Category Archives: News

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.

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 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.  


Vegas Shooter Update


Jayden Chin, Staff Reporter

It’s been over two months since a man by the name of Stephen Paddock committed the deadliest mass shooting in United States history on Oct. 1st, 2017. Paddock set up multiple semi-assault rifles in a bedroom on the 32nd floor of The Mandalay Bay Hotel and opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers attending the Route 91 Country Music Festival. He took the lives of 58 people and injured 546 others.

In recent news, there has been a lot of turmoil surrounding conspiracies about the shooter and the entire incident. One of the most popular conspiracies is centered around the death and injury tally that was locked in only a few hours after the shooting and somehow didn’t rise. This means that not a single one of the whopping 604 victims died from injuries while waiting on treatment in the overcrowded hospitals. The University Medical Center of Southern Nevada stated that they had almost no patients with nine empty trauma bays and three open operating rooms. Why would this nearby hospital be almost empty while a neighboring Hospital (Sunrise) overflowed with victims seeking immediate medical attention? Many claimed that UMC stopped taking in patients after a few hours, but representatives of the hospital have claimed that is not true.

The Las Vegas shooting story continues to get stranger. Coincidentally, last week an unnamed man fired multiple gunshots toward the street from the eighth floor of a condominium in Reno, Nevada. The shooter was eventually shot down, but what makes this story strange is that the unit the shooter opened fire from was recently owned by Stephen Paddock which he sold earlier that year. The incident almost mirrored the October shooting and was overlooked by almost all national media outlets. News continues to develop about the shooting and personal information about Paddock. His motives have yet to be determined but new information comes up almost everyday.

Taking “Christ” out of Christmas

Reindeers, Santa Claus, presents, ornaments, mistletoes, light shows, snow, cheerful songs, jingle bells, and decorations. What comes to mind besides the most wonderful time of the year? CHRISTMAS! According to Wikipedia, Christmas is a religious and cultural holiday, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ- a figure of Christianity. In fact, the name Christmas comes from Mass of Christ. But looking around, it seems as if EVERYONE celebrates this apparently religious holiday. So, the question remains: Is Christmas a religious holiday?


In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, it was found that “eight in ten non-Christians in the U.S. celebrate Christmas”. By the looks of this data, it hints at a wide acceptance of the religious holiday in America. However, after asking a fellow classmate, an atheist, why she celebrates this “religious” holiday, she replied “Why not? Everyone celebrates it even if you’re not religious. It’s like a cultural norm now.” It’s as if today’s culture has nulled the title of Christmas in a religious sense but heightened the holiday’s popularity as a cultural norm with movies and shows centered around the decorations and myths, Christmas baking challenges, and the extravagant light shows. Furthermore, celebrating Christmas over other holidays is almost inevitable due to its large selection of Christmas themed toys, snacks and decorations in almost any store as compared to the limited selection of other religious holiday decorations.


Formally known as a religious celebration, it can clearly be seen that in today’s society Christmas is in fact more of a cultural holiday celebrating a season of giving and communion.

Don’t be THAT Customer… Please?

As a Senior in high school, I recently got my first job as a hostess. Let me tell you it’s only been a couple of months but boy oh boy, a couple of months is more than enough time to realize the worst types of customers. So, don’t be THAT customer… please?

  1. The Babysitter
    1. I applaud you for not letting your kid get in the way of you living your life but maybe don’t bring little Jackson to a nice ambient restaurant for date night, yeah?!?!
  2. The Late Bird
    1. No one likes a customer that calls 15 min before and walks in at closing time saying “hey I called remember?”. Trust me no one’s happy and let’s be real you won’t get the best service either.
  3. The Locater
    1. Please don’t come up to me asking where I’m “actually” from because I am “actually” born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia
  4. The “Joined-at-the-hip” Couple
    1. C’mon people let’s save that for the motel not a nice restaurant
  5. The Preoccupied
    1. Your table is ready! You can follow me! “Janet Janet No I can’t close that deal with you right now. Janet. JANET.”
  6. The Extremely Temperature-Sensitive One
    1. “Excuse me, Why is it so HOTCOLDSTUFFYUCOMFORTABLYTEMPERATE in this restaurant?”
  7. The Nomad
    1. *Couple walks in* “Um can we actually move to the four top over there? No wait, maybe over there. Actually I think here is fine.” Does this look like your house??


Please, give us a holiday present by not being the “unwanted” at any restaurant. Thank you!

Sources for Writing Inspiration

NicRasool, Staff Reporter

There are a lot of reasons to write — to get a good grade, to vent, to communicate or even just to have fun. A person may write for school as a creative assignment, an essay, or in this case, an article. They may write a letter to converse with other people or they may just write because they have an idea and felt the need to record it. There are a lot of reasons to write, but it’s not always easy to find something to write about or to find out how to write it.

One way a person could get ideas on what to write about, and maybe how to write it, is to look at other pieces of literature. Ideas can come from magazines, books, articles or whatever other writing piece someone could find. Even bad works could be helpful, you could like the topic being discussed but want to reword it or rewrite it in your own way. The epic poem “The Aeneid”, a sort of sequel to “The Iliad”, written later by the Roman poet Vergil, took much of its inspiration from “The Iliad”. If reading other works enables you to get ideas to write about or elaborate upon, then do it.

There have been many things that have happened in life, so history is always a good place to find ideas. Various events have happened in the world — revolutions, movements, and technological advancements — all of which could help a writer gain inspiration. Books like “The Scarlet Letter” and “War and Peace” base their stories on historical events. “The Scarlet Letter” describes the struggles of a woman in Salem, Massachusetts, and “War and Peace” describes the lives of Russian aristocrats during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Both these books use historical events to tell their story, and many are able to do this.

I have found that everyday life, things like daily conversations or experiences, are good ways to find subjects to write about. Conversations you have with friends or people around you could be good discussions that make you think and then possibly give you something to write about. I came up with the idea for this and one other article after going through the password change day because I spent some of my 3rd period trying to fix my school account password and get logged back into the wifi and my surface. I spent that time annoyed and trying to come up with ideas for an article, and then I realized I could write about the password change day. Those bad moments of my day helped me come up with an article for my class, and made me realize that life itself could give ideas for writing.

Overall, you can find things to write about from a variety of sources, from books, magazines, or general conversation, ideas can be anywhere. Finding a topic to write about can come from practically anywhere, so long as it works for you.