For the first two parts of this project, I did research on the huge issue that is child sex trafficking. This of course has proven to be difficult because people don't really like to talk about an issue this graphic. Specifically, in my first post, I analyzed a documentary I saw. The documentary itself was the focus for most of this post. I learned the nature of the harrassrs and how things usually happen statistically. Furthermore, in my second post, I focused on specific stories of women who were trafficked as children and compared that to the original information i had from my first post. I found some of the most outrageous and upsetting things to be true. I really felt like a change needed to be made. I believe people should know more about the issue since it is something that is rarely talked about. So I decided to make a website about the horrors of child sex trafficking.
*Disclaimer* My website isn't published yet because of some technical difficulties, but it will be published by the end of the week and it will be public for all the world to see
It took me a total of about 2 weeks to make the website. I had three plans for my agent of change, but they all fell through and I decided to stick to making the website. There are three main pages, home, about, and contact.
My home page is just a general overview of the website with the title and a little insight into the topic. I didn't want to get too into detail because i wanted to save that for my about page. I just touch on what child sex trafficking is and why the topic is important to me to see a change.
The about page goes into real detail about my two post and the extensive research I did. I linked all the other websites I linked in my first two posts and and my annotated bibliography. I also go into detail about the entire project and how I became so involved with this issue and why I chose to make a website.
I chose to put myself out there and make a contact page because while i was researching, I found myself wanting to contact people and learn more. Many of the websites I looked at didnt have contact pages. I want people to be able to email me and ask questions or give suggestions. I think it is important for me to be able to answer questions about the work I did. To really reach out and educate people about the issue like i said I would, I would need people to contact me.
Ultimately, the purpose of this website is to let people know about an issue that isn't talked about enough. Child sex trafficking is dangerous and anyone can become a victim. Not enough is being done to prevent it, but the first step in really changing a problem is to educate one about the issue at hand.
In my first SLATE post, I addressed the importance of student loans and overwhelming debt and how this can be solved and how it affected students in the past, present and how it will affect their future. I also mentioned the importance of scholarships for students who come from families who struggle financially. In my second SLATE post, I went into more profundity about the information I got from MIT after my series of interviews that I conducted with Rachel. E Kay of MIT’s admission office. I mentioned in my post how MIT and many other schools were participating in this program called questbridge where they recruit students who want to pursue higher education. Then I talked about what role the U.S can play to help fix the issue of college tuition. Over the course of this third checkpoint, I recently found out about many organizations and groups that work with students in providing them a scholarship for their higher education and one of the most famous and most known organizations that I found out about is called the Gates Millinuim Scholars and it provides the amount of money needed for your education it pays for your fees and everything down to your dorm but it is highly selective and only 1000 students are chosen every year, this organization is funded by Bill and Milenda Gates with a 1.6 billion dollar donation. Another program I came across as I was doing research was an organization called the MDRC they work with young adults and help them pay for their higher education. On their website, they state: “The federal government provided over $33 billion in Pell Grants to nearly 9.5 million low- and middle-income students. Yet too many of these students do not succeed academically. More than a third of students who enroll in college do not earn a degree and are not enrolled in any postsecondary institution six years later; at community colleges, the fraction is close to half. Many factors hinder students from completing college, and financial concerns are a major component. Even if they receive federal and state financial aid, often it is not sufficient to meet their needs. Financial burdens often drive students to work too many hours while in school, forcing them to cut back on study time or drop classes; some students drop out altogether.” Overall I believe the efforts of these organizations/groups to help students with their college fees is great, however, there could be many more groups/organizations that can help young adults with the college/university process. I truly believe that these organizations should be and are examples of what we can do to help future generations succeed.
Talking about the Gates Millennium Scholars
Talking about the Gates Scholarships.
After all this research I had the idea that for my agent of change I would inform students on how to be eligible for scholarships and what programs they can apply for and take part in to increase their chances at getting a scholarship if their family is struggling fianically, I also mentioned in my Agent of change proposal that I would be interested in a letter campaign that will bet targeted at state and federal leaders and I also suggested that I was planning on writing a heart-felt letter to both Betsy DeVos and President Trump, but after some time I came along to accept the idea that this Agent of change would be kind of far-fetched so I will do this as a secondary Agent of change. I first came upon the idea of doing a presentation when I was trying to figure out how I could somehow directly affect the lives of students who might struggle financially and then I decided that there is a diverse group of students in this school so I could just inform them on this topic. During the course of this project I admit I struggled a little in the beginning because I didn’t really know what to choose as my Agent of Change until I decided to persue both of the ideas I had for my agent of change and after this I had an even harder time trying schedule a time to present and I didn’t get one until the last week and my presentation would be on the very day before the project was due, I also worked really hard on the presentation during my waiting time for a confermation as to when I could present my Agent of Change, but when I started presenting I could hear some members of the audience start talking and laughing not really paying attention, however, I feel as if I was effective in making a change because since I did inform students on the programs and ways that can/make them eligible for scholarships, I have basically reached the purpose of my project to inform students so they too, can have the same education as someone is able to pay full price for their’s. As I look back at my progress through this project I find it fascinating how not only did I learn about how organizations/groups are helping students who are struggling financially succeed, but I am also fascinated by how much I can help the world, over the course of my Agent of Change and the You and The World Project, in general, I learned that I can contribute to solving many of society’s issues even if all I do is inform a group of students. Despite struggling on the Agent of Change
Presenting to peers
Presenting to peers.
an aspect of this project I am content with knowing that I tried my best and I am more knowledgeable from the lessons I learned over the course of this course of this project. Even as this project comes to a disheartening conclusion. I want to inform anyone that may be reading this, that presenting to a group of 20 kids isn’t going to solve the problem with college tuition, but rather it will be all of working together and consistently with one goal and that is to make higher education affordable for everyone, that is when we truly have and will succeed in terminating an issue in our society.
Hi, my name is Hayden Myers, and this is my third blog post about my ideas on what’s going on with fraternities today. After two blog posts, extensive research, and having a story of my own, I have finally posted a new blog about what my final opinions are about what needs to be done with fraternities. I started off by explaining why I though that fraternities should be shut down for good, because the only experience that I had with fraternities was my parents telling me that they’re a terrible place filled with alcoholics and idiots who party too much, and to put the cherry on top my neighbor was hospitalized because the first day at a fraternity he was hazed. I my second blog post I explained why fraternities should be given more strict policies to make sure that things like hazing can’t happen again. Now, I have made my third and final blog post, finalizing my ideas on fraternities, and after a lot of thinking, I have realized that people will find a way to torture and kill these people no matter what, even if they don’t want to, it will happen, and there is nothing that anyone else can do to help stop this. The only way is to get rid of the source of the problem.
If that wasn’t obvious enough, that means that the only solution for saving lives in any college fraternity in America is to ban the fraternity, period. Now, it took me a while to come up with my opinion on whether fraternities should be shut down or just restricted. What pushed me to the edge is that all of the hazing deaths that I have researched about proved that alcohol was the biggest factor in hazing deaths than anything else by far, but it would be illegal to ban someone over twenty one from drinking, and even if alcohol was limited or banned in the fraternity, the party would probably just be held somewhere else. I felt like I was getting closer and closer to a conclusion until I remembered something, I had read an article that I linked in my second blog post, which explained that fraternities were created so the kids with a lot of money(upper-middle class- rich) could get away from the kids who had less than them. An argument for this would be; “well that was a while ago, they don’t do that anymore”. While that argument is understandable because fraternities hide most from the truth, real studies that are mentioned in that article explain how if two people wanted to join a fraternity and they both were the exact same person, the fraternity will most likely choose the one who has more money, or seems to have more money. I simply cannot support these discriminatory acts. Because of these points, I believe that fraternities should be shut down for good.
I decided to make a change, but how would I do that? I made a change by making an instagram account posting my own drawings of all of the people killed by fraternity hazing in 2017. I did this for three reasons; honor those who lost their lives, show how evil hazing is, and to show that even though it was a terrible year for many people, it shed light on the biggest issue with fraternities, and has now pushed people to make the first steps into a safer environment in the learning place, and has led to websites like these! Proving everything that has been said throughout this post. This may seem like a conclusion to my “rant” but it is not, there are still many steps to be taken to reach our goal, sign petitions, make websites, social media, march, rally, email, just do whatever is possible to save lives and give a better name to colleges. I wish that I could have made the extra step to try to share my social media platform with more people, through email, social media itself, just anything, because what’s the point of making a protest hub, with nobody to know that it’s there.
This is my Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/This is my Annotated Bibliography:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WdWGhnvXsx6PRvHZJhJSRMc0_yvVomMwSpOqx3GQFhM/edit#
In my previous posts I’ve talked about green infrastructure in philly and the whole point behind the stormwater management we have in the city. (Which are accessible here: fist post and second post.) It was important I understood the process of our stormwater management system before I got any further into my project so that was the first thing I had down. Then I looked a little further into what our city has done to be a little different from others in its stormwater management process, and it turns out that the city is actually doing pretty well with it. I even got to check out what the fists water planters and rain gardens in the city looked like because they are super close to my house. I never really knew it until this project but the planters around Columbus Square are the first ones to be installed in the city. My park was like the test to see how they performed and what needed to change about the designs before the rest were put all around the city.
For my project’s agent of change I decided to volunteer with the Passyunk Square Civic Association and help out with the monitoring of some of the green infrastructure in my area. The whole process was about 3 weeks long with my first observation date being on the 3rd of May. Before that though I got in contact with Sarah Anton, the president of the Passyunk Square Civic Association. She was super nice and had enough time in her schedule to come meet me near the sites to show me how I would be monitoring them in the future. She emailed me a link to the form I would fill out everytime I went by which was around once a week or so. Then she went on to show me how to look out for the different systems. They all kind of had the same type of drainage and the main point was that you don’t want that clogged because then an rainwater that you got would just be trapped in the planter/ rain garden.
Monitoring the sites after a storm was where I really came in because that’s when things can get messed up with drainage and such but all I can do as a volunteer right now is submit that form in which I would point out anything that I feel should be addressed with the site. So I submitted a form for the Columbus planters talking about how they were in need of some tending with some graffiti on one but on some of the others I noticed that there was a whole lot of stuff covering the drain so I pointed those things out in the form. It’s up to the city if they feel the issues are big enough to address. So like I said my part was just to report it and that was all I could get myself involved with.
In post #1, I talked about about how gang violence is affecting individual neighborhoods and how it is a burden on our society. I also did some research on those topics and talked about it in the blog post. In post #2, I reached out to someone who is dealing with gang violence first hand and interviewed them. I analyzed what they said and elaborate it throughout my post. However, In post #3 I did something that will hopefully cause change to occur. For post #3 I constructed a website that informs the public on what a dangerous thing gang violence, how to protect yourself, what to do and not do, how to act in a gang violence related situation, how they can help, etc...
During my research I came across many helpful websites, but one website that really had great solutions to the easily fixable problems of gang violence was made by an organization called youth.gov. They believe that the roots of gang violence issues is the youth members. A quote from them is “To prevent youth from joining gangs, communities must strengthen families and schools, improve community supervision, train teachers and parents to manage disruptive youth, and teach students interpersonal skills.” I personally agree with their methods because the decision to be in a gang comes at a young age and it is important to stay on a good path throughout your whole adolescence. I also really like this website because their intentions and mine are the same. We both have similar goals to prevent gang violence from harming our society and children.
LAPD police badge
In addition to researching youth.gov, I did research about the Los Angeles Police Department. There goal is to protect us from gang violence and life threatening danger. On their site, it was really helpful that they made a list of what regular everyday citizens can do to help stop gang violence. Four items on the list are “Set up a Neighborhood Watch or a community patrol, working with police”, “Make sure that all the youth in the neighborhood have positive ways to spend their spare time, through organized recreation, tutoring programs, part-time work, and volunteer opportunities.”, “Clean up the neighborhood! Involve everyone - teens, children, senior citizens. Graffiti, litter, abandoned cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you don't care about where you live or each other. Call the local public works department and ask for help in cleaning up.”, and “Clean up the neighborhood! Involve everyone - teens, children, senior citizens. Graffiti, litter, abandoned cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you don't care about where you live or each other. Call the local public works department and ask for help in cleaning up.” I chose these four in particular because once completed they can actually produce real change. I also chose this because I also had a list of what citizens can do in my website.
Me making my website.
After researching about others whose goals are to stop gang violence and what their methods are in doing so, I decided to share my opinion and inform the public on my methods of stopping gang violence. That is why I wanted to do a website because I feel as though it is the best way to learn a lot of information in a convenient way. The important part is that the public gets the information. My experience creating this website was mostly good but at some times a little frustrating. There were times when I did not know what to put on my website in order to keep it relevant and well explained. I was effective in making a change because I got my information out into the world. I obviously can’t force anyone to do something, but I think that it is really important to have the option to inform yourself of potential danger.
Reflecting on this project now, I felt good doing it. I have felt a larger connection to this project since I have been working on it for so long. I have witnessed my knowledge and ideas for this project grow and change through the past few months. This project has let me learn about myself that if I devote a lot of time to a topic, it grows and improves so greatly. What I feel like I could have done better was the my planning out. My ideas were growing rampantly and if my schedule had a little more structure, then I could have saved a lot of more time. What still needs to happen to fulfill a change is that my website needs to be viewed and used by a lot of people and it needs to spread awareness. In conclusion, my agent of change was a successful product of my first two posts.
Throughout the school year I have been conducting research and gathering the research of others on the subject of homelessness and homeless shelters. There are more than half a million people experiencing homelessness currently in America. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that only about half of the homeless population can be sheltered at a time. In my research I found that life in shelters can be almost as bad as living outside
In my agent of change, I partnered up with Tyria Brown-Smith, a classmate of mine also researching homelessness, to create a presentation to raise awareness for the national problem of homelessness in America. Her previous research can be found here. While this issue is huge and seemingly impossible to completely fix, we found it necessary to raise awareness. Many victims of homelessness suffer from mental health problems due to their physical environment and from being ignored by hundreds of people1, day in and day out. Hence, if we would be able to change that, even slightly, it would be positive growth for the cause.
Upon the class being assigned our Y&tW project last quarter, we were asked to observe our daily world to gain inspiration for a topic. Off the top of my head I had a few ideas, but the national epidemic of homelessness was the most prevalent in my mind. As a resident of Philadelphia, the homeless are seemingly everywhere downtown, many of whom are ignored by the probably hundreds of people that pass by them every day. While I don’t personally know anyone who has experienced homelessness, they are a big part of the city that I’ve lived in all my life. While our project does encourage donation to a few different organizations attempting to remedy the problem of homelessness, we mainly wanted to relay a message of sympathy and, fittingly enough, brotherly love. While there is no quantitative way to measure opened minds, we hope and believe we made a difference.There were a few road bumps in the process of creating our agent of change. We intended for the project to be purely video, that which we had to edit under time constraints after poorly gauging how long everything would take. Despite this, the only problem we faced was poor communication with a representative from Project HOME that we were unfortunately unable to contact. Given our mistakes and restraints, I believe that our project still turned out strong and has as much of an impact as we possibly could have created. This project has been much larger in scope than any I’ve done before and so it was more challenging and overwhelming at times. If I was able to do the project again I would really use my time wisely and attempt to go into the community and make a physical change instead of something purely presentation based. Nonetheless, I am content with our work and hope that we have opened some minds along the way. All my sources can be found here, Tyria’s post on our Agent of Change can be found here, and you can donate to help the homeless here, here, or most importantly at any local shelter.
In my first post, I wrote about how food waste was an underrated problem and how if we solve it, multiple other problems in the world can be solved, including world hunger and climate change. In my second post, where I did my Original Research, I did an over the phone interview with Imperfect Produce, which is an organization that targeted food waste at its source, farms, by sending people the produce that the farms were unable to sell to name brand supermarkets.
Recently in the U.K., stores like Morrisons have been getting involved in helping to solve food waste by implementing a program called Wonky Veg, where stores sell less aesthetically pleasing fruits and vegetables for a cheaper price. The only reason this program was put in place is because it was recently revealed that 13 billion pounds of edible food is thrown away, with an extra 3 billion of food being wasted by grocery stores and supermarkets. If the Wonky Veg program was enforced in the U.S., then this would greatly diminish the amount of food that goes to waste each year.
For my Agent of Change, at first I was unsure of what to do in order to truly make an impact on this issue. I had a half baked idea of taking all of the leftover lunch food from the school and donating to different homeless shelters but in the end, I decided not to pursue this because I thought it would take more time in order to set everything up. I eventually chose to do an experiment of sorts where I would calculate how much money we spent and wasted on food in one month and then in the next month would see how much money and food we could save if we just paid attention to our food budget. I choose this option because I felt like if people could see how much money is needlessly spent on food, they would be less inclined to spend it all over the place. After taking in the results, I would present the results to my mom and a couple of her friends in order to try and get them to see the benefits of not wasting food. At first, I was going to make a website, but it was a couple of days before this was due and I realized I had no idea what I was doing, so I made a presentation of my data, which was targeted towards adults.
In March, when we didn’t budget at all, my mom and I spent about $760 dollars on food, while in April, we spent $535, saving $225 just from budgeting and shopping at places like Whole Foods, where they have gradually put uglier produce in order to combat the issue of food waste. We also took up the habit of looking at expiration dates more closely so we could keep an eye on when certain foods went bad so that we weren’t throwing out as much uneaten food. In fact, in April we only threw out 10 dollars in food, while in March we threw out around $50 worth of food. After I showed my mom these results we both decided to be more frugal when it comes to spending money on food and to save the extra money.
This graph shows how much money was spent in the months of March and April
While doing this project and looking at how much money we spent and wasted, I realized how careless we were when buying food, especially fruits and vegetables since those expire the fastest. I also learned how easy it was to ignore the food you had in your fridge and pantry and instead go out to buy more food, which would lead to food being pushed to the back of your fridge until it’s expired. If I did this again, I would have people calculate how much money they spent with me in order to get more reliable data and so that other people could see how much money their family was spending, since writing down how much money you spend seems to make the numbers add up quicker. Although this did raise awareness to a couple of people, in order to solve food waste many things still need to be done in order to properly combat issue.
Here’s the link to my Annotated Bibliography
Throughout the past couple months, I have been researching and revolving the minimum wage issue in Pennsylvania. I researched issues regarding minimum wage and living situations in Pennsylvania. I conducted a survey among my classmates and other kids my age that live in and around Philadelphia that focused on personal experiences with minimum wage. Finally, I wrote a well thought out letter to Gov. Tom Wolf providing supporting evidence on why the minimum wage in Pennsylvania must be raised to $10 if not double.
The 2017 minimum wage by state in the United States. Pennsylvania is tied with many other states for the lowest minimum wage.
According to the Huffington Post, you would need to make just under $60,000 to support a family in Philadelphia and $15,000 certainly isn’t enough. America ranks 11th in the world for the highest minimum wage according to OECD. Australia's minimum wage is over $15 an hour and 80% of the country makes over 5% more than the minimum wage.
Pennsylvania is 1 of 3 states who host one of the 10 largest cities in America who have the minimum possible wage. When growing up and going to inter-city schools, I notice how some kids can’t go out with their friends, because they don’t have the money to. The government is limiting the amount of money people can make, and it is causing children to be unhappy with their lives. Everybody deserves to spend time with their friends, to go get pizza or see a movie.
When working on issues regarding income, it is important to take other factors into account, such as location, opportunity, and sources of income. When I conducted a survey with students in Philadelphia, I found out that 1 in every 9 students only lives with 1 adult figure.
Source: Google Forms: Original Research Survey
When you only have one source of income which is that adult’s job, it is very difficult to support a family. The population of Pennsylvania is approximately 12.81 million people according to the United States Census Bureau. That means that about 1.4 million families in Pennsylvania are ran by a single parent. There is clearly a problem in the system if 11% of families can’t afford to live.
To combat this issue, I decided to write a letter directly to the office of Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania. I introduced the issue and my personal experience with people who are affected by the issues, and I proposed the idea to double the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. I hope that he understands what families have to go through to support themselves.
In order to make a difference, more people need to stand up for what they believe in. If the governor receives 200 letters that speak from the heart on increasing the minimum wage, he is going to notice that there is a major issue. Throughout my work over the past couple months, I have built up evidence and reason to make a difference. He will not believe somebody who claims that we need change if they can’t provide a reason to make change.
Throughout this process, I have learned about issues in my own community and peers that I had not understood before. I believe that change is unavoidable. It is impossible to survive on $15,000 a year whether you’re alone or living with multiple kids. I am glad that there are politicians like Bernie Sanders who have spoken publicly about raising minimum wage as a country.
The letter that I mailed to Tom Wolf.