Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Iowa School Principal Injured In Shooting

By Garret Reich
Junior Reporter
GLENWOOD, Iowa, U.S.A. – The local high school principal was one of several people hurt in a shooting near his home early this week.
Principal Richard Hutchinson, who is in his second year at Glenwood Community High School, is recovering from the Sunday afternoon shooting.
"This was a very sad and unfortunate event,” school Superintendent Devin Embray said in a statement. “We are in shock and disbelief and we are letting law enforcement handle the situation and guide us through it."
Students, who like Hutchinson, are upset.
"He connects with the students on a more personal level," said senior Quin Baker on Tuesday. "He has made a pretty big impact on the school in such a short time."
Tristan Brown, a 2015 graduate of the school who is now a freshmen at The University of Iowa, said, "There was no reason for him to be put in that position. He definitely took a supportive part in his community, and always went to all of the school functions."
In a short interview at school on Tuesday, Assistant Principal Rick Nickerson spoke about the principal’s impact in his community.
"He is a caring individual,” said Nickerson. “Staff and students know that he cares personally about every individual in the school."
According to a prepared press release from the Mills County Attorney’s office, the Glenwood Police Department, the Iowa State Patrol and the Mills County Sheriff’s Office and emergency medical personnel responded to a call about a possible gunshot around 5:45 p.m. Sunday.
Three people were taken to local hospitals for treatment and a gun was found at the scene, the press release said. The incident remains under investigation by local and state police.  Officials have said all possible motives, including racism, would be investigated.
Hutchinson is black; the school and town is predominantly white.
The morning after the shooting, Embray sent an email to parents and staff.
"The district has no reason to believe that any staff or students are in any danger at this time,” the superintendent’s email message said. “However, we have increased security measures to monitor the situation at this point."
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Gaining - And Sharing - Insights While Volunteering In Another Country

Roger Chen / youthjournalism.org
Students taking part in a class taught by FEDA volunteers at the local primary school.
By Kelly Liu
Junior Reporter
BATTAMBANG, Cambodia – With several friends, I spent some of my summer on a volunteer trip working with a school in the city of Battambang, Cambodia.
It was a unique opportunity for me to see and experience a different culture from my own in Taiwan.
I also got to make a difference, no matter how small, to this community.
Roger Chen / youthjournalism.org
A Cambodian boy flashes a big 
smile at a young volunteer.
Education is important. It not only provides knowledge, but also a chance to change and live a better life. This chance, however, is taken away from children in many places in this world.
What we take for granted may be a faraway dream for people living in these regions.
We worked with a local school called FEDA, which provides education for local students at a cost of $2 per month. It was formerly free, but they couldn’t handle the overwhelming amount of students.

Roger Chen / youthjournalism.org
The newly painted wall at the entrance to FEDA, a school in Battambang, Cambodia.
It’s more of an afterschool program, where students come to learn what they can’t in school, like English and how to use computers – both important skills they value.
During the trip, we had a chance to visit two of the students’ family and interview them, getting an insight into their lives.
At first, I was still confused about whether an international volunteer like me would make much difference in this community in such a short period of time. Through these interactions I realized we visitors weren’t the only ones who got to see a different world. The Cambodian students did, too.
When I asked them about their dreams when they grow up, both the families I interviewed shook their heads, indicating they had none.

Roger Chen / youthjournalism.org
The local families the visiting students served are primarily farmers.
The local teachers told us that most of these students have no idea of the possibilities they have in the future. Almost all families are farmers.
Roger Chen / youthjournalism.org
A classroom at the FEDA school in Battambang.
The most respected jobs there are teachers and doctors, because those are the only other people they meet. Through our visits, they got a view into a world they’d never seen before, a vision outside of their small community.
And maybe our jobs, as international volunteers, was to bring back what we saw and what we learned. If we share our experiences, it might influence others to make a difference, too.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

New England College Students Take A Break To Enjoy The Lunar Eclipse

Mary Majerus-Collins / youthjournalism.org
The supermoon in the process of a lunar eclipse, as seen from the Middlebury College Observatory in Middlebury, Vermont.

By Kiernan Majerus-Collins
LEWISTON, Maine, U.S.A. – There is one spot on the campus of Bates College where you can really see the stars. A small school in suburban Maine, Bates is off the beaten path, but not far enough to avoid the bright lights of civilization. But on top of Mount David, a tall outcropping on the edge of campus, it is dark enough to get a partial sense of the majesty of the night sky.

Thus, when celestial events are on the way, many students here have the same idea:  hike Mount David and look to the heavens. The trek up is steep but short, and the way is lit by dozens of smartphone flashlights shining in the darkness. 
Sunday night, students found their way to Mount David to get a view of the “super blood moon.”
At the top, there was the babble of about 100 students sitting on the rocky summit. Some were laughing, some drinking or smoking, some were simply looking up at the sky.
The lunar eclipse was clearly visible, but so too was the Big Dipper, on the northern horizon. 
As the night wore on, students would come and go, having seen their fill and growing cold in the autumn air.
The way down is more treacherous, and movement is slow. At the bottom awaits a return to college life – the late nights and early classes, the football games and term papers – but just for a few minutes, we stopped, and gazed up at the moon.
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Supermoon, As Seen From Southern Africa

David Joseph Kapito / youthjournalism.org

The Supermoon, viewed from Malawi.

By David Joseph Kapito
Junior Reporter
ZOMBA, Malawi – It was a great experience to spend time to see what happen when the Moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth.

Skygazers enjoyed seeing the full Harvest Moon turn red during its lunar eclipse. Because it is closer to Earth than the Moon usually is, it appears larger and is considered a "supermoon."

So those who were awake just to see the eclipse at the right moment to a wonderful sight. It lasted just an hour and a few minutes more. Later, people who were trying to get a glimpse of the moon didn’t have as much luck because clouds covered the Moon at times. Around 3 a.m. Malawi time, the moon could be seen at times and it sometimes disappeared from the sky. 
David Joseph Kapito / youthjournalism.org

About 3 a.m. Malawi time, the moon was bright again, but sometimes the clouds obscured the view.
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Feast Of Eid Ul Adha Is A Big Celebration, But Not a Great Day For Goats

Arooj Khalid / youthjournalism.org
Goats for sale by the roadside in Lahore, Pakistan for the celebration feast of Eid Ul Adha. Many people sacrifice a goat or other animal for the holiday meal.

Arooj Khalid / youthjournalism.org
A small herd of goats for sale at Ghalib Market in Lahore, Pakistan in advance of the feast for Eid Ul Adha.

Arooj Khalid / youthjournalism.org
Many goat sellers entertain customers near a chowk, or town square area in Lahore, Pakistan.
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Smog Cancels School In Singapore

Selvaganeshamoorthi Balakrishnan / youthjournalism.org

Smog covers Singapore Thursday, prompting officials to cancel school on Friday. 

By Selvaganeshamoorthi Balakrishnan
SINGAPORE – With air pollution levels at the hazardous point, officials closed primary and secondary schools on Friday, Sept. 25 in Singapore.
The haze – and accompanying smell – is caused by logging companies in the region, such as the provinces of central Kalimantan and South Sumatra in Indonesia, adopting the illegal "slash and burn" forest clearing method, according to the Straits Times, the nation’s largest newspaper.
This method, which involves the burning of forests, has shrouded Singapore and its Southeast Asian neighbors in a thick haze.
Selvaganeshamoorthi Balakrishnan / youthjournalism.org

Selvaganeshamoorthi Balakrishnan /

Before officials decided to close the schools, provisions had been made to conduct lessons in air-conditioned venues and suspend physical education classes.
The Ministry of Education announced that a high level music exam has been rescheduled. That test, which had been set for Sept. 25, will now be held Sept. 29.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Be Open To New Friends, But Stay Focused On Your Studies In High School

David Joseph Kapito / youthjournalism.org
David Joseph Kapito is a YJI student in Malawi. Click on the cartoon to enlarge it.
By Amber Shakil
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
LAHORE, Pakistan – There are always fears in the minds of freshmen. They worry that they won’t fit in and they won’t make friends. They worry that people they meet will be different.
Believe me, these fears don't matter once you have started going to high school.
Every step in life teaches you a lot of things and high school does the same.

Those years you spend in high school may be your best. At first, it will be difficult because everyone will be a stranger. After a few days, though, you will start to know each other and that is the point when you begin to make friends.
But if you remain reserved, then it will be difficult to make friends. So be frank. Talk to everyone.
Take part in every competition. Join different clubs. Competitions and games generate self-confidence.
The most important thing, however, is your studies. Never make them as your second priority.
Never forget that ‘the first impression is the last.’
You cannot achieve anything without hard work, so never give up until your last breath. Best of luck!
Your tax-deductible contribution can help support Amber Shakil, David Joseph Kapito and many other students around the world served by this nonprofit at:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Conquering High School Friendship

By Felicity Rodger
EDINBURGH, United Kingdom – Being a new student at high school is an intimidating time for anyone. Trust me, I've done it before. But don't worry.

Thanks to our judgmental skills as youths, we can analyze – most of the time – who a suitable 'best friend' might be. Sometimes, it only takes a few hours of knowing each other. Once you find a person who has similar interests, the next phase of your life begins.
Your first high school friendship could last a week or maybe a lifetime, but it will get you through. Until you find the next 'best friend,' that is.
School is a weird place, however. As you move from class to class, you begin to observe the formation of certain friendship groups. These groups form due to many factors: intelligence levels, common interests or romantic attractions, among other things. To give you an idea of which groups to look out for, I am going to inform you about the groups you are likely to come across at your new high school:

The Sports Jocks

Particularly common in American high schools, this friendship group consists mostly of males who share an interest in sports. Usually there are different groups for each sport, like football or hockey, which will stay together in a pack and talk about – you guessed it – sports.

The Comedy Jokers

This group can consist of both males and females, who are usually very friendly. If you need cheering up or you've had an argument with your mate, go to these guys. They are full of conversation, they don't care what other people think of them, and they are always up for a good time.

The Intellectuals

The people in these groups are friendly enough, but always full of themselves. Sometimes these people do not have very good common sense, even though they are clever in school. The members of this straight-A crew are always annoyingly good at every single subject. They can't give you any advice on relationships or friendships, but they will talk to you never the less.

The Pretty Little Liars

Unless you feel you are part of this group, you will want to keep a safe distance away. This group is for high school girls who are popular on all forms of social media and have boys on the brain. They seem nice enough, but be careful. These girls have mastered sarcasm by the age of two. They might seem to be friendly, but really they want you to make a fool of yourself or do their homework. The best thing to do is be pleasant, but keep away.

The Perfect Matches

If you don't fit into any of the groups above, this group is the one you want. These people will be your lifeline during school. They usually have a fair understanding of everything going on, they do well in school, and they are reliable. They're usually very easy to spot as they will come up to you and introduce themselves, and everyone in the class, because they want you to feel welcome.  They are just generally nice people.
Obviously every school is different. But judging from my experience, these groups pop up a lot. I hope this gives you a better understanding of what groups to look out for.
Have fun, and good luck.
Editing by Youth Journalism International Associate Editor Alan Burkholder.
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Photo Essay From Pokara Shows Constitution Celebration And Protest

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
A motorcycle rally is part of the welcome festivities in Pokhara, Nepal, for the new national constitution.
Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
These people in Pokhara were protesting the new constitution. While most people support it, some believe it doesn't do enough to protect minority rights.
Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Candles outline a map of Nepal as part of a ceremony in the Ratna Chowk section of Pokhara. celebrating Nepal's new constitution.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
At the lighting ceremony, people hurried to light candles, cheered and sang the national anthem.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
At the candle lighting ceremony.
Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
The Nepal Rastra Bank building in Pokhara is covered in lights to symbolize the national victory in getting a new constitution.
Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
A boy lights a candle at the Pokhara ceremony.
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New Nepal Constitution Means Bright Future

Nirajan Kathayat / youthjournalism.org
A Nepali flag and map, lit by candles, celebrates the country's new constitution.
By Nirajan Kathayat
KATHMANDU, Nepal – For a long time, Nepal, a small but beautiful country, was suffering political instability. After the devastating April earthquakes the major political parties felt an urgency to adopt a new constitution for the reconstruction of the country.
After coordinating, national leaders signed a 16-point agreement. Finally, after more work, they made and adopted our constitution.
Now Nepali people have their new constitution, and their dream of a new constitution through an elected assembly of people is fulfilled. This will surely will establish political stability in the country.
Sunday, Sept. 20 was a great day for Nepal and its people. President Ram Baran Yadav put the new Nepali constitution into effect in a special ceremony held in our Constitutional Assembly hall, which was beautifully decorated with national flags and flowers.
Nirajan Kathayat / youthjournalism.org
Members of the Nepalese army dressed for the ceremony.

Nirajan Kathayat / youthjournalism.org
Some of the crowd at the rally in Kathmandu.
Nirajan Kathayat / youthjournalism.org
People in traditional cultural dress for the festivities celebrating Nepal's new constitution.

Nirajan Kathayat / youthjournalism.org
Subham, a young boy, has a Nepalese flag painted 
on his cheek and a flag in his hand at the 
festivities celebrating the country's new constitution.
As soon as the president declared the new constitution, people all over Nepal lit candles and welcomed it.  Citizens celebrated with welcome rallies across the country. People say that it is the beginning of a promising future for Nepal and will bring stability, peace and prosperity to the country.
On Monday, the day after the declaration, I joined thousands of people in Tundikhel, an open space area in Kathmandu to attend celebration programs to welcome the new constitution.
Both the Nepal army and police as well as people from different organizations participated in the cultural program. Three party leaders and the prime minister addressed the crowd, which was made up of people of all ages, all joyfully celebrating.
I also celebrated happily. I am very glad that our country has a new constitution, and I hope that Nepal will move forward to peace and development starting today.
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Nepal Celebrates Its New Constitution

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
Candles are lit as part of the celebration of a new national constitution in Nepal. The parliament passed the document last week and these photos show celebrations that took place on Sunday.

Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
People light candles as part of the ceremony celebrating the new constitution.
Nischal Kharel / youthjournalism.org
People took to the street in Pokhara in excitement and happiness over the new Nepalese constitution, which most citizens welcome. Some people, including members of the cultural minority group Madhesi, object to the constitution because they are not convinced it will protect all citizens and have been demonstrating against it in protests that have at times turned violent.
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