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1

Should we lower the voting age?

In Newark, New Jersey the voting age was just lowered to ages 16 and 17 for smaller elections. Should other counties follow in these footsteps? Click below to learn more about it!

2

inspiring of the month: simone biles

Simone Biles is a name associated with strength and success, but how specifically has she made her mark on the world? Click below to read more about her amazing accomplishments and inspiring works.

Want to read some more?

1

bedtime procrastination

It's easy to procrastinate a lot of things these days, but one common routine we are most guilty of pushing off is bedtime. Read more about the disadvantages of bedtime procrastination.

2

Ai Telemarketers?

With the recent rise of AI technology, its capabilities cause a beneficial and concerning impact on society. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned robocalls that contain AI generated voices. Learn more about it here.

3

Inspiring woman of the month: sally ride

As the first woman to go to space, Sally Ride paved the way for female astronauts and physicists. Learn more about her incredible accomplishments and why she is such a fantastic role model to modern women.  

Take a look at some more...

1

Should schools allow mental health days?

Twelve states have created legislation to allow public school students the ability to miss school for mental health reasons. In addition, four more states have proposals headed in the same direction. Read this article to find out why.

2

learning to write with ai

As AI is becoming more and more popular, parents and teachers have been weighing in about the dangers and benefits of using this tool. But how does the writing differ between a human and AI? Read this article to find out.

Feel free to keep perusing

1

should schools ban cell phones?

For the past few years learning in schools has seemed to be on the decline. Parents and educators alike have been locked in a disagreement over whether or not cellular phones are the root of the problem. Click below to check out their reasoning.

2

The growth of virtual learning

Thanks to COVID-19, the virtual learning enrollments are expected to grow by more than 200% between the years 2020 and 2025. Why is virtual learning still on the rise, though? Click below to find out.

3

inspiring woman of the month: maya angelou

Maya Angelou was not only a poet and author, but also a prominent voice for empowerment and civil rights. Her life experiences and powerful words have inspired many to embrace their strength. Click below to hear her inspiring tale.

Check Out These Ones Too...

1

Are you ready for it?

With her undeniably popular new album, tour, and vault tracks, Taylor Swift has become an active pop culture influence in 2023. Recently,  she was named Time's Person of the Year. Read more to discover how as well as the various other titles she has recently acquired.

2

Inspiring woman of the month: America Ferrera

As an incredibly talented actress, recently starring in the Barbie movie, America Ferrera's rise to fame has been an incredible journey. Read more about her story.

Explore these interesting reads...

1

menstrual shame and period poverty

Though having a menstrual cycle is an entirely normal and healthy process for women, a negative stigma surrounds ‘the period’, leaving women ashamed of themselves and hesitant to reach out for guidance. Click below to learn about the impacts of  menstrual shame and period poverty.

2

bully dogs banned

This past September, Prime Minister Rishi Shanuk announced the banning of American XL bully dogs in the UK by the end of the year. What makes these dogs so dangerous. Click below to find out.

3

inspiring woman of the month: angelina jolie 

Angelina Jolie is not only known for her astounding acting career but also her humanitarian work over the years. Learn more about what makes her inspiring.

Here's Some More Articles...

1

Police dog robots?

With the call for more accountability and less police brutality many governments are starting to look for alternative law enforcement options. Many people believe robot police dogs are the answer.

2

Tiktok as a news source

With its rapid surge in a time of modern struggles such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and so on, sharing news and advocating for these issues have become an integral part of TikTok's success. But is TikTok really a reliable news source? Let's break it down.

3

inspiring woman of the month: Princess diana

Princess Diana, also known as the “People’s Princess” was an inspiring woman who still continues to influence individuals around the world. While her recognition stemmed from her royal status, there are several other qualities that truly make her inspiring.

Keep Reading...

1

Narcan over the counter

 To decrease the rapid rates of these fatal overdoses over the years, an antagonist used to mitigate the fatal effects of opioids known as Narcan, has become an over-the-counter drug. Read about it here.

2

Fast fashion: is it worth it?

With the growing popularity of brands like Zara, SHEIN, and Fashion Nova, fast fashion has become the new norm across the globe. But what exactly is fast fashion? Why is it harmful to our world? And what can we do to fix it?

3

inspiring woman of the month: princess diana

Princess Diana, also known as the “People’s Princess” was an inspiring woman who still continues to influence individuals around the world. While her recognition stemmed from her royal status, there are several other qualities that truly make her inspiring.

Some previous articles for you...

1

Flooding in libya

After Cyclone Daniel and the ruin of two broken dams, major floods have devastated the nation of Libya. Learn more about it here.

2

the ice glacier issue in switzerland

Ice glaciers in Switzerland have lost ten percent of their total volume in the past two years, but why? 

3

Lab grown chicken?

As the most popular meat in America, chicken consumption has skyrocketed in the past 50 years. However, a new variation has recently been stealing the spotlight: lab-grown chicken. Check out this article to learn more.

Here's Some More...

1

Why was it so hot this summer?

Of course the Midwestern heat and dreaded humidity gets to us all, but this summer seemed extremely hot. Check out this article to discover why. been stealing the spotlight: lab-grown chicken. Check out this article to learn more.

2

All about the "hands free" law

Texting and driving is a known danger to others and yourself. Governor Mike Parson has just officially signed the "Hands Free" Law, making various activities involving distracted driving illegal. Learn more in this article.

3

developments in ai

As Artificial Intelligence acquires more and more information, it's important to stay updated on what it's being used for. Learn more here!

Should We Lower the Voting Age?

By: Reilly Hill

In Newark, New Jersey the voting age was just lowered to ages 16 and 17 for smaller elections. This change has raised a nationwide question, should the voting age be lowered to 16 years of age. Newark has a population of 305,000 people and they are the biggest city to expand on voting since 1971 when the voting age was lowered to 18 from 21. The initiative in Newark, a city 10 miles west of Manhattan where nearly 90 percent of residents are Black or Latino, is considered a major leap in a nationwide campaign to reinvigorate civics education, encourage greater participation in the democratic process and boost lagging voter turnout. Newark’s mayor believes that this is a good change saying that; “It’s a training ground and opportunity to prepare young folks to actually engage in larger elections.” Mayor Baraka thinks that this will allow for direct learning experiences. However there are critics. Senator Declan O’Scanlon says that because most 16/17 year olds are not taxpayers that they are “not ready to make these decisions”. Many people have set opinions that will not be changed easily. What do you think, should the voting age be changed?

 

Works Cited

Engle, Jeremy. “Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Feb. 2024, www.nytimes.com/2024/02/26/learning/should-the-voting-age-be-lowered-to-16.html. 

inspiring woman of the month: simone biles

By: summer agha

Simone Biles is a name associated with strength and success. Biles was born on March 14th, 1997 in Columbus Ohio. She grew up in Spring, Texas, and became infatuated with gymnastics at six. In 2010, Biles won two medals for floor exercise and vault in the Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships 2010. She quickly progressed to an elite level one year later. It did not take long for Biles to stand out among others. Her confidence, technique, and consistency incorporated into her routine set her apart. One large accomplishment down the line of her career includes becoming the first female gymnast to win four gold medals at a single Games in 2016. Biles has also won 30 world championship medals, with 23 of them being gold. Biles has redefined gymnastics with her resilience and talent. As the most decorated American Gymnast, she has inspired many worldwide.​

Works cited

“Simone Biles.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 27 Mar. 2024,   

www.britannica.com/biography/Simone-Biles

“Redskabsgymnastik.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb. 2024, 

da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redskabsgymnastik

Sleep

Bedtime Procrastination
By: Ali McDonald

            It hits 10:45pm on a Wednesday night and all of your homework is done. Finally, you can pull back your covers and enjoy a good nights sleep. But first, you need to reply to that one text message…and comment on your friend's Instagram post…and scroll on TikTok for a while…and maybe watch 20 more minutes of your Netflix show…and the list goes on.

           For most of us, this is our average nighttime routine. With our intensely occupying schedules during the day, we need to reclaim our independence by doing activities for our own well-being in the late hours of the night. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as "revenge bedtime procrastination," and have recognized its negative impact on our sleep quality and overall heath.

            Though it doesn't seem like an entirely awful concept to have a little time to unwind before falling asleep, scientists claim this creates a larger "intention-behavior gap" in those who fall into this trap. Essentially, people who intend to go to sleep but distract themselves with other tasks minimize their self-control, which allows this unhealthy cycle to continue.

          So how exactly, does this impact our sleep quality? Through a study of  university students, we can find a clear answer to this question. In a United States University, researchers studied 280 undergraduate students' pre-sleep rituals and the quality of sleep they brought about. From their investigation, the results were clear that minimized "bedtime procrastination" caused for a more restorative and refreshing sleep among the participants. Additionally, the study illuminated that sleep disorders such as insomnia were more prevalent among individuals who partake in "bedtime procrastination."

           So, as you climb into bed tonight, try to go straight to sleep. Though it may feel a bit strange, you will soon recognize the benefits as you wake up the following morning feeling more rejuvenated than ever!

 

Works Cited

Deeg, Janosch. “It Goes by the Name ‘bedtime Procrastination,’ and You Can Probably Guess What It Is.” Scientific American, 20 Feb. 2024, www.scientificamerican.com/article/it-goes-by-the-name-bedtime-procrastination-and-you-can-probably-guess-what-it-is/.

“Study Finds Bedtime Procrastination Impacts Sleep Quality.” Sleep Foundation, 4 Mar. 2024, www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/study-finds-bedtime-procrastination-impacts-sleep-quality.

AI Telemarketers?

By: Maggie Wright

           With the recent rise of AI technology, its capabilities cause a beneficial and concerning impact on society. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned robocalls that contain AI generated voices. Under the consumer protection law, telemarketers are not legally allowed to use automated dialers or artificial/prerecorded messages to contact personal cells, or make calls to landlines without recipient consent. This newly passed ruling aims to prevent possibly exploiting from scamming and misleading voters. This regulation follows into a newly advanced investigative case of AI-generated robocalls that mimicked current president Joe Biden's voice to discourage voters in New Hampshire's primary last month. This regulation is effective immediately, and allows the FCC to fine companies who use AI generated voices, as well as block service providers that carry them. Those who violate this law can face steep fines up to 23,000 dollars, and gives recipients the chance to take legal action and receive money in damages. The power of AI continues to take over and manifest into daily life, and the question of its true capabilities still remains unknown.

 

Works Cited

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/ai-generated-voices-robocalls-deceive-voters-fcc-made-107063633

Inspiring Woman of the Month: Sally Ride

By: Summer Agha

           Sally Ride, an astronaut and astrophysicist, was the first American woman to go to space. Before accomplishing these achievements, Ride attended Stanford University, double majoring in Physics and English. After graduating and earning a bachelor’s degree in both majors, her passion for exploring the depths of physics persisted. As a result, she pursued a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in physics within five years. Ride then distinguished herself from over a thousand applicants and secured a spot in NASA’s astronaut program. She would later join others on the STS-7 mission to become the first American woman in space, taking on the role of a mission specialist. In June of 1983, Ride began her journey aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, on the STS-7 mission, where she took on the role of one of two mission specialists. Sally Ride’s achievements broke down many gender barriers, paving the way for other women who want to pursue STEM-related careers. Her courage, intelligence, and leadership continue to inspire individuals to this day. 


 

    Sources:

Sally Ride - Facts, education & quotes. (n.d.-a) 

https://www.biography.com/scientists/sally-ride 

Toy Brain

Should Schools Allow Mental Health Days?
By: Ali McDonald

          With the increasing number of teenagers visiting the emergency room for behavioral health issues, the number of mental health diagnoses continues to skyrocket in the recent years. In fact, 1 in 6 United States youth between the ages 6-17 experience some sort of mental health disorder each year. Due to these alarming statistics, twelve states have created legislation to allow public school students the ability to miss school for mental health reasons. In addition, four more states have proposals headed in the same direction.

 

States Who Have Introduced Mental Health Days into Their Pubic Schools:

Washington, California, Illinois, Virginia, Maine, Connecticut, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Kentucky, and Colorado

 

States Proposing This Idea:

New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania

 

          With this new legislation in place, parents have mixed reactions. 75% of parents in a survey conducted by Parents and Verywell Mind believed that this practice "can be an effective tool to support a child's mental health. Additionally, 69% of parents responded that taking days off from school for mental health reasons is completely normal and valid. Though the majority of parents were very pleased with this implemented legislation, some parents expressed concerns. Whether they believe mental health days can be beneficial or not, many parents cannot afford to take off work to stay home with their children for mental health reasons. Also, students inn lower-income households likely are not enrolled in schools where mental health days are available.

          While students in some states have the opportunity to take mental health days, we must recognize that this is not a solution to the youth mental health crisis currently plaguing our world. By providing more resources and increased mental health care access, we can help alter the stigma and aid individuals struggling on a greater scale.

 

Works Cited:

“Mental Health by the Numbers.” NAMI, www.nami.org/mhstats. Accessed 8 Feb. 2024.

Warren, Darice. “The Case for Student Mental Health Days in America’s Schools.” Office Practicum, 22 June 2023, www.officepracticum.com/blog/the-case-for-student-mental-health-days-in-americas-schools/?cn-reloaded=1.

Computer Programming

AI vs. Human Writing
By: Reilly Hill

As AI is becoming more and more popular, parents and teachers have been weighing in about the dangers and benefits of using artificial intelligence. But what do teenagers, who are affected by AI in jobs, school, and social media, think of this technological advancement? The New York Times asked students across the country what they thought, and here is what some of them said. Some students agreed with the majority of parents, saying that AI is not all that it is cracked up to be. A student from Ellisville said; “With the frequent use of A.I., our minds become reliant on given information rather than us thinking for ourselves.”. “Essay readers want to hear a student’s voice. ChatGPT can write well-structured essays in two minutes, but these essays have no voice,” another student from Central Coast agrees. On the other hand, a few students said that they use AI for research rather than writing. “I think AI should be a tool for writers. It can help make outlines for writing pieces and it could help solve problems students are stuck on and give them an explanation.” explains a student from Hinsdale. Some students even believe that AI will be able to replace writers all together. A student from Glen Ellyn believes, “AI is becoming wildly accessible and increasingly more competent.” While there are students who like the applications of artificial intelligence, overwhelmingly, most students believe that their writing skills will always have more voice and more heart than AI’s ever will.

Phone App

Should Cell Phones Be Banned at Schools?
By: Reilly Hill

          For the past few years learning in schools has seemed to be on the decline. Parents and educators alike have been locked in a disagreement over whether or not cellular phones are the root of the problem. According to a 2022 study, 61% of parents think that cell phone use should be restricted completely in schools. School principals agree as well, with 90% wanting to restrict the use of phones. Those in favor of restricting phone usage have many seemingly valid reasons. After Covid-19 students phone use increased greatly, while learning decreased. They say that cell phones can increase cyberbullying, cheating, create mental and physical challenges, and expose children to predators. The Philadelphia Board of Education even said that, “With a cell phone-free environment, schools can increase engagement in the classroom.” That being said, we must not overlook the positive applications of cell phones in the classroom. Cell phones add another layer of safety to the classroom. Phones can also be used for research purposes, learning new information, new learning formats, and news ways for individualized learning. Even though there are many reasons for and against cell phones in the classroom, it seems that students may have to fight to keep phones in the classroom.

 

Works Cited

“A DeSantis Proposal Parents Agree on: Banning Cell Phones in Classrooms.” Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, business.rice.edu/wisdom/expert-opinion/banning-cell-phones-in-classrooms. Accessed 18 Jan. 2024.

Singer, Natasha. “School Cellphone Bans Are Trending. Do They Work?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 31 Oct. 2023, www.nytimes.com/2023/10/31/technology/school-smartphone-bans.html.

Computer Work

The Growth of Virtual Learning
By: Ali McDonald

          Thanks to COVID-19, the virtual learning enrollments are expected to grow by more than 200% between the years 2020 and 2025. Though many of us here at Visitation were not fans of e-Learning in the days of contact-tracing and when we were supposed to have a snow day, the benefits of virtual learning such as increased flexibility, more free time, and the ability to learn from any location with Wi-Fi were definitely convenient for us.

          We may think that the days of virtual learning are behind us, however various statistics imply that this methodology is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, 57 million people are expected to have taken an online course by the year 2027. In the United States alone, one-third of all students have completed at least one online course during their lifetime.

          E-Learning is not solely limited to elementary, middle, and high school education, however. Many adults pursuing Bachelors, Masters, or Associates degrees choose the online route for convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. In fact, 42% of those who decide to obtain their degree virtually are 30 or older, which explains the necessity for the aforementioned benefits.

          The benefits of online learning are truly substantial and this practice has surged in popularity during the recent years. But what do you think of online learning? Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages?

 

Works Cited

Cohen, Kobi. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes.” IU International University of Applied Sciences, IU International, 1 Sept. 2023, www.iu.org/blog/studying-online/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-online-classes/.

“Online Learning Statistics: The Ultimate List in 2024: Devlin Peck.” RSS, www.devlinpeck.com/content/online-learning-statistics. Accessed 18 Jan. 2024.

Inspiring Woman of the Month: Maya Angelou
By: Summer Agha

          Maya Angelou was not only a poet and author, but also a prominent voice for empowerment and civil rights. Her life experiences and powerful words have inspired many to embrace their strength, rise above adversity, and believe in their own worth. Her resilience, wisdom, and ability to connect with others through her writing continue to inspire individuals to this day. 

Angelou’s early life was filled with hardships and challenges, as she experienced abuse as a child deeply affecting her. However, her grandmother played a significant role in her life. Despite her difficulties, her grandmother introduced her to literature and encouraged her to delve into the world of writing. Through this, Angelou found her passion, released several pieces of literature, and received awards for her compelling pieces. Angelou also used her gift of writing to fight against racial injustice and discrimination. Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise” is one of her most well known and beloved works. The poem touches upon a multitude of subjects such as the hardships and discrimination Black Americans go through, as well as her own challenges. The main idea of the poem is about the resilience she and other Black Americans show even when in the face of oppression. The poem also emphasizes the importance of standing tall and not letting the harsh words of others affect one’s self worth. In the poem, Angelou writes, “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise.”
 

 

Works cited

Angelou, Maya. “Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46446/still-i-rise. Accessed 18 Jan. 2024. 

“Maya Angelou.” Women of the Hall, www.womenofthehall.org/inductee/maya-angelou/. Accessed 18 Jan. 2024. 

Are You Ready for It?

By: Reilly Hill

As you all know Taylor Swift has risen to extreme popularity within the last few years. Her Eras Tour was record-breaking with 2.4 million tickets sold in a single day. The Eras Tour was then made into a movie where it continued to smash records making $123 million opening weekend. After this record-breaking run and announcing the dates for her international tour Taylor Swift was recently named the Times “Person of the Year”. She is the first woman to appear twice on the cover for Person of the Year since she was named Person of the Year in 2017. Taylor Swift has certainly been influencing the lives of billions of people around the globe for the last 12 months. She is the first person to be selected for her achievements in the arts and the fourth person chosen who was born in the last 50 years. She has been mentioned for other things this year such as Spotify’s Most Streamed Artist of the Year and People’s Most Intriguing Person of the Year. There is no doubt that Taylor Swift wins Person of the Year for both Time and for many fans around the world.

Works Cited

Shah, S. (2023, December 6). Taylor Swift’s person of the year history. Time. https://time.com/6343069/taylor-swift-history-person-of-the-year/

inspiring woman of the month: america ferrera

By: Summer agha

          America Ferrera is an inspiration to many. She has made a significant impact within the entertainment industry and outside of it. As an actress, she has played many strong female characters that resonate with audiences and promote representation.

           While Ferrera has played a plethora of empowering roles, her character in the “Barbie” movie is one known to many. Ferrera plays the role of Gloria, a woman navigating her way through motherhood as a single woman in a bigoted society. Her role shines a light on the unattainable expectations bestowed upon women and young girls. The character teaches them that instead of competing with one another to achieve said standards, women should be lifting each other, allowing the unified experience of constant criticism and judgment to bring them closer together. Ferrara’s character, Gloria even states in the movie that, “we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong.”

          Ferrera’s work goes far beyond entertainment and empowers women to lift each other and to perceive one another in a more positive light. For this she is a true role model, reminding people that the power is in their hands to create a positive c

Menstrual Shame and Period Poverty

           Though having a menstrual cycle is an entirely normal and healthy process for women, a negative stigma surrounds ‘the period’, leaving women ashamed of themselves and hesitant to reach out for guidance. This is most commonly defined as menstrual shame.

           More specifically, in a study of 1500 women and 500 men across the United States, 58% of the women have claimed they felt embarrassed simply because they bleed and 42% of those women have also experienced verbal shaming.

           If half the global population menstruates, then why is period shaming so common? This could be attributed to the fact that talking about menstrual cycles is not normalized in society. Though it's briefly mentioned in health classes, there is insufficient awareness of this issue by both men and women.

Some fast facts for you:

42% of women feel awkward purchasing period products

62% of women feel uncomfortable even using the word "period" in a public setting

73% of women admit to hiding period products when walking to the restroom

63% of women have cancelled plans because of period or Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) pain

40% of that 63% made up a different excuse that they tought was more "valid" for cancelling those plans

41% of men have admitted to saying derogatory comments about a woman's mood, referencing her period

 

Now, if those statistics weren't startling enough, let's move into another underdiscussed topic: period poverty.

 

What is period poverty?

This can be defined as: when women have a lack of access to…

  • Period products

  • A clean, private bathroom

  • A safe person to confide in

  • A menstrual hygiene education

 

Did you know that 2/3 women could not afford period products at some point in 2022. AND 1/2 of those women had to choose between purchasing food and period products. Additionally, most government assistance programs do not provide feminine care products to those in need even though they should be considered a medical necessity.

 

Why is this issue important? Because something a person cannot control (in this case, their period) should not limit their opportunities or make others look at them any differently.

 

What can you do?

  • Don't be hesitant to talk about periods if it's something you are comfortable discussing. It's a normal bodily function!

  • Educate yourself on relevant issues and menstrual hygiene.

  • Donate period products to those in need!

Works Cited

Ageeva, Tamara. “Period-Shaming Has Been Happening for Centuries.” Medium, An Injustice!, 21 Apr. 2021, aninjusticemag.com/period-shaming-has-been-happening-for-centuries-dd251aea0c7c.

“Nearly Half of Us Women Have Experienced ‘Period Shaming.’” MHDay, menstrualhygieneday.org/nearly-half-us-women-experienced-period-shaming/#:~:text=It%20is%20a%20mark%20of,from%20those%20closest%20to%20them. Accessed 17 Nov. 2023.

Removing the Shame and Stigma from Menstruation | OHCHR, www.ohchr.org/en/stories/2022/07/removing-shame-and-stigma-menstruation. Accessed 17 Nov. 2023.

“Should Tampons Be Free: Why Are Feminine Products so Expensive?” A Growing Number of Women Are Arguing That Because Men Have No Equivalent Expense, Menstrual Supplies Should Be Free in Public Restrooms Just like Toilet Paper., fsastore.com/learn-tampons-expensive.html. Accessed 17 Nov. 2023.

Dog Lover

Bully Dogs Banned

By: Maggie Wright

This past September, Prime Minister Rishi Shanuk announced the banning of American XL bully dogs in the UK by the end of the year. This decision has come from numerous reports of attacks and even killings from this breed. Many statements have been made conveying the dangers of this breed, one from the campaign group Bully Watch claiming that the breed is “a clear and present threat to public health”. However, many groups have come forward to claim that banning dogs will not stop attacks. A representative of the Dog Control Coalition stated that it is “deeply concerned about the lack of data behind this decision and its potential to prevent dog bites.” Experts and animal activist groups including have conveyed that breed-specific bans are ineffective and could see thousands of innocent, well-mannered dogs be put down. Still, many feel that statistics and the death rates caused by this breed are difficult to ignore. There have been 10 fatal attacks in the year 2022, with American XL bullys involved in six of them. While many American XL bully pet owners scramble to rehome or unfortunately euthanize these dogs, some refuse to act and hope for change. So, this poses the question, do you feel that this breed should be banned?

Works Cited

Independent Digital News and Media. (2023, September 15). American XL bully dogs to be banned in UK following spate of “horror” attacks. The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/american-xl-bully-dog-ban-uk-attack-b2412188.html

Inspiring Woman of the Month: Angelina Jolie

           Angelina Jolie is not only known for her astounding acting but also her humanitarian work over the years. She has been involved in various causes such as advocating for refugees and abandoned children, along with fighting against sexual violence. Her considerable dedication is what inspires many individuals to get involved in humanitarian efforts and ameliorate the quality of other’s lives. 

           “I think we all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us” Jolie once said. By aligning her actions with her words, Jolie exemplifies the epitome of generosity. Regarding her work advocating for refugees, Jolie works with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and is a Goodwill Ambassador. She has been to various locations such as Sierra Leone, Thailand, and Iraq, discovering solutions for individuals struggling with the perils within their countries. Along with aiding refugees, Jolie partnered with William Hague and started up the Preventing Sexual Violence In Conflict Initiative, which raises awareness for sexual violence against women and children in conditions where armed conflict takes place. She also partnered up with Stella McCartney, an English fashion designer, in 2014 to end sexual violence and provide aid to children in countries experiencing war. This was done with their campaign, Draw Me To Safety. Angelina Jolie’s unwavering dedication to humanitarian causes serves as an inspiration to many and reminds individuals of the impact one person can make in creating a world void of inequality and hate. 

Works Cited

Leffler, Samantha. “10 Reasons to Celebrate Humanitarian Angelina Jolie on Her Bday.” LIVEKINDLY, 4 June 2021, www.livekindly.com/angelina-jolie-humanitarian/.

Image by Spenser H

Police Dog Robots?

By: Reilly Hill

        With the call for more accountability and less police brutality many governments are starting to look for alternative law enforcement options. Many people believe that police robots will bring down police brutality exponentially. In Singapore, 2 robots have started to patrol airports to serve as “eyes on the ground”. While these robots cannot actively stop any criminals, they can alert human officers, block off crime scenes, and warn bystanders of danger near-by. These robots are huge standing at 5 feet 5 inches but with extenders that can reach almost 8 feet tall! The Singapore police force has stated that they intend to implement more robots in the near future. This is not the first time robots have been used as law enforcement. During covid robot dogs were used to keep people in their homes and enforce social distancing. While some see this change as a good thing, others are not so convinced. Sanwell Swant, an American traveler, said “ Soon machines will take over the world and these security robots definitely look like they mean business.”

Works Cited

Chen, Heather. “‘Like Something out of Black Mirror’: Police Robots Go on Patrol at Singapore Airport.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 June 2023, www.cnn.com/2023/06/18/asia/police-robots-singapore-security-intl-hnk/index.html.

Tiktok as a news source

            With its endless supply of content and addictive algorithm, TikTok has began increasing in popularity drastically each year. In fact, as the sixth-most-popular  social network in the world, TikTok experienced a 16% user growth rate from May 2022 to January 2023. However, with its rapid surge in a time of modern struggles such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and so on, sharing news and advocating for these issues have become an integral part of TikTok's success. But is TikTok really a reliable news source? Let's break it down.

            Although most people acknowledge that TikTok has never claimed to be a viable news source, studies claim that the percentage of "U.S. adults who say they regularly get news from TikTok has roughly tripled, from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2022." Because of this, it is extremely important to note the possibility of receiving opinionated, falsified, or misleading information from this source. In fact, the majority of the news published on TikTok is mostly shared by influencers, activists, or just regular people rather than actual news stations such as NBC, CNN, etc. Therefore, it can be assumed that most information published on the app is slightly biased depending on the source.

           Recently, however, around 49% of top news publishers are now regularly publishing content on TikTok. With its recent surge in popularity, "a large proportion of these have joined TikTok in the last year." Perhaps the desire to appeal to younger generations serves as the reasoning for becoming active on this platform, as teenagers and young adults do seem to be the primary consumers.

           Yet, problems arise when TikTok "takes down or limits access to hard-hitting news stories" on actual news platforms. This only offers greater access to misinformation from other content creators on the relevant topic. An instance of this would include when the mRNA vaccine was first utilized during the Covid-19 pandemic. In research conducted by NewsGuard, when the keywords "mRNA vaccine" were typed into the app's search bar, 5 videos in the top 10 results contained false or misleading claims about the aforementioned topic. It should be noted that the articles searched on Google when prompted with the same keywords had factual and statistical evidence about the vaccine, rather than opinionated or falsified information.

            Although TikTok can certainly provide accurate information on current global issues in our modern world, it is important to recognize the dangers of instantly accepting that this data Is true. Further investigation on more reliable platforms  should always occur before fully believing the claims found of TikTok.

Works Cited

George, Anita. “Report: Tiktok Isn’t a Reliable Search Engine for News.” Digital Trends, Digital Trends, 14 Sept. 2022, www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/tiktok-isnt-a-reliable-search-engine-for-news/#:~:text=According%20to%20NewsGuard’s%20report%2C%20the,%E2%80%9Cfalse%20or%20misleading%20claims.%E2%80%9D.

Matsa, Katerina Eva. “More Americans Are Getting News on Tiktok, Bucking the Trend on Other Social Media Sites.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 21 Oct. 2022, www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/10/21/more-americans-are-getting-news-on-tiktok-bucking-the-trend-on-other-social-media-sites/.

“TikTok Is the Most Popular News Source for 12 to 15-Year-Olds, Says Ofcom.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 19 July 2023, www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/jul/20/tiktok-is-the-most-popular-news-source-for-12-to-15-year-olds-says-ofcom#:~:text=The%20study%20also%20showed%20that,by%2070%25%20of%20UK%20adults.

Narcan takes a leap forward, becoming over the counter

       Over the years, the rate of opioid misuse has risen and continues to increase. Among the various repercussions, the most serious is an overdose-related death. To decrease the rapid rates of these fatal overdoses, an antagonist used to mitigate the fatal effects of opioids known as Narcan, has become an over-the-counter drug. 

       Opioids are available as prescription medication used for severe pain control, but can also be used in the form of illegal drugs. Of all the opioids, heroin is the most dangerous substance and is often laced with fentanyl, causing lethal outcomes. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, more than 1,500 deaths related to opioid overdose occurred in 2022. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also stated that during a 12-month period that ended in April 2022, there were 81,692 opioid-related deaths in the U.S. 

      Fortunately, efforts are being made to terminate this rapid epidemic by making counteractive drugs such as Narcan, over the counter. Although Narcan has been around for years, it was only accessible by prescription, thus limiting access to most people misusing opioids. Now, you can buy Narcan at pharmacies in the form of nasal spray, making it easier to use in emergencies. Now that the FDA has approved Narcan to be a nonprescription medication, and has priced it affordably, it will significantly reduce opioid-related deaths.
 

Works Cited

“Drug Overdose Dashboard - Fatal Overdoses.” Drug Overdose Dashboard - Fatal Overdoses | Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, 

health.mo.gov/data/opioids/

“Heroin Drugfacts.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  

nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin.

“Provisional Drug Overdose Deaths from 12 Months Ending in April 2022.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 

blogs.cdc.gov/nchs/2022/09/14/6598/. 


 

Fast Fashion: Is it Worth It?

With the growing popularity of brands like Zara, SHEIN, and Fashion Nova, fast fashion has become the new norm across the globe. But what exactly is fast fashion? Why is it harmful to our world? And what can we do to fix it?

Though there is no one set definition of fast fashion, some defining characteristics include:

  1. Being extremely cheap

  2. Correlating with recent trends

  3. Remaining easily-attainable

  4. Created from inexpensive textiles

In order to meet consumer demands, fast fashion is produced at a rapid speed, promoting the idea that outfit repeating is out of style. Why purchase clothing at an expensive price if you're only going to wear it a few times anyways?

Unfortunately, this mentality is the source of a toxic overproduction, making fast fashion one of the world's largest polluters. The use of inexpensive and toxic textile dyes have made the fashion industry a large contributor to the pollution of clean water globally. Additionally, utilizing popular fabrics like polyester, plays a role in global warming as it is made from fossil fuels. However, "natural" fabrics can also be an issue, requiring tremendous amounts of water and pesticides in countries like India and China.

The speed at which this apparel is produced seems to be the greatest problem, causing numerous clothing items to be disposed rapidly - which creates immense textile waste. In fact, in Australia, "more than 500 million kilos of unwanted clothing ends up in the landfill every year."

Fast fashion also exploits workers. Working in dangerous conditions, for low wages, and often deprived of fundamental human rights, many fast fashion garment workers put their lives at risk daily. Fast fashion production utilizes over 8,000 synthetic chemicals, some knowingly being cancer risks. Employing approximately 75 million factory workers worldwide, the fast fashion industry only pays less than 2% of them a living wage. Often working around 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, the English Parliament has described these working conditions as "slave labor."

So what can we do to help, you may ask? The most helpful action you can take is shifting your consumption habits. Buy basic, good-quality clothes that will last a long time. Spice up your old clothes or find new ways to wear them. Rent or swap clothes with friends. Anything you do to halt this humanitarian and environmental crisis will make a lasting impact. One person can make a difference.

Works Cited

Ross, Emma. “Fast Fashion Getting Faster: A Look at the Unethical Labor Practices Sustaining a Growing Industry.” International Law and Policy Brief, studentbriefs.law.gwu.edu/ilpb/2021/10/28/fast-fashion-getting-faster-a-look-at-the-unethical-labor-practices-sustaining-a-growing-industry/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2023.

“What Is Fast Fashion and Why Is It so Bad?” Good On You, 7 Aug. 2023, goodonyou.eco/what-is-fast-fashion/.

Inspiring Woman of the month: princess diana

       Princess Diana, also known as the “People’s Princess” was an inspiring woman who still continues to influence individuals around the world. While her recognition stemmed from her royal status, she was truly loved for her kindness, compassion, and empathy she consistently showed others and used to make a difference for her country. 

       Throughout her life, Diana possessed a desire to make a positive impact on the world. She achieved this through continuously advocating for justice and the well being of others. During the 1980s Diana encouraged an attitude shift towards people with AIDS when she opened the first unit that exclusively assisted patients with HIV/AIDS in London, however, it was when she shook the hand of a man with AIDS whilst gloveless that truly transformed the public’s fearful view of AIDS into empathy. Diana also helped young, homeless individuals find food, shelter, and jobs by supporting the charity Centrepoint, which helped homeless people off the streets. “Thanks to Princess Diana’s work with Centrepoint, people are not only more aware of our charity but the issue of youth homelessness,” Centrepoint chief executive Seyi Obakin told the Scotsman, a newspaper company located in Scotland. These examples are just a few of the many ways Princess Diana has impacted the world.

       Princess Diana’s legacy is one of selflessness and compassion. Her resolute passion to make a difference everywhere she went remains an inspiration for people to this day. Princess Diana will always be remembered as a true role model, and as she once said, the “queen of people’s hearts.” 

Works Cited

“How Princess Diana Changed Attitudes to Aids.” BBC News, BBC, 

www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-39490507. Accessed 12 Oct. 2023. 

John, Tara. “Princess Diana’s Humanitarian Causes, 20 Years On.” Time, Time, 25 Aug. 2017, 

time.com/4914377/princess-diana-humanitarian-work/. 

Flood

Floods in Libya
By: Reilly Hill

In the last month, a large storm called Cyclone Daniel blew over Libya causing widespread devastation and chaos. On September 11th, two dams burst sending over 1 billion cubic feet of water into cities that were already full of rain water. The city of Derna got hit the hardest with 25% of the city being completely wiped out. Over 2,000 people have been reported dead and 10,000 have been reported missing. One witness mentioned, “At first we thought it was heavy rain but at midnight we heard a huge explosion and it was the dam breaking.”. Currently, there is no clean drinking water in Derna right now and very few medical supplies. Eastern officials are said to be assessing the damage right now in order to begin building roads and restore electricity to help with aid efforts. Some aid has started to arrive from Egypt, but due to the political imbalance in Libya, it has been more difficult for help to arrive. However, the U.S. Germany, Iran, Italy, Qatar, and Turkey have all agreed to send aid as soon as they are ready. The devastation has been likened to a tsunami. People are frantic and hurting all over Libya, we can only hope that help makes it there soon.

 

Works Cited

“2023 Libya Floods.” Center for Disaster Philanthropy, 28 Sept. 2023, disasterphilanthropy.org/disasters/2023-libya-floods/.

Fleming, Lucy. “Libya Floods: Entire Neighbourhoods Dragged into the Sea.” BBC News, BBC, 12 Sept. 2023, www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-66785466.

Abstract Surface

The Ice Glacier Issue
By: Maggie Wright

In just two years, Switzerland's ice glaciers have lost a total of 10% of their volume. Glaciers have been constantly losing their mass for the past few decades, but nowhere close to this rapid pace. The cause? Climate change.

These two years of extreme mass loss have led to the collapsing of glacier tongues, as well as the complete disappearance of many glaciers. Several major glaciers have shrunk so small they are no longer even monitored by the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network (GLAMOS). The loss of ice has even been seen at higher altitudes, where ice loss is not typically seen. These losses have resulted in extremely low snow levels, reaching a record low of 30% of long-term average. These warmer winters are followed by summers with above average temperatures. The hotter summer months resulted in the melting of snow between 2-4 weeks earlier than average. These conditions have resulted in receding glaciers, causing dangerous rockslides and the death of nearby mountain climbers. Thanks to the efforts of climate change activists, efforts have been made to address this problem, with Swiss voters agreeing to pass a law to drastically decrease its usage of planet-heating pollution. If the world continues at this rate of not addressing the dangers of climate change, reports indicate that up to half of the world's glaciers could disappear by the end of the century.

 

Works Cited

Paddison, Laura. “Switzerland’s Glaciers Lose ‘mind-Blowing’ Volume of Ice in Just Two Years.” CNN, Cable News Network, 28 Sept. 2023, www.cnn.com/2023/09/28/europe/switzerland-glaciers-ice-loss-climate-intl/index.html. 

Image by Louis Reed
Image by Louis Reed

Lab-Grown Chicken?
By: Ali 
McDonald

As the most popular meat in America, chicken consumption has skyrocketed in the past 50 years. However, a new variation has recently been stealing the spotlight: lab-grown chicken.

What exactly is lab-grown chicken, you may ask? Though it seems odd and relatively unhealthy, this cultivated meat is created directly from the cells of live animals or one of their fertilized eggs. Mixed with fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, salts, and sugars, lab-grown chicken has been generated in stainless-steel tanks in scientific laboratories.

Recently approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, lab-grown chicken could technically be sold in restaurants and grocery stores across the nation. Two companies have received this approval including Upside Foods and Good Meat, both ironically fierce competitors in the U.S. meat industry. However, because of the cost to produce this cultivated meat, it will most likely not be available in grocery stores nationwide until another seven to ten years. Yet, we can certainly expect it to become more readily available if increased funding is received.

This discovery could transform chicken consumption altogether in the United States with the benefits morally and environmentally. With the meat being grown from cells, transitioning to cultivated chicken would reduce animal harm tremendously. Additionally, we wouldn't have to give up as much land and food for the immense amount of animals slaughtered, ultimately changing the game environmentally, as well.

Amy Chen, Upside Foods' chief operating officer explains "the most common response after trying this cultivated product we get is, 'Oh, it tastes like chicken.'" Moving into a more scientifically progressive era, lab-grown chicken could permanently altar meat production in the United States. However, the public speculates the necessity of this cultured chicken, hesitant to try something so recently developed.

 

Works Cited

Aleccia, Jonel, and Laura Ungar. “US Approves Chicken Made from Cultivated Cells, the Nation’s First ‘lab-Grown’ Meat.” AP News, AP News, 21 June 2023, apnews.com/article/cultivated-meat-lab-grown-cell-based-a88ab8e0241712b501aa191cdbf6b39a.

“Most Consumed Meats.” Steakholder Foods, 14 Aug. 2023, steakholderfoods.com/most-consumed-meats/#:~:text=Today%2C%20chickens%20are%20used%20primarily,capita%20in%20America%20has%20skyrocketed.

“Will We Soon Be Eating ‘lab-Grown’ Chicken?” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/news/usda-clears-lab-grown-chicken. Accessed 13 Sept. 2023.

Image by Sincerely Media

All About the "Hands Free" Law
By: Maggie Wright

One of the first rules of driving is to stay alert and diverge yourself from any distractions. We've all been told to put our phones down and stay focused, but did you know its officially illegal to text and drive in Missouri? The Hands-Free Law has just been signed by Governor Mike Parson and put into action with the hopes of putting a stop to distracted driving. Reports have shown that between 2012 and 2021, around 200,000 distracted driving crashes has occurred in Missouri alone, with more than 800 fatalities. These accidents are easily avoidable if drivers just put their phones down and focused on the road. This new law prevents phone usage in reference to watching or streaming videos and movies, texting, calling, and any other entertainment purposes. The law however, allows for the use of services such as Carplay, Bluetooth, and any voice activated, hands-free commands. The law only permits phone usage for emergency situations and to report accidents/crimes. Although phone usage is now illegal, it is considered a secondary offense. This means that police officers must pull you over due to speeding or other traffic/legal violations before issuing a ticket for phone usage. However, the consequences are steep as first time offenders can see fines up to $150 dollars. So, before you pick up your phone to respond to that Snapchat or watch that Tik Tok your friend sent, remember that it can most certainly wait.

Works Cited

“Hands-Free Law Takes Effect on Monday.” Hands-Free Law Takes Effect on Monday | Missouri Department of Transportation, www.modot.org/node/33694. Accessed 14 Sept. 2023.

Koch, Makenzie. “Missouri’s New Texting and Driving Law Even Bans Holding Your Phone.” FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports, FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports, 21 Aug. 2023, fox4kc.com/news/missouri-news/missouris-new-texting-and-driving-law-even-bans-holding-your-phone/.

Image by Jonathan Borba

Why Was It So Hot This Summer?

by: Ali McDonald

Summers across the United States are typically expected to be warm and dreadfully humid, especially in the Midwest, but 2023 was a record-breaking type of heat. Not only is the United States suffering from excessively hot weather, but tens of millions of people across the world have been experiencing heat warnings due to rapidly increasing temperatures. According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded since 1880. Regions of North Africa, the Antarctic Peninsula, and North and South America increased roughly 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature this summer. But why?

Like every complex issue circulating our world today, there is not one clear-cut answer to this question. However, the greatest factor seems to be the emission of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, largely rising due to human activities. These heat-trapping greenhouse gases (such as methane and carbon dioxide) have been multiplying year after year, with energy-related CO2 exudations rising almost 1% last year. If we fail to decrease the emission of these harmful agents into our atmosphere, chances are the temperature on our planet will continue to rise.

Though many scientists agree that the El Niño weather pattern may have impacted the increase in temperature this summer, the "long term trends that we're seeing are all due to human activity," claims Gavin Schmidt, director and climate modeler of the NASA Institute for Space Studies. Due to this, specialists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have recognized a rise in sea temperatures to unthinkable temperatures: 41 degrees Fahrenheit. A severe hazard to marine life, heatwaves have previously expedited the extinction of various types of Australian seaweed and additionally weakened blue crab and bay scallop populations near the area in February 2011. Posing a serious threat to both land and sea, the human impact that has increased our planet's temperatures seems as if it will only expand unless we take action.

If you're still not convinced that the climate crisis will continue to shape our world throughout the future, you may want to reconsider. A successful climatologist at the Grantham Institute of Climate Change, Friederike Otto, elaborates that "These heatwaves are not only more frequent, but also hotter and longer than they would have been without global warming." In fact, temperatures have risen so greatly that there is less and less alleviation from the heat during the nighttime. It may even be physically harmful to make contact with objects exposed to the sun during these heat advisories. This July, doctors in Phoenix, Arizona were flooded with patients with severe burns due to people simply touching pavement.

Of course, the rapid warmth of our planet is certainly not something we can fix overnight. However, there are multiple ways YOU can get involved to educate yourself and others on this pressing issue. Below are some resources for you to check out! Be sure to protect our planet, because we only have one :)

 

 

(see the temperature and carbon dioxide levels on the globe)

 

 

(see NASA's climate strategy)

 

Works Cited

Morgan McFall-Johnsen, Marianne Guenot. “Summer Heat Wave Tracker: July Was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded, by a Lot.” Insider, 17 Aug. 2023, www.insider.com/summer-2023-heat-wave-tracker-temperature-records-2023-5#:~:text=That’s%20because%20of%20the%20climate,it’s%20becoming%20hard%20to%20ignore.&text=So%20far%2C%20this%20summer%20has,and%20month%20in%20recorded%20history.

O’Shea, Claire. “NASA Clocks July 2023 as Hottest Month on Record Ever since 1880.” NASA, NASA, 14 Aug. 2023, www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-clocks-july-2023-as-hottest-month-on-record-ever-since-1880.

Rowlatt, Justin. “Excessive Heat: Why This Summer Has Been so Hot.” BBC News, BBC, 13 July 2023, www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-66143682.

Image by Steve Johnson

Developments in AI

by: Reilly Hill

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the way we think since it was first introduced. It has mystified some and frightened others. Movies such as the widely popular Terminator series featured AI. Many recent developments have begun a race to see how many industries can utilize this new technology. A new technology known as Natural Language Generation uses AI to translate computer data into any language the user desires. Humans can dictate to specific programs and devices and these computers will hear them and understand what to do with the instructions given. One tool similar to this called Otter AI can take audio and turn it into a written transcript.  AI can analyze data and then predict what should happen next. Businesses use these predictions to make quick decisions, avoid risks, and reduce the manpower necessary to do specific jobs. 

        Scientists have also recently begun to implement “machine learning” into artificial intelligence. The machine starts off with a model of everyday things it will be required to interact with. Parameters will be set for the machine so it knows how the data should be processed. After this, if all goes well, the machine will be able to continue learning by just reading that data, rather than being programmed. The machine will practically be able to think by itself! The idea of machine learning goes hand in hand with something else that is still being developed: robotic process automation. If a machine can think and learn by itself, it will make many jobs that humans have had to do obsolete. The machine will be able to read, analyze, and distribute information far quicker than any human ever could. Automation will increase the speed of production exponentially. 

        One other new AI technology that has recently taken off is the idea of chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs designed to have “conversations” with the user. Chatbots can write sonnets, poems, play scripts, and newspaper articles! While the most popular chatbot right now seems to be ChatGPT, probably because it’s free, there are a plethora of different websites to use. SnapChat Ai can formulate answers to questions, write poems, and explain the news. Chatbots are very popular with the younger generations, becoming almost a toy to some.

        The developments of AI enthrall some, but others are worried about the future implications and problems that could arise. So it is necessary to make sure we research artificial intelligence and understand it before we use it. 

Works Cited

Gundavajyala, Madhavi. “Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Technologies in 2023: Ai Tools.” Mindmajix, Mindmajix Technologies Inc, 22 Apr. 2021, mindmajix.com/artificial-intelligence-technologies. 

Image by Guilherme Maggieri
Balls

Inspiring Woman of the Month: Serena Williams

by: Summer Agha

Serena Williams is a powerful role model for young women today. Not only does her dominance in tennis, hard work, and determination inspire women to be the best they can, but her desire to be said role model goes beyond the court. Williams’ power frequently challenges societal norms, so she often uses her platform to advocate for social justice and equality. 

Serena Williams is an immensely talented athlete with 23 grand slam titles in women’s singles tennis, four Olympic gold medals, and a title of being arguably the best female athlete of all time, under her belt. Williams’ abundant success was predictable as her heart remained wherever the court was. When she was young, she spent long hours practicing with her sister Venus, and her father, Richard, who was said to be a strict coach to the two. They also moved from Compton to Florida, so Williams and her sister could attend a tennis academy, and shortly after, she went professional one year after her sister. With the amount of hard work and ambition she possessed, Williams was able to win her first Grand Slam title before her older sister. At 17 years old, she was able to prove skeptics that believed Venus would be the first to achieve that goal wrong. The dedication and resilience shown by Williams put a spotlight on her talent, encouraging young girls to work hard and defy all odds. 

Off the court, Williams is just as inspiring. She uses her platform to advocate and support those in need. To start, she has supported organizations such as Build African Schools and Hearts of  Gold, which strives to improve the lives of young children, World Education, which helps immigrants and international students receive the education needed, along with many other charities. She is also a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador. Along with helping those in need, she also fights against racial inequality. However, many years of admiration comes with hatred as well. Throughout the years, Williams has faced racial abuse which she is not afraid to stand up against. In the 2018 U.S. open, she spoke out about the unfair treatment and disrespect she received from the umpire during her match but instead of receiving fair treatment afterwards, she was fined for her responses instead. “Funny how a Black female tennis player is held to a higher standard to keep her emotions in check than a Supreme Court nominee,” Williams said in an interview with GQ in 2018.

Serena Williams remains an incredible athlete and role model. She has made a large impact in the world of tennis with her numerous awards and broken records, but also with her desire to advocate for what is right. William’s resilience, commitment, and her overall dedication is the reason she remains an icon.


 

Works Cited

Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (2023, August 29). Serena Williams. Encyclopædia Britannica 

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Serena-Williams 

Serena Williams Grand slams: All the tennis legend’s wins - olympics.com. (n.d.).    

https://olympics.com/en/news/serena-williams-grand-slam-tennis-women 

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