• Misc

    This is Me

    Vanessa Handy is a rising senior at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. Anyone who knows Vanessa would describe her as a performer, but it wasn’t always this way. “My “performance career” started in 4th grade I’d say”, explains Vanessa. “It’s one of my clearest memories actually. I had a solo in the song “Lean on Me”. It was my first ever solo performance and unfortunately both of my parents had to work that night, so they couldn’t attend the concert. Long story short I thought that my parents didn’t come because I wasn’t good enough for them.” While this wasn’t true, Vanessa’s doubt stuck with her and to limited her performance growth for…

  • Writing

    This Is What I Know

    Lily Wass attends the Bronx School of Science in New York. She is a natural writer, as proven by her 2 pieces below. The first piece, “The Park,” is a commentary based on Lily’s experience of staying in New York City for the summer, in combination with a story her friend told her about Washington Square Park. “The more people I meet who aren’t from the city, the more I’ve come to realize how much my environment has influenced who I am and I hoped to capture that perspective with this piece.,” says Lily.  “This Is What I Know,” Lily’s second piece seeks to explore her evolution from a child to teenager,…

  • Art

    Through the Lens

    Alayo Oloko is a rising sophomore at Kent Place School in New Jersey. She says she has always had a passion for photography. However, she started to gain more of an interest in 2018, once she began taking pictures during her travels. To Alayo, photography is a way to preserve moments once they’re gone. She likes how the craft provides a record of things important to her in her life. The first picture below was taken in downtown Summit at the beginning of a storm. The second one was taken at Alayo’s school, Kent Place. The third picture was taken at her house and the fourth in Lagos, Nigeria. All the below…

  • Art

    Being “Trin”

      Close your eyes. Imagine the most beautiful place in the world. “The water is clear like Hawaii and a lot of jungle. If you don’t like one island go to the next,” Trinity San Jose says affectionately of her childhood home. “[In the Philippines] everything is organic.”Trinity, aka “Trin”,  is a sophomore at Orange Coast College in California.” I was born in Cebu city and was raised in Manila,” she says. “My mom [and I] lived in the Philippines and my dad tried to get us to the US. They got married here. “Once in the United States, Trin’s family spent a lot of time by the beach. “My first surf was…

  • Art

    Black in Ballet

    Christian Mychal lives in Washington D.C. and has been dancing for 10 years. She is a rising senior; homeschooled but taking classes at the University of the District of Colombia. When asked what dancing means to her, Christian says: “I love to dance not only because I enjoy it but also because I get excited seeing the people who are moved by my dancing. Being a brown dancer is hard but I enjoy watching dancers like Ashley Murphy, Ingrid Silva, and Misty Copeland with muscular body types break barriers in the dance world. Being a dancer of color is difficult because my body is shaped differently and is more muscular…

  • Art

    Painting Inspiration

    Introducing Vivienne Germain! An avid piano player, the first picture below, is inspired by her passion for music. She is fascinated by the idea that music holds color and tried to embody this visually through her painting. The second piece is a still life that she spent almost 8 hours on! These paintings are beautiful Vivienne thank you for your submission.    

  • Movies & TV

    Everyday Magic: Hayao Miyazaki Movies and Their Effect on my Childhood

    It’s 8 o’clock on a Friday and 6-year old me is anxiously awaiting my father’s return from work. Per tradition, every Friday my father would come home with a bag full of my favorite chocolate and Reeses cup ice cream from Cold Stone and we would eat together as we watched Hayao Miyazaki films. As I grew older, I came to see these movies as a sort of transportation, their magic taking me to faraway lands of my own creation.   One of my all-time favorite Miyazaki movies is The Cat Returns, a movie portraying an ordinary girl who saves a cat from oncoming traffic and in tribute is given…

  • Writing

    Digging Deep

    Hailing from Philly, Mkyal-Michelle has always had an interest in poetry and writing. Here are two pieces she wrote this year as she sought out to become more in touch with her African-American identity. Thank you for your submission Mykal and good luck at Spelman next year!   I Didn’t Know I Was Black  By Mkyal-Michelle I didn’t know I was black. I know it sounds silly, but, for a long time, I just didn’t know. I knew my skin was darker, and my hair was curlier, but if you were a little girl who only ever went to school with a bunch of white kids who would never be as…