Kylie Truong made a video surrounding the idea of grief and how to handle it through various perspectives. School systems teach how to handle bullying, sexual harassment, violent relationships, so why not grief? The video highlights unique stories of grief among the Medford Community, followed by tips on how to approach certain situations. The majority of the content in the video was based on responses recorded from a survey.
The Free the Pad project aims to make menstruation products more accessible for students who need it in Medford High School during the school day. During the 2017-2018 school year, Maya and Willa placed ten separate boxes of pads in different bathrooms. They want to focus on giving free menstrual products to people of all backgrounds, including those from low income families or non-binary students like transgenders that menstruate. Menstruation is a natural occurrence that so many people face; it should not be something that anyone has to hide.
This projects works toward making sure that homeless veterans in the Greater Boston Area are aware of the reliable resources and institutions within the city and towns. Brendan and Pema recognize that P.T.S.D. is a life-changing syndrome and that many veterans do not seek help for multiple reasons. They want to do all that they can to help them recover in the best ways by guiding veterans to these resources. In the near future, Brendan and Pema hope to establish partnerships with institutions city wide.
Julia Moura and Amanda Oliveira distributed black bean burger samples to their peers as a vegan alternative to hamburgers. The group advocated for including vegan meal options in the school lunch program. As a direct result of their efforts, there is a daily vegan entree option included on the salad bar. Any special side salads will be vegan as well. We discussed creating and advertising signage for vegan items in the cafeterias to consistently identify vegan options. This is still in progress. From discussions with them, they advocated for a salad bar through separate meetings with the Food Service Department and Dr. Perella, and they gathered student body support for a salad bar through a student petition.
Maya and Willa’s project began at the 2017 AdCap Youth event in Boston. AdCap Youth was different groups of students coming together to brainstorm project ideas relating to promoting healthy eating and physical activity within schools. There they workshopped their project with different nutrition specialists and prepared to present it in front of panel of judges. They presented their project, “Feuling to the Finish Line”, and were awarded a $1000 grant. This project involves bringing in a nutritionist to promote healthy eating habits in Medford High School student athletes. They planned with nutritionist Chrissy Carroll to create videos about different themes in nutrition to show different teams in the school. These themes include pre-workout nutrition, hydration, electrolytes, recovery, basic cooking skills and much more. Willa and Maya thought of this project because they have seen the negative effects of not eating right during the sports season on their peers. They believe even a basic understanding of nutrition will improve students’ health, mental state, and sport performance.
A choking emergency can happen anywhere and at any time. Would you know what to do? Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. Choking is the number one cause of death in children. More people die from choking than in fires, non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning or accidental shootings. Choking causes over 100,000 visits to the emergency room yearly. Over 100 million Americans have no defense against choking due to pregnancy, disability, obesity or being alone. Be prepared to save someone's life. You could be the reason someone breathes another breath. This CCSR project addresses Medford High School’s ability to become trained in Choke Training. The project group organized three school-wide events for members of the school community to become certified as well as making a public service announcement regarding choking and becoming certified.
Manal, Kushi, Kelly, Nertha, Tahjanae and Keshauna feel that watching the news is depressing. There’s so much negativity and so many sad stories about bad events…. They believe in the importance of positivity. As a result, they researched the good that is going on in the community, the country, the world, and they’re reporting it. They are also talking about key issues for adolescents, such as stress, stress management and sharing their own personal strategies for dealing with stress, as well as advice and the art of assertive communication.
McGlynn Middle School students Kristopher Rothermel and Pedro Zeferino focused on informing the student body on how to approach counselors in the McGlynn guidance department. This is important because many students are afraid to talk to an adult because they believe they will be judged. "I’m hoping this project will open up to kids that have bad thoughts, or have hurt themselves in the past that need to talk to someone. Also, a lot of kids think they’re alone but they’re not." The two began by interviewing guidance counselors with frequently asked questions, and then shared this information with the students at the McGlynn.
This group of 4th-graders got the idea for their project from Alex’s mom, who is a doctor. They wanted their relatives and other people in the community to have easily accessible information on simple ways to help lower their risk of developing kidney disease. They did online research to find the information they wanted. Their flyers included lists of possible signs of kidney disease, as well as lists of foods and habits that are healthy and unhealthy for the kidneys. They distributed their flyers to the School Nurse’s office, as well as to their own families.
This year, Hannah Rogers wrote a play that focused on transgender visibility. "My goal for this project is to spread awareness about transgender people in an entertaining way. After having a conversation with my friend, I realized that the transgender community is often not discussed and misunderstood." Hannah's primary focus was to work with transgender people to tell a story that will eliminate part of that confusion. Auditions were held in the winter and the play was put on in April.
This year, juniors Audrey Moore, Jackie Madigan, Meaghan Sullivan decided to tackle the issue of high school students’ stress levels. It is difficult for teens to find time for themselves while managing school, sports, clubs, and other social activities. Mindfulness is crucial for relaxation and to ease one’s mind. With this in mind, their group put together a “Mindfulness Matters” activity day. After school, all students were invited to listen to relaxing music while making slime or stress balls. This not only was a fun activity for all, but it also allowed students to escape their hectic, everyday schedules and relax.
Epilepsy is a medical condition that cause people to have seizures, with or without cause. Many people suffer from this, and there are only so many treatments that work effectively. There is a surgery where the part of the brain where the seizures are located can be removed. This surgery is very expensive, which makes it difficult for those in need of it to have it done. "We hope to spread awareness about Epilepsy because we could all help a lot of people and make their lives better." Sarah Lopez and Olivia and Gianna Fraumeni started a fundraiser at MHS, and all donations went to a charity that provides financial aid for Epilepsy patients undergoing surgery.
Nutrition and calisthenics are two undiscussed topics amongst teenagers. To help teach this age group more about the importance of these two concepts, Brandon Vargus created a 9-Part video series that was uploaded onto Youtube."Through this series, I will be able to use my personal experience to effectively teach these topics and provide a foundation for healthy habits." The link was provided to students at the McGlynn Middle School.
The Give Boston a Clif project focuses on providing Kind and Clif bars to the Boston area shelters. In order to achieve this goal, students Alecia Knight and Teisha Joseph will fundraise money to buy the nutrition bars which were donated directly to the shelters for the winter. Additionally, the two students received donations of bars directly from local businesses. Kind and Clif bars are a known source of fiber and a convenient source of nutrition. "Not only do we want to share a tasty meal with the people of Boston, but also inform them that nutritional benefits come in multiple flavors."
When discussing areas of concern, these students expressed a desire to teach younger students how to stay safe in the neighborhood. They were worried about students staying safe as they walked home from school. They decided to invite the Medford Police Department to speak to the Kindergarten and First Grade classes. The officers discussed topics such as crossing the street, stranger danger, car safety, how to call for help, etc.
Haily and Greenlee wanted to encourage the students at the Roberts to limit their screen time. They researched the effects of too much screen time on children. They created a flyer with alternative activities and a graph that was sent home to all students. For one week, families logged how much time students spent in front of screens. At the end of the week, students with the lowest amount of screen time won a No Homework Pass. Over 100 students participated in the challenge. Each winner logged 0 minutes for the entire week. Many parents gave positive feedback about the positive impact that decreasing screen time had on their families.
“This Mustang C.A.R.E.S.” is an acronym for Cooperation, Accountability, Responsibility, Empathy, and Safety at the McGlynn elementary school. This acronym is emphasized so that students can reach their full potential as Mustangs. The McGlynn uses it as a way to teach kids how to be good citizens in school, as well as out of school. With the help of teachers and the CCSR, we created a video about C.A.R.E.S. that demonstrates how high school students use C.A.R.E.S. in our everyday lives. It was shown at the beginning of the school year, and will continue to be shown every year, so C.A.R.E.S. can be apart of every school year. Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way!
We created a system that provided students with free feminine products, much like the existing program at Medford High School that provides food for students in need. We found a company willing to donate feminine products. It was our goal to raise awareness of the need of feminine products and make them available to low income families and high school students. We also contacted the state government and see what we can do to make pads and tampons more affordable and available to all schools, shelters, and jails. Feminine products are not a luxury but rather a necessity and should be affordable by all.
Essential Work was a food drive and donation program that collected food to be distributed to struggling families and individuals across Medford. Andrea Suribory and Daniel Morgante created a social media advertisement to get the word out to Medford residents, and placed donation boxes in hotspots around the city. In addition, the two received a grant and contacted local businesses to donate money that could be used toward the purchase of canned goods, non-perishables, and other essential items that struggling individuals have a hard time getting access to during these testing times. After collecting all of their materials, Suribory and Morgante worked with the Medford Family Network to locate the people that would best benefit from the assistance and distribute the contents to them. The project was created to help fellow Medford residents that are facing food insecurity gain access to materials that they need in order to get through the pandemic happily and healthily.
The Inner Alchemy project started simply as an appearance in Nicholas Yurasko's mind. He had no previous intentions of working on a meditation program designed to teach students and teachers alike how to properly meditate and the various fascinating philosophical and religious traditions for which meditation has been a staple for thousands of years. Now, following this impression on his field of consciousness, he decided to present the project as a possible antidote to the troubling states of mind attending all of us alike in the unique (at least for the twenty first century) experience of the coronavirus. In some traditions, it is opposed to the purpose to speak of meditation as if it had a clearly defined purpose. But that is not very helpful for those who are already skeptical of the value of the practice. Nic will argue that meditation arms the human being with the capacity to be truly human, rather than merely a victim of history, genealogy, and upbringing; He will additionally argue that long-term meditators have formed for themselves the only genuine sense of free will through their practice. If these sound like outlandish or even impossible claims to you, Nic encourages you to try the practice for yourself. And to keep trying.