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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:

#ALS
#ICantBreathe
#BringBackOurGirls
#BlackLivesMatter
#StopGamerGate

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.


Info-graph:
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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


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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-http://www.arsny.com/

Quick Guide to Artists' Rights -http://www.collegeart.org/guidelines/rights

R.I.G.H.T.S.-http://www.rightsforartists.com/

Artists Bill of Rights-http://www.artists-bill-of-rights.org/


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

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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.
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Amani Bey Capstone

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Hello my name is Amani Bey and I decided to create https://feministsofsla.weebly.com/ . 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. 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

​https://docs.google.com/document/d/11v5asEoIu2nAjOQIw-G_dp4_RQtblaH1C_RCeBDHn20/edit?usp=sharing
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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.


Bibliography:

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. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb4Y5VFYsi0>.

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. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku_3mx-kMHs&index=27&list=PL9orcA_5WrpC1I3IaiGwlSNCBrLfXBFKY>.

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. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx6Hhdz6Izo&list=PL9orcA_5WrpC1I3IaiGwlSNCBrLfXBFKY&index=5>.

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. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH8MkBLoWao&index=24&list=PL9orcA_5WrpC1I3IaiGwlSNCBrLfXBFKY>.

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. <http://naturalblackhaircare.com/waystogrowhair.php>.

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. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/natural-hair-care_n_1499453.html>.

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.

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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.





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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.



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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.

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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!


Bibliography
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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!


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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  


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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. 

#rockets4life


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S.A.D.


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!
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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.



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




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





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





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






Bibliography

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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


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Unchain The Voice #2

In my first blog post, I talked about how you unchain your voice and the difference between snitching and speaking out . I addressed how the term snitching comes along and how it makes people feel. Through the research I made in the first blog post, I went though the steps  to snitching, to speaking out, to understand how to actually doing it.

Since my first blog post, I have come over very interesting research. I was planning to do a survey.  I made the survey about 10 questions sent it out to about 30 people. I got one response. After the response, my survey stopped letting people submit. I did not know why. I thought maybe it was just a tech problem and tried to fix it but it did not work, so I had to take another approach. I did small interviews, I spoke to multiple people in red stream about snitching. Everyone mostly had the same opinion. Everyone thought that snitching and speaking out had been mixed up in their minds. Snitching to them is not okay but speaking out was okay. This was interesting to me that they actually often got the two mixed while speaking and asked me multiple times to stop the recorder just so they could actually think about the question they were answering. I think one out of the 6 or 7 people I interviewed actually had a lot of knowledge on the difference. This shows the lack of awareness these kids have on the issue and that no one has brought it up as an issue. Some kids did not want to learn more about it, ome kids wanted to hear more. The kids that did not want to learn more about the topic were the people who knew less about it which I found very interesting.


A rapper was interviewed on YouTube about 2 years ago, and he talked about his experience in prison and snitching. He said that ¨The problem is now that to many people snitch, if people kept their mouths closed than it would be no problem,¨ is this how we are supposed to think. Snitching is to benefit others. It gives them justice that not suppose to be deserved. Gossiping, snitching, speaking out are all different, but why do people around us get to decide which one is which. People do not think that snitching is cool. Snitching is equivalent to calling some one a rat, snake, etc. It is not some thing you want to be called but is it our right to desire this for some one else. In my research, I also found out that criminals and teens are the main targeted ones to the term snitching, Prisons are actually where the term originated from. Quoted from a psychiatrist, and case manager Robert Watson. So how did teens get the term? Just like generations people pass it on. Adults pass their knowledge on to us and if their education is correct, then so is ours. I found this out when interviewing these teens in red stream. Some of their information was incorrect but maybe it was from personal experience or maybe it was just from  their peers lack of education on the issue.

http://www.atlanticrecords.com/artists/meek-mill( would not let me hyperlink )

figure 1 : OT Genasis is a rapper from the recent music video produced called ¨coco" who also claims snitching is the main problem in the streets. 

Fore more information go to annotated bibliography.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RSp0soOeHaOvbzgvcQzmUPxivlfsdZqHWdGWOnRm9C8/edit

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English Language Learners getting Bullied

Haven’t read my first blog? Do it now, just click here.


On my first blog post I introduced the topic I am still researching, ELL(English Language Learners) bullying. For this part of the project I went over to my old school where I interviewed one of my old teachers about my topic. This teacher was actually one of the first people to really help me understand what I was doing. He helped me understand everything I had trouble with and tackle harder books so it could improve my writing. My old school has a lot of ELLs and I figured they had experienced this problem. Click here to read the full interview.


What I found out during my interview is that a lot of students are made fun of the way the look or their accents and face lots of social struggles. ”Well, you know, all students get teased and made fun of as they grow up. This happens to everybody, but there’s a difference between being teased and getting bullied. English language learners are particularly vulnerable to being bullied because bullies generally try to target people that are maybe a little bit different or a little bit vulnerable, and ELLs qualify on both counts. They’re different because of the way they dress, the way they look, the way they talk and they’re vulnerable because their English isn't that good.” So the victim can’t speak up.

As I was doing more research on my topic, I came across this story about a Cuban girl who moved to America when she was eight with lots of excitement. She ended up being bullied because she was different. She went to school and kids made fun of her, put spiders under her desk and the teacher wouldn't do anything. She was hoping things would get better, but they didn't. She had no friends and got bullied even more. They insulted her and she was depressed. She went to a therapist and learned that bullies had their own problems. In high school she changed her outside to make her feel better on the inside. She made new friends and talked to more people. She I realized that she let the bullies take control of her emotions and locked herself in her own world of not speaking, not having friends, and wishing she was another person. Full story lies here.

I also learned that people haven’t talked about the bullying of the ELLs. There needs to be more articles written about that and more publicity about it so the people are aware that it’s a big problems. Here is one about bullying in race, ethnicity and immigration. It talks about the ways that the students are bullied and some ways you can prevent it at school.

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Unfortunately, I couldn't get any pictures of me interviewing the person. But, this picture represents the other people protecting the one in the middle which is different than them. From this website
So, once again listen to my interview here. Read it here.

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Have you found out what's in your Happy Meal yet?

Do you ever stop and look at the nutrition facts before you take a bite of your juicy McDouble? On McDonald's own website they tell you as much as they want to asin what’s in the McDouble. In the bread alone there are many different chemicals and preservatives that are harmful to human health. They claim that their patties are 100% beef and I highly doubt that. I again ask do you ever stop and take a look at the nutrition facts before you take a bite of your food. 9 times out of 10 you don’t and that is exactly what my project is about. We as humans never stop and think about what is actually in the food we eat from fast food restaurants. What I hope and want my project to accomplish is bringing awareness to what really is in fast food. I became interested in this topic because my brother is 30 pounds overweight for his age and I am 100% sure it is because of fast food. I want to bring awareness to kids like him and all of America really because none of us and look to see what we are eating. You can get a lot more information on my topic in my first blog post."4% of the Meat in a Mcdouble Is Real Beef,What's the Other 96%?" Our Food. Your Questions. McDonald's, n.d. Web. 11 May 2015. <http://yourquestions.mcdonalds.ca/questions/9246>. ( Challenges McDonald’s claim to 100% beef)Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 10.38.56 PM.png



Since my first blog post I have explored my other 2 fast food restaurants that I wanted to dig deeper into Chipotle and Chic-fil-A . One that particularly surprised me was Chic-Fil-a. Chic-fil-a makes the claim that they’re chicken is real and children in our generation have debated about this and it has become this big epidemic rather or not Chic-Fil-a’s chicken is real or not. Well fortunately I found some information on that subject. In a Chic-fil-a chicken sandwich there are 100 ingredients and 18 preservatives. The FDA allows these companies to add these preservatives but there is a limit. However they don’t say anything when companies add different preservatives and put them all together. When I read this article I was appalled to find out what TBHQ does to the human body. TBHQ is found in Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s and now Chic-fil-a products. Too much of this chemical can cause ADHD in children, asthma, allergies and stomach cancer. Not only is TBHQ is in Chic-fil-a’s chicken but in their buns too.  Chic-fil-a has become very popular this year and hearing this changes my whole view on Chic-fil-a and their food.


For my original research I decided to do a survey because it best fit my issue because the answers are shocking. It started with the simple question “What is your favorite fast food restaurant?” 50% of the people who took my survey said Chic-fil-a which is understandable because many people believe it to be the healthiest choice when it isn’t. The question that surprised me was the question that asked “How many ingredients are in McDonald’s fries?” What surprised me is that many people picked the highest number for the amount of ingredients in their fries and I thought that maybe they read my first blog post and got the answer but it was pretty cool that many of them got the right answer for that question.


I’m kind of in between whether or not this worked out for my PIC. It did show that some people don’t know what they were eating but they weren’t the answers I was hoping for to really prove my point. Although it didn’t turn out how I wish it could’ve I still had many people who took the survey for me and that was great. I think this topic is very much so alive in the rest of the world and the SLA community and I want to be that person to bring awareness to what we are eating. I’m still wondering about what are some more things I can do to bring awareness to this issue and really make a difference.
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First Rule of Safety ... NO Distractions

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This picture was from my field observation, those drivers weren't on their phones.


In my previous blog post, I talked about how teens are the causes of their own and other’s accidental deaths and how teens are not only distracted by their cellphones, but other people. I also talked about how hazardous teen drivers can be while on their cellphones and that teens need to be more aware about their safety while driving.


When I was doing more research, I found out that crashes are more common among the young drivers than any other age group and in 2009 3,242 teens from the ages of 15-19 lost their lives in crashes where the driver was distracted. Also, everyday in the US more than 9 people are killed and over 1,153 people are injured in crashes where the driver was distracted. As I mentioned before in my previous blog post, teen driving distractions involve people being on their cellphones, there are actually three main types of distractions: Visual, Manual and Cognitive. A visual distraction is when you take your eyes off the road, a manual distraction if taking your hands off the wheel, and a cognitive distraction is taking your mind off driving.


People might not think that teen driving distractions are a major issue in today’s modern world, but they are and here’s why:

In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,360 in 2011. In addition, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes because of a distracted driver. People might also not really know all of the risk factors involved when being distracted while driving such as, younger drivers may be at increased risk which can also mean that they are distracted more easily than other experienced drivers. Also, the crash fatality rate is highest for 16-17 year olds that had recently got their licenses.  


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This is also a photo from my field observation, but I'm sure that one driver was texting.


I think that everything that I did with the research and the field observation went pretty well and it was actually cool to see my topic from a different perspective. Doing this felt interesting and made me understand my topic even better. I would probably say that this was just about what I was expecting, yet it wasn’t because I counted 500 cars, 126 of those drivers were on their phones and 26 of those drivers were actually texting while driving. Some challenges that I faced were keeping track with the number of drivers and the total number of cars that passed, even with help. Even though I have done more research, I am still wondering why teens, and even adults, text and drive when they know that their life is on the line, and that their life is more important.


The plan that I have for my agent of change is to make new drivers make a pledge not to text and drive, but also send those pledges to companies and convince them to have everyone sign it before they can drive.

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Since then...Blog Post 2, US Broken Mental Health System

Factors I feel are contributing to the broken mental health care system, as discussed in my blogpost 1.

  • Public Ignorance of prevalence, local and global impact

  • "Mental-shaming", average citizens being unsympathetic to those who are mentally challenged, making it difficult for them to feel comfortable in society

In my last blogpost, I introduced my You and the World project, where I described my methods in trying to bring awareness to America's broken mental health care system, and provided factual information to corroborate my claims. I stated that my inspiration stemmed from my younger brother, who is autistic. Moreover, I expressed that the broken system is a result of public ignorance of mental health illnesses, the impact they have on citizens, and the impact they have on the world. Because of this, I explained how I plan to bring awareness to this issue by finding a unique way to educate the public about mental illnesses and the treatment patients receive. In this blog post, I will be elaborating on the original research, data and perspectives that I have collected through a survey and interviews,  portion of my You and the World project. In addition to my original research, I will include new, credible information concerning the structure of America's mental health care system.

Since my last blog post, I have collected an agglomeration of insightful facts and statistics  covering the perspectives of those who work in the mental health field, the prevalence of mental illnesses, and the public's ignorance/indifference about this very important topic. For starters, while doing more research, I came upon a very interesting article on Michigan's Local News website. The article includes quotes from Paul Ippel, executive director of Network 180, Kent County’s public mental health and substance abuse resource agency. "When a person is admitted to the hospital[for physical reasons], we send flowers and cards...There was a time people wouldn't say the word cancer and now we talk (openly) about going for cancer treatment, but we’re reluctant to say we've been admitted to a psychiatric hospital," he states. His words specifically resonated with me because it gave me a unique perspective other than my own. As you can recall from my previous blog post, I mentioned that it was important for citizens who were not personally affected by mental illness to not ostracize those who were different. I made a point that people who were deliberately ignorant, as well as those who were subconsciously passive, made integration into society especially difficult for those dealing with anxiety, autism, ADHD, anorexia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. However, when I read Ippel's response, my train of thought expanded, and I began to wonder if reluctance to be open about one's own mental health challenges and needs was also a factor of why the system has remained tarnished. He references cancer, which was once a sensitive topic, which people opted to take a circuitous route in discussing. Now cancer is widely spoken about and research, innovations, and new breakthrough therapies are coming at the result of the salient discussion. His point correlates to one of the factors I previously discussed: Mental shaming.

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Excerpt where I spoke about mental shaming in my previous blog post.

 I am still passionately driven by the belief that American citizens are not building a comfortable environment for those who are mentally-ill to express themselves. Even at an early age, kids are bullied and isolated for holding differences. For example, 2.7 million children are being bullied every year,and over 100,000 of them missed school due to a bullying incident in 2010. It is even worse for children who who are mentally challenged.  Approximately half of adolescents with autism, intellectual disability, speech impairments and learning disabilities are bullied at school, new research suggests.That’s much higher than the rate of bullying faced by typically developing students, (about 1 in 10 are victimized by their peers).    

Visuals created by me to portray the juxtaposition:



When I interviewed my fellow classmate, Jevon Price, to receive a youth perspective. I received some interesting responses.

                 1) Do you believe that the national discussion of our mental system was resuscitated by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that occurred in 2012?

Yes. I feel like people do not discuss mental health because they want to live in blissful ignorance.

--> Do you think the discussion made any type of impact? Whatever impact it made was certainly very short lived. People are not even talking about it anymore and when it was a huge topic, the discussion got diverted to gun control and whatnot.

2) According to a Time Magazine article, there are only 7,500 psychiatrists, while 20,000 are needed. What do you believe engenders such a significant shortage? What implications do you think the shortage causes?

People do not care if they are not personally confronted with mental illness.  These shortages cause more accidents like Sandy Hook if people are not being treated

3) How knowledgeable do you believe teenagers are about mental illnesses and how patients receive treatment?

They are only knowledgeable when dramatic things occur.

4) Do you feel as if the general public is concerned with making mentally-ill patients feel accepted and welcomed in society?

No. I feel like people are so into themselves that they do not really care and take into consideration of people who are different

5) In what ways do you think the services that the current mental health care system provides can be enhanced to be more coordinated and organized?

You need more psychiatrists and to  bring public awareness because if people don't know how much of an impact mental illnesses have in our lives, as a country, they are honestly not going to care.

6) Can you name some positive facets of the current system?

To be completely honest...no, mainly because I do not know a lot about the current system.

7) Can you name some negative facets of the current system?

Well I know that it must not be at its best due to the school shooting and I know that it is somewhat uncoordinated. Also, the current system is not taking advantage of technology and media. We have computers, cellphones, TVs! You need to make your case heard through these devices. It s the only way people will hear you.

8) In your opinion, does the good outweigh the bad, or vise versa?

I don't really know much about the good, so I will have to say that the bad outweighs the good.

I was inspired to interview a young voice because I believe that as youth, we hold a lot of great ideas and can make an impact on the world, hence the You and the World project (haha!), I believed that an interview would be a unique way to gather original research.

Highlights from interview:

  • "...people do not discuss mental health because they want to live in blissful ignorance"- I think this quote relates back to when I discussed people not making the effort to learn more about mental illness. Perhaps they feel uncomfortable discussing it, afraid they will offend someone, or simply do not care.

  • "...We have computers, phones, TVs! You need to make your case heard through these devices. It's the only way people will hear you."- I found this response especially significant because lately I have been discussing how I want to bring awareness to this issue, however I have not specified how exactly I want to do so. Hmmmm…


In addition to a student interview, I conducted a survey.


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Correct Answers

1 in 4



Only 40%


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                 1 in 5



               Only 20%Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 10.53.45 PM.pngScreenshot 2015-05-11 at 10.55.26 PM.png




Survey Conclusion:

I decided to do this survey because I not only wanted to test how much my friends, and adults I know, knew about mental illnesses and the system,but I also wanted them to share stories of times they had experienced someone being bullied due to having a mental illness or a time when they were bullied.

Anonymous Stories I received:

I've seen it happen where someone can't speak correctly because of their illness and others make fun of it.


When I was in high school, I noticed someone being bullied. I didn't do anything about it. It still haunts me.


Someone I know has autism and he was made fun of for not being able to keep up in the classroom. Long story short I almost beat up people…


I would rather not, it's traumatizing. It really is a horrifying experience and truly humiliating.


When I was in second grade, one of my best friends had autism and kids would always make fun of him and hit and tease him because of his disabilities.

      9 more stories

Although these stories were short and simple,they have left a lasting impact on me. I am sure that if more people were willing to share stories like this then the world will truly know how important it is to care about the mental health care system and treat everyone kindly, despite their uncontrollable differences.                  

At last, through my student interview and my interview where almost 49 students,friends, and adults,responded, I learned many things. For starters, I did not expect the respondents to perform so well on the surveys. Maybe the youth is as ignorant as I predicted? This brings the question: Why aren't there more kids sharing their stories, making people care, devoting their time to sparking a discussion about the mental health care system? My answer is that kids feel powerless sometimes. In my Agent of Change plan, I want to empower kids. I want to create a virtual environment, where they can feel safe about sharing their stories, anonymously. I want adults to see how many stories there are. I want to bring awareness.        

Specifically, in my Agent of Change, I will create a website, a safe blog, where everyone can vent and share their stories, without worrying that they will be reprimanded or teased. I understand that sometimes the society we live in does not support the mentally-ill, but I also believe that they will see the importance of the issue once they see how many kids are struggling with the bullying this engenders.  Not only will I create a website, but I also plan an event at The Franklin Institute to bring awareness to the issue.

I am planning to interview a mental health care professional at Philadelphia Mental Health Center on Pine Street, however they have yet to respond to me. Once they do, I will post the interview. This was a challenge I encountered during this process. I understood that not everyone would respond to my emails. The people at this center certainly did not.I had to visit their offices for them to take notice.
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