Update on the ATL Promise Center


SireeshRamesh, Editor-in-Chief

   The Promise Center opened in late August with the hope of reversing Atlanta’s recidivism and drug problem. With over a million dollars invested in the project, the Promise Center became the source of a fair amount of praise and criticism. Was a million dollars invested in a building and a couple of programs really worth it? Couldn’t a grant for schools in Atlanta or already established non-profits in the area have been a better use of the money? Though only time would be able to tell whether the Promise Center was an effective use of the money, the investment became a case study for the Atlanta government to see if use of public funds outside of the regular programs and grants could effect change in the community.

      The Promise Center was built with a three-pronged approach in mind: diversion, intervention and prevention. The diversion aspect of the program stems from the recreation section of the center where students can participate in team sports and clubs or contribute to the center’s youth-run radio station. Intervention is provided in the opposite section of the Promise Center. The center provides character and leadership development training, healthy lifestyle programs and group counseling, all in an effort to intervene in youth’s problems before the ramifications become too serious.  The final step of the program, prevention, is carried out through the extensive education programs the center provides.

In addition to these three goals, the Promise Center hopes to heal the broken relations between police and the community. These better relations fostered between students and government could help increase school attendance and produce healthier, productive outlets for youth.

          A year after the investment, the creation of the Promise Center seems to be paying off. The center has held dozens of events, each focusing on increasing youth engagement in the area. It highlights how government can go beyond distant economic or educational policies to improve the lives of its students. Creative programs like the Atlanta promise center seem to be doing much more than any stipend or loan could have. If government focuses on spending funds outside of the standard loans and grants, it could have a much broader and more positive net effect on the community.


College and Success


KimaraSmith, Staff Reporter

In 2017, the question of the necessity of college and how it affects one’s ability to be successful is more relevant than ever. Many measure success based on the amount of money obtained, but is that what truly defines success? Society places a strong emphasis on the need to attend college in order to be successful, yet many obtain true success without college.

After attaining two masters degrees in teaching, Sherita Harkness began teaching at Woodland high school in Stockbridge, GA. She expressed that “in order to be successful it is necessary to get a degree and use it in the most effective way possible.” This statement is one that many seem to disagree with completely.

For example, Hannah Kornegay (SR) articulated that “there is no correlation between college and success.” Numerous people including myself seem to share this very same viewpoint. Success is not measured by how much money one makes or the degrees that one has, but is defined as one’s personal accomplishments. These personal accomplishments are an accurate measure of the success a person achieves.

A relevant example about these conflicting opinions are the number of  people that attend college, receive their desired degree then never end up pursuing that career path. Most often, these individuals find success elsewhere without the preferred degree. A recent fad is the abrupt success of Youtubers. Countless millenials have found their own route to success through vlogging and making videos for their subscribers. After becoming an established Youtuber, it is easy to be recognized by prominent businesses and live a prosperous life solely from the funds made possible by vlogging.

Success should be measured on a personal level and college is not necessary to be successful in 2017. The pressure that society places on young people to go to college and get a degree is a pressure that is becoming obsolete.

Quick and easy Christmas gifts



KimaraSmith, Staff Reporter

With the holidays right around the corner, people are scrambling to find gifts for friends and family without breaking their budget. Gift shopping for the special people in your life sounds easy, but as years go by it becomes more and more difficult to find the perfect gift.

The advancement of technology makes it even more challenging to find a meaningful gift that your friends and family do not already have. Handmade and personal gifts help to solve this problem. Alyssa Kolls(SR) shared that “the gifts that my friends appreciate the most are the ones that I take time to pick out and that remind me of them the most.”

The most simple gift can be one of the most meaningful. For example, your friends that are not into material items would most appreciate a small plant or homemade recipe. Kehisha Johnson(SR) expressed “I usually like to make jars containing ingredients of cookies in them. It has sugar, flour and chocolate chips along with a few other ingredients and a small instruction set.” This is a creative and easy gift for the holiday season that your friends can enjoy. Friends and family appreciate the thought and effort behind the gift rather than how much money is spent on it.

Taking the time to notice what those close to you admire is what truly makes a gift perfect. Numerous stores have small items before the checkout that are perfect for holiday gifts. The prices are affordable and can also make great stocking stuffers. Stores such as Target have dollar bath bombs and Bath and Body Works sell one dollar candles. These are reasonably priced gifts that make holiday shopping much easier to tackle.

Chattahoochee Football’s Excellence

Brendan Huet

Staff Reporter


The Chattahoochee Varsity Football team finished the 2017 season with an impressive 7-4 record. It has been the best year the team has had since 2012 when they went 7-4 as well. In the eight region matchups, Chattahoochee went 6-2 and entered the state playoffs as the three seed but ended up losing in the first round to Winder Barrow High School. Chattahoochee found success through teamwork, forming a brotherhood that no one could destroy. However, even though football is a team sport, each team has individuals that lead them to their success, and these players are awarded for their skills at the end of the year through the selection of the All-Region Teams. There are three All-Region teams: first team, second team, and Honorable Mentions. In Chattahoochee’s case, the team had three players selected into each of the three teams.

To make First Team All-Region, you must dominate every game and make your presence known by each team. Chattahoochee’s players that were selected for first team are Joseph Sayles (SR), Max Webb (JR) and Jake Green (JR).

Joseph Sayles is a senior safety that has been a big part of Chattahoochee’s defense since his sophomore year. Sayles was the leader of the talented secondary, and it shows in his statistics. He tallied 40 solo tackles and 57 total tackles, averaging about 5.7 tackles per game. As far as his pass defense goes, Sayles had two interceptions and six passes deflected. This year he was also a huge special teams player, ending the season with two blocked punts.

The second Cougar to be selected for first team All-Region is junior running back Max Webb. Webb led Chattahoochee’s high-powered offense and also ended up leading the region in rushing yards with 1,344 yards. He finished the year with six 100+ Yard games and thirteen touchdowns. Only being a junior, Max plans on doing the same exact thing next year.

Lastly, junior offensive lineman Jake Green was selected for first team All-region. Green was the leader of Chattahoochee’s offensive line and every team in the region felt his 6-foot-four, 300 pound presence. Chattahoochee’s unstoppable running game was very dependent on Green and the other lineman making blocks. Although there aren’t stats for offensive lineman, Jacob Green deserves to be recognized for his play this year.

The Chattahoochee players that were selected for second team All-Region are Jack Corrigan (SR), Marcus Stephen (JR), and Ben Siegel (SR).

Starting off with quarterback Jack Corrigan, the leader of this 2017 Chattahoochee team, he guided this team to many wins this year. Corrigan always gave the Cougars a spark whether it was in the passing game or the running game. In total, he had over 1,120 passing yards and just about 700 rushing yards in his eight games as quarterback. If he did not suffer a season ending injury in the Pope game, then Corrigan would’ve been in the talk for first team.

Next is Marcus Stephen, the junior outside linebacker. Stephen was always flying around the field and humiliating the opposing offense every Friday. He finished the season with 38 solo tackles and 65 total tackles, averaging 5.9 tackles per game. Stephen was also a turnover machine throughout the 2017 season: three forced fumbles and an additional three fumble recoveries. But most importantly, he led the region with 8.5 sacks.

Lastly, senior lineman Ben Siegel was selected for second team All-Region. Siegel has been on the team since he was a freshman, and he has molded into a very good offensive and defensive lineman. Although not the biggest lineman out there, 6-foot and 240 pounds,  Ben Siegel made all the plays for Chattahoochee. Whether it was making a big block or sacking the quarterback, Siegel was always involved in the action. He finished the season with 18 solo tackles, 29 total tackles and 2 sacks.

Honorable Mention is for the players that were recognized by the coaches of every team but did not necessarily make the first or second team All-Region. This is still a huge honor and is a lot to be proud of. Chattahoochee had three players selected as Honorable Mentions: Andrew Thomas (SR), Brendan Huet (SR), and T. Lee (SO).

Senior, Andrew Thomas, was a huge part of Chattahoochee’s 2017 team. Thomas has started on offense for the Cougars since his sophomore year. This year he was asked to fill in on defense as well as offense, and he accepted the challenge. Thomas dominated on both sides of the ball, and his stats show it. Offensively, he racked up 377 passing yards, 178 rushing yards, and eight total touchdowns. Defensively, Thomas finished the season with 23 total tackles and two interceptions.

Next up is senior safety Brendan Huet. Huet has started as safety since his junior year and was part of Chattahoochee’s strong secondary. He finished his senior season with 23 solo tackles, 48 total tackles and three interceptions. Although Huet mainly played defense, he did help out the offense every once in awhile. Offensively, he had 57 yards on 4 catches, one being a 26-yard touchdown.

Lastly,for Chattahoochee’s Honorable Mentions, there is T. Lee. Lee is a sophomore athlete that has multiple D1 offers due to his ability to excel on the offensive and defensive side of the ball as well as on special teams. He played excellently on the offensive side, catching 33 passes for a total of 380 yards. Lee also scored four touchdowns for the Cougars this season. Defensively, he amounted to 28 solo tackles, 39 total tackles, one interception and seven pass breakups at cornerback. All-around a great athlete, Lee also ran back 207 yards as a kick returner.

These players deserve recognition for their great seasons not only as individuals, but also as a team. Great teams have great players, but the best teams have a bond that nothing can break and that is what won this Cougar team a spot in the playoffs.


What Net Neutrality Will Do to Your Internet

SireeshRamesh, Editor-in-Chief

NadiaDowlatkhah, Staff Reporter


“Under my proposal,” said the FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, as he proudly announced his new plan that would repeal net neutrality laws, “the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet.” With that very announcement on a Tuesday morning, Ajit Pai almost single handedly sent the internet into a panicked frenzy. Social media stars took to their audiences pleading to participate in the movement pushing to keep net neutrality. YouTuber Markiplier, for example, proclaimed to his 18 million subscribers that “the internet should be open and accessible to everybody” and “we as a species are not defined by profit.”  A user on Change.org even created a petition pleading for Congress to preserve net neutrality. In a little over two weeks, the petition amassed over 800,000 signatures.  

So what exactly is net neutrality, and why are so many people upset about its potential removal? The basic tenet behind net neutrality is that all content is created equal in the eyes of an internet provider. As a result, tech giants like Facebook cannot simply access more bandwidth, and thus higher speeds, by paying internet providers. In net neutrality, internet service providers are almost like a public service providing equal speeds to all content (from a local blog to a social media hub.) In 2015, the Obama administration created clear legal protections to preserve net neutrality.

Yet, the conservative backlash of 2016 and ensuing assignment of Republican Ajit Pai as FCC chairman has led to a reversal in the government’s degree of involvement with the internet. As Ajit Pai sees it, net neutrality will allow internet service providers to gain more money from companies willing to pay for faster service speeds. Ideally, this surplus money would go back into investments that could create technologies that increase overall internet speeds for consumers. On Dec. 14, the Senate will vote on the FCC’s proposal to dismantle net neutrality.

But this isn’t simply a party issue. Liberal and conservative constituents alike have something to lose if Pai’s proposal prevails. The dire nature of this situation can be understood with some context. Let’s say net neutrality was not enforced starting from the year 2000. Though Google would still have reigned as the number one internet search engine and browser provider, Microsoft would have been a major competitor. This is because, at that time, Microsoft was a larger and more profitable company. They could have outbid Google to internet service providers and made their speeds faster than Google’s, despite Google’s superior platform and service. Without net neutrality, Google would not have become such a corporate giant and there’s not a single person who prefers Internet Explorer to Chrome.

Thus, net neutrality impacts any person who uses the web. It’s our duty as a citizenry to make sure that the freedom and equality of the internet is preserved.  


Talented and Gauche

GraceSassaman, Staff Reporter

A standardized creativity test sounds like an oxymoron, right? It’s not, at least according to the TAG, or “talented and gifted,” program. Teachers and students alike have blindly accepted the supposed meaning of scoring well on these tests. It’s confusing to think that literal convergent thinking is considered to be creative thinking. Once a student has met the required standards to be considered talented and gifted, the student adopts a bumper sticker mentality, quietly believing that their natural intelligence will allow them to succeed without putting in effort and referring back to this label when comparing themselves to on-level students.

As a student who has taken both advanced and on-level classes, I can confidently say that there is a notable disparity in the way that my respective teachers have treated their AP and on-level classes but an even larger difference in the way Honors students perceive on-level students. Just the other day, I overheard one of my peers–who is admittedly extremely intelligent–say that he doesn’t understand how someone can have all on-level classes, but he failed to realize that on-level means exactly that–a student who is exactly where they’re supposed to be for their grade level.

This program claims to promote creativity to accommodate for the outstandingly intelligent kids, yet certain math and science scores are required to be enrolled. Those who excel in standardized common core subjects are disproportionately rewarded because their test scores elevate the ratings of a school, so these students are granted with extra resources. The TAG program’s blatant division discourages students on both ends of the spectrum from making the most of their abilities. An obvious fix is to include all students in specialized learning initiatives, allowing them to freely expand upon their talents.

The TAG program is a pipeline for TAG classes in middle school and AP and Honors courses in high school. Of course, every student learns differently, but to withhold certain resources from students who didn’t do well on a random elementary school test is unfair and usually causes them to be excluded from a future of rigorous and academic courses. Intelligence isn’t a fixed concept: it can expand and contract based on how we use our brains to solve problems. The TAG program does nothing but afford those in the program a false sense of superiority.

How To: Decide which College to Attend

GraceSassaman, Staff Reporter

With the college acceptances rolling in, everyone’s stress has shifted from whether they’ll be accepted to not knowing which college to attend. This is a huge deal; it will shape your entire future! These simple tips can help you decide which college is the best fit for you:

  1. Looks mean everything: Don’t go to a college like Clemson if you know orange and purple are unflattering on you. The clashing of the bright orange and deep purple just don’t look good on anyone. Choose a college whose colors are a little bit more subtle, so you’ll look great at every football game and spirit event.
  2. Consider the campus atmosphere: We all know what college is really for: responsibilities, independence and parties. You don’t need to choose a school based on prestige; choose the best party school. A combination of prestige and partying can help you have your best possible college experience. As they say, work hard, play harder.
  3. Stay with your friends: College is really just high school 2.0. Follow your friends that you don’t really like but conveniently remain friends with.
  4. Flip a coin: Sometimes, it’s not worth weighing the pros and cons of your top prospective colleges. Just flip a coin and let fate decide.
  5. Follow your boyfriend: High school love always lasts! You don’t want to risk losing the love of your life by enduring a long-distance relationship in college. Hopefully you’ll be accepted into the same colleges as your boyfriend because your only hope of staying together is by having matching schedules.
  6. Distance: Finally free yourself from your parents and choose the farthest college from your home.
  7. Money: Go to an expensive school so that you can be surrounded by other rich people. No one wants to admit it, but it’s nice to have rich friends.
  8. Follow your heart: In the end, any college town will have a large population on Tinder, where you can spend your free time searching for true love. Wherever you decide to go, you can make your college experience whatever you want.

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