Writing Samples

Published in The Temple News on Sept. 18, 2018.

Juwan Bennett (left to right), Urban Youth Leadership Academy founder, M. Meghan Raisch, UYLA education specialist and James Earl Davis, Bernard C. Watson endowed chair in urban education, oversee the academy that mentors local students. | HANNAH BURNS / THE TEMPLE NEWS


Program preps kids for high school, college
A professor created the Urban Youth Leadership Academy for North Philadelphia middle school students.
After watching too many young students get caught up in the criminal justice system, the Rev. Juwan Bennett was determined to help.
“Working…with kids within the criminal justice system, I learned that we were losing a lot of talented and bright individuals,” said Bennett, a criminal justice professor working toward his Ph.D. “Not because they weren’t smart enough or didn’t possess innate great qualities, but because they just weren’t prepared."
In September 2016, Bennett founded the Urban Youth Leadership Academy, a program that helps prepare seventh and eighth grade boys for high school and college. It only accepts students from Paul L. Dunbar School, located on 12th Street near Montgomery Avenue, and Tanner G. Duckrey School, located on Diamond Street near 15th.

Published in The Temple News on Oct. 9, 2018.

Wu Tinggang, an employee at Mr. Wish, bags bubble tea on Monday at the new store on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street. | LUKE SMITH / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Bubble tea chain Mr. Wish opens near Main Campus
Lucy Gao and her husband opened a storefront on Cecil B. Moore amid the growing bubble tea trend.
Lucy Gao noticed bubble tea gaining popularity in the United States.
So in Summer 2018, the she opened a Mr. Wish shop near Main Campus with her husband. A Taiwanese chain, Mr. Wish serves bubble tea, which is black tea, milk and tapioca balls also known as “boba.” The couple opened a franchise on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street. 
The Gaos’ shop is one of five Mr. Wish locations in Philadelphia. 
The shop uses real fruits and ingredients in its products, Gao said. The Mr. Wish signature drink, Colorful Fruit Tea, is a mix of chunks of apple, pineapple, kiwi, orange, passionfruit and kumquat.

Published in The Temple News on March 9, 2019.

Rachel Repinz (left), a first-year dance master's student, performs with freshman dance major Tiana Sanders (right) in “Shabach,” a choreography by second-year dance master's student Enya-Kalia Jordan, at Conwell Hall on Friday. | MATT ALTEA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Oasis: World Water Day
Temple Dance Students celebrate their fifth World Water Day, Oasis.
The Boyer College of Music and Dance hosted The Oasis: World Water Day Symposium on Friday to celebrate the United Nations’ annual World Water Day.  
This year’s theme was “Leaving no one behind.” The three-part symposium included Whirl, a dance workshop with Camara Arts; Wavelength, a panel discussion led by environmental studies professor Fletcher Chmara-Huff and Water Works, a dance performance held at the Conwell Dance Theater.
“[The event] is just a great way to bring together artists, scientists, and activists to talk about important issues,” Chmara-Huff said. “Working on an event like this is a face to find joy in tackling these issues.”  
Read more here: Oasis: World Water Day

Published in The Temple News on April 1, 2019.

I am North Philadelphian
A student from North Philadelphia who attends Temple writes about how other students disrespect her home.
All throughout my life, I attended schools in North Philadelphia. 
I grew up in the city’s Olney section, which is closer to Cheltenham than it is to Center City, and attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls before coming to Temple University. 
But the North Philadelphia that I currently live in, the one I witness from the window of my off-campus apartment, is a different North Philadelphia than the one I grew up in. 
Not only did I grow up in a different area of North Philadelphia geographically, but the lifestyle of my community was different. It was more residential, less congested and cleaner than the area surrounding Temple.

Written on Feb. 4, 2020.

In 2018 to 2019, Kathy Chan produced several promotional videos and recapitulation videos for Jazz Lives Philadelphia. Photo by Matt Altea.

Why we need women behind the camera.
A student describes her experience has a filmmaker and how identity plays a big role in her work.
As a woman majoring in film, it was (and still is) difficult to see myself being represented in the field. 
As a bisexual, Asian woman, I felt this twice as hard. I am completely invisible.  
When I committed to Temple, as a freshman, I thought that my classes would be culturally diverse, very open, and accepting.  But when we were assigned groups for orientation, I was the only woman of color in my group that was majoring in Film. This became very isolating for me, because at this moment, I became different.  
I stuck out like a sore thumb in all of my classes, not just as a woman but as an Asian-American woman.  Within the film industry, it is very difficult to be taken seriously and to have my thoughts and opinions be respected and valued, all because of my differing identity.  My aspiration to become a female cinematographer, and it’s respective lack of representation, also carried yet another pressure on my life and my career.  
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