the Wreckage: Poems. Austin, TX: Write Bloody Publishing, America's Independent Press, 2014. Print.

Sarah Kay is an American poet who created this debut chapbook of poems near the beginning of her career. Her poetry contains a wide range of exploring who Kat is as a girlfriend, lover, and friend, and how her relationships with both her religion and her partners affect her mental well being and the rest of her life. Many of her poems are cautionary or hypothetical, speaking directly in open letter format to future boyfriends or friends. She speaks to her readers in order for them to relate to her. It is raw in the sense of opening up to the world. This Capstone project needs to be similarly vulnerable and real to its audience just as Sarah Kay.

NEW-GENERATION AFRICAN POETS: a chapbook box set. Place of publication not identified: AKASHIC, 2017. Print.

New Generation African Poets is a box set of chapbooks, compiling the individual works of eight African poets. The set gives an introduction to each poet and what they have created and contributed to the anthology. They tell the story of the wonders of different countries and cultures within the continent of Africa and bring the poetry in Africa into the commonplace world literature of today. The Voices of the East Coast Anthology being created in this Capstone will include a diverse tone from many different voices from many different places, just like the ones in this box set. Poetry should be always encompass a well rounded amount of perspectives, and the anthology being compiled for this Capstone will use this box set as an exemplary model for that purpose.

Penmanship Books RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. <>.

This website is an organized publishing service to ensure people can publish all types of books for all types of people. This is the service that will publish The Voices of The East Coast anthology. In order for all of the cities to contribute poets and poems, this service will ensure all publishing rights in order for this anthology to be made. This company was made because of the idea that poets have problem with publishing rights. The creator, Mahogany L. Browne, intended on making this to help any and all poets. This project will be published by Penmanship Books to ensure that people know more about both Penmanship Books and Youth Poet Laureate Otter Jung Allen.

Waheed, Nayyirah. Salt. San Bernardino, CA: Nayyirah Waheed, 2013. Print.

Nayyirah Waheed is a well known page poet because of her frequently posted poetry excerpts on social media, particularly Instagram. She is a safe and non controversial poet because of her dedication to bite size pieces of art, usually concerning love, relationships, and sex, that can be shared easily. This chapbook is one of her most popular books, unlike the other chapbooks listed, which are more underground or socially shared by word of mouth instead of online or by businesses. This chapbook’s immediate marketability is a skill needed by this Capstone project’s chapbook because without a certain amount of mass attention, it will not be able to share its art with the rest of the world or raise money for future artistic or poetic endeavours to follow.

Cyber Bullying Teens worst enemy

Cyberbullying your worst enemy

As you remember from my previous article, cyberbullying is a really big issue in most schools. The suicide rate has grown tremendously, and students are being affected terribly, including their confidence and motivation in schoolwork. My last post explains why I have a strong opinion on cyberbullying. Which is because nobody deserves anything that brings them down. This is also why I am trying to stop bullying. I am trying to make people have a new and clear view on how things affect others on social media.

Cyberbullying is a big issue in the 21st century. That’s because social media is becoming more popular and cyberbully is becoming much more easier for people. For example, Snapchat and Instagram both allow you to tag and post about somebody. Cyberbullying is a big issue in my life because some of my closest friends almost attempted suicide due to this unsuitable issue. One reason why I say cyberbullying is so easy to occur in the 21st century is because 50% of teens have experienced some form of digital abuse including, but not limited to: spreading lies, violations of trust, and digital disrespect. That’s half of the teens in the U.S.! This is not healthy, because that means cyberbullying is extremely common, and tells me that the victims aren’t standing up for themselves, or if they are, it isn’t working at all.

This leads to my next point on how bystanders can prevent cyberbullying, as well as the victims . In my opinion, bystanders play a big part in cyberbullying incidents, because they are witnesses of these terrible experiences. They can, and should, stand up for the victim. Therefore, bystanders can prevent cyberbullying. According to stop bullying now, if the bystanders can’t see a way to help, they should put themselves in the victim’s shoes, because cyberbullying can cause severe issues like anxiety, depression, panic disorders, and can make the person’s life a living hell.


For my original research part of this project, I chose to do an interview. My interview was with a friend named Sara, who has been through the process of overcoming being a victim of cyberbullying, turning into a beautiful young woman. My interview had very personal questions that were very useful for my project. For example, my first question to Sara was, “what's your opinion on cyber bullying?”and she answered honestly stating, “obviously it's bad, but it's not something that is able to be stopped because of the technology in the 21st century.” Her answer is important because she has been through  cyberbullying. It is also important because I connect with her and her opinion. Another question I asked was, “If you were bullied, can you explain how was that event?” Which also connects to the question, “how was your reactions towards cyberbullying? Did you try to stop it?” Her response was “when I was cyberbullied, it was everything, it was verbal, emotional, cyber. In the moment I wanted to fight back, but I didn’t because I wanted to prevent it.” She said that it was “painful.” Her answer to this question is very useful because it shows that some victims do try to help but are too weak and not saying they are. I only say she was weak because she had nobody to support her or have affection shown.


For my Agent of Change, I am going to create a nice care package for a survivor of cyberbullying and bullying. I decided to make a care package because the person has been through so much and deserves to feel cared for. I also want to make this person happy for a week and to text her everyday to see how feels. The package will include amazing things to cheer a person up. Not only that, but I think making a care package is a great idea because it comes from the heart, in my opinion it's better to make something with love than buying something.

I want to say thanks to Sara Frunzi for being so strong and supportive to me for this project and in general you have a big heart. I love you, remember your very beautiful and always be happy!

Link to my bibliography


Hanna Dunakin Capstone

As a CTE student my goal was to create a capstone that future CTE students could use, but also something that could involve the SLA community as a whole. Many students throughout the years I’ve been a CTE student have come up to me and asked if I could do a photoshoot for them, or a promo video, and sometimes I was just asked for guidance through Adobe Photoshop or Premiere. As much as I appreciated being asked and given so much trust for doing these things, I felt pressured because I was asked last minute, or just asked by so many people at a time. Not only that, but this was done on my free time, and never counted for my needed CTE hours. This capstone was created based on that struggle. 

I created a website called CTE Next Door, which allows students to contact any CTE student for help concerning photography and/or video. A CTE student will not only help the other student, but the work that they do will count towards their hours, they’ll get extra practice, and not to mention, they’ll do it completely for free. For example, if you want pictures for a yearbook page, use CTE Next Door to contact a CTE student, they’ll reach out and see what you exactly want, and they’ll do it, just like that, at no charge. I’ve been working on this all year, fixing the glitches and mistakes, and I’ve finally created something that I’m very proud of and excited to share with the SLA community. Hopefully CTE Next Door will go beyond the SLA doors, but for now, it is strictly used for contact between SLA students and faculty.

Ona Brown Capstone

  In your senior year at Science Leadership Academy you are asked to produce a Capstone. Our senior capstone gives us the responsibility to educate ourselves and the freedom to be in charge of our own education. Using what we know to educate those around us. Our capstone requires us to incorporate all 5 core values; presentation, inquiry, research, reflection and collaboration. These values have been instilled in our performance as students and in our work ethic over the course of years.

One thing that I always appreciated about the SLA community was our freedom to express ourselves in many aspects. One being in the way we dress. The freedom to wear whatever our hearts desired as long as it wasn’t offensive or creating a negative learning environment for other students around us. Image/fashion has always been an important aspect of life to me. I knew I wanted to center my capstone around this idea that the image and perspective we have of ourselves and others shapes our everyday experiences. Image/fashion plays a significant role in our lives, whether it used for racial discrimination, judgement, sexual orientation, class, business, or simply just to express ourselves as human beings.

During this project I was able to reach out to up and coming fashion designers, teachers, students, and family members regarding the purpose of image. After much preparation, time, and research I was able to create a website sharing my findings and ideas about fashion/image. One truth that I found to be evident is that as a society we shouldn’t try to make a purpose for image, we should make image purposeful.

Link to website:

Link to Bibliography:

Alexander Tristano Capstone

​I have always been interested in American Sign Language (ASL) for as long as I can remember. Many of my preschool teachers knew ASL and from time to time would teach us different signs. I also remember having books and and instructional video teaching ASL. For my capstone I wanted to learn a language. I was at first interested in relearning ASL, but found that it turned out quickly that I would much rather learn about the Deaf Community. In researching the about the Deaf Community, I learned about the two different sides of the Deaf Community, and how the invention of Cochlear Implants impacted the Deaf Community negatively. I continued learning more and more about Cochlear Implants and what they are and how they work. I listened to multiple podcasts in which reporters would interview people who had lost their hearing or were born deaf and who had Cochlear Implants about what their lives were like and how their lives changed due to getting Cochlear Implants. I also learned the other uses of cochlear implants or other technology instead of cochlear implants. I was able to interview three different people who either had Cochlear implants or were considered part of the deaf community themselves. Their opinions on the deaf community were very interesting and what they had to say about Cochlear Implants was very helpful. Overall I am very proud of the work I put into this capstone and am proud of the outcome.

Here is the link to my annotated bibliography

Ebony Ream's Capstone

For my capstone, it was important for me to work with children. I originally wanted to volunteer at St. Christopher’s Hospital and do storytelling with the children, as well as creating a book. However, there were a few complications with that idea so my mentor, Ms. Giknis and I, were brainstorming of other places I could possibly volunteer at while still doing something similar to what I wanted to do. We eventually saw that Ronald McDonald House offers opportunities for volunteers, most times high schoolers, to create arts and crafts or play some kids who are long-term ill. My main goal for this capstone was to give children who are ill, the opportunity to “play” or “live” like a normal child would. These children are constantly in and out of the hospital, some even only knowing what a hospital room looks like. Most of the research towards this project was just looking up ways to approach children who are ill and even families of the children. A lot of it was also finding fun arts and crafts for them to do.

I want to give a huge shoutout to Ms. Giknis, Brandon Jones, and Daouda Njie for helping me making this event possible. It was something that not only made the kids happy, but it allowed me to build stronger connections with children.