Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nina Simone, Musician and Civil Rights Artist
                                                             By Natalie Forde
     Nina Simone is one of the many influential people that contributed to history. Her original name is Eunice Kathleen Waymon. She was born in 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina. She was a civil rights activist, author, singer, and pianist.
   Simone learned how to play piano when she was three years old and was a singer in her church choir. Over the years her training focused on a classical repertory.  Simone’s music teacher raised funds to pay for her education and when she graduated from high school these funds paid for Simone to attend Juilliard School of Music.  Although she worked as a piano teacher to pay for her continuing education, she eventually ran out of money to pay for it and had to leave Juilliard.  
   Simone started playing jazz and blues at night clubs.  Throughout the 50s and 60s Simone released many albums that reflected an infusion of musical styles.  
     During the 1960s, Simone became known as the voice of the Civil Rights Movement.“ She openly addressed the racial inequality that was in the US in the song, “Mississippi Goddam”. She wrote the song in response to the assassination of Medgar Evans and the Birmingham church bombing that killed four African American girls in 1963. The song was released as a single and it was boycotted by certain southern states. Simone quoted that this was her first civil rights song and that her ideas came in a rush of hatred and determination. During the civil rights movement Simone wrote a song about African American women and a song in response to the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.  Simone also performed outside of Montgomery Alabama during the March to  Selma.
  Nina Simone recorded music throughout most of her life.  She died at the age of 70, in 2003. Simone’s music and the contribution of her voice in the fight for civil rights have made a lasting impression on the lives of many people.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Frederick Douglass: A Man Who Changed History
                                                                        by Diana Stewart
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Frederick Douglass positively influenced history by dedicating his life to abolishing slavery and ending segregation.  Douglass wrote several autobiographies, books, and articles about his life as a slave. His writings influenced the abolishment of slavery.  
   Douglass went to New York and published a newspaper called The North Star, which developed its name from when escaped slaves would follow the North Star to freedom.  He expressed the importance of civil rights and how slavery should be abolished. Douglass was also an outspoken supporter of women’s rights.  

   Frederick Douglass was persistent in his goal of having slavery abolished. He used his writings and his leadership qualities to achieve this outcome.

Monday, February 27, 2017

My Personal Connection to A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s, “Jungle”
By Destiny Bernard
On February 14, 2016, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, a young rapper from the Bronx, released a single from his album, Artist, called “Jungle”. The lyrics of this song speak to me personally because of its unique lyrics that coincide with my life and things I’ve experienced. The song has a great catchy beat that is made up of drums, piano, and claps. The beat gives me a nostalgic feel that causes me to reflect on my life.
The lyrics, “This is what that jungle do, You been plottin wasn’t you” is reflective of growing up in a crazy neighborhood where people do you wrong everyday. Betrayal usually turns people into monsters because betrayal usually comes from the people closest to them. It makes people think they should have never trusted anyone. The follow up lyrics, “I should’ve never messed with you” take the listener way back to the story of Caesar getting stabbed in the back with the words “et tu Brute?” which translates to “even you Brutus?” meaning “and even you would betray me? ”. The next lines “Yeah I started in the back had to skip the line though” refers to coming up from poverty and failure and persevering over obstacles. As the song continues you hear him say “People throw you in the shade cause they wanna shine tho people throw me in the grave in a Ferragamo”.  A Ferragamo is a popular, high end, expensive belt that is mostly in fashion with males of this generation. The lyric means that people will try to wrong you because they only care about their own success and they only want to see you attain success when it’s too late and you’re already gone. The next lyric, “Man I can’t believe they killed my bro Quado it was so deep I had to say that with my eyes closed,”  hit me very hard personally because I am 17 years old and have already many friends and it shouldn’t be that way.
The next lines, that touch a tender spot are “This is all I ever wanted why would I let you take it from me” because it refers to finally being successful and reaching your goals yet having people in your life try to take your spot, but you won’t let them.  I have seen this happen often in life;  unfortunately, not many people want to see you doing well.

This song can relate to many of the youth of 2017 that are growing up in areas known to be unprosperous. These areas are known as communities that are well enough for people to live. People who live in these areas can survive and make a living, but there is no money left-over for luxury items or other wants. Many people only have money to fulfill their needs.

Respect for All Week
                                           By Stacy Sosa and Destiny Bernard

Respect means to be kind and loving. The definition of respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something drawn out by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Respect is very important. It is important because it shows a maturity level where people understand that having respect for others creates situations where love and friendships and peace become attainable in a world where bullying, war, hate, racism, and sexism are very real.The Department of Education would like for  children to understand the importance of respecting one another. Therefore, each February the DOE designates one week as Respect for All Week. Although the idea for implementing
Respect for All in New York City schools began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the first annual Respect for All Week didn’t begin until the 2010-2011 school year.  The DOE’s goal for Respect For All is to promote respect for diversity and to combat harassment, discrimination and bullying.  “The goal of this work is to ensure that every NYC school provides a learning environment where all children feel safe, valued and respected.” (NYC Department of Education website)  
  NYC schools began their 2017 recognition of Respect for All on Friday, February 10 on “National No One Eats Alone Day”.  Every public school in NYC has different ways to celebrate respect.  
   Port Richmond High School celebrated Respect for all Week by performing daily acts of kindness, attending a “Worth It” assembly, and by creating a Raiders’ Respect Wall.  The “Worth It” assembly reminded students how to respect themselves and each other by making choices that are “Worth it”.  A walk passed the Raiders’ Respect Wall alerts the passersby to what respect means to the students of Port Richmond High School.  
   Students throughout Port Richmond High School have different perspectives on the meaning of respect. Some of the sentiments on the wall are “Never lose sight of what’s important in”.  “Be Yourself and don’t change for anybody, no matter the consequences.” Students who didn’t write on the wall also expressed what respect means to them. “ I never thought about what respect means,” said Jared, a sophomore student.   “Respect means to treat others the way they treat me,” said sophomore student, Davon.  “Respect means to be more self conscious about our actions and think about the actual right things to do. To respect yourself is to be self conscious, and at the same time to have self confidence. I respect others by not judging people who I don't personally know. I feel like we should respect people for what they believe in, as we will get the same respect,” said a senior, Angela. Respect for All Week is over, but many students of Port Richmond High School will continue to treat others with kindness and respect.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

“If you can dream it you can do it.”-Walt Disney
By- Steven Inniss
Young people, end up losing their dreams, in fear of the imminent future, college.
In a low income neighborhood, there is a relatively small high school, Port Richmond High School. Although modest, Port Richmond HS has a lot of perks, and an upbeat spirit. One of those perks is the partnership Port Richmond HS has with Wagner College. Within this partnership, Wagner and PRHS nurtured a program called the Port Richmond Partnership Leadership Academy (PRPLA). The program is ran out of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement in Wagner College (CLCE), and the Wagner College Raider Office in Port Richmond High School. Leo Schuhert runs the program, PRPLA, along with Arlette Cepeda, Kevin Bote, Kevin Farrell, and other  students who work in the CLCE office. Mr. Schuhert said “I love the opportunity to work everyday with such wonderful, intelligent, inspiring, and motivational young adults.Seeing them learn and grow, develop leadership skills and work hard to achieve their dreams, is what this program is all about. It's because of the students whom I work with at Port Richmond that this program is possible. Our collective work in this program makes us at Wagner so proud to be partnered with such a wonderful community.” This extensive idea of pursuing your dream, even extends to IS 51, where their is a mini PRPLA developing, and works to develop their dream.
   The Leadership Academy was founded by the New World Foundation COIN Program and Wagner College. They started PRPLA, with an aim to improve students’ educational studying tactics, to teach the students about immigration, and to instruct them how to work with CBOs (community based organizations).  One of their goals is for students in PRPLA to become community based leaders and learn how to achieve their dreams. Timofej, a senior a Port High School, benefited greatly from her experience in the Wagner College program. {It} “Provided opportunity to grow as person and go to MIT,”  said Timofej.  The Wagner College student mentors help to guide students toward reaching their goals. One of these mentors who worked in  PRPLA over the summer described her experience working with Port Richmond HIgh School students throughout the school year, and throughout most of the summer,  “The Port Richmond Partnership Leadership Academy, works to improve our Raider student lives, and help work towards their dreams.”

Friday, January 20, 2017

Starting Off the New Year

new-year.jpgHayoung Choi
For many people, the new year is a fresh start to a better life. The start signifies a new chance, a new opportunity for people to change an aspect about themselves that they want to improve. Often, to accomplish this goal, people set New Year’s resolutions to help motivate and shape their lives into something better. Resolutions are like a renewed contract, a new promise to one’s self for a healthier well-being. Whether it’s quitting smoking or losing weight, these resolutions, however, are often easily dissolved and people succumb back into their old ways. Therefore, the “new year new me” mentality is born. According to James Clear, a photographer and author who writes about behavioral psychology, the building of a new habit in 21 days is in fact a debunked myth and in reality, it takes approximately 66 days for the habit to be cemented into one’s lifestyle. Relatively, 66 days may not seem like a long period of time to completely change your life, but to keep up a habit for 66 days continuously is easier said than done.
By following these few tips it’s guaranteed that you’ll stick to your resolutions in no time.
  1. Start by Being Specific
Focus on a certain area in your life that you specifically want to change. When you set a goal of losing weight, for example, choose a certain weight you want to achieve or decide on a certain amount of pounds to lose. By saying that you want to lose weight, it vaguely establishes an unclear target, making it harder to motivate yourself to achieve your desired goal.
     2.    Take One Step at a Time
Don’t expect a huge change to happen overnight. Unhealthy habits form over a long period of time and to form healthier habits, it will also take a long period of time. To form healthier habits, take baby steps and slowly start adding new routines.
     3.    Make a plan
Make a year long plan by mapping out daily, weekly, or even monthly goals. Plan for success by preparing the necessary items and materials. Read up on information about your specific subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, running a marathon, or becoming vegan, brushing up on some knowledge about the health benefits of your goal can make you look forward for the change.
      4.    Be Vocal About Your Resolution
Let people know about the goals that you want to accomplish. Find someone who can hold you accountable for keeping you motivated and on track to a healthier life. These “accountability buddies” can serve as helpful reminders of your end goal; they are a good way to vent out some pent up stress from the challenging change. Don’t tell too many people about your resolutions,  try to limit the people you tell, to a few close family members or friends who are willing to help you along your journey.
     5.    Accept Failure and Don’t Give Up
Understand that those midnight cravings might override your “weight loss will” or that one bad day might ruin your “be more positive” goal; these occasional slip-ups are a natural part of the new resolution process. Don’t beat yourself up every time you make an unintended mistake. Accept your failures after it happens and reflect back to why and how this could have occurred. Think about ways that your can learn and improve from this experience.

Remember, fulfilling your New Year’s Resolution is no easy task. It requires an unfailing will, determined motivation, and the strong want to change your life. With these three things, anyone can accomplish their resolutions in no time.

Works Cited

Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

"New Years Resolutions: 9 Ways To Keep Them - Bankrate." New Years Resolutions: 9 Ways To Keep Them - Bankrate. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

Pardon Our Interruption. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

"10 Ways to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

"Top 10 Healthiest New Year's Resolutions." N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Donald Trump Wins Presidential Election by Joshua Stamer

Donald Trump is slated to be the 45th president of the United States. Many Americans held their breath on election night as the two candidates, with substantial controversy surrounding their campaigns, traded leads throughout the election. The contest started on November 7, election night, and on early Wednesday morning Trump was announced the winner.
How exactly did this happen? Well, on Tuesday night, Trump won the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and Iowa. These states were especially important because they were won by Barack Obama and the democratic party in the election of 2012, making them blue states  ( According to CNN, these were also states that Hillary Clinton was projected to win.  
Now that the election is over, Trump will officially be in office on January 20th, 2017. Some of the ideas espoused by Trump consist of building a wall at the border of Mexico and US, deporting criminal illegal immigrants, reducing taxes for the working/middle class, defeating Isis, creating jobs, and strengthening the United States foreign affairs with different nations (