Managing change on site

BOSTON — “It didn’t take long before he wanted to come home with me,” said Kelly Furtado, site manager for Jumpstart at Suffolk University, who met four-year-old Kevin in Rochester, N.Y. “He would cling to my legs and I would try to explain, ‘I live in a dorm, I don’t have any toys.’ He said he didn’t care. He told me he would sleep in my bathtub.” It was then that Furtado realized the rest of her life would be spent helping children, and trying to make a change.

Furtado, now 27, was majoring in English at the University of Rochester in N.Y. when she began working as a corps member for Jumpstart, a national early childhood education organization for at-risk preschool students. Here, she began working with Kevin, who had been taken away from his abusive mother. “He needed someone that he could trust,” said Furtado. “It took awhile but eventually I became that someone for Kevin.” Continue reading

Holiday shopping concerns during economic hardship

BOSTON − Temperatures are dropping, wreaths are being hung, Santa’s elves are hard at work and holiday “sale” signs plaster store windows everywhere. Eager shoppers are normally out in full force by this time of year, pacing themselves and their wallets as they shop for the latest gadgets and search for the perfect gift. But how many people have actually begun their holiday shopping? Are sales drawing customers in the way they have in past years?Bargain Shopping Shopping trends seem to be different this year – sales have been running consistently for months, making the holiday discounts insignificant and ineffective. Shoppers aren’t buying the greatest, expensive “perfect” gifts; they’re settling for bargains. Wish lists are being cut in half since many gift-givers don’t even have the credit backing to charge their purchases like they have in the past.

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The Truth Strikes Again


Paul Pierce, captain for the Boston Celtics, held his 7th annual charity bowling event, “The Truth Strikes Again,” on Monday, Nov.17, 2008, at King’s, a bowling and billiards restaurant/bar located in Boston’s Back Bay. The proceeds of this event go to Pierce’s Truth Fund, which benefits disadvantaged youth in the greater Boston area and in his hometown of Inglewood, Calif., by promoting healthy living and empowerment for children through exercising and eating better, which helps prevent obesity and illnesses resulting from obesity, like diabetes and heart illnesses.

King’s was buzzing with excitement from the moment I walked into the room, two hours before the event was set to kick off. The tickets for this event were $500 and up so you can imagine the enthusiasm we had as volunteers for being part of it for free! I was grouped with the other volunteers who were just as excited and nervous as I was to be there. We were given T-shirts and separated into different jobs including security, welcome wagons, coat check, bowling shoe check, auctioneers, and raffle sales. A sea of green shirts began to fill the rooms from corner to corner as we set up our designated areas. Continue reading

Roommates: can’t live with them, can’t pay rent without them

two-boys-arguing_ispc038063.jpgBOSTON–Roommates are more than the people you live with; they are an essential part of the college experience. Whether it is in a dorm or an off-campus apartment, they have the potential to the best of friends, or at the very least laundry night partner. But, for many college students a dream living situation can turn into a nightmare as financial, social and work-related stress mounts over the semester.

Living with someone is typical for college students. In the United States alone, most young adults spend at least a year living with roommates after leaving home for the first time. The popularity of roommates is reflected in pop culture including movies and television programs such as “Greek,” which all emphasize the notion that roommates are best friends and partners in crime.

Most of the country’s universities even require first-year students to live in on-campus residence halls, and share a dorm room with a same-sex roommate. The idea is to provide incoming freshmen with a built-in social network for everything from exploring campus, joining clubs, or just going to restaurants. Studies have found that a good relationship with a roommate affects grades, study style, social behavior, and personality productivity.  “Right now my grades are on point, and my social life is thriving and I think I owe most of that to having a little 13×11 room I can call my home away from home,” says one Georgia Tech freshman, who credits his roommate for getting him comfortable on campus. Continue reading

Craigslist fraud: when does it end?

BOSTON — If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If only that saying would have crossed my mind before I joined the thousands of people who have experienced internet fraud, in my case through Craigslist.

Being a college student trying to find a decent job, and with the nearing of Thanksgiving break, I responded to a mystery shopper ad in the part-time job section of My “evaluation” task was to provide my fake boss with information about the work ethic at the 64 Kneeland St. Western Union location in Chinatown and make a money transfer to whom I believed was a member of the mystery shopper organization (which I never got an actual name for—red flag #1). I always thought I would identify a scam if I saw one on Craigslist, but like so many others, I was fooled by the elaborateness of these schemes. Continue reading

How far would you go?

BOSTON–For 18 years, families in Gulu, Uganda have lived in terror—only now is their story being told.

After college or graduate school, most young people live at home for a year or try to establish a career in the trade in which they majored. The volunteers of the non-profit organization, Invisible Children, instead travel the country living in a van, visiting various colleges to screen their documentary film GO, and getting the word out about the atrocities in Uganda.ivisible-children.jpg

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008, recent graduates from all over the world visited Boston University to promote Invisible Children. The name comes from children secretly escaping capture by rebels that force them into the corrupt Joseph Kony’s military regime.

For the past 23 years, the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have been fighting in a war that has left close to two million innocent civilians caught in the middle. Continue reading

Suffolk’s BLC helps students

BOSTON — Having trouble in a class or two? Need accommodations for your learning disability? Where do you go? Stop by the second floor of Donahue. The Ballotti Learning Center is there, and where you can find help.

The Ballotti Learning Center (BLC) is an on-campus resource focused on helping all Suffolk students reach their highest academic potential. The BLC offers programs and services designed for students who want to improve their GPA, learn new study techniques, better understand particular subject material, and utilize their time more effectively. Continue reading

College students are staying past their welcome

istock_000004671189small11.jpgBOSTON — It’s not often that you hear someone say “after college, I want to move back in with my parents,” yet that is what most college students are faced with upon graduating.

Known as Boomerang kids, adultolescents, and B2B (Back to Bedroom), the number of adults who return home after college has steadily increased since the 1970s. The high cost of housing and the unavailability of jobs with good benefits are causing young adults to find it more and more difficult to avoid the trap of moving back home with their parents. Continue reading

Growing popularity of fake IDs

BOSTON — Criminal impersonation and forgery have one thing in common…they are both crimes millions of college students are committing. More and more underage college students are purchasing fake identification cards or even another person’s license. What they do not realize is that they are committing an actual felony which could put them in jail.

Binge drinking and “bar hopping” is the typical scene for the average under-age college student. This is more common in urban areas where many bars and clubs are located. Suffolk University, Boston College, Emerson, and Northeastern University are some of the major colleges in which students own fake IDs. Continue reading

Hair-pullers: Suffering in silence

BOSTON — When I was in high school, I never left the house without a pair of tweezers nestled comfortably in my purse. The fear that I would need them but that they wouldn’t be there greatly outweighed any anxiety or embarrassment I felt regarding the reason for carrying them; all that mattered was that they were easily-accessible when I felt the urge to pull.

In tenth grade, I was diagnosed with an impulse-control disorder called trichotillomania, commonly referred to as “TTM” or “trich.” This psychological condition is described by the American Psychiatric Association as “the recurrent pulling of one’s own hair with the potential for considerable hair loss.” As a 15-year-old struggling with depression, social anxiety, and a group of friends who related to and supported her destructive behavior, a diagnosis like this was not particularly surprising – I actually sort of wanted there to be something wrong with me so that I would have a reason, an excuse, to feel what I felt and do what I did. Continue reading

Stress — You are not alone in America

BOSTON — Millions of Americans share the same psychological symptoms of experiencing irritability and anger, feelings of nervousness, lack of energy, and emotional outbursts every day. Americans live in a society that is constantly changing, incredibly fast paced, and competitive.

Every day, people are challenged with the responsibilities of work, family, school and personal relationships, as well as sudden changes in their lives, such as the loss of a job, a loved one’s death, a new relationship, or the birth of a child.

The high expectations and constant change in this society have caused great physical and mental stress on a person interfering with personal lives, professional lives, sleep patterns, eating habits, and health.

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War: What is it good for?

070115-n-0780f-005.jpgBOSTON — Americans are asking, “Exactly what are we doing in Iraq and when will our troops come home?” Truth be told, no one knows, not even George W. Bush.

The conflict between the United States and the sovereign nation of Iraq has been underway for just over five years with no sign of resolution in sight. A vicious cycle of military escalation followed by withdrawal and re-escalation in face of renewed violence has left Americans in the impossible position of explaining to itself and the global community the value of our continuing involvement.

The events of September 11, 2001 served as the catalyst for the initial war on terrorism. Exploiting the fear of additional terrorist campaigns on American soil, Bush whipped Americans into a frenzy, manufacturing the fuel needed to sanction direct attacks on Iraqi soil. American and international troops were quickly mobilized. Baghdad fell several months later, followed by a complete removal of Saddam Hussein’s political power on April 10th, 2003. Continue reading

Radical transformation

BOSTON — Most college students live in fear of the dreaded ‘freshman 15’; however, during my sophomore year of college, I experienced the opposite with my ‘sophomore 110’.

RT1 The most popular unhealthy college activities include excessive drinking, late night junk food, pizzas, fast food, and ‘café runs.’ Despite the common misconceptions about gaining weight in college, there are ways to avoid temptations and maintain, and even create, a healthy lifestyle.

The majority of college students experience anxiety over exams, all-night drinking binges, and trepidation about classes, but I experienced euphoria in a form I had never known before. In my first month of sophomore year, I weighed in at 260.5 pounds. By second semester, I had transformed my life by dropping 110 pounds in a mere five months. Continue reading

Things to do in Boston for budget-minded students

BOSTON — On a chilly weekend, Casey has been sitting in front of her laptop surfing the internet for hours. Facebook has become her addiction. She walks back and forth to the kitchen several times in an hour before settling down on the couch to watch an episode of “The Office.”

istock_000004919083xsmall.jpgCasey Suter, a sophomore at Suffolk University, has a small amount of money in her purse and no desire to drink alcohol this weekend. She does not know what do on this frigid Friday without the burden of burning a hole in her wallet.

Many Suffolk University students share the same predicament as Casey but little do they know, Boston offers a wide variety of things to do when the weather is cold and students are low on cash. Continue reading