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Bridging 15th Edition

Table of contents

Letter from MA team…. College trips…. 6 Degrees…. What is 8GA….. What is the Writing Program…. Bain & Co team…. Choate & Sunstein Fidelity Northeastern Ropes & Gray State Street Wayfair


Letter from the Massachusetts Team: Welcome to the 15th edition of the Citizen Schools 8GA Bridging Magazine! The 8th Grade Academy, lovingly referred to as 8GA, was first launched in 2001 at Codman Square Health Center in Boston. Since then, we have moved and expanded to 3 campuses: The Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, McCormack K -8 School in Dorchester, and Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury. In 2002, came the very first issue of Bridging Magazine, which featured student essays from the writing coach program. The writing program is still going strong today, and the proof of that is within these pages. In this online edition you will find creative and inspirational essays written by students in the 8GA writing program. Students were coached by volunteers from our partner law firms, Northeastern University, Fidelity, Wayfair, and Citizen Schools staff members. These are their stories, written as memoirs, opinions, or person al essays. These dreams are much closer to realization and fulfillment because our volunteers believed in the ability of these young men and women, and gave their time to mentor and coach them through each stage of the writing process. That is the legacy Bridging Magazine promotes: creating a bridge so students will continue to achieve future success. Every essay is a testament to the amazing things students can accomplish when provided access to both caring mentors and exciting opportunities. We encourage you to take a moment to read the next few pages to learn more about our mission and how that bridge from 8th grade to a successful future is built. Enjoy! Megan Bird, Citizen Schools Boston Executive Director Carolyn Roscoe, Director of Civic Engagement and AppEx Christian Pagรกn, 8th Grade Academy Program Manager Camlinh To, 8GA Orchard Gardens Teaching Fellow


College Trips 8GA had the opportunity to visit various higher education institutions and taste a little bit of the college lifestyle. Past highlights were class sit-ins, break-dancing workshops, spoken word presentations, acapella performances, and college dining. All photos featured in the college trips section are by David Morris and Camlinh To.


6 Degrees 6Degrees of Boston is a unique event that brings together Boston area professionals with our 8th grade students to give them an authentic career fair and networking event style experience. Throughout the school year, 8GA has learned about the power of networking to help them achieve their college and career goals and how to build and leverage their own networks as they transition to high school. The 2016 6Degrees event was held at the John Hancock.

More pictures from this event here

The World in 30 years By: Sarah Terif The world in 30 years will probably be really exciting. Since the world right now is already impressive, and there has been a lot of changes over the years. I think we are going to see even more change in different fields such as medical care, technology, and the government. Technological advances will benefit a lot of individuals in society, Examples of technological devices such as Forms of communication are going to be much more advanced. Most of them are going to come with preinstalled really fast internet. We might not even need wifi anymore. Because we will be busy on our phones, there will be less face-to-face communication. Because of all of the time we spend on our phones, Along with phones, I believe there will be more advanced television and it might come with really powerful HD quality, as well more channels, we might even see flying cars that self drive themselves, with a computerized motor. Aside from the technological advances that I think will happen, there are multiple things I predict will happen in 30 years. One of the things I see happening is that the colleges will be free, because it will be much easier to get an education. I anticipate that there will be less discrimination and racism against Muslims and other m inorities. Today there seems to 1

generally be an average amount of tolerance, but it is difficult to know if it will increase or decrease. Finally, I presume that we will also see more advanced cures for various diseases like cancer, and Alzheimer’s. I believe that in 30 years there will be good and bad changes. At the same time because change can be good too but sometimes it can be also negative. There will definitely be changes in technology and i think it is going to be a positive thing I hope there will be positive changes in discrimination and education and medicine. In conclusion that the world will be very different from what it is today and everyone must be excited to see it. Untitled By: Jose Ordonez The people that have the biggest influence on my life are my friends, family, and my teachers. The reason is because my friends always help me lighten up, my mother because she is always there for me, my teacher because I have grown to trust her like never before. My mom, she is always there if I feel alone. She always finds time to be with me and my brother. She was one of the biggest reasons why I went into debate and went on to nationals in Dallas, TX . I am astonished that my mom can find time to be with me and my brother because she is looking after three children on her own. All of these things make me feel happy because whatever might happen I could always count on my mother. My friends Cristian, Erson, Nicky, and Daniel: they help me have fun and to lighten up which is important because I am very serious during school hours I do have a funny side which they help bring out outside of school hours. They teach me on news trend on Minecraft. They help bring out the balance in my life between school and social life. I left the best for last: my teacher, Miss C: She showed me that education is key for all students. These are only a few of many great things my teacher has showed me. Why she is all these things and more. The reason I am saying this is because I have saw this teacher go forward with a smile on her face even though she is going through a hard time in her life. Ms. C connect to us student more than a teacher to student relationship but to a friend to friend relationship You could see that if a teacher really cared for a student so much to help them improve and become a greater version of themselves, not just give them the answer, but help them through the process .In conclusion. What was your Favorite memory in Middle School By: Kevin Aguilar “Today is the day,” I said to myself, I remember that day like it was just yesterday! I had woken up in the morning all excited and amped up to go skiing for the first time in my life! The trip that we were going on was only for a selected amount of people. Most of my friends were part of the selected people which added onto my excitement. I’m not much of a morning person but this morning I really didn’t care about anything but getting my butt of the bed and heading out ready to go. Oh my god I’m laughing as I’m typing right now because I still remember what I was wearing that day! I was wearing cookie monster pajamas that were thin, some joggers underneath that, a old puffy jacket, and a blue hat i borrowed from Ms.Young. I looked way too funny that everyone on the train was staring at me because I looked like a clown. I was the only one that looked ridiculous out of all the friends that were going, we met up at community college. We had a lot of money on us so we went to cvs and bought a lot of junk food for the trip, because we knew that we were going to be hungry throughout the whole entire trip. When we got to school I saw none of my classmates only like 3 or 2, because not all were elected to go. out of all the people I saw through the hallway 80 percent of them just stared at me or laughed and i laugh ed along because I knew I looked goofy and what they thought didn’t impact me in anyway. The bus had finally arrived. I thought that it was going to be a normal yellow school bus. I got surprised when it was a bus that was meant for long trips that u can p ut your luggage in. on our way there it was pretty cool looking at places in Massachusetts I have never seen before. Most of the time we would be driving on Plain Street for a long time and all i would be seeing is the forest and trees. 2

We finally got there! When we got there we had to sign in and get our gear. As soon as i got there i saw so many little kids around the age of 10, 11, 12 or younger. I saw how easy they made it look and i said to myself this has to be easy. The staff there taught us how to s nowboard. He taught us how to stop how to turn and just basically ride the snowboard. I fell a good 10 times. We had to do it in front of everyone, once at a time which made it more embarrassing. Every time i fell everyone would start laughing at me and i would laugh with them too because I thought it was funny as well. After all of that was finished he gave us a long period of time to enjoy ourselves and do whatever we want. The mountain was pretty steep so to get up there we had to go up on carts. When we got there we had to put on our snowboard, it had to be strapped on our feet. I couldn ’t put it on while I was standing because I knew for a fact that I would slip and break a but bone. Therefore i sat on my butt, I put my board down and sat. when I was tightening my boots my snowboard was going down the mountain! I remember me running to get it for a good 3 seconds. My friends kept pointing at me laughing at the way I ran because of how uncomfortable the boots were. I finally got it and actually str apped myself on it this time. “Ok here we go”, I was trembling I knew I was going to break something. Once that snowboard started I knew it was going to be a world of pain. As I was on it I fell a couple of times and busted my stomach/face/butt all at once. There was something that was bothering me though. As I riding my snowboard I was noticing that I was the one who was left behind and the one that was taking forever to learn how to ride. As I was being left behind I was noticing that my friends were getting farther and farther away from me and I was left behind like I was a stranger that had no guardian out in the mountains. “Finally” I said as I was actually starting to ride my snowboard. I was going the fastest ever. I felt like if I fall this time I would’ve rolled down the mountain nonstop. I was coming up against a ramp of snow. I wanted to go on it but didn’t at the same time, that led my board to be half ramp and half on the floor and then I flipped sideways and felt like my foot snapped. “I’m done” my foot hurt so much I felt like it broke. I I strapped my feet and luckily it was just bent and hurt for a little bit. Ok that was it j didn’t want to ride anymore I ran down the mountain as I seen a lot of other just snowboard down the mountain. I felt like a sore loser that couldn’t do anything as I was going down the mountain I was looking down I was ashamed of myself. On my way back home I thought about it. It was actually fun I got the chance to be with my friends on a field trip. We laughed a lot at each other and we all semi learned how to ride a snowboard. “Best memory of middle school yet” I said to myself. What will our generation be remembered for? By: Halima B. I woke up to the ring of my alarm. I got ready for school, once I got there it was going like a regular day. I was sitting in second period when suddenly the bell rang and I was off to third period. I came in and set my things onto my desk, but soon I realized that the teacher Mr. Rixon was arguing with one of the kids who happened to be a jock named Brandon & thought he could treat anyone how he wanted. When I had walked in he was telling Mr. Rixon that he wouldn’t do the work and didn’t care, he said that he’d sleep throughout the class & told him not to bother him. He had caught the en tire class’s attention. Suddenly the kids’ thought that if he didn’t have to do it why should they? So they all began to turn on him and told him they wouldn’t do it either. I saw how mad Mr. Rixon looked. I felt sorry for him because he had put lots of ef fort into the assignment. I began to realize how rude and ungrateful our generation had gotten over time, and how disrespectful kids were to adults. It was probably since kids back in the day were disciplined unlike kids nowadays. We were given more rights and now most kids think that allows them to say or do whatever they want, misunderstanding it as freedom. The kids in our generation assume that education is optional or simply take it for granted. Kids from the older generation would have been thankful f or 3

what they were given, so I think that was what made them more respectful, that they didn’t have as many opportunities. That day I had realized how different our generation had gotten. It had really opened my eyes and showed me the reality of our generation. I found it strange how we’ve had all these rights and freedoms for only a short period of time and we already take it for granted, knowing the things we do from our own history. What the world be like in 2046 By: George Acostalemus What will the world be like in 2046? In 30 years, I will be 43 years old. There will be new technology, buildings around the world, and for myself, I will have a wonderful family and many accomplishments through my hard work. This is because all my classmates, teachers and family members who have led me into a better life. Everyone’s lives will be effected 30 years in the future. So what would the city be like in 30 years? There will be new technology, and some of the old technology from the past would be gone, but I would make sure I still have my favorite’s technologies from when I was younger. The building would be futuristic, and houses would be bigger than the buildings of the past. There will be cures for diseases, such as cancer, that would be invented. All new inventions could save many people. In addition to technology, my life will also change in 30 years. After all the hard work in my life, I will go to school and college using all the help I need to get a better life. I would have $100,000, which is the type of accomplishment you can get into if you graduate high school and college. All of the teachers who taught me everything I need to know, I would miss them because in those 30 years process, it was them who got me into a perfect life. I also want to share my accomplishments with my wife and my children. In particular, I want to spend time with my family, and own an amazing car that I don’t want to be ruined. I might remember my life in high school, so that I can give advice to my son and daughter, who are star ting high school. The actions people around the world take now will affect their futures in 30 years. I recommend each person works hard to succeed, just like I am. Do your best, don’t quit now, and I guarantee your life will change in a positive way in 30 years in the future. Our World in 30 years By: Erson H. Ramirez I predict that the world in 30 years will become much more dependent on technology. When mankind first struck a new era of technology, it changed our lives forever. In present day the vast majority of people on the planet use technology on a day to day basis. In short, technology has become a part of our lives and this is the main reason that I believe technology will become more and more convenient in our future. In modern day, smartphones are everywhere you go. Smartphones allow us to communicate to each other when we are a vast distance apart. Smartphones have many educational benefits. For example, the whole class can participate in classroom activities with the use of smartphone s such as a poll. Smartphones are our source of entertainment when we find ourselves with nothing to do. Most hospitals use some sort of technological device right now. The other day I read an article from ABC News where a man that was walking home and died of subzero temperatures that left him unconscious, with no pulse when he was found in the snow the following day. He was then revived a few days later with the use a machine called an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which warms the blood and oxygenates it then pumps it back into the body. This story was already unbelievable, imagine the possibilities that the future holds. 4

In conclusion, the world in 30 years will become unbelievably different that the world right now. Think about 30 years ago, we didn’t even have smartphones. If you lost your limb in the past it would be really difficult to get a new limb since 3D printers were not invented. In this small amount of time we have advanced so quickly. If we advanced so fast in this small amount o f time, what’s to say we won’t do it again? I hope that whoever is reading this has taken into account my points that I have made in this essay. We have gotten so advanced in this past decade than ever before. What’s to stop us from continuing? Untitled By: Cristian Pleite Middle school was a great time because I had many experiences including a robotics class at Google, a ski trip, and most importantly the Debate championship tournament. All of these experiences taught me something new. I wonder how these helped me in the future. It was sixth grade and I was able to go to the Google office in Cambridge. When we got to the office we were assigned a group that had to build a dancing robot. Together we programmed it by using a computer to control the way it moved. Once the robots were done we had a presentation that should off everyone’s robots. Mine was able to dance by fist pumping while doing a 360. This was an amazing semester that I had because I learned something new and was able to make something that might rule the world. Also in seventh grade I had the opportunity to go on a ski trip with selected students. We got there by taking a big bus with a bathroom. Once I got to the mountain we took skiing lessons which taught us how to pizza (how to break) and we learned how to get up after a fall. I had a fabulous time at the trip and really enjoyed the ability of being able to go down a mountain with finesse and oddly enough being able to almost crash into a wall and hurt myself severely. Another fantastic experience is that I had a championship debate tournament which taught me that crushing my opponent is a great feeling. Through arguing making people cry I made sure they will never be able to use their argument again. This gives me the adrenaline I that I need to be happy. In conclusion there is are many things that you should remember about middle schools in different ways and forms. This was a fantastic experience for me because it shows that you are not a loser and that you and you can achieve anything even ski, debate, build a robot, and even be in a magazine. Youth of 2016 By: Daniel Zavala My generation, the youth of 2016, will be remembered for many things. Thanks to technology and innovation, we have access to many things such as newer styles of things that have never been done before. In my opinion, our generation will be known as when we improved greatly on how easier it is to do things. For example, at a click of a button or a tap on a screen, we can send messages to people across a country. I think many people will remember our generation as how we had many different styles of music, clothes and “trends”, thanks to technology. The youth of 2016 will be remembered for the largely diverse types of clothing. For example, many people my age or older follow popular styles, such as having name brands. Many name brands are Nike, Adidas, Joggers, Polo, Under Armour, and North Face. The youth of 2016 will be remembered for the largely diverse types of music. For example, many people listen to artists that are popular amongst adults and teens. Many artists are Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, J Cole, and many more. There are also abundant genres of music. Some of these are pop, rap, trap, and hip – hop, soul, classical, etc. Many people are inspired by these because they are huge hits. 5

Another thing the youth of 2016 will be remembered for are “trends”. Trends are things that have the attention of lots of people who follow them. Many are types of challenges, such as the don’t judge me challenge, ice bucket challenge, cinnamon challenge and more. Some trends go viral, such as recently “Damn Daniel”. In conclusion, the youth of 2016 will be recognized as a funny, crazy and creative generation. For example, the types of clothing we wear matches colors and mixes colors. Our music is very distinct by how much it has grown over the years, such as electronic music, hip hop and rap. Another is how trends built communities and brought many people together around the world. In all, these factor s is what makes the foundation of the youth of 2016.

2046 By: Nanny Nguyen Let me tell you how it is in the year 2046. But! I have to first tell you about 2045. Justin Bieber is the Prime Minister of Canada. Thousands of fan girls run to the polls, electing the 50 year old, has-been star. He used our current nuclear winter as a way to kick-start his campaign. Very quickly Canada becomes the leading country because of their resources and products based around the wintertime. The United States adopts the ‘great’ sport of curling, after janitors realized that they could stop cleaning up after athletes and become athletes themselves. Because of this, many Americans and immigrants move to Canada because the United States lacks appeal. This lead to a shortage of voters, and so the voting system is handed over to the same people who vote for the Oscars. Jennifer Gardner and Ben Affleck are therefore elected president and first gentleman. The New World Order isn’t all bad. One of the fun parts is that penguins and polar bears survive, although we lost most of our sea life and more exotic animals. Additionally, we can build modern igloos. Speaking of which, if you say the name “Brandon” you can get a 50% discount at the 5 Puck resort located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Anyways, life in the world has become pretty calm since the nuclear winter. We even have a new goal of warming the earth a bit more. Hope you guys make it! Untitled By: Kareena Flores Jessica swung her arm at Brenda and it hit her in her stomach. Brenda grabbed her stomach in pain and she pushed Jessica so forcefully that she fell on the floor. So Jessica got up and told Brenda that she will catch her in school the next day. The next day during school, Jessica and her best friend, Ana, were together. They were talking trash about this girl, Brenda, who looked better than everyone else. Ana and Jessica were jealous of her. Then Jessica started a rumor that Brenda was plastic. Later, at lunch, Jessica told a few people that, “last year Brenda didn’t have a butt and this year she does.” To this, Ana said, “Why are you trash talking people if you don’t know it’s true?” The people that heard Jessica talking about Brenda came up to Brenda and told her what her enemy said. A few hours later, Brenda saw Jessica in the hallway. She asked her, “Why are you saying I’m made of plastic because this is all real.” Jessica didn’t say anything at all. She stayed shut. Brenda came up to Jessica and punched her. Jessica went down within one second and she passed out. 6

Jessica woke up the next day in the nurse’s office. Untitled By: Janie Tran My mom inspires me to be a positive person, just like her. She struggles a lot but she always stays positive. She never gives up. She stays positive even when she struggles, and she is a good person. Her support inspires me to be a doctor. My mom has struggled, and continues to struggle, but she still has a good attitude. When my mom was four, my grandmother passed away. In her old age, my grandmother suffered with an illness. She had to give up because our family could not afford medicine. Weeks went by, and as they did, my grandmother grew sicker. After my grandmother passed away, my mom decided to drop out of school because she could not pay for her education. As she got older she tried to find a job to support her sister and herself. It was very difficult for her because she had no time for herself or to rest. She did not have enough sleep, but she faced the challenges and got through these tough times with her positivity. My mom never gave up even when things were challenging. Years and years went by and eventually my mom and aunt were old enough to go down on their own paths. My mom decided that she wanted to get out of Vietnam, and started a new chapter of her life in Massachusetts. On December 12, 1979, my mom took a big risk to escape to Massachusetts during the Vietnam War. She packed as much food and clothes as she could. While she was on the boat, massive waves splashed on to her and the other passengers. Strong winds blew, and it felt as cold as the weather at the North Pole. She experienced those conditions for two weeks! After experiencing the awful challenges that she did, she finally made it to Massachusetts. My mom wanted to be a doctor when she grew up, but that didn’t happen due to her conditions. Although she did not achieve her dream, she still helps people who are in need. She wanted me to take her position instead, so that I could become a doctor when I am older and help people who are in need. Untitled By: Kenterrius Dunlap Middle school is a unique time for everyone. School has been very dramatic for me. It has also been educational, and it is a place where I can practice basketball. In my school, drama is like a flying bee ready to sting. I have been threatened by people because of their jealous of me. I know people who are always in a fight with people. School should be drama free, a place where people can have peace with each other. Even the quietest kids sometimes get into the mix. You can never escape drama in my school. This is what my middle school year has been like for me so far. Education is one thing that makes my middle school unique. I have learned a lot of things in my school. I love what the teachers teach me and how they teach it. My teachers can make the hardest thing to learn very easy. It’s like they have brains that cut through words to find the easy way. I learn lots of new things every day from my teachers. They do an excellent job at teaching me and my peers. This is why middle school is a unique time in my life. In my school I have the chance of being a ball player. I practice every day but when I’m at school I feel safe doing it and more comfortable than out of school. I ask my coach to help me with drills and plays. It’s a space where I can have my time to shoot around. I ball because I want to go to the NBA and also help out my family. Basketball opens my door to a better life. HoverCorp By: Gismael Pimental December 18, 2040 It is my first day to prove to the world that my invention is going to change transportation forever. December 20, 2040 I just finished talking to great investors who will help me support setting up my new company called HoverCorp. In a short few years, the world will be using my hover creations. 7

April 16, 2047 I can’t believe I have been the CEO of an insanely successful company called HoverCorp for almost seven years. During that time, I have created 17 prototypes that have failed miserably but two of my prototypes are successful: HoverCar and HoverBoots. HoverCar is driven by a chip in your brain that follows your commands. For HoverBoots, you need to be mentally and physically strong. Mentally because you need to stabilize the boots with brain power, and physically because you need to move. It is much more complicated than it sounds, but we have a team of geniuses to make my creation come alive. April 20, 2047 The world looks nothing like how it was 30 years ago. We had roads that were build out of concrete. Now we have solar-powered roads that charge HoverCorps’ products to keep running. The companies that were selling propane, coal, and wood as fuel are no longer in business because my friend David Nguyen created a company, Solar World that replaced every fuel used from Earth with power from the Sun. May 3, 2047 HoverCorp is also a fun, family experience because you can use our transportation vehicles to travel to Mars to count the stars. HoverCorp is also useful for astronomers to use to discover more planets, and even try to find life! May 30, 2047 I am a billionaire who has five robotic mansions that shelter and teach homeless men and women to become better people and have good, high paying jobs. I live in a separate mansion where most of my work and studies come into play, and my work is then sent to my HoverCo rp business. I am not only mentally strong, I am physically strong as well. Sadly, there is not a company that specializes in biomechanics, creating advanced robotic arms, so humans still need to be healthy and fit. December 31, 2061 my son, a healthy 42 year old man, has inherited my trillion dollar company. The world relies upon HoverCorp. If I could tell him one piece of advice, it would be to not hesitate when opportunities arise . Mom, you’re Da Bomb By: Terrence Ramkissoon The person who helped and affected my life is my mom. She is different than other mothers. She is more understanding, empathetic, and passionate. Have you ever been urinated on by a guinea pig? Well I have on many different occasions. When I was in fifth grade I had a teacher who had a guinea pig and one day it started to pee on me. My mom brought me a new shirt. This happened to me a bunch of times but after three or four times it stopped. It’s funny too because it’s like she was marking me as her territory. Thi s is an example of my mother being understanding. Another thing that my mom would always tell me is, “when people are in need you should help them with whatever you have to help them.” I would always want to help whenever I can because I always think that if I were in that position I would want people to help me if they had anything to give. So one day I saw a homeless man with a sign and a cup asking for money. People kept driving by in their cars and gave him no money. This upset me, so I decided to give him a dollar. What bugs me so much is that people always care about themselves more than others. It doesn’t make any sense at all. It doesn’t make any sense because they have enough money to spend on a car but they don’t want to help someone in need. I’m not saying that all people who have cars have money on them, but I am just talking about certain people who have the money. I had a dollar in my wallet and this guy needed the dollar more than I did. My mother would be proud of my empathy. As I look back over the years and see how far I have come, there have been a lot of people who helped me along the way. No one has helped me more than my mother. 8

Untitled By: Anthony Carballosoto THE FUTURE!!! Flying cars, jet packs, inventions out of the world!! We liv e in a time where scientists are checking if we can live on Mars instead of saving the Earth. This is shameful because this is our world. We were put onto this world for great purposes. And what do we do? DESTROY IT. The Earth is singing but no one is listening anymore. We are taking this Earth for granted and pretty soon, bye-bye humans on Earth. In this corrupt world, global warming is the big bad guy without a mask. Everyone knows it is real but no one does anything about it. Yeah, you can recycle, but i f 7 billion people aren’t doing it then all you’re doing is giving us a year or more to breathe. So like I said global warming is the bad guy… or are you the bad guy? See, global warming is nothing more than Frankenstein’s monster because we created it, an d we continue to call our monster “the bad guy”. I see a world as a corrupt place that we would need someone or something to help us… to save us. Who’s going to save us from global warming? Super Heroes aren’t real… or are they? But with heroes we get villains, and so the story goes. Alternatively, we can keep the peace by not caring as much about certain issues. But never confuse quiet with peace, as quiet inaction does not solve anything. As Ultron from Avengers said, “You want to protect the world but you don’t want it to change. How is humanity saved if it’s not allowed to… evolve?” The Path By: Ashley German Have you ever had that feeling that you want to prove your point so badly? It always happens to me, especially in class. My teacher could see my passion. She asked me, “have you ever thought about joining the debate team?” I was like, sure, I’ll join. When I stepped into that room I knew it w as where I belong. Friendships in debate grew into something much bigger. The McCormack team became my second family. My debate family is important to me because I can rely upon them and they are honest. Although honesty can be harsh, it also helps us grow. When we grow, we slowly figure out what we like and what we are good at doing. Some people are born to dance, other people are born to play basketball, but I was born to argue. People say arguing makes you mad but it makes me happy because I stand up for what I believe. Debate is so important in my life because it made me unravel from my cocoon and fly away from everything else. When I’m arguing my topic I make the judge see arguments that he or she was not even aware of. I feel like it’s my job to bring that awareness to them. I believe that everyone should experience the same feeling that I experience with debate. That is, anything that motivates you to grow, or is even just fun. Untitled By: Jose Tavares My family is the biggest source of inspiration in my life. My dad inspires me because he is a hard worker. My brother inspires me because he gives me tough love. My sister inspires me because she is smart and gives me good advice. My dad inspires me because he works a lot of hours and he works in every type of weather. He leaves at 4 a.m. and comes back at 7 p.m. six days a week. He has been working this hard since before I was born. As an example of how hard he works, he went out in a blizzard and made a parking spot for him and my mom for six straight hours. He encourages me to do better and to be a good person. My brother inspires me because he helped me when I was getting bullied and helped me figure out my goals for school. When I was in the sixth grade, I was getting bullied. I told my brother about the situation and then the next day he confronted the kid. That kid never bullied me again. It was always one of my goals to stop being shy. One day I told my brother I wanted to play a sport but I couldn’t because I was shy. He helped me conquer that fear, and I am not shy anymore. Because of him 9

I am not scared to play football anymore. As an example of why I was inspired by him, it was when I was smaller and I went to one of his football games and I saw him score a touchdown. Since then, I never forgot and that made me want to play football. My sister inspires me because she helped me prepare for the 8th grade. My sister learned from her mistakes and doesn’t want me to follow them. She taught me how not to follow anyone and be my own leader. An example of how I learned this from my sister is when I was in 2nd grade and she was in 4th grade. We were on the school bus and people kept throwing paper. Because of that, the bus driver stopped the bus. Students were getting mad because they wanted to go. All of the students started leaving out of the back door of the school bus. You know who was there with me and didn’t follow them? My sister. In conclusion, my dad is a hard worker, my brother gives me tough love, and my sister gives me good advice. This is the reason why my family is the biggest source of inspiration in my life. Untitled By: Jennifer Tran Dear future Jennifer, Happy 25th birthday! To imagine that you are reading this 10 years from now is crazy! I bet it’s really exciting yet scary to be 25. But you can get through it! Just think about it—you’ve finished high school, college, and are probably in medical school right now! Look at the opportunities that you have now to help people, especially people with hearing difficulties, just like you’ve always dreamed! You’re probably so busy studying that you haven’t thought about your middle school life. I want you to take a break from your studies and take a trip to some of the positive, middle school memories we made. Remember the sixth grade camping trip to New Hampshire? You went without mom or dad, but instead your 6ABCD cluster. It was terrifying but awesome! You went on multiple hikes, you had three awesome roommates, and you were a rebel by stuffing that gross peanut butter taco inside the pocket of the raincoat the camp people gave you. Then there was seventh grade. Oh gosh, do you remember when your ex -boyfriend, Anthony, gave you a promise ring? Since there’s a huge possibility that you still have your bad habit of losing things, you probably don’t have it any longer. Oh, and remember that field trip to Canobie Lake? That was a blast! You overcame your fear of roller coasters, and went on many rides! Man, such fun memories. And lastly, eighth grade. Eighth grade has been challenging. This year I’ve ha d to pick a high school and write a lot of essays. I’m in a writing program called 8GA with two amazing writing coaches, Lisa and Tracy. Here is some advice. Since you’re probably really stressed due to your work, you should have a girl’s night out with your girlfriends, spend just one day without worrying about work. But if you can’t take a night off, then I hope you find it relaxing to remember events that happened in middle school. Another piece of advice is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ever! The re ason I’m telling this to you now is because I’ve been struggling to ask for help because I feel like teachers would be annoyed by me constantly asking for help. However, I don’t want you feeling that way, ever. Here’s how you could ask for help: we both obviously don’t want white hair from stress, and I know that once I get frustrated, I throw a tantrum. To prevent that from happening, I have learned to ask close friends for help. If you are struggling, remember it helps to talk to your friends. Now that I’ve refreshed your memories about middle school and gave you some advice, I hope you learned something from this. I just want you to know that I’m very proud of you for making it this far. I’m also really excited for the adventure that lies ahead.


30 Years til’ the next extinction By: Vernel Newberry What if the world had a 6th extinction? What if you and everyone you know was to blame? Everyone who you and I loved, along with everyone or most of everyone in the whole world, contributed to the destruction of the environment. I believe that soon the ‘6th extinction’ will occur and humans will be the cause of their own demise. In the world, there has been a series of tragic happenings caused by people. Hurricane Katrina caused at least 1,245 deaths and 108 billion dollars in damage. After Hurricane Katrina the government left the poorest parts of New Orleans, where the hurricane hit, without food, water, and shelter. People were rioting against the government about why they weren’t getting enough r esources. Meanwhile, the richer parts of New Orleans got more resources. Hurricane Katrina is only one example of a natural disaster where the government wasn’t fully cooperative, helping people by providing everyone an equal amount of resources. In the future there will be more natural disasters and the same thing will happen. Another disaster waiting to happen is the states rioting against each other. They will debate and fight for what they want. In states like Texas and Massachusetts, there will be deba tes about what they want to make legal or illegal. States are already debating these things. There will be divides between social classes and between states. Environmental and social disasters are right around the corner. Unless we are willing to change and work together, helping all people equally in terms of their need, the ‘6th extinction’ will come.

Untitled By: Yaraselys Figueroa I had just arrived at Miami International Airport from my home in Boston. Once I put my heavy suitcase down, I suddenly realized I had arrived in a very different place. I noticed that everyone around me was wearing shorts and I was still wearing my snow boots. I would be starting nursing school in two days, and I was a little nervous about the new changes I was facing. As I walked out, the first thing that caught my eye were the beautiful palm trees and the nice humid weather. I looked for a taxi to take me to my new apartment. I had butterflies in my stomach. A taxi pulled up and I got in. As the taxi went down the busy high way, I started to daydream. I started thinking about my mother’s infectious smile after I helped her with her blood sugar. I was 12 years old and I was walking into the dining room. I saw my mom laying out all the equipment she needed to measure her blood sugar. I said, “Hey mom, do you need help?” At first she said no, but I asked again. “Okay,” she said. “But you have to be careful with the needle.” I said, “Okay, what do I do now?” I carefully measured the insulin and then she said, “Make sure it’s not t oo much or too little.” Then I injected the medicine into her right arm. After that, I cleaned it with an alcohol pad and put a band-aid over it. I was proud, knowing that I helped my mom. She smiled and said, “Thank you.” Suddenly I realized the taxi had stopped and we were at my new apartment. I feel confident knowing that I’m going to see patients smile like my mom did. I feel like I’m doing the right thing by helping my mom. I am glad I shared that experience with her. I realize the butterflies in my st omach are suddenly gone. I’m doing what I always dreamed about. 11

Untitled By: Viviane Brito Dear Future self, As I lay on my bed looking at my walls I think about the differences between my life now vs. my life in the future. I hope by the time you are reading this you don’t live with mom, so you can finally get out of that horrible looking room. But if you are still living with mom then I hope you changed the color of the walls. I always hated the color of the walls because when you look at them you don’t feel any emotion, you know I like walls that make me happy. Right now the only responsibilities I have are going to school and getting good grades, but I have a feeling that things have changed. I’m sure it’s not easy, but you have done it for so long so you just know what to do. Honestly I’m surprised that mom has not come into my room to yell at me about something and not even tell me why she’s yelling at me. I know that right now she yells, but when you’re reading this you could be reading this to her because you want to talk to her about how you were as a kid. I know that right now we get along, but I want to get along better and be able to talk to her about anything. I know that my perspective on the world will change and now I see it as a place that you will always get help with. I know friendship will change because sometimes you have to do things on your own and because people change. Then we see people different from how we saw them as kids. You know that as a little kid I always wanted to be just like the little mermaid and always tried so hard to do that. But as I grew up I realized that things won’t happen like it does in Disney movies because I know I can’t be a kid forever. My Passion for Following Dreams By: Stheisy Vasquez When I was younger, I had big dreams of becoming a doctor and helping people. Here I am today, 15 years later, as a pediatrician working at a famous hospital in Los Angeles. As I reflect back on my life, it was a hard road to get here, but I’m glad I worked hard and followed my dreams. Fifteen years ago, I was a good student in high school and I took challenging classes. My grades were very high and I was one of the top students in my class. I did so many activities, like basketball, cheerleading and volleyball, so it was really hard to focus sometimes. But I really wanted to go to medical school, because I liked to work with children and I wanted to help people who needed health care. I was determined to follow my dreams! I really enjoyed my sports, but I focused more on my classes. I went to one of the top colleges in the country and was a pre-med major. In college I got a little distracted because of boys and meeting new people from all over the world! College was also harder than I thought, but I made a good group of friends and became more confident. I took a lot of hard classes, but with determination and having friends who helped me understand some of the classes, I got into my first choice medical school. In medical school, I learned about the human body, diseases, sympt oms, and how to diagnose and treat everything. During my residency, I worked long hours, sometimes working overnight. Even though I was really tired, I got to work in all different areas at the hospital. During this time, I realized I really loved working as a pediatrician. Today, I love my job. I have many plans for the future, but right now I like helping kids and seeing them get better. I can’t wait to see what I will be able to accomplish over the next 15 years. But the world better be ready for me!


Untitled By: Sasha Andrade One of my favorite memories of middle school is when we had “Atten-dance,” which is when the whole middle school can go to City Year headquarters on a Friday night to hang out and have fun. One can go only if they have perfect school attendance for a whole month, which I did and am very proud of that achievement. Atten-dance was memorable because of its ups and downs. When I didn’t see my best friend while waiting at Ruggles station to take the train to City Year, I became sa d remembering that her mom wouldn’t let her go. When my friends and I arrived at City Year we just sat and talked since my other best friend had to go home because of something that happened at Ruggles station. However, eventually she did show up crying, so I asked her what happened, trying to make her feel better. There was a DJ at Attendance who played a lot of different songs, including pasada songs. I danced pasada with my best friend Katia, but since our friends Kamaru and Kashetu didn’t know how to dance pasada, Katia decided to teach one of them. I found it to be funny and was laughing because of how hard he was trying to dance pasada. He told me that it wasn’t funny and to stop laughing, so I did and I let him dance in peace, even though it really was funny to watch. Eventually the DJ stopped playing music and it was time to go home, so I made my way back to Ruggles. The fun and emotion I experienced made for a memorable evening. A day I hope to remember forever is graduation because I’ll be leaving t he people I care about. It’s likely to be our last get together before high school as I probably won’t see some of them for the next four years. Another day I hope to remember forever is a trip to Canobie Lake because it’s the one day I get to chill out and have fun with my friends without a care in the world. The Person that Transformed Me By: Nicole Rodriguez I walked into the auditorium and I started to hear a lot of noises in a language that I didn’t understand. I sat on the back table and the principal started to talk in English and I needed to ask a teacher what he was saying. I thought that everyone was talking about me because I was new. I started to feel not comfortable with myself. I wished that my mom was there to take me back to home. My first day of school, I was nervous because I didn’t know how to speak English and didn’t know if in that school was a lot people that speak Spanish. I went to my ELA class and I started to hear a lot of people speak in Spanish. The teacher, Ms. Venditti, she saw me so shy and quiet. After class, she called me over and then she told me that don’t be shy because I Can learn English fast. At that time she was my hero when I needed help. When she told me that, I started to feel more comfortable with myself. When I st arted to learn English, she helped me a lot to pronounce some words that I didn’t know how to say, and when I was at home I practiced a lot with my brother. At the end of the year, I started to talk with a lot of people that only speak English. And now I k now a lot people that just speak English. I’m thankful that Ms. Venditti was my teacher and that now I feel comfortable speaking. When I go to high school I will miss her but I will always remember her as my favorite teacher. On my graduation from 8th grade, I want to see her to say thank you for teaching me and thank you for helping me to transform from a shy girl to a happy and sociable girl.


Untitled Lien Alfama The night before I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited for the next day. As I was trying to sleep, I kept looking at the clock to see what time it was. An ambulance raced past my house, and its flashing light and loud sirens exploded through my bedroom windows. I heard my sister mumbles and grunts from beneath my sisters sheets she kept me awake. I just couldn’t wait until the morning came. At around 2:00 am I was still tossing and turning in excitement. I hate the feeling of of when I´m excited because I get butterflies in my stomach, and it´s difficult to sleep. Finally the morning came and I was getting ready for school, and I was rushing to finish early. At school we were asked to clean out our lockers such as assignments, binders and all papers to be thrown away. The teachers peered into our lockers their headlamps in search of anything remaining. On our ride to Canobie Lake, the drivers’ Cape Verdean music blared through the speakers and rattled the entire bus. Everyone was pretty excited, I was hanging out with my friends and talking – just to have something to do. We were planning out the rides that we were going to go on first. When we got to Canobie Lake we had to get our tickets in order to get inside the park. My first ride was going on the Frisbee, I liked the feeling of going on a scary ride, but I still felt that fear, as it got closer and closer to being my turn to get on – I got nervous and felt the butterflies moving around in my stomach. When I got on the Frisbee it swung me into the air at a terrifying speed. My heart raced as I was going to fall off my seat. Surprise Bucket By: Julie Oliveira My cousin Cleuton Lopes is the biggest inspiration in my life. I watched him work hard to attend and graduate from Tufts University. He has encouraged me to follow his footsteps and chase my dreams. I was on summer break when I started getting serious about applying to Beacon Academy, and asked my cousin Cleuton Lopes to help me get better at studying. I would study night to morning, morning to night. One day my cousin finally gave me a break to relax but I was wrong. It was 5 o’c lock in the morning when he snuck into my house, grabbed a bucket filled with cold water and threw the water plus the bucket at me. I woke up screaming, “you’re only supposed to throw the water.” He replied, “I know, but which one is meant to hurt!” Now that I knew what a break really meant to him, the real work started. That same day he made me read “To Kill a Mockingbird.” If I got one word wrong he would make me re-read another page. If I forgot one little thing that had happened in the book he would mak e review it again. Every two days I would get a set of new words and would have to learn how to spell and use them. The one thing I dreaded the most was the surprise bucket. The surprise bucket was a nickname for a pop quiz or a bucket filled with cold wat er. After all the hard work during the summer, I came back to school and I felt like it wasn’t enough. All the vocabulary words my cousin had taught seemed to have fallen out of my head. One day my ELA teacher decided to quiz us on root words and I panicked. When my test came back I had scored a 100% while others had bad scores. I look back and now I think that the hard work over the summer was worth it.


14 Years of Football By: Jeremy Dominguez In the year 2030 in Boston, Massachusetts, they are preparing to present the ESPY for Athlete of the Year and the winner has been an obvious selection since January. Sitting front row in a tailored suit and fashion glasses is a man named Jeremy Dominguez. Let’s take a look back at how he got here from his playground days at Orchard Gardens. Jeremy began playing football when he was five years old and continued playing football while he was in middle school. He started as a defensive and offensive lineman, but he’s been practicing passing the ball with his friends so his arm is stronger at throwing. In high school, Jeremy began running laps around the field outside of the school so he could get faster and stronger in his legs. The coach for the school’s football team saw how good he was at passing and how fast he was at running so he made him the quarterback and the running back. This was Jeremy’s dream come true. Mr. Dominguez played running back and quarterback for the rest of high school and at Boston University, which gave him a full ride. One day during practice, the coach for the New England Patriots was watching to see how good the players were at their positions. Mr. Dominguez was practicing passing to the wide receivers and running backs. At one point, Jeremy was at an end zone and the wide receiver was at the other end zone and he threw as hard as he could and got it over the field goal and fence. Everyone on the team was yelling and screaming in excitement when it happened. They ran to him and picked him up and walked him to the locker room. The coach for BU called Jeremy out of the locker room and said to do it three more times. Jeremy obliged and the coach for the New England Patriots asked him if he wanted to practice and play for the team. “Since I’m holding the ESPY, you know how I answered that question.” Dream Girls By: Jakiya Phillips Dear Jakiya, Remember when you were in Eighth Grade and you had some of the craziest best friends at Orchard Gardens? You could never imagine yourself without them. You could always rely on them. If you fell, they were there to catch you. If you cried there was always a shoulder available. They would always find a way to embarrass you in front of your crush. No matter what, you loved them. During that year, I hung out with my crazy best friends Dionaly, Lakatha , and Rosie. Dionaly was the calmest member of the group, Lakatha had a mean streak, and Rosie was the wise one. Usually we played football, grabbed a quick snack or just went to a friend’s house to borrow their shoes, clothes, and jewelry. Those were always the best Fridays. I always had a home away from home, I could never imagine my life without them and we spent every day together! Even if we didn’t have enough money to go downtown, we just enjoyed each other’s company. Although we loved each other, our friendship wasn’t always perfect, we did fight. One time at lunch I noticed that my friend ignored me. I was devastated. I started thinking of reasons why she would be mad but, when I couldn’t come up with anything. I felt hurt, I immediately went to go c onfront her. It became a big argument. At that moment I didn’t care about our friendship all I cared about was getting all my hurt out. I said, “we don’t have to be friends anymore and I don’t care,” when I knew I still did. I felt sad thinking of losing my best friend. Time passed. I knew we had time to cool down so I went to go talk to her and I mentioned to her that the argument was really silly and she agreed. We both said sorry to each other and I realized at that moment how strong our friendship really was. I want my future self to know that arguing with the people you love just isn’t worth it. 15

Helping the World in my own unique way… By: Franciel Quiroz Imagine traveling the world and bringing joy to many people by helping to provide a basic human need which is food, shelter, and safety. The way I could change the world is by me surviving my country and communities all around the world throw my military experience. The army will help me build leadership skills to provide to food, shelter and safety t o others. Many people don’t have access to food and water. in the army I would be a part of a team that will give hope to man, woman, and children who are struggling to find suitable food. while these items are normally available to me. I understand that it is hard for others. one way that I would be able to provide food is by helicoptering food to poor villages in Africa and the food will be fresh also will I would be able to build gardens for people to grow their own food. the way I would provide water is by building artificial ponds and maybe change the seawater into drinkable water. Many people in the world don’t have access to shelter like most of us do. Some people live in places that are very cold and they are freezing every day. Sense I have a home a nd a warm place to live I also want other people that don’t have homes to have a place where they can be warm cozy. Me as a leader and a person that cares I want to build homes for people and give them beds so they can sleep at night. And the way I can be able to make that happening is by the army helping me make it possible. Safety is another necessity that people need. The army is a big part of people being safe because the protect people from dangerous situations. I feel like everyone should feel safe o they can live their life. I understand that this is risky but it is a chance that I would take. So being in the army will allow me to have a positive impact in the world. I look forward to it. Narrative By: Erica Lopes Flash to the future, it’s the year 2030 and I’m sitting here on a hot summer day in Boston, my hometown. I’m rushing to the hospital to save another person’s life. Saving someone’s life is something every doctor loves doing. It’s like giving them another chance to live. My first patient that day was a man who’d been wounded after leaving a store with his son. The father had been shot twice and was losing a lot of blood, luckily, his son was okay. When I looked into the father’s eyes I could tell at that second that he wanted to live, for the sake of his son. We did everything we could to save his life. I knew he had gone through so much pain but behind that pain there was happiness. “Erica listen up! The teachers are talking” – my friend said pointing me out of my day dream at the time. “What uh-oh okay,” I replied. All that time I was daydreaming that I was saving someone’s life fifteen years from now. When you think it’s too late to go back and to get your dream – it’s not. Just as long as you work hard and keep trying you will get there even if it takes time. It’s never too late in life to achieve your goals.


Color Day By: Erica Depina My favorite memory from middle school was Color Day. Color Day was on a half day. There were four colors for the entire school and each class in each grade was assigned one color. The colors were blue, white, black, and yellow. My class was blue. It was a very fun day full of events; I got to express your individuality by wearing my own shirt. I bonded with my peers by motivating and cheering them on. I could also show my skills while having fun. We participated in many events such as ta contest to build the tallest tower using only spaghetti noodle, one marshmallow, and tape. I experienced both enjoyment and frustration. Some other events were basketball, trying to make three golf balls into one tower, an oreo challenge, and dominos. Towards the end of the day, we played dodgeball. Dodgeball was not my favorite sport but I played to support my team. I was ready to play, the whistle blew and the game started. I dodged every ball that I saw coming my way, but as I turned around to celebrate, a ball came out of nowhere and hit me. I searched around to see who hit me. It was a member of the other team. There were two players on each team called doctors. The doctors were supposed to tag you to tag you to return if you were hit. When I was hit, I called out for the doctors. I watched as the team protected the doctors from the balls while the doctors helped me back into the game. I ran back to the start line and threw the ball as far as I could. My goal was to help my teammates eliminate the doctors from the other team. My team won twice in a row! Afterwards, we had lunch, which was pizza, my favorite dish. I talked with my best friends and we told each other some jokes. I was happy! Finally, it was time to go home. When I arrived home, I was welcomed with another great surprise. My sister was not home and I was able to have the house to myself. My Diary Ja By: Ediluesa Gomes My sister Ja is like a shelter because when there’s a bad storm coming she’s always there to keep me safe and protect me till that storm goes away. She makes me reach my goals in life because she once told me that there’s this big world out there that I didn’t even experience yet so why le t that hold me back. When I came back from school I was sitting down in my room sobbing quietly. My sister Ja heard me crying, she came in, and checked up on me. She walked into my room and she made a joke. I didn’t laugh. I was in my own bubble while she tried to break through and get to me. She sat down next to me and asked, “What’s wrong?” I said, “Friendship.” When I told her that, she responded, “sometimes it’s good to let go of the situation and let it be. You should always wait to see what actions your friend is going to take. When you grow older, that problem won’t affect you later on.” I stopped crying and she hugged me. I felt loved and relieved because she helped me out and now I know what to do when I see that friend. My sister Ja is the best sister because she accepts who I am and she’s always there to answer my questions. Ja is like my diary because shes always by my side and I tell her the truth. She makes feel safe, during a trip to Miami, dinnertime, or even Christmas day. Comfortable. Respected. She’s different from everybody else in my life. She’s always there waiting for me even though she doesn’t know yet that I’m going through some process. The minute I step inside the house, she checks on me.


Life as a Lighthouse By: Dionaly Martinez Have you ever thought about your future? Well, I have many times. In my future, I don’t see myself as a billionaire or someone that is famous. I want to be a lighthouse for boats in troubled water. So many children struggle in the darkness and do not know the way forward. I want to be a social worker and bring light into their lives while guiding them to a better future. To accomplish my goals, I first need to go through many steps. I will graduate from high school while continuing my community service and student council participation. I want to be the star in the school play because acting is my passion. In 2020, I see myself flying across the country to attend UCLA to study to become a social worker. During my spare time, I will practice acting by taking extra classes and joining local drama groups. After I finish my work, I will take my dog Gronk for a walk on the beach. In 2024, after years of hard work, I will graduate from college at the top of my class. On graduation day I walk across the stage, nervous about stumbling as I move into the future, but the loud cheers of my family remind me that they will always be there to catch me. After graduating, I search for entry level jobs where I can learn from the senior social workers and gain more experience to advance myself. Moving from a small dorm room to a larger apartment in the city, I will be able to walk to my favorite American restaurant with outstanding buffalo wings and be around people. Once I receive my promotion to a higher position, I continue to help foster children while sharing my knowledge with social workers who are new to the job. In 2031, I come home from a busy, rewarding day at work, driving my solar car to my house overlooking the Pacific. Walking to the front door, I take in the sounds of a dog barking, my children laughing, and the waves breaking on the sand. Untitled By: Chandler Tavares It’s January of 2031, and I am sitting in an extremely neat office. I take a look at the fine art that adorns the walls and views of the skyscrapers of the Dubai skyline with the sand dunes off in the distance. I finish sending emails on my tablet and my watch rings as someone wants more information on this weekend’s car race in the desert. As I prepare to leave my office in my brand new Sub aru offroad edition, I stop and reflect: how did I get here? Fifteen years ago this was the future that I dreamt of. I struggled at first to adjust to high school, but after a few months I matured and focused on what I wanted the most for my future. I wanted to live a successful life, be financially comfortable and supportive of all of my family members. I wanted to be well known for something and build my brand as an individual. I worked hard and was accepted to MIT. I enrolled and majored in computer science and electrical engineering. During the spring in my junior year, I studied abroad in Dubai and was able to get an internship with a technology company for the summer. I loved living in Dubai and knew that I wanted to return after graduation. After graduation, I was lucky enough to get a job at the company where I interned. I also moved my mother over to Dubai to live with me. I worked really hard for a couple of years and learned a lot. I liked my job but missed the more hands-on work I had done in school and growing up. So I decided to start my own high-end device repair business. The office I am sitting in now is the headquarters of “Tavares Computer Repair.” After a strong first year, I was able to have my brother move to Dubai and become my business partner. Even with running my own business keeping me busy, I still find time to take one of my cars out to the deser t.


A.I.P By: Cameron Brimage Did you ever think that the electronics that you use on an everyday basis could control the world? This story takes place in Florida, in the year 2046, when a group of MIT College students named Angelic, Joelis, Bradic, and Pittana started an Artificial Intelligence program (A.I.P.). About two years ago, the students were assigned a group project to create an Artificial Intelligence machine that controls every other electronic in the class. But, the students did more an d made the electronic machine do whatever they commanded it to. After consulting with the professor about their design, they decided to start manufacturing what is known as the A.I.P. The A.I.P became so powerful that they thought that MIT could not help t hem contain A.I.P. and that it was way too advanced for MIT so they quit. Little did they know that not only could MIT not contain it but that really no one can contain it. As Bradic and Angelic walked down the streets of New Orleans, their invention set off every electronic in the reach of fifty yards. It was because the A.I.P. was still on in the GearTECH bag that they were carrying. The device was so powerful that when Bradic said “turn it off,” the A.I.P. turned off everything in the reach of fifty yards. Cars, Cellphones, lights, and just the power in general, people’s power went off and then came back on. The incident alerted a 2 -4-2 (CIA), who then called the Military. The Military showed up and checked every camera in the vicinity to find the GearTech bag.Using their super hi-tech computers, they were able to track the GearTech bag down. The bag was located in an abandoned warehouse. The military showed up at the warehouse and found Bradic and Angelic upgrading the A.I.P.The military rushed in and came to a halt with amazement. The A.I.P was more advanced than anything the military had. Bradic and Angelic made a deal with the Military. They wouldn’t be in trouble in exchange that the military could use the A.I.P. Little did they know that only the special can contain the A.I.P. Now this device must be hidden from the world! How Did Arywson Accomplish his Goals? By: Arywson Fernandes In the year 2030, Arywson is living in a two bedroom apartments in North Carolina. After graduating from Ohio State University in 2024 with a degree in Biology, he became unsure of whether to go into medicine or the NFL. He knew that it would be a challenge but he decided that he could be the doctor for the team and play games. He realized that even though it might be hard, you can accomplish two goals if you try. After undergrad, Arywson decided to take night classes to get his medical degree because during the day he is too busy with football practice or supplemental workouts. Even though Arywson is tired, he applied what he learned in class to the football field. As Arywson learned more about medicine, teammates started to ask for advice about their injuries. The more that his teammates asked, Arywson started to think that he might become a doctor. However, you gotta pump your grades up before you start playing sports. He decided that he is confident as a doctor and a NFL player. He decided to approach the team owner of the Carolina Panthers if he could be the team’s doctor and also being in a team player. Arywson scheduled a meeting with the team’s owner after practice. Arywson walked in and sat down, “Hello sir, thank you for taking the time to meet with me.” “Don’t worry about it, what can I do for you, son?” “As you might know, I have recently completed my medical degree and I’d like to be the first player to be both an NFL team doctor and player.” “Arywson, I have watched you help this team with their injuries for the past four years and I’m confident you are capable of this job.” You can accomplish more than one goal by having confidence in yourself and studying hard. 19

My Mom, My Bright Star By: Anayaris Guerrero Is there a person in your life who you think about all the time? Do you know a person who inspires you to work hard and lead a positive life? I hope everyone has someone like that in their life. For me, that person is my mom! I live in Boston, Massachusetts in the USA while my mom lives across the sea in the Dominican Republic. It has been one year since I last saw her; however, I speak with her on the phone every weekend. Even though my mom lives far away from me, she still inspires me to not settle for “good enough”, and to “be greater” in all the work I do. Some of my favorite qualities my mom possesses are her positive attitude, her enthusiasm and passion, and her motivation to teach me to never give up on challenges. My mom has taught me many important lessons. When I was in the 6th grade, my mom inspired me to follow my sister’s example and strive for excellence, rather than argue with my teachers at school. My mom also taught me to never be mean to other people, put others down, or act like a bully to others. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, she would always tell me to be respectfu l to other people even if they are disrespectful to me. I now understand it’s better to walk away and set a positive example to other people involved. It takes a strong person to walk away. Another lesson my mother taught me is to never keep my negative fe elings or problems inside. She said that it is better to talk about events in my life or issues that bother me with family, friends, and other people I trust. Every time I have followed this advice from my mom, I have always felt much better and happy they were willing to help me solve my problem. My mom is the most inspirational person in my life. She is like a bright star that always leads me forward.

Who’s That Girl By: Angelica Estrella High school graduate, college graduate, veterinary school gradu ate – having passed the N.A.V.L.E. (North American Veterinary Licensing Examination) and a D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). I smile when I think about how far I’ve come: a successful veterinarian, practicing veterinary medicine, and an asset to my community. I think about who I am as a now healthy kitten to her owner. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a veterinarian. The thought of working with, and bettering the lives of animals fascinates and excites me. I have always liked and done very well in math and science. I know these are two very important subjects when working as a veterinarian. However, getting there won’t be easy – it’ll take four years of college and an additional four years of veterinary school – but it’s worth it if I get to work with the animals I love. My parents and my family have always supported me in the past, and they have consistently encouraged me to do well in school and have pushed me to strive for bigger things. I know that they will continue to support me during my journey through veterinary school. I understand how lucky I am to have a supportive family behind me at all times. I know I am only 13, and that I have a long road ahead of me. Although I am unable to predict my future, one thing is for sure, I will work my absolute hardest and strive to become the successful veterinarian that I know I can be. The little girl’s face is painted with a smile and her eyes grow big and watery as I walk out of the operating room holding a now healthy kitten. The family smiles and leaves my self-owned clinic. Although they leave without saying a word, the smiles on their faces are all the thanks and recognition I need. 20

Volleyball By: Emelyn Matos There was a lot of people waiting for my serve. My hands started to get really sweaty. The court was quiet. I couldn’t focus well, I was too nervous. We needed 4 more points to go to the state championships. First I putted my right foot in front of my left one. Then I looked right into the net and did my serve routine like always. I hit the ball and ran to my position. I watched how the ball hit the net. I felt how my stomach sank. I felt like I disappointed my teammates and my coach. I couldn’t hold it anymore and started crying. I thought wrong. My teammates and coach were really proud with the effort and support I always put and putted that day. They all got around me, hugging me and telling me, “It’s okay, you did great.” Also, not to worry about the loss because basketball season was coming up. A Referee came up to m e to congratulate me and give me some advice to get even better at my servings. One of them said, “I see how you turn your hand a little when you serve, just make sure that hand stays straight, you are amazing!” Then, minutes later members of the other team came up to my teammates and I, telling us how great we did and not to worry about whether we lost or won, we were still champions. Also, a girl from the other team told me, “You are so really good, you should play in high school, keep it up!” I even got an leadership award. I felt really disappointed that I couldn’t reached my goal, and couldn’t get my team to the state championships but now I know that it was an amazing experience being in the volleyball team, surrounded with really kind and great people that always were there for me and did an awesome job through the season. I learned a lot from my team and a lot about being a leader. Now, I know how important for a person is to have someone supporting him/her. Things will always get sad and disappointing but you need to find the positive way of it because there will always be a good thing about it. Titi Lute By: Teejay Cardoso My aunt is someone who supports and inspires me in my life. I call her Titi Lute. Titi is an affectionate way I say “aunt” in Cape Verdean Creole and Lute is my aunt’s nickname. She is a very strong woman, a big role model, and she wants me and her family members to be kind people. She is a strong woman and I want to be strong like her. She has faced a lot in her life, and one of her challenges was her son dying at a young age. When her son died she became very depressed and distraught. At the time of her son’s death she was in Cape Verde, and she couldn’t get past the fact she had lost someone so dear to her. She realized that if she was going to succeed in the life she wanted she had to get past her son’s death. She wanted to become a nurse or a doctor and she did this by coming to the U.S. and going to school. I came here to the U.S. in much the same way; I wanted to go to school here, go to college, and be successful. My aunt has influenced me by being a role model and supporting me. My mom lives in Cape Verde, so my aunt has been like a mom to me. She believes that I am capable of doing a lot of things. She has more confidence in me than I have in myself. Even though she is very successful as a nurse with a good salary, she wants me to be more successful than her. She’s very thoughtful and she always gets me nice gifts for Christmas, such as shoes and clothes or money. She has caused me to be a better person in terms of how I treat people. She takes me to church and this has helped me keep God in mind. This comes in handy when I am trying to tell the difference between bad things and good things. When I am considering doing someth ing wrong, like pranking my little sister or little brother, I look at the situation from their eyes or from the eyes of God and see that it is wrong and don’t do it. My aunt has taught me to be a kind person. 21

The No More Healthy Earth By: Donavan Moore Right now in 2016 we see the world falling apart due to global warming. I think in thirty years the world will be consequently changed due to this crisis. Individuals and groups of people contribute to global warming. First of all, people use too much electricity and litter a large quantity of trash. By doing this, they add more Carbon and Methane into the air than there is supposed to be. Groups of people drive too much on the road using a lot of petroleum; which is made of carbon. Also, factories ran by big companies add a lot of CO2 to the air which will eventually reach the ozone and pollute it. If this continues, this is what the world could be like thirty years from now… As I wake up and look outside my window, I see the heat beating upon the Earth. I feel the temperature increase, to be honest it feels like it is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. I open my window and look towards the ground. There is water that has been building up for thirty years. My house is submerged halfway under the water. My generation and the ones in the past are a disgrace to our country, destroying it and overflowing it with water… If this is what our world will look like in thirty years, I want the leaders of it to step up and make a change. I hope they can show the humans of our world what will happen if we continue to contaminate the ozone. The world should continue advertising their solution to slow down or stop global warming. If the advertising works and people take action, this problem will be defeated once and for all. I hope we can continue to play outside and be outdoors where we can enjoy nature… if it is still there. The Kind Person My Dad Is By: Kathy Then The biggest source of inspiration in my life is a man who is hardworking, supportive, and patient, my dad. The first reason my dad is inspirational to me is because he is very hardworking. He wakes early in the morning every day to go to work. My dad is also really supportive of our family. He tells me every day that he works and provides for us. My dad will do anything fo r the family. Additionally, my dad is inspirational to me because he is really patient. My dad has been struggling with his job. On his first day, he worked overnight with an American man. They both wanted the morning shift driving trucks. They talked to the boss, and the next day the boss gave the morning job to the American man. My dad didn’t understand what happened. The next week the boss fired five people who worked the morning shift. My dad thought this would be the perfect opportunity for him to talk to his boss about getting the position. When he asked if he could change shifts his boss said yes, but then he hired five new drivers to work in the morning. One of the new drivers wasn’t even as experienced as my dad. My dad was so frustrated. The boss gave him an offer to transfer to a new location near my house, and told my dad that he could work in the mornings. My dad took the offer, and when he got to the job he talked to the new boss about working mornings, but there was a misunderstanding. His new boss told my dad that he had to work overnight. My dad was so upset when he heard the news. We prayed for a miracle to happen. One week later my dad was working in the mornings. He was so happy because he was able to spend more quality time with the family. My dad persevered through this problem, and was really patient until he got what he wanted. In conclusion, my dad has shown me that if you want something, you work hard for it, you don’t just give up. This is why I always look up to my dad, he is wonderf ul and special. I admire and believe that if I do the things my dad does it will get me to where I want to be in life, and successful like him.


Shooting for my Goals By: Nelis Nunez I run down the court dribbling the ball, palms sweaty, as my teammates position themselves to start the play. I’m about to make my move, when an opposing player jumps and blocks me. My blood rushes in my ears, and I quickly decide to fake pass the ball, successfully out -maneuvering her. I dash to the basket and… By the time 2031 rolls around, I will be a top WNBA player. However, these successes didn’t happen overnight. I’m one of those kids who came from another country. When I was six, my mom and I moved to Boston from the Dominican Republic. It was hard to leave, but my mom explained that sometimes we have to do tough things in order to have a better future. Her lessons on sacrifice and how important it is to work hard really inspired me. While I always loved basketball, studying and schoolwork weren’t always the most fun. But I knew I had to get past that so I could make the most of the opportunities around me. I worked hard in Middle School and realized that my teachers, who had already accomplished their goals, were really good role models. I listened to their advice and b egan to do better on my homework assignments and study more. I kept this up during high school and joined the basketball team. I trained hard to be amazing and be the best point guard that they ever had. This meant following my coach’s instructions and working on my basketball skills after practice in order to keep my handles strong. I also had to work really hard at school, staying up really late to finish my homework, and always studying for quizzes. I even did extra readings just to be as good at the subject as possible. All this hard work paid off, and by the time as senior year rolled around, I was recruited to play at one of the top colleges. In college, I kept up my excellent academic work and basketball skills. I lead the Boston University women’s basketball team to many championships, before I began my career in the WNBA — my dream job. I dash to the basket and jump for a lay-up. I shoot the ball toward the basket…it rolls around the rim. It keeps rolling…everyone in the stadium stops and stares at it with me. Is it going to bounce right back or go in for the winning 2 point score? It rolls…and finally falls in! Everyone starts to cheer and my teammates run after me, hug me, and carry me off to the coach. I am so happy. I could do this for another 15 years. Robots, Friends or Foes By: Kamaru Oseni The modern world that we currently live in is filled with technological advances that are critical to how our civilization is run. Some examples are smart phones, automobiles, and aviations. Then there ar e robots, one of the most important technological advances today. There are great benefits as well as drawbacks of robots. There are spectacular things that come out of having robots in our world. For example, in terms of productivity, robots perform more precise work and they can work for a very long time with no breaks. In terms of safety, robots can work in hazardous conditions (toxic chemicals, tight spaces, poor lighting, etc.) Also they can lift heavy loads without fatigue or injury. Robots save time because they produce in great amounts and are accurate. They can also save money. For example, with robots, there are few worker injuries so the company doesn’t have to pay compensation. But does this all come at no cost? Some of the jobs that robots do now were usually performed by humans, but because of the constant advancements in robotics, the jobs are now being taken over by machines. The question is, are robots causing unemployment? In a lot of food markets or even CVS stores, there are self checkout machines instead of cashiers. Another example is in manufacturing. There aren’t a lot of assembly lines run by humans anymore but by machines because they are more productive. In addition, robots are also taking over writing jobs. This can affects people like reporters, journalists, and writers. There are many 23

other examples of robots taking over human jobs. This is beneficial as said before, but if a person isn’t doing the job, he/she is also probably not getting paid. In the future, there are obviously going to be even greater advancements in technology and robotics. I think this upgrading is good and should not stop, but there is a certain limit that shouldn’t be crossed. For example, robots should still manufacture because it is safer and more productive , but there shouldn’t be a mass production of self-driving cars in the future, considering there are lots of job opportunities involved around cars like taxi, uber, bus driving, etc. Robots should still be doing jobs, but their work should be collaborative between the humans and the machines. Neurosurgeon By: Alexander Garcia Have you ever been interested in the brain? Well I am. I am currently a neurosurgeon at Boston Medical Center, and I’m going to tell you how I got here. If you don’t know what a neurosurgeon is, let me tell you. A neurosurgeon is a surgeon who specializes in working on the brain. Some of the things I’ve done have been quite interesting, such as getting rid of tumors and patching internal bleeding. If you need a neurosurgeon, make sure you come to me because I’m the best. The road to becoming a neurosurgeon was very difficult. The first stop on this road was high school. In high school I started an amazing adventure to becoming a neurosurgeon by taking biology and psychology. Then I went to Tufts, and the adventure didn’t stop there. The two topics I focused on were biology and neuroscience. During my experience at Tufts I decided to take an internship to see how a medical department functioned. The struggle as an intern wasn’t bad, and I got to see blood and organs which wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. As an intern all they really had me do was jot down some notes. After my four years of college and my internship I went to Harvard Medical School, and my main focus was on the brain. After medical school I became a resident at Boston Medical Center, and three years later I became the head of the Neurological Services Department. This is where my journey concluded. This long road taught me to become a neurosurgeon and also made me the person I am now. I went from a puny little scrub who was just wandering the streets to a big time neurosurgeon. Don’t forget, if you need a neurosurgeon, come to the best. My Life in 15 Years By: Tayron Cedeno


Profile for Citizen Schools

Bridging Magazine | 2016  

Bridging Magazine | 2016