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The Magazine of Student Opinion

News, Advice, Reviews, AND MORE... F A L L 2 0 0 7

Do Something or Become Nothing The 2008 Presidential Election Fall 2007 RATED-T 

This could be You!

Rated-T Volume 1 Number 3 4 5 6

Letters From the Editors Contributors Page Report Card on Bush by Flonora Merritt

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’08 Presidential Elections

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Introduction by Dexter Williams The Tavis Smiley Democratic Forum by Cheyenne Glenn John Edwards by Flonora Merritt Bill Richardson by Dexter Williams Dennis Kucinich by John Ugorji Barack Obama by India Hayes Hillary Clinton by Kameisha Hodge To Vote or Not To Vote… by Cheyenne Glenn

The Pink Highlighter Features

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Trip to the Lincoln Memorial by Paulette Lewis The Jena 6 by T. Bradley and C. Leak Giving Thanks/Black History by Javae Valentine South African Teens by Doneisha Smith Fiji by A. Davis, H. Pye, D. Holder and S. Neal Lies Behind the Diamonds by MLSC* Darfur: Region of Genocide by MSNT* Nothing but Nets by I. Hay and F. Merritt HPV and Teens by Shaquanda Noble Dealing With the Defect by Alicia Weston HIV/AIDS in DC and Africa by MC3* Eleanor Holmes Norton on HIV by Hassan Pye

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If you’re a student in the District of Columbia between the ages of 11 and 18 who has ever wondered what it would be like to create your own news magazine, website, radio or television program, here’s your chance. Join Friendship News Network (FNN)—a student run media enterprise located at Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Students can join the staffs of FNN Radio, FNN TV, FNN Online and Rated-T Magazine. This year, students will have the opportunity to cover the election for MTV and News Hour Extra.

Rated-T is the magazine of Friendship News Network (FNN), a program of Friendship Public Charter School, 120 Q Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. For more information, or to inquire about becoming an advertiser for our next issue, email: info@ For more information about Friendship News Network, visit our website at For more information about Friendship Public Charter School, visit our website at or call 202.281.1700. Rated-T, The Magazine of Student Opinion, expresses the views of individual students and does not necessarily represent the views of Friendship Public Charter School. Copyright © Friendship News Network, September, 2007. For permission to reprint articles, please e-mail

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FYE: For Your Entertainment

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Fiction. Or Is It?

Real Talk

Harry Potter Movie Review by Foye and Fullard Harry Potter Book Review by Tiara Marshall Hottest Websites of 2007 by MSNT* Sugar Rush Book Review by Chantell Leak Say the Magic Word by Randyn Fullard Bodies Museum by MSNT* Dancing by Chantell Leak Dreams by Paulette Lewis Dreamcatchers by Ceyanne Foye Oily Bird Gets America by Karlton Chapman

Judgment Day by Paulette Lewis Runaway to China by Arnasha Jones The Trip that Went Wrong by DaVaughn Hawkins The Revenger by Ceyanne Foye


54 Great Things Come in Tiny Packages by Penelope Davis 56 Our Role Models by Chantell Leak 58 Always Alicia’s Advice by Alicia Wade 60 Most Influential People of 2007 by MSNT* 62 Senior Advice from our graduating seniors

* MSNT (Middle School News Team) * MLJC (Ms. Littlejohn’s Speech Class) * MC3 (Ms. Coleman’s Communication Class) Photo this page by Travis Houze

Sign up today! It’s FREE and open to any student in the District of Columbia! For more information and to download an application visit our website at, email or call 240-426-7685.

Friendship News Network  Fall 2007 RATED-T


News from the Teen Point of View

Fall 2007 RATED-T 

Contributors Dexter Williams Alicia Wade Tiara Marshall Ahmed Davis Shaquanda Noble

Editor-In-Chief Editor-In-Chief Emeritus Editor-In-Chief Emeritus Art Director Associate Art Director

Rated-T Staff Reporters and Feature Writers Tornesha Bradley, Penelope Davis, Shawanda Davis, Ceyanne Foye, Quaniece Frazier, Randyn Fullard, Cheyenne Glenn, DaVaughn Hawkins, India Hay, Kameisha Hodge, Arnasha Jones, Chantell Leak, Paulette Lewis, Tiara Marshall, Flonora Merritt, Shaquanda Noble, Hassan Pye, Jazmin Reed, Brianna Rogers, Nadean Talley, Shalayah Thompson-Bey, John Ugorji, Javae Valentine, Alicia Wade, Alicia Weston, Dexter Williams Story Editors Cheyenne Glenn, Kameisha Hodge, Ahmed Davis, Arnasha Jones Rated-T Photographers Ahmed Davis, Adonis Miller, Shaquanda Noble, Travis Houze, Randyn Fullard Graphic Designers Karlton Chapman, Ceyanne Foye, Randyn Fullard, DaVaughn Hawkins, Travis Houze, Arnasha Jones, Paulette Lewis, Chantell Leak, Tiara Marshall, Flonora Merritt, Shaquanda Noble, John Ugorji, Alicia Wade, Alicia Weston, Dexter Williams Cartoonist Karlton Chapman

Letters From the Editors

Letters from the Editors


s the new Editor-In-Chief, it is my pleasure to be part of this great magazine. Our Rated-T staff worked very hard this year to produce a magazine like no other. Our theme, “Do Something or Become Nothing” runs all through the magazine! We chose this theme because we believe that is is important to encourage our peers to get involved in issues such as the upcoming presidential election and the HIV/AIDS epidemic because the survival of humanity and being part of the political process is essential to our well-being. For this edition, we had the opportunity to cover an historic event­—the AllAmerican Democratic Presidential Forum at Howard University moderated by Tavis Smiley, a dedicated activist in the African American community. Our articles range from fiction from our middle school students to Advice for Rising Seniors. That’s right! We have a section for all of you who are new seniors in high school this year. We also have lots of great features as well as book and movie reviews that will blow your mind! Last but not least, I would like to thank the Rated-T staff, advisors, mentors and supporters for you hard work and dedication.


eady for the third series of Rated-T magazine! We did just like Beyonce and we “upgraded.” With a larger staff, we have fresher ideas, great photography that captures those priceless moments, and great graphic design. This time around, we went deeper and took it to a whole ‘nother level, discussing many important topics. Some are very touchy and serious while others are simply good at heart. But the question isn’t necessarily where does this journey begin but can you handle it, because at this very moment you are at the start of a ride that could change your life! Are you prepared? We are about to find out. Before ending let me just say that you as the readers are what makes this all possible. And to the staff, you did a wonderful job and remember you have to go through trials and tribulations to have something to rejoice about in the morning! Keep pressing on because the only thing that can hold you back in this world is, is yourself. Much Love, Joy, and Peace,

Alicia Wade

Editor-In-Chief, Emeritus

Yours in Journalism,

Dexter Williams Editor-In-Chief

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Photos taken by Ahmed Davis at Friendship Collegiete Academy

Special Project Reporters HIV/AIDS Project: Anika Johnson, Kwame Brown, Keith Morgan, Doneisha Smith, Advisor Yolonda Coleman Sierra Leone Project Myesa Holland, Brittany Jones, Dominique Olfus, Diamond Milam, Raphael Beasley (photographer), Advisor Sandi Littlejohn Fiji Project Dionne Holder, Stephen Neal Editorial Advisor and FNN Director: Marilyn Kaufman Graphic Design Advisor: Brian Young Summer Election Advisor: Doranna Tindle Publisher: Friendship Public Charter School Chairman: Donald Hense A very special thanks to Donald Hense, Patricia Brantley and Carol Seifert whose energy, support and vision were instrumental in making Rated-T Magazine and Friendship News Network a reality. Many thanks to: Gail Sivils, Michael Spikes, Adnaan Wasey, Kimberly Campbell, Linda Williams, Ralph Neal, Peggy Pendergrass, Brian Beck, Michael Cordell, Paula Shelton, Jesse Shelton, Yolonda Coleman, Michael Robinson, Anita Proctor, Sandi Littlejohn, Trooper Cooper, Michelle Freeman, Desiree Girelle, Khalil Braswell, Remy Reed, Barry Lofton, Candice Tolliver, Jo Bedney, Arline Williams, Kim Jones, Haroldine Pratt, Angela Fox, Deborah Hay, Cordelia Postell, Dean Brown, Ben Forjoe and the entire maintenance and security staffs at Blow Pierce and Woodson. Special thanks to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, Prime Movers, The Open Society Institute, CEDPA, International Debate Education Association, The Jewish Foundation of Nashville, Claudia Zucker, The UN Foundation, The Brunswick Group, Radio and Television News Director’s Foundation, News Hour Extra, Talea Miller, Victoria Baxter, Aaron Fishbone, Maital Guttman and the Mad About Art Kids, Barry’s Magic Shop, Michael’s, Eleanor Holmes Norton, The Washington Times, Alan Karchmer, Prakesh Patel, ESTO, David Shapiro. Rated-T Magazine is a program of Friendship News Network (FNN), a media enterprise run by the students of Friendship Public Charter School. The program is free and open to any student in the District of Columbia between the ages of 11 and 18. For more information, visit our website at or call 240-426-7685. For more information on Friendship Public Charter School, visit our website at Cover Photo: Shaquanda Noble. Cover Design: Ahmed Davis.

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Report Card on President Bush Written and designed by Flonora Merritt

In recent news, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Jr. was pardoned by President Bush, causing a major uproar with the public. Mr. Libby was convicted for revealing the identity of a CIA operative and lying to Congress about it. That is a huge no-no. I may not know too much about the CIA, but I do know that they need to be secretive and must work in the shadows. It’s hard to work in the shadows, if a light is beaming on you. Mr. Libby should have been sentenced to 30 months in prison as well as have to pay a $250,000 fine for perjury (lying) in connection with exposing the CIA agent Valerie Plane to the press. So far, he only paid the fine. He put that agent in danger. But instead, Libby was pardoned because he’s a friend of President Bush. If you broke one of your parents’ rules, you’d get grounded, right? Your friends wouldn’t save you from getting grounded because of a small chance they might get grounded. I really don’t know what’s with President Bush. He’s from Texas right? Aren’t Texans big on crime and punishment? Sadly, this isn’t the worst thing that President Bush has done during his two long terms in office.


D id

The 2008 Presidential Election

How Does It Affect You?

he M a ke T

First of all, during the first six months of his presidency, Bush went on vacation. He just takes office and already he takes a break on our dime? Say you are the boss of a huge company and you just hired someone. The next day that person decides to go on vacation. You would fire him. But that was just the beginning.

Gr a d

Ever since September 11, 2001, I believe Bush has put the United States in trouble. Although the suspected terrorists behind 9/11 lived in Afghanistan, Bush sent U.S. troops to Iraq. They were deployed because President Bush led our country to believe that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction, which the U.S. military has yet to find. But most people know the real reason why troops are over there in Iraq. It’s all about getting that oil. Have you every seen Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11. If you haven’t, the film tells, what I believe is the truth about September 11th and the War in Iraq. If you watched that film, then you were just as mad as I was.

I believe President Bush is leading this country into poverty. The War in Iraq is bleeding us dry. When too much money leaves the country prices tend to go up. If prices go up that means you can’t afford to buy those new LeBron shoes or Chris Brown’s new CD. When Bill Clinton was president he reduced the deficit (the debt owed by the U.S.) and even created a surplus of $237 billion. Then, President Bush got his hands on the surplus spending most of it on the war and giving the wealthy tax cuts. Now the U.S. has a deficit of about $9 trillion instead of the surplus. That’s the largest deficit in the history of the United States. Yeah, that was a bright idea. Leave the poor to pay more taxes.


I believe President Bush should be impeached. If we aren’t careful, Bush could take this country backwards causing another Great Depression by wasting the taxpayer’s money on the war in Iraq. Since I’m a material girl, the Great Depression just cannot happen again. Well, it’s President Bush’s last semester in the White House. After carefully looking over his actions and work, Bush’s final grade is a big fat F. Class is dismissed.

veryone is wondering, what is “Do Something or Become Nothing?” It means that we as youth have to get involved with our future. For us, the upcoming presidential election is the most important election in US History. With an estimated two trillion dollars already spent on this unnecessary war; programs, financial aid and many other benefits that we take for granted, will soon come to an end if we don’t take a stand and let our government officials know that we care about our future. Graphic Design by Ahmed Davis Photo by Travis Houze

In this issue, we’ve prepared the following special section to give you information on the democratic presidential candidates. It includes a first-hand report on the All-American Democratic Presidential Forum at Howard University moderated by Tavis Smiley, a great contributor to the African-American community. Later this year, we’ll be reporting on the Republican candidates. Everyone has to get involved. That means that we have to take a strong interest in this upcoming election by finding out about the candidates and then asking tough questions about their promises to make a better future for us—even as a pricey six-year war still rages. Counting on the American government is not going to get us anywhere if we don’t take a stand! We hope that after reading this section you will be inspired to take a stand with us. Yours in Journalism,

Dexter Williams Editor-In-Chief

Flonora Merritt is a 17- year-old senior honor roll student at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

FThe War in Iraq F Economy AVacation  Fall 2007 RATED-T

Fall 2007 RATED-T 

So Much to Say In so Little Time

Rated-T Reports on The Tavis Smiley All-American Presidential Forum By Cheyenne Glen / Graphic Design by Dexter Williams

The Traditional Candidate

FNN Students Travis Houze, Cheyenne Glen and KameishaHodge with Tavis Smiley June 28, 2007 WASHINGTON DC—Not too long ago, eight United States Democratic presidential candidates gathered from across the country in Howard University’s Crampton Auditorium to discuss key issues faced by Black America. Aired publicly on PBS and moderated by Tavis Smiley, the All-American Presidential Forum covered a wide range of issues from education to healthcare to Katrina relief inspired by the #1 New York Times Best-sellers list, Covenant With Black America. Starting off lightly with a few jokes and appearances by influential minorities, the forum quickly assumed a serious tone when Smiley, the editor of Covenant With Black America, began the debate by saying “You can’t lead people if you don’t love and you can’t save people if you don’t serve,” before presenting questions from a panel of African-American journalists. While many candidates took his words to heart, it appeared that others took it with a grain of salt by simply ignoring the question and moving on to another topic. It was in this forum that America discovered who was really up to the task of leading such a diverse country, and it was easy to develop an opinion from the responses to the first question asked by Crecilla Cohen Scott, the Tom Joyner Morning Show contest winner from Bowie, Maryland. “In 1903, the noted intellectual, W.E.B. DuBois said, ‘The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.’ Is race still the most intractable issue in America and especially, I might add, in light of today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision which struck down the use of race as a factor in K through 12?” “It is abundantly clear, especially today, that race and racism are defining challenges not only in the United States, but around the world. We have made progress,” Senator Hilary Clinton (D.NY) said in response. Former Senator, Mike Gravel (D.AK) however,

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had a different approach to America’s race issue; one that many would argue was completely unrelated. “Let me add that racism was here with us at the beginning of this country. It was here in the last century and it’s going to be with us in the twenty-first century. One of the areas that touches me the most and enrages me the most is our war on drugs that this country has been putting forth for the last generation.” Gravel referenced drugs and how they are harming our inner-cities and the American public as a whole. All of the candidates seemed to note that racism was a problem in the country, but no one offered a solution. When the issue of education came up, many of the candidates agreed that children should start school by the time they are 4 years old. But, that’s not all of the candidates had to say about education. “The key to a good education is to pay our teachers and have accountability,” stated Governor Bill Richardson (D.NM). Senator Barack Obama (D.IL) saw things from a different perspective. “We’re going to have to put more money into after-school activities,” the Illinois Senator commented. “We need someone in the White House who’s going to recognize these children as their own.” Gravel blamed America’s education issues on the war in Iraq, stating that “21 million Americans could have a four-year college scholarship for the money we’ve been squandering in Iraq.” By the end of the forum, the talking time was reduced from one minute to 15 seconds. The candidates had so much to say about the issues in a limited amount of time. Was it enough to end the Republican presidencies? Can the Republican candidates compete when the Democrats had so much to say in so little time? The best way to find out is to catch the Republican forum on September 27, 2007, held at Morgan State University. Cheyenne Glenn, a 2007 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy, will be attending Ohio University this fall.

by Flonora Merritt

Graphic Design by Dexter Williams

John Edwards represents the typical white Democratic

U.S. Senator running for President. He’s what you call a traditional candidate. Edwards has the same ideas and thoughts as other traditional Presidential candidates. He talks to the people with confidence using his big Southern accent. He makes inspiring speeches and promises to the voters. Edwards is a very experienced candidate. In the 2004 election Edwards was John Kerry’s running mate. But will his experience be enough to guarantee Edwards a victory? Take a look at who he is up against in the Democratic primary: a white woman, two minorities and a nontraditional white guy. These candidates represent change in the modern age. Edwards is lucky enough to be a candidate right now. Let’s face it. America is done with the traditional candidates. You know, the old guys with the same ideas that never work. It’s not fitting in this day and age. Sadly, all Edwards can be is a traditional candidate. Don’t get me wrong. Edwards is a good guy. When Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, Edwards organized a group of college students to help clean up the mess down there. The guy is more than humble, but most people don’t see him as president. Sure the guy takes action when needed, but does he have the ability to come up with new ideas to solve all the country’s problems? Of course not. None of the traditional candidates have that ability. They continue to roll out the ideas of the old presidents which don’t seem to work. With the nontraditional

candidates you get fresh ideas and better solutions. Edwards is very aware of all the issues but seems to have a hard time finding permanent solutions to the nation’s problems. Edwards does focus strongly on hard-hitting issues, like healthcare. He is very determined to make sure that every person in America has health insurance. Edwards also cares about youth. He wants to protect them from HIV/AIDS by offering sex education classes in more schools. Edwards wants to eliminate poverty in America as well as increase middle-class wages to help middle-class families. Edwards is that kind of guy. It all sounds great, but can he deliver on his promises? In every election we hear the same things but little is done to make things possible. The voters don’t want to hear about the same empty promises. They want to hear effective plans to solve problems, not just the problems themselves. It’s not Edwards fault. He was just born in the wrong decade. If Edwards was running against Nixon he might have a chance to win. Back then his ideas weren’t as out-of-date as they are now. Nowadays his ideas seem to be a copy of something that already exists. I believe the American voters want something new and historical. Voters today are ready for change. Sorry Edwards, it just isn’t your decade.

Flonora Maerritt, is a senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Bill Richardson

He’s short on height but tall on issues


Radical Dennis Kucinich

The Day America Saw Change Written by Dexter Williams Graphic Design by Flonora Merritt


t’s a revolution! One’s thought of America is instantly changed when New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson enters the presidential race with a strong chance of winning.

Governor Richardson is a man for the people. His record is untouchable. From releasing American hostages to persuading evil dictators to step down, he has earned a great deal of respect and most importantly the faith of countless people. What’s more interesting about the Governor is that he made these great contributions to the country as a U.S. congressman. Imagine what he could do as President of the United States. During the First All American Democratic Presidential Forum on PBS, even though Richardson seemed a little slow in his responses to some of the questions, his ideas about various issues are captivating. When Crecilla Scott, the Tom Joyner Morning Show listener who won the right to submit the first question, asked the eight candidates if race was still a major issue in the country, Richardson said, “Leading on the issues of race is about being authentic, about speaking honestly. Race is a major issue in this country and the next president has to talk about it.

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Race is not just passing new laws. Race is not just naming solid Supreme Court justices. Race is also dealing with the bigotry and racism that exists in this country.” From his response, it’s clearly understood that he has the mindset to revolutionize the country by encouraging unity and living the dream that the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought so hard for. One of the most fascinating things about Bill Richardson is that his candidacy is historic. This is the first election in which a minority presidential hopeful will have the same opportunity to become President of the United States as a “John Kerry”. Governor Richardson’s record as a U.S. congressman, New Mexico Governor and Secretary of Energy is outstanding. Just as he has done great things for the state of New Mexico as governor, I believe that he will bring the same compassion, loyalty and dedication to America as President of the United States.

Dexter Williams, a 2007 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy, will be attending the University of Pittsburgh this Fall.

Written and Designed by John Ugorji


orn in 1946 with a passion for politics, Dennis Kucinich entered politics at age 23, becoming the youngest elected mayor of a major city—Cleveland. Now, at age 60, Kucinich is running in the upcoming presidential election along with great potential presidents Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama. With experience as a U.S. congressman, Ohio state senator, mayor and council member of Cleveland, Congressman Dennis Kucinich has the knowledge and credentials to become the next president of the United States. After the first All-American Democratic Presidential Forum held at Howard University on June 28, 2007, people began to pay more attention to Kucinich because of his responses which included plans to improve Black America and America as a whole. Although Kucinich may not look presidential (standing as the shortest candidate in the 2008 presidential campaign), in truth his ideas on issues affecting the African American Community are important and relevant. As one online source stated “He’s short on height but tall on issues.” During the AllAmerican Presidential Forum, Kucinich had well thought out responses and solutions to all the questions, including questions dealing with race in 21st Century America, AIDS epidemic, and the crisis in Darfur. When a question was posed on race in 21st Century America, Kucinich pointed out an important fact, stating that the disparity in education needs to be eliminated starting with the earliest stage of school. He firmly stated that the resources being spent in the military and the war in Iraq need to be eliminated and instead be used to build up and assure that every child have

access to a quality college education. His focus on disparities in education shows how much he cares for the children in the United States of America. Kucinich’s responded to a question on the AIDS epidemic in the United States by stating, “We need to understand that the ability of our public schools to be able to communicate sex education as a priority at the early age helps children understand the consequences of their actions.” Again he considers American children and students by proposing that schools try harder to communicate information about outcomes based on the decisions they make. With time running out during the All American Democratic Presidential Forum, Kucinich faced a question on the crisis in Darfur. With only 15 seconds to respond, Kucinich stayed calm and answered effectively and truthfully by saying “It’s time for the United States to stop looking at Africa as a place where our corporations can exploit the people. I mean, let’s face it. If Darfur had a large supply of oil, this administration would be occupying it right now.” He was direct and confident. I believe Congressman Dennis Kucinich has shown America that he is one of the top dogs in this year’s presidential campaign. He has the required experience, dedication, supporters and a great wife to support him. All he needs is the vote from America to win this election. John Ugorji, a 2007 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and Posse Scholarship winner will attend Sewanee: the University of the South this Fall.

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Barack Obama


Hillary Clinton Influential

The Right Fix: The Start of Something New By India Hay


he Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama,

is the first African American to have a great chance of winning the 2008 presidential election. He has dedicated his life to being a civil rights attorney, a leader in the state of Illinois and a community organizer. Obama is definitely working to accomplish great things for this country. In the Senate, Obama serves on numerous committees such as the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which provides veterans with the services and care that they deserve; the Environmental and Public Works Committee, which preserves our environment and provides funding for our highways; and the Foreign Relations Committee, which plays a fundamental role in determining American policy around the world and in Iraq. I am a true fan of Senator Obama, but I was disappointed by Obama’s performance at the June 28th, 2007 Democratic Presidential Forum at Howard University. During this forum, the eight presidential candidates had the opportunity to explain their views on HIV/AIDS, education, healthcare and affordable housing. Senator Obama really let me, and I believe many of his other supporters, down when he did not give clear responses to questions on the issues. The only African American in the race, mind you, he should have conveyed knowledge concerning the issues that affect his people. Although I believe this might have been a minor set-back for Obama, I still believe he has a

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Graphic design by Flonora Merritt

chance to win this election because he has a lot of great ideas in regards to changing America for the better. In his RaceAgainst-Time AIDS Day Speech, he made it known that when we repeatedly hear the statistics about people who have AIDS, it can numb. He said that there needs to be a change in hearts, minds, cultures and attitudes. “It is a test not only of our willingness to respond, but our ability to look past the artificial divisions and debates that have often shaped that response.” In a speech on the flawed Hurricane Katrina Child Assistance Amendment, he boldly criticized the Republican’s failed policies by stating, “ The amendment achieves two goals. First, it helps keep a promise the President made to rebuild the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Secondly, in a $70 million bill laden with tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected, it sets aside less than one percent for the neediest in our society.” In the race for president, Senator Barack Obama is a strong competitor. He has a great vision for this country and the people who reside in it. He has good ideas and if he had the opportunity to put them into play as our president, I believe we would be better off. Senator Obama is truly the start of something new. India Hay is a 15-year-old junior at School Without Walls. She is also a member of the Honor Society. Flonora Merritt is a senior honor roll student at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

A Candidate Prescribed for America by Kameisha Jerae Hodge graphic design by Flonora Merritt


n June 28, 2007, eight Democratic candidates vied for African American support at the PBS AllAmerican Presidential Forum at Howard University in Washington, DC (candidates included Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Christopher Dodd, and Joe Biden; former senators John Edwards and Mike Gravel; and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson). During the forum, Obama revealed his proposed solutions to a few of the problems that plague Black America. However, after noticing that his ability to creatively think on his feet and give his usual intellectually stimulating responses were far below what I expected, I decided to be open to other candidates’ opinions and replies. Quick! What is the solution to the war in Iraq, the high school drop-out rate in America, Hurricane Katrina, environmental racism and the HIV/AIDS emergency? Is the answer former First Lady Hillary Clinton? Can a woman undo the tragic downfall that I feel the US is currently experiencing? During the forum, Senator Clinton was “right on” to acknowledge that race and racism is still a problem in America; also agreeing that in regards to education “the US has failed as a village” and in comparison to the other topics given, there is no issue more important. As far as the HIV/AIDS epidemic spreading across our nation, she actually recognized that “if HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be a tremendous outcry in this country.” She is presently working to pass the Ryan White law, which is the nation’s largest HIV-specific federal grant program and a critical source of care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. She is also trying to get Medicaid (government aid) to cover all HIV and AIDS treatments.

Concerning the flawed criminal justice system in America, she first suggests tackling racial profiling. In addition, Senator Clinton wants to create drug courts for non-violent offenders instead of sending them to federal courts to be sentenced to hard time. But, what really caught my attention was her strong opposition to the genocide in Darfur when she said “…move the peacekeepers so that finally the United Nations and the African Union can go into Sudan as soon as possible…” and “we should make it very clear to the government in Khartoum that we’re putting up a no-fly zone. If they fly into it, we will shoot down their planes. It’s the only way to get their attention.” Her statements both shocked and amazed me all at once, establishing her as a righteous humanitarian who is willing to take a stand against injustice. Not only did Senator Clinton keep my attention during the forum, but she also focused her attention—as did the other candidates —on those issues that directly affect African Americans. There was an obvious difference between the delivery of Clinton’s arguments and the others...she spoke passionately, remained sincere and effectively answered each question with precision and conviction. Maybe there’s something about those Clinton’s being in office because something about them just…works. Just like her husband, Hillary is an excellent presidential candidate. Could she be just what the doctor ordered—just what America needs?

Kameisha Jerae Hodge, a 2007 graduate and Posse Scholar from Friendship Collegiate Academy, will be attending Lafayette College this fall.

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To Vote Or Not To Vote? That Is The Question Written by Cheyenne Glenn


his past summer, I attended seminar on the freedoms expressed in this culture through movies and books. What I got out of it wasn’t what I was expected. Dr. Mario Villarreal-Diaz, an Economy Professor at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, in Mexico lectured us on how economics might influence the freedoms offered by our country. When he told us that economically it was impractical to vote, I found myself scratching my head, and wondering how something that is promoted so intensely in this country could be a waste of time. According to Dr.Villarreal-Diaz, the way economists see the world is simple. Choices are based on opportunity cost, or what you could lose. Based on how much you lose, you make a choice, and of course, you would choose the option that would allow you to sacrifice less. His reasoning behind this economic theory is that the time you spend researching candidates and registering to vote for an election might be spent doing something else more rewarding. Now, if you get some sort of overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, the theory is complicated and there is a chance that voting is practical. But based on the idea that your vote alone will change the outcome of an election, your time would be better spent doing something else, or at least that’s how the theory goes. While this opinion didn’t sit too well with me, I did find someone who agreed with the pointlessness of voting. “ I feel that my vote doesn’t really count. It doesn’t really matter. That incident with those hanging chads during the Bush campaign was the icing on the cake. That mere crock-of-bull excuse to throw away the people’s votes reinforced my distrust for

My Trip to the

Lincoln Memorial! by Paulette Lewis

Graphic Design by John Ugorji

political figures and their minions. It tells me that our opinions don’t really matter,” says Kameisha Hodge, a rising freshman at Lafayette College. While she does have a point, what happens if the whole country thinks that way and no one votes? Apparently, the chances of that are so slim that even if a few people were affected by this economic theory, the repercussions would barely put a dent in the already voting public. The people I spoke with seemed to agree. “If you don’t protect your interests by stepping up to vote, all the changes that you think still need to occur will definitely not happen,” Marilyn Kaufman, a journalistic mentor to the students of Friendship Collegiate Academy said, when I asked her about the topic. This reaction wasn’t limited to adults. The youth, seen as the demographic least likely to vote, seemed to agree with her. “ It’s my right and I want a say as to who is put in office to control the country. If you don’t voice your opinion, then do you really have a voice? What is the point of minorities not voting when our ancestors fought to get the right? To vote is to let your voices be heard, not voting is a slap-in-the-face to our ancestors—who fought for us to have the right,” says Shardé Curley, a rising freshman at Trinity College. With all of these opinions flying around, how do you decide? To vote or not to vote? That is the question. Cheyenne Glenn is a 2007 gradute of Friendship Collegiate Academy, and a rising freshman at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. John Ugorji is a 2007 gradute of Friendship Collegiate Academy, and a rising freshman at Sewanee, University of the South.

Photo by Travis Houze

Last year, my fifth grade class went on a unique field trip to The Lincoln Memorial. We were there to recite the speech, “I Have A Dream.” We practiced for weeks and maybe months just for those five minutes. When we got there, it wasn’t what we expected. As we were walking towards the memorial, we looked down at our feet and saw a reflecting pool. We thought that it would be fresh, neat and maybe full of water. We looked down and saw that the reflecting pool (where the people had stood in 1969 watching the brave and courageous Dr. King make that bold and full-of-good-information speech) was full of trash, birds and food. The birds were eating the trash that people had thrown into the pool. We were not going to let that bring us down. Even though we were sad and disappointed when we saw the reflecting pool, we were going to do exactly what we came to do. We took a deep breath and recited the speech just like Martin Luther King Jr. himself. While we were reciting the famous poem, my teacher stood on the side recording the whole thing so she could show it to our parents at the parent-teacher conference. After we recited the poem, we received a standing ovation from the people that came to see the Lincoln Memorial. When I saw the trash in the pool I felt mad and started thinking about how Dr. King would feel. I thought he would start feeling mad and disappointed. But, that’s just me! It was so fun and so educational that I would like to do it all over again!

Paulette Lewis is a 7th grade student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. Travis Houze is a senior at Hyde Leadership Academy

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ERACISM The September 20th, 2007 Rally for the Jena 6 at the U.S. Capitol Article by Tornesha Bradley Commentary by Chantell Leak


n September 20, 2007 a rally was held in the park across from the U.S. Capitol in support of the Jena 6: Mychal Bell, Robert Bailey, Jr., Carwyn Jones, Theo Shaw, Bryant Purvis and one unidentified minor-all unjustly charged with attempted murder for what amounted to a schoolyard fight. Both adults and young children came together to demand justice for these 6 African American students from LaSalle Parish High School in Jena, Louisiana…a town of 3,000 (85% white, 2% black). It all started last fall, when a black student asked if he could sit under a tree whose shade had been for white students only. Even though campus officials approved, the action triggered a series of events that eventually lead to the unjust conviction of the Jena 6. The next day three nooses were hanging. Three white students were identified as having hung the nooses on the tree stating it was a prank, not a threat. Even though it was clearly a hate crime, the school superintendent suspended them for only three days. Then fights broke out between black and white students. And an unknown arsonist set fire to the central wing of the school in November. Then when Robert Bailey, an African American student at LaSalle Parish High School attended a school party, he was beaten up by a group of white students. The students were charged with simple battery. Another young white man pulled a shotgun on three black students outside a convenience store. In self-defense, the black students were able to wrestle the gun from the young man. However, the black students were charged with assault against the white male who had pulled out the shotgun. The next day, a group of black students at the high school allegedly jumped a white student on his way out of the gym. LaSalle Parish

District attorney, Reed Walter charged the six black students with attempted murder and other offenses. Mind you, the young man who pulled the shotgun at the convenience store wasn’t charged with any crime at all. But Mychal Bell, one of the six African American students who allegedly jumped the white student was sentenced to 22 years in prison. The great injustice of the sentencing for what was essentially a schoolyard fight lead to an outpouring of support from around the world to stop social injustice. As one of the attendees at the September 20 rally, a young man who worked at a local barbershop stated, ‘‘many of our youth are looking for that someone to give them a sense of direction.’’ Another young man who had been part of the Million Man March Committee suggested that there should be less police brutality and more money for community centers and education. One of the speakers at the rally expressed that this schoolyard fight should have triggered nothing more than some writing in the newspaper. Now people around the world are fighting against racial injustice. The Jena 6 represents a call to action. This rally affected many people including me, a senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington DC. I wouldn’t want to be charged with an unfair ruling because of the color of my skin. To help the Jena 6, go to and sign the petition asking Governor Blanco of Louisiana to intervene and District Attorney Reed Walter to enforce the law fairly. You can also donate money for their legal defense at that website.

Photos and Graphic Design by Shaquanda Noble

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or a year now, the Jena 6 issue has rattled us down to our souls. On September 20, 2007, Mychal Bell was due for his sentencing. In support, there was a rally at the Capitol. People dressed in black, pumping fists into the air chanted, “Free the Jena Six! Free the Jena Six!” and “Enough is enough!” Unity wrapped her arms around us, bringing us closer than we’ve been in a long time. I interviewed West Virginian Caroline Tyler who stated she felt that we as a black people, “especially our young black men,” are many times targeted for crimes we didn’t commit. She felt that there is an anger that flows from us, “through our kids and into the schools” where events like this are likely to take place. Saddened with the thought that racism is still so prevalent, she was there to support the Jena Six and to ensure that her kids have a future in which they don’t have to worry about hate crimes. Strength permeated the air like a vitamin to keep us going strong. Kris Natesan from the Community of Hope AME Baptist Church was one of the speakers. The crowd cheered as he spoke, “We need true recognition of what happened,” and “People got to take action. .” When asked what effects this will have on teens, he said, “It depends on what happens. If we come out on top, our children can use it as a learning block. However, if Mychal Bell is convicted then it sends negative messages. We need a positive outcome.” It pays to be involved. Nothing’s going to happen if we are silent. We must speak up about what’s going on and that’s exactly what we did at the rally. Common sense and truth flowed through the speakers in the form of poetry, song and chants. Even the teenagers had things to say about the Jena Six issue. Seventeen-year-old Rick Lane stated, “It’s a movement. It feels good.” “It’s crazy.

It’s not fair,” said Antoneice Long, 15. “We need to support the boys down there because what happened to them is not fair. I just thank God it’s not at my school.” I believe everyone would agree with Antoneice. Because, it could have been one of us. Chase McCain from Baltimore told me that he goes to a predominantly white school where he and his little brother, Jordan experience racism all the time, but nothing this extreme. “My mom teaches me about racism and and how it affects our lives,” Jordan yelled over the excited crowd. Their mother, Darlene McCain brought them out to the rally to get them involved. “Enough is enough. If we don’t fight now, who’s gonna fight for us?” she said with assertiveness and determination in her voice. If we don’t stop this now, who is going to fight for us? We can’t depend on anyone but ourselves. Look at what has happened. People who are charged with our protection can’t even be trusted. The school superintendent in Jena, Lousiana was supposed to ensure that his students have a safe and secure environment in which to learn. Instead six of them are behind bars where they await unjust and unrighteous trials that shouldn’t be. We have come too far to be sent back fifty years because of a ‘youthful stunt’. There was nothing youthfully playful about three nooses hanging from a tree. That is a hate crime! Who would have known that racism was still running rampant to such a degree? And it took the Jena Six to get it back in the public consciousness. Now that we’ve taken it this far, it’s up to us to take it the whole nine yards and put a stop to it. No, we can’t change people and how they are, but we can ensure that hate crimes are punished as hate crimes, that shoes aren’t seen as deadly weapons and that the Jena Six are free. Tornesha Bradley, Chantell Leak and Shaquanda Noble are all students at Woodson Collegiate Academy.

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By Javae D. Valentine

Headline and Graphic Design by Karlton Chapman, Flonora Merritt, and John Ugorji

Giving Thanks to

My Ancestors: I’s Be Pickin’ Cotton If They Never Saved Me

My name is Javae Valentine and I am twelve years old. Ever since the

first grade I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I have no doubt that I will be a lawyer, but I would not have that opportunity if it were not for the African Americans that came before me. Becoming a lawyer will be a hard road to travel, but it is possible because of those wonderful people. But, if they had not done what they did, this is what my life would have been like…

April 5th 2005. I am 10 years old. My world is not the place you would want to live in. White people still don’t give us strong African Americans the respect we deserve. I have dreams of being a successful lawyer but it’s never going to happen if no one stands up to the whites. I can’t do anything to save lots of people from November 12th 2007. I’m 13 years old. My brother came back being beaten, terrorized and most of all…degraded. It hurts to home last year. He told us what happened it was know that people would treat people of a differso bad. I am just happy he is back… ent race like animals. The Constitution says we are supposed to be free, but this is not free. This is wrong. We are people too That is what my life would have been Let us all hope but we are treated badly because like if all of the people who believed that the dark clouds of the color of our skin. God we were being mistreated did not made us dark but that’s of racial prejudice will soon fight for us. But thanks to them not a reason to be treated this is what my life is really pass away and that the deep fog of badly. Right now no one like. I want to be a lawyer misunderstanding will be lifted from can help us. I wish…someand I will be one. I am smart, one needs to stand-up for our fear-drenched communities, and devoted, and I will not be told us… but it won’t happen. I cannot do something. I have in some not too distant tomorrow the When I grow up I will have been getting A’s and B’s so I radiant stars of love and brotherhood a nice job as a maid. can get a scholarship to NYU. I will be a successful. It is great to know if I put my mind to This is what my life would doing something, I can do it. have been like if all the brave There is a world of opportunity people had not fought for what they Martin Luther King, Jr. out there and I am a plane that can fly believed in. I believe Black History is everywhere and do anything. My mom is a Letter from Birmingham Jail important because it shows that anyone can court reporter and she is successful all because overcome adversities. People like Martin Luther she worked hard. In the past, many people talked King, Rosa Parks and others made this world a better about how African American people were not smart place to live in. Even though everyone in Black History but we proved them wrong. African Americans are smart was not famous there are people who helped make other people’s dreams posand determined and so am I. sible. But if it those people did not do this is what I think life would be like…

will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

I want to be a lawyer! I do not want to have to clean up behind people who could easily clean up their own house. I cannot live like this I do not want my kids to have to be maids because no one thinks we are smart enough to have a job that does not involve cleaning somebody’s house. I do not want be treated like nothing. April 8th 2005. It is my 11th birthday. Yesterday the police hosed down some teens who were protesting. I want to be able to speak my mind and not be punished for it. It is wrong. My mom says I will soon have a better life but what does she know. She has

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been telling me that for years now. She works on a plantation like some kind of animal. Policemen killed my dad last week but I’m not sad. He was protesting. He was being brave. Police are not supposed to kill people for no reason. I wish he had been here on my birthday. I told my friend what happened. She was upset too because she is like my sister but she was excited about me turning 11. I am not that excited. It’s not like I’m doing something special. My family has no money and my dad is gone. My brother was arrested last weekend for looking at a white girl. He never came back. Now my mom is more interested in his safety than in my birthday. I’m not saying I do not care, but I want my mom to care about me too.

I know you can tell the difference between what life would be like if people did not stand-up and be counted and life after we were really free. Black History means a lot. I think Black History is important and everyone needs to know about it because it has had a great impact on African American society. Ever since I was in the first grade I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I have no doubt that I will be a lawyer and because of strong African Americans, I have a chance to achieve my goal.

Javae Valentine is a 7th grade student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

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Rated-T Interviews South African Teens Written by Doneisha Smith

Designed by Shaquanda Noble


n Friday October 27, 2006 we took a trip to the UN Foundation to interview a group of teenagers from the Nekkies Township in South Africa. We were very excited to learn about them and they were also excited to learn about us. I was personally very excited about the interview and didn’t really know what to expect. I really didn’t know how we were going to talk to them because they were so far away in South Africa. As we began the interview, the sound of their voices was more intelligent Students in Nekkies Township, South Africa talked on the phone with Rated-T reporter, Doneisha Smith about their program, ‘’Mad About Art’’ and what its like to be a teen in South Africa. than I thought. As we talked, Photo compliments of Maital Guttman and the Mad About Art students. we noticed that we do some of the same things that they do, although it seemed as though they took things a little more seriously than we did in the US. They seemed to value their education much more than we did. They also seemed to be more involved in their communities. They told us about some of the things they did for fun, and we did the same. Even though we were from two different parts of the world, we noticed we had alot in common. They go to a program everyday called Mad About Art. In Mad About Art, they focus on the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa. Mad About Art is an after school program that helps children grow stronger and make positive choices for their future. You can visit their website at One of their projects is called The Rainbow of Hope. The Rainbow of Hope tells a story about what it’s like to live with HIV. It gives hope to those who have been infected and affected. In 2006, they visited London to present the Rainbow of Hope on World Aids Day. It was a good experience to talk on the phone to teens my own age who live in a different part of the world. I think it is good to see kids trying to make a difference in the world. I believe children should get involved to help change the world. There’s a lot going on in the world, and maybe if children played a bigger part, some of the things that are going on now wouldn’t be going on.

FIJI ...It’s a wonderful place to spend time and even help out the community, which is why the students of Friendship News Network along with the Leadership Team from Friendship Public Charter School went to the Fiji Islands to help out the Fijians. By teaching kids, painting schools and building a nursing station in the villages we met new friends, saw new things, and spent time with the Fijians. We learned about and picked up new skills as the trip progressed. Everything from the blue water, the crashing waves, and new friends made Fiji the best place ever. With that said, this portion of the magazine is dedicated to the experiences and fun the seven students from Friendship Collegiate Academy had on the wonderful island of Vitu Levi in Fiji. -Ahmed Davis

This picture was taken of Ben, a local Fijian and friend of the FPCS

students at Momi in Fiji. Momi is a beautiful place to veiw the sunset, which is what we did.

Photography and graphic design by Ahmed Davis

Doneisha Smith is a 2007 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy and is attending Montgomery College this fall.

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The Friendly People of Fiji Fiji…it’s a very homey place where living is not a problem. One thing I can really say about Fiji is that the people are so nice. You have to visit Fiji just for that one reason.When we got to the island, the staff of Rustic Pathways, our tour company, greeted us. We also met some new Fijian friends who we spent our entire time with.


We spent some of our time with Annie, the keeper of the nicely built lodge where we stayed. Below was a nice field where we played rugby, soccer and enjoyed the stars above at night. At the lodge we enjoyed meals, which our Fijian friends cooked for us. Their hospitality was to die for. On several days we went to do community service projects in villages where the villagers greeted us with Cava, a ceremonial drink and the other cultural welcomings. They were very friendly, talking to us, giving us tours and sharing the cava. We learned that the Fijians are a very nice and homey group of people who are easy to get along with and also have fun with. With the bustling market places and the friendly people, I would love to live there the rest of my life and enjoy the amazing sun and stars that shine down on the Fiji Islands. Fiji is just a wonderful place to be. - Ahmed Davis


....(hello). When we first arrived at our base house in Fiji, I didn’t know what to think, because it was so nice. I unpacked my bag and went around to see the interesting things about it. It had a swimming pool, a pool table and a ping-pong table. On the first night, everyone got in the pool to play around. One night, the Fijian people had a Cava ceremony to invite use to the base house and to have a wonderful time while we were there. (Cava is a drink from a root that Fijians grow, used for a ceremony to bring people together). At the base house we had the nicest house manager, Anna. She had a little girl named Joy. One night some Fijians came and danced for us. They kept on trying to pull people into the middle of the floor to dance. Some people were shy at first, but eventually they started to dance. Their was a big rugby field at the bottom of the hill. Fijians love to play rugby and soccer. So, almost every evening we played with the people

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who lived in the village across from the field. They also had volleyball net, so we played volleyball too. Every day we had to wake up early in the morning to go out and start our community service projects, but that was ok with us because we were used to waking up early to go to school anyway. While we were at the base house, we decided to go up the road to see the sunset at Momi Guns (a little memorial with guns from World War 2). It was so beautiful just to sit up there and watch the sun go down. After the sun went down, we went back to our base house to associate with other students in the program. One night we had a campfire, where we laughed, sang songs, and drank cava. The flames were burning so hot that I could actually feel them. Some nights we stayed up all night just to talk about the experience of a lifetime. Other days we went to bed early so we could get up in the morning for our community service trips. Overall, I think Fiji is one of the best places in the world, and I would love to call it my home. I had the greatest experience of my life and wish to

go back someday. So, Venaca vaca lue (that’s thank you in Fijian.) -Hassan Pye

What a Day!

The part of the Fiji trip that was most memorable to me was Robinson Crusoe Island. That was the first place we visited when we got to Fiji. Trust me, you didn’t experience beautiful unless you were there. I mean, it looked like a postcard. There was blue ocean, pretty trees, coconuts and a bright sunny day. I thought it couldn’t get any better than that. While on the island we went kayaking, snorkeling, mangrove picking and low-tide running. Low tide running is basically running when the tides are low. So we were in the middle of the ocean, but there was no water. It felt so weird, but in a good way. I didn’t go kayaking but I know the ones who did enjoyed it. Snorkeling was good. I didn’t go into the deep water (I was too afraid), but I did see some pretty fishes. While we were low-tide running, we planted Mangroves as part of our community service. We picked long seeds

from Mangrove trees and then planted them into the ground. The purpose of this is to keep the beach from washing away. We had fun. I wish we could turn back the hands of time so I could experience that day once more. -Dionne Holder

Whole Time I’m on Fiji Time When in Fiji this is the saying you use if you are late or when you are relaxing. Being late is not a big deal in Fiji.

How would you feel if the life you know was altered drastically? When I arrived in Fiji that’s exactly how I felt. This foreign island had a new smell and taste in the atmosphere. When we arrived I breathed a sigh of relief after a 20-hour plane trip. I started to look around the streets and noticed the diverse faces. Even at the airport there was a relaxed feeling. The first thing I noticed was

the language.“Bula!” (meaning hello) as Jhonay, our Fijian guide said happily to me when I met him. Throughout the trip, we visited island villages and beaches but one place that stood out was Andrews’s school where we stopped one day to help teach the students English. A little boy asked me were I was from. I said “A-mer-i-ca” as if I was a foreigner coming to America. Then I noticed the boy had NO SHOES! I asked the boy what his name was. He said, “John”. Then I said mine. He told me that he had to walk about 1-2 miles to school barefoot each day. I thought to myself “that would never be me”. Although I like to “go to school” if I had no shoes, I would probably call in sick at least once a week. As John and I continued talking, he told me that his favorite rapper was Kanye West. I thought how could they get Kanye and not have any shoes. We walked to the field to play Rugby (Fiji’s football). Some of the kids played in bare feet. When the game was over, we walked away and sat down to talk some more. When it was time

to leave, John and I walked over to the bus to say goodbye. As we boarded the bus, John said “Steven you are my hero.” Then I thought, “no John you’re mine.” -Steven Neal Ahmed Davis, Dionne Holder, Steven Neal and Hassan Pye are all sophomores at Woodson Collegiate Academy.

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Sierra Leone Africa Lives Behind The Dia monds —

Photo: © Gary Knight, vii photo.

may receive from working in the diamond mines all day is some food. If a child finds a diamond while In Sierra Leone Africa, poverty is a big issue and the working, which is very rare considering a diamond root to many of the problems. Many families suffer may not be found for months, maybe years, he or she from not being able to have enough money to feed doesn’t receive any money. Sometimes, if a child does their households and make ends meet. Many times find a diamond he or she might get some coins that the children are the ones who take the initiative to go are only equal to about a dollar and fifty cents in US out and work to make money for their families. They turn to the only place they know they can go and make currency. Individual people such as license holders and investors own the diamond mines. Before that they some money—the Diamond Mines. The majority of all owned by a the people in Sierra Leone Children turn to the were company in London, who work in the Diamond but after the war, that only place they know they Mines day and night are children. They work in the can go to make money— changed. These people don’t care personally diamond mines for days the Diamond Mines about the children. Once months and even years trythey get their diamonds ing to get enough money and sell them to make millions, they forget about the to support their families. They don’t live normal lives as children. They are constantly working with no time children’s hard work and effort to find the diamonds for them. These mine owners don’t even give the to go to school or play like children their age in other children ten percent of what they earn from selling parts of the world. Their entire lives are completely the diamonds to big-time people. They go about their dedicated to working in the diamond mines. The business as if they had nothing to do with the sickness, children’s main focus is to work in the mines and injuries and sometimes deaths that the children face make money to support their families, but in reality from working in the mines. They pay no mind and working in the diamond mines does not help their no money to the children and treat them as if families. These children work in the Diamond Mines they weren’t even human. The root to all of for long hours of the day and in the end this is money. -Brittany Jones they get no money. The only thing they

Working Conditions

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Health Conditions

In Sierra Leone there are a lot of health issues that affect the children working in the diamond mines. For example, one of the infestations is hookworms, caused by the children walking barefoot in the mines. The hookworms penetrate through the children’s skin. They also contract other things such as Malaria and Typhoid by walking in the mines where they eat and drink unclean food and water. Some of the infections can be cured, especially Typhoid because we all know that Typhoid is contracted through infected food or water. Some of the children are already sick before they start to work in the mines, but because they are so poor, the families send them off to work in the mines anyway. Then they get sicker and their problems get worse. These infections can be minimized. To prevent these kids from getting sick if they are not already sick, the mine owners could sanitize their entire mining community. Another way to prevent these diseases that affect the children that are already sick, is for the government of Sierra Leone (or anyone else who is willing) to provide a medical facility so that the children can get the treatment. -Myesa Holland

If The Government Of Sierra Leone Is doing Something For The People, What Is It?

I found out that the government of Sierra Leone has concern for the children working in the diamond mines and is trying its best to resolve the problems related to the diamond mines. But they don’t have enough resources to help all the children. The government doesn’t have enough resources simply because no one else is trying to help. The government has set up organizations to help the children with their skills so they will have endurance, a little strength and intelligence so the children will know what to do. Even though I learned in the interview that the government is trying to help the children, I still think that they are not doing enough. -Dominique Olfus

Sexual Abuse

I interviewed Mrs. Hanna Heroe from the Center of Community Youth Empowerment in Sierra Leone, at the Center for Development and Population Activity. I was really concerned about the children forced to work in the

Diamond Mines. I wanted to dig a little deeper into their lives. I wanted to take a look into their personal lives, and when I did I found a variety of different issues affecting them. The issue that really caught my attention was sexual abuse. I know that this problem is going on around the world, but in Sierra Leone it is out of control. I read about fathers watching their young daughters and wives get raped by men and or little boys sometimes as young as twelve years of age. That’s pretty harsh to me. So that’s why I thought Mrs. Heroe from Sierra Leone would be the perfect candidate to interview because her work really focuses on the children in that specific area. I asked her if the children had a place to go to get away from the mistreatment, and if not would a shelter for sexually abused children make a difference? She answered that the children would really prefer somewhere else just to get through the day. Although most of the children are not really forced to work in the Diamond Mines, due to poverty, their parents can’t really support them. So many of the children would like to move from this area but they can’t. Hannah told me that some of the children from the mines come to her program for help. She stated that “Yes, we do have shelters for them, but sometimes that doesn’t always help.” I asked her a question that I thought was very important. ‘’Do the men and boys who abuse these girls, get punished for their actions?” Her response was “Yes they are getting thrown into jail, but not for a long time. The longest time they will get punished for is about two to three months, and when they get out they do the same thing over again.’’ Her answer really touched me and I felt really bad for the children. That interview really made me look at the children who work in the mines differently. I believe the government of Sierra Leone should buckle down a bit more on the punishment. Instead of giving the abuser’s two or three months in jail, they should give them sentences of several years. -Diamond Milan Myesa Holland, Brittany Jones, Dominique Olfus and Diamond Milan are 12th grade students at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Special thanks to Aaron Fishbone of International Debate Education Association, CEDPA and Sierra Leone activist, Mrs Hannah Heroe for the interviews that made this story possible.

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Darfur: Region of Genocide


Your Conscience Is Calling….

n Friday December 8th 2006, FNN interviewed Ibrahiem Adam, and other refugeess from Darfur, Sudan, to find out about how they feel about the genocide and inhumane killing in Darfur. During the interview he talked about his first-hand experience and the political downfalls during the war. He was undisputedly opinionated about what his president should do to help his country. I feel that he is right about everything he said about the inhumane treatment and the brutal killings of innocent people. And why is all of this happening? Because the country is deeply divided. That’s why. The citizens of Darfur (Black Africans) are hated and treated with so much brutality by the Janjaweed (Arabs) that it is sickening. The torturing, the killing, and the separation of families is the Holocaust reborn again in the new century. We need to help the citizens of Darfur who are not lucky enough to afford transportation to get to America or even to feed their young children. This is just like Hotel Rwanda all over again. - Shalayah Thompsom-Bey The situation in Darfur has gotten out of control. Darfur is in Sudan and Sudan is in Africa. The conflict in Darfur began in February 2003. People have been raped and killed. More than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in four years of fighting. This is a horrible genocide affecting the Darfurian people. I think that this is unacceptable. Omar alBashir, the president of Darfur, is doing nothing to stop the killing of his people. He is the villain. It hurts me to know that he would do nothing to help the people that he has sworn to protect. He should help save lives. Even though President Bush is not in Darfur he has the power to get the United Nations to send soldiers. I believe that helping people in Darfur is more important than killing people in Iraq. I also want to say that just because we are young adults, doesn’t mean we can’t do something about the genocide.

Rated-T reporter, Alicia Wade interviews refugees from Darfur Photo by Shaquanda Noble

Tell every one you know to go to to find out what you can do. Help Darfur, please. They need you! -Javae Valentine This genocide has been going on for over 4 years. The crisis in Darfur is caused by the murder of the Black Africans by Arabs called Janjaweed. My opinion about this crisis is that this is not right to kill people who didn’t do anything just because they are not the same religion or race. If the Janjaweed were very religious they would know to respect people the way they want to be respected. I think that the president of Darfur should be trying to HELP his people not trying to hurt them by ignoring the genocide. Even though President Bush isn’t in Darfur he should be helping TOO by going to the United Nations to try to convince them to send soldiers to Darfur to be on patrol. If you were thinking about how to help the citizens of Darfur you can make a contribution by going to http://www. PLEASE help them because it could happen to you. Think about it. Students like us can help the citizens that are living in Darfur by running fundraisers, writing George Bush and spreading the news. - Davaughn Hawkins

Things you can do to help • Raise Money by having fundraisers. • Raise awareness. • write letters to President Bush.

Da’Vaughn Hawkins, Ceyenna Foye, Shalayah Thompson-Bey and Shaquanda Noble are students at Friendship Public Charter School.

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Nothing But Nets T he Fight Aga ins

Written by India Hay and Flonora Merritt Graphic Design by Flonora Merritt




ike it or not, another epidemic on hand. This epidemic is larger than HIV/AIDS itself. I’m talking about Malaria, which is carried by the pesky mosquito. Sure Malaria isn’t so bad in the United States. But, Malaria infects about 500 million people each year worldwide and kills more than one million of those infected. Not to organization has stepped up to the plate, or should I say the hoop. An organization called Nothing But Nets has been raising money as well as awareness to prevent this disease from spreading. Basketball players such as Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls, former NBA star Evan Eschmeyer and Washington Mystics Nakia Sanford and Monique Currie have devoted their spare time to come out to the fundraisers and seminars.

ite uito B s osq

The money is used to buy bed nets. Yes, I said bed nets. Beds nets hang over the bed to keep the mosquitos from biting and giving you Malaria. But why just bed nets? Why not a vaccine for malaria or some bug spray? Well according to Victoria Baxter, Director of the UN Foundation, bug spray can contaminate the water. There is no vaccine, although the vaccine for Malaria is in the works. So for now, bed nets are the best way to prevent the mosquitoes from biting. Plus the bed nets are laced with a bug repellent so when bugs land on the net, they die. It’s very effective. On July 25, 2007, our Rated-T news team went down to United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C. for a Nothing But Nets fundraising event called Hoops on the Hill. Between 11am and 2:30 pm people could go into the alley and play basketball with two of the Washington Mystics Nakia Sanford and Monique Currie plus a former NBA player Evan Eschmeyer. For a donation of $10, people could play their version of PIG, called NET to raise money.

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othing But Nets is a group of hard working people who are fighting to prevent the spread of the fatal disease, Malaria in Africa. Inspired by an article written by Rick Reilly, Nothing but Nets was created. Mr. Reilly challenged the readers of Sports Illustrated to donate $10 each towards the purchase of anti-malaria bed nets (each net costs $10). This was the start of the Nothing But Nets campaign. The Nothing But Nets Foundation has worked with associations such as the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The United Methodist Church and Sports Illustrated to publicize their existence. These partners have made a great impact by raising awareness and funds for this important cause. Amazingly, within only a few months, they raised over 1 million dollars. What is the significance of the nets you ask? Those meaningless nets, in our opinion, are the difference between life and death for the people in Africa. The nets create a protective barrier to repel the mosquitoes that carry the life-threatening disease. The bed net can be hung over a bed or the region where the person is sleeping to completely cover them. Since the mosquitoes usually bite between 10pm and 4am, it is perfect timing for people to sleep and be protected. The Nothing But Nets Foundation has also been able to attract many teenagers from around the world who are dedicated to helping the people of Africa who desperately need all the help that they can get. If there were more teens like them, the world would be a better place. I know that the people of Africa appreciate them and all of their hard work. People, you need to understand. Malaria weakens countries more than you know. It tends to make countries poor. With everyone being sick and dying in countries stricken by Malaria, businesses lose money due to loss in productivity. In Africa they lose about $12 billion a year because the people are too sick to work.

Above: Rated-T Reporter, India Hay interviews a student who participated in Hoops on the Hill, an event to raise money for mosquito netting—the best way to prevent Malaria. Above right: Flonora Merritt interviews Victoria Baxter, director of one of the sponsors of the event, the UN Foundation. Photos by Dexter Williams.

You can help. Go to and make a difference. You can donate money, join the netraiser team or start your own group. You can even download posters, flyers, media advisories, letter to the editors and more to pass out in your neighborhood.

India Hay is a 15-year-old junior at School Without Walls. She is also a member of the honor society. Flonora Merritt is a 17-year-old senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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On a recent interview with Dr. Carol Mussenden I gathered information about the virus

Written and designed by Shaquanda Noble

that hasn’t been widely known. Like all other STD’s, HPV is transmitted sexually, but it is one of the few viruses that can be contracted through the use of a condom. There are many strains of the virus, but there are only four of them that cause cervical cancer. HPV can infect males, but they may have no signs of having the virus. So they can unknowningly pass the virus on to a female. On the other hand, if the disease is passed on to a female, she will definitely notice it. Some strains cause warts in strange places including the genitals. Another strain, “the silent virus” shows no symptoms at all, but can slowly cause abnormal cells to form on the cervix, and eventually cause cervical cancer. Because the virus affects the body very slowly, females can go years without knowing they have contracted it. And by that time, cervical cancer might be present. It doesn’t even take intercourse to contract the virus. Just touching the infected area can cause it. Yes, very sad I know, but you can prevent this by getting the vaccine. And, no, the virus cannot be cured. No virus has a cure. You may take medication to get rid of the symptoms, but you are never cured.

There are several ways the HPV virus can be


o you watch the news? If so, you might have noticed HPV, an issue that is talked about frequently. HPV, the Human Papilloma Virus, is a sexually transmitted disease that in some cases may cause cervical cancer in females. Even though it is a disease that has been present for many years, it has only recently been discovered. Why should you care? Some people fear that this disease might one day become an epidemic like many other STD’s. To prevent this from happening, the government is trying to make it mandatory for females, ages 12 and up to get the vaccine. But, there is a dilemma behind this. Because HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, a great number of parents are against this remedy. They say, “My child isn’t sexually active so she shouldn’t need the vaccine”. The issue isn’t if the child is sexually active, but the fact that they may become active in the future. The vaccine was created to build anti-bodies to fight against the virus.

prevented. The best prevention is abstinence. The vaccine is also a very good candidate. In my opinion, the vaccine should be mandated. Even though some parents are against it for “the present,” I think they should really consider “the future”. If we finally have a chance to prevent something negative from occuruing, why not go for it? Shaquanda Noble a sophmore at Woodson Collegiate Academy would like to become an oncologist. Travis Houze is a senior at Hyde Leadership Academy.

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Dealing with the Defect

by Alicia Weston Photography by Travis Houze

Well, where do I start? First of all, my name is Alicia Weston and I’ve had migraine headaches since I was 5 years old. I never knew why they would start. I could cough, sneeze, think or laugh too hard and I would begin to have a headache. It was so irritating never having enough strength to go out and play with my friends or not being able to turn on the light, listen to music, or eat because I was hearing, light and smell-sensitive. Don’t even get me started on how hard school was because the littlest thing could set off a migraine. I missed countless days of school because of doctor appointments and tests that made it hard to keep up with the other children. Finally, when I turned 14, there was an answer! I was sent to a neurologist at Children’s National Medical Center to have MRI’S and CAT Scans taken. Within hours I was diagnosed with Chiari 1 Malformation. For years I wondered what was wrong with me and within a matter of time, it was that simple! My doctor told my parents it was easy to find because it’s most noticed in adolescences and adults. He told me that Chiari 1 Malformation is caused by the brain stem being to far down into the spine. This causes pressure on the skull. That means that there isn’t enough space around the skull for fluids from the brain to flow. He also told me that the best way to treat it was with a 4-hour surgery in which the skull is shaved so the fluids have enough room to flow correctly. Well, long story short - NO WAY! No one was going anywhere near my skull. After about 30 minutes of trying to convince me to do the surgery, the big BUT came. The surgery was going to be a huge dent in the checkbook. The cost just gave my parents and I another reason to end the conversation with a “no”. Now that time has past, I look back and think about what would have happened if I had the surgery. Would life be different now? How would I feel? I know it’s not too late but every time I strike up enough courage to say yes, I second-guess it and never follow through. So I go on about my days without showing any sign that I’m in pain, never leading on to what’s really happening. Very few people know I have Chiari 1 Malformation because when people do find out they treat me as if I’m an invalid. So I would like to end with a final note to all - if I don’t pity myself, don’t do it for me. Alicia Weston is a freshman at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Travis Houze is a senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Skull illustration:

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• • • •

Chiari 1 Malformation

300,000 people are affect by it every year and 30% of all children born with spinal bifida are also born with a form of Chiari Malformation. Most of which don’t even know they have it. It is stated to be a “rare disease” yet so many are diagnosed with it. A study shows that in over 300 patients, 57% of them with a form of Chiari Malformation suffer from mental or emotional problems. Every year many people undergo a 4-hour surgery that only has an 80% chance of symptom improvement. It also puts an extreme financial hold on victims, especially on ones who don’t know they have it.

• • •

• • • • • • •

Body Parts Affected Cerebellum Spine Sinuses


Severe migraine headaches Dizziness Neck pain Drop attacks Snoring Walking difficulties Weakness in hands, arms, and legs

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The AIDs Epidemic ne in twenty people in Washington DC has HIV and doesn’t know it. This fact gives our city the distinction of having one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. Look around your classroom. Someone in the room, or even YOU, probably has the infection and doesn’t know it. With this in mind, the FNN News team and Ms. Coleman’s first block class decided to report on the epidemic and how it compares to South Africa. They interviewed experts at a Washington Times Forum and at the UN Foundation as well as students in South Africa (see article on page 20). Read about what they found out and then get involved.

What Kind of Help Is Available? On October 14, 2006, a group of students from Friendship Collegiate Academy went to the Washington Times to find out about HIV and AIDS in DC. One of the people they spoke to was Anne Wiseman. What they found out from her was that her organization, Metro TeenAIDS, focuses on young teens in DC and focuses on teaching young people the effects of practicing safe sex. She stated that they work with young people to get the message out about AIDS. Metro TeenAIDS offers free testing to teens, and if the person is positive they will help that person cope with the consequences of that disease. To find out more visit their website at -Keith Morgan

Graphic Design: Alicia Weston

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Is Abstinence an Option? Semi Okonowe works with the pro abstinence group Ultra Teen Choice. They help high school students deal with issues concerning AIDS, pregnancies, and STDs. She also talks to teenagers about what needs to be done to encourage teenagers to practice abstinence until marriage. In terms of the number of AIDS cases in the world, DC ranks number twelve. In Africa there are 29,000,000 people who are infected with the disease. If adults continue to have sex with teens there is more of a chance that AIDS will spread. Semi states that if we could practice abstinence, the AIDS crisis wouldn’t be as high as it is now. That can be true in a way, but you know for a fact that no one can live without having sex. I mean, you can, but you’re always going to have the urge to want to have sex. If the young people want to continue to have sex, they would just have to have sex with that one person. They would have to limit their sex partners. To find out more about this topic go to -Anika Johnson

How Does DC and South Africa Compare? I was interested in finding out about the AIDS epidemic for a school project. Why not choose South Africa? It has the highest number of cases in the world. The curiosities of my questions were answered on August 26, 2006 at the UN Foundation building in Washington DC. I interviewed Melissa Sherer, an international consultant. We met to discuss the conundrums of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and Washington, DC. Ms. Shearer stated that in Washington DC, one out of twenty people are infected with the AIDS virus. In addition, South African statistics show that 5 out of 20 South Africans are infected with the AIDS virus. She answered my questions with accuracy, and she could tell that I did my research by the way I presented my questions. She stated that the safest and surest way to prevent AIDS is by practicing abstinence...stating that you can only trust yourself 100%. The AIDS virus is transmitted through heterosexual sex 80% of the time. So in order to prevent the spread of AIDS, both partners should agree to go for testing. Another provision is to use condoms. But knowing your status is one of the best ways to prevent the epidemic. This is so true because so many people have the AIDS virus and don’t have a clue as to what it is. This is why schools should teach sex education as soon as possible. -Kwame Womack

“ Washington DC, one out of twenty people are infected with the AIDS virus.”

Kwame Womack and Keith Morgan are 12th grade students at Friendship Collegiate Academy. Anika Johnson is a 2007 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy. Alicia Weston is a freshman at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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One in 20 People In DC Has the HIV Virus and Doesn’t Know It.

Eleanor Holmes Norton

GETS TESTED! Reported by Hassan Pye Designed by Shaquanda Noble Photo by Adonis Miller


uring the fall of 2006, FNN reporter Hassan Pye interviewed Eleanor Holmes Norton at a Washington Times forum on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Washington, DC.

GET TESTED! Someone Else’s Future Could Depend on You. Call The Max Robinson Center at 202-678-8877 36 Fall 2007 RATED-T

Hassan: Why did you decide to get tested? Rep. Norton: I took the test as an act of leadership to try to encourage others to be tested because I believe that the epidemic is so bad in the District of Columbia we need every one to come forward. Hassan: What were some of the thoughts going through your mind when you took the test? Rep. Norton: I could think only of the many residents who have AIDS, who don’t know they have it and who I know would get treatment if they took the same test. Hassan: We’re going broadcast this interview on a radio program that reaches teens. What would you like to tell DC area teens about the AIDS epidemic. Rep. Norton: First of all, I hope teens will postpone sex. It’s better to postpone sex. Secondly, I want them to know that we have a teen epidemic and that anybody can have AIDS­— girl or boy— without knowing it. And third, I want to tell them about safe sex with a condom. Without safe sex, several things could happen—one, you could get AIDS; two, you could get pregnant; or three, a boy becomes a father. Or all could happen at the same time. Hassan: If you were infected with HIV how would you think the media would react? Rep. Norton: I think the media is not the problem I think the media has been very very open with AIDS. The problem lies in our community where there’s predjudice— homophobia because people think that if they get tested maybe they will be seen as gay. So the problem lies in ignorance, lack of information and lack of leadership in our own community. Hassan: How would you live the rest of your life if you were HIV positive? EN: The first thing I would do is be treated and secondly, I would feel an obligation to make sure others don’t contract the disease.

Hassan: What are the methods used to administer the HIV test? Rep. Norton: Well it’s an easy test. Its so easy it takes 30 seconds and its virtually 100 percent accurate. We don’t have many tests that are 100 percent. So you can find out in 20 minutes whether you have HIV which is the pre curser to AIDS. And then you can begin to get treated. Hassan: You talked a little about the stigma of HIV and AIDS and how it prevents people from wanting to get tested. How do we get beyond that sort of thing, making it OK to get tested for HIV and AIDS? Rep. Norton: We get beyond the stigma by people stepping forward. People who have made the best case against the stigma are our own folks­—black people and Hispanics who stepped forward to acknowledge that they have AIDS. Then people will recognize that the people who have AIDS are the people just like us. Many of them got it without even knowing it so we have an obligation to make sure that the black leadership collectively erases the stigma attached to any disease and especially AIDS which is eating our community alive as the epidemic spreads here. Hassan: What are some of the stigmas in the black community? Rep. Norton: People are afraid of being seen as homosexual even if they get tested and even if they’re not. Some people have misconceptions about the disease. They lack information and since it’s a disease that they don’t have a lot of information about, they’re afraid that if they are seen to have it, they will be set aside in society and not embraced by their own families, churches or communities. Some of that is true. Sometimes families and communities have ostracized people with AIDS. Increasingly that is not the case. However, some people would seem to rather die than take a test and that certainly is a bad choice.

Hassan Pye, Shaquanda Noble and Adonis Miller are sophmores at Friendship Collegiate Academy.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows In the last and final book of the Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie Reviews by Ceyanne Foye & Randyn Fullard


arry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a die-tosee movie­—the greatest Harry Potter movie yet!! The star of the movie is Daniel Radcliffe, a cute teenage actor. It’s so good that every Harry Potter fan in the United States, Europe and everywhere else will want to see the movie. The movie was awesome with a lot of dueling and lots of drama. And, this movie was nothing like you and your friends thought! It was barely like the book. It was basically about Harry who was possessed by the darkest sorcerer in the wizardry world, YouKnow-Who, also known as Lord Voldemort. One day as Harry and the rest of the school were watching Fred and George Weasley throw down fireworks, Harry felt very dizzy. He had a vision that Voldemort had his godfather, Sirius Black, and Voldemort was torturing him to make him get the prophecy for him. As soon as Harry saw this vision he, Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottum, and Luna Luvegood set out to the Department of Mysteries to find Sirius, but Sirius wasn’t there. To find out what happens, read the book and enjoy!!! -Ceyanne Foye


ust the other day, I went to see the new movie, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. If I were to rate this movie on a scale of one to ten, I would give it a 100. You ask why I would give the Harry Potter film a 100? Because this movie has a great mix of romance and action. I would say that my favorite part was when Harry and his friends went to the Department of Mysteries where bad guys called “Death Eaters” were flying from left to right. The saddest part would have to be when Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, the only family Harry had left, dies when Bellatrix Lestrange, a “Death Eater,”casts a killing spell on him. If I were to compare this movie to all the other Harry Potter films, I would say this movie would be the best yet because in it the characters change personalities. For example, Emma Watson, who plays Hermione Granger, a know-it-all who never thought that breaking the rules is fun, now says that breaking the rules is fun. I also think that this movie is worth seeing again. So all you Harry Potter fans out there, enjoy the movie because I know you will. Peace until next time. -Randyn Fullard Ceyanne Foye and Randyn Fullard are seventh grade honor roll students at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

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series, Harry has a lot on his mind and a lot to deal with. It’s not easy being the “BoyWho-Lived” when it’s you against the world. Now turning seventeen, in the wizarding world, Harry is a full-fledged adult. That means all spells that once protected Harry are now gone and he is now a prime target for Voldemort a.k.a. He-Who-Must-NotBe-Named. Voldemort and his followers, called Death Eaters, are in high pursuit of Harry. But Harry and his loyal friends, Ron and Hermione, are not giving up that easily. The Order of the Phoenix is distraught because keeping the whole world safe, when it’s in a state of emergency, is not as easy as it sounds. However, the wizarding trio, Harry, Ron and Hermione, are off to finish Dumbledore’s work—hunting Horcruxes. As it was stated in the sixth book, Voldemort ripped his soul in seven ways; therefore, creating seven Horcruxes to ensure that he stays alive. So, Harry and his friends are seeking help wherever they can get it because those who were once loyal to Harry are having a difficult time deciding where their loyalties lie. Nobody is sure how to help Harry. Will they suffer the wrath of Voldemort or just swear allegiance to Voldemort to avoid further suffering?

was the sword in which he killed the Basilisk. Ron got Dumbledore’s deluminator, a lighter that can take and store light. Last but not least, Hermione got this book that was a wizard children’s tales. In addition to the items, the trio also learned about the Deathly Hallows, three items that, when put together, could conquer death. Together, these items combined with the trio’s skills are thought to be enough to vanquish the Dark Lord for good, I mean it should, shouldn’t it? I think that this book was the best of the series because it answers all the questions you may have had in previous books. This book is the icing on the cake. After reading this book, I understood why the people who died, died; and why Snape felt the way he felt towards Harry. I believe that this book was the perfect ending to the series. I would never alter this book, nor add another series. I believe that the conclusion definitely makes this book. In every chapter there was ACTION, good ole’ magical ACTION! There’s not much more I can say without spoiling the plot. However, from what I said, you should really read this book. As I always say, “Don’t take anyone else’s word. Pick it up and read the book yourself. Then give your own opinion. Because, remember, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.”

Reading Between the Lines Book Review By Tiara Marshall

Throughout the book, many bad things happened but good came out of it. When Dumbledore died, he left Harry, Ron and Hermione his legacy, which included some of his most prized possessions. Harry got the snitch when he first caught Gryfindor’s sword, which

Tiara Marshall is a sophmore at School Without Walls, as well as a founding member and former editor-inchief of Rated-T.

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The Hottest Websites of 2007

We’re here to inform you about the great websites of 2007 for kids. Remember, all of these websites are safe and secure so teachers and parents don’t have to worry. IMVU: This is the best website ever!! You get to have a 3D character and a 3D homepage. This is a place to find friends but it’s in 3D. It’s the best website of ’07. Rated TTT

YouTube: Oh my gosh, YouTube is THE best place to watch music videos and videos that real people post. It’s so cool!!! Rated TTT Yahoo!: This is the place to be if you want to email friends and hangout. This is also the place where you can get an email address and sign up for different types of things. Rated TTT Candystand: Now, this is the spot where you can go online and play free games that are based on the different types of candy. Rated TT

Hoverspot: Many people don’t know about this website. DO YOU? If not, you should try it out because it’s the place to be. Rated TT

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by Arnasha Jones, Paulette Lewis, Ceyanne Foye, Randyn Fullard and Da’Vaugh Hawkins Editing and graphic design by Arnasha Jones Imeem: Imeem is the greatest place to go get music, videos and pictures. Rated TT Millsberry: On this website you can make your own character and chat with other people. Rated TT Myspace: Myspace is the fun way to chat with your friends and family. It’s also fun place or site to hook up with in your community. Rated TTT Zwinky: This website is mostly about making a character and chatting with other people. Rated TT

Ilike: The website is so cool. You can make your own profile and also go to an artist’s profile and listen to their music. Rated TT Key: T = OK

TT = Good

T T T = Great

Reader’s Rush A Book Review By Chantell Leak

Sugar Rush: Love’s Liberation written by outside of the club, love outstanding author Yolonda D. Coleman is begins to take its course. a must-have. She tells a story of love and They spend most of their time finding what and who makes you truly happy. together and when they are away from each other, In this black fiction novel, they stay in contact through the main character, Darlene e-mail and phone calls. Dolly’s Green affectionately friends have to admit that this was called “Dolly” by family a side of her that they hadn’t and friends has had her seen in a long time. Before and heart ripped out and after Gerald gets teased about served back to her stone his new found love. But neither cold. Her closest friends Dolly nor Gerald care. As jokingly call her “Spider long as they got each other Woman”, referring to the their love will get them through way that she now handles anything. men. And in her defense, I believe this is a good love she reminds her friends story. Yolonda D. Coleman sets that “all a man can do for her book apart from any other me is wine me, dine me, urban fiction novels out there romance me and leave by not including any sex even me alone”. But, who though it is a love story. I also would have thought one believe that it is a good book night could change it all? for teens to read even though Gerald “Blacksax” Washington is this cool it was meant for adults. If you look around we saxaphone playing cat who is mesmerized really don’t have examples of good classic love. by Dolly’s Coleman gives beauty when you that classic he sees love feeling in a her one night story set in the at the jazz 21st century. club where You should really he performs. go out and get the Dolly, who book. It was so A qoute from Dolly in Sugar Rush: Love’s Liberation finds herself good that I read interested in it in 2-1/2 days. I him, engages him in a little note-passing. enjoyed it and I know you will too. This book lives They would leave notes for each other with up to it’s title. You will get a rush! the bartender.With that and a little encounter Happy Readings!!!

“All a man can do for me is wine me, dine me, romance me and leave me alone”

Chantell Leak is a sophmore at Woodson Collegiate Academy

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Harder Than Steel A Review of the Bodies Exhibition Did you know that bones are harder than steel?

Graphic design and editing by Arnasha Jones

Reported by Paulette Lewis Ceyanne Foye Da’Vaughn Hawkins Randyn Fullard


uckle up for an amazing experience because this article will take you on an adventure to Bodies: The Exhibition in Rosslyn VA, a display that shows the inside of real human bodies. And we’ll tell what our Rated-T news team found out when we were there. We will also tell you what we did and didn’t like.

Say The Magic Word

By Randyn Fullard


n May 2, our Rated-T news team went to Barry’s Magic Shop in Wheaton Maryland. When we arrived, we were amazed to see the magic shop’s books, spells and tricks all lined up on shelves. The reason why I choose to do my story on a magic shop is because I am so interested in magic and how to pull off the tricks. I got interested in magic when the first Harry Potter book came out. When we got to the front counter, we met some boys in the shop and they showed us a coin trick. One of the boys bit a coin. When he pulled it out of his mouth, part of the coin had been bitten off. When we arrived, Mr. Barry was busy with his customers. While we waited, we looked around the shop. When it was finally time to meet Mr. Barry, one of my news people, Paulette, volunteered for

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one of the magic tricks. He asked Paulette to pick a card out of his deck and told her not to show him the card. When she gave him the card, he threw it, but it didn’t go anywhere. The surprise came when he told us to look under the chair. We looked under the chair and there was a bigger version of the card. Mr. Barry showed us some other basic magic tricks. We were allowed to buy anything we wanted, so I chose to buy a DVD full of magic tricks so that when I got home and I watched the DVD, I could learn tricks to show my news crew. What I have learned from this experience is that magic will always be real and lots of people all over the world can learn about it.

In the Bodies Exhibition, there is a lot that can be learned about your body. The Exhibition was disgusting, but interesting at the same time. Our Rated-T news team thought the most disgusting parts of the exhibition were male and female private parts, the lungs of a smoking person (they looked slimy and black), and the skin (it looked like a piece of meat). But other things were interesting. For instance, when you want to move your arm, leg or anything in your body, your brain will send a signal though your nervous system to that part of the body to make that part move. We thought the most interesting information we learned was that humans have about 60,000 miles of blood vessels and that muscles give our bodies much of their shape. Other things that were interesting were the models of the blood vessels. We recommend The Bodies Exhibition to all students around the world. We also recommend that schools fly out here to Virginia so they can take a tour. We think that kids should know what they have in their bodies and how they­­­ function. The Bodies Exhibition shows not only kids, but people of all ages what kind of organs and things are in your body. So yes, Rated-T recommends it to all kids across the country. Arnasha Jones, Paulette Lewis, Randyn Fullard, Ceyanne Foye, and Da’Vaughn Hawkins are all students at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. Picture From Bodies, The Exhibition, copyright 2006

Randyn Fullard is a 7th grade student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. Photo: Bill O’Leary, The Washington Post.

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“And One, Two, Three, Four... ...And One, Two, Three, Four...” A Dance Experience in the Eyes of Chantell Leak


o you like to dance and aspire to leap through the air on a huge stage one day? Have you ever wanted to take classes, but never knew where a dance studio was? Did you know where one was, but maybe had problem with transportation? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then, this is for you... 3400 14th Street, NW is home to The Dance Institute of Washington’s newest building. I had a chance to dance there during the summer and I had a lot of fun. From the first time that I realized that I wanted to get serious about dance I wanted to take dance classes. But because my mother and I take Metro everywhere we go, transportation was a big issue. Plus, there weren’t any dance studios in my neighborhood. When The Dance Institute moved to their new location I could remember talking about it with my mother. That was last year. I finally got a chance to dance this summer and took it as the beginning of a new chapter. My first class was hard. It was not as easy as I thought. If you are a beginner to ballet do not sleep on it. It takes a lot of practice and hard work to get your body conditioned enough to do everything you

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have to do the right way. But they have teachers who are willing to help you succeed in your dancing career. DIW students have performed on prestigious stages, including Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, the Lincoln Theatre, Carter Barron Amphitheatre, and The Kennedy Center. Notably, they have participated in national competitions such as the Youth America Grand Prix and have received honors. In addition, students have performed in the Laurel Fund for the Performing Arts annual Capital Talents Showcase at the Lincoln Theatre and in the Youth Dance Festival at Dance Place. Every year, the students give a spring concert and perform in DIW’s Spirit of Kwanzaa celebration in December. The facility on 14th street is one of Dance Institute’s newest additions. When you walk in you just know that you’re going to get a quality dance education. Everyone is so nice and polite and willing to help you as much as possible. I really like The Dance Institute of Washington and learned so much from them. I really recommend that any aspiring young dancer. check it out. If you like a challenge that will pay off in the long run, then this is the place for you. It’s a great place full of great opportunities that produce great results. You will learn how to dance the proper way with the precision of an expert. The Dance Institute of Washington is the place to be. Chantell Leak is a sophomore at Woodson Collegiate Academy. To find out more about the Dance Institute of Washington, visit their website at

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Dreams Have you ever had a good dream? Maybe even a bad dream? Well I went around to different people and interviewed them asking them about their dreams. One thing I did learn was that adults have dreams just as much as an children. So here are some different dreams from different people with different interests and personality. Graphic Design by Arnasha Jones Reported by Paulette Lewis

Have you ever had a good or bad dream? What was it? Myeisha Bailey, 7th grader at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. My bad dream: Snakes were coming in my house and killing everybody. My good dream: I won 100 million dollars and used it to support my family.

Giselle Britt, 7th grader at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. My bad dream: There was a black cat in a game. Five girls came and we jumped on a car (a humor) so we could get away from the cat. Everyone was eaten by the cat except for me then the cat started eating me. I died. Then I woke up and saw the dog Javae Valentine, 7th grader at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. biting my arm. My bad dream: I was kidnapped out of my room and stuffed in a truck. When I got out, we were in a field. To my surprise Sandi Littlejohn, a teacher at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. it was one of my friends who had kidnapped me and then I My bad dream: I fell into a black hole but never reached the got shot. My good dream: Chris Brown’s limo broke down in ground. Then something woke me up. front of my house. Then he flew me out to Hollywood, we became friends and I became rich and famous. After that, I Marilyn Kaufman, director Friendship News Network. went to parties and met Bow Wow. My bad dream (when I was a child): I went outside and there were black holes everywhere. A lady was running down the Begine Robinson, 8th grader at Blow Pierce Junior Acad- street saying the world is coming to an end!!!!! The world is comemy. My bad dream: Someone wanted to stab and kill me. ing to an end!!!!! I ran into the house to get my parents but they weren’t there, so I went in the den to watch tv. A boy was in the Kim Jones, Administrative Assistant, Blow Pierce Junior tv. He said, “come with me and you will not die.” I didn’t want Academy. Money was chasing me. to leave my family but he said not to worry, they could come later. I hopped in the tv and we fell for miles and miles. Then we Officer Cecil Brown, Blow Pierce hit the ground softly, the world exploded and we were the only 2 Junior Academy. He dreamed that he kept falling. people left.

Dreamcatchers By Ceyanne Foye


n Tuesday, May 8, 2007 the Rated-T news team went to Michael’s Crafts to meet Wendy Anderson, an instructor who teaches people how to make Dreamcatchers, and to learn more about them. Dreamcatchers are based on legends from Native Americans. Dreamcatchers can be big or small circles. Ms. Anderson told us alot about Dreamcatchers, and many ways to make them. “But I’ve only found four of the legends, so far,” she said. When I asked her the names of the four legends she said they came from the following Native American tribes: Lakota, Ojibwe, Chippewa, and one unknown tribe. Ms. Anderson also told us that the purpose of a Dreamcatchers is to get rid of bad dreams. It takes dreams and separates them, leaving the good dreams and taking the bad dreams away. After I finished interviewing her, she showed us how to make a Dreamcatcher. Each member of our news team made one and they are pictured here. Making a Dreamcatcher is very easy once you get the hang of it. Ceyanne Foye is a 7th grade student at Friendship Edison Blow Pierce Academy.

Arnasha and Paulette are both seventh graders at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

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Judgement Day Chapter 1 Fiction by Paulette Lewis Graphic Design by Ahmed Davis

What if you were to go to bed in Washington DC and somehow wake up in Los Angeles as the most popular and richest children’s judge in the USA. What would you do??? Well, that’s what happened to me.

Chapter 2

By Karlton Chapman

On Wednesday June 9, 2007, I woke up inside of a courthouse. As I wiped the sleep from my eyes, I saw a crowd of people starring at me and then I heard a loud deep voice coming from beside me saying, “Please Rise. The Court Is Now In Session!!!” “Oh my gosh!! Am I a judge?” I thought to myself as the people in the court stood up. I always wanted to be a judge. I prayed to be a judge last night and it worked!

Chapter 3

My first case of the day was funny and hilarious. Two kids were suing their parents for making them clean their rooms. When I heard that, I burst out laughing until I saw that they was serious. So I stopped laughing and got down to business. I said “ so you parents came out of nowhere while your kids were minding their own business and you told them to clean their rooms or else”. The parents said “yeah”. So I asked them, or else what?. They were kind of tongue-twisted and confused.

Chapter 4

When we came to the conclusion of the trial, the parents were proven guilty for making their kids miserable. In my court, the kids get to come up with the punishment which was to have their parents whisked away to Africa. So their wish was my command, but by accident (puff) all the parents across the US disappeared.

Chapter 5

Well, the first day all the parents in the US were gone, the kids had a ball. They threw parties in their neighborhoods and they all had fun. They broke everything in their homes. They did the same thing for that whole week. It was crazy!!!

Chapter 6

But soon, the kids got tired of the same thing every day and every night. They kept going and going until they tired themselves out. And their health was almost gone. After a long 3 weeks, they started to want their parents back. And one day they all came back to court. But it just wasn’t the two kids, it was a whole community of kids who wanted their parents back. It wasn’t a problem for me, because I wanted my mommy to come back too. So, we all got together and wished our parents back. When we got home all the adults were back. And we gave each other many hugs and kisses!!!! Paulette Lewis is a 7th grade student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy. Ahmed Davis is a sophmore at Woodson Collegiate Academy.

Karlton Chapman is a sophomore at Woodson Collegiate Academy.

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THE RUNAWAY FROM CHINA Fiction by Arnasha Jones


UNCF helps thousands of deserving students. But we have to turn away thousands more. So please give to the United Negro College Fund. Your donation will make a difference. Visit or call 1-800-332-8623.

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One day I went to sleep at the bottom of my bed even though I usually went to sleep at the top. This was because my mother had changed my room around and the air conditioner was blowing all its air to bottom. It felt weird, but I had the chance to snuggle under the covers because the air conditioner was on.

who had appeared before appeared again. He pointed to the house I just came out of and said, “Here is your new house. You have two sisters and one brother. Tomorrow is Christmas and that’s when your adventure starts. Then he quickly faded away. I stood and thought for a minute. I created a plan to get my presents the next morning and then find a way to get home.

The next morning I woke up and didn’t feel like myself. I felt as though I was in a new environment with new people. A strange aroma was floating in the air. I got out of a bed that was not mine. I curiously looked around. I looked out of the window and saw lots of people. The women were dressed in skirts and shirts made from some thin cloth and the men were dressed in pants with no shirts. They were all in one huge circle surrounding a couple doing a performance. I was amazed at what I saw because it was like nothing I had ever seen before in my life. As I went walking down the stairs, a strange-looking man came out of nowhere and said, “WELCOME, YOU ARE IN HARBIN, CHINA. I AM YOUR SECRET TOUR GUIDE.’’ I was so scared that I almost started to cry. I asked the man if he could get me home. But he faded away……………….

The next morning I got up and grabbed all the presents with my name on them from under the tree and quickly ran out the door while trying to be as silent as could be. Luckily I was out the door before my phone rang. I answered my cell phone as I ran out the door. When I said hello, a man’s voice said, “You made a good choice and I will help you to get back home. All you have to do is go catch the plane back to Washington D.C, which will take about 6 hrs.” I said, “Ok, but where do I have to go to get on the plane?” He said “Just walk along the long row of trees, cross the bridge and there will be a big sign saying China’s Airport. You will need to sneak on the plane. I asked, “Why do I have to sneak?” But he just faded away….. So, I did as he said and snuck on the plane.

I went outside and to my surprise… It was Christmas Eve in China and the people were celebrating. I joined in with the crowd and started to enjoy myself. After the party was over that same man

In about 6 hrs. I was back home with my real family, in my usual environment. Nothing strange was going on. I was so happy. I jumped out of the bed, looked outside, went down stairs and realized it was all a dream.

Arnasha Jones is a 7th grade student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

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h T

W t a e h n T t W p i r r T o Fiction by Da’Vaughn Hawkins n e

12:15 August 1, 2007: The Saddest Day Ever Today was the saddest day ever. I left my friends and family. Today I left to follow my career in veterinarian medicine in Anaheim, California. While I was on my way to the Ronald Reagan Airport, I regretted the move to California. 2:15: Two Hours In My Flight While I was on the plane I thought about what I could do during my free time before class started. I asked the person who was sitting next to me. He answered he didn’t know. Then, I arrived in Los Angeles to connect to another plane to go straight to Anaheim, California. 6:15: I arrive in Anaheim, California I got off the plane and asked one of the workers at the airport to tell me about the best attractions in Anaheim, California. She told me to go to Disneyland. I went outside and took a cab to my hotel. I was staying at the hotel until I went to settlement for the new house I’m buying. When I arrived at the hotel I went to my room to settle in.


8:05: The Next Morning The next morning I took a cab to Disneyland and went to the biggest ride I have ever seen. When it was my turn to ride I was so excited. First it went up. Then it went down so fast you would’t believe it. Just as it was about to do a LOOP-DE-LOOP, it went off the tracks. It was going so fast that it catapulted into space. At first I was scared about leaving my I’m scared that I won’t see them again. We landed on a blue planet called Neptune. I thought I was dreaming but I saw Neptunians. They welcomed us to Neptune. When I heard one of the Neptunian’s ask me “Do you want to go on the ride again,” I woke up and found out that I was dreaming. The End !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Da’Vaughn Hawkins is a 7th grade student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

The Revenger Fiction and graphic design by Ceyanne Foye

I am, and I will always be “The Revenger”… forever. “Desperate times calls for desperate measures,” I thought one night as I was on my way to meet an old friend of mine. His name was Bernet and he was a traitor. Why was Bernet a traitor? Because he kidnapped my family when I was away in Japan. He was supposed to be a friend, but then he killed my family. “What kind of friend does that?” I thought. So now I’m in London seeking revenge on Bernet. And, that’s how I got the name “The Revenger”. I was in my Mercedes Benz with a lot of things on my mind, like what Bernet would say when I reached him? I thought of a lot of things Bernet would try to say to get out of answering my questions. Finally, after a 15-minute drive, I parked in front of London’s City Hall. I got out of the car. I was wearing a black shirt, black pants, black shoes, and a black long jacket. When I stepped out of the car, I put on my sunglasses. I said “Time to finish this,” and started up the stairs into the City Hall. I walked through the door and looked around to see if anybody was there. I saw a security guard sitting at the front desk. So I made my way down the hall to the manager’s office. I went to the manager’s office because Bernet is the manager of City Hall—that’s why. I walked down the hallway and looked in the window on the side of the door. I saw Bernet sitting in a chair typing on his computer. I slowly walked back down the hall, made my way to the security guard’s desk and said “Excuse me ma’am.” She looked up at me and said in a soft voice, “May I help you maam?” I said, “Whats your name ma’am?” She said, “Ms. Waxston,” and then I said “Excuse me, Ms. Waxston. Sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you can give this cup of coffee to Bernet and say it’s from a friend, if he asks who it’s from?” She looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Okay. Sure. Why not. I’ll be back in a moment once I give him the coffee, okay?” I said “ Ah....I’m about to leave,” I looked at my watch. She said “Okay” and took the cup of coffee and went towards Bernet’s office. I turned around and went towards the front door and left out of City Hall. I walked down the stairs, put on my sunglasses and got back into my car. I looked over to my right and saw a man sitting in the passenger seat. He was bald and he had on a gray and white suit. His name was Bultt Gruntingbird. Bultt said, “So you drove all the way up here just to give the guy some coffee?”

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I looked at him and said “Yes.” Bultt shook his head. And I said, “ But­­­-----” Bultt got angry and said “ But? But what? All he’s going to do is just drink the coffee. What do you think? He’s going to come out saying ‘OOOhh... Ceyanne, your coffee was so great, I’m going to shoot myself just so you don’t have to because of what I did’ You think he going to­---” “SHUT UP!” I said and just like that he shut up. Then I said, “Do you think I’m stupid or something? I know what I’m doing! And for your information, I put poison in his coffee, so all you have to do is go into his office and get the information we need off his computer. Okay,” Bultt said. “Alright!” And with that, he got out of the car and went into the building. After 30 minutes, Bultt got back into the car and said, “I got the information and guess what else I got?” I said “What?” Bultt took a small bag out of his pocket and gave it to me. I opened up the bag and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I looked up at Bultt and we both said “WERE RICH!!” And with that I turned on the car and drove off into the night. I told you, I am and I will always be....THE REVENGER. Ceyanne Foye is a 7th grade honor roll student at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

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Great things come in



This black and white shirt that says “So hot”

written and designed by Penelope Alehandra Davis

in fancy letters, also has a built in belt and real chains hanging from the shirt. The black shorts that go with the shirt is a great gothic look with lots of pockets and lots of removable chains.

You know what’s embarrassing about find clothing for me? It’s having to go to the little kids section just to find something that will fit me. It’s really irriating when I go out and someone tells me how small I am. I’m 16 years old, 5’4” and 94 pounds, so you can imagine my size. For that reason, I was inspired to create my own clothing line, Tiny for all the thin, petite people out there like me. It’s hard to find clothing our sizes with out going in the little kids section. Tiny is something for people like me to get clothing that fits their style and size. It’s also very hard for me to find clothes because I don’t like to look like everyone else. I like to look unique. I make my own clothes or look for clothing that nobody has yet and then spice it up with my own creative fashionable ideas so no one will be wearing the same style. What I hate most is going out and hearing some one say, “I have those same jeans at home.” That’s why I spice my stuff up so no one can copy and I stand out from the followers. I want to make the trend not follow and I think this clothing line will help you do that as well.

This yellow and black shirt to the left has a net on the top and bottom

Mix and Match g n u


y s n

e e T

l a

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e d I


t a e

The mix-and-match outfit above is very cute and colorful with

a pink and green stripped jacket, a yellow T-shirt with pink polka dots and a pleated skirt. There is also white-girl yellow shorts and an outlined green mini-skirt with pink polka dots. Last but not least, there is a pair of pink and white capris. Penelope Davis is a sophmore at Woodson Collegiate Academy and a contestant in the Ms. Teen DC Competition. Travis Houze who took the photo is a senior at Hyde Leadership Academy.

This punk rock shirt is blue and yellow with

net going up the shirt stopping at the word rock.

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Finding What Inspires You by Chantell Leak photo by Quaniece Frazier and mentor Alan Karchmer Quaniece and Mr. Karchmer took the above photo with a special large format camera. Everyone has that one person that they look up to, whether it’s someone on TV or someone in your neighborhood. Quaniece Frazier, a student at Friendship Collegiate Academy and dear friend of mine was interested in architectual photography. So she contacted Mr. Alan Karchmer, a well-known architectural photographer and asked him if he would give her a few pointers. He said, yes. Architectual photography is bascially photography of buildings showing the way lines and angles come together to make interesting compositions. Notice in the picture above how the walls seem to bring your focus to Quaniece and Mr. Karchmer. When he came out to our school one day to talk to Quaniece

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and show her a few things about architectual photography, not only did Quaniece get a chance to learn about photography, but she also learned a little bit about Mr. Karchmer. Alan Karchmer is a great photographer who takes great pictures of amazing buildings and architecture around the world. He has a unique way of looking at the world and the everyday things that we take for granted. He can photograph an ordinary bridge that people travel on everyday and make it look totally different. His work is just as amazing as he is. If you ever get a chance check out his portfolio on the web at, It’s a wonderful sight. Quaniece Frazier and Chantell Leak are students at Woodson Collegiate Academy.

These excellent examples of architectural photography were taken by our very own Quaniece Frazier at the Regan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

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Always Alicia’s Advice

Your Child Is the Mirror Image Of You. By Alicia Wade

Hey Readers! I’m back with the great advice everyone loves to read about and that I love giving. This time around I want to write about how parents teach their kids about who they might become. Many parents seem shocked when they learn that their child has been arrested or that their 13-year-old daughter is pregnant. So, sit back, buckle up and prepare for an adventure on a new and unexplored route. I would refer to it as, “monkey see monkey do.” “Do as I say and not as I do.” “Do as I say and not as I do”, is the remark a parent makes when caught in the wrong. I personally believe saying this means absolutely nothing if you want to teach your child about life in general. It’s a cop out. Why would your child NOT follow your actions? When a child is a baby, it repeats your every word. For example, if you look at a child and stick your tongue out, nine times out of ten, the child is going to react to your action by sticking its tongue out as well. It’s a natural reaction. So what makes you think that just because you tell a child not to do this or that, they will listen to what you say? You need to understand that, “actions speak louder than words.” You can, and should indeed, show a child (by your own example) better than you can tell them. Don’t expect things out of your kids, that you are incapable of doing yourself ! “So you’re shocked? Why?” Your 13-year-old daughter comes home pregnant and you are mad at her? Why? Unless your daughter is a good student, comes home before the curfew and does everything that you tell her then you really have no reason to be shocked. When your daughter comes in at different hours of the night, doesn’t go to school and has a different boyfriend just about every week, you really have no reason to be shocked. I think you simply ignored the signs. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t knock parents for allowing their children to have freedom because, come on now, I’m a teen too, and freedom is key. But there is a limit and when your child has crossed that line, she simply has gone too far. I remember when I was in maybe the 6th grade and a friend of mine told me how she and her mother were best friends. She could curse in front of her mother, bring boys in the house as long as her mom knew them or come in at any time, as long as she called her mother to tell her where she was. Her mother was “cool.” When I heard the story, I thought she had to have one of the best lives ever. Then I began

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to think about it. Her mother never told her “no” about anything. She could have anything she wanted. The only thing stopping her was herself. I mean, she was living the “lifestyle.” Two years later, she’s pregnant and her mother kicked her out. Why would she kick her out? If they were “best friends” then why wasn’t her mother there to support her when it came to the whole baby situation? Come to find out, they had an agreement that she could do whatever she wanted as long as she didn’t come home pregnant. When she came home pregnant, it was all over. This situation raises a red flag in my head. Why should it even be a situation? Why should a young girl be allowed to roam the streets any hour of the night, do what she pleases, (sex-wise and all) as long as she doesn’t come home pregnant?? What happened to, “you’d better not come home with one single D on you report card?” or “when I come home the chores better be completed?” These questions went off non-stop in the back of my mind. Nowadays, children have “no parents”, but yet everyone wants to be mad at teen mothers or young males in jail? I believe a lot of the time it’s the parents fault. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that in every scenario it’s the parents fault, but I am saying that parents create the basic foundation that determines what their child becomes. I have a friend whose father is in jail. Although he is not around, he is trying to be a father. Although he can’t be there for her physically; he has a bond with her mentally. He gives her words of encouragement and speaks truthfully to her. Will she pick up on her father’s strength? If he tells her not to do this and that or not to mess with men like him, will she still fall right into the arms of a man like him, simply because her mother has? Parents aren’t perfect but they are “role models” for their children who are looking up to them for direction.

“Children are sponges. They soak up everything” Children pay attention to literally everything. This always tickles me about kids, because they learn by watching and listening to their parents. I remember hanging out with my aunt,

because she never had the chance to do so. When it comes to dating, will she understand what a good man really is, if she never even interacted with a boy? Will this stop her from getting pregnant or dropping out of high school? Think about it? Sometimes you are just going

“Remember this. You are your child’s diary. Each day’s experience between the two of you is written, noted and kept close to heart. In the end who your child will one day become, might be the reflection of you.” her daughter and granddaughter. We were in a restaurant, talking about some things. My little cousin was around the age where she could recognize names and understand what was being said. Although she was still young she could put two and two together. Before you knew it, she was contributing to the conversation. What amazed me most was that she sat there and literally looked back and fourth between the three of us listening to what was being said. It’s the little things like that, parents should watch out for. They can have the biggest impact on the child’s life. Next thing you know my little cousin might try to “hang” with the “big girls.” “You learn from your mistakes, so keep it moving.” I am sure all parents have some sort speed bump in their past that they clearly want their children to avoid. Meaning, they don’t want their children to go down the same path. This is understandable. But you cannot control these things. Yeah, you keep your daughter away from every boy in the school. And you make sure she doesn’t go outside after school so she can focus all her time on homework! Where are you going with this method? Will she become rebellious? Will she grow up and feel like she either doesn’t have a life or never was introduced to one. OR, will she go buck-wild

to have to allow your kids to make their own mistakes in life so they can have something to learn from. You learned from your mistakes. All you can do is try to guide them down the right path... like teaching them how to ride a bike. You can instruct and show them by example. Then it’s left up to them to pedal. You can’t ride the bike for them, so why try? “You are your child’s diary.” Everyone can be a great parent. But you can’t be your child’s best friend. As one teacher at a school once said, “I believe when you try to become best friends, you break a certain chain of respect that is confusing on both ends of the stick.” In the end, children will most likely follow in your footsteps, so why get mad when things happen that you should have seen coming. Remember this. You are your child’s diary. Each day’s experience between the two of you is written, noted and kept close to heart. In the end who your child will one day become, might be the reflection of you.

Photo by Travis Houze Alicia Wade is one of the founders of Rated-T and a sophmore at School Without Walls. Travis Houze is a senior at Hyde Leadership Academy.

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Most Influencial The

People Of 2007

Oprah Winfrey

By Nadean Talley Oprah Winfrey is a successful black woman, one of the richest females in the world and also the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show. And she owns her own magazine. This is why I believe she is one of the most influential people of 2007. About every little kid looks up to her because she is... • Very wealthy • Successful • Nice • Charitable • African American • Sets a great example • Beautiful and strong. Oprah began her television career at the age of 19. She has the top-rated TV talk show. It is an award-winning show and it has been the top show for 20 consecutive years. She is very charitable. Not only has she built a school in Africa, but on every show she gives away gift bags. She also gives food, money and necessary things to needy people and the homeless.

Tom Anderson Founder of MySpace

By Da’Vaughn Hawkins I think that Tom Anderson is the most influential person of 2007 because he is the founder of MySpace, the best communication website ever. He founded it with Chris DeWolfe. In one of the newly created MySpace accounts, Tom is the “default friend”. As of May, 2007, Tom already had 179 million friends on MySpace. Tom attended the University of California, Berkeley from 1994 to 1998, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and English. From 1999 to 2000, he attended University of California, Los Angeles and graduated with a Master’s degree in film and critical studies. In 2003, he and a few computer programmers set up the first pages of MySpace and the site grew and grew from there. Currently, MySpace is the most popular social networking website on the Internet. The

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reason I think that MySpace is the most popular website on the Internet is because it’s the best place you can go to talk to friends around the world.

Daniel Radcliffe

By Randyn Fullard To me, Daniel Radcliffe is one of the most influential people this year because he started acting at age 11 and he made me like magic. He is in all the Harry Potter films playing a very clever character named Harry Potter. When the first Harry Potter movie was made, I started to like magic a lot because of him. This is why I chose him. He is a great entertainer for people all over the world. and a great actor. I also think he should win actor of the year. By Ceyanne S. Foye Daniel Radcliffe was born on July 23, 1989 in London,England. His full name is Daniel Jacob Radcliffe. Daniel is the main character in all the Harry Potter books and films and also is the main character in the movie, “EQUUS”. Dan (Daniel) is in all the Harry Potter movies along with his buddies Emma and Rupret. He is now a 17-year old star. In Harry Potter, Daniel acts like the little boy named Harry Potter, but in EQUUS he is just as bad as he can be. Daniel influenced me because I want to be an actor just like him.


By Javae D. Valentine Born September 4th 1986, Beyonce Knowles was destined to be a star. Beyonce started out in a rap group with some of her friends. Even though the group did not make it big, Beyonce was not going to take “no” for an answer. Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and four other girls became a group called Destiny’s Child. They were an instant success. They sold many albums and went through many members. The last members of the group were Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. They each went on to solo careers, but Beyonce was determined to make it big. After the group’s last tour, Beyonce came out with 2 CDs. She proved that if you work hard, you can be great. She is a big part of the music culture. Beyonce is a

kind and giving person who has produced hit after hit. She is an influential person who has worked hard for every single thing she has. Beyonce is an idol who has shown young people that if you believe in a dream, you can achieve it and even more. That’s why she is and always will be a great singer, actress and all-around good person. Beyonce is not just Women of the Year she is Woman of the Century.

Jordin Sparks The American Idol

By Brianna Rogers Seventeen-year-old Jordin Sparks achieved the dream of a lifetime by becoming the newest American Idol. Jordin Sparks, the girl-next-door from Glendale, Arizona didn’t seem like the type to win American Idol. She’s the daughter of former Dallas Cowboy, Phillip Sparks. She planned for about a year before she auditioned for American Idol at the age of sixteen. I picked Jordin Sparks because she’s influential to teens. She achieved a dream and she’s also a great singer. But the main reason I picked her is because she set her mind on something and then achieved that goal. I also like her because she’s the type that never gives up. Jordin Sparks is an achiever and a believer. She’s a fighter and NOT a quitter. She is an American Idol to me.

My Mom,

By Shawanda Davis The most influential person in my life is my mom. My mom’s name is Wanda Boyd. She has been influential to me throughout my whole life. She helped me with my homework when I didn’t understand it. She brought me into this world from dead to alive where there was light. She taught me right from wrong. She put clothes on my body and bought food for me to eat. She has always loved me. She took me to school in the morning. She helped me get better when I was sick. She did my hair when it looked a mess. She bought me toys when I was bored. On Christmas she got me everything on my list. On my birthday she bought me lots of stuff... like a birthday cake, ice cream and party balloons. She even taught me how to spell my name when I was 4 years old. My mom helped me read when I got stuck on a world I thought was difficult. When I failed, she helped me bring up my grades. She got me an umbrella for rainy days. She woke me up every morning when it was time for school. She bought me a winter coat on cold and freezing days. These are the reasons why she is the most influential person in my life. This is why I love my mom. Thank you mom.

James Brown,

By Jazmin Reid I believe the most influential person of 2007 is James Brown because he is the “Godfather of Soul’’ and one of the hardest working men in show business. Some believe that he is even better than “Mr. Dynamite” and “The Original Disco Man”. Mr. Brown was not only

a singer, but also a better-than-great entertainer. He was known for his amazingly great dance moves that keep people (especially crowds) coming to concerts screaming his name. During his life, crowds loved him and plenty of people attended his funeral. Many believed that even though he died, his accomplishments and love for music will always live on. James was born on May 3, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina during the Great Depression. He was raised in Augusta, Georgia, 40 miles away from the state he was born in. As a child he picked cotton, danced and shined shoes for spare change. December 25, 2006 was a sad day for some because “the Godfather of Soul” died from a heart attack, but others were glad because they knew he was going to a much better place. I believe he made sure people remembered him, his name and great accomplishments. It will be passed from generation to generation. He wanted to be known all over the world and I believe his once-in-a-lifetime dream came true.

Fantasia Barrino

By Paulette Lewis To me, the most influential person of 2007 is Fantasia Barrino. I look up to her because she taught me by example to follow my dreams and if I put my mind to something, one day my dreams will come true. Fantasia became the American Idol some years ago. Fantasia’s dreams came true after that night when she discovered that she was a shining star. Fantasia played herself in her own lifetime movie about her life and the struggles that she had to encounter to get where she is today. On American Idol she dealt with Simon Cowell’s criticism and still stood out in the crowd among people with the same dream. Simon, Paula and Randy knew that she would be the next American Idol. She went through a lot from being hurt and pregnant to becoming the next American Idol. She is my idol because she is not fake like many other stars who act one way in front of the camera and another way behind closed doors. She is my idol because she has a daughter and she is still following her dreams. Fantasia can both juggle her family and her career. She is a strong and independent person. When she began American Idol as a single mother, she thought she would win but was not certain because she was only one out of thousands of people with the same dreams and goals. Fantasia can sing any song, put soul to it and make it a hit. Her CD was a success. She made over 10 million copies and my family has about 20 of them. We couldn’t wait for it to come out. One of her top songs on her new CD, “When I See You” is popular in different communities. And she has a starring role in The Color Purple, on Broadway. If you couldn’t tell already, Fantasia is one of my favorite stars. She has a positive effect on the communities that love and respect her. I think that she should win the award for the most influential person of 2007. Nadean Talley, Da’Vaughn Hawkins, Randyn Fullard, Ceyanne Foye, Javae Valentine, Brianna Rogers, Shawanda Davis, Jazmin Reid and Paulette Lewis are all students at Blow Pierce Junior Academy.

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Weighing in on the Wallet It’s easy to be distracted by all of the senior activities, but I’m telling you, it’s best to keep everything in perspective. If you don’t, the year is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. First and foremost, you are probably going to need a job senior year if you have the type of parents who expect you to pay for everything. If not, the year will be a little less of a shock. When deciding on how you will spend your money, you should take in consideration the things you know you have to pay for like senior fees and supplies for college. It’s best to do these things during the year instead of all at once. That way the strain won’t seem to come all at once and it will be easier to manage. You can even put a lot of the school supplies like luggage, TV, microwave, laptop and all the other big back-to-school stuff on your Christmas list to get them out of the way. Once you’ve got the necessary things out of the way, you can move on to the things you want, like the prom, senior trip and other outings that occur throughout the school year. Chances are that you won’t be able to do everything, so you should make a list of the things you want to do in order of importance. Go down your list and set money aside for as much as you can, while still leaving a reasonable amount of money for emergencies or something fun you want to do with your friends. Then, by the end of the school year, you will have finished many of the things you wanted to do which will spare you some of the summer shopping stress. – Cheyenne Glenn

High School: The Stepping Stone For College High school is the second most important time of your life, next to college of course. It is in high school where you first begin to truly develop your social wings. You meet lots of interesting people (not to say that all of them are good for you) but you start to get a general idea of the people you’d like to hang around with and who you’d like to pretty much avoid. Don’t focus too hard on gaining friends though. Just be you. Facades are very unattractive, and in the end, can really be damaging. Academics are just as necessary as your social life. Grades are very important in the long run. You don’t want to be in your senior year and realize that the 2.9 that you have could have been prevented by not goofing off in the ninth and tenth grade. As previously stated, high school is the point in your life where you develop yourself socially and academically. The development of course is not equal, nor is it the same for any two people. As far as academics go, DO NOT SLACK...Ever! Goodbye and good luck! – Kameisha Hodge

As far as academics go, DO NOT SLACK!!! It’s Cool to Be a Senior I know it’s cool to be a senior in high school along with being one of the big shots. At the same time, you have more responsibilities... more than ever. For starters, getting ready for college is a huge step. You’re probably saying, “I’m already set for college and ready to graduate.” Well, let’s see! What courses are you going take this year? Have you started looking at colleges you may want to attend? These are the kinds of questions you have to ask yourself because if you don’t, trust me, you’ll be crying the day after you graduate. So, make sure that you have a plan for college and your career.

Rigorous Courses are Important The first thing you have to do is to make sure that you take as many rigorous courses as possible. Colleges not only look at your GPA but they also look at the courses you take as well. They want students who challenge themselves and excel in the demanding courses. So, if you have all A’s on your transcript, but most of your classes are “not challenging” you can bet that your chances of getting in are smaller than lint. Now, don’t get wrong, grades are very important but just remember that it’s not a sole factor in your chances of being admitted to a college. Also, make sure that you get involved in extracurricular activities. You can get scholarships, and colleges love well-rounded candidates for admissions.

The Scoop on the SAT’s Many people recommend taking SAT prep courses. But I believe it’s a waste of your time and money, because it only teaches you how to legally cheat on the SAT. It may help students score high, but as a result, they might not have learned the material needed to be competitive or successful in college. The best thing you can do to improve scores is to review the subjects that you’re weak in using a reliable resource. Know the material but don’t take the easy road to success. Let’s say that you have a weakness in solving word problems. Practice solving different word problems on your own.

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Getting ready for college is not an easy task. This is why we (Friendship Collegiate Academy graduates of 2007) created this section exclusively for you.

Taking AP courses in your senior year of high school is very important because it gives you different opportunities before entering college. One who takes an AP course has the opportunity to experience college level courses in high school. How cool is that? You actually know what college assignments are like before going. Mind you, these courses are rigorous and can be challenging. In order to pass the course and/or the exam, one has to be dedicated and focused in class. If you take an AP course, take advantage of the opportunity to challenge yourself. Even if you do not pass the exam, at least you have an idea of what college level courses are like. Honestly, taking AP classes can be stressful and time-consuming and the only way to be successful is to stay and finish the course. – John Ugorji


Advice For Rising Seniors Quick Tips for the Class of 08

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Challenge Yourself !

Final Thought Don’t be frightened because of all the responsibilities that you have now that you are a senior. Embrace this huge accomplishment and stay focused. Stay on the course And most importantly, be determined to succeed. Congratulations! – Dexter Williams

Cheyenne Glenn, Kameisha Hodge, John Ugorji and Dexter Williams are all 2007 graduates of Friendship Collegiate Academy and will be attending college in the Fall.

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You believe your child can do


So do we.

FRIENDSHIP PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL Five campus locations serving students in Grades Pre-K-12 Friendship Chamberlain Elementary (K-5) 1345 Potomac Ave. SE (202) 547-5800

Friendship Southeast Academy (K-6) 645 Milkaukee Place, SE (202) 562-1980

Friendship Woodridge Academy (Pre-K-7) 2959 Carlton Ave. NE (202) 635-6500

Frienship Blow Pierce Junior Academy (6-8) 725 19th street, NE (202) 572-1070

Frienship Collegiate AcademyCarter G. Woodson (9-12) 4095 Minnesota Ave., NE (202) 396-5500

For more information call (202) 281-1700

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Rated-T for Teens, Fall 07 Issue

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