The Prism: Every Side of the Story

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Most people are conscious of the substantial wage gap between men and women. On average, for every dollar a man earns, a woman makes earns only seventy cents for that same job. However, an important aspect of the wage gap that a bulk of people are not informed about, is that race also factors into the wage gap.

The comparative rate between how much a woman makes for the amount that a man earns is the same for how much a white man earns compared to how much a black man earns for that same job. According to TIME Magazine, that is twenty-one dollars for the white man and fifteen for a black man.

There are various and controversial reasons for the difference in pay. One of those reasons according to The Atlantic is, “The persistent inequality of educational opportunities (of African Americans).” Without there being the same level of education, employers are not paying for the same level of work, which in turn means that employees get paid less.

Another contributing factor to the difference of pay is, “The result is a black populace that tends to earn lower wages, which keeps the cycle going.” Without being able to break away and earn more, the amount they earn will remain constant rather of increasing as it should.

Initiatives that can be taken to prevent the continuation of the wage gap are to combat poor levels of education and to fight back against unfair hiring practices that are carried about by some companies due to certain biases. All aspects of wage gaps between all people are unacceptable, all people regardless of race and gender deserve to get paid all the same for the work the preform.

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Students of the class of 2019 announced their college decisions to the whole Upper School on National Decision Day, May 1st. On this day, every senior going to college makes his or her deposit for the college of their choice. This was a big day for every senior and even a big day for the underclassmen,  giving them a glimpse of their future.

The seniors dressed in their college apparel or printed out the name of their college to present to the upper school and show their school pride. This event is extremely important as it recognizes the hard work of all the seniors. It also gives the underclassmen a chance not only to appreciate their classmates, but also to inspire them to work hard and look forward to senior year.

The event was exciting for both seniors and underclassmen. Allison Siegel (CO 2019) said that it was “really nice to see everyone so happy.” She added, “Going through this process we all really have to help each other and I think that being able to help each other and then seeing the product of all the hard work was really a special experience.” Another senior, Patrick Smith (CO 2019) shared this view by saying, “It was a great experience to see the achievements of my classmates and being able to celebrate what we (CO 2019) have all worked for.”

Not only was the experience a nice recognition for the seniors it was also beneficial to the underclassmen of the school as well. According to Josie Cannon (CO 2021) the college decisions assembly was “a nice reveal to see where everyone is going to college.” Cannon also added that it “shows that hard work pays off.”

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The United States faces a major issue with gun control, or the lack thereof. This issue has not gone away, mainly because of the lobbying of politicians.The National Rifle Association “and its affiliates spent a record $54m to secure Republican control of the White House and Congress, including at least $30.3m to help elect Donald Trump” (The Guardian).

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Many juniors, seniors, and even sophomores are familiar with the SAT and the ACT. Fundamentally , the SAT and ACT are meant to be standardized tests given to high school students so that colleges can see how much they know. At least, that is what is supposed to happen.

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Talk of college admissions has reached national news recently as big universities and celebrities have been involved in a college admissions scandal. The U.S Department of Education has recently launched an investigation of UCLA, USC, Yale, and other universities due to fraudulent acceptances into these top colleges. Also involved in this scandal are many wealthy individuals who pay the schools an absurd amount of money for their child’s college acceptance. While both celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been involved in this scandal, about 50 other people have been charged with fraudulently influencing admissions. Together, those charged with these crimes paid a whopping 25 million dollars to William Rick Singer, a man who manipulates test scores and bribes universities to get the children of his clients into top colleges. However, with a scandal like this, it is important to look at all the socioeconomic advantages and disadvantages, with respect to the college admissions process and attending college.

It’s no secret that the wealthy have an easier time with the college process. Regarding test scores, the wealthy have access to better prep books, tutors, and more tests, as all of these steps in the standardized testing process together cost a large sum of money. As for college admissions, applying to college is an expensive feat as well. Generally speaking, college application fees are around 50 dollars each, and it is becoming increasingly popular to apply to 5 to 10 colleges, sometimes even 15. Wealthy parents also have a leg up in terms of boosting their children’s applications because they have the means to send their kids to summer programs, pay for tutors, and cover the costs of expensive extracurricular activities that are appealing to college admissions offices. Sometimes wealthy parents pay for a special admissions counselor, which is another added cost that less fortunate parents simply cannot pay for. All of these costs add up, and they add up quickly. Even after being accepted into college, the real disadvantage comes with paying tuition. Private universities like USC and Yale cost 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year without aid. With financial aid, these schools still cost around 30 thousand dollars. These figures simply are just not an option for poor and middle-class families. Even if their children apply to state schools, with cheaper in-state tuition, it is still very expensive and requires the student to take out student loans. UCLA in-state tuition is around 12 thousand dollars, which can still break the bank for families when adding up with the cost of all college prep and admissions materials, and the cost of things like textbooks and other school supplies. The majority of families have multiple children, and are still looking at around 30 thousand dollars annually even if they have just 2 kids. This is only an outline of the kind of money colleges require these days, even for just admission to their university. It is clear wealthy parents have a leg up.

While the scandal is far from a typical college admissions experience, it still highlights the inevitable advantage that rich families have. It brings to light the lengths colleges go to for an extra 50 thousand dollars, and exposes the ever growing competitiveness of college admissions. When surveying this larger than life scandal, it is important to notice the real life aspects of the college admissions process, and the disadvantages of the poor and middle-class when it comes to getting their children an education.

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Sophomores, juniors, and seniors were given the opportunity to go on a service learning trip to Puerto Rico during the winter break. After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was left devastated; the damage destroyed homes, caused schools to close down, and left many Puerto Ricans in poverty.

Mrs. Erica Martinelli, one of the trip advisors, said that the reason she chose Puerto Rico as the location for the 2019 school trip was because she felt “an overwhelming desire to help in any way possible” because “Puerto Rico was in need of assistance.”

To ensure a “sustainable future” for Puerto Rico, students cleaned pollution off beach shores, tested water quality, built community centers, cleared land, participated in reforestation efforts, and decorated fences in the community. In addition to the service learning aspect of the trip, the students also immersed themselves in Puerto Rican culture via taking cooking classes in traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, dancing with the citizens of Puerto Rico, and swimming in a bioluminescent bay.

Jamila Thompson (CO 2019) affirmed that the “experience was enlightening” and “it felt good to help others.” She also enjoyed “exploring the culture with the residents.” After going to Puerto Rico, she discovered “it was worse than [she] thought,” especially “the education system in the poorer neighborhoods.”

Martinelli added that the trip “served as an opportunity for our students to have a hands-on experience in creating a sustainable future in Puerto Rico.”

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In 2019, Apple is set to unveil its brand new set of iPhones, as is the annual tradition. Last year, Apple revealed the iPhone XS/Max and the iPhone XR, with different initial price points, specs, and purposes respectively. The XS/Max was designed to be the true update to the previous iPhone X of 2017, while the XR was similar to 2016’s iPhone 5SE, which was offered as a budget alternative to the iPhone 7.

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The topic of sex education has recently become increasingly important around the world. Many high schools have decided to cut sex ed programs in the fear that they promote sexual activity (Serenko), but this is a misconception. There are no studies showing that teaching young adults about reproductive health encourages sexual activity. Sex ed classes have been rightly designed to inform kids about making advised choices regarding sexual activity, or even life choices in general (Serenko).

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The Lawrence Woodmere Academy Multicultural Assembly is an annual tradition participated in by the entire school. It is held to celebrate and recognize all of the cultures that together form the LWA community.

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The PRISM Press

The PRISM Press is the student written, edited, and published newspaper of Lawrence Woodmere Academy © 2019