A Sign of A Victory by Demetrius Johnson.

IMG_0012Throughout life, I believe, we are all destined to go through obstacles, trials and tribulations.  These events can either, destroy your faith and break you down to the core or bring the best out in you and show you your destiny. Whether the reason is you are destined to face situations and problems good or bad, you can face them and give life its bull shit back or you can let life bring you to being miserable, disconsolate, and even suicidal. I, Demetrius Johnson, know how life can bring you to being exultant or becoming disheartened only because life has brought me to down to my feet at times and also life has strengthen me to bring the best out of me.

As a child that faced foster care from the age of two, I myself stood before many challenges that I had to overcome; some to this very day I still struggle with. I sometimes wonder if foster care a system to destroy or make you. I didn’t find out until I was 16 that Foster care is somewhat a business. Families are making money off a child’s misery and pain. Struggling with trying to find love, acceptance, family and happiness turned my heart into a cold and lonely figure. I was once told by a wise man “don’t search for happiness, live your life and one day when you awake she’ll be home.” It’s a very formidable feeling to have to grow up without either parent and without some type of structure in your life.  You’re forced to have a relationship with complete strangers who only take care of you because of the income that will arrive on the 12th of the month.

Foster care is only one of many obstacles I have faced.  Between losing my mom, having problems searching for love and acceptance; my life hasn’t been a walk in the park. Even when the mountains seemed too high to concur, when faith became just a blur, and when hope was dying as a child with a dream- I still believed in change.   I believe in courage, strength, and I believe in a change. I believe in a future, I believe in foster children! We can rise above it and help change the world!

I stand now as a young man who just turned 18, I used to believe no one loved me nor cared about me. It seemed friends and family were just a dream and my world just came crashing down a bit more every day. The road I was walking down led to nothing but anger, agonizing pain, and loneness.  To find myself, I had to stop isolating from everyone just because people made me promises and broke them.  People hurt me, family and friends disappeared before a blink of an eye, and also the pain I experienced from being in foster care.  I believe there is still good people out in the world. Just because your life may not be the way you want it to be it’s never too late to make an 180 degrees turn around.

I know my mother looks down on me and smiles. I am beating a system designed for money and to destroy children.  Even when I am weak and the world seems to be on my shoulders, I promised my mother, before she died, no matter what I would find a way to overcome foster care.  I will keep the faith and believe in what’s right. My heart can be crying while I’m in the middle of a smile. My entire life I have been through 30+ foster homes all around Brooklyn and Queens.  I was feeling suicidal at times, not caring anymore.  I was at the peak of my life but I wanted to finally give up because I had been arrested and sentence to some months in jail. This is when I changed my life at 16 and swore I would make a change; even though I knew it would be hard to get back on my feet. God has blessed me with a beautiful, caring, understanding girlfriend (Tyra); my astronomical foster parent, who is young and consider himself my brother (Kabar); an amazing social worker who stood by my side since I arrived in care ( Ms. Tony Ince); and so many more people who came in to my life and helped me believe in a future. They helped me believe that there are still good people in this world.

I am now a senior at Freedom Academy High School.  I originally had a grade point average of 36. Now, I can gladly feel accomplished by saying I stand with an average of  81. From a child who used to fight, steal, and lie and so much more problems I dealt with; I am now a man of my word.  A strong young man, who wants to become a lawyer for foster children. I want to change the lives of foster kids. I want them to know and believe they are not out there alone, I am here with them. We will continue to stand strong and fight this system together.

I won’t give up.  I will make it in life, prove everyone who doubted foster kids wrong, and show them change will come. We will beat this system that was designed to destroy and take our future away.   Even if our blue skies are now gray and everyday it seems you wake up angry, brokenhearted or you feel as if you can’t go on anymore; this is when you use your last breath and give life one more chance. Fight back and believe in what’s right, but most of all believe in yourself. I believe in all of us, the future may seem far away but change will come and we will stand up. This fight will bring the best out of us, this is just the beginning of a sign of a victory.

 

 

One Day by Naje`e Smith

One Day

Too many people in the world grow up without a father figure in their household. My American dream is for children to get the chance of having both a mother and father growing up. It is not fair how some kids grow up to have discipline and others don’t if children in the world grew up with both parents in a household younger boys would have grown up to become real men. Instead, some grew up to abusing females, raping, killing or stealing what is not theirs. If there were more positive male role models, this world would be a better place. When I get older I plan to make a difference. More people need to fight for having fathers not abandoning their children. The men in our society are very important. By them being around it will determine your kids future.  IMG_0453

Men have the right to do more then a female can.  Males are more likely to get chosen for a job and it isn’t fair. It’s hard for a single mother to raise her child alone. Studies show the average single mother to raise her child alone. Studies show the average single female with a well paying job makes 15 to 40 percent less then the average male. ( LYF) Why should women have to struggle with raising a child, working, paying for their children’s school alone? If there were two parents, there wouldn’t be that much of a struggle because they will work together on raising their child. A single parent compared to a child with both parents has a lot to do with a child’s outcome.

Children living in single parent homes have a risk taking behavior such as smoking, drinking, or drug occurrence.  Compared to children living with their married or biological parents they whelm up in college or out of state progressing better with their life then a child growing up with one mother. Fathers can teach their sons how to treat a female the right way. Fathers can teach their daughters how to respect themselves and teach them what they should deserve. Today in this world we have nothing like this we have boys running around shooting each other. And girls showing off there body parts. This society today isn’t right.

That’s why when I get older im going to host multiple events on the struggle of single parents there’s going to be charities, fund raisers, a family events so single parents would get a chance to meet new people. They wouldn’t have to continue raising their son or daughter alone. I want my committee to spread all around the world so everyone can see the importance on his or her kid’s future. If I come across children with lost fathers I will work with the police until we find them. No one deserves to be left alone.

Growing up without both parents can be very difficult. Such as higher poverty rates and lover levels of educational and occupational attainment. That’s why parents need to stick together and work on their differences in the sake of their children. When there are two people in a household it becomes a better chance for children to have a better future. Families need to have the experience of getting to know each other. Lets make a difference and change societies outcome…..

My American Dream by Gelsomine Reme

My American Dream

IMG_0464People’s definition of an American Dream are all different. Some people’s American Dream could be the typical one; owning a nice house and luxury car, have a successful career, and a family. Like most, I do want to own a beautiful big house one day, and have a successful career but I wouldn’t be content with just that. I feel now, at 16 years old, I am already living a portion of my American Dream. The American Dream that being African American won’t limit me. However, my American Dream isn’t only that. It is for black people to not live by the stereotypes and statistics that are always said against us African Americans and for us to never disregard our past and to let the the people of our past to inspire us to do better.

50 years ago no one would’ve ever thought that after the civil rights movement that we would ever live to see a black man become president and serve not only one term but two terms of presidency. As a black person looking forward to the future, I know that I am not limited just because of the color of my skin. This is one of the greatest milestones many wished to live to see. Obama isn’t the only one who portrays a good image of black people, there are many others such as Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and actress who is considered one of the richest black females in the U.S with a networth of 2.7 billion and the young Gabby Douglas, a gymnast and olympian who was the first African American awarded a gold medal for her event. Although we have good examples, we also have bad examples as well; Bad examples that seem to outweigh the good ones.

First and foremost, some of the common black stereotypes is that African Americans are all corrupt and immoral people, and will eventually end up in jail. We won’t ever make it to college and don’t ever get anywhere in life and we are all welfare recipients are also another. Although these are just generalizations, these stereotypes do in fact have some statistical truth. According to Bureau of Justice statistics, they show that the US prison population is made up of 13.44% White, 20.29% Hispanic and 60.21% African American. We are responsible for most of the crime in our communities; the Bureau of Justice also proves that in high populated African American communities there are high crime rates than communities . Education statistics also aren’t better. According to National Center for Education Statistics, it’s proven that blacks dropping out of high school are higher than any other race and it is likely that we won’t earn a degree or even a diploma. I know for a fact that some of our stereotypes derived from these statistics and this is why I don’t argue with the ignorant minds that believe all black people are like this. As an African American i will say we must represent ourselves better than this.

I have high hopes that my American Dream will be achieved eventually. My dream that African American people will not only do better as people but for the statistics to improve and people start associating us with better stereotypes like “All African Americans are smart” or “Have lives”. Until I live my American Dream, I will just be a good example of a black person. I will go to college and get an education and obtain a degree in either education or physician assistant studies, have a successful career and take care of my family without assistance, and eventually own a house one day. In addition to this, I will also advocate for this cause. I will create youth groups for blacks so I can inspire them to be successful people in life and make them aware about these statistics that defame our race. I will also speak to the masses about my dream and we should take steps in making a future for us better now.

In conclusion, there are many bad stereotypes concerning us African Americans, and not that this is the only contribution to our bad stereotypes, but our bad statistics is one of the reasons why. My American Dream is for African Americans to do better, be aware of these statistics so we won’t repeat them for our future. To try to achieve my dream, I will set up youth groups and publicly speak about this issue to encourage them, inspire them and for them to be aware. Most importantly, I myself, will be a good example so that black people would be inspired by me. I have no doubts that one day my dream will become true and I hope to live and see it.

American Dream – James Means

The American Dream that I have is to open up my own business. I would like to open up a restaurant to have people explore and taste different forms of menus that I can create. Some menus that I can create are soul food and seafood creations. My dream is not the same like most American dreamers. Most American dreamers say that their dream is to become a famous basketball player or become a famous actor/singer. To accomplish my dream of opening my own business, there are many accomplishments and achievements that I will take like getting my degrees, obtaining experiences in restaurants, the challenges of getting loans and managing, hiring and firing, take responsibility as the person in charge and making my business a nation business.  IMG_0449

The first accomplishment that I will take is to get my degrees. As of right now I am currently in the 11th grade at Freedom Academy High School. To achieve my education degrees I plan to get my Advance High School Regents Diploma, my Masters in Business Administration and an Associate in Culinary Arts. I also plan to have experiences in restaurants. I will like to have the experience in a restaurant to be shown how it is run cooperated. I would like to be shown the jobs that each person have and how the kitchen is being run, like the duty of the head cook and the duties of the other workers in the kitchen.

The second accomplishment that I will have to achieve is the challenges that I will have to take. The challenges that I will face are the managing of the restaurant, get a place to have my restaurant at, and complete my experiences in at least two restaurants. The reason why these are challenges to me is because they are problems that I will have to handle to make my American Dream come true. I plan to overcome these problems by taking it one day at a time. The biggest challenge that I have is getting a place for my restaurant, and I plan to overcome it by saving money and getting loans and grants, and even also a getting location for it. Another challenge that I really have to face is doing the experience, this is a challenge because I am a person that likes to be in charge. I plan to handle this by just stepping back and letting the manager to charge and watch him/her run the business that they are running.

After my American Dream has come true, I still would have one more accomplishment that I need to achieve. My third and last accomplishment to achieve is to make my restaurant a national restaurant. I plan to make my restaurant a national restaurant by using the money I get from the local restaurants organization to build another restaurant organization in a different state or city. After I build at least three or four organizations I will then have my restaurant known has I national restaurant, like Red Lobster, Applebees, Joe’s Crab Shack and many other well known restaurants.

In conclusion, I can say that I will make my American Dream come true. I also can say that I am not sure I will fellow my accomplishment in this essay to make my American Dream come true, but I will try. My American Dream will come true, through all the challenges, and the accomplishments that I will overcome and achieve. My American Dream will come true because no matter how hard the challenges get I will not quit, because quit never win. Opening my own business is my American Dream.

“Transit Searches” Sontique Campbell

Transit Searches

I am against transit searches, because it doesn’t have an effect on keeping the terrorist away it has never happen and its random and it only happen when I’m rushing to the train.  IMG_0038_2

What are transit searches? …… Metro Transit Police advised customers they would conduct random inspections of carry-on items, as part of the continuously changing law enforcement programs designed to keep the system safe.  The inspections, which will be conducted with Transportation Security Administration officials, are expected to take only minutes, as police will randomly select bags or packages to check for hazardous materials using crazy technology as well as K-9 units trained to detect explosive materials.  Carry-on items will generally not be opened and physically inspected unless the equipment indicates a need for further inspection.  Anyone who is randomly selected and refused to submit their carry-on items for inspection will be prohibited from bringing those items into the station Customers who encounter a baggage checkpoint at a station entrance may choose not to enter the station if they would prefer not to submit their carry-ones for inspection.

To me it goes against the 4th amendment. Which is the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  Bombing trains, I feel its never happen so its not keeping anything safe the only things that’s getting bomb is buildings, I think they need to worry more about planes in the air with no altercation, and train stations that cops barely at anyway.

Also as a citizens and my own experience I was searched for a little pocketbook and which you can highly doubt a bomb would be in it I was also running late and was rushing to catch my train.  And I hear an officer call for me I admittedly stop which made me  aggravated, for them to find nothing on me.  Train searches are a waste of time and playing with people money. Especially if it has never happened before!

Mr. Schulman U.S Government Class…..

“The Legal Age” Shanice Junor

The Legal Age

Why shouldn’t 18 be the legal age for everything?  IMG_0028_2

After doing research and conducting class surveys, it is clear that there is controversy in what should be the legal age for everything.  Majority, believe that 18 years olds should be allowed to have the same privileges of those who are 21.  The main concern of the majority is they believe 18 years olds should be able to drink.  But there are many reasons why it is NOT safe for 10 years olds to consume alcohol, which later on I will thoroughly explain with strong facts behind it.  According to my research, many people believe that most 18 years olds are not mature enough to handle the responsibility of drinking and strongly agree with The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 which was passed on July 17, 1984 by the United States Congress as a mechanism “whereby all states would become thereafter required to legislate the age of 21 years as a minimum age for purchasing and publicly possessing alcoholic beverages.

What does Drinking do for an older person, that isn’t 10x worse for someone younger?

Teenagers are four times as likely to be involved in a car crash and three times more likely to die in one than adults according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Recent studies have shown that these statistics may have to do with teenage brain development.  A National Institute of Health study proposes that the part of the brain that restrains risky behavior, including reckless driving and thinking skills is not fully developed until the age of 25, so even the age of 21 is 4 years behind.  After doing some more research, Scientists have recently proven that alcohol can still damage the brain of a 25 year old.  Why would the government of US allow 18 year olds, almost 10 years behind the full development of the brain, to drink alcohol?

Overall, any benefit or joy alcohol can bring is minimal compared to the greater harms alcohol causes.  Although alcohol is harmful to everyone, alcohol harms young adults much more than older adults.  One’s brain does not complete development until the age of 25.  The mind has not fully formed its critical and rational thinking abilities.  Studies show that alcohol is deterrent to the process.  This can connect to a few of my senior classmates who are 18 and older and are prospective college students.  If you are looking to go to college and excel and gain something from higher education alcohol can be a roadblock to that goal. The fact that your brain isn’t fully developed yet, drinking alchohol  can stop the full formation of your mind, and your ability to think critical and rational, two things that may be necessary for college.  Not only does alcohol consumption affect the brain, it also affects female maturation and reproduction abilities during adolescents.

The National minimum drinking age act, allows 21 years olds to drink.  Once again, 4 years to low but there goes the government’s way of giving the people some leeway.  Most 18 years olds are still at home with their parents, fresh out of high school and even on their way to college to begin life on their own.  At this point they are finding themselves and are bound to make many mistakes, which of course some may learn from, and unfortunately some may not.  The hype of finally being 18 may cause teenagers to go above the limit, because to them they’re an Adult.  They are on their own without parental supervision.  Here is where the law comes in handy.  The National minimum drinking age act is the rule they must abide by, in other words it serves as their parent, and if they don’t abide by the rules, they will have to face the consequences.  Being that 21 is the minimum age for drinking, it allows teenagers to mature more, and the excitement of finally being on their own should be long gone.

In conclusion, ages of initiation vary in this country.  One may vote at 18, drink at 21, visit the local casino at 21, rent a car at 25 and run for President at 35.  These ages take into account that requirements, risks, and benefits of each act.  The National minimum legal drinking age of 21 has survived the test of time and is firmly supported by current scientific research.  Opponents of lowering the MLDA argue that teens have not yet reached an age where they can handle alcohol responsibly, and they are more likely to harm or even kill themselves and others by drinking prior to 21 and that traffic fatalities decreased when the MLDA increased.  The lives and futures of our children depend on its continued support.

“The Legal Age” Tatiania Dominique

The Legal Age

Adulthood is something that much adolescence looks forward to. This is because as an adult your able to do whatever you want.  Eighteen should be the legal age for everything because at this age you’ve experienced enough to conduct yourself as an adult.  The Supreme Court should review the legal age for a number of reasons.  As a young adult myself, I feel that I’m mature enough to take on adult privileges.  IMG_0015

I’m not satisfied with 21 being the legal age.  I believe 18 should be the legal age.  As the 14th Amendment states, “All persons born in the United States are citizens and no law shall be enforced that abridges their privileges.  Nor shall any State deprive a person of life.”  This is an example of how young adults are being deprived of life.  America is about equality and at 18; young adults aren’t treated equally as those whom are 21.

What makes the age of 21 so special? Some might say that those who are 21 have experienced enough things in life and are more mature than those that are 18. I disagree with this statement because for one, some people that are 18 are more mature than some adults.  If voting privileges doesn’t make you an adult than I don’t know what does. People might also argue that at 18, young adults haven’t even gone through the college process.  Going away to college and being independent are great qualities of an adult.  Children are surly not capable of completing such a task.

The Legislative intent of the law might be that 18 Year olds have been acting more mature over the years and they should be considered adults.  This would be great support towards passing this law.  Hearing the voice of others always helps your claim so I conducted a vote from class 120 during government.  The entire class agreed that 18 years olds should have adult privileges.  A statement in which everybody didn’t agree with is that 18 year olds have experienced enough in life to be considered adults.  Although they might not have faced obstacles as an adult, facing such things will help you grow and become stronger. I say that we give young adults a chance to prove all that they can be.

“Sugary Drinks” Shaneece Worgs

Sugary Drinks

A law of 16-ounces on sugary drinks will be banned in fast food IMG_0030_2places in six months, which is in March 2013 if any store is found in violation they will pay a $200 fine.  In the Los Angles Times New York was the first place for the law to be passed.  This law is to help people who are struggling with obesity.  They also have this law now where when children in public schools have their lunch they have to have to full up their tray.  The Supreme Court should review the law because Mayor Bloomberg shouldn’t have to help children or adults with obesity.  Not everyone wants to loose weight.

The purpose of this law is to help people wit obesity.  I disagree with the law because Mayor Bloomberg shouldn’t try to only have to drink 16 – oz drinks because other people don’t want to lose weight.  In New York public school children now have to fill their tray food.  There is food being wasted because children for example teens don’t want to eat healthy foods.

The 1st amendment “protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression for government interference”.  This allows the people of the United States to have the freedom to say what they like, have the religion they want and have their freedom to do want they want. This violates the amendment because the government controlling want other people consume.  Some people express them selves in different ways for example drinking sugary drinks over 16- ozs.

The government shouldn’t have anything to do with what people eat or drink.  If fast food chains violate this law they will have to pay a $200 fine.  Other people shouldn’t have to suffer form others who don’t want to be healthy.