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Name: Maleena Mel 
Mentor: Mr. Best
Mentor Outside Of School : Molly Willow
Title: My Baby's Development 

  When I first started my capstone I wanted to show a part of my life, as a young teenage parent. I wanted tell a story, give some tips, and show first timer parents what I have gone through and what they would need to know. What I did was research many things I needed to know about a new born, the nutrition that the baby needs and what to do with a new born as a first timer parent. Some of the things that I did for my presentation was make a video of my baby’s development over the years from when he was born and till now at the age of one. For my self i had a lot of experience so when my baby was born i knew what to do. One good experience that i had was watching my baby sister when she was a baby. My mom thought me how to do things like changing the diapers, making the milk, bathing the baby, and what to do when they are sick. Ever since than i knew house to take care of a baby and watch a baby. By doing this project i have learned many things because i didn’t know how the babies development was, like how their brain function, how babies learn things, their behavior and nutrition. I hope by sharing my experience that people would learn how watch their first baby. 

Video Of My Product
Annotated bibliography
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Blog #3 - Agent of Change

Hi! My name is Katarina Backo and I am a ninth grader at Science Leadership Academy. I am doing a project for my English class about an issue that concerns
me, and I have to write three blogs about it. Here is the link to my first blog, second  blog link and this is my third blog in this series. My issue involves play time, and how technology impacts children’s activity and therefore their lives. I am an artistic, athletic person connected with my family and happy about it. I wish that everybody could have the happiness I have, but I think that wrong use of technology prevents that. Hope you’ll enjoy reading my ideas.

In my Blog #1 my focus was on balance (“I love technology as well, but I think that everything should be balanced.”-Blog #1). My concern was that nowaday teens will choose to play with technology rather than going outside to play.

In my previous blog my focus was on how “ I went to all my activities and still didn’t notice new teens making use of abundant free teen programs that exist in Philadelphia. Besides working on this project I  had the opportunity and luck to do a research on how technology affects people for my technology class. For my Science Fair Project I have decided to dig deeper into how teens tell time and that helped me understand how I could resolve my issue.”(-Blog #2)

For the past few weeks, I was aware of how friends around as well as myself, were totally out of order and organization for our school work. It’s not that we can’t do other things, its just that when we are playing a game, listening to music, on facebook, on twitter, we lose the sense of time and end up not being able to finish things. If people heard about and tried the programs Philadelphia offers, then there would be enough human interaction. They would be able to experience what people used to do for fun, before electronics were there. If we do that it will help us not depend on technology so much.

As an agent of change I would like to show what is happening in Philadelphia and I hope that my peers will join me in my endeavours. As I was talking about in the last 2 blogs, I have a lot of activities and I want to share my experiences in order to increase the visibility of programs for teens.   

I was happy to volunteer at my old Mural Arts Program location (Southwark), where anime photoshoot took place. For the past couple of weeks teen artists have been working on creating costumes of anime characters they created to present some of the world problems. For example one of the issues mentioned was littering, and I helped the issue come alive by being involved in finalizing this costume:


Litter anime character

The students first decided which issue they wanted to take. Next, they designed their costumes, which later they made themselves, with the help of teachers from Mural Arts, and volunteers like me. Mural Arts Program also provided all the materials teen artists needed.

The day of the shoot there was one photographer, professional makeup artists and volunteers. Even though there were professionals at the scene, teen artists took pictures, and everyone was involved in creating the wonderful environment. It was a really fun experience and I hope you will enjoy the pictures!!!!

The photo shoot

Makeup for all the models (even the guys)


Later those photos were displayed in a gallery with other art projects of the other locations of Mural Arts. From the experience teen artists had, I think they learned a lot about design, making and modeling. Events and projects are happening at Mural Arts all the time, throughout the city of Philadelphia. Murals, sculptures, drawings, photos, are not the only things students in the Mural Arts Program make, there is also memories, friendships and important life lessons.

I volunteered at the Christian Street  YMCA. My YMCA has a lot of holiday parties with lots of activities and food for different holidays.The YMCA provides lots of sports, activities and workouts, but my favorite part is the pool. I am the part of the swimming team and our team has a lot of swim meets, which are competitions against other teams from other YMCAs. When I did not swim on those I helped on the deck. Also I helped with swim lessons for little kids.

25 yard pool at the Christian street YMCA

At the Whitman branch of the Free Library of  Philadelphia, where I always volunteer, there are a lot of different sections, and teen section one of them. There is a lot of clubs in the library, scrabble club, chess club, games club, and they have a relaxing yoga class. I volunteered at the Science in the summer program and it is a 2 day course with different labs. They also needed volunteers for Summer Reading Program, to help them inform and deal out prizes. This time I volunteered at the activity for little kids called “Story time”, where kids listened to stories, made bracelets, mixed colors, and made collages.  

The teen section at the Whitman branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia

I asked the librarian to give me a few words about things they offer for teens in the library:

Throughout this project my opinion changed, evolved, and grew. It helped me see things around me clearer and with more understanding. Maybe, I could have made posters, flyers, and other advertisements, to represent the programs, to show people that they can do something interesting in their spare time. However, I think that this way everyone can get first hand personal experience from me.

The way I was an agent of change was not just volunteering. I also took my friends to those places and after they experience the atmosphere, activities and fun they stayed and started to go there more often. There is only one thing left to say and that is: Instead of staying inside, go out and enjoy the world around you!!!!

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Dakota Foster's Capstone


Recently, i participated in Doula Training Class by the suggestion of a colleague. I began taking classes under the Maternity Care Coalition. I was one of three high school girls with the rest of the ladies were either in college or well into their lives with kids. During the classes, I fell in love with everything and anything that came along with being/becoming a Doula. I loved the people that I met in the classes, I loved the atmosphere, and the spirituality that was embedded in everything we did. Two things that stood out to me where that: the teacher told us that Doulas aren't well known and how we are helping them by being 'community doulas' - being more accessible to the community. We watched stories about the women that had Doulas and I thought to myself: something this great, why don't more women know about? That is when I decided to make a video about what Doulas are, the history of Doulas, and something little extra. Hope you enjoy!

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Jessica Maiorano Capstone

I had the opportunity to be on Science Leadership Academy's Students Run Philly Style team all four years of high school. I have grown and learned so much by being on this team. The goal of this project was to find an effective way to encourage students to join  Students Run Philly Style and to give other students their own unique experience while being in the program. I have also used this website to show the qualities and experiences students can gain by being apart of any sports team. I met with one of the leaders from Students Run to exchange ideas on how to produce a final product that would get others to join. This required me to know the benefits of Students Run and how other members have been effected by it. The vision was to create a promotional video that can be shared. I have produced my video by using my skills that I have learned throughout my three years in Digital Video. I choose to put all my information on this website so it easy to see all the experiences that my fellow classmates and I have had while being on a sports team.  


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Abou Hinson Capstone

My capstone was on leadership experience and character development. I knew I’d be working with Phresh Philly for the most part because it had been my ILP and I enjoyed it in the past. I initially planned to build a greenhouse in north Philadelphia but our plans since have changed. I’ve had increased participation in the group so I thought I’d document my role and talk about my experiences. 

The 3 events that I documented were the financial literacy classes I co-hosted at SLA, the “Global Youth Service Day” event that I planned with my mentor, and a mentoring/education program I co-founded. I worked with a number of organizations to put these things together and I met some very amazing and inspiring people. I decided to do this as my capstone because I’ve always felt as if I were never preforming academically at my peak or as good as I should have been. After a summer of reflection I decided to go on a journey to reach my intellectual capacity, and these events have gave me even more to reflect on. 

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Sara Nesbitt Capstone


I chose to write a children's book. I wanted it to be whimsical and fun, but with an underlying allegory. I wanted to write something that children would find amusing, but the older people would understand the meaning behind it. I gathered memories/things that my grandfather and I did together, and based my story on our adventures together. I chose to write in the perspective of a hat, so it was more fun for the kids. It's my grandfather's hat. I teach the days of the week by adding an adventure to each day, and made them relatable. At the end of the story, the hat "blows away" which is to resemble death. It's teaching children that when someone/something you love isn't with you anymore, you can take the memories that you had with that person/thing and hold onto them to keep happiness and memory of those times. I'm really glad that I wrote this book dedicated to my grandfather, because now I have physical documentation of the fun times we spent together, and I can share it with others.

Annotated Bibliography:

1. "Top Ten Children’s Book Publishers @" SelfPublishing Creative Writing Poetry and More. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

This source provides top publishing companies for specifically children’s books. I found two really great companies that would be perfect for me. They specialize in children’s picture books. The names of those companies are Templar Publishing and Flashlight Press.  I also found a few companies that I shouldn’t send my material to, because they are no longer accepting picture books. This was helpful because I can eliminate companies and find the one that’s best for me.

2. "Publishers and Getting Published." Children's Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This was another publishing company site; where there are links to numerous companies that you can click onto them, and they give you a synopsis of the criteria they need. They inform you about their policies, what you need to send to them, and what the final product will look for you. They can also give you a quote, which is an estimate price for the specific book you envisioned. I selected this source because I thought that the information was informative and helpful.

3. "Allegory The Giving Tree." N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This site was a presentation on the underlying allegories that were in the children’s book, The Giving Tree. This introduced new ideas that I hadn’t seen before. It provided a new perspective to me, and insightful things to add to my own book. I selected this source because I think it’s helpful to learn how to add an allegory that children don’t pick up on but others do, as well as something that’s unique and powerful to me. It helped me gain ideas of how I can impact the audience with my message.

4. "Self Publishing, Book Printing and Publishing Online - Lulu." Self Publishing, Book Printing and Publishing Online - Lulu. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

I selected this source because it was the best self publishing/printing company I found. They were organized, helpful, and professional. They gave you an estimated price which is nice. Also, the site is supportive. They have sponsors, (Barnes and Noble, amazon, and Ibooks) so you feel like you can be successful with your final product. Another benefit of this source was that they provide online support for anyone with questions that aren’t answered. One limitation of this source was that it’s very expensive.

5. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar =Khubaja Bhukyo Keḍarapilara /." Free Library of Philadelphia. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

I chose to look at the Very Hungry Caterpillar for inspiration because it was always a favorite of mine when I was younger. I analyzed it and looked for allegories. I really liked the fact that the author used the days of the week to tell his story, but it was also structure (which is good for the children) and it helps them learn the days of the week. I used this for my storyline, and incorporated the days of the week through it. This book gave me great ideas. One limitation that I thought the book had was it was too short. It was like a cliffhanger in a way which made me have more questions about the authors choices.

6. "Where Do Balloons Go? :an Uplifting Mystery /." Free Library of Philadelphia. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

I chose Where Do Balloons go? as one of the books to analyze because it was in my family history. The allegory of this book is about death, and questions what happens to people when they die/what happens to their loved ones. This helps me because I want to incorporate the message “How to deal with death/Can we move on?/How do we move on?” into my story. This book also helped me on ideas for illustrations, because it is so beautifully illustrated and the colors are so vibrant. This book was very interesting and beneficial to my writing process.

7. "The Giving Tree /." Free Library of Philadelphia. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

I chose The Giving Tree to source because it’s an amazing classic. The book not only demonstrates the process of life, but the selfish characteristics that we have, and how we can take advantage of the people who care about us the most. It also portrays how we can become more and more complicated and greedy as we live and find new things. This book is simply wonderful, and demonstrates the qualities I want to show in my own book.

8. "Goodnight Moon /." Free Library of Philadelphia. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

Most people don’t know that Goodnight Moon was written in 1947, and the book is about the Cold War. It uses tactics like saying “goodnight” to everything in the room. It’s the perfect bedtime story, but the deeper allegory is very hidden. A limitation of this source was that I had to research the allegory, which I thought older people would understand automatically. Overall, it was beneficial to see a different type of book with a different message then the rest.

9. "Twenty Steps to Writing a Children’s Book." Confessions of a Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This source provides step by step instructions on the children’s book that a woman wrote. Her’s was focused primarily on working with her illustrator, and every detail that went into getting the final product the way she wanted it. I selected this source because I wanted to know the process from another person’s perspective, and see how I can plan my time accordingly to get everything completed. One limitation of this source was that she didn’t talk much about writing it, which I wish she did because her illustration notes were so great.

10. "Pat Mora." Pat Mora. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

I chose this source because I need tips on how to organize my time, and what I should dedicate more time to/less time to during my writing, illustrating, and printing process. This website gives quick tips on how to successfully write a children’s book. I agree with the tips they cover toward the end, because you do have to love what you’re writing about or else the book will not be as amazing as it could be. This source was beneficial to me because I take note of them when writing my book, and they really come in handy.

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Ryan Shaw Capstone

Student Name:

Ryan Shaw

In school mentor’s name:

Mr. Baird

Topic Summary:

The goal of this project was to research and create a way to teach people how to play chess and to understand chess strategy.

Project Abstract:

The inspiration of my capstone is my love for chess and my love of playing games like chess. Games like this help me with developing my problem solving skills, so that I can use these skills in real life applications. When I realized this, I wanted to help other people who might not have the same experience. I decided I was going to research and take a study of how quickly people improve at playing chess with an ELO scoring system, so that I could actually graph and use the data, then use that information to create a comprehensive website so that anyone could learn how to play chess and learn how to use simple problem solving strategies.


Annotated Bibliography:

1. "World Chess Federation - FIDE." World Chess Federation - FIDE. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This is a resource that will help me significantly in the coming weeks. It is a very popular, and much visited website that many chess players visit to research chess and to play online chess. This will help me get an idea of how to teach people chess and how to accurately gauge a person’s chess abillity.

2."E.I.01A. Laws of Chess." World Chess Federation. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This source will help me explain chess to those who have a larger than average understanding of chess and the mechanics. It will fall under advanced categories on the website, and I learned more about chess and why some of the mechanics are there inside of the game, by looking at these rules and their explanations.

3. "" Chesscom RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This is a list of chess openings, some famous, some advanced, used by the top chess players in the world. These players used the techniques that are described in detail in this web page to describe the amount of thought and the process of the moves and openings by taking the reader through the moves one by one. A very useful tool to show to beginners and show them how thoughtful and interesting chess can be.

4. "" How to Play Chess: Rules & Basics -. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.

This is a source that could help me a large amount with teaching people how to play chess. While I have an understanding about how the game is played, I don’t know how to teach a beginner as well as someone like my mentor, Mr. Baird, a chess teacher. I need more resources like this one that will help me understand how to teach people how to play chess.

5. "" Advanced: Strategy. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

These are examples of strategies used in chess games, not just openings, but also thoughtful uses of detailed chess strategies. Each of these strategies could be something simple that could help a beginner, or it could help a person that has an advanced understanding of chess, or someone tha

6. "5 Year Old Teaches 2 Year Old to Play Chess." YouTube. YouTube, 08 Dec. 2008. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This source is a youtube video that shows a 5 year old describing how to play chess and how to use the pieces to a 2 year old. Then he describes how to play the game. While I thought this wouldn’t be useful at first, I quickly realized that this is a useful video to show how easily one can learn chess, and learn how to play it. The resource will help me find the perfect way to teach a new player how to play the game.

7. "Lecture Notes." Lecture Notes in Game Theory. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

Game theory is still an important part of my project and this is a list of lectures, a few of which I have watched, describing the approaches to game theory, and what game theory means. I can easily find use in this source by showing a few lectures as introductions to intermediate players and as a way to show players how important it is to understand the game and how game theory works with chess and what that means.

8. "Get Your Elo Rating Here!" The Automated Chess Rating Utility. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

"Cognitive Ability Test." RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

These are two sources that have the possibility to estimate or score a person’s chess playing ability. There are a few different ways to do this, but the first one of these sources estimates a person’s ability by giving them a few example chess problems, where the player describes the correct way to proceed to check mate. While this is happening, the computer keeps track of how the person is doing, and at the end, gives them an estimated ELO based on their answers. The second source is one that tests cognitive ability. While the first source was an estimation, this is an actual test, and I can use both to see if there is a correlation between chess and brain function, or at least the scores of the two.

9."HTML." W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.

Since I will be coding my website, I will need to frequently use resources to finish programming the website, and to accurately code, I need a reference guide. This is a guide I’ve used in the past to accurately code and code with a lot of efficiency. I’ll be using this citation to guide myself through coding the website, which will be a helpful resource in showing new players how to play.

10. "Improve Your Chess." How to Improve at Chess. Top 10 Reasons for Stagnation. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.

This is an online chess school that has the ability to teach people about chess in a different manner than I’ve seen before. Using this site, I can teach the new players how to play in a way that I hadn’t before realized and I can now accurately use to teach new players. While teaching chess before this, I would’ve used the same techniques as the other sites, I can now incorporate these new techniques in teaching chess to new players and advanced players alike.

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Alisha's Capstone - Art

Cover Page​
Student Name: 
Alisha Clark

In School Mentor Name: 

Ms. Dunda

Out of School Mentor: 


Topic Summary: The goal for this project was to create a collection of artwork and have it publicly displayed.  

Project Abstract: I intend for my final product to be a collection of art work. Since my focus is on life and art, I wanted to have all pictures involving a person(s). My personal requirement was to try to make it as realistic as possible because that’s my style of drawing. I believe that art is best when you draw what you see. So, for my final product it is important to me to be able to draw how I see each person. I would like to carry out the visual with a public display in Science Leadership Academy.

I also got the idea to collaborate with other artists in SLA. So, I plan to be able to meet with them to conference with them about their pieces and to help with an struggles, concerns and to provide any materials. Therefore, collectively, there will be a majority of my artwork, but there will be featured artists’ work displayed as well. Although no one draws the same exact way, I would like the display as a whole to capture parts of life. 

Final Product: Displayed on third floor ballroom wall

Click here to view my PROPOSAL

​Click here to view my ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
​Click here to view my WEEKLY JOURNALS
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Sarah-Charlotte Brown Capstone

Link to work: ​

My idea originated a few years back, when I decided that I wanted to write a book about mermaids. I had always liked mythology and fantasy novels. I decided that I wanted to be an author a while ago, but have never completed any kind of book or gone through the process of writing and coming up with the story. Originally, I wanted my capstone to be to write the book. However, I realized fairly soon into the process that I needed to spend more time developing the characters and stories. If I took that time and also tried to finish writing an entire book, I knew the book wouldn't turn out very good because of lack of time to prep the book, and also complete writing it. This gave me the idea to do a "website for the book." On this website, I would have fully developed characters complete with drawings, real history and mythology, a prologue, and photography (that would eventually become part of the book). 

  1. "Character Development Tips." Character Development Tips. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>. - This source gives me a lot of information about character development, which is extremely important for my capstone. One of the main things I’m doing is character development. I have had trouble with it in the past, so learning more about it has a lot of importance to me. 

  1. "Mermaid." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>.  This source just gives me some basic information about mermaids. I can also use wikipedia to find other sources and get a lot of the basics of my information.

  1. "Mermaid Mythology." Mermaid Mythology. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>.-  This source tells me a lot about the original mermaid myths. It talks a lot about a goddess from Syrian mythology that inspired a lot of my story. I am researching more about these myths and basing my story behind it. 

  1. "Mermaid's Treasures." Mermaid myths, legends, and folklore. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>. - This source has a lot of information. It starts out having general information about mermaids. It then goes on to have information about mermaids from different countries. It also has a list of mermaid hoaxes and a list of a few mermaid books listed. 

  1. Mermaids: The Body Found. Dir. Sid Bennett. Perf. Sean Cameron Michael, Andre Weideman, Candice D'Arcy, David Soul. Animal Planet, 2011. Film.- This is a fake documentary about mermaids. It gave me a lot of ideas for some of the minor characters for my novel. 


  1. "Portrait Photography Tips." Digital Photography School RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>.- I am going to be photographing things for my guide book and a lot of the photos will be portraits. I haven’t done a lot of portraits in the past, and this source gives me a lot tips for doing them. 

  1. Radford, Benjamin. "Mermaids & Mermen: Facts & Legends." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>.- This source has a lot of science facts about mermaids. 

  1. Reif, Cheryl. "Crafting Believable Villains: 52 Questions to Ask." Cheryl Reif Writes. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>.- The one thing I still really need to work on is developing an evil character. I haven’t had too many ideas so far. This source has a lot of tips and ideas around creating an villain. 

  1. "Syrian Boy & Girl Names." Syrian Names. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>.- This source will help me with naming my characters and keeping them close to their heritage.

  1. "Underwater Photography Guide." Underwater Photography Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <>.- I will probably be doing some underwater photography, which is something I have never done before. This has a lot of sources about underwater photography that I can use. 
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Blog #3- Agent of Change

Hi it’s Kai again! I’m back and writing my third and final blogpost on the overlooked and forgotten people of Philadelphia. If you remember my previous posts “Do You Care” and “The Overlooked of Philadelphia” you’ll know that my focus are the citizens of Philadelphia who have been overlooked by our government.This topic is important to me because it affected me and so many others. I have talked about the Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry and the Abbotsford Falls Family Crisis and Counseling Clinic being a place where a number of our community members are forgotten. When I talk about being forgotten I mean the many citizens of Philly who are not being taken care of and not given the respect they deserve. The more we come together as a people to try and fix our failed system the stronger it’ll make us.

I knew that for my agent of change I wanted to do more than just bring in cans or gently used clothes. Constantly reminding my class mates to bring in supplies wasn’t what I had in mind for my project. In my previous blogs talked about the Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry and the Abbotsford Falls Family Practice and Counseling clinic being a place where many have been forgotten. That was only an example. Philadelphia is a big city and the more people I made aware the better. For my agent of change I wanted to make sure everybody knew about the problem we are facing as a community. Our city is suffering at the hands of our leaders and nobody has been stepping up to fix it. Our school system is failing, there are a limited amount of health professionals who take patients without insurance, every other day a kid dies at the hands of a gun, and the amount of homeless people is outrageous. So after going through all my options I decided on an interactive presentation during advisory. My presentation focused on the failing school system because that would connect with students more than anything else.

Me presenting the beginning of my presentation

In my presentation I showed six different school logos. Three of which are neighborhood school and the other three are magnet schools. I asked my advisory what the difference was between the schools. As my advisory was talking they really came to realize that there was a problem. The fact that there is such a big gap between the difference in test scores from a school like South Philly High and SLA or Promise Academy at King and Central. After I talked about the different schools I wanted to ask if there were any schools you got rejected by that you were considering for high school. Like myself many students were considering three or four schools but only got into one or two. All of us were lucky to get into SLA but tens of thousands of other students end up having to go to their neighborhood schools which aren’t academically challenging. When you teach students to compete for schools and some kids end up in sub par schools you also teach them not to care. They think: well I’m not good enough to get into this school so I’m must not be smart. That is the wrong message to send to the kids who will run this country.

                                                    Two more pictures of me teaching

My topic isn’t something that you can fix overnight, when you’re talking about whole cities there is little that you can do to make a huge impact. So I concluded that the best way to change any problem is through education; after all you can’t fix something that you don’t know about. While most Philadelphia students know about the budget crisis and our failing school system not many know the details, like what is happening? who is doing it? and what can we do to fix it? I hit all these points and more in my presentation in a way that engaged my peers. By the time I finished my project I really felt as though I had gotten my point across and I was really being heard. The advisory was asking questions about what they could do to help and they were thinking about alternative options to fix what our government had broken.

The biggest lesson that I learned wasn’t through my research as much as it was through my class. It felt really rewarding to know that I wasn’t in this boat alone, that there are other people who want to take action in my cause. I am confident that my peers are not only aware of the issue but willing to help by writing and letters and trying to get our voices heard. I plan on continuing my agent of change even after this project by getting a group letter sent to Governor Corbett. This project has allowed me take on a topic that is really important to me and for that I’m grateful. I had always known that the forgotten of Philly was a problem but I never knew how to fix it. Through this blog I figured out how.

A student engaging
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Jeffrey Schwartz Capstone

Jeffrey Schwartz

Mr. Baird and Ms. Menasion

My capstone is a short book aimed at beginning and ending habits and comfort zones. 

​I was interested in reading a few business books and I eventually became fascinated with the idea of a domino effect concerning habit making and self improvement. I read and researched many books and people essential to understanding self improvement in hopes that I could produce a product that uniquely describes the process of coming out of your comfort zone and nudging yourself onto a different path towards your goals, what ever they may be. Mostly my capstone involved reading and talking to people. Things that I was not exactly willing to do as much as I am now. 


Restak, Richard M. Think Smart: A Neuroscientist's Prescription for Improving Your Brain's Performance. New York: Riverhead, 2009. Print.

Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown, 2008. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. New York, NY: Riverhead, 2009. Print.

Covey, Sean. "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens." 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Sean Covey, n.d. Web. 30 May 2014.

Clason, George S. "The Richest Man in Babylon (book)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 May 2014. Web. 30 May 2014.

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Jalisa Smith- Capstone

Jalisa Smith

Mentor (In School): Elizabeth Menasion

Mentore (Outside of School): Elizabeth Blackman

Capstone Abstract: 

Cancer Screening Rates within the Black Community: African, African-Americans, Afro-Caribbean 

The black community holds the highest cancer mortality rates even amongst major cancers. The objective of this research study is to determine if there are cancer screening disparities within the black community, using three types of cancers: Cervical, prostate and colorectal. 

Background Information: 

  • Cervical Cancer: 

This cancer begins when normal cells gradually turn to precancerous cells. The exocervix has squamous cells. The endocervix has glandular cells. The part where the squamous cells and glandular cells meet is called the transformation zone. In this zone, squamous and glandular cells create precancerous cells. These precancerous cells then lead to cervical cancer. Like most cancers, cervical cancer can be detected early and prevented earlier. 

The chances of contracting cervical cancer are intensified with human papilloma virus (HPV). Young women can be vaccinated for HPV prevention at a young age and with continuous vaccinations, it reduces the risks of contracting the virus that leads to contracting pre-cancer. The vaccination however does not prevent cervical cancer so getting a regular screening is still very important. 

  • Colorectal Cancer: 

This cancer begins either in the colon or the rectum,. The majority of colorectal cancers start as a polyp: a growth that begins in the inner lining of either the colon or rectum and continues toward the center. Although colorectal cancer does begin with polyps, only some polyps can become cancer, those are known as adenomas. When a polyp is taken out during its early stages, chances of a person ever getting colorectal cancer are reduced. 

  • Prostate Cancer: 

Although there are other cells that become cancerous, most prostate cancers develop from gland cells. Gland cells are those that make prostate fluids that are a part of semen. Those cells that begin as gland cells are called adenocarcinomas. Prostate cancer is affcte by the size of a man’s prostate. There are plenty of reasons why one is more susceptible to contracting prostate cancer than others. This disease is very likely amongst older men and can be treated with regular check-ups. 


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Agent of Change

Hello, welcome back to blog post 3! I am Haisha Hahsy and in our literacy class with our teacher Mrs. Dunn has given us all a project called “You And The World.” My first blog (Dec. 17,2013) and second blog(March 1, 2014 ) post started with introducing people to my cause, The Poor In Afghanistan and I showed real life examples and gave ideas on how to help this meaningful cause. Now it’s been quite a while from blogging. Now that we have the research, what are the changes that I/we have made?

On April 24, 2014 was when I had a bake sale at SLA when over 40 people came onto us. On May 2, 2014 I also held a movie night with 5 star dinner.  Our movie was “Alladin” I advertised it at SLA and about 9-13 people came. I personally told 30 people about my cause. This is a change, that more people know, more than 70 people now know only by talking about this cause. I even gathered some donation money to send towards Bayat foundation.

The way I chose to bring change was a fun way. The bake sale was full of sweets and goodies and the movie night was “magical” (thanks to the genie). When I told people about my cause most people did have an idea as I had suspected, but the thing is that; no one knew how important they were in this cause! Everyone thought that they had to donate money but no that is only one way to help, getting the word around helps just as much. The more people that know about the cause the better! I also learned some things about myself like how much one has to try in order to do somethings like advertising and getting the movie night set up, hate to say but it wasn’t the most fun thing I had done. There were lots of ups and downs but, in the end it all paid off because I know I tried and that’s what really matters.

I also feel like I could have done better if I made some more time for myself to get everything done. I also wish that more people would have come because I mean I was really looking forward to my movie night but then some people didn’t show and etc. But more time would have done better, other than that I think I did a pretty good job especially with trying to get everything in order (really hate to toot my own horn). I am also planning to hold another bake sale soon and combine the money to get a larger amount of donation money to send!

I must say trying is the key! Even if you tell your friends about the poor in Afghanistan that immediately throws you into bring change. Even if all you do is a little research or even just read this you are bring change. Like I have said before and I will say again the more people that know about this cause brings more change. If I only can bring this much change, just think if we all did. I think it makes a huge change, don’t you think? If you agree with me, then come on ahead and start bringing change. At the moment you are the key to our success.

bake sale picture, one yummy treat!

and movie night!

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YATW Blog Post #3 Dubois Stewart

Hello! This is Dubois again writing to you about big cats. So in my last blog post, I talked about my opinion on big cats and my results from my survey that I sent out along with my interview of Ms. Houston. This time i’m going to talk to you about what is currently being done for the big cats and what I did to raise awareness. There are currently organizations around the world that specialize in the preservation of big cats, such as Big cat rescue, the largest big cat sanctuary in the country,  See the Wild, which is a fundraising organization for the big cats, and our own Philadelphia zoo, which teaches children from an early age how to save big cats. All of these programs try to show people the importance of big cats by showing them our worlds after its too late.

For my Agent of change project, I did a presentation on the Big cats to my advisory. I talked about the problem, the things that were currently being done, and what we could do. I was actually already involved with the Philly Zoo before we started the project through an organization called STAMP. Every month I write a blog post about the events that are coming up to raise not only the awareness of animals, but also the amount of teenagers that support museums. For the exclusively though, if more people came, there would be even more support behind the protection of the big cats. I at first was very nervous about doing this project because I didn’t know what difference it would make if I wrote about it when multiple others already had, but was also excited because big cats are my favorite class of animals. I feel like could’ve connected with the Zoo though and maybe even an event for the big cats because i think that would’ve been much more effective than presenting, but I was too scared to try.

In the future , I think that we as a race should make eco efficiency a standard in every household around the world, and make it cheap so everyone can do it. We should also make law enforcement stronger and much harsher for poaching big cats to reduce the amount of poaching-especially since they’re unnecessary and are only used for their fur.Overall, we are moving forwards and I think that if we implement just a few of the things that have been mentioned, we’ll be making great progress.

My Presentation

Blog Post #2
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Capstone: Alexander Woodburn


The SLA Scaer Library has been a place of growth for me, and for many of the students that pass through the school. My first year was spent studying only, still new to the environment and the people within. By the second, though, the library became the social oasis that gave me the ability to talk to people my own age, to finally socialize like I'd never been able to before. By the end of that year though, I started to notice that the Library wasn't getting the care it deserved. Books were often not put back where they belonged, trash often missed the cans, and it wasn't really anyones responsibility at the time to take care of that. The next year, as a junior, I made it my ILP to take care of the library. I kept it clean and generally organized so that people could better use the books and the space. I wanted to expand on that for my Capstone project- I wanted to not only make the space better for the use it gets, but to make it beautiful and more comfortable to be in, whether for study, or for fun.

"Fundraising Thermometer." Fundraising Thermometer. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013. <>.

"Painting Contractors Giving Free Estimates." Painting Contractors Giving Free Estimates. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan. 2014. <>.

"Sherwin-Williams Paints, Stains, Supplies and Coating Solutions." Sherwin-Williams Paints, Stains, Supplies and Coating Solutions. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan. 2014. <>.

"Psychological Properties Of Colours - Colour Affects." Psychological Properties Of Colours - Colour Affects. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan. 2014. <>.

2014-04-16 13.37.22
2014-04-16 13.35.52
2014-05-12 16.30.57
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End of the trilogy. Blog post #3

Philadelphia Community Youth Court

photo (5).JPG

Welcome Back for my final installment of my You And The World Project. My name is Jesse And I am a freshman soon to be sophomore back with blog post #3. Throughout my first two blogs I introduced the topic of the school to prison pipeline and then shared with you my original research which was an interview which was with the Youth court coordinator herself Mrs.Kimberly Stevens. If you missed out of any of the blogs I will have links to them at the end of this blog as well as a link to my annotated bibliography.This blog will is the after my agent of change work and is once again the final part of my YATW project.  Now on to  blog #3.

Blog Post #3

Throughout my Agent of change part of my I have done multiple things to raise awareness about my issue. The Things that I have done range from walking in the “ Pete’s Sake Take a break from Cancer” walk, to mach trials preparing us for the real deal then finally actual live cases. The walk did not only help raise money for an organization that really wants to make sure that cancer patients get the best treatment possible and have a little vacation but we also got a chance to do walk as a group and represent The philadelphia youth court and have fun while doing so. I mean I don't know many organizations that genuinely do these kind of things out the kindness of their heart and not just because of the publicity(it sounds like I contradicted myself in the first paragraph to now but the reason we went to the walk in the first place was to support one of our members that have had breast cancer and went through these program). The live trials gave us a chance to actually help teens stay in school and not end up in the streets which and they are now doing a lot better which shows that this organization is making a positive change in people lives even though we’re doing it student by student. We make people want to stay in school and also give adults hope that our generation isn't just full of people who don’t care about their future and just are rowdy kids, so that show promise for an even greater positive change.

So far I feel as though these steps to change maybe small but are effective to eradicating the school to prison pipeline. We can’t be unhappy with the type of change that allows a teen with potential another chance to be apart of the working class and be something in their lives. Going throughout my agent of change work I wanted to pursue people that would help us in our mission and understood what we understood and help us reach out. I needed people who care about youth and were upset with the current status of the school system and wanted to make a change. Those are the type of people I was pursuing.

The changes that I have made so far are small but strong changes throughout the project. I have done two live cases where I was able to help two students stay in their schools and allowed them so that they could graduated on time. I have also with the help of the rest of the youth court members we got help from the barristers association who are now 100% behind the Philadelphia youth court. After this Agent of change part I have learned that there is always someone who thinks like you and when you find fault with something to speak up and try your very hardest to achieve your goal. Also never try to do everything alone.Now there are a few things that I could have done better. I could have participated more in youth court events so that we could get morte partnerships and I could have been a little more vocal. The only things that is left to do is repeat what I have already been doing and hopefully along the way get more people on (2).JPG

I would like to thank all of you for coming along with me throughout this journey of my YATW project and thank you for taking the time to read each and every blog post that I have made. Even though I wont be making anymore blog post I will still continue to help out with PCYC and do my best to make a meaningful change.Now go out there and make a change yourself and make this generation proud!  photo.JPG


Blog #1

Blog #2

Annotated Bibliography

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Goldie Robins Capstone

My Final product is a Flow Chart made on Lucid Chart of the Capstone Process. The Flow Chart is broken down by quarters, starting with Quarter 1 and going through a timeline of what the Capstone process is and what the student need to get done and do in that quarter. It is the same for Quarter 2, 3, and 4. My process of this Capstone came from me not being able to be successful in my first/original Capstone idea. My original Capstone took up a lot of the year and after it not working out, I wasn’t as productive and proactive as I should have been to get another Capstone rolling. This caused me to feel stressed and in a state of helplessness. I know that I have not been the only person in SLA history to not have their Capstone work out like they wanted. I also know I will not be the last, so I figured it would be a great idea to really go through the process quarter by quarter to keep a student on track. I hope that they will use this product from the years to come to help them produce successful capstones from the beginning. I have learned a lot of the Capstone process as a whole which then led me to do this Capstone I am handing in and presenting. My goal is for it to help others!

Annotated Bibliography:

Chopora, Malika. "How To: Organize a 5K Charity Run." NonProfitPeople. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Reading this article gave me great advice and ideas to further this race/capstone process. A lot of the first page of the article included questions which gave me an inquiry aspect of this capstone process and helped me with the questions I did not think of before. With the questions that they said for each topic in organizing a race, specifically a 5k charity run kind of turned into a checklist for myself. Answering the questions myself or researching and then coming up with ideas to answer the certain questions and how to go forth with the answer. It helped me by going step by step for each underlying topic in this big 5k topic. It breaks it down, so it is not as overwhelming as it lokos. Taking one part of the project one step at a time.

Eisler, Melissa. "Build a Budget, Find Sponsors, Promote Your Race." N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

This website really showed/proved me what I can do with basically a no budget race. It gave me more promotion ideas and how I can go about doing that process. What I can do to execute getting sponsors which is really a big goal and my main point to this process. It showed me the different ways of communicating and networking in a successful way. Websites to use or look at at, who and what to say when I talk to them. The ideas of instead of trying to go big with sponsors and trying to reach past my limits, to go into local business’ whether they would like to give money or do something with a “gift bag: and to have them put a deal or something like that in there. It gave me different aspects that I could go from giving me a wide variety of choice.

Hinton, Kristin. "Learn All about Virtual Race Bags! (Webinar Replay)." Virtual Race Bags. N.p., 24 May 2013. Web. <>.

This website is absolutely the coolest. The website as a whole taught me all about virtual goodie bags for a race. What they are, how they work, and why it is successful. Now, there are many websites for virtual race bags but this one really grabbed my attention. They are there for assistance setting up sponsors pages and they have already had big a small sponsors so I would hope that it would attract attention to sponsors because of how successful the website has been in the past. Also with the help and webinars the website has to guide and assist you through the whole process. This video is about 30 minutes including race director reports, sponsors reports, pricing, improving the dashboard and much more to draw attention. This is something that is really neat and offering this would help with race registration.

Martin, Pia, and Caitlin Thompson. "How Should I Do This?" Personal interview.

I have been in discussion with Ms. Martin and Ms. Thompson throughout this whole process. They have assisted me with when I wanted to do a physical race about changing dates and then going to change dates for my virtual race. Ms. Martin is one of the reasons I was convinved to change my event to a virtual race. She showed me examples and resources I can use. Also both Ms. Thompson and Ms.Martin had materials and other products that I would beable to have access to if I needed to .They have shown me timing apps, certain websites, how to go about doing something on way instead of another. They have research and asked other outsides sources questions and checked facts for me. Honestly, without them I do not think I would be where I am in my process right now. They are always looking out for things for me and have been more than helpful for not being my mentor.

"How to Organize a Race." N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

This is legitimately the ultimate guide. There are eight chapters and sub-topics that they touch about. Each one has its own numbered list in each topic. It really takes you step by step through the process. This one has especially helped me with getting my word out. What e-mails I should send and to who, what websites I should and can put them on, using their race registartion, flyers, and creating certain websites. It is all connected with sponsors, the race registartion, the final race day and more. Although it has the same information as other websites, they take a diffferent approach, have diffeerent step by step and details and really and it has really motivated me to get started and really go forth with the thinks and everything they have provided me.

"How to Organize Your First Race." N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

This is basically a “hub” of information in one website page. There are a lot of links to different articles and sites under topics. Pages helping choosing locations, date, even setting goals, permissions (if needed), and how I am going plan the logistics. Giving me websites to build a budget, finding sponsors, and promoting my race. Day of my race checklists, after event checklist with medals, shirts, and more if it pertains to me. It has been really helpful because it has led me to more than one broad topic under organizing a race. It’s different than the others with organizing the page different along with going at different perspective and different ideas and ways to approach the same thing.

"Running for Kicks and Giggles." Running for Kicks and Giggles. N.p., 27 Aug. 2013. Web. <>.

Reading this article was a total open up. It was coming from a perspective of someone who was like me. It wasn’t just a regular advertising website. So it gave me insight on someone who came from not organizing a race at all who had an interest and went for it. That is something  that I am doing so sharing their experience and what they had to do and what they found was interesting seeing their pros and cons and their experience. Nothing was sugar coated and it really touched her experience and process from not doing anything to the end of finishing the process, virtual run, and wanting to do it again.

"Running for Kicks and Giggles." Running for Kicks and Giggles. N.p., 25 Aug. 2013. Web. <>.

From the article above it is from the same person. The other one was talking about her process of seeing virtual runs, signing up for them, and then starting to be addicting and realizing that she wants to be a race director of one. With that whole process from start to finish, she took all her experience and what works and what didn’t and what will go well with a 101. Really her experience starting from nothing and moving it forward.

Sennebogen, Emelie. "Family Fun and Crafts." TLC. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

This was interesting to see and read, cause it was from TLC. I think of TLC as a tv channel and not something that could really help me. It did help, but ti has a different perspective and different descriptions to do things. It is also something that I feel I can trust and something that I believe works because of

"THE WALKB4URUN VIRTUAL 5K" Black Girls RUN. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

This website gave me a lay out, ideas, and everything included to put my race page together. It gave me a page to really look to for advice to write, what to say, and what ideas to tell them. It helped with a timing app they could use, telling them to record their stuff, about virtual race bibs and everything included up to race day. Instead of just giving me advice and what to do, an actual website and race that worked and was successful and something that is proven to work and get peoples attention.

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Anthony Buchanico's Capstone

It's been around 6 years since I've started playing the guitar. In that tem I finished grade school, went through high school and have matured in so many ways. I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't began playing the guitar I doubt I'd be half the man I am today. Throughout my guitar playing career I had a ton of support from friends and family telling me that I was doing great and that I was very talented. To be honest I never really believed them. When I did though it really helped me to become such a more confident and headstrong individual. I wanted to share that feeling with everybody through my knowledge and interest in music by making a booklet teaching others. I know that a lot of aspiring musicians often get discouraged when they hear a lot of different things about theory and music notation. I aimed to make my capstone simple to understand so that those beginners can get started on the right foot. 

I started off with the basics of music theory, as well as how to tune a guitar and what common terms mean that musicians might here a lot. From there I went on to explain the different types of chords and how to read a tab. From there I talked about what songs to play and what would help people with their music career. I made sure to provide dozens of example songs of all difficulties to make sure anybody can try some songs from the booklet. I know that my booklet won't be able to teach everyone, but hopefully those that it can teach, it does them well.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My capstone Via Google Drive

Key Resources/Bibliography:


Comunity. "Guitar Lessons @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com." Guitar Lessons @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com. Ultimate-Guitar,Web.

The Ultimate-Guitar community is a vast one filled with hundreds of guitar players of various skill levels.  These guitarists speak together on a forum and share their tabs with one another for the benefit of the world. Ultimate Guitar also has a lessons section where anybody can upload a lesson on whatever they please. I’ve used this to my benefit by taking pieces of different lessons and incorporating them into my own booklet.




Guitar Tab Creator. Computer software. Welcome to Guitar Tab Creator Help Section. Guitartabcreator, Web.


A big part of teaching guitar is giving a way to read music. Tablature is debatably the easiest way to teach guitar without going too in depth about music theory. Making these tabs can be extremely tedious, but thanks to guitar tab creator the pain of making a tab has been reduced by a great amount. I used this a lot so far in making lessons and plan on using this for the rest of it since it’s such a great tool.





Abe’s Book.


Musselman, Abe. A Brief Introduction to Guitar. 1st ed. Vol. 1: Self, Print.

Abe Musselman’s book on teaching guitar was very similar to what I did for mine. I was able to go through his capstone and get a decent understanding of what I can do to make it better. Abe also had a ton of good examples and sources to use. I got the guitar tab creator from this capstone, as well as several terrific song examples that I could implement in my project. It’s also nice to have a source that isn’t a website, especially since I can speak to this person personally.








Hess, Tom. "How To Teach Beginner Guitar." How To Teach Beginner Guitar. Tom Hess Music Corporation, Web.


I need to know HOW to teach guitar to people before I can actually go about doing it in a lengthy way. Tom Hess has managed to put some good lessons and tips into this website which allows me to take a step in the right direction with writing my book.  This website also talks about common mistakes, which is very helpful for me!




Savage, Nate. "Intermediate Guitar Lessons." » Guitar Lessons -. Guitarlessons, Web.


This is a good website for choosing different parts of my intermediate section. It has such a large amount of things in it that I can use it’s amazing. It’s kind of like a tutorial on my own capstone in itself.





Cross, Dan. "Learning Guitar - Lesson One - Learning About the Parts of a Guitar."Learning Guitar - Lesson One - Learning About the Parts of a Guitar., Web.


I figured that it’d be very smart if I taught the people who are reading the book the different parts of the instrument, which they are playing. I also wanted to use the image on the site to show how the guitar is laid out.




Farris, Brandon. "Intermediate Guitar Songs." Intermediate Guitar Songs. FULL-SCORE-GUITAR-LESSONS, Web.


Having songs in my capstone is very important. They provide a terrific reference of real world application with what you’ve been learning. This website is terrific since it gives me dozens of songs at different skill levels! I can use some of these songs in my capstone, and I can also use them to think of other songs.




Wimer, Kevin. "Choosing a Guitar: Acoustic vs Electric." JamPlay, 24 Feb. 2007. Web.


An extremely important part of my capstone is separating the different guitars. These being acoustic and electric. Based on what you want to know about guitar you can read the different parts of my book to learn about which type of guitar you want to play.



Crow, Klaus. "16 Legendary Fingerpicking Patterns." WordPress, 16 Nov. 2010. Web.


In terms of acoustic guitar, finger picking is extremely important. A lot of professional acoustic guitarists are very dependant on it. It manages to keep a very fast sound, while at the same time sounding very nice and melodic. I figured that this would be an extremely important thing to put in to the acoustic portion of my capstone since it’s practically required making any progress in playing.







G, Peter. "Choosing a Guitar Playing Style." Learn to Play Music. Learn to Play Music, 2014. Web.


As with my last source, this site allows to teach several different aspects of playing guitar playing such as finger picking.  This one also teaches rhythm and lead guitar though!  These also can be relevant for teaching acoustic guitar, but it’s also extremely helpful for electric guitar, which you can find a lead/rhythm trade in almost any two-guitar band!

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You and the World Blog #3: Agent of Change

Welcome back to my You and the World (YATW) blog trilogy of which this post marks the final installment (previous posts include an introduction to my topic, and an original research post, for which I interviewed the principal of a local arts school). As a culmination of our research, the members of our English class each did an “Agent of Change” project within our communities to help change or raise awareness about our issue.

I noticed that around our school, there were examples all around of incredible, arts-related work in not only in arts classes, but in all of the subjects. Some great examples of such work are many of the senior class’ “capstones”- the year long project that they devote their time to during their last year at Science Leadership Academy. These arts capstones are wonderful cases of how a good arts education can lead to excellent creative thinking and creative application skills that serve people, not only children, in their work, their social relations, and their daily lives. The issue that I saw repeated over and over was that these superb projects were overlooked by the wider community of SLA and those who visit the school. I decided that for my agent of change project I would call to the attention of the SLA community the amazing work of these creative young people, and show all who passed by my listings (on a poster located in the 3rd floor hallway-called the “ballroom”) the fruit of an education saturated with the arts.


A full view of the my 3rd floor setup: the title- "Corridor of Creativity", and the four sections- "Art", "Music", "Film", and "More", as well as an empty space directly under the title for additions to the wall.

This project was very difficult for me, as I did not find myself able to meet the original deadline for the agent of change work itself. I also ran into the problem of having to switch my idea midway. My original plan was to host a “variety show” of sorts for SLA in which we could display a lot of the talent- especially performanced based artistic talent- that lay hidden within our school. The obstacle I faced with this was my own incoordination, as I was unaware of another “spring showcase” being held at the time. After a conversation with my teacher, Ms. Dunn (who teaches seniors in addition to freshmen), she noted how so few of the arts-related capstone projects were given the attention they deserved, which led to the idea of the “Corridor of Creativity”. I felt during this project a sense of satisfaction, knowing that people would see and read my wall of talent as they shuffled along during the school week. Knowing that I have educated people, although only a fraction of the population, about the arts that are happening around them, has made me realize that a change, if only a change in awareness, can lead people to doors that otherwise would not be opened. Having worked with only a handful of people in my school, I already have been invited to a movie screening for a budding cinematographer (#Philed by Danielle Little, Dalena Bui, and Deshawn McLeod), am promised an autograph from a R&B artist beginning her career (Jordan Hairston), and have seen snippets of an action comic by Jovan Lewis, among others. I had no idea that these incredible projects even existed, and am so glad to have been able to expose myself to them, and in turn expose others to the inconceivable amount of talent present at Science Leadership Academy.


A closeup photo of the "Art" section of the wall, and though the photographs make it difficult to see, there are multiple pieces of artwork created by different students.

Even with all of my excitement about the success of my project, I feel as though there were many areas in which I could have done better. My process for organizing the Agent of Change project was very haphazard, and had I put forth more effort in right as we were assigned the project, I am sure that I would have been able to make my project all the more exciting and interactive. I also feel as though I would have been able to collect more samples of arts-related projects to more thoroughly add to my own knowledge of the arts happening around the school, and to have been able to incorporate that knowledge into my project. In addition to that, I sense that this project could have been improved (aesthetically and in terms of content) by a greater range of photographs and projects. I was lacking in that area, and know that I could have been more on top of taking photographs of the projects to better display them to the school.


The "More" section of the corridor, which contained examples of the arts-realated work that was integrated into the core curriculum of SLA, such as the to-scale buildings in Geometry or the DNA representations in Science.

In regards to furthering my research, I mainly focused on my Agent of Change work, but I did come across an article that peaked my attention: National Arts in Education Week. I hadn’t known that in July of 2010, the House of Representatives passed a resolution stating that every second week in September would be designated “National Arts in Education Week”. Having discovered this, I urge everyone reading this (especially those affiliated with schools) to promote this week, and to spread the word!

I would like to acknowledge those who assisted me in the creation and finalization of this project. First and foremost, I would like to thank Ms. Dunn, who not only supported me in creating my idea, but was understanding of the fact that I was not able to meet the original deadline. I would also like to thank my mother and cousin for the countless hours spent assisting me to cut out letters, as well as my classmates Isabel Medlock, Imani Weeks, Liam Hart, and Xavier Carroll. They were crucial in getting the "corridor" up and running.

Despite the fact that this project is coming to a close, the work that needs to be done in order to raise the level of arts in our school’s education to a standard that will benefit our children. My “Agent of Change” work has in no way solved the issue of lack of arts education that so plagues school districts around the country, and though my work with “You and the World” is done, my work as a citizen of the world has only begun. I plan to work towards a greater change to resolve this issue in as many ways as possible, such as promoting “National Arts in Education Week” at SLA, and hopefully organizing an “arts club” of sorts, as well as continuing to update my “Wall of Artistic Wonder” with new projects (I have already consulted with the engineering and robotics teacher, Mr. VanKouwenberg about possibly adding an interactive or mechanical element). I leave you with not a resolution, but a beginning; a call to action. Throughout my blog posts, there are various links that can be used to help spread awareness about a topic that is important to the betterment of all of the children and youth of our country and the world. Check them out! Contact the names mentioned! Reach out within your own communities! I thank you, and attach some additional links below.

A link to the Google Doc containing all of the photos from my project:

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Blog Post #3: Finding a Cure for Cancer

Hi everyone! My name is Gabrielle Cromley and you may have read my past two blog posts about Finding a Cure for Cancer if not, take a look! (Blog #1 & Blog #2) This is my final blog post for my You and the World project and it includes my Agent of Change portion. The Agent of Change part is how I tried to make a difference for my cause which is finding a cure for cancer.

There was recently an article on Liberty Voice titled “Cancer Cure on the Horizon?” that described a possible new treatment called CART treatment (chimeric antigen receptor T-cells)  that has been extremely successful in patients who were not responding to chemotherapy like Emma Whitehead and Doug Olson who said, “As far as I’m concerned, I’m cured. I don’t ever think about relapse. I don’t. It’s like all of a sudden you can breathe.” The treatment involves stripping white blood cells from the blood then using a modified version of the HIV virus to reset the white blood cells in order to make the white blood cells attack the cancer when they return to the bloodstream. CART treatment basically “genetically re-engineers a person’s immune system”. One of the major downfalls to this treatment is that it makes the patient’s immune system even more vulnerable for a while and they could possibly die in that span of time. It has a while to go, but the treatment is currently undergoing tests and development in order to make it safer and possibly compatible for more types of cancer.

Although the treatment has had a large success rate in its patients, I think that there is still a lot more that has to be done to improve the treatment so it is less harmful. Before it can be used on the market, it has to be a less risky procedure so that it can be as effective as possible. The treatment has also been successful in mostly forms of leukemia. It should also be tested and altered if needed so that it can be utilized for other forms of cancer. I also believe that the researchers working on CART should attempt to use a different virus than HIV just in case something goes wrong with the virus. Though CART treatment needs to be advanced more, this could possibly be another treatment option for cancer patients that could be more successful for them.                                                                                                        

In order to try to make a difference in the fight to conquer cancer, I participated in and donated to Yoga on the Steps with my classmate, Talya Laver. I took part by doing yoga for about an hour and a half with many breast cancer survivors and supporters. We also sang and ate breakfast together and talked about other events going on to support cancer and ways that we can all help. Yoga on the Steps is an event that was created by Living Beyond Breast Cancer which has been doing this activity on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum for 13 years. So far, Philadelphia has raised about $276,000 out of it’s $310,000 goal, and donations are still being made until June 30, 2014. If you would like to help find a cure for cancer by donating to Yoga on the Steps, click here.


Yoga on the Steps wristband


Yoga participants filling the art museum steps


Talya Laver and I in a yoga pose feeling victorious over cancer.


Participants filling the steps and sidewalk in poses

I may not have made a colossal change by myself, but when thousands or sometimes millions of people donate to an organization to aid in eradicating cancer, it makes a huge difference. If you think that your contribution doesn't make a change, you’re wrong because it takes as many people as possible to fight against varieties of a worldwide, destructive diseases like cancer. One donation can give a patient treatment or pay for needed supplies and testing for research. I have made a change by being part of this difficult battle instead of dismissing it. This project has made me realize that with passion, generosity, and perseverance this is a fight that we can win, but there needs to be support from as many people as possible. During my Agent of Change, I was witness to so many people that were similar to me in that this was such an emotional cause for them. So many people care about this fight and strive to win, we just need more dedication like this to put a stop to cancer.

Although I am proud of the work that I have accomplished for this project there were things I did not have a chance to do. I wish I had raised more money for the Yoga on the Steps by creating a team or having some type of fundraiser. I also wanted to be able to participate in other events that I was not able to like the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure and the Light the Night walk for Lymphoma and Leukemia. The You and the World project has made me realize that with passion, generosity, and perseverance this is a fight that we can win, but there needs to be support from as many people as possible. Also, there are many events that happen in spring that fund cancer research, and many people can only participate in about one or two of these activities since they do not have a lot money to spend at once. So, I think that more of these fundraisers should happen during other seasons in order to generate maximum support. Donations, participating in walks and other events, volunteering, and helping cancer patients are all simple things that we can do in order to fight cancer.

Cancer does not stand a chance against an entire country or even an entire world fighting as one. Why would anyone not want to witness the pain that cancer causes come to an end? Everyone who knows someone who has been diagnosed with, died from, or is a survivor of cancer needs to dedicate their efforts to these people, because they are the ones who truly know how brutal and degrading cancer is to a person and to society. We all owe it to those people to gain vengeance against the horrid cancers that infest this world. With that being said, we must stand up together and battle cancer in anyway possible and never give up until its end. Thank you for reading my blog posts!

Annotated Bibliography
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Amanda Cartagena- Capstone

Throughout my four years at SLA I've learned a lot about diversity. SLA is a great example for a diverse community. The students and faculty at SLA come from many different backgrounds and still manage to come together and share the same building as a whole. For my capstone, my partner and I had decided that we wanted to give SLA something that reflected our diverse community. In result we painted a huge mural on the 2nd floor ballroom. This colorful painting basically reflects the meaning of diversity. 


Throughout my four years at SLA I've learned a lot about diversity. SLA is a great example for a diverse community. The students and faculty at SLA come from many different backgrounds and still manage to come together and share the same building as a whole. For my capstone, my partner and I had decided that we wanted to give SLA something that reflected our diverse community. In result we painted a huge mural on the 2nd floor ballroom. This colorful painting basically reflects the meaning of diversity. 


Warikoo, Niraj . "New Arab-American mural reflects changing diversity of Hamtramck." Detroit Free Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2014. <>.

This source contains a mural which was done by a famous artist by the name of Dasic Fernandez in Detroit. His mural is a symbol of diversity. He had decided to paint this mural because he felt as though Michigan was one of the most diverse cities since it was home to many immigrants from around the world.

"Colorful Paintings by Ototoi." Design You Trust. Matt Watts, n.d. Web. 1 June 2014. <>.

This source withholds a very inspiring blog. This blog has paintings that are quite similar to the murals that my partner and I have in mind. The paintings contain different colors blending in together. The blending of these colors helps bring out the paintings and allow the deeper meanings of the paintings to show. 

"Diversity spreads to all corners of the U.S.." USATODAY.COM. Haya El Nasser, 6 Sept. 2012. Web. 1 June 2014. <>.

This source contains an article that talks about diversity spreading throughout the communities in the United States. This data is based off of Census data done by Penn State’s research institute. This article talks about the pros that diversity is bringing to communities, and the great benefits that it brings. 

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