The Storm - February 2017 issue


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The Storm is a student's newspaper, its mission is to create a platform in which the voices of the SJS community are heard.

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February Issue 2017 The Storm


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February Issue 2017 Our Staff Advisor Ms. Topp Editor in Chief Samara Kleiman Layout/ Graphic Editor Genesis Vega News Editor Alexa Charak Reporters Gabriella Valdivieso Sila Avilés Nicole Barrocas Emam Othman Catherine Acosta Marina Acosta Stella Guiterrez Patricia Diaz Lillian Zou Luis Portela Luis Vazquez Taylor Finn Fernando Marchán Andrés Estrella Evalise Dexter Our Mission The Storm’s mission is to create a platform in which the voices of Saint John’s School’s community is heard and responsibly informed through trust, respect, and recognition in an eloquent manner. A Message from your editor Samara Kleiman The month of February is globally known as Black History Month, a month to celebrate the victories of the African American community and honor individuals who fought for their equality and justice. This edition encompasses a variety of topics and events, one dedicated to Black History Month. In honor of this month, we included a poem by Maya Angelou called “Still I Rise” as the back cover. I read this poem in my Honors English class when we were discussing the slave narratives of African American writers. This poem can be considered a slave narrative, since it describes the struggle of African Americans due to racism, hatred, and slavery. In addition, Maya Angelou successfully explains empowerment and standing up for yourself despite others trying to take you down. We chose this poem because it represents the essence of all the important movements going on today. From Black Lives Matter to the Women’s March on Washington, these movements are trying to find a source of empowerment, and a coming together to fight for justice, equality, and representation. It is important that our generation maintains an attitude of confidence, self-assurance, and self-respect. The journalism class stands with Maya Angelou’s message, and through the newspaper, wants to spread an awareness of these movements and encourage the Saint John’s community to come together and support them as well. Despite all negative outcries to what we believe in, we should still continue the fight and rise. We thank all the people who contributed to this newspaper; your participation is very appreciated! We hope you all enjoy reading this edition as much as we enjoyed creating it.


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February Issue 2017 SJS Life HUMANS OF SAINT JOHN’S By: Sila Avilés Kr i st a l R i ve ra –Business Office Assistant “Mi mamá es maestra, y cuando yo era pequeña ella estudiaba conmigo. En primer grado, ella se sentaba a estudiar conmigo todos los días. Ella me preguntaba acerca de los dictados y de los exámenes, y yo me ponía tan nerviosa que me quedaba en blanco totalmente y empezaba a llorar. Sin embargo, cuando estaba estudiando sola en mi cuarto, me lo sabía todo. Por esta razón, ella decidió que no volvería a estudiar conmigo. Me dijo que me las tenía que resolver, y que tenía que sacar buenas notas. El día que tomé el dictado, saqué un perfecto. De ahí en adelante me dijo que estudiara sola en mi cuarto, y desde primer grado llevo estudiando por mi cuenta. De esta forma, fue que comencé a sacar buenas notas: haciendo todo por mi cuenta, sin su ayuda. Gracias a esto, logré graduarme con excelencia académica y Magna Cum Laude en mi bachillerato.” Nissa Cardona – Admissions Secretary “I had a kidney transplant, and not a lot of people know that about me. I’ve been in SJS for eight years, and have had my transplant for the last five. During my time here, I fell into kidney failure, I then underwent dialysis, and later received the transplant. I spent 2 years waiting on the transplant list. They called me 3 times. The first time, a kidney became available in Texas, but it wasn’t going to get here on time. The second time, I was getting rid of a cold; therefore, I couldn’t get it because I had to be completely healthy. After the third call, I was able to receive a kidney from a 31-year-old man who had passed away. I was 30 at that time, and his kidney fit me perfectly. Now this April, I turn 5 years of being transplanted. Since then I have been checked and treated every four months. I currently have three kidneys; two that don’t work on the back, and the transplant on the front. After this experience, I learned not to focus on the small things; other problems seem minor compared to this. For me, the most important things are health, family, friends, and finding a job that you love, which in my case is working here at SJS.”


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February Issue 2017 SJS Life Noche Puertorriqueña By: Liliann Zou Puerto Noche Puertorriqueña Rican meal, raffles, and mis uasnic.aSnntuudaelnetvCeonut nhceilremienmSbaeirnst John’s School. Every and members of the year there were plenty of SJS community have put a activities, a lot of effort nice into making the night as fun as possible. M s. Eiffert is the advisor for the Student Council. She helped coordinate and plan the event. What is Noche Puertorriqueña? When did this tradition begin? Why the move from November to February, to January? Eiffert: Noche PR is a celebration of our culture. Ms. Higuera, advisor of the Student Council at the time, started this tradition for the students to be able to feel more identified with their culture since there were fewer local students attending at the time. She believes every night in PR is a noche puertorriqueña, thus the celebration of Noche PR. Eventually, this event was moved to the third quarter due to the number of activities held during the second quarter. It was originally celebrated in the Hurricane Center with entertainment by Juan Boria, Tony Croato Areito, Plena Libre, to mention a few. How long does it take to organize? Eiffert: We start planning this event right after the Student Council’s Induction Ceremony. A theme has to be decided, a logo created, committees formed for the different components of the event, set a budget, and work, work, work until the day after with the clean up! The Student Council is engaged through the entire process. This year we wanted to have as much of the decoration be made of recycled materials and this was accomplished thanks to Margarita Corral’s vision. Her committee, in my humble opinion, is the one that requires the most work. I have been very fortunate, upon taking over the advisor ship of the Student Council, for the last three years, to have her head the decoration committee. Along with many volunteer mothers, teachers, Luis Fernandez and his maintenance crew, Margarita makes magic! Margarita Corral is a mother who volunteered her time to help out with the decorations of the event. She’s been volunteering for many years. W hat was your vision for Noche PR? Margita: Since the school came up with the theme of Loiza, I went there to look around. I noticed a lot of wooden crates and thought we could do something that was completely decorated with recycled materials. I wanted Saint John’s to be the first one to do an event with all recycled materials. My whole idea was to make everything out of the materials I found in Loiza. All the greenery around the tent was shrubs and the lower arrangements were coconuts and sticks from the beach. The idea of the water bottles as the flowers came when Ms. Nayda asked me to help her with a project. Chihuly, who did art with glass, inspired her. I decided that I wanted to do something like that. It took a total of 1900 water bottles. The students decorated each and every one of them. The idea was for everyone to “see” every student in the decorations, that everybody was involved.


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February Issue 2017 SJS Life Noche Bohemia By: Liliann Zou Every year, students spend weeks preparing for a night of music and art. This year, the night of Noche de Bohemia was held on February 3rd, in which people enjoyed this cultural experience. An interview with Sra. Ortiz, the coordinator of the event What is Noche de Bohemia? Noche de Bohemia is an activity in which students showcase talent by exhibiting art and singing songs from Spanish and Latin American singers. What is the purpose? To expose students to their musical heritage, learn about their culture, and appreciate the beauty of the Spanish language and arts. When did this tradition begin? It began 12 years ago in 2005. It has become one of the most anticipated events at Saint John’s. What is your favorite part of it? Getting together with students to practice the songs and seeing how they grow with them, working with my peers in the production of the show, and, of course, the night when it all comes together. Jose Contreras (President of the student council) Since we go to such a westernized school, I think its nice that this event gives students an opportunity to research and learn about our Spanish roots.


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February Issue 2017 SJS Life The Wedding Singer By: Catherine Acosta Every year, students, faculty, and parents from Saint John’s School work together to create a musical. The musical this year will be The Wedding Singer. With Jose Contreras as Adam Sandler and Mia Stipes as Drew Barrymore, we can expect a spectacular show. Dance and voice rehearsals have already begun in preparation for March 24th through 26th. It will be presented at the School for the Performing Arts opening on Friday, with two shows on Saturday and the final act on Sunday. When choosing the musical, parents and choreographers work together to find one that works with the students and is fun and entertaining for an audience. The play is still in its early stages; scenes are being blocked and lines are in the process of memorizing, but for most this is the best part. “My favorite part of the process is watching the kids go from not knowing anything to being able to run through it perfectly.” Miriam Pabon For others it is tedious, yet worthwhile. “It’s a long procedure, but it’s worth it in the end.” Carolina Ramos 9th grade “The best part of the musical is how the students learn and grow through it.” Agenes Maralet WHAT IS FREE THE GIRLS? By: Claudia Corral Free the Girls is a non-profit organization that provides job opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking in developing countries. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Currently 30 million men, women and children are being held as slaves around the world, many of who are victims of sex trafficking. There are many organizations that help women to get out of human trafficking, but not many that help these women after they are free. THE SOLUTION: By providing women gently used bras to sell they are given the opportunity of: 1. A steady income for their families, 2. A safe haven by only working with other women 3. And, the possibility of an education by offering a flexible schedule. WHY BRAS? Second-hand clothing is a profitable market in many countries around the world. Not only that, but bras provide an opportunity for these women to work with other women, since they have a history of being abused and used by men. HOW CAN YOU HELP? By donating one bra to the cause, women who were once enslaved into human trafficking are provided with an opportunity to live a better life.


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February Issue 2017 News Like it or not, the name of the man sitting in the center chair of the Oval Office, sipping his coffee as he shouts orders at his officials, is Donald John Trump. After the polarizing 2016 elections and a rocky inauguration day, Trump rose to power and began implementing the changes to existing policies he promised during his campaign. Many controversies surround the Trump administration. Among them are: - His possible involvement with the Russian government, which is being investigated by federal agencies. - His unwillingness to release his tax returns. - His disrespectful comments towards women. - His stance on illegal immigrants and his belief that they threaten the future of America. - His views on worldwide problems such as climate change, which he does not believe exists. Some of his opinions instigated protest from the masses, such as the Women’s March on January 20th. Thousands concerned about his remarks took to the streets to express their discomfort and marched to the White House. His distrust of foreign countries was made clear through his numerous insults towards the European Union and his insistence that he will make sure Mexico pays for a wall covering the entire southern border. Trump has proved he is a man of action, delivering on, or at the very least making progress towards keeping his campaign promises, such as withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Asia and addressing the Mexican government over the funding of the wall. Whether the chaos will die down and whether Trump’s presidency will be a net gain or net loss for the United States has yet to be seen, but either way, it won’t be a boring four years. "I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years," said Trump on the subject of intelligence briefings. “I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words,” said Trump on the subject of Mexican immigration. Trump on Twitter: On the restrictions placed on Muslims entering the country: @realDonaldTrump: Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country! @realDonaldTrump: If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the “bad” would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad “dudes” out there! On Australian immigrants: @readDonaldTrump: Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!


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February Issue 2017 News By: Evalise Dexter Barack Obama has gone down in history as the first African American president of the United States. His eight-year term came to an end 21 leaving new president Donald Trump to take over his position. on January He has left on a high great note, legacy with a behind him. According to a CNN have poll, his ratings skyrocketed to 60% approval over the course of the last campaign. presidential President Obama entered the White worst House at the financial crisis in the U.S. since the Great Depression, and is credited with getting the economy back on course by reviving the job market and restoring consumer confidence. Yet, wages under his watch stayed flat and the federal debt reached Performance is historic throug h highs. The the numbers. best way to take note of Obama’s


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February Issue 2017 News WHO IS RICARDO ROSSELLÓ? By: Patricia Díaz Some SJS students were interviewed about our new governor, here’s what they had to say. Q: How much do you know about Ricardo Rosselló? Cecilia Alonso 10th grade • He’s the governor • Has a wife and child Natalia Areces 10th grade • He represents the PNP party • Working to make Puerto Rico a state • Has a child • He can speak English Daniela Alsina 10th grade • He’s the governor of Puerto Rico • He has wife and daughter • Part of the PNP political party • His father is Pedro Rosselló former governor of Puerto Rico A governor is more than a face, more than just a person in power. A governor takes on the hardest job in the island, and it is important for the people to know whom he is. On November 8th, Puerto Rico elected a new governor, Ricardo Rosselló. Rosselló is 37 years old and graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He married Beatriz Areizaga in 2012 and later had a daughter named Claudia Beatriz. His father is Pedro Rosselló, former governor of Puerto Rico. Ricardo Roselló is the first governor to be the son of a past governor in Puerto Rico. Like all political officials, Ricardo Roselló has plans for Puerto Rico. Part of Rossello’s action plans and challenges are: • To implement a new law for the lower class to offer services the government doesn’t currently offer. • Passed the Labor Reform. o This eliminates the Closure Law known as the Law to Regulate Business Operations of Commercial Establishments. o This will decrease the percentage of the salary used to calculate the Christmas bonus. o This measure encourages employers to give more hours of work. • To establish a Department of Public Security. • Signed the Puerto Rico Financial Emergency and Fiscal Responsibility Act.


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February Issue 2017 News The Women’s March of 2017 By: Samara Kleiman The Facts With pink hats on their heads and placards in their hands, more than a million people gathered together on January 21 to join the women’s marches that occurred all throughout the United States. The Women’s March was a worldwide protest on women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment, LGBTW rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The protests were also targeted at Trump, whose statements and policies have given him a misogynistic reputation. The first protest was planned in Washington D.C, known as the Women’s March on Washington. The purpose of the event was to send a bold message to the new administration during their first day in office: women’s rights are human rights. One of our own faculty members, Ms. Erickson, flew to Washington D.C to join the marchers. She had heard about this march, and one night she was out with a friend when it came up in their conversation. Just to see, they checked the flights and hotel details. “The stars were aligned,” she explained. Ms. Erickson and her friend were easily able to get flights and hotel rooms to go to D.C. She knew there was going to be a march here in Puerto Rico, but she felt that if she were to march, she would have to do it all the way. “We we wanted to be part of the numbers, we did not want look back at this moment in history and feel like we didn’t go all the way.” Ms. Erickson did have some doubts about the march though. Since a white woman created the Facebook event that began this march, she worried it would turn out to be mostly white middle-aged women, “Looking around, there was huge diversity though, and that is one of the biggest takeaways from the march for me”. She was among both men and women, which was a very powerful feeling for her. “There was everybody. There were African Americans, Native Americans, children, transgender people, just across the board.” The Women’s March on Washington highlighted the diversity within the women’s movement, that the support for women’s rights encompasses all of the other minorities too. It also shows how women and others who support equal rights for all are not going to take being talked down too. It is recorded as the largest single-day demonstration in US history, as it drew at least 500,000 people in Washington, and 4.8 million worldwide. Around 408 marches were planned in the U. S and 168 in 81 other countries.


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February Issue 2017 News Women’s March continuation Donald Trump’s campaign consisted of much misogynistic and degrading vocabulary towards women, and the essence of the march was to protest against that language, against the idea that women are less equal, and against political leaders and social media platforms patronizing women. “I wasn’t there to march against Trump. I was there because women are the majority in the United States, and I am tired of people talking down to us,” says Ms. Erickson. The creators of the march did succeed in spreading this idea, and plan to continue their efforts in spreading awareness and support for the women’s movement. They are going to continue to make sure that women are not spoken to in derogatory ways and that the rights of women are called human rights. It is a human rights movement. As an educator, Ms. Erickson wants to show her students, movement can’t be stopped. The both boys and girls, that this is something we need to do to make a ideas that were expressed on this better world. Because of her experience, she decided to propose a day need to be stressed to class of women in literature, and now next year, there will be a everyone. The marches were a woman in art and literature class. She doesn’t just want this to be a wake up call to many, as girl’s class; she wants boys to participate as well. The idea that a thousands of people joined to fight woman’s movement is just for women has been ingrained in our for equality, and to fight for generation, and they fail to see that to support this movement, you human rights. are supporting equal rights for all. There is a sense of discomfort when discussing the idea of feminism. Many look at this movement and criticize it. They see being a feminist and believing in equality and human rights as separate things.. Ms. Erickson urges this is the time to talk more about women, to come together and empower themselves. These marches were huge, and this Tmohveempenitnckan’ht abets m ay be off, and the pla cards may be p ut dow n, but the fight is still not over.


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February Issue 2017 News Wars in the Ms iddle East By: Emam Hijaz and Luis Vázquez Terrorism in Israel A suicidal Palestinian aggressor detonated an intense auto bomb alongside an Israeli transport, killing at least 16 individuals in an infamous misfortune to global peace endeavors according to Haaretz news. Hours after the attack, Israeli tanks moved into Jenin and helicopters focused in the West Bank city, viewed by Israel as an activist fortification, Palestinian witnesses said. The Israeli armed force called the attack a “usual occasion”. The aggressor, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, said the attack was close to Megiddo, the Hebrew name for Armageddon, to match with the 35th commemoration of the 1967 Middle East war in which Israel grabbed the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "A searcher of suffering... from the Jerusalem Brigades, exploded a car that was filled with explosives that he drove by a Megiddo intersection," (translation ours), the In 2011, what became known distinctly as the "Middle Easterner Spring" revolts, toppled Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. group said in an announcement. The Palestinian Authority censured the attacks and rejected Israel's claim stating that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was in In March of the same year, 15 young men were held hostage and tormented for doing graffiti in favor of the Arab charge of the assault. Spring. One of the young men, 13year-old Hamza al-Khateeb, was slaughtered after being Syria’s brutally tortured. Civil War The impact in northern Israel asserted the most conspicuous number of Israeli lost many soldiers and battles as recently as a month ago. This was the result of a devastat ing six-week battle through the West Bank that was propelled by a sudden rush of suicide bombings. Ever since the conflict began, more than 450,000 Syrians have been killed, one million injured, and more than 12 million Syrians uprooted from their homes according to the Al Jazeera news channel.


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February Issue 2017 News The Syrian government, headed P a l e s t i n e ’ s w a r w i t h I s r a e l by President Bashar al-Assad, reacted to the challenges by slaughtering several demonstrators and detaining some more. In July 2011, dissenters from the military declared the development of the Free Syrian Army, a revolt meaning to topple the legislature, and Syria started to slide into civil war. In 2015, Israel proceeded to uphold strict and biased confinements on the natural rights of Palestinians and to establish illegal communities throughout the West Bank. What caused the entrance of Palestinians to some u p r i s i n g ? At first, the absence of opportunities and monetary hardships fueled resentment of the Syrian government, and open outrage was aggravated by the brutal crackdown on dissenters. Uprisings in Tunisia and NEaAdsgusdymapi tedtiorson. uassllytimIsfuliralmamtleiysdt Syrian activists. developments were contradictory to the According to the Al Jazeera and Quds news channels, there was an increased amount of killings connected to IsraeliPalestinian threats that started in October. By November 27 of that year, Palestinians had killed no less than 17 innocent Israeli citizens and three Israeli fighters, harmed 87 Israeli citizens, and also injured 80 security officers in the West Bank and Israel. Israeli security killed no less than areas. They also persuaded several Palestinians and Bedouin residents of Israel in West Bank regions to move to Israelicontrolled areas. The Palestinian Authority supposedly captured understudies for their connection with Hamas or their political feedback, some of whom claimed that they were abused while they were detained. Hamas security also supposedly began to torture or abuse of 258 individuals starting on July 31, and “ …monetary 120 people and harmed at least 11,953 Palestinian Jihadists had launched 20 innocent Palestinians in West Bank, rockets at Israel from the HamasGaza. Israeli forced harmed 84 controlled Gaza as of October 31. hardships fueled resentment of the Syrian government… Palestinians and harmed their property in 130 episodes as of November 23, the United Nations detailed. Israeli security officers captured three Israelis regarding a fire related crime assault, which killed a Neither Israeli nor Hamas experts have accused anybody of wrongdoings during the Israel-Gaza war, which, as indicated by the UN, was the cause of the deaths of 1,462 innocent Palestinian citizens Palestinian couple and their young child. including 551 children and six people In 1982, Bashar al- Israeli forces devastated homes and in Israel, including one child according other property through unfair practices to Jerusalem news channel. Assad's dad, Hafez, requested a that seriously confine the Additionally, Palestine military crackdown on the Muslim agreed to the International Criminal Brotherhood in Hama, which executed between 10,00040,000 individuals and destroyed a significant part of Court arrangement and turned into an Internal Cricket Council matter in April. An ICC prosecutor opened a preparatory examination to figure out if the criteria have the city according to Al Jazeera been met to justify seeking a news channel. formal examination of the issue.


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February Issue 2017 News From SJS to the Wo rld On December 18, 2016, 117 contestants, each representing a different country stood on a stage in Washington D.C. competing for one final goal: to become Miss World 2016. “It was surreal. It was a mix of so many emotions. I felt relieved and surprised. I wasn’t expecting it,” said Stephanie Del Valle as she expressed her emotions when the announcer stated her name as the winner. One month later, Stephanie arrived home in Puerto Rico to celebrate her victory. “I felt like Monica Puig at that moment,” she explained, “It was humbling to have so many people come up to me and tell me I was an inspiration and I have brought the hope to the Island, which is what we really need.” As she got off the plane accompanied by Lady Wilnelia Merced, the last Puerto Rican to win Miss World in 1975, and Ms. Julia Morley, current CEO of Miss World, Governor Ricky Roselló greeted her and her entourage along with his wife and daughter. Del Valle had an hour-long press conference followed by her caravan through the city of San Juan. Her first stop: Saint John’s School.


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February Issue 2017 News As she arrived on Ashford Avenue, the sounds of teachers, students and parents cheering her name echoed through the streets. The chaos within the school was almost uncontrollable. Stephanie entered SJS and headed straight for the Carrady Center where a reception was set up. “I cried!,” Del Valle exclaimed. “That was one of my favorite moments while being in PR. I arrived and I saw so many people outside. Seeing all of my teachers and friends, walking into the Multi Purpose Room and seeing the room jam-packed. I was not expecting so many people to be there because usually SJS is empty at 5 pm on a Friday. I could not express anything else except so much happiness”. While in school, she spoke about her time at SJS and everything she learned from it. At the end of her speech, a video played streaming pictures of her life from PK-12th grade. A group of students from her graduating class, the class of 2015, were there to support her as well. “It’s weird to see that one of my closest high school friends can now be recognized world wide, but I am so happy for her,” said Juliana Charak, a Class of 2015 alumni. As she concluded her stop at the school, hundreds of students followed her out the door taking selfies and getting autographs. Two years ago, Stephanie del Valle was a normal girl walking down these same hallways, sitting at these same tables and working with these same teachers. She is an example of what it is like to persevere and never give up on your dreams.



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