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The holidays are not about the gifts we receive. They are about recognizing the blessings we have and helping others who are not as fortunate. Most of us know the larger, more common organizations around Western New York that raise money for charities around the holidays. Tops Friendly Markets has their "Little Brown Bag of Hope," where people can donate $5 to $20 in food …

Amherst Central High school challenges its students, as well as several other schools, to promote positive change. After the sudden and devastating death of Mike Brown and the civil disobedience in Ferguson. Mo., that followed, Amherst’s C.I.A. (Covenant In Action) club evolved into a new program: Challenge 2 Change. Taking its name from Rochester’s Rock 2 Change, which …

In today’s world, smartphones have become something of a necessity. They are a permanent fixture in society, but why? Through smartphones the world of social media was opened. The perpetual updates and connections created with social media bind people to one another in a new and exciting way, every single second of the day. People crave the fulfillment and the instant g…

Crew is a great sport to play in Buffalo. After all, Buffalo is right by the water. Two boathouses are located in Buffalo, the West Side Rowing Club (WSRC) and the Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association (BSRA). BSRA was founded in 2010 and its crews row right by Canalside, while WSRC was founded in 1912 and its crews row in the Black Rock Canal. These boathouses have clu…

The New England Patriots ... not necessarily an exciting topic for Buffalo Bills fans. As any loyal Bills fan knows, whenever these two teams face off, it seems to make for an action-packed 60 minutes of football. The two teams played their first regular season game against each other on Sept. 23, 1960, years before the AFL-NFL Merger in 1966. The Boston Patriots, as th…

It is no secret that movies play an incredibly important role in the lives of teenagers. ¶ It is astounding how much of the interaction among teens is through the filter of movies they have seen. Films are constantly referenced in conversation and certain movies have become staples in teenage culture. This is only aided by the fact that now more films are being made than e…

Nationwide, STEM-related courses and activities have given both males and females more opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. However, statistics have shown that though there are more women in the workforce than ever before, men make up most of the workforce when it comes to STEM-related careers. A 2009 study showed that while females and male…

Last week Taylor Swift released her long-awaited album, "reputation." Her sixth studio album took three years to be released, the longest time she has gone between albums. Her usual cycle was every two years for a new album. Swift stayed out of the limelight for year while working on "reputation." In August, Swift deleted all posts on all of her social media with no exp…

Gun control. It is an extremely controversial issue – some people want to place restrictions on the sale and use guns in an attempt to prevent mass shootings, while others argue that guns are a right of the American people that should not be violated. In the wake of the recent Texas church massacre, the United States came together to mourn. However, many people seem to …

Last Saturday, Nichols School hosted Buffalo’s First Thanksgiving. The school opened its doors to dozens of refugee families and served them a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Journey’s End Refugee Services, a Buffalo organization that resettles refugees, has organized First Thanksgiving for several years. "It started to show the people we serve what Thanksgiving for us is…

Kelsea Ballerini’s sophomore album, "Unapologetically," which was released last week, covers all topics from a major breakup to her career taking off. The album consists of 12 country songs, four of which were released before the album came out. Her latest release, "Miss Me More," tells a story about what it’s like after breaking up with someone. She feels as if she woul…

"Man can do what he wills, but he cannot will what he wills," a quote from Arthur Schopenhauer, is the epigraph that perfectly opens John Green’s beautiful novel "Turtles All the Way Down." "Turtles All the Way Down" is the bittersweet story of 16-year-old Aza Holmes, who, along with her best friend, Daisy, is determined to locate a fugitive billionaire, all while coping …

Mount St. Mary’s Academy brings the timeless musical classic "42nd Street" to life in it’s own unique way this weekend. Facing countless obstacles, the main character of "42nd Street," Peggy Sawyer, works to advance in the tough world of show business, struggling to make herself known in any way she can. Along the way, she meets the many characters that inhabit the world …

When 12-year-old singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal stepped onto the "America’s Got Talent" stage for her infamous 2016 audition, she had no idea what was in store for her. VanderWaal was given high praise from the judges, including a notable Taylor Swift comparison from judge Simon Cowell, and the Golden Buzzer from judge Howie Mandel. She went on to win the NBC show’s 1…

In 1972, under the Educational Amendments, a federal law was passed that prevented any person in the United States, on the basis of sex, to be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Under Title IX, public schools are legally required to prov…