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For the past two weeks, I was fortunate to attend American University’s pre-college program Community of Scholars. During my time there, I made countless new friends and learned so much about American foreign policy and group decisions. The class that I took is titled Diplomacy and Dictators: U.S. Foreign Policy in an Uncertain World.

In order to better understand and experience the role that our government plays in foreign relations, we participated in a two-week long National Security Council simulation. Much of the course focused on group decision making in emergency situations that require negotiation and quick thinking. The situations that we were faced with ranged from a Chinese nongovernmental nationalist group hacking into naval records of federal defense contractors to determining our stance on adjusting aid to Egypt in light of human rights abuses. While I learned an extraordinary amount about foreign relations, I learned more about working with a group of people, each with …

Cleveland Fisher Houses Grand Opening!!!

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I am incredibly excited to say that the Cleveland Fisher Houses are opening on June 11th! For those who do not know, the Fisher House Foundation is an organization which provides housing for military veterans and their families while they receive medical treatment. They provide comfort and amenities in a time of need. Cleveland is extremely lucky to have two Fisher Houses, and I cannot wait to volunteer at them!

Check out the progress:








How you can champion literacy

If you have been following me for a bit, you probably have recognized that I often promote and inform about literacy. I do this because of how important literacy is to societal wellbeing. If you would like to learn more about that, I encourage you to check out my last post, titled "Literacy Forum" (https://ryanbdot.blogspot.com/2019/03/literacy-forum.html). If you are interested in a more statistical perspective, check out this website: https://ourworldindata.org/literacy.

Knowing this information is great, because being informed is half of the battle, but now we need to use this information to create positive chance. I encourage you to seek opportunities through which you can volunteer or raise awareness for the importance of literacy. For example, in my own community, I am a teen editor for Lake Erie Ink's annual teen anthology, which gives children and teenagers around Cleveland a platform to share ideas. Other organizations similarly aim to give children a platform o…

Literacy Forum

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I originally grew interested in illiteracy and its effects on society because of my older sister, who was born deaf and learned to communicate with two cochlear impacts. Growing up, my parents invested heavily in literacy development, but there were not many resources for them in Cleveland.

Recently I hosted a forum in partnership with the Shaker Heights League of Women Voters titled "The Importance of Literacy in the 21st Century." I chose to host this forum because while we all recognize that literacy is important, we probably do not recognize the extent to which it affects our world. My forum aimed to spread awareness about illiteracy, specifically in the Cleveland area, and what members of our communities can do to make a difference.

Literacy can be defined in a number of ways. For example, pure illiteracy is the inability to read. Functional illiteracy is when one only has basic literacy skills, but cannot apply them to everyday activities like reading a bus schedule, a …

IPPF Sweet 16 Team, debate, perseverance and the long haul

It's been a while since I posted—junior year has kept me very busy! Time flies when you're having fun! I can't believe it's almost spring break (and then come the dreaded AP's and final exams). My year has been challenging, but I wouldn't change it for anything—I have learned so much both in my classes and in my extracurriculars.

My favorite activity this year has been debate- it has allowed me to grow so much as a speaker and a thinker, and I have become a much more involved citizen by learning about current events. While many might think that debate is just a way to forge your way to a win, it actually demands much research and planning as you must effectively argue both sides of a resolution. The winning comes from understanding how to strengthen your argument going forward, develop your critical thinking skills and learning. Some topics I have covered these past few years include: The Catalonian revolution, the morality of the military aiding dictatorships,…

Once a Marine, always a Marine!

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to my cousin Ben Brady who left today for Marine Corps Boot Camp!! Congratulations on your acceptance to become one of the few, the proud- a Marine. Ben joins other family members in his commitment to serving our country- Two Marine uncles, an Army dad, a Navy Grandfather and a Marine Grandfather. Thank you all for your service to our country.


Art contest for Hippkids

I have been thinking a lot about art lately, and how important the creative drive is for some people (like me). It seems there is never enough time to enjoy art, to create new pieces or just simply enjoy some downtime with a pencil. I especially feel that art is important for young children as it not only fosters creativity, but also often serves as a communication method, especially in those who may have hearing or language barriers. I have also been looking for ways to bring together the kids in my pen pal program to create an even more inclusive network- and so I have decided on a

Hippkids Art Contest!!!

                           Stay tuned for more information