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Digit Storytelling - People Affect Other People

In my digit story, I wanted to show people that the other in you're life can affect the person you are and the person you become. The main focus was people who go from a high school life to a college life. The way I accomplished this goal is by questioning someone who went to college. I asked this person how did he change and if the hang was beneficial. By watching my video, I would like to encourage my audience to be aware of who they call their friends and make sure these people will benefit you in a positive way. Other than that I hope you enjoy my short video.
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Jane Doe

Over View:
Jane Doe represents the overall story of how some children and teens live from day to day with depression, low self-esteem, and bullying. Represents the struggles and seclusion that people feel day in and day out. Represents the pain that people choose not to notice when they see it. The kid everyone laughs at in class, the girl who always gets profanity written on her locker, the boy who gets abused in the locker room. Many choose to turn the other cheek and pretend that they don't see it. That it's not their business or their fight. But by doing nothing they are feeding into this abuse. By doing nothing they are partially to blame for the kid that can't take the pain anymore and ends their own life. Jane Doe is just as important as anyone else.

Creators Notes:
I must say sorry in advance for this project. I took so much time off from school for medical reasons that this final product is not as good as it could have been. As it should have been. This topic was personal to me so I feel bad putting out this video that isn't good enough to me. I hope you all enjoy it and please leave comments. I will create a better version soon.
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Pollution is a very important worldwide topic, because we are killing ourselves. Third world countries are getting devastated by pollution. Did you know that highway pollution can cause autism in children? Over the years we have been destroying our world. Sooner or later, the full power of the sun will be unleashed, melting our world. There are so many other options for energy that we can use. For example, We can use windmills, solar panels, and even dams. We have hybrids and electric cars and planes! We literally have green fuel. My point is that we have all there great amazing alternate sources of energy.

This has always been an important topic for me, because I have experienced the effects of pollution firsthand. I have been conserving energy for my entire life. I convinced my parents to get cfls and to turn off the lights. I try to use cars as little as possible.The most common form of air pollution is smog. Ever been to Japan? Japan has the highest report of smog in the world. This is caused by overpopulation.  Overpopulated cities mean too many vehicles which leads to big time smog. Many people in Japan can be seen wearing masks to protect themselves from pollution this is a problem, but It can be easily solved.

The solution will take time, but it is very possible. We must focus more of our funding to saving this planet. We must slowly begin converting to clean green energy sources, starting with hybrid cars. They are not too expensive and they generate a lot less pollution. The big problem with industrialized countries is that they generate way too much carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Now plants suck up most of our co2, but not all of it. And that extra co2 goes straight into the atmosphere.We must reduce our carbon footprint. It was us who created things like acid rain. Third world countries are being devastated by our air pollution! Once we create it, it can travel in clouds and in wind all the way to places like afghanistan.

Electric cars people! They are not that expensive. Ever heard of the zombie car. Its an electric car that can accelerate faster than a bugatti veyron! My point is electric cars aren’t so bad and we should start using them. Some things I am worrying about is my original research, because I don’t know what kind of results I’ll get. I am thinking about doing field observation or a survey.

Essik, Peter. "Air Pollution Facts, Air Pollution Effects, Air Pollution Solutions, Air Pollution Causes - National Geographic." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <>.

"11 Facts About the BP Oil Spill." 11 Facts About the BP Oil Spill. Do Something, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <>.

WWF. "Pollution." World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <>.

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A Meme is not just a picture.

It’s been awhile since the first connections were made, originally from university labs, and then as time passed, they evolved as a tool for everyone. Now there are computers in many houses with their own IP address and the ability to communicate with thousands of people from different cities or nations in a matter of milliseconds. With this innovation, a new breed of websites were born called: social networks. Social networks work as a hub for communication. They are servers where multiple people can connect and communicate with one another. Social networks have exploded over the past years, with websites like twitter and facebook now worth multiple billions of dollars, it’s clear that there is a strong influence that they have on our lives.

People on social networks have developed hundreds of ways to communicate with one another, from hashtags to a different vocabulary, our language is constantly being shaped by us. One of the most popular things which thrived from the internet were memes. The definition of a meme is: an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation. Memes act as a method of communication based off a human trait known as imitation. Among the millions of individuals who are part of these social networks, there are individuals who attempt to shut them down, classifying them as a waste of time, or some parasitic culture, not realizing that a meme is more than just a picture, but it is a natural human behavior. This may not be a huge problem but we should be careful about the power which memes wield. After reading this, im sure that we will be able to agree on the fact that memes can be much MUCH more than just a picture with a caption.

Why is this a big deal? How is this so important that there are thousands of characters being typed up every hour around the world regarding this topic? The truth is that the world we live in is changing, and it’s changing fast. In Northern Africa, civil revolts and movements are actually dependent on this concept of a meme. Protests are organized via twitter and the internet is becoming one of the best tools to fight dictatorship. Don’t believe me? Well then what about the united states? How many memes or comments on facebook and new hashtags that are catchy and imitable are being made regarding problems that have to do with the government or with our communities? Examples could be like the ALS Ice bucket challenge, or the #stopbullying.  The answer is hundreds if not thousands of memes are being made everyday to represent these ideas. We communicate using the power of meme or imitation, and it is important to realize that the impact that these posts have, are much greater than what you may think.



Love in Full Bloom

I set out to tell the story of how my parents met, but since they don’t live under the same roof it was hard to get them in one room to tell their story. One Sunday evening at my grandma's house I stumbled across my aunt and uncle telling the story of how they met. I asked my aunt if she could start the story over and she happily obliged. We sat in the ,living with my grandma, grandpa, my mom, my cousin, and his girlfriend. I thought it would be interesting to have their commentary as well, so throughout the piece you'll hear some side comments.  

I hope the audience gains a little insight on love and how it’s not a streamlined process. It takes time and eventually “Bam” love. 


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Growth and Change

Tell us a bit about your digital story, what did you set out to do?

In my digital story I was set to describe how change affected me in the communities I've lived in and thats where growth plays a part. Images I used are a resemblance of me growing up.

How did you accomplish this goal?

I accomplished this goal by putting something what I called a collage and talk presentation.

What do you hope your audience gains for viewing/listening your piece?

Growth and change are apart of everyones life.

New Project 1 - Medium
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SLA has changed me!

My Movie
Tell us a bit about your digital story, what did you set out to do?

What I set out to do is to tell a story of a student who was messed up in all kinds of way changed after 4 years of SLA. It is a success story. 

How did you accomplish this goal?

I told a story of me being able to push through and become successful.

What do you hope your audience gains for viewing/listening your piece?

I hope the audience would gain an understanding of how effort and determination and of course SLA could change a person. 

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Digital Story- How Has Your Faith Shaped You?

My digital story is just about the faith that people have in Jesus, how that affects them as people, and how they apply their faith to their daily lives. The whole point of this was to show a "real" side of church-goers, like a behind the scenes, not just what's portrayed on the outside. A lot of people assume all churches are the same, and that the people who go their are too, but that's not always the case. The audience can gain whatever they want from viewing this video, everyone is different so each person will probably gain something different from the video, therefore I don't have a set hope for what I want people to get out of it. 

So....for whatever reason my upload keeps failing. I'm just going to post the link. It's just another click, not too difficult. 

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Made Up By Makeup: Enthony C. & Warda A.

Made Up By Make Up-HD
Tell us a bit about your digital story, what did you set out to do?
Enthony and I decided to make a digital story about the perceptions people have about makeup. We want people to know that makeup isn't to just make people look pretty and that there is a whole different side to it as well. We set out to get different opinions about makeup from other people and ourselves. 

How did you accomplish this goal?

We accomplished this goal by gathering a bunch of different people and interviewing them about makeup. Asking them questions if they wore it or not and put some history into it as well. 

What do you hope your audience gains for viewing/listening your piece?

After they watch this, we want our audience to think about what they see when a person chooses to wear makeup. 

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Digital Story by Audrey Pham

Digital Story by Audrey Pham 1
Tell us a bit about your digital story, what did you set out to do?

I created a podcast about my own story, my own personal experience. 

How did you accomplish this goal?

I had to learn how to open up about this topic and just be able to talk about it. 

What do you hope your audience gains for viewing/listening your piece?

To understand that everyone has their own personal struggle. To be understanding and more kind, to be more caring. 

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Digital Story, Kenny and Penelope

    For this digital story, we asked 2 of my middle school teachers and a friend of ours. Penelope and I asked them about crossing boundaries such as whether they had to act or behave a certain way our of their restrictions. We interviewed them and got their stories on how their lives were affected by racism and adjusting to a different environment. We accomplished our goal by asking them specific questions and asking them further and further for specific details of their stories. Turns out, they had amazing stories of their adaptations for who they are in society. 
​     We hope that this digital story would make the audience feel more comfortable about themselves adjusting to a new environment. Everyone has a story and we hope that the audience would feel comfortable enough to step out of their comfort zone and express themselves for who they are.

Digital Story; Penelope and Kenny
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Real Heart Over Fake Talent (PEDs)

Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are used by people who want to have a competitive edge.  Most of the time these drugs are used by bodybuilders and professional athletes.  The satisfaction of becoming a star on a team or representing your country becomes too great and PEDs is what opens the door for these athletes to shine.  By taking these drugs you are giving yourself an advantage over players by using a substance that improves your abilities to perform.  As good as these drugs sound, there are a lot more bad qualities than there are good.  

Most people think that PEDs just consist of steroids but they are wrong.  There is a drug by the name of Erythropoietin that increase the count of someones red blood cells.  Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, so if one can increase his/her red blood cell count, there will be more oxygen going through ones muscles.  This is just one example and there are many more that are more effective.

The people who use PEDs are putting their bodies at risk for a temporary boost of performance.  The effects of these drugs can differ between genders and different drugs have different effects on the body.  Anabolic steroids come with severe physical side effects such as acne, high blood pressure, risk of tendinitis, and more.  If one consumes Gonadotropin side effects could include joint pain, muscle weakness, diabetes, and fluid retention.  Taking these drugs effects someones in a lot more bad ways than good.

This is a very touchy topic to me because me being an athlete, all I want is a fair chance.  For someone to cheat and use anything for them to get an unfair edge sickens me.  Me personally I will never use any type of unfair advantage to get myself better.  I believe the only way you will ever progress is if you show hard work and dedication to whatever you want to get better at, no matter what it is or what level you are on.


Word Can Be Strong

In today's soctiey, young teens are always under constant pressure, and they may not know how to release pain and stress, other than to harm themselves. That's were self harming comes in. It's when someone harms themselves by cutting, burning themselves, or other ways. I've interviewed one of my fellow upper classmate, and she told me how she struggled with self-harming. 
English interview

As I growth up, I had never being in a environment where teenager are cutting, drinking, smoking, and harming their-self is command. When I see those story or hear a story of self harming I begin to judged them, I feel like those are not normal, people like that had problem in their mind in order to do that to their-self . Like other, I often say thing that doesn't mean to hurt anyone, something that I view as joke, but many people who are under depression are taking it really serious. Attend SLA help me realize that people who surround me who had different story then  I'm. Some growing up without both of their parent being their life, some struggle with relationship, or eve and many other thing that I cant image is happened to their life. Everyone had it own journal and they had their own struggling.Their struggle maybe different from I wont know how it feel because I'm not in their shoe therefore I don't have any right to judge them. I should also be mindful of what I saying because that joke or a command that I make can hurt someone. Word can be really strong.

Bundy, Kenyatta; Digital Story (Interview w/ Kenyatta Sr.)

My goal with this project was to simply learn more about my father and his upbringing. This was an eye-opener for me in more ways than one. The project revealed a few things for me that I didn’t expect it to do. Those things include, understanding of my father, as well as what it means to really struggle and overcome boundaries at a young age. This project allowed for my father and I to sit down and have a deep conversation that was unlike any other that I’ve ever had with him. The deep interaction that occurred allowed for all walls to be broken down and the truth to come out. Throughout this project, I realized some of my own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to podcasts and creating them as well as when it comes to the interviewing process. The strengths that appeared for me during this time included; my mastering of GarageBand, as well as asking the necessary questions that allow for a true story to be told by the other person. I was able to get my father to talk for over an hour and fifteen minutes with only about ten simple questions. Although I had to edit about 90% of it out of my podcast in order to make it only twelve to fifteen minutes, this long conversation allowed for me to get some things that I normally would not have been told if I only asked simple questions about the specific story. Once the interview/conversation process was over, the editing had to begin and this is where I believe I did the very best. The cutting out, and mixing and mashing of different parts of the conversation in order to get a good twelve minutes of recording allowed for the best podcast that I could produce. With the many positives that I just talked about, it’s obvious that I would have a few weaknesses considering no one is perfect. My most apparent weakness came from my procrastination as well as lack of overall focus on the project after the recording was finished. Although I do not think my procrastinating affected the final outcome of the project, I do believe that if I were to actually not procrastinate I would have been a little less stressed out about the entire thing. To conclude this I would just like to say how much I enjoyed this project, and thank you whomever you may be for listening to this.

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Philly School Funding

Philly School Funding

For my topic, I will be researching and hopefully positively contributing to Philadelphia school funding.  I am interested in this because I personally go to a public school in Philadelphia, who is struggling due to the lack of funding in our schools.  Currently, according to an article on the Education Week website, the school districts deficit is about 216 million dollars.  The school district plans on raising the cities sales tax to cover only half of that.

The states previous governor, Thomas Corbett, caused many problems for schools by giving tax breaks to large companies instead of money towards schools.  Our new governor.  Our current governor, Tom Wolf has been more compliant in supporting the school system, but the damage has been, and our schools are facing a crisis.  Here is a look at where the money in Philadelphia schools is being spent.

Almost no money is being spent on important extra utilities such as safety, food services, and transportation.   And, even with 45% of the money going towards instruction, there were still many lay-offs, especially for teachers with positions considered more minor or less necessary.

I am wondering the main ways I can help school funding, because although the problem is a lack of money, my donations would not go very far.  I will talk to teachers and students who have experience with this issue to say how they contribute.  I will do my best to spread awareness of the topic, however I think most people around me are aware of the problem because it affects them as well.  I don’t feel informed enough to design my own plan on how to fund the school system, because I am not sure of a fair way of raising the kind of money needed.      

Philadelplhians have a very bad view of public schools.  A survey showed that only 18% of people have a positive view of the schools, while most others see it as “poor”.  However, studies have shown that over 85% of teachers are competent in their teaching, meaning the problem lies elswhere.  America puts more money into their school systems than many other countries whose students excell beyond ours.  Therefore, the problem does not reside entirely within the school, but rather the personal lives of the people.  Unfortunately, I cannot change everyones lives, and make them richer.  So, I will use an interview as a way to come up with ideas of how to

benefit schools.

I wonder if any students in past years have chosen the same topic I am doing.  If I find out about someone who did, I wonder what I should ask them so they could help me with my project.  As the project goes on, I hope I thoroughly learn all the information I will need for this project about my topic, because it is useful and very relevant information.



The Difficulty of Living

Blog Post #1:

My topic is going to be Depression and Anxiety (for any age group). I am interested in this topic because I myself was recently diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and it’s fascinating because this is something that can developed over time or maybe after a certain event. Also how there is so many in’s and out’s to it, and how it can be different for everybody. Depression is basically chemical imbalance in the brain, that causes a lot of mental and physical symptoms that can affect you and your loved ones.

This issue is significant because Depression and Anxiety is one of the main causes of disability, and even death. It is extremely important to be aware about it because you never know when or if you would run into this kind of situation in desperate need of help. Depression and Anxiety is basically an imbalance in your brain. Everyone every now and then gets a little blue sometimes, however if you are waking up in tears almost every morning, feel like you are dragging your feet 24-7.

At this point I’m wondering how educated people are these days about this subject, I also question what I haven’t learned yet about Depression and Anxiety. I’m hoping that I can find great ways to explain this kind of subject because it can be extremely difficult sometimes explaining to others what seems confusing sometimes yourself.


Uneducated sex leads to worse things than educated sex

I am passionate about sex education. Teens need to be taught about the dangers of       sex but also that sex is a natural thing. I’m connected to this topic, because I didn’t learn  much about sex in middle school, just abstinence. I went to a private school, so it was their choice to educate us about it or not. I think teens these days should have the right to be educated in a safe setting about a natural occurrence. 

 In most states, sex education is not mandatory. It is required in 25 states & Washington DC. Most of these courses are abstinence only anyway. Teens are already having sex, I doubt any type of course is going to change that. But what we can do is make sure they’re safe while doing it. That could mean giving them condoms, or telling them the dangers of unsafe sex. Of course abstinence is the only way to make sure of being safe, but do teens really care nowadays?


A pie chart about Texas sex    

education in 2009. Almost all

abstinence only. Abstinence plus

should be required in schools as well.

In a research done by Columbia University, virginity pledges increased the risks of STDs or pregnancy since those taking the pledges did not know how to have safe sex. Even 88% of those that took the pledge, had premarital sex. There are articles saying that abstinence pertaining to god forces you into marriage

In the state of Pennsylvania, sex education is not required. The state actually received over a million dollars in 2010 to teach abstinence until marriage courses. Even though the age of sexual consent in Pennsylvania is 16, so many kids aren’t taught safe sex at all. Most private schools don’t choose to teach sex education as a whole, because most private schools are religious & think sex before marriage is sinful. So if most public schools & practically all private schools are rejecting sex education, how do teens find their information? The internet is a fairly reliable source, but sometimes they learn some things that aren’t quite true. Most articles about abstinence make it seem awful if you have premarital sex. Nowadays people staying abstinent for god are more believing that its sinful and they’ll be punished instead of doing it for themselves.


A survey teen girls took about how they got educated
about sexual health. Only 4% say they became educated
from a teacher!                               

In conclusion, I believe that all states should be required to teach sex education in public schools. Teach them the bad, but also the good. Teens probably aren’t going to stop having sex anytime soon, so why not express that its a natural thing, though illegal at their age. I just believe that we should be given proper education on important things. Like which STDs are the worst for you & and how to cure them, how to properly put on a condom, where the nearest clinic is, where to buy condoms, or how to ask your doctor about birth control. These things are so important to know, not just now, but for the future as well.


Public Speaking: Will Fear Be the Death of You?

The “You and The World” project consists of strategies that will teach students and/or other participants the values of issues that affects the world as a whole. The goals of the student(s) are to generate solutions to those problems. Each person might have a different view of the chosen situation, but the student will focus on their perspective and argue with further information they have gathered.

My topic consists of people and their fear of public speaking. (Closely related topics such as social anxiety are also largely included.) This topic enthralls me because of my own fear of it. My public speaking skills improved over the years, but anxiety still sets in whenever there is a huge crowd in front of me. Interacting might not be a problem when it comes to talking one on one with someone else, but it becomes one when talking to large group. Knowing about social anxieties is essential to further interact and deal with the problems that are a part behavioural structures. Social interaction is a key step to learning about the psychologic reasons as to why people are “afraid” of large crowds.

As I have mentioned before, my topic will consist of people being afraid of public speaking. But the fear can manifest itself into an uncontrollable chronic sense of worry or tension, which is anxiety. They are merely on the same boat, but barely. Recent studies have highlighted the role of right-sided temporal and prefrontal lobes activation during anxiety. When fear is activated in the brain, the signal travels to the amygdala. The amygdala processes a chemical called glutamate out into two regions of the brain. One of the signals is sent deep into the base of the brain into an area that humans physically have little to no control over. The second signal is sent to the hypothalamus and triggers the autonomic nervous system, which results to the body having movement without the recognition of the person. From this analysis, people now have the ability doubt that everyone experiences fear differently because of how the brain processes it.

We, as humans, have (mostly) similar brain functions. That is why TMVision interviewed, researched and surveyed over 3,000 U.S. inhabitants. The #1 ranked fear out of those 3,000 participants is (none other than) “speaking before a group.” Compared to that, the fear of death is ranked #6. This survey shows that there is more pressing matters on their mind rather than death, which is public speaking. A scenario might be, someone might fuss over their presentation for school/work they have to do for next week. Yet, they might not be thinking about death quite yet until something grave happens. To put in simpler words, people may actively fear public speaking more than they fear death, but their fear of public speaking is actually not stronger than their fear of death. This speaks out about what our society has to offer about what we’re afraid of collectively as the human race.

Screenshot 2015-04-23 at 3.03.57 PM.png

Figure 1: This shows the result of TMVision’s result of 3,000 U.S. inhabitants that participated in the survey that asked what they were afraid of most, on the top of their heads. Public speaking is ranked #1.

Anxiety attacks might be hard to relate to because individuals experience them in different ways. Suffering from any mental illness is not similar at all to a physical one. You can treat a physical injury with prescription drugs and medicine. When it comes to mental illnesses, the symptoms of having it is real. The only problem is, they reside within you and your mind. Many people do not understand the meaning of this, mostly because they haven’t been in the same or mostly similar situation as someone else. It’s quite hard to make them understand or feel empathy because they have not felt the same way.

Studies show that there is a clear distinction between fear and anxiety. Not only it is a matter of linguistics, another reason is the way our minds are different. Some are afraid of something. While others might have anxiety about something. Two different scenarios have to unfold if someone experiences fear or anxiety. Fear is driven by a physical object, such as a tarantula ready to pounce on you from your bedroom window. Anxiety derives from possibilities in your mind and it reverberates into your body through feelings of sickness (ie. nausea, dizziness).

“Curing" the whole world of social anxiety will surely be ineffective. This sounds a little pessimistic, I know. But every individual experiences and goes through so much that it’s not fair to compare them to someone else’s story. Different approaches should be taken when dealing with such a catastrophic amount of people. There are about 7 billion people inhabiting the world today. Slow steps are required, one at a time. Anyone and everyone can suffer from fearing speaking out to large groups. Even people that you know, work with, attend school with, etc. The Social Anxiety Association (SAA) is a “nonprofit organization that promotes understanding and treatment of social anxiety disorder.” This organization helps and treats those who suffer from social anxiety and those who fear public speaking. 7% of the population today suffer from some type of social anxiety disorder. 7% of 7 billion accumulates to 490,000,000 people. Every single number equals to a single person. Each person needs help with their anxieties. There are 490,000,000 different reasons as to why we need to help them.

Figure 2: “Social Anxiety is the third largest mental health care problem in the world today. Alcoholism is first, depression is second, and social anxiety is third. Social anxiety causes chronic anxiety and fear over social situations.” -- The Social Anxiety Association

Social problems prevent people from achieving the life they ultimately want. Being put in a situation in which a person has fears of speaking in a group is the fact that it affects their social life as well. A similar scenario is: wanting to hang out with your friends/coworkers/classmates with the fear of losing them all. But the thing is, you have that aching feeling that they’re all going to leave you if you slip up once, twice, or numerous times. This feeling can be overcome with going to a therapy session with a structured therapist. Having friends and family on one’s side when overcoming their current situation is much needed. Those who suffer from social anxiety need to have those closest to them helping them in every step of the way. That is one of the many active ways that you could help anyone you know that suffers from social anxiety.

Currently, I wonder if people suffering from social phobia as I do get their motivation. Also, I ask if people understand what it means to have phobias of socializing, yet they turn it down and see it as a petty fear. I want to continue further in my research of finding out who deals with their fears and anxieties. My main goal after conducting research, experiments, and movements through this project is to help those who solely suffer from these awful mental disorders.

Click here to view my sources.


Filling The Gaps In America's Mental Health "System"

I was devastated when I realized that I would likely be disregarding of America’ s failing mental health system if it were not for my own nonverbal, autistic, younger brother. I find it terrifying to think that I would just be another kid who paid this issue no mind, if I did not have this personal connection. It disappoints me even more that there are many people who simply do not care about this problem, or even refer to this as a significant issue.  Despite the occasional spark a deadly school shooting ignites in the discussion of mental illnesses, this topic is usually ignored and the invisible cult of depressed, autistic, bipolar,  children remain hidden at the back of classrooms, where they become shadows of a system that fails to provide the resources essential to their growth.  They are then forced to thrive in a competitive world, where people with differences are usually ostracized and shunned without a chance. In my project, I plan to connect the defective mental health care system to the general ignorance shared by the public about how these issues affect the mentally-challenged.


This picture metaphorically illustrates the dangers the breaches in the mental health care system cause in reference to the Connecticut shooting.

The numbers are sickening. 40,000 people die a year by means of suicide. Only 30% of depressed teenagers are being treated for depression. These statistics make me wonder: Why is there not a lot of emphasis being put on mental illnesses? Why do politicians seldom talk about underfunded special education programs at school? Why does death resuscitate the usually ephemeral debate? I believe that if the public was educated about the cracks in the mental health system,and the deadly consequences they engender, more citizens would care enough to drive an imperative discussion that can lead to awareness concerning ways to make people with mental illnesses feel welcome in the society they live in.iStock_000011573406Large_blog.jpg

This picture represents a campaign to stop teen suicides.

For years, I have watched my parents struggle to provide my brother with the best opportunities, mainly because few exist  without a hefty price tag. Moreover, many of the programs that are supposed to aid his development are uncoordinated to the extent when calling the state of unorganized, and sometimes ineffective services,  offered to the mentally-challenged,  a “ system”, can be questioned. Families in desperate need of assistance are usually forced to navigate a circuitous route, involving professionals who know little about their child’ s history, and experimenting with countless prescriptions, praying that one bottle of pills makes a difference in their children’ s lives along the way. These families, like my own, live in the constant fear of being unable to provide their loved ones with the necessities they need in order to stay healthy and content mainly because the current makeshift system is not secure enough to support their needs.

Through research, I found that there are only 7, 500 psychiatrists, while 20,000 are actually needed. 5 million American children suffer from mental illnesses, however, reimbursement for mental health services, from public and privates insurers, often falls short of providing the most salient services. These issues are seldom spoken about in society and in the media unless a mentally ill person goes on a murder spree. Even then, the excitement is short-lived.


 This graph shoes how mental illnesses affects American students.

My project will bring awareness to the gaps in our mental health care system. I plan to do so by showcasing how little the public knows about the issues that negatively affect the mentally-ill through a survey and field observation at a treatment center , and correlating my findings to the broken system. Stay tuned!



Spanish Skit

Syeda: Así que, ¿dónde debemos ir hoy? (so, where should we go today?)

Nana: Tengo muchas ganas de ir de compras. (i really want to go shopping)

Athalia: yo también (me too)

Liv: Pero yo quiero ir a la fuente (but i want to go to the fountain)

Tajnia: Sí, yo tambien! (yeah, same here)

Syeda: el centro comercial cuenta con ropa bonita (the mall has nice clothes)

Tajnia: ...... pero tiene largas colas (...but it has long lines)

Liv: hay una tienda de helados junto a la fuente (there is an ice cream store next to the fountain)

Nana: ... pero la fuente que te hace mojado (...but the fountain makes you wet)

Athalia: debemos ir de compras y luego la fuente (we should go shopping and then the fountain)


(inside the mall)

Nana: (looks at phone) Oh... Tengo que ir al baño (Oh... I gotta go to the bathroom)

Athalia: Yo iré contigo (I'll go with you)

Nana: NO!.... sólo compras (no... just keep shopping)

Athalia: Bien(Okay)

Tajnia: quince minutos más tarde (fifteen minutes later)

Nana: (looks behind her) Debo ir a casa (I gotta go home)

Syeda: Por que? (why?)

Nana: Tengo que llevar a mi perro al veterinario (I have to take my dog to the vet)

Liv: No tienes un perro (You don't have a dog)

Syeda Tajnia Athalia Liv: (looks back) Es el novio, Mason?!

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Mini-Proyecto: Harrison, Anthony, Noah

Raul: Huh? Who’s there?

Pedro: Just some friends we would like to invite you over to our house.

Juan:  Yeah, do you want to come over?

Raul: Uhhh….

Juan: They’ll be candy….

Pedro: And tacos….

Raul: Sounds tempting, where are we going?

Pedro: Mexico City, home of the slums and the dru-I mean, the candy and the chocolate!

Juan: So whaddaya think? Do you want to come with us?

Raul: Yeah, I think so. It sounds good!


(Raul Starts running)

(Pedro and Juan chase with batons)

(We circle around the room a couple of times)

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Equipo 404 BC Mini Ensayo


Gil: Juan

Hannah: Patricia

CJ: Carlos


Juan: Carlos!

Carlos: ¡Hola, Juan!

Juan: ¿Qué tal?

Carlos: Bien. ¿Y tu?

Juan: ¡Si!

Carlos: ¿Tienes un trabajo aquí?

Juan: Si, at Carlos Bell. Mi oficina es en España . Soy estoy en vacaciones ahora.

Carlos: ¿En serio?

Juan: Si.

Carlos: Bueno, yo tengo vivido en Santo Domingo para sobre 3 años. Mi oficina es justo ahí abajo.

Juan: ¡Fresco! Así que...quieres ir a algún lugar para comer?

Carlos: ¡Si! Vamos.

*Juan y Carlos caminar un poco*

Carlos: ¡Hola, Patricia!

Patricia: ¿Qué? ¡Oh, Carlos! Buenas tardes.

Carlos: Presento mi amigo, Juan. El vive en España.

Patricia: ¡Oh, bueno bienvenido a San Domingo!

Juan: ¡Gracias! Mucho gusto.

Patricia: Igualmente.


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Sex Slavery

I am participating in this project called “You and the World Project”. It was given to me in my English class and basically what we have to do is find an issue in the world and interact with it. So based on this, I chose to have my topic be Sex Slavery.

Many people believe that slavery no longer occurs, whereas that is not the case. Specifically, I will like to inform the world of sex slavery. Sex trafficking is the oppression of women and children being forced into forms of sexual activity. I have done research on many personal stories from women and children who have gone through forms of this. According to this article, I have learned that sex trafficking occurs in places like Cambodia and India, but not only that, they also occur in places in the US such as New York. The sex typically happens in places called brothels, which are houses of prostitution.

It is estimated that there are 8.4 million children in slavery or practices similar to slavery. Girls being sold into sex slavery are more likely to be in between the ages of 10-15. There are 215 million child laborers 5-17 years old (2010). Sex slavery is recorded to be the worst and highest in Asian countries. Many girls in Cambodia are said to be dead by the age of 20 with AIDS because of slavery. Mother’s at times sell their girls to sex slavery because of lack of money. According to this site human trafficking produces $9.5 billion a year in the United States. A sex slave can be forced to have sex up to 20-48 times per day. Pimps here in the United States can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year and pimps usually have 4-6 girls. All the money earned has to be given to a pimp and if the victim does not meet their quota for the day, they may be asked to remove their clothing so they can get a beating. Kolab, a survivor of sex trafficking in Cambodia was beaten with a stick until she fainted, often getting electrocuted and getting cut by a knife by her pimp. One out of every three runaway teens are lured into prostitution within 48 hours of being in the street. Most victims suffer from emotional trauma, are under mental and physical threat and have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

In order to fight against sex trafficking, efforts must be made to eliminate gender discrimination and inequality. Poverty and the lack of protection from abuse and violence perpetuate and feed into the demand for sex trafficking. According to this article “It is critical to implement legal safeguards for women and girls to alleviate poverty and create greater possibilities for non-exploitative options for girls and women”. Sex tourism is also another form of sexual exploitation. A sex tour operator makes it feasible for someone that travels in from another country access to sex slaves in that city. Advocates against this type of tourism have worked hard to criminalize and prosecute sex tour operators under the law.

I am interested in this topic because, aside from women, forced sex happens to children my age! It is a mind blowing situation that needs to be discontinued and terminated. This hurts lots of families all over the world and  I expect to learn more about the personal encounters and stories these women and children have to share.

Annotated Bibliography