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Homecoming Group Donates Money to Hurricane Relief in Lieu of Purchasing Boutonnieres, Corsages

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Homecoming group poses with check of the money they saved to donate to the Red Cross

Homecoming group poses with check of the money they saved to donate to the Red Cross

courtesy of Sophia Sexton

courtesy of Sophia Sexton

Homecoming group poses with check of the money they saved to donate to the Red Cross

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In response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which devastated Texas and Florida this fall, one homecoming group of 42 Edina High School seniors felt compelled to contribute to rebuilding efforts.

At the end of August, Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, hit Texas with torrential rains and roughly 130 mph winds. Before reaching peak intensity near Rockport, Texas, Harvey tore through several areas in the Atlantic, including Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, and the Windward Islands. Harvey created catastrophic flooding throughout eastern Texas, inundating thousands of homes, displacing thousands of Texans, and killing roughly 84 people. Soon after Harvey left its mark, Irma stormed through the northeastern Caribbean, the Florida Keys, and into Florida. Irma’s winds reached 185 mph, resulted in 124 casualties total, and left severe water damage in homes, local businesses, and government buildings. Combined, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will cost the United States between $150 and $200 billion, according to ABC, CNN, and CNBC News.

After becoming aware of the considerable damage in Texas and Florida, senior Greta Hanten proposed an idea to her Homecoming Dance group. “Instead of buying corsages and boutonnieres for each other, would everyone be cool with just pitching in $20 each and donating it to Red Cross?” Hanten asked. Hanten’s group was more than ready to pitch in, responding, “Brilliant Idea! This is amazing! We are helping out the world!”

Boutonnieres and corsages can range from $10 to $30, and although they are aesthetically

pleasing, most people only wear them for group pictures before they fall off at the dance. “I was mentioning how it seemed like a waste to buy super pretty flowers that just get wrecked and taken off after pictures and my mom suggested we should put that money to something that could actually make a difference,” Hanten said. With all the natural disasters happening, Hanten and her mom thought it would be beneficial to donate the money to victims of both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

When Hanten proposed this idea to her homecoming group, everyone agreed it was a good idea. Senior Sophia Sexton even stepped forward and offered to organize the entire exchange. Sexton’s mom is on the board of the Red Cross and reached out to the regional CEO about the idea. They loved it. The Red Cross sent Sexton’s group a copy of a check for $820 (the they amount raised), so they could take a group picture with it and be an example for both EHS and the country. Sexton is hopeful that if other groups EHS follow their lead, tens of millions of dollars that would’ve been spent on boutineers and corsages can go straight to aid organizations.

There are many organizations helping with relief, but the Red Cross stands above the rest. The Red Cross is incredibly important during times of crisis, as they not only provide food, shelter, support, and survival skills, but also financial assistance. Financial assistance allows families and individuals to make their own decisions in terms of what they want to do with money. This is important because it grants people more freedom and independence during times of great instability and dependence.

Whether it’s a hurricane or another catastrophe, anyone, even teenagers hundreds of miles away, can make a difference. For more information on how to donate to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.

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EHS Juniors’ Nonprofit Supplies Bright Futures

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Prasoon Sinha, one of the junior founders of Unlocking Young Minds.

Prasoon Sinha, one of the junior founders of Unlocking Young Minds.

Zoe Cheung

Zoe Cheung

Prasoon Sinha, one of the junior founders of Unlocking Young Minds.

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Unlocking Young Minds is a nonprofit organization founded by five Edina High School juniors: Bobby Scalia, Prasoon Sinha, Alex Dimitrov, Khalid Ishani, and Jack Ford. Initially, the group’s mission was to send school supplies internationally to children in underdeveloped countries, but it was too expensive and not feasible for their small organization. Instead, they plan to make a difference by providing local schools with supplies to serve underprivileged kids, and to send money internationally to help fund schools in developing countries. Sinha’s grandparents have spent their lives helping provide schooling for underprivileged children in India, and he was inspired not only by his family’s compassion, but also by the experiences he had in India the summer going into his sophomore year. When walking through a small village, he saw children who were starving on the streets without access to food, let alone education or school supplies. These first hand experiences, along with a determination to make a change in the world, led to the creation of this organization.

Their first big fundraiser was at Chipotle on May 8th from 5-9pm; fifty percent of proceeds went towards supporting Unlocking Young Minds. Through this fundraiser they raised $473.75, “It was really successful. We were not expecting more than $250, so [we] definitely reached our goal,” said Sinha. This fundraiser surely won’t be their last.

In the past year, they have raised $2,500, and they have even bigger plans for the future. This summer they are planning events to reach out to the community and make connections with local underprivileged schools, including a fundraising event and a booth at the State Fair. “We are going to contact [the State Fair] to hopefully get a booth to talk to people around Minnesota about [the organization],” said Sinha. Donations are always welcome and encouraged, but the club’s founders also aim to inform people about their organization and its goals. “Spreading the word is the biggest thing for us because I don’t expect [students] to continuously donate to us on a regular basis, that just isn’t practical,” said Sinha. Anything from donating some pencils that are sitting around your house to telling a neighbor about the non-profit can bring them one step closer to reaching their goals.

These determined students appreciate the support from their peers so far in their endeavors and they look forward to making more progress in the future. Sinha wants people to realize that not everyone has access to the same materials and technology as we do and “to realize how blessed we are to be in this school with the resources we have and not to take [our education] for granted.”

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Edina High School’s Environmental Club Revamps Activity

courtesy of Project Earth

courtesy of Project Earth

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Edina High School is home to a variety of different clubs that aid students in learning more about their interests and forming friendships. One of these clubs focuses on the environment, and is popularly known as Project Earth. Though the club grew inactive in the last few years, seniors Rozy Eastaugh and Molly Lepeska, who are leaders of the group, were inspired to help restart the club and help it play  a larger role in the community. As part of their revamp of the club this fall Eastaugh and Lepeska brought on new leadership in the form of senior Emma Hutson and juniors Joanna Kim and Gauri Madhok, who joined Project Earth this year due to their interest in environmental issues. All five members have been important leaders of the group this year.

The group holds 45 minute meetings each Monday after school in room 224 (Ms. Corcoran’s room). Although meetings are held at the high school, it’s common for adults from the Energy and Environment Commission come both to supervise and offer their expertise. Each meeting is different from the last and is centered around a previously set agenda. Some meetings are discussion-based and focus on such issues as climate change and its effects on today’s world, while others are action-based and related to specific projects and community activism.

The group’s current project is a Youth Climate Summit that will be held on Saturday, May 13 at the Edina Performing Arts Center. The club has planned workshops where students can be educated on ways to help the environment, the effects of climate change, and the steps our community is taking to combat global warming.

Next year, Project Earth plans to screen movies in EHS’s Fick Auditorium such as “The Lorax” as a fun way to educate students about climate issues. The club also hopes to revamp the school garden which has been inactive for some time and start a chemical free garden that uses only water and organic nutrients. Another idea they have had is to start a tree planting legacy program, where each graduating class plants a single tree. This would both help the environment and allow each class to leave something behind that they could return to and watch grow.

Club leader Kim likes how Project Earth unites like-minded people and stays away from politics. “They are all so fun and they are all really passionate about the same things as me,” she said about her fellow members. Although climate change has become politicized, Project Earth works to cut ties between politics and climate change.  “I know that everyone is intimidated by the word ‘climate change’ because of the political and social disputes about it, but I think we should not focus so much on the word and instead focus on the environment and how we’re ruining it,” said Kim.

To member Emma Hudson, environmental issues are so important that she hopes to focus on them beyond high school. Next year, when she attends Loyola University in Chicago, she plans on majoring in Environmental Studies. Other members agree that climate change is something that they will always be interested in even if they don’t pursue it in college.

For anyone interested in participating in Project Earth next year, Kim said it is easy to join and membership can be rewarding. “We have snacks so come and get snacks if you’re hungry. We’re really accepting and you’re welcome just to start coming to the meetings. There’s no application or anything, so just show up. If you are really, really passionate and want to have a leadership role next year, email me at [email protected] or Gauri [Madhok] at [email protected],” she said.

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What Will Your Graduation Party Look Like?

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Graduation Party!

Graduation Party!

photo courtesy of robinsonangp.com

photo courtesy of robinsonangp.com

Graduation Party!

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As the weather begins to warm and spring starts to bloom, high school seniors suffering from a strange combination senioritis and premature nostalgia begin planning their graduation parties. At Edina High School, bigger is always better and students plan months in advance to make sure their grad party is one for the ages. Here are some memorable things that students are doing to make their parties stand out.

Throwing a successful graduation party is all about having amazing food. High school students can go weeks without eating a meal at home simply by grad party hopping with friends. Students choose unique catering options to make their grad parties the most popular at EHS. Morning grad parties often stick with a breakfast theme. This includes everything from smoothie bars to crepe stations and even chocolate fountains with waffle bars. Afternoon grad parties typically stick with the classic grad food and often feature food trucks and ice cream bars. Some of the most popular and well-loved food items include tacos, barbecue from Famous Dave’s and anything covered in bacon.  Most people do ice cream buffets with ice cream from places such as Sebastian Joe’s or the Edina Creamery. However, some of the best grad parties take place at night. Often they focus on enjoying the evening’s amazing weather and eating sweet treats. Dessert offerings can range from a cupcake truck to s’mores roasted over the campfire.

While the food at graduation parties is always amazing, some people make the destination of their party the spotlight. Most high school students have their grad parties at private homes; however, some host their grad parties at unique places like cabins or country clubs. One 2017 senior will even be having their grad party at their family farm one hour away from Edina. Guests can spend their time at this event either taking in nature or swimming in the lake next to the farm.

Another key element for graduation parties  is the entertainment factor. This can mean anything from playing yard games like badminton and bean toss to setting up a photo booth for guests to take pictures in while they enjoy the party. Many graduation parties even rent bouncy houses for guests to play and let out their inner kindergartener.

Graduation parties typically occur from late May through late June and are a chance for friends and family to celebrate the achievements of the graduating senior. Graduation is a chance for students to look back at their educational experience over the last twelve years while eagerly celebrating what the future has in store. Whatever, your plans hold this spring, Zephyrus hopes it’s filled with happiness and of course, some delicious food trucks.

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Tips For Surviving the Weeks Till Spring Break

art by Megan Talghader

art by Megan Talghader

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Spring break is quickly approaching and many Edina High School students are getting fed up with schoolwork and stressed out. Here are some steps that will help you survive these next few weeks and prepare you for the best spring break of your life. Please follow carefully, and be sure not to skip any steps.

  1. First, countdown the days until Friday, March 24. Then calculate the hours, minutes, and seconds until that day. Download a countdown app so you can receive regular updates on how many hours have passed and how many more there are until you are finally free.
  2. Next, if you are going somewhere, make a packing list and start packing at least a week before you leave. This list should be pretty long; overpacking is key here. Later you will find this list to be unnecessary because you are planning on bringing your entire closet with you anyways.
  3. If you are planning on staying home, start a list of Netflix shows to binge watch. Approximately 8 hours a day will be spent watching Netflix, so be sure to calculate how many episodes you can get through each day. Then do that for each of the eight days of break. At this rate you should be able to finish a season a day!
  4. Go out and buy books that you tell yourself you will read but never actually open.
  5. Take a two hour nap after school every day to catch up on lost sleep so that you don’t spend your entire spring break in bed.
  6. Spend hours online shopping until you find a perfect swimsuit. Also, spend a lot of time looking at other clothes you might need. This is a good opportunity to update your spring wardrobe. Through this process, get motivated to work out because looking at all those bikini models for hours have made you realize that it won’t be winter anymore and you need to come out of hibernation.
  7. Go to the gym everyday. Or almost everyday. But let’s not over commit ourselves, maybe twice a week is more reasonable.
  8. Make yourself some amazing meals because your busy schedule of napping and online shopping is sure to work up an appetite. Use your cooking skills to make a delicious grilled cheese or some pasta. Treat yourself because why not? It’s never too early to get into the spring break mindset!
  9. Pre-game your real tan with a fake one. Book an appointment to get a spray tan. This is crucial because you need to be a nice glistening bronze not just after your trip, but before it too.
  10. Refrain from any school work for the next few weeks. Train your brain to relax before spring break so that by the time it rolls around you have forgotten what studying is!

Follow these steps religiously and you will be fully prepared for the long-awaited spring break!

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UN Foundation’s “Girl Up” Club Takes Off at EHS

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2 of 3 club leaders: Saumya Mangalick and Sara Park

2 of 3 club leaders: Saumya Mangalick and Sara Park

Isabel Thompson

Isabel Thompson

2 of 3 club leaders: Saumya Mangalick and Sara Park

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Over the past couple of months, a new activist club has blossomed at Edina High School. Girl Up Edina, a club formed and operated by students, has given a platform to 150 students who wish to promote equal opportunities for women worldwide.

Girl Up is an international campaign run by the United Nations Foundation which consists of over 1,000 clubs in over 50 countries. As stated on the UN Foundation’s Girl Up website, “Girl Up engages girls to take action. Led by a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates raising awareness and funds, our efforts help the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl.” The idea to bring Girl Up to EHS came about after Saumya Mangalick, the current president of Girl Up, returned from a service trip in India. “I was just so inspired from my experiences and from seeing how education was really changing the lives of so many girls who came from absolutely unimaginable [situations],” said Mangalick. “I was researching how I could actually find a way to make a difference…I read about Girl Up and it just seemed like the perfect way to get a high school community involved with the rest of our community and the world at large.”

Girl Up Edina is led by a leadership board of five EHS students: Mangalick (President), Sara Park (Vice President), Medha Kaul (Secretary), Celeste Haberman (Public Relations Head), and Mackenzie Croxdale (Treasurer). As the executives of the club, their main responsibilities include communicating with the EHS administration and organizing events. Soon, the board will be extending more leadership opportunities to the members of Girl Up Edina by appointing people, based on an application, as chairs of the club’s several different committees. “[The board] does have a very important role, but we don’t want it to be just us doing all the work,” said Kaul. “I know that there are so many girls in this school who care about these issues and want to take action…I think Girl Up provides the organization and the structure that we need to take action and make an actual difference for the lives of these girls in underdeveloped countries.” Girl Up Edina’s different committees include Fundraising and Finances, Advocacy and Impact, Education and Outreach, Service and Volunteering, LGBTQ+ and Representation, Design, and Product Management.

The Girl Up Campaign promotes several different means of advancing gender equality. These means include education, advocacy, service, and fundraising. So far, Girl Up Edina has placed an emphasis on the “education” aspect. The club will be holding several educational events, including different forums and seminars. On March 2, Girl Up held their first educational event on women’s sexual health, led by sophomores Elsa Hetlevedt and Kate Keller.

Girl Up Edina also has several events coming up which relate to advocacy and fundraising. On March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, Girl Up Edina and women around the world are calling for a “red-out,” where people wear all red clothing in support of gender equality. After International Women’s Day, Girl Up Edina will be hosting an ice cream social with a student DJ to raise money for the Girl Up Campaign. This event will be held at EHS on March 17 from 6-9 pm. Tickets are $10 ahead of time, or $13 at the door. After the social, Girl Up Edina looks forward to holding more events, including possible screenings of the movies Hidden Figures and Miss Representation.

Girl Up Edina looks forward to seeing the differences they are able to make, and seeing how the club will continue to be successful once the current club members eventually leave EHS. “I hope Girl Up will be passed down to responsible leaders [and] expand to a bigger crowd of students in Edina High School [in the future],” said Croxdale. In addition to impacting their own community, Girl Up Edina hopes that its efforts will make students more aware of how they can use the advantages they have been given growing up in Edina to help women around the world. “Our main focus is opening [students’] eyes because we do live in this bubble where we are very privileged,” said Park.

To learn more about Girl Up Edina, follow their Instagram and Twitter accounts (@girlupedina) or email them at [email protected]

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Top Albums of 2016

courtesy of itunes

courtesy of itunes

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2016 was a huge year for music. Many major artists put out highly anticipated and critically acclaimed albums. Below are a few of the releases that were in the spotlight throughout the year;

One of the most popular albums in 2016 was from rap artist Drake. His latest album, “Views,” was released on April 29 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and didn’t leave the top ten until six months later. The album features top songs such as “One Dance” and “Grammys,” featuring artists Future, Wizkid and Kyla. The album was played a record 245 million times during its first tracking period. The album also set a record by selling 1.4 million copies in the first week.

Another popular album of 2016 is the soundtrack of the Disney hit movie
“Moana”. The soundtrack from the movie currently sits at number five on the Billboard 200 after selling 348,000 copies sold in just two weeks. The soundtrack is mainly sung by Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho, featuring songs like “You’re Welcome” and “How Far I’ll Go.” The soundtrack released with the movie on Nov. 23 and continues to climb the US charts.

The top holiday album this year comes from a rising acappella group, the Pentatonix. Their album, “A Pentatonix Christmas,” is one of their many albums. The album was released on Oct. 23 and since then has sold over 130,000 copies. As the holiday season is  here the album sits at number three on the Billboard 200.

Beyonce’s latest album, “Lemonade,” was released on April 23 and received nine Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year, Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Film. The album’s single, “Formation,” received nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Music Video. The album sold a total of 653,000 copies in its first week, second to Drake’s “Views”.

Another recent music hit comes from J Cole, the hip hop producing artist who came onto the scene almost 10 year ago in 2007. His most recent album, “4 Your Eyez Only,” debuted on Dec. 9 at number one on the Billboard 200. The album has sold over 492,000 copies in its first week.

Finally, Australian artist Keith Urban dropped his ninth album, “Ripcord,” on May 6. With top song Wasted Time, the album debuted at number one on the Country Album charts and was nominated for Best Country Album at both the Grammy Awards and the Country Music Awards.

The six albums above are only a small number of the big music hits this year and the music artists will continue to surprise us all in 2017.

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  • Homecoming Group Donates Money to Hurricane Relief in Lieu of Purchasing Boutonnieres, Corsages

    Features

    EHS Juniors’ Nonprofit Supplies Bright Futures

  • Homecoming Group Donates Money to Hurricane Relief in Lieu of Purchasing Boutonnieres, Corsages

    Features

    Edina High School’s Environmental Club Revamps Activity

  • Homecoming Group Donates Money to Hurricane Relief in Lieu of Purchasing Boutonnieres, Corsages

    Features

    What Will Your Graduation Party Look Like?

  • Homecoming Group Donates Money to Hurricane Relief in Lieu of Purchasing Boutonnieres, Corsages

    Features

    Tips For Surviving the Weeks Till Spring Break

  • Homecoming Group Donates Money to Hurricane Relief in Lieu of Purchasing Boutonnieres, Corsages

    Features

    UN Foundation’s “Girl Up” Club Takes Off at EHS

  • Features

    Which Walking Dead Character are you?

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    Take the February Poll!

  • Homecoming Group Donates Money to Hurricane Relief in Lieu of Purchasing Boutonnieres, Corsages

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    Top Albums of 2016

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