Richard Yoeun Capstone

For my Capstone, I decided to teach a mini-course at The Franklin Institute for the current freshmen class of Science Leadership Academy. What I did to begin the process of making this course was that I had to meet with my mentor Dr. Derek Pitts, and proposed to teach an astronomy course under his supervision. What happened was we spent a good amount of time planning out what days during the Spring were I would be able to present my mini-course and what material I should cover. The material that I covered for my specific topic was the Sun in our solar system and Sun-Earth interactions. I presented my course twice over a 8 week process, other days were for reflection on my teaching and how I worked with the students. What I learned over time is that when it comes to teaching students about a topic that they do not know, their level of inquiry is higher then those who do know the material presented to them.

Click here for Mini-Course Pictures
RYoeun Mini Course

Capstone Annotated Bibliography:

Addison, Kevin. "SDO | Solar Dynamics Observatory." SDO | Solar Dynamics Observatory. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

Working in tandem with my presentation, this website helped me demonstrate different views of the Sun with different filters on. What I wanted to get into with the different filters is how to see specific parts of the Sun or Sun Phenomenon without harming our eyes. I went back and forth talking about both Mylar Filter and Hydrogen Alpha Filter. On days that I did not have full access to the Zeiss Telescope, which is The Franklin Institute’s main telescope used mostly to view the Sun with either the Hydrogen Alpha or Mylar. This site gives me a good way to let the students view the Sun without having to walk to the telescope and having a slim chance to actually use that telescope. This website also gives a constantly updated version of different filtered views of the Sun daily.

Choi, Charles Q. "Earth’s Sun: Facts About the Sun’s Age, Size and History." N.p., 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

At first, I had to think about what I wanted to teach to my students, I remembered from my ILP that I was studying about taking pictures for The Franklin Institute and those pictures would consist of different filters over our Sun. What I then thought about was information about the Sun, because I wanted to teach my mini-course. I thought about how this website could help me convey basic and rare knowledge about our Sun. The reason why I use this source is because it has different specific breakdowns of the Sun and it’s different areas, I could find it helpful.

Dufour, Richard, Robert E. Eaker, and Rebecca Dufour. Professional Learning Communities at Work: 2005 Institutes; Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2005. Print.

With this book, this is the breakdown on how teachers could find different ways to interact with students. Some students could be the type that are willing to learn but don’t  know how, some could be visual learners, vocal, hands on, etc. This book also gets down on how the teachers should be able to incorporate a lot of ways to be flexible when it comes to students of different ways to learn. Introducing how teachers should act and giving insight on how they could tackle a lot of obstacles when it comes to their students. Also, the book talks about how teachers, or in this case, me, could fulfill most if not all student requests with flexibility in the classroom.

FightRegression. "Surreal Video of Aurora Borealis from ISS - Jan/Feb 2012."YouTube. YouTube, 9 Mar. 2012. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This is one of the videos that I had put into my lesson plan\presentation for the students that I teach. It covers the space view of an Aurora happening in Earth’s atmosphere. This video was one of few that I looked at that could give me a decent view using the International Space Station (ISS).  I thought that this video would come in handy and would work well when I could explain the interaction between the Earth and the Sun. The video mostly showed the greenish teal colors of Auroras which people are most common to seeing, while there are many other colors that were not viewed commonly.  

Fuchs, Miriam. "Teaching Astronomy." Personal interview. 23 Jan. 2015.

Miriam is an employee at The Franklin Institute and she has gave me information revolving around my topic that I did not know, different activities for me to get the students engaged and ways to amaze them with the common knowledge of the Sun. She specializes in study of exoplanets, classifications of different stars and a wide range of terms pertaining to her specialties. She thought of the different ways for me to provide aiding links that will have different videos that I could show to the students. She also gave me different write ups for activities that were revolving around Spectroscopy that I read and demonstrated to the students, amazing them with the different elements that could be identified.

Pahomov, Larissa. "Membership." ASCD Book: Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry. Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

Mrs. Pahomov’s book spoke about the way that Science Leadership Academy’s way of teaching seems to be revolutionary. The ways that Science Leadership Academy approaches their students with the project based learning is something out of the ordinary as some would say. What I took from the book is the different ways that I can teach my students and bring them to a classroom that could revolve around SLA core values, though I am teaching a freshman class, they won’t truly understand the core values and the main thing is to not give them the answer, but let them come up with questions that they already know answers to, get into a deeper understanding of those answers and questions. What the main thing that I am getting out of the book is that students don’t want to be lectured all the time, it’s better to have hands on activities or something that can get students to come together and come up with solutions on their own.

Pitts, Derrick, Sc.D. "Teaching Astronomy." Personal interview. 23 Jan. 2015.

Dr. Derrick Pitts is the Chief Astronomer at the Franklin Institute. Dr. Pitts studied at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, PA, St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, and La Salle University. While at La Salle, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. He continued his studies and research to the extremes when it came to Astronomy, it was something out of the ordinary because he was so interested in the idea of the universe. He is highly amazed by the different wonders of the universe and does not cease to keep learning. What Dr. Derrick Pitts told me to ready me for my mini course was to engage the students with questions, be the guide for them, not the gatekeeper. Let them reach their answers together and won’t have to worry about being given the answer.

Redd, Nola Taylor. "Space Weather: Sunspots, Solar Flares & Coronal Mass Ejections." Space Weather: Sunspots, Solar Flares & Coronal Mass Ejections. N.p., 13 May 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <>.

When it came to looking for something that could help me explain the different phenomenon that happens on the Sun, this source was that go to source for general and in depth information. I am teaching about the different events happening on the Sun from Solar Flares, how they happen, why, etc. Same thing for Sun Spots, I am trying to break it down to the simplest ways so that the students would not be overwhelmed by what I will be saying to them but also enough that will get them to think. This source is something that I could use for the students to look over after they have my class so if they are interested in the topic that I had taught, they could continue their

Stovall, Idris, Ph.D. "Teaching Astronomy Reflection and Debriefing." Personal interview. 23 Jan. 2015.

Dr. Stovall attended Hampton University, graduated then went to University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He got his Ph.D in mathematics and now is teaching students at Penn State. His contribution to my teaching plan was techniques that I can use on the students to veer them towards the right direction when it comes to difficult questions. Coming up with lesson plan that could reach out towards their young minds. Using the various methods and techniques, he also informed me in ways I can help the students bring about inquiry about my topic. What things should be asked at certain moments, how can I turn that into something else. Follow up questions and other thought provoking questions.

Tate, Karl. "Anatomy of Sun Storms & Solar Flares (Infographic)." N.p., 4 Jan. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

When it came to using this infographic, I was a bit unsure about how I could use this to my advantage on teaching my students, what I did end up doing with this is going on a quick walk through with the students to view this infographic about Solar Storms and Flares. It’s something that is good to know about and could be fun at times. This infographic also goes by the main sections of Sun Activity that I went through during my teaching, it gives brief explanation so the students could understand it better and give some visuals so that students that do not work well with just reading words or hearing it could see and start to get ideas of what is being shown to them.

Memes & Society... What we know, What we don't know

​Hello everyone! It has been quite a bit since my last blog post and in that time I have been able to conduct some of my own research on memes, social networks, and the relationship that people have with such things. In my first Blog post: A meme is not just a picture, I talked a bit about what a meme actually was, both by definition and by personal experiences that many people have with memes.

Quick recap:

  1. meme (/ˈmiːm/ meem) is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture".
The idea of meme originated pretty much at the start of civilization, but adopted a greek name as time passed. The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα pronounced [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, "imitated thing", from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, "to imitate", from μῖμος mimos, "mime")

Memes are not just a picture with a caption on them, or a hash-tag, but they are a human trait, we have mimicked since the very first days of our species, whether it was us all chanting at the same time, to us all building the same houses, the concept of mimic has been in our DNA for thousands of years and is still one of the fundamental structures of society.

For my original research, I decided to take a closer look as to how exactly social networks, protests, and memes are interlaced with our society and found that they have just as much power as per say, the entire society itself. I decided to interview someone who I know for a fact has tons of experience with social networks and the internet. His name is Andrea Mazzucchi, and he is also my father. Andrea worked with the internet since pretty much the first days and has been all around Europe setting up connections and doing jobs related to social networks. Additionally he also has some experience with protests and movements being led using the internet. In fact, he was one of the key players in a protest college students were having in china, sneaking information from the internet the Chinese government blocked, or thought they blocked, and turning the protest from a national problem, to an international discussion.

You can see the full, unedited interview HERE

In the interview he described the fact that social networks have always been a major role of movement ever since the early ages of the internet. He talked about the process of things going viral, how the politics work behind internet protests and many more things which you should definitely look into. He also told us of the importance in learning about the internet and the fact that it is a growing place, and probably will be the new method of communication.

Additionally, I decided to conduct a research with people who live in the city and generally in the areas where telecommunications are most popular. I created a survey (can be found by clicking HERE) and attempted to find out, how exactly a handful of people from a first world city, saw memes.

After gathering a few results, I created an info-graph to represent how people answered on each question.

You can see the info-graph HERE

Based on the results, it seems like many people have a general understanding or idea of what a meme is. Many people referred to a meme by its common form of "Picture with a caption". What was surprising about the results though, is that not many people seemed to be aware of the impact that memes had. We all know about how memes are interlaced within social networks, but it seemed like no one was aware of the fact that social networks are a major contributor to protests and change. Almost everyone who took the survey, if not everyone, was living a couple miles away from an actual live riot that was being influenced by telecommunication. That's right, the modern Baltimore Riot is being bombarded across all types of social networks. Things ranging from images, to short clips of people causing chaos, to entire news stories of what happened are being blasted across the internet in all direction. The Baltimore Riot is a perfect example of an explosion of text and pixels, which lead to a much greater effect than just some forum discussion.

Other examples of movements being led by memes can be things such as:


And the list goes on and on....

My point is, people are always part of movements or the ongoing flow of information and change, but they never stop to think about it. To everyone it seems normal, but people never think about the true effect that posts on twitter or even text messages have on the very society which they live in. For my Agent of change, I would like to raise awareness of memes, social networks, and the power they have on our everyday lives. I decided to make a documentary which hopefully you will see soon and maybe even start a hash-tag project or a meme that helps raise awareness on what goes on between the online and offline life that ties them so closely together.


Artists have Rights

I Conor Meier am doing artist rights for my you and the world project. i chose this because i am an artist and i know how i would feel if someone took my work. basically artist right are the fact that bigger companies and really just about anybody can steal an artist's work, and we usually can't do anything about it

meow though.png

the significance of artist rights is that anyone can steal an artist's work that they have been working on for along time and take it. if it is jewelry a large company can take it and mass produce it in a factory and the artist is making like one every few days and of course the factory sells it for less so not only does the artist have less even if someone finds it they wouldn't buy it because they can get it cheaper elsewhere. it is important for people to know about this so that we can put a stop to it. also we can look out for it at all stores and if anyone that we know does it.

I learned that some companies aren’t stealing stuff, they can buy the rights to it.

Artists Rights Society-

Quick Guide to Artists' Rights -


Artists Bill of Rights-

Now i am wondering about who i can interview and what i can do for agent of change. as the project goes on i want to find out if anyone has been wrongly accused for stealing artwork.

Rockets Unleash and Upset Toros 13-7 to Stay Unbeaten; Advance to “True Power” Tournament

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.22.05 PM
Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.22.05 PM

When Jason Greene woke up on Wednesday morning the last two things he wanted to do were take a standardized test and check into a hospital. All he wanted to do was play some baseball and help his team prove they are worth respecting, and perhaps even fearing. Unfortunately the first two came to pass, and the latter was something that literally unfolded across the street from where Jason needed to be rushed after taking a hard chopper to the mouth in warm ups. He ended up needing stitches, and was so groggy that he didn’t even realize he hit the ground in the first place.

After the haze of the warmup started to clear, Jason willed himself to his feet, and his energy and passion unified the squad. Players huddled up, grabbed their autographed “perfect regular season” ball and collectively dedicated the game to Jason Greene.

What unfolded on Lighthouse Field will forever clarify what happens when you play as one, no matter the odds.

Amani Bey Capstone

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.15.55 AM
Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.15.55 AM

Hello my name is Amani Bey and I decided to create . It is a blog for  showcasing and discussing feminists and political  issues  in the SLA community. 2014 was a journey for me. Having to assert myself through  college applications and the political climate of both school and the internet gave me a clear voice and helped me understand who I was. I realized that there was no platform to say what I needed to say and celebrate the amazing work that young feminists do inside and out of the SLA community. Over the course of second semester, I have researched and written about topics that interested me, most of which concerned race and gender, as well as interviewed students in my community. The blog contains art and writings from both myself and the student body. It is dedicated to creating awareness and I hope it lives on after I leave the SLA community. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.19.16 AM
Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.19.16 AM


Jules James Capstone

My name is Jules James and my project will be teaching women some of the ways they could take care of their hair, to know what care of hair to buy and to receive a maximum hair growth. A basic overview of my project is I’m creating a YouTube channel based on hair. This channel will include weave reviews, how I take care of my hair with different techniques, and all the products I use. The way my hair channel is different from the others is the age difference. Mostly everyone else who have a hair channel is in their adult life working or in college. But not me. I’m a high school senior trying to get into college and work every weekend. By having all of this in my life, I will show that girls my age are capable of doing their hair with a professional look just as well as women with time on their hand.

And now that I'm at the end of my project, I learned so much. For instance. I inspire girls like me who are always so busy to take the time to care for their hair more. I got to build these girls’ confidence up so they know that they are capable of taking care of themselves without having to dish out thousands of dollars to someone to do something that they can do for free. Also, I learned that get people interested you have to be very enthusiastic and not dull at all. You have to promote yourself to get people to watch. And some of the comments I received on my videos gave me some good ideas and more of them were confident boosters. When you watch my channel I hope you see all the hard work and fun put into my project. And note that even though this project is due and done I'll be continuing it during the rest of the school year and after high school.

Click here to view my channel and the rest of my videos.


Wedmore, James. "6 Ways to Grow YouTube Subscribers and Your Exposure." Social Media Examiner RSS. N.p., 15 May 2012. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. .

This source provides information about how to increase my YouTube subscribers for beginners.

I selected this source because on this site it shows the amount of subscribers the person who created this article have that’s an amount of subscribers I could use. I found this source useful because my subscriber count is low and I need to find a way to increase it even though I only have one video uploaded. One limitation of this source was the information on how long did it take him to get the amount of followers he has. But other than that I feel like this site is very reliable and informative.

"How to Grow Long Hair If You Are a Black Female." WikiHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. .

This source provides information about how to grow healthy long hair for an African-American female. I selected this source because it give a lot of information about the correct way to take care of your hair that specifically benefits black women. I found this source useful because I actually do some of these things and I’ve seen progress in my hair I could be living proof that some of these things work. One limitation of this source was someone to actually say this actually work. People like me like to have someone comment or say that doing these things got my hair to waist length in 4 years.

Liong, Mireille. "Natural Hairstyles, Hair Care, Events, Stories, News and Black Hair Products." Natural Hairstyles, Hair Care, Events, Stories, News and Black Hair Products. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. .

This source provides information about all the African-American women that made the decision to go all natural when it comes to hair. This source also provides the background on celebrities that also decided to go natural, which inspired some of these women to g natural too. I selected this source because it provides stories from real women about how and why they decided to go natural and it’s also been around for a while so that help shows it been very useful to the public, which is the reason new events still occur on this site. I found this source useful because it shows natural hairstyles that I could use it and it also have a section on the site where you could find hair salons for natural women. This source also gets how to’s for a natural healthy head of hair. One limitation of this source was everything seemed to be cluttered together so it was hard to try to find all the information I need from this site.    

"How to Take Care of Black Girls' Hair." WikiHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. .

This source provides information about how to take care of your hair but more in a product sense. I selected this source because it helps me out with talking about why the products I use helps my hair to grow other than just using protective hairstyles. I found this source useful because this explained the products more in a scientific sense other than just saying that use this and use that. There was no limitation to this site. It provided all the facts that I still was looking for about the science behind hair growth and it helped me look at how to grow hair in a different sense.

"4th Month Update on Hair Growth. Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, & Biotin."YouTube. YouTube, 4 Aug. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about how biotin, Pure castor oil, and coconut oil helps your hair to grow. And this is not a scripted video. You can tell that in this video the woman is in her bed doing a casual video about how tells products helped her and she showed her results from using them. I selected this source because in this video you can tell that she wasn’t faking her results and she also talked about her mistakes and what she could do differently next time. I found this source useful because you can tell that she wasn’t an actress trying to tell you the things you want to hear and this is an inspiration for one of my videos. One limitation of this source was she didn’t show a before and after pictures to show progress throughout the months.

"Relaxed Hair Care Regimen To Healthy Long Hair (Very Long & Detailed)."YouTube. YouTube, 4 Sept. 2012. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about her journey on how she grew out her relaxed hair and received long and healthy new hair. I selected this source because one of my videos will be similar to hers, but the difference is I’m not relaxing my hair anymore. I’m trying to grow my hair without a perm or a relaxer. I found this source useful because other than the how to’s she gives more specific information about the products she uses and how it benefits her. Also in her description box she listed all the products that could help with hair growth. To me, this was a good example of an informative and interesting hair journey video.

"9 Everyday Protective Hairstyles(Relaxed/Texlaxed&Natural Hair)."YouTube. YouTube, 18 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about how to do 9 different protective hairstyles. I selected this source because just like me this is a girl in her teens showing the viewers how she do her protective hairstyles and how easy and fast it is to do these hairstyles. I found this source useful because with these hairstyles you do need weave so I can show my viewers how I can naturally rock my hair and still keep it protected. One limitation of this source was some of the hairstyles had too much of her hair out which took out the meaning of “protective”. For the hairstyles to be considered a protective hairstyle it must protect your ends from breaking off. 

"How to Make a 3/4/u-part Wig(tutorial+ Tips)." YouTube. YouTube, 4 June 2011. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about how she created her U-part wig and the different techniques she used to make it. I selected this source because the visual was every clear to see everything she did and she showed that making a U-part wig could be easy if you take your time and have the right items. I found this source useful because she made some mistakes while making her wig and it helps me out to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes she did. One limitation of this source was she didn’t show how she installed it to her hair and how what as her results at the end.

"Natural Black Hair Care." Natural Black Hair Care. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about the factors of how to grow your hair longer and healthier. This site also provided information how to care for children’s hair and natural hair care. I selected this source because this site is more fact based other than things people hear. They focus on things like genetics, nutrition, age, and other things. I found this source useful because it teaches me things about my hair that I never knew. For example, I didn’t know that age could affect the way the hair grow. There was no limitation because very part of this site was informative.

Oliver, Dana. "Want To Maintain Natural Hair? Read These 8 Tips--Now." The Huffington Post., 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

This source provides information about a real African-American woman who has gone natural. I selected this source because in this article she answers questions about her being natural and basically informing women on what to look forward to if they decide to become natural. I found this source useful because these questions are questions that were not answered from my other sources so this show that getting the information from someone who’s experienced in being natural is better than getting information from people who're just talking about it. There were no limitations because her article was straight forward and it didn’t leave me thinking about whether what she’s saying is a fact or not.

Sweatshops: Who is Paying the Ultimate Price for Cheap Fashion

In my previous blog post, I dived into the meaning of sweatshops which is a factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where workers, usually living in third world countries, are exploited by being forced to work overtime, receiving low wages, toiling long hours in unsanitary conditions where they are exposed to health and safety hazards, violations of labor laws, and sometimes sexual harassment. I researched about many cases of alarming working conditions in such factories that violate human rights. I also began exploring brands like Nike that do not produce any of their garments, but instead, contracts with manufacturing facilities, which are mostly sweatshops, throughout the world.

Since then I have continued to explore how the whole system works and why sweatshops exist. My friends and I live for the trendy, affordable stores like H&M and Forever 21-- and we are not the only ones. These stores—which are the leaders of the “fast fashion” industry—appeal to my age group because their clothes are trendy, hit every style from grungy to prep, and most significantly, fit into our budget. For $50, it’s totally possible to walk out of Forever 21 with a brand-new outfit. At the local boutique down the street, all my friends and I could buy for $50 is half a skirt.

But the convenience, selection, and low costs come at a price. The instant gratification of a cheap new shirt is far outweighed by its social and environmental impacts. Just as hitting up a fast food restaurant every day for lunch will add up to some health problems, a habit of shopping at fast fashion stores harms our local and global communities.

First, a formal definition of fast fashion: it’s a retail model where trends are delivered as quickly as possible at highly affordable prices. For example, French fashion house Givenchy just sent black dresses with grommet lacing down the runway for its Spring 2015 show. The real deal won’t be sold in stores for half a year, but Forever 21 can have a much more wallet-friendly copycat version on shelves within three weeks. According to NPR, “a relentless drive for speed now characterizes the industry.”

And this revolving door of merchandise isn’t ethically sound, even though its price tags are cheap.


The Struggle Is Real

In my previous blog, I talked about how poverty is an issue, especially in Philadelphia. I gave a quick overview of what’s happening because of this issue. For example,  people are dying. I also focused on how poverty is affecting many people and how we could help minimize it. I talked about how people are dying due to poverty. But I did not go into exact detail to who is affected by it and how we can help out.

Through more research, I found that 1 out of 2.5 children live in deep poverty. That means some children are living with an income below the poverty line which is less than 6,000 and 7,000 if with a child. That is 35% of the total population of 440,000 people. That is extreme, since children are supposed to be the ones getting an education and reaching for their dreams. Children that are in deep poverty will result in hunger due to little money. Hunger results in a possibility of 60% to miss school, 50% to repeat the same grade again, and twice more than a original student to be suspended from school. This also brings down the percent of graduation rate to below 50%. I wanted to ask some students about this topic, so I decided to conduct a survey. One of the questions I asked was “Do you think poverty is affected in children more than adults?”Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 10.42.37 PM.png

As a response to this, 4 out of 6 were unsure while 2 were sure that poverty affects children more than adults. This shows that students are not aware of this, even when it most likely to be affected in them but do you ever wondered why? It’s been proven that the population of a child takes up 20%, and most of their parents are most likely to be either a lone parent, large families with more than 3 children. Since many are born to a large family with a single parenting, not much is made and the children are most likely to be affected by it.  As to why, some students said because they aren’t able to get jobs like adults and others say because they are left out to starve. This shows that some do understand but some just states the obvious of starvation.

Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 11.21.35 PM.png

As for this part of my survey, I ask if they had any experience with poverty or see others suffering from it. As a result, it shows that 1 out of 6  say no while 5 out of 6 said I have seen some and some are even affected by it themselves. This show that some student are affected by poverty and some seen many people on the street due to poverty. This proves that it is indeed an issue since due to poverty they are most likely to end up homeless.

Screenshot 2015-05-09 at 11.25.58 PM.png

In the beginning, I wanted to bring awareness of poverty but surprisingly, it seems as everyone I surveyed understood that poverty is an issue in the United States. Many blamed the economy since it’s in debt while others blame the people that are unemployed. That’s right it is actually the feds. The feds tricks people making them pay more money than they usually pay. This also affect the student because they make the student in debt too due to educations loans. They make the old people entice to complete dependent   of medicare and medicaid program.

You can find more of the result of this survey here.

    Doing this survey, I learned that more are aware of poverty and bringing awareness is not an issue but not many know that it’s mostly affected in children. I was really excited to do this project but it was not how I expected it. I thought that it would be simple and easy sending out email to organizations but I was wrong. It was actually a lot harder since many don’t have time to answer back or feel like it. It was also hard to target Philadelphia and not other countries since my project is based on Philadelphia. Not only that but I had encountered many problems. I experience issue such as people not emailing back and not only that but answering my calls. I emailed various of organization and not one decided to write back which was disappointing. I felt like it was better to email an organization or person who have the same goal as me which is definity more useful than asking a confuse kid. Since time was near and a submission is better than nothing, I had no other choice but to do a survey. A question that I’m still wondering about is how the government became in such debt to increase poverty each year.

Overall, Poverty is an huge issue and even some childrens know that! For my Agent of Change for Blog Post #3, I am planning to do a bake sale where I fundraise since poverty is an money issue. You all can help out by buying the bake sale when it comes. I would really help out people in hunger since hunger is affected due to poverty. This will help some childrens from dieing since the money will go to a hunger coalition. This is not the only way to help. There are others way to help such  as a shared property organization in which is trying to stop poverty. They have goals such as better job and training employment, economic security, etc. You should check out shared property organization!


Getting Away from Abuse: Not as Easy as it Sounds

In my first blog post, I spoke about how Domestic Violence is secretly hiding in plain sight all around us in modern day America and how it proves to be one of the most unreported crimes in modern day. Millions upon millions of victims find themselves lost in a sea of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse seeming to have no way out. Fifteen million children are abused as well and are forced to watch their families crumble one punch at a time. Abuse takes place over thirty six thousand times annually and does not show any sign of stopping unless we work together as a nation to end this great crisis.

    The NCADV has been working hard over the course of many years to fight domestic violence

Domestic violence is viewed as a woman’s issue and something that is focused around women. This may be percieved as true because more than 85% of abusers are men, but not all cases are just with women as the victims. When men do find themselves in the position of a victim, they may face skeptecism from the police and have limited resources because it is so oriented towards women being abused. Legal obstacles are also an issue for men as well as the overwhelming sensation of embarrasement and shame when coming forward about their abuse due to being seen as the physically dominant gender.

I spoke with a representative from the National Coalition Against Domestic

Violence for an interview and l learned more about their mission

After reaching out to many other organizations with no response, I found the perfect organization to talk to: the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. I spoke with the Developement Director Gretchen Shaw who was willing to have an over the phone interview and able to answer all of my questions with incredibly helpful dilligence. You can listen to the audio recording here. After having spoke with Ms.Shaw, I now am fully aware how much help people receive by reaching out to organizations like the NCADV. When asked what society can do to stop this issue all together, she responded: “I think there needs to be an attitude change. People assume that the victim can just leave, which is not the case. It’s more a case of a victim escaping their purputrator, their abuser and their main mission is to make their victims lives nightmares. I think at the root of it all society must turn their focus to why are we letting the abuser get away with it rather than ‘why doesn’t she just leave’.” Ms.Shaw explained that each case is unique and an individual experience, yet the immense pain left behind is the same. After speaking with her, it answered all of my remaining questions and gave me more insight on how this issue is being handled by some organizations. It helps me to understand the position the victims fall into and the types of people that are putting them there.

In my opinion, this topic needs far more attention than it is receiving. After seeing all of the statistics of millions of people being abused, I am scared to grow up and maybe myself become a victim. While interviewing Ms.Shaw, I asked how I could help to end domestic violence and she said that knowlegdge and asking questions about domestic violence is vital in assuring I do not become a victim. Yet we both agreed that information is not enough, however. Preventing it from happening to me does not solve this issue in any way, I want it to end for everyone. The only way to end domestic violence is to join together and face it together, which people like Ms.Shaw are dedicating their lives to.

For my You and the World project, I was considering using the power of social media. Miss America 2015, Kira Kazantsev, launched an inniciative using the hashtag “PutTheNailInIt” where you paint one of your fingernails purple to show your support for the cause because the symbolic color of domestic violence is purple. I wanted to bring this idea to Philadelphia and encourage those around me to take part in stopping domestic violence.

this picture is referrencing a social media phenomenon, the blue black/white gold dress. Social media proves to be powerful in sending a message to end domestic abuse.

Also, take a look at my Annotated Bibliography!

Immigration: A Vortex of Confusion

After beginning my research on immigration and explaining what problems immigrants have with coming to the United States and becoming citizens in my first blog post, I needed to dive deeper into the confusion. I needed to get other perspectives on the issue, and see what I could learn. I decided that I should interview someone who actually experienced immigration to the United States, and someone who has a legal point of view towards the subject.

First I interviewed Jhazzelle Majarucon, an immigrant from the Philippines. She told me that the way she became a resident was because her mother submitted a petition for her and her sister, meaning that she could choose a family member that she wanted to bring to the United States. There was a big difference between the two countries, and she had to become accustomed to the different culture. The technological differences were major, as well as the way Americans treated each other. Jhazzelle points out that “In the Philippines it is accustom for people to kiss each other on the cheek when they greet one another.” While here most people don’t do that, and she had to transition the way she would live her life. Though the transition was not very difficult for her, Jhazzelle still had to find her way.

Image of interviewee, Jhazzelle Majarucon

Second I interviewed Andrea Freiberger, a worker for the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) granting immigration benefits, such as green cards and citizenship. I asked her some questions concerning the issues with Immigration law, and the making of laws. I asked her what the most common arguments against immigration are, and she responded by saying “The most common issue that people have a problem with is allowing people who are in the United States without legal status stay and become citizens.  One argument against allowing this is that those people who came illegally broke the rules and shouldn't be rewarded for doing so. For example, there are very long waiting lines for certain visas, and it is hard for someone who has patiently waited for 10 years to come to the United States with lawful status see someone else ‘cut in line’ and be given lawful status for entering when he or she felt like it.” Her answers opened my eyes to see why it is that people in the United States (a country made of immigrants) is so opposed to seeing immigrants enter our country.

Finally, I asked what a ninth grader like me could do to get involved in the community, and make a change. She answered by saying that there is still so much that needs to happen, and that the best way to get involved is by getting in touch with an organization that handles new immigrants, or to work on spreading the word, and letting people know about this issue. Now I am working to find an organization in the greater Philadelphia area that handles immigration, and will let a fifteen year old work for them.

This is a Ted talk where Tan Le talks about her Immigration story

Check out my annotated bibliography  

Rocket Continues Flight; Ben Simon 1-hits Bodine for 7-1 Playoff Win to Advance to 2nd Round

Ben Simon was nearly perfect, striking out 11 batters and surrendering just 1 hit over 7 innings of efficient work. Lukas Supovitz-Aznar did it with his bat this time, going 2-4 with 3 runs batted in, and Nick Clark continued to produce with 2 rbis of his own. 

Aaron Watson-Sharer won the battle with his brother Dessler by gunning a runner out at the plate. He also reaching base and scored in both of his at bats. Now 13-0 on the season, The Rocket has outscored their opponents 179-23 on the year.

With the win SLA moves onto Round 2 of the PIAA single-elimination "True" Playoff bracket.
Their game will be played on Wed, 5/13 at an opponent TBD by games later today. 


Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 1.46.51 PM
Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 1.46.51 PM


Social anxiety is a mental health problem that people suffer from everyday. Anxiety means the "feeling of worry." Very simple, right? But "social" anxiety? Well it might sound simple as well but it is not simple for the people who suffer from it. Social Anxiety is the irrational fear of being judged, criticized, or embarrassed in public. It is normal to feel nervous when giving out a speech or when meeting people for the first time. But with social anxiety disorder, it is so intense that it may affect every aspect of your life. Relationship is one thing, you can ruin your relationship with family and friends due to the fear of interacting. You do not get the chance to explore the world if you intend to because of the feeling of worry and nervousness.

Social anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses and the third largest mental health problem in the world today. "Social anxiety disorder can have a very negative effect on your well-being and quality of life. The illness can cause a lot of problems in your relationships with partners, family and friends." This disorder prevents you from doing the things you are willing to do. For example, you wanted to share your opinion on something in a discussion but fear kicks in so you resisted to do so.

Click here for a full information about social anxiety.

How people who suffer from social anxiety feel every day in their lives...

Social Anxiety can be overcome but the treatment varies depending on the person. It depends on the severity of your symptoms. Therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy or getting support from family and/or friends are the treatments for social anxiety depending with the person suffering from it. But according to this website, cognitive behavioral therapy has shown to be the effective treatment for this disorder.  

I came across this website where it talked about social anxiety disorder including the people who suffer from it. Socially anxious people think that their thoughts and fears are irrational. They also know that people are not judging or criticizing them. They are aware that people don't try to humiliate them but irrational thoughts and fears kicks in. They still feel judged and criticized even if they are not so they continue to feel the same way. According to this website, "It is believed that SAD is the result of a combination of factors, both genetic and environmental."

For my original research, I interviewed a close friend of mine through email whom I know suffered from social anxiety disorder. Click this link to see the conversation.

Interviewing a friend of mine who have suffered from this disorder helped me a lot by informing me so much about what social anxiety is like in your life. This original research proved me that the information I have found on the internet were reliable. Knowing somebody else's experience with social anxiety tells you what social anxiety is really like and helps you learn from the issue coming from the person who has experienced it. Reading my friend's responses devastates me because I feel like social anxiety took over her life and it did not let her see the outside world because she was trapped in her own fears. Social anxiety also separated her from her close friends whom she wanted to spend time with.

My friend who has suffered from social anxiety went through an intense therapy for 4-5 months. The therapy, I believe went successful and now she is no longer suffering from social anxiety.

As an agent of change for this issue, Jae Regino and I are actually collaborating in the last part of this project. We are both planning on making a website instead of doing a fundraising because we both want to make a change by actually being there for the change. We also get to communicate to the people who will join the community in this website. This website is going to be the place for people who suffer from social anxiety to get to know and talk to other people in the same path as them. We both want to make a change and help other people who are going through this devastating situation. Helping other people gain their confidence would be great!

Click here for my annotated bibliography!

Learnig English as a Second Language

Blog #1  describes about how in general kids are struggling with English as a second language. Many kids struggle with learning English in school. They may get shy, lose confidence, and not participate within the classroom.

The new information that I found is very similar to what I had research. After working with kids through my tutoring and interview process, although they seem to be struggling in school their teacher is doing an okay job with assisting them.

I didn't really pursue on more information based on my topic. Because there was no need for more web research.

My interview helped inform me with my topic by having someone's personal perspective about the struggles that face with English.

This add my understanding of the issue by comparing and contrasting personal perspectives and websites.

My personal opinion is that it depend who you are learning English, not everyone have the same exact problems as others.

I still wonder how it can be struggling with English in school.

I'm thinking about tutoring more kids to see how well they are in terms of their grades.


This image on the left, shows me tutoring a neighbor who speaks chinese with her family within her household.


This picture on the right shows me tutoring the same neighbor with her homework.


This picture shows one of the first graders Sarah, in Al-Aqsa Islamic Academy, I was tutoring.


Here's another girl who I was tutoring that attends to the same school and class as Sarah.


School Funding

Fun Funding

Blog #1 focuses on my initial research on the topic of school funding.  It discusses school funding in general, and how it is a problem in Philadlephia.  It contains information on why their are financial problems in the school district, and the resulting consequences.  

I learned another large reason that school funding is a problem, from a website a current SLA student used when they did their project on school funding.  It currently has 143 supporters.  I do not think that is enough to make a change, and am not sure if I will be able to gather that many supporters or more.  There is a place to respond and comment at the bottom.  I think this would be a useful way to gather ideas and gain from people who could help suppor school funding.  

The article next to the petition goes ever why schools are not being funded fairly.  Currently, real estate taxes are what support school funding, which means wealtheir neighborhoods have more money for their schools.  The system neglects kids in low income areas, and gives them an unfair disadvantage.  Money for school funding needs to be distributed more fairly with a state wide funding system, so all students have a more equal chance at a great education.  

I did a lot more research on the specifics of school funding, and exaclty why Philadelphia schools don't have enough money, and what is missing and needed.  This website answers common questions on the problems I am still learning about.  The Philadelphia school district is the largest in the State, but recieves slightly under the average amount most districts in the state do, which are all smaller then the Philadelphlia district.  

I interviewed the principal of my own school, Science Leadership Academy, on school funding, and recorded his answers here.  This interview and the research done in order to be able to conduct the interview, gave me my own views on the topic.  I feel very similarly to Mr. Lehmann on the matter, and agree that the schools are not being funded well.  We hope that there won't be anymore consequences such as the cutting of school programs and positions due to the lack of funding.  We both want to change the system, and find more ways to support the school.  

I am still planning how I am going to help school funding.  I am thinking about making a petition.   I wonder if a petition can make an impact, and change anyones mind who has power and control over how much money goes towards funding.

I also learned about programs that work to help fund Philadelphia schools.  I have been looking at programs such as Fund for Quality.  They are partnered with the William Penn Foundation, The Reinvestment Fund and Public Health Management Corporation.  Organizations like these are doing things that I would like to do, and for my agent of change, if I could get in touch and work with something like this, that could be a great option.  

Front of Science Leadership Academy

allway where my locker is in SLA

Annotated Bibliography