On my trip to the south, we visited a kibbutz called Ein Hashlosha which is about a mile and a half from the Gaza border. This community experiences rockets weekly, but this is an improvement. At one point, I learned, they were being attacked up to six times a day. Like the playground discussed in my last post, safe houses are within a 15-second sprint from any point where one might be standing on this kibbutz.
In May, before the school day began, the sirens went off and everyone sought shelter. The rocket happened to hit directly next to the elementary school in the community. Everyone was safe, but that might’ve not been the case had it been shot 10 minutes later when school was supposed to start.
Our tour guide told us he has four young kids. When asked what he tells his kids who have to grow up in this reality, he said he’s realistic yet hopeful with them. He tells them there is no reason to live in complete fear or stop living your life, or else Hamas – explained in my Gymboree post – wins. He also tells them that he hopes there will come a time when their days and nights won’t be interrupted by sirens and screams. Continue reading Smile Through the Fear – A Trip to the South of Israel
It happened again. The 22nd school shooting in our country this year. This one the most deadly since MSD. Trump sends his support. Though a kind gesture, “support” will not prevent another shooting from happening. Continue reading When Another Home Gets Hit – Santa Fe High School Shooting
What an inspiring turnout we had at the March for Our Lives – Tampa Bay. Some 15,000 people demanded change; and that’s just one march. We’re making a difference. We’re being the change.
As I marched, I took a look around. I analyzed my surroundings. The atmosphere, the people, the vibes. One thing that stuck out to me was how different everyone was. We were all different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, political parties, religions, ect., but we all came together for the same cause. For safety. For peace of mind that students who leave for school in the morning will come home that afternoon. That no one will have to wonder if they’re going to be “next” on the list of deaths caused by gun violence. Continue reading Bringing the Blizzard – March for Our Lives
When it comes to students and college, it helps to know how tuition gets paid. More importantly, for many, how it will get paid back.
For example, according to CollegeBoard, over 7.1 million U.S. students last year received Pell Grant or financial aid the U.S. government provides for students who need the money in order to pay for and attend college. Millions more receive student loans. These aids are crucial to many students in order for them to obtain higher education.
Unlike student loans, grants require no repayment, but they have strict qualifications. In order to qualify for this grant at USF, the student must be admitted as a degree-seeking undergraduate, complete a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), maintain passing grades and not be in default on a federal student loan or grant.
On March 15, a budget proposal was released that reduces the funds of the Pell Grant by $3.9 billion. Although the Trump Administration says that by doing this they are protecting the future of the grant, this is a way of keeping the lower middle-class down. Continue reading Keeping the Middle Class Down and the Upper Class High
Alexander Hamilton was already on George Washington’s cabinet by the age of 20. Mark Zuckerberg was 20 years old when he launched Facebook. Nathan Hale graduated from Yale at the age of 18, and by 21, he was put on a secret mission ordered by George Washington. If someone told these people “no” on account of their age, our history would look very different than it does. Continue reading We Are Not “Too Young”
I come to you all today with a heavy heart and an infuriated soul. On Wednesday, February 14th, I was walking out of my apartment in Tampa to go to class. My friend, Caitlyn, stopped me in my tracks to show me something that her mother sent her. The headline read, “Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; Parkland, Florida.”
I stopped in my tracks, unsure of how to react. I then walked on, unbelieving of what I’d read. What are you supposed to do when the place you spent four years of your life in is “under attack”? They didn’t teach me that in school. Continue reading When Your Home Gets Hit – Douglas High School Shooting