THE PANTHER PRESS
The Voice of Career High School
December 2018 New Haven, CT careerpantherpress.weebly.com
‘Hamilton’ Captures Heart of Career
On Thursday, December 13th, 130 students from Hill Regional Career High School attended the world-
renowned musical “Hamilton” at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford, CT. Thanks to a generous grant from the
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the enthusiastic students were able to witness Lin-Manuel
Miranda’s modern take history right in front of their own widened eyes.
During the morning, the soon-to-be-play viewers sat at the cafeteria tables, unaware of the moments they were
about to experience. Junior Emily Cervantes expected “to see a lot of beautiful dancing and singing,” but, after
viewing the play, she expressed, “I was even more impressed, and the songs did get stuck in my head. Now, I
can’t stop singing them!”
Throughout the day, everyone kept their eyes on the stage as various student performers from across Connect-
icut and Massachusetts sang, danced, and presented their poems. One of Career’s own students, sophomore
Hasfa Fazl, beautifully performed her spoken word poem in front of theatre filled with over 2,700 individuals.
She decided to focus her creative piece on Crispus Attucks, the first casualty of the American Revolutionary
War. She expressed, “I was inspired to write about him because he is barely known. I wanted to give him a
voice that he deserved to have, and let people hear what he may have wanted to say.” During her powerful
performance, Fazl portrayed the ideas that Attucks may have spoken about or thought of. Recounting her
presentation, she said, “I remember my heart began to race faster and faster each second that it took me to get
to the center of the stage. But, I remember I went up with a huge smile on my face because I was also genu-
inely excited to perform!”
After a break for lunch, the halls of the Bushnell Theatre
buzzed with excitement as every eager student and chaper-
one began to anticipate the upcoming show. Everyone from
Hill Regional Career High School became completely ecstat-
ic when they realized that their seats were right in front of
the Bushnell’s stage.
Around the anticipated time of 1:30 P.M., it was finally
showtime, which was evident in the wide eyes and opened
ears of all those sitting in the comfortable audience seats. In
the beginning, the performers and actors came alive on stage,
cheerfully dancing and singing the now-famous song
“Alexander Hamilton.” With the audience’s attention in their
grasp, the entire cast of “Hamilton” brilliantly shined and
entertained everyone of all ages in the theatre throughout the
entire musical. Cervantes commented once more, “I loved
the background dancers and how everything was happening
all at once— every part was complementing each other.”
The rest of the evening after the closing song was a blur for Fazl performs at the Bushnell. (photos/GLIAH)
most students, who were eagerly chatting away about the
amazing performance they had just witnessed. Although the
buses may have been delayed afterwards, this obstacle could
not take away the joy in everyone’s heart.
A special and warm-hearted shoutout to Mrs. Grandfield-Schimanski and Ms. Murphy for organizing the
entire trip and for giving up their time to educate students about Hamilton. Also, a grateful shoutout to Ms.
Glassman, who worked diligently with Fazl to create a beautiful piece of work!
The Panther Press: The Voice of Career High School
The Panther Press is a squad of students dedicated to getting the truth out to the public. We are determined to
give the people of Hill Regional Career High School a respectful voice.
2018-2019 Staff Writers
Adam Ahmad Rizal Astou Diallo Jonazia McKinnie
Veronica Borowski Tyanna Evans Lesly Mellado
Michelle Browne Kabryah Hamlet Jervone Myers
Emily Cervantes Anthony Harris Franchezca Pérez
Stacey Correa Andy Herrera Beverly Rodriguez
Justyce Davis Yuliarys LeBron Angelina Saunders
Faculty Advisor: Rose Murphy
Visit us online at careerpantherpress.weebly.com. Contact us at [email protected]
Coronation Night: A Winter Wonderland
Left to right: Willie Gulley, Trevont Woods, David Chambasis, Ashely Lizondro, Emilio Vaught, Laqusha Nelson, Hailey
Vaught, Cole Edwards, Ariana Nguyen, Marwa Abdelati, Denise Morallon. (Photos/Angelina Saunders)
On the night of December 7th 2018, the sounds of sneakers squeaking along the floor, basketballs bouncing,
and people screaming “LET’S GO PANTHERS!” disappeared from Career’s Jonathan Heller Gymnasium.
Instead, it became filled with the sound of high heels clacking against the ground, music played by our Career
student DJ Davionne Matthews, and the sound of teenagers singing and having a good time.
The decorations created by the Art Club were loved by the over 200 students who attended. There were snow-
flakes hanging everywhere, even on the windows, and fake snow could be found on the window seals. There
was a photo booth area with two white Christmas trees, a park bench with fake snow, and and a blue back-
ground with hanging lights. String lights crisscrossed above the gym, hanging above the dancing students
from the track. The transformation was complete: the whole gymnasium looked like the perfect Winter Won-
There was not as big of a turnout as there was last year; about 80 more students attended the 2017 coronation.
However, even though it was a smaller group of people, there were students who still had a great night out
with their friends and their girlfriends/boyfriends. The ladies and gentlemen looked “beautiful,” according to
one student, and the night was a success.
Freshman David "Tino" Chambasis said, “The people were nice and mellow.” Junior Hailey Vaught remarked,
“It was a good way to bring Career together; we actually had a time to hang out with each other and have fun.”
Senior Adam Ahmad Rizal said, “I had a ton of fun. I didn't really like the turnout or how many people there
were, and I think the food could have been better, but it was fun overall.” Junior Tyanna Evans said, “I like
that I had a good night with my friends, and I didn't like that nobody was really there.” Jonazia McKinnie, also
a Junior, reported, “The music was very good, and I had a good time with the people closest to me. People
weren't very active and dancing, so it was a little boring.” Senior Tyler McCarthy said, “I liked the decora-
tions. The food was alright, and I liked the DJ.”
Congratulations to our Coronation Court, and to everyone who helped put this event together!
Spirit Week Brings Panther PRIDE
Starting on December 10th, flyers were passed around to notify and remind stu-
dents that spirit week would soon start on the 17th of December. Kicking off
spirit week, Monday’s theme was meme day! Many students showed up resem-
bling viral memes that have had the students gaping in amazement or tumbling
over in laughter. The participants went above expectations and students were left
talking about their favorite memes. The memes involved students personifying
Salt Man, the Who Is She? vine, the Pikachu meme, and more. Junior Sofia So-
riano, who dressed up as the “Damn Daniel, back at it again with the white
vans!” meme, said “participating in spirit week is fun and in a way, connects us
all together because we’re all participating in an event to show school spirit and
are working together.” Students not only participate in this event to show school
spirit, but to also connect with others as well.
This connection was especially shown during Twin Day Tuesday! Walking
through the halls, you could see a couple of people who dressed similarly and
for some people, the resemblance was uncanny! They got it all, from the clothes
up to the hair! Junior Gulbahar Erkmen, who twinned with junior Brittney Her-
nandez, said that “twinning with people brings out our creativity and it was fun
deciding what to wear...going through our wardrobe was definitely a hustle
though.” As for the reactions of her peers, “seeing their reactions and hearing
their compliments definitely made my day” finished Erkmen.
The third theme of the week was Wacky Wednesday. Students and teachers
came in mostly with “ugly” sweaters as a form of a wacky clothing in the holi-
day spirit. People seemed especially competitive seeing how wacky their sweat-
ers could get.
Thursday brought Pajama Day, my favorite theme of the week by far-- who
doesn't like coming into school looking and feeling comfy? In classes, everyone
wore their pajamas, even the teachers! Ms. Grandfield especially was feeling in
the holiday spirit as she danced around in her pajamas to Christmas music.
Johanna Cando said, “I really enjoyed how happy and cheerful everyone was in
class, and them being in their pajamas just made things funnier-- but in a good
Ending Spirit Week was Class Color Day. The freshman wore gray, the sopho-
mores represented yellow, the juniors wore purple, and our seniors dressed in
black. Many of the students were showing off their Panther Pride before our
break, and it couldn’t have been a better way to end off the week. True, it was
supposed to be a color war between the grade levels, but I’d say we all won.
Spirit Week was a joy to participate in, alleviating stress and getting us ready for
our long-anticipated break. It was a way for all students to be connected and unit-
ed in some way, and was a lighthearted and creative way to show our Panther
Top to bottom: Adam Ahmad-Rizal, Gulbahar Erkmen, Brittney Hernandez, Josh Smith
College: The Countdown
Adam Ahmad Rizal
College deadlines are coming soon and com-
ing fast, with most schools following the Jan-
uary 1st application deadline. Students have
either applied for the Early Action deadline,
Early Decision deadline, or the Regular Deci-
sion deadline, which is the final deadline for
students to apply to most schools under the
Common App. Students will be submitting
their materials to their colleges soon and will
find out in time what school they will attend.
Most students will be using the famous Common Application to apply to their school of choice, which is an
ideal way to apply to multiple schools with ease. Some students are taking it well. Others .. not so well. So far,
though, the majority of seniors have started their applications in September, October, and even some during
Despite starting them months ago, many students still have not finished their application process. People are
“still waiting on teacher recommendations” or still needing to “finish [their] college essay,” say seniors Jamel
Sharhan and Nazim Bozan. Others have already applied to some colleges and are just waiting to complete the
Unsurprisingly, seniors feel that getting into the college of their choice is only the beginning of the journey--
the costs associated with college are a huge stressor. FAFSA is a huge factor that students are worried about.
For many, the money given and the affordability may decide where students will want to spend their four
years. “Some colleges don’t give enough money,” says senior Danielle Morallon. “If I don’t have the means to
pay for a college, I can’t attend that college,” says senior Gabriel McGaw.
There are options; students will either have to earn scholarships, take loans, rely on FAFSA, or other financial
aid, or simply have to work to pay for college. Though some students really do not want to work, preferring to
worry only about their school work, sometimes there are no choices. Working through college, though, may
not be the worst option since “there are also jobs that your school can get you into” such as work study pro-
grams, says senior Hector Garcia.
The major that people want to study is also a huge factor in how they choose colleges. The choice, says senior
Gabriel McGaw, depends “not only if they have major that I want,” but the quality of the program. Popularity
among majors and how well the program is run is taken into consideration. Location is also a huge factor.
Some students will be looking to go far away and out of state. Others will want to stay close to home and/or
commute. Some will want a city feel. Others will want a rural location.
New experiences, new people, and a new life is highly anticipated when finally going to college. As in high
school, a big key to success in college is building relationships with staff, peers, and professors. McGaw says
that becoming friends with your professor can bring benefits as your professor can “guide you towards people
who will help you in your future.”
In the end, that future will be bright; though it can be a struggle, this whole college process will hopefully and
most likely pay off. College will be one of the most exciting times in people’s lives.
Good luck, Class of 2019!
Reflection: Senior Fears
Being a senior feels good, but it can be very stressful at times.
You feel grown up, and you’re just trying to do right and gradu-
ate, but you’re not 18 yet, so it’s harder to get a job. Sometimes
you just think of how you’ll be able to depend on yourself; you
feel good about how you’re going to succeed. However,
overthinking your doubts or negative thoughts can take control
of how you want to balance your life. Seeing other people not
succeed at what they wanted to do makes you feel worried about
your own future. It’s like you feel like you’re not going be able
to take care of yourself when it’s just you and the world-- no
more school, no more safety net.
Every senior has a little fear in them, no matter how confident
they might seem. Career senior Sharise Abraham says that her
fears include “not getting into the college I want to get in to to
help benefit me in the future, or that if I do [get in], I’ll fall through with it and not graduate.’’ Like many stu-
dents, Abraham can’t help thinking about the standardized tests that might determine where she attends school
next year. “My concerns are that the SAT that I just took won't be high enough to get in the actual college I
want to get into. Watching others graduate can be a good example,” but at the same time, and watching others
“can also make you more nervous. I’ve seen a lot of people that I know get through college and be successful,
and then I’ve seen others that are not successful. It falls through and they don't graduate.”
Being a senior is not as easy as it looks; it’s stressful. I’ve been hearing this since before I was even a freshmen
and still stress about it. I still fear how my future would look. I don’t have everything figured out, but I do feel
like the key is to not care about what other people think in terms of your plans. Do something that you feel
comfortable doing, not something based on your idea that someone else might think a certain way of you.
We spend our whole lives learning how to be independent and take care of ourselves. We all can't wait to turn
18 and become legal adults. We want to get to that point where we’ll feel our parents can't be on us anymore.
We want to feel like we are going to be independent, like we’re all grown up, like we’ll have personal space
from their parents. But it’s not all confidence. We are all hiding our fears. I feel like many seniors fear of run-
ning out of money, even those who save and have had jobs from the beginning, because they fear they won't
have enough for themselves. As you get older, you understand the burden you can put on your loved ones.
Even if they pretend not to, most seniors fear not being able to live at home. Home is a lot more than just a
house you live in. It’s somewhere with a pack of memories. It feels safe and it's familiar; your home is a big
part of who you are. Just talking about not being at home any more is stressful. You want to keep discussing
future options, but at the same time, you’re saying goodbye to being a child.
It hurts to hear the truth, but as we age, we have to accept that things just change. We start to experience more
things in reality that we will have to go through-- including things that we really don’t want to go through--
and that's just life.
Seniors, support your friends. Reach out to others. And know that no one else really has it figured out. We’re
all going through this together.
CTE: A Capstone Journey
Capstone: with so many options, it can be overwhelming to make a choice. For my capstone, I decided to learn
more about a disease called CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).
CTE is a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head. The disease has been mostly
found in players that have played football, rugby, boxing, and hockey and in other sports that involve physical
contact. Soccer and wrestling are other sports that can cause brain damage. CTE is still fairly new to scientists
and researchers, so there have been disagreements for the symptoms for CTE, but what makes CTE difficult to
detect is that the player must be pronounced dead in order for researchers to study the player’s brain. Accord-
ing to an article by the Alzheimer’s Association, most cases of NFL players who have been found with CTE
have shown symptoms like impulsive behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviour, short term memory
loss, and difficulty thinking. BU (Boston University) now has a study center for CTE, and to this day the Uni-
versity is still finding new information about this disease.
Many former players of the NFL have been diagnosed with CTE: Mike Webster, Aaron Hernandez, Andre
Waters, Ken Stabler, Chris Henry, Dave Duerson, Junior Seau, Tyler Sash, Jovan Belcher, and Justin
Strzelczyk. There are many more cases of players being diagnosed with CTE, but these players’ stories are
some of the most well-known. Mike Webster was the first former NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE. He
was a center for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs. He played for 17 seasons in the NFL. After
playing in the NFL, Webster’s attitude and his physical appearance started changing. CTE wasn’t the only
thing that he was battling; Mike Webster was battling amnesia, dementia, depression, and acute bone and mus-
cle pain. On September 24th, 2004 Webster passed away due to a heart attack at the age of 50. Mike Webster's
brain was studied by Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-American nurlolologst. According to Dr. Omalu, Mike
Webster’s brain resembles those of boxers with “Dementia Pugilistica,” also known as “punch drunk.” Due to
Mike Webster playing a physical position and playing in the NFL for 17 years, his brain was damaged forever-
- he had CTE.
Another tragic case doesn’t come from a football player, but from a WWE wrestler named Chris Benoit. Chris
Benoit started wrestling in 1985 but wouldn’t go to the WWE until 2000. While wrestling, Chris would take
numerous headshots with chairs, performing moves involving him hurting his head. On June 25th 2007, police
found Chris Benoit, his wife, and his 7-year-old son dead in their home. It would later be determined that Chris
Benoit killed his wife, then his son, then himself. Former wrestler Christopher Nowinski called Chris Benoit’s
father to suggest that the trauma to his brain during his years wrestling could have been what led to those unex-
pected actions of him killing him his wife and his son. At West Virginia University, a test was conducted on
Benoit’s brain by head of neurosurgery Julian Bailes. The results found that Chris Benoit’s brain was so se-
verely damaged that it was compared to an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient.
CTE is so much more fascinating than it might appear, and we
still don’t know everything there is to know about it. The reason I
chose this as my capstone because I played football before and
it’s sad to hear about kids my age or playing in college having this
disease from doing something they love to do. I believe that eve-
ryone who plays any physical contact sport should know about
this disease, especially parents who let their kids play any physi-
cal contact sports at a young age. After learning about CTE, I be-
lieve that in order to make football safe or to prevent players get-
ting brain injuries, people must either invest more money in the
equipment or not play football or any physical contact sport.
Capstone Projects Bring Rewards
Although the capstone project is a requirement for seniors across the district to graduate, most Career High
School students take it seriously, trying to choose topics that not only interest them but also taking the initia-
tive to find ways to spread awareness of their chosen focus.
Senior Andy Herrera earned a perfect score on his capstone, which was about drunk driving. He started it off
with brainstorming some ideas, then continued with the research he conducted and his reasoning for doing his
capstone on drunk driving. Herrera’s Powerpoint included some health facts about the damage alcohol can
cause to your system, making sure that his audience was able to walk away with some knowledge after view-
ing his capstone. “Every 51 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash, which equates to
27 people every day.” Shockingly, Herrera found that someone is injured in a drunk driving incident every 120
Herrera also talked about first responders and how their responses to these incidents are really valued, given
that some circumstances are life and death. Additionally, Herrera learned that if someone were under 21 and
caught drunk driving by authorities, this would result to them losing their license or possible jail time. Herrera
felt it was important to share this with his peers, who are themselves beginning to drive and gain more inde-
Senior Adam Ahmad Rizal completed his capstone on a starting guitar tutorial for beginners. What struck me
about this capstone is that it wasn't your typical research or common topic. Instead, it was something Rizal had
a passion for. Going to a school that is more career-oriented, the arts aspect of education is indeed lacking.
However, Rizal did not let this stop him, and instead conducted a capstone which allowed him to express his
love for something while helping also others learn the basics of playing the guitar.
Rizal started his tutorials on his Youtube platform, and then wanted to go more local by bringing his tutorials
to Career students. In his presentation, he talked about the advantages and 21st century skills people can gain
from guitar playing. “Record labels, selling albums and merchandise are cool things that artist do when their
career launches, but it's also a way in which they can profit” wrote Rizal.
Rizal’s learning outcome helped him gain many new skills. Rizal learned how to effectively explain to others
the different aspects of guitar, and connect with others through social media and face-to-face, which is a very
important part of forming a career and can help Rizal in his future endeavors. Rizal says, “I feel so relieved to
be done, and the outcome was great! I was even invited to the Capstone Expo at the end of the year.” Rizal’s
experience just goes to show that if you actually try your best with your capstone project, you’ll reap the re-
Want to see your name in print? Do you want to gain experience in
journalism? Want to boost your resume?
Write for the Panther Press!
We need writers to help cover sports at Career, submit opinion articles, send in poetry and art, and anything
else you can think of.
Email [email protected] to get started.
Capstone: How Does it Work?
During your senior year at Hill Regional Career High
School, you are responsible for creating and presenting a
meaningful project that somehow positively affects you
and the community. This project is called your senior cap-
Your senior capstone project is a semester-long project in
which you get the chance to plan and draft your own
learning experience formed by what moves you and your
interests. Some examples of the kind of projects you can
do are artistic projects, science projects, learning a new
skill, planning and coordinating an event, doing research,
volunteering, taking political action, and more.
You have the chance to either take the Senior Capstone class here at Career or do it on your own, as an inde-
pendent study. While you take the Senior Capstone class, you are responsible to work on your capstone project
as well as write weekly journals about your progress.
You will also be liable for getting a mentor, who will sign a contract created by yourself to help you in any
way possible. Your mentor can help you in your capstone project by providing some ideas. You can check in
with him/her to see what they think could be done better in your project, as well as helping you with any re-
sources they may have or can get.
Some larger tasks that are required include your proposal, progress presentations, share-out, and your final re-
The proposal is meant to give you an opportunity for you to write about your goals, resources, and learning
expectations for your project. The first part will include what your project is and the outcomes that you expect
and desire, as well as how it relates to your magnet theme. The second part of the proposal includes an expla-
nation of the resources you will need and try to get. The third part will be to write about a prediction of your
outcome-- what you will learn, how it has expanded your knowledge or made you change in any way, as well
as how you will use what you did for your future. The proposal should also incorporate all five 21st century
skills into your project.
The progress presentations are a chance to practice your capstone presentation. There will be two progress
presentations that are mandatory. You will only be presenting to the teacher and class about how your capstone
is going so far. You will be graded on this presentation, not on whether you are finished with your capstone
project or not but on how you present, the description of your presentation, your scope and quality of the pro-
ject, demonstration of the use of the 21st century skills, and the learning and magnet theme.
The final presentation will consist of a brief overview of your Capstone project presented to three teachers/
administrators. You will present with a Powerpoint or some other type of visual, but checked in with your sen-
ior capstone teacher. The Powerpoint should include your initial plans, people who you worked with, learning
in the focus area of your project, the final outcome of your project, and an overall reflection. Your panel judg-
es your presentation. According to the capstone manual, in order to pass “students must receive a total rubric
score of 50 or higher.” If students fail the presentation, they will be given two weeks from their initial presen-
tation to prepare better and take a second attempt at this graduation requirement.
The Silent Killer: Cardiac Disease
Concerns around the United States flare as a
potentially unrecognized epidemic unravels,
with its roots unable to be controlled by a mere
dosage of pills. Many Americans today fall un-
der its grasp and power, unable to free them-
selves from a death that can come about in a
few seconds or minutes after its drastic onset.
As the clock ticks, thousands of men and wom-
en across the land of the supposedly best
healthcare around the globe tragically pass away
every twenty-four hours due to this silent killer.
But this vast affliction isn’t like the imaginary
monsters we see and manage inside our brains;
it’s the monsters we can’t necessarily feel inside
our own arteries and veins.
Cardiac disease is defined as disease that pertains to and affects the heart and its branching blood vessels,
which is generally characterized by blocked or narrowed arteries or veins. This potent disease leads to an in-
crease in a plethora of problems such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol,
which are commonly heard of today. During an annual check-up, every patient has answered questions regard-
ing their blood and cholesterol pressure, and they often get their blood pressure checked by a needed blood
But why all this fuss over annually examining our beating hearts if the majority of Americans are unaware of
its potential diseases or conditions? In a recent survey conducted with twenty-five students at Hill Regional
Career High School, only 36% of the students acknowledged that cardiac disease was the leading cause of
death in the United States. In today’s society, this lack of awareness becomes overshadowed by a multitude of
other fatal incidents that are considered more newsworthy or eye-catching, or by not enough care of our own
fragile bodies and cardiovascular systems.
But, no fear! In an attempt to prevent any major onsets of cardiac problems, there are plenty steps everyone
can take in their daily lives, such as the following:
Maintain a healthy weight and diet.
Exercise regularly and get the heart pumping.
Quit regularly smoking and/or drinking alcohol.
Attend regular heart checkups and treat any problems that pertain to the heart that may occur.
If possible, reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Just because you may not be affected by any cardiac diseases or conditions right now, there may be an im-
mense chance that someone in your life is. You have the ability to make a great impact on someone else’s life
by assisting them in the right direction towards a healthy lifestyle. If you are unsure of the symptoms or signs
of cardiac disease, please visit http://www.heart.org or call 1-800-242-8721--you may just save a life, if not
More Funding Needed for Pediatric Cancer
In the United States, childhood cancer funding is around $170 million per year, and most of that goes toward
laboratory research. The funding for pediatric cancer clinical trials has gone down every year since 2003, and
is currently at only $26.4 million. The average cost of a stay in a hospital for a child with cancer is $40,000.
All of these numbers are staggering, and they’re impersonal. To help make sense of the reality of childhood
cancer, I interviewed Keith, a nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Keith is one of my little brother’s regular nurses. My little brother Elijah is 10 years old and was diagnosed
with leukemia over the summer on July 8th. Right now, the cancer has left his bone marrow, but he still has to
go through chemotherapy to make sure it’s all gone so that it never comes back. Nurses like Keith make diffi-
cult situations like this more bearable for children and families. Keith says, “I love my job and the kids… Who
wouldn’t love this job? I went to college to be an R.N. for a reason.” Keith was truly excited to talk about his
job, though he mentioned that he feels that the funding should be better for pediatric cancer research.
The nurses at Yale make sure to work hard at their job and seem to truly care about what goes on with their
patients. This makes a difference for the children. When I asked Elijah how he felt when he found out he had
leukemia and he said it was new for him, and he was scared. Though he said he knew he would be fine, he was
just afraid. Cancer changes your life. Elijah was in the hospital for literally a whole month and didn’t even get
to go outside unless he went to the healing garden, which is a garden at Yale where the patients go.
When I see the children who are sick with cancer, of course it’s sad to see them go through that, but I noticed
that all of them accept the fact that they have cancer and think positively. They all get treated with care in the
hospital. But these children should not have to grow up so fast. Only 4% of government cancer research goes
towards studying pediatric cancers. These children deserve so much more.
Are You Stressed?
Do you ever just freak out before a big test or before a big project? Do you ever wonder why you feel sick,
tired, or lazy whenever you have a lot of stuff to get done? Well, this is because you are stressed out. The most
common type of stress that people deal with every day is chronic stress. Chronic stress is the response to emo-
tional pressure suffered for a prolonged period of time in which an individual perceives that they have little or
no control. Stress can be caused by a lot of things, such as an argument with a family or friend, an assignment
for work or school, an upcoming test, or applications for a college or a job. Your body can react just as strong-
ly as if you’re facing a true life-or-death situation.
The more you stress about something, the harder it becomes to destress. If you are one of those people who
stress frequently, you can possibly be in a very unhealthy state, which can cause some serious health issues.
Health problems exacerbated by stress include: depression and anxiety, pain of any kind, sleep problems, auto-
immune diseases, digestive problems, skin conditions such as eczema, heart disease, weight problems, repro-
ductive issues, and thinking and memory problems.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to take some actions that pertain to destressing. Also,
you need to seek help from your doctor if you are struggling with these symptoms or if you don't know if stress
is actually the source of the problem. You may need to see a therapist to help you find the source of the stress,
or you can make changes in your life to help you get through it.
The causes of stress can come from both internal and external situations. Always remember that just because
something stresses you out, another person does not necessarily stress about the same worries. They may even
enjoy doing those things or find them really easy to do; that doesn’t mean it’s not valid for you to stress about
the same thing. Stress can affect your body in many different ways, especially on your mood and behavior.
Common effects of stress on your Common effects of stress on Common effects of stress on
body: your mood: your behavior:
Overeating or undereating
Headache Anxiety Angry outbursts
Muscle tension or pain Drug or alcohol abuse
Chest pain Restlessness Tobacco use
Fatigue Social withdrawal
Change in sex drive Lack of motivation or focus Exercising less often
Sleep problems Irritability or anger
Sadness or depression
Some ways to destress include:
Regular physical activity, relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, getting a
massage, keeping a good sense of humor, socializing with family and friends, or setting aside some time for
hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music.
Career teachers: How do you deal with stress?
Mr. Osborne: “Instead of dwelling on life and what's going on, I place meaning into my life by focusing on
the needs of others.”
Mr. Alwang: “How I deal with stress is by reading, going to the gym, and meeting up with friends and fami-
Mr. Cotto: “Well, I like to go to the gym. I also like to spend time with my friends and play video games.”
Mrs. Williams: “There are three things that I do: one is listening to music, the second thing that is really help-
ful is time management, and for the third thing I do is create a mindset that I’m not going to be stressed.”
Mr. McTague: “This may sound very weird, but I like to clean old rusty tools. I also like walking my dog and
gardening when I can, just doing physical activities like going to the gym. I also stay very aware of my feelings
and do something to help myself before it gets worse, I even take a mental health day.”
Mrs. Lavorgna: “I like to make list of things to do to keep myself organized, I would call myself a pretty orga-
nized person. Being organized helps keep me sane inside and out. My biggest thing that helps me is to remem-
ber to have time for myself.”
Mr. Malafronte: “I don't make unrealistic expectations for myself. The real way not to stress is by being pre-
pared. That way if you have everything you need, you won't stress out about it. When I get home my wife and I
don’t use electronics, and we turn on some soft instrumental music and light a candle. I like to sit and pet my
puppy for awhile. People don't realize how much that helps. Another big thing that helps is just sitting down
and taking deep breaths in and out ten times.”
Not all of the things in this article will help you destress, for everyone reacts and feels better in different ways.
Do not freak out if these things don't work for you! You just have to find things that you love to do in your free
time and make time for them in your daily routine.
How to Save Yourself From a Cold
Everyone knows the torture of getting sick during the winter. The runny nose, scratchy throat, and high fevers
are your enemy from December to March. Some people say the luck is all you need, but others come fully
equipped with cold-fighting packs including cough drops, nasal spray, and Kleenex. School is one of the worst
places to be to avoid colds because the virus is both airborne and contact based. The cold virus incubates for
approximately 2 days and can last anywhere from 7-10 days. Common symptoms of the viral infection are
cough, ear pain, sinus pressure, and stuffiness. Here are some scientifically-proven remedies to stave off a cold
or cure it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should drink lots of water. Water can clear up some of the congestion as
well as preventing you from dehydrating. You can even add some flavor with lemon or honey if you don’t like
the tasteless drink. Rest is also a good way to fight the cold; it gives the body time to heal and you wake up
with a bit more energy.
If your cold is particularly nasty and it comes with a sore throat, you can gargle with salt water and eat ice
chips, popsicles, or throat lozenges. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends ibuprofen or aceta-
minophen for pain or fever relief. Most people would drink some hot tea, which is proven to be helpful as well
Mrs. Jalil, Career biology and public health teacher, says you need to wash your hands, increase your vitamin
C intake, and stay away from sick people. Though vitamin C has been questioned for its effectiveness, it can
help when you are in a high-exposure cold zone like a school or daycare. The nurse and clinic are stocked up
on cough drops and hand sanitizer if you don’t have any.
The common cold is highly contagious and very annoying, but most people are able to fight it within a few
days. If this is not your case, it is best to stay home or go see a physician for further testing. It is likely you will
be prescribed over-the-counter medicine or decongestants.
Antibiotics will not help the cold because they are used for bacterial infections, and the cold is a virus. But
don’t lose all hope-- your cold will pass. Colds can be disgusting, but don’t let it put a damper on the joy that
the winter season has to offer.
Not Just Moodiness: Teen Depression
When we notice sadness in teenagers, we usually just assume it's just
due to some hormone imbalance or just moodiness-- but teenage de-
pression is a serious problem. The teen years can be a stressful time,
filled with major changes in the body, changes in thoughts and feel-
ings, confusion, fear, doubts and/or pressures to succeed. Sometimes
other things, such as bullying, abuse, home problems, loss of a loved
one or even a breakup can cause suicidal feelings or behavior. Sui-
cide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages
10 to 24.
The tragedy of a young person dying can be a devastating time for
the parents, family, friends, teachers, classmates, neighbors etc. and
may leave you wondering if it could have been prevented. A Netflix
series called “13 Reasons Why” chronicles the suicide of a high
school junior who leaves behind 13 tape recordings that blame 13
others for their role in her suicide. In the show, she gets her revenge on them through the tapes, leaving them
wondering if they could have done anything to prevent her suicide and realizing how other people could be
going through what she did, while telling her story to others at the same time. In the show, her parents had
no idea what she was going through while she was alive, they thought she was a happy, innocent, 17-year-
old young girl stressing about her grades, but in reality she was fighting a much bigger battle; she was being
bullied and picked on at school, sexually harassed and raped by a boy at her school, no one noticing how
hurt she was until she took her own life in the tub of the bathroom in her home. Similar stories of teen sui-
cide occur in real life; the suicide of Brandy Vela who was 18 years old, Sydney Dane who was 14 years old,
Amanda Todd who was fifteen years old, and many other teenagers who have tragically taken their lives.
Suicide is a difficult topic, but it's too important to ignore. You should always help someone that you feel
may be at risk, even if you think you might be wrong or if you feel the person may be upset with you.
Warning signs can include:
Sudden drop in grades
Physical changes in appearance or hygiene
Risky or reckless behaviors
Talking about feeling hopeless or nothing to live for.
It is always helpful to express concern, listen, maintain connection, be compassionate, and trust your judge-
ment. If you yourself are having suicidal thoughts or feelings, just remember that you're not alone and that
suicide is a permanent decision to a temporary situation. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to an adult
at school— go to the nurse’s office or the clinic and ask to talk.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
If you or someone you know is in an emergency situation, call 911. You will get help.
Positive Talk, Negative Talk
“Too fat, too skinny.” These are some of the things most often said
by people looking in the mirror before they head out for school, work,
an event, or even just to go to the grocery store. People constantly put
themselves down and exaggerate their flaws that many people might
not even notice or judge, rather than embracing them and lifting
themselves as high as possible-- as they should. Does this criticism of
yourself sound like you? If it does, it is HIGHLY recommended that
you try out something called “self talk” or the “internal monologue.”
Self talk is referring to a person's inner voice. This voice tells people
how to feel and what to do. There are 2 different types of self talk:
positive and negative. Negative self talk can lead to things like anxie-
ty and depression. In order to avoid the results of negative self talk,
people should make an effort to begin to uplift themselves with posi-
tive self talk. When you positively self talk, you can say nice things
to compliment yourself and boost your confidence, making you feel
better about yourself. Positive self talk should be practiced by people
of all ages. History teacher Mr. Osborne, junior Neishaly Colon, and
sophomore Tyler Wilson all make the effort to engage in positive self
History teacher Mr. Osborne says, “I think positive self talk is im-
portant because a lot of people have a tendency to get down on them-
selves very quickly and they begin to spiral downward. Positive self
talk can stop that and bring you back to where you’d like to be.” Os-
borne then went on to connect personally to positive self talk, saying,
“I try and tell myself-- especially when I’m overwhelmed by the neg-
atives and when I’m only seeing negatives-- I try to bring the posi-
tives out into the light.”
Junior Neishaly Colon says, “positive self talk is important because it
boosts your confidence. It stops you from becoming depressed.” De-
pression is a real side effect of constantly calling yourself names and
constantly putting yourself down. Depression is a mental health disor-
der that can be very detrimental to how you feel about yourself, your
personality, and your physical appearance.
Sophomore Tyler Wilson makes a habit of engaging in positive self talk in order to have a healthy and happy
perception of herself. “Positive self talk is something that I do everyday before I leave the house. It boosts my
confidence. If I don’t hear people say positive things about me, it’s okay because I’ve technically already
heard it from myself. I think that positive talk overrules negative self talk and it really makes a difference when
you start to talk positively to yourself every day.”
Wilson is a great example of how effective positive self talk actually can be. Try to make it a habit, even if it
seems difficult at first, and say something positive to yourself before you leave home!
If you are finding it difficult to speak kindly to yourself, or if you’d like advice on how to use positive self-talk,
speak to someone who can help. Ask Nurse Bruni for advice, or speak to your counselor.
The Program, Not the Vegetable: Squash
Squash Haven is an after-school program in New Haven that was founded in 2007 by Julie Greenwood. Squash Haven
started off with two partner schools, one staff member, and with a couple of students in 5th and 6th grade. Now, they
have 100 students in the program with 5 staff members, 2 of them being squash coaches. New students are being selected
yearly, most of them middle schoolers, but high schoolers can apply as well. Squash Haven is part of the Squash and
Education Alliance (SEA) and 21 other programs are involved as well. 24 public New Haven schools are currently part-
nered with Squash Haven, meaning kids from all over New Haven are in the program.
Programing begins with announcements and reminders at 3:30pm and lasts until 6:45pm. It is divided into two sections:
academics and squash. Squash Haven programming first begins with academic enrichment and homework time, and then
ends with squash practice.
Career senior Franki Velasquez, who’s been in the program for 8 years, says “homework time has been especially help-
ful for me-- and not just for me, but I think for others as well, because we don't have a study hall at school so when we
have time to do our homework and have people help us, it helps me become confident in the work i'm turning in at
For juniors and seniors, the most beneficial part of being in the program is the help you get during the college process.
Itzell Cervantes, a senior from Wilbur Cross High School who was recently accepted into George Washington Universi-
ty said, “working with Christian [Aviles] and having him revise my essay, sign me up on college tours, helping me stay
overnight at colleges, helping me fill out my FAFSA, and just informing me on everything about college has made life a
little bit easier and less scary.” Christian Aviles is the Director of College Access and Persistence and not only helps stu-
dents get into colleges, but boarding schools and academically rigorous programs as well.
Squash Haven also makes sure that its members help out in the community. It is mandatory for students to complete 10
hours of community service, and the staff are constantly providing Squash Haven students with places to volunteer.
There’s always something to do. The added bonus to this is that the hours you complete for Squash Haven can be used
for your school graduation requirements as well, killing two birds with one stone.
The most important and critical thing Squash Haven provides though, is a family. All the staff members become really
close and involved with the students and provide a personal connection. They help ensure that you have somewhere to
belong and with any difficulties that you have, they’ll be there to help. Squash Haven isn’t just a program, but it’s a true
When I think about Squash Haven after so many years, I think, “Yeah, of course they’re my family.” I've built deeply
personal connections with a few of them and have told them things I haven’t even told my closest friends. They’ve done
more for me than I can ever do for them, and the only thing they ask in return is to simply be the best I can be.
Interested in learning more about Squash Haven? Go to squashhaven.org to find out more.
Club Feature: Art Club
Art club: a place to express yourself and have fun. Art Club is run by senior
Carina Andrea. It is a place to draw, paint, sketch or do anything creative,
and no art experience needed. It takes place every Thursday after school in
the library. As someone who has benefitted from Art Club, something that I
appreciate about it is that you come when you can, making it flexible for
students who have other activities and other things to do.
The atmosphere of Art Club is very comforting and calm. Andrea describes
it as a “place to chill and create art;” she mentions that the club has many
different kinds of materials that students could experiment with that some
might not have access to or may not even know exist. For these students,
Art Club might help them discover a new kind of art they may not have
been aware of and they might end up loving it. Art Club is a judgement free
zone, and you can express yourself freely; some students may not be able to express their feelings well or at all
verbally, so for them, Art Club is an important outlet. It also helps people come out of their comfort zones, like
it did for me.
Art Club has worked many projects, including the haunted house for the seniors--they did all the decorations
for the Haunted House, from the bloody hand prints to the coffin and ghosts. They also recently decorated for
Coronation, which this year had the theme of Winter Wonderland. Though they don't always work on big pro-
jects, they are open to requests.
I have been a member of art club since sophomore year, and I especially enjoy how nice and quiet it is; the at-
mosphere is perfect for me to practice and improve my art. I attend regularly and have participated in making
the Haunted House and Coronation decorations. Something I noticed is that many Career students don’t under-
stand or appreciate how much work and how many hours people put in to making and setting up decorations
for school events.
An added benefit of Art Club is that for some events you can get volunteer hours. Everyone needs 20 hours in
order to graduate, so helping decorate might be able to get you those few volunteer hours you need to gradu-
ate. Art Club starts right after school, and, on average, Art Club lasts a few hours, but you stay as long as you
Art Club welcomes you with opens arms, and we hope to see you at the next Art Club meeting. Whether you
are just there to check it out or to do an art project, I hope you enjoy yourself and visit us again.
Skincare with Michelle: Acne
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. It affects up to 50 million Americans annually.
This is a heavy problem specifically for teenagers. No matter what, somehow and some way, a pimple seems
to penetrate your skin sporadically. Believe it or not, the reason behind your pimples is not so much of a mys-
tery. Depending on the location of the dreaded pimple, you may have some specific hints that can help you
Forehead: Constant stress or a stress overload
Between the brows: Food allergies, difficulties digesting particular foods
Cheeks: Respiratory system
Chin and jaw: Hormonal imbalance
Ears: Kidneys, dehydration
When buying skincare products, you must be careful of what you are putting on your skin. Your skin could be
allergic to a certain product and you could never know. In addition, you could have incredibly sensitive skin
that flares up with contact to some products. The fun part is that you can buy and create products to see what
your skin loves and what it hates.
When it comes to acne, an all-time winner is always salicylic acid. Don't ever be scared at the word “acid”
when trying out skin products. Our skin needs particular acids to be used as an antioxidants. Some acids we
even make ourselves naturally. A great toner with salicylic acid is the Clean and Clear Essentials Deep Clean-
ing Toner ($7.00). You can find this at your local Walmart or drug store. I personally have been using this
product since my freshman year, and I would give it 5/5 stars. I incorporate this into my routine in the morning
as well as the night after I am done using my cleansers. I apply it with a cotton ball and swipe it across my
face. This is a great product that's only ever benefitted me. It leaves a cool refreshing feeling to your face after
African Black soap will always be my favorite product. I can attest that I did have some difficulties with this
product in the beginning of my skincare journey-- sometime around middle school. It left my skin irritated and
red because I had incredibly sensitive skin. If you struggle with sensitive skin, then this product might not be
for you. I have seen many different people with different skin types try African Black Soap and all have differ-
ent reactions. It is a holy grail for some and a miss for others. African Black Soap has so many great proper-
ties; it is an anti-bacterial as well as an antifungal. This product deeply cleans your skin so that your pimples
vanish. I use Dudu Osun Black Soap ($2.24.)
This product can be found at your local beauty
Home Acne Remedies:
As nasty as it smells, apple cider vinegar
works wonders on the skin when it comes to
pimples. Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria,
removes excess dirt, oil, and makeup, and dis-
solves dead skin cells. It will remove all that is
clogging your pores and return acidity back to
your skin; in the process, it will shrink your
Personally I cannot take the pungent smell of ACV, so I dab just a little of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
with the ‘mother’ ($3.99) after I have applied my toner at night instead of in the morning. That way, I am not
bothered by the smell throughout the day. This product can be found at any supermarket.
*Any product that states with the ‘mother’ means it is completely organic.
A 10/10 holy grail home remedy if used properly is tea tree essential oil, found at your local Target or
Walmart. Yes, people will tell you to not use this essential oil because it is a very harsh product. This can be
very true but, if used correctly, I have found that my pimples are gone by morning if used at night. I use a little
-- and I cannot stress just a little enough-- of Nature's Truth Tea Tree Aromatherapy Essential Oil ($5.99) di-
luted with water dipped on to a q-tip at the end of my skincare routine. I will only do this for two nights out of
the week because I have found that excessive use of the product leads to very irritated skin. If you have incred-
ibly sensitive skin, this product is not for you. It will destroy your skin, leaving it burned.
Good luck with your skincare journey-- remember, acne doesn’t last forever. You can email me at career-
[email protected] --anonymously or personally-- with the troubles you’re facing when it comes to your
#BlackGirlMagic has become a movement for black women of all ages to
empower each other and themselves. In an interview with CNN journalist
Jamescia Thomas, Spelman College professor Asia Leeds said that “the con-
cept is important because it names and identifies the ways that Black women
make space for themselves, celebrate themselves, and connect to each other.’’
In the fashion industry, Black models were rarely seen, which made it hard
for Black girls to see themselves as beautiful and made them lack self-
confidence. “I’ve had low self-esteem since I was little because I’ve always
been the darkest one in my family and was made fun of by my siblings,” said
one anonymous freshmen at Career High School. In the fashion industry,
there have been many controversies about Black models not being able to be
in fashion shows, magazines, or be in the fashion industry at all. In The Guardian, journalist Hadley Freeman
explored this in an article called “Why Black Models are Rarely in Fashion.” Black model Jourdan Dunn said,
“people in the industry say if you have a black face on the cover of a magazine, it won’t sell.” This is one of
the reasons why young Black girls grow up not seeing someone who looks like them reflected in the industry.
Career High School junior Justyce Davis said, “I feel that Black Girl Magic is something that shows a lot about
Black girls. They simply can be themselves and love themselves for who they are. I feel like some Black girls
do have insecurities about themselves-- for example, I know a lot of Black girls that bleach their skin because
they were ‘too dark…” They should feel comfortable in their skin and embrace their Black Girl Magic.”
Black Girl Magic is a huge movement supported not only by Black women, but also by women of other races
as well. “Even though I’m not Black, my friends are, and hearing stories about what they go through today in
society-- for example, police brutality and experiencing racism-- made me want to help support Black girls and
their magic,’’ said one anonymous sophomore from Career High School.
If you are a woman of color who wants to support other Black women and young girls, you can create a sup-
port group in your community, follow other Black support groups in person or on social media, and become or
find a mentor.
Career Staff: What Do They Really Think?
When talking to any student at Hill Regional Career High School about their beloved school, you will get a
plethora of interesting answers. It is the norm for a teenager to hate their high school while they attend-- it’s
basically a criteria of being a teenager. However, a teen will attend Career for only four years. Has anyone ever
asked the faculty how they feel?
Of course, we all know our teachers and adults at the school get stuck in hours-long meetings to talk about im-
provements the school needs to make, but how are their voices heard? Staff members can be hard to read. It is
very easy for students to think that a staff member loves their job because they are getting a paycheck, but it is
also as easy to assume they might hate it because of a persona they might put on for their students and
coworkers. Who are our staff members, and what is their personal experience at Career? I am here to get down
to the nitty gritty about how our staff members really feel. From the well-known faculty to the friendly but
possibly unknown faces we see in the hallways, I set out to interview staff members about their experiences
over the years at Career.
I asked five questions. 1. How long have you been at Career High School? 2. What do you think needs to be
changed at Career High School? 3. Where do you see Career High School in five years? 4. Reflecting from
when you first came to Career High School to the present, are things better, worse, or about the same ? 5. Do
you have any hopes for Career High School? I targeted three main faculty members: Mr. Malafronte (Civics
and AP Government and Politics teacher), Ms. Shawn (secretary and clerk), and Ms. Gardner (freshman Eng-
Mr. Malafronte has been a teacher at Hill Regional Career High School since 2004. He has experienced a
plethora of changes, people, and ideas-- more than enough to speak on my five questions. When asked, “What
do you think needs to be changed at Career” he responded, “That's a loaded question… but I believe we start
with stuff that is completely under our control as a faculty and an administration. The first thing we can control
is the facilities. I think presentation permeates every aspect of what we are. I feel as though we need beautifi-
cation. If the facilities looked nicer and people respected the facilities, that's a good start and people would
start to behave. I think we behave the way of our surroundings.” Ms. Shawn, who has been at Career High
School for thirteen years, approached the question differently, stating, “I think we need to come together more
as a school between the staff and the students and come to an understanding so everyone gets along. Rules
should be enforced with the students and the staff to have more of a calmer atmosphere.” Both faculty mem-
bers interpret the question differently, but seemed to agree with the central idea that the school needs to have
an overall better and more respectful vibe to better succeed.
When I approached Ms. Gardner, who has been at Career since 2011, and asked her if she felt that things at
Career since then had gotten “better, worse, or about the same,” she simply answered “worse.” To my surprise,
though, when asked where she sees Career High School in five years, she stated an elated “soaring!” Ms.
Gardner has hope for Career High School “100%.” “I intend to stay here for a while, so I do have big hopes for
Career. Five years from now, we will soar.” Ms. Gardner is a woman who values education dearly, so when
asked what she felt should change at Career, she answered, “I think students need to value education. I also
think we need to do a better job of pulling parents into partner with us as educators to help the kids succeed.”
It is important to know how different individuals view particular topics, especially about changes in a facility
where we spend most of our days together. Communication is key to making anything happen. Knowing that
Mr. Malafronte thinks the school needs beautification is valuable information, as well as knowing that Ms.
Shawn thinks we all as a school community need to come together more. Now we as a high school must begin
to make these changes. We can all start with small adjustments every day to one day reach our “soaring” goal.
In the words of Ms. Gardner, we must remember that “change doesn't happen overnight but over time-- and
those changes will happen.” 20
Kwanzaa Traditions Run Deep
Holidays are coming up and some people are eager about celebrating their own special, unique holiday(s).
Everyone has their own unique interpretation of the term “holiday.” For some people, holidays are about the
food, presents, and celebration; for others, they’re just spending time with their families. A certain holiday at
the end of December is Kwanzaa.
Not many people know about this distinctive holiday. Kwanzaa is a seven day holiday that is honors and is
celebrated by African Americans. It goes from December 26th to January 1st. The name “Kwanzaa” is extract-
ed from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits” in Swahili (an Eastern African language).
Every family celebrates Kwanzaa their own way, such as with singing, dancing, playing African drums, story-
telling, poetry reading, or a large meal. On each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa, the family gathers around and
a child lights up one of the seven candles on the Kinara. After this, one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa are
discussed. Nguzo Saba (“seven principles” in Swahili) provide values for the building and strengthening of the
African American community.
The seven principles are:
1. Umoja: Unity
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
2. Kujichagulia: Self-Determination:
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
3. Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility
To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our prob
lems, solving them together.
4. Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics
To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
5. Nia: Purpose
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our
people to their traditional greatness.
6. Kuumba: Creativity
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful
and beneficial than we inherited it.
7. Imani: Faith
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness
and victory of our struggle.
There are also 7 symbols of Kwanzaa: Mazao: Crops, Mkeka: Placemat, Muhindi: Ear of Corn, Mishumaa Sa-
ba: The Seven Candles, Kinara: The Candleholder, Kikombe Cha Umoja: The Unity Cup, and Zawadi: Gifts
Career High School administrator Mrs. Duff explains how she celebrates Kwanzaa. “Every day, I say a term,
that means what's happening, and my children respond what the principle is for the day. We do that every day
of Kwanzaa. We have a Kinara, and I make sure my kids and everyone else understands every color for each
candle. Red for the struggle, black for the black faces of the African people, and green for not only the land
but for the hope of a prosperous life. In my house we also put a fruit basket, which represents having a fruitful
life. And then there's corn, which represent the children so that they grow tall and strong.We cook food and we
also give gifts, not every day, but on the last day, and the gifts have to be handmade. We also do a perfor-
However you celebrate, we wish a joyous Kwanzaa to all!
Holiday Traditions Across the World
Many people are preparing to celebrate their holiday traditions through the month of December. However,
what you may not know is that people from different countries will celebrate the same holidays in many differ-
Here in the U.S., there are many traditions where people express their cultures. For example, people celebrate
Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. In Hispanic countries, people celebrate Posadas, Parrandas, Día de las
Velitas, and others. They are all beautiful traditions that we should all learn about.
In downtown New Haven CT during the month of December, you can notice the different traditional symbols,
such as the Christmas tree, the eight-branched Candelabrum of Hanukkah, and the Nativity Scene. In other
places you can see the symbol of Kwanzaa, which are red, black and green candles.
These traditions celebrated in the U.S. are based on a blend of religions or beliefs. Most of those who celebrate
Christmas are Christians. They go to the church in preparation for the commemoration of the birth of Jesus
Christ. On other hand, Jews celebrate Hanukkah, where they commemorate the miracle of the oil. African
Americans celebrate Kwanzaa, which is a cultural and spiritual celebration where they focus on seven core
In Hispanic countries, they celebrate Christmas with different traditions and cultures. Religion in the basis of
the celebrations and traditions. In Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, people prepare for Christmas by cele-
brating Las Posadas. Las Posadas are a Catholic tradition where the moment when Jose and Maria sought ref-
uge is remembered. People go from house to house with the image of El Niño Jesus.
Las Parrandas is held in Puerto Rico. Groups of friends gather to go from house to house surprising each other
with musical instruments, songs, and dances. In Colombia, they have a tradition called Día de las Velitas,
where they light candles in public areas in honor of La Virgen María.
All these traditions have something in common whether in the U.S. or in Hispanic countries. Religion, food,
gifts, and family games are fundamental during this time of celebration. At the end of the day, the family un-
ion is the purpose of these celebrations, no matter what we believe or what country we live in. What matters is
that always learn and respect our values, our traditions, and our cultures.
Left: Illustration, Las Posadas. Right: Día de las Velitas.
Happy Hanukkah, Career!
Beginning on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev is an
eight-day celebration. Hanukkah, also known as the festival of
lights, has been celebrated for many years by Jewish people.
This celebration brings family together in a heartwarming tradi-
tion of returning home for lighting of the menorah, eating tradi-
tional foods, playing games, and giving gifts.
This year, Hanukkah started Sunday December 2 and lasted
December 10. While being a science teacher here at Career
High School, Dr. Decter is also getting ready to celebrate in
various ways. Kids and adults enjoy playing the dreidel and re-
ceiving gifts, as well as enjoying traditional foods. Foods
cooked with oil are a symbol of how the oil from the menorah
miraculously lasted for eight days during the second century
BC. Dr. Decter says, “We light candles in the Menorah for
eight nights to commemorate the great miracle that occurred in
the Temple. We also eat foods fried in oil, like potato pancakes
(latkes) and jelly donuts.”
After many years, the oil of the menorah was replaced with 9 candles. The first 8 represent the amount of days
the oil lasted in the temple; the other candle is the shamash, the candle that helps light the other candles.
Before lighting the menorah, Jewish people will recite the prayer Hanerot Halalu and sing a hymn. For chil-
dren, playing with the dreidel helps kids remember what the history of Hanukkah is all about. The dreidel has
Hebrew letters that are an acronym for “A Great Miracle Happened here’ (‘Nes Gadol Haya Sham’).” “The
four letters are the first letters in the words Nes Gadol Hayah Sham,” says Dr. Decter. “If the dreidel lands on
N, the player gets nothing. If it lands on G, the player gets all, on H the player takes half, and on S, the player
puts in 2.”
This history of Judaism must be taught from parent to child. Dr. Decter says, “About 2200 years ago the
Greek/Syrian empire stretched across the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and northern Africa. The Emperor
wanted all people to embrace the Greek ways and worship the Greek gods.” During 200 B.C., Judea (Israel)
was under the power of Antiochus III, the king from Syria. While being under the control of this king, the Jews
were able to keep practicing their religion. However, after his son began ruling, he had made them worship
Greek gods. “They moved statues of Greek gods into the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and desecrated it in other
ways as well,” said Decter.
After 3 years of fighting with a small band of warriors, the Jews liberated the Temple. A rebellion led by Mat-
tathias and his son Judah, known as the Maccabees, drove the Syrians out. “They wanted to re-dedicate [the
temple], so they cleaned it up and looked for oil to light the Eternal Flame which always burned in the Temple.
They found enough oil for only one night. But a miracle occurred and the light burned for 8 days and nights,
until they were able to find more oil.”
This miracle is today celebrated as a Festival of Lights. To everyone celebrating Hanukkah throughout New
Haven-- Chag Sameach!
Poverty: Christmas in the Hood
When most people think of Christmas, they usually think of spending time with family, having Christmas din-
ner, receiving new gifts, and being joyful. But what about those who are in poverty-- what do they think or feel
about Christmas? Charities around the country such as Operation Christmas Child, Compassion International,
and Toys for Tots, donate Christmas gifts to those who are in poverty. But are toys enough of a Christmas
gift for the kids in poverty?
An anonymous citizen from New Haven reported that she was once homeless with her children. She said that
she remembered an especially painful moment when she once cried during the holiday season because she
couldn’t provide for her kids. “My son asked me once if Santa didn’t come visit us because we never had a
chimney and a Christmas tree,” the anonymous New Haven citizen said.
Our community includes those who are in poverty. Parents who live in poverty are stressed out most during
this time of year to provide gifts for their children. According to Canadian Living, many parents may skip
meals or medications to save up enough money to buy their child gifts. Children and teens pick up on this
stress. “I know my parents are struggling to pay rent, so I know receiving many gifts for Christmas isn’t going
to happen,” one anonymous sophomore from Hill Regional Career High School reported.
How do parents explain to their kids that they won’t be able to receive any or few gifts for Christmas? Living
Canadian says that you should have a talk with your children and remain honest with them about everything
that’s going on. An anonymous senior from Wilbur Cross High School reported that she was once in a similar
situation where her mom lost her job before the holidays. Though it was difficult to be open and honest, she
had to explain to her siblings why Christmas wouldn’t be the same that year. “It broke my heart having to tell
my younger siblings that they weren’t going to get many Christmas gifts,” said the senior, “but I tried to also
explain that Christmas isn’t about just gifts.”
The holidays can be joyful, but they are stressful. If you know anyone in poverty who may be struggling dur-
ing the holiday season, do what you can to help them. Donate to charities like the Salvation Army, contact so-
cial services to inquire about food and toy drives, offer to babysit, or just reach out and offer what you can--
and remember, Christmas is a time of giving.
When Giving Is All We Have Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:
Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
One river gives Mine to yours, yours to mine.
Its journey to the next.
You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
We give because someone gave to us. Together we are simple green. You gave me
We give because nobody gave to us.
What you did not have, and I gave you
We give because giving has changed us. What I had to give—together, we made
We give because giving could have changed us. Something greater from the difference.
We have been better for it, 24
We have been wounded by it—
Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.
Water: A Scarce Necessity
Valeria Torres Romero
What are the essentials to human life?
Almost everyone would answer food, ox-
ygen, and, of course, water. One would
think that water is something everybody
has easy access to, but that's not the case.
Water covers 70% of our planet, but only
3% of it is fresh water. Even with this
large quantity, much of the freshwater is
trapped in the glaciers around the world,
and it is hard for it to reach to some coun-
tries. Water contamination has a big role
in this problem of water access as well.
With contaminated water being the only
source of water for some people around
the world, there is a great spread of un-
wanted diseases and health problems for
people who don't have enough resources
to treat it or even get it diagnosed.
According to the United Nations, “By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with abso-
lute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world's populations could be living under water stressed situations.”
Today, many countries are affected by not having a reliable resource of clean water, including most of South
America, such as Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, Middle Eastern countries, such as Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia,
and the United Arab Emirates. These nations currently have unique and urgent problems with acquiring sani-
This water crisis kills a child every two minutes because of water-related problems such as contamination. But
the water crisis doesn't only kill; it impacts many homes and the economy as well. It is most common for
women and children between the ages of 8 to 13 to go look for water to provide for their families, and the av-
erage distance that someone takes to retrieve water in Asia and Africa is 3.75 miles. This situation obstructs
women from being able to work to provide for their family; the children's educations are being affected be-
cause, for many, their daily tasks relate to the collection of water.
Most people in the United States have not fully experienced what it is like to not have access to clean water at
all times, which blocks people from understanding the harsh reality that water is not available for everybody.
But there are American people who have. Terence McTague, a biology and anatomy teacher at Hill Regional
Career High School, has traveled to countries such as Peru, Argentina, and Belize. McTague states that when
he went to Belize, “You would go in the shower for about 10 seconds, step out, get lathered up, and go back in
for another 10 seconds to rinse off.”
McTague believes that “water will be the new oil in the future,” meaning that water one day will be as valua-
ble as oil is today. Ultimately, people will fight for clean water and realize that they need it everyday to go on
with their daily lives.
If you’re interested in learning more about the global water crisis, or if you’d like to begin volunteering or re-
searching about water scarcity for a capstone project, go to water.org to learn more.
Opinion: Was it Necessary?
This photo was taken amidst the chaos that occurred on November 25, 2018 on the southern border of the
United States and Mexico. In that moment, refugees were being tear gassed by U.S. patrol officers after sever-
al caravans rushed to the border. According to Chief Rodney Scott of the San Diego Border Patrol sector in an
interview with CNN, the decision to use tear gas was made by the officers at the time because the refugees
were throwing rocks and using shovels to build a void. The tear gas, 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, normally
used to control riots, is known to cause uncontrollable gagging, possible vomiting, tightening of the throat, and
In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason for something that causes this much collateral damage to the body
to be used on women and children. For anyone to believe that this is okay-- no matter the circumstances-- is
despicable in itself. When asked about the woman in the above photograph, Scott said that she “made that
choice and brought her kid into that situation.” Scott places blame on this mother when in fact, her desperation
should tell a story: her need to get into a country that claims to be the land of the free and home of the brave
was important enough for her to risk her and her children's safety. No good mother would intentionally harm
their child especially in a situation such as this unless the issue at home was more dangerous.
As a country, we need to do better by refugees who come here thinking, praying, that they won’t have to face
the gang violence, crime, and terrorism that occurs in their homes. Tearing apart immigrant families and build-
ing walls is not going to help the issue at hand. The systems put in place to handle immigration are backed-up
and there are so many citizens and politicians who are more concerned with stopping the influx of people at
any cost, no matter how cruel, rather than making an efficient and legal way for them to be in this country. In-
stead of raising money to help build a wall that will only continue to divide the people, we should pledge sup-
port to making the issue right.
Opinion: Foster Care is Broken
Foster care is a system in which a minor is placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified
caregiver, who is referred to as a "foster parent," or with a family member approved by the state. The place-
ment of the child is normally arranged through the government or a social service agency. Right now, the fos-
ter care system is broken.
Children go house to house, not knowing what a true home is. That's part of the reason why some foster chil-
dren have trauma, with some having trust issues and a fear to open up to a new family everytime. I totally un-
derstand that some foster children do misbehave, but we have to remember that there are always reasons for
behavior. Children spend years going from one foster home to another, being traded between social workers
most of the time.
The foster care system needs to have conversations with the children and ask them how they feel about what’s
going on, so they can at least do something to try to help them. The children may sometimes feel like an out-
sider. Going from house to house is exhausting and stressful for a child; they have to determine, “how can I
impress this family,” or even, “how can I survive this family,” which puts a lot of stress on some kids-- it’s
overall terrible. I completely understand that it is foster care, but these children don’t even get the bare mini-
mum of their needs fulfilled. They should make sure that the kids are at least feeling welcome so that they can
start to get comfortable with a family. The kids are basically getting passed around like a gift basket and it’s
The foster care system should take in consideration conversations with the children and ask them how they
feel, due to the fact that children can be traumatized and depressed about their lack of permanency. No child
should be depressed to the point where they seriously feel like they aren’t wanted; then, society wonders why
some kids behave the way they do. They should create a program for foster kids who feel unwanted and de-
pressed, which at least would provide an outlet to make them feel better about themselves; this type of pro-
gram is important so that foster kids know that they are special and wanted, regardless of what anybody says
about them. They aren’t the ones who chose to be put in foster care at the end of the day--that’s their parents’
fault, not theirs. Society shouldn’t treat the kids like they are nothing-- children in foster care didn’t choose the
life that they are living.
Sports @ Career
Accomplishments, Events, and Features
LeBron: Still the King
The NBA has never had more talent. New players
rise through the draft each year, bringing new
strengths to their teams. But the greatest talent in
the NBA is not new. For the last 15 years, a man
has been shocking the league and its fans with con-
sistent skill: LeBron James, a playmaking small
forward superstar with 3 rings.
LeBron James is like nothing else you’ve seen be-
fore. He is a 6’8 forward who weighs 250 lbs, a
forward who has as much I.Q. as a point guard.
Right now, Michael Jordan may still be known as
the greatest on the court, but LeBron will soon be
there with him. According to SportsMoney, Mi-
chael Jordan has an edge on LeBron with NBA
Champions, League MVPs, points per game, and
free throw percentage. On the other hand, LeBron
beats Michael with All-NBA First-Team selections
and per game statistics with rebounds, assist
blocks, and overall field goal percentage.
There’s just something special that makes LeBron
so different from other players. He is a small for-
ward with the mindset of a guard. He can pass like
a point guard. When he’s not scoring the ball him-
self, LeBron is going to still be busy creating easy
shots for his teammates.
Since LeBron entered the League in 2003, he’s
made an impact. Playing with LeBron is different
than playing with anyone else; he is going to make sure everyone on the team eats. Even if you’re the worst
on the team, he is trying get the best out of you. Former teammate of LeBron, Kevin Love of the Cleveland
Cavaliers, said that playing with LeBron is a privilege that helps you “win at the highest level.” LeBron is a
team player. He wants everyone to get better and not feel left out.
LeBron is a man of leadership, and he is a king of staying humble, despite all the money he makes. James’
accomplishments as a NBA player speak for themselves. But his goal of giving back to people and and im-
pacting their lives makes him a role model on and off the court. LeBron’s mission is about making a impact
on society. Lebron wants to give back to his hometown Akron. Not wanting other kids to have to struggle like
he did, he provides kids with uniforms, books, sneakers and more, even opening up his own school in his
hometown of Akron.
The greatest player in the world cares about helping kids and changing lives.
Girls Basketball: Season Preview
Adam Ahmad Rizal
The Career Panthers girls basketball team seeks a huge and successful season once again. They want to repli-
cate their fabulous run from the 17/18 season and possibly go on to win the championships. During one of the
biggest times of the year, these girls are feeling confident.
The Panthers enjoyed a great run of success last year. They were able to reach the finals of Class M states
championships. Unfortunately, they did not take home the trophy, but still enjoyed the experience and the
game as a whole. “The atmosphere from when you’re walking in and you just see everybody sitting down and
it’s a full crowd-- you’re just like ‘wow!’” says senior Carmen Rosemond, a forward on the team.
Sitting with a record of 3 wins and 2 losses so far in the 2018/19 season, they feel that this will not reflect on
the rest of the season. “We’ll definitely get better,” says senior Nicole Washington, who is a point guard and
shooting guard for the team. They have been building off of the scrimmages and current games that have been
played. From there, they are able to correct “minor mistakes that we do in the games to help better ourselves,”
This year, the girls will be playing a different lineup of teams, which is something that they will be looking
forward to. The teams that the Panthers play rotate every 4-5 years, and there will be a new feel to the teams
they will play. Some of the teams that they will compete against include Hamden High, East Haven High,
Guilford High, and Wilbur Cross High school.
The Panthers will definitely be
ready to work and climb to the
top. They would like to return
back to where they were last
season and will stop at nothing
to take the crown. Senior Tanai-
za Glass, also a forward for the
Panthers, says she’s “excited for
the grind. We grind a lot on this
team, so I’m really excited to
see where we really get at by the
end of the season.”
Basketball season for the girls
will always be a tough and hard
season. But they are prepared
and more than ready for the
challenge. The girls feel that
they have a very strong team to
compensate for the new compe-
tition coming their way. Ac-
cording to Glass, the Panthers
are “definitely a stronger team.
Once you develop a relationship
off the court, you become
stronger-- like a family.”
Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns
I was first introduced to the book A Thousand Splendid Suns during an
English project. I did not think I would enjoy this book as much as I did.
I do not usually prefer historical fiction, but after reading it, I can fully
say that I don't regret reading it.
This book, unlike Khaled Hosseini’s other work The Kite Runner, fo-
cuses on the point of view of women during harsh times in Afghanistan.
This book takes place in Herat, Afghanistan from the early 1960s when
the Soviet army invaded and civil wars began. This is the story of two
women and their unlikely friendship and how they overcome hardships
together to create an unbreakable bond. Mariam lived the life of a bas-
tard child, and didn’t have the childhood a child should have and ended
up marrying at age 15. Not able to have kids, it created an unhappy mar-
riage at a young age. Later a girl, Laila, who is a victim to a bombing
and has no family left and a secret, leads her to marry Rasheed, who is
Mariam’s husband. They form an unlikely relationship when Laila tells
Mariam the real reason why she accepted Rasheed’s marriage proposal.
This book really starts to show their bond when Laila has children and
Mariam helps raise them. A Thousand Splendid Suns really shows you
how much girls and women are degraded, especially when Laila’s first
child was a girl and her second a boy. It showcases the difference in
what they get and how they are treated. After many events, they end up in poverty, and they have to sell many
of their belongings just to have some food on the table. They even have to temporarily give their daughter to
an orphanage because they couldn’t afford to take care of her properly. This leads to great tension between the
women and Rasheed. Living conditions are much worse, especially with Rasheed, and secrets are revealed.
I will not say any more because I might spoil the book, so read it to find out what happens. But don’t just take
my word for it-- Ms.Wilson, the Career High School librarian, rates this book 10 out of 10, and describes it as
“eye-opening” to see the life of a woman in another country, especially one with different standards and norms
in her society. She recommends the book to anyone, but says that she especially recommends this book to any
Wilson found herself relating her own friendships with other women to the one between Mariam and Laila.
Though you may not expect it, you will also find yourself relating to these women living half a world away.
This book will stay with you forever.
Book Review: Let it Snow
Let it Snow is a contemporary young adult novel written by three
authors: John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. The
book contains three independent stories, but they are related to
The story begins when Jubilee is invited by Noah (the boy she
likes) to dinner on December 24th with her family. But when she
is ready to go to dinner, her neighbor tells her that her parents
have been arrested. His parents are figurine collectors and when
they find out that there are about 10 copies of a collection, they
enthusiastically go shopping. But it turns out that they are not the
only ones who have traveled to the city to buy them. When they
are waiting, a ridiculous altercation occurs in which they are ar-
rested. Meanwhile, Jubilee is forced to go to her grandmother's
house by train. But while traveling, there is a storm that causes the
train to stop, with the passengers seeking shelter at a restaurant
As the story progresses, new characters emerge. Each story is told
by different characters, but as each author puts an unexpected
twist his or her story, the reader enjoys a full story woven by each
Trivia 3)-When was the first Christmas celebrated?
A}- AD 336- Rome
Christmas is celebrated by many, though in different B)-AD 226-Spain
ways. Christmas is a Christian festival which cele- C)-AD 400-Rome
brates the birth of Jesus. In most European countries, D)-AD 250-Italy
gifts are opened on Christmas Eve (the 24th), while in
North America gifts are opened in the early morning 4)- What are Santa Claus’ original colors?
the 25th. Christmas is the perfect holiday to spend A)-Red, Blue, Gold
time with family, friends, or just anybody special in B)-Blue, White and Green
D)-Silver, green. gold
1)- What do red, green and gold-- the 3 traditional col-
ors for Christmas-- represent? 5)- On Christmas Eve in _________, people exchange
A)-Joy, Nature, Wealth books and spend the rest of the night reading and eat-
B)-Celebration, Origin, Gold gifted to Jesus ing chocolate.
C)-Blood of Jesus, life and rebirth, light and wealth A)-Iceland
D)-Poinsettia flowers, trees, kings
2)-Who wrote the famous song Jingle Bells, and C)- China
A)-Nick Torres, Connecticut
B)-James Piermont, Massachusetts
C)-Samuel Ruthe, Chicago
D)-Jessica Simpson, Spain Answers: C, B, A, B, D
DIYS for December Holidays
These DIYs or recipes are to celebrate the holidays with friends, family and just for self-enjoyment. Happy
Christmas Hot Cocoa: Easy Hanukkah Dreidel For Modern Family Kwanzaa Kinara
According to the Betty Crocker Kids: You will need:
website, you will need You will need: 2 foot long wooden plank
½ cup of sugar 3 inch square of thin cardboard wood stain
,¼ of unsweetened cocoa Pencil 7 small glass jars
,½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon Step 1. Divide the cardboard into Red, green, and black spray paint
⅓ of water,¼ teaspoon of ground 4 equal triangles and then print 7 tea light candles
nutmeg the Hebrew letters in the triangles Hot glue guns
4 cups of milk, Step 2. Poke a pencil through the
¾ cups of marshmallow creme middle and enjoy your game. Step 1. The wooden plank will be the
base of the Kinara you are making.
Step 1. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat
Grab some paper towels and pour some
the sugar, cocoa, water, cinnamon,
wood stain on it. Rub the towel into the
and nutmeg over low heat,stir
wood plank until it is fully covered.
constantly until mixture is smooth.
Step 2. In a open and ventilated area,
Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Sim-
spray the jars paint 3 jars of each color
mer 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
(green, red, black) and then wait until
Step 2. Stir in the milk. Heat over
they are dry.Make sure not to get any
low heat. Pour cocoa into 6 mugs.
air bubbles by allowing the jars to dry
Top each with 2 tablespoons
right side up and at room temperature
marshmallow creme. This serves
Step 3. Grab the bottom of the jar and
up to about 6 mugs! Enjoy!
gently coat the bottom of the jar before
placing it on the plank.
Step 4. Place LED or real candles ac-
cording to your liking, and then enjoy.
Which Christmas film is better?
In a survey using Instagram Polls, 122 students participated in a vote. 53 voted Polar Express; 69 voted Home
Alone. Do you agree?