Society and Me: An Inspiring Success!


On Thursday, April 25th, the Cushman Chronicle and Video Production went to the Cushman High to watch and report the wonderful Society And Me presentations. There was one, however, that really stuck out to me.

Juliana Prat “War and Large-Scale Conflicts,” by Luna Molla

Juliana Prat’s. Her topic was War and Large-Scale Conflicts. When we think of war, we normally think World War I or World War II. And then, we think, ‘Oh! It was over, like, 74 years ago, and now there’s no war.’ Not true! (Well, the 74 years part is, but the rest isn’t)! There are many, many wars and conflicts going on around the world. Maybe not in the U.S., where we are so lucky and privileged, but so many people suffer and die because the leaders of their countries decided, “I don’t like you, so I’m going to take over your country. Try to stop me.” It’s barbaric. As Juliana said in her very sad and striking video, (which made a tear roll down my cheek), ‘Where has our kindness gone? Where has our mercy gone? Where has our humanity gone? I don’t know. But what I do know is that over 108 million people died in the 20th century due to wars. A lot of them were children and ordinary people who were just living their lives. Juliana says, “How can a 15-year-old, such as myself, make even the smallest dent in such a huge topic? I sometimes felt like giving up.

This wasn’t an easy topic. But, she said,  “I ended up making a difference, no matter how small.” She found an organization called the Children of War Foundation that provides proper care and help to children that are victims of war. She held a few bake sales to raise money. “Did I do enough?” She asked, “No. Not even close.” Juliana tried to make a difference in her community and world by helping the much less fortunate, and you can, too. Go to to see what you can do to help. You may even save a life.

Juliana wasn’t the only one looking to make a difference. Here are some of her fellow Cougars and their solutions.

Whitney Marks “People Saving Dogs,” by Noelia Siu

Whitney Marks is a high school student who goes to Cushman High and would like to create an impact to have people save dogs. She says that rescue dogs are just like regular dogs and that you are helping animals and pets get shelters. Whitney Marks wants to be an example to other citizens, so they can save and help animals in need.

Matthew Mendez “Bullying,” by Grace Sands

Mathew Mendez is a Cushman High 11th grader who, at the S.A.M presentations, spoke about the struggles of autism. He talked about the suffering many children face at schools and places of education. The main issue is that out of the children bullied, 63% percent of them have autism. He explains that the main reason for this is that people are afraid of change, and with the world we live in today, people are afraid of what they aren’t used to seeing. This fear can lead to things much worse than bullying. He states that cyber bullying and threats are common. His main goal this year is to help children with, and without, autism learn and grow in a safe environment free from bullying. He wants to establish a learning curriculum that helps everyone learn in the way that they learn best.

Bridget Cohen “Body Image,” by Maya Tafur

Young girls like me may have the experience of walking through a mall and noticing a huge photo across the glass of a store and see the perfect body of a Victoria Secret model. Those girls then look at themselves thinking they’re not as pretty or beautiful as them. Bridget Cohen, a sophomore at the Cushman Highschool, decided to speak up about this topic. I find this topic very personal to me, just as it was to her because I used to get teased about my body image. Bridget Cohen told me that she also got teased for her body image, but then she overcame the teasing and said to herself that she is perfect just as she is.

The Sam presentations are projects that the high schoolers that attend to that school work on about solving a world problem. They then must answer a global and local question for that issue they’re working on. Her global question was how to stop ads about changing how you look. What she meant by that was that on Instagram, ads tend to appear and some of those can be about how to change your appearance.  Bridget then told me that she didn’t like the idea of apps trying to teach you how to change your body image. Her local question was how to create a program for adults and teens to be happy with themselves. She mentioned during your presentation that most insecurities start on social medias and can start from 12-14. She took the stand on March 24, 2018. So, come on and join her march to self-confidence starting by being your true, beautiful self.

Abigail Egert “Plastic Polution,” by Nicolas Yoanes

Abigail Egert is a Cushman High School student that developed a revolutionary idea for her Society and Me project. She is learning about plastic pollution, and the miserable effects it has on the planet. All the plastic that ends up in the ocean, eventually gets swallowed by animals which harms them. Then, these animals digest plastic which leaves no room in their body for real food. People buy about 1,000,000 plastic water bottles per minute throughout the world. By 2050, Abigail says there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish! Her solution to this problem is to organize beach cleanups around the whole world and pick up any plastic you might find, no matter how disgusting it might look to you. We need to make a difference, and Abigail is inspiring us all to do our part. Thank you, Abigail. You really taught us about the importance of our environment! 

Sofia Kauder “Animal Adoption,” by Alexis Carroll

Sofia Kauderer’s SAM project was on finding homes for animals in animal shelters. She has volunteered at animal shelters and has created an Instagram page for taking pictures of the dogs because the other volunteers and employees are busy with the other animals. Do you remember the dress down day for the animals and animal shelters? Well, she was the one that made that happen! I agree with her that the shelters need some help. She started at the shelters and now she is making us aware of it too.