The Trojan The Student News Site of Park Hill High School Tue, 28 Jan 2020 15:27:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Submit Your Pictures Thu, 23 Jan 2020 13:57:39 +0000 Your work could be here.


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‘Young readers build future leaders’: Park Hill student works to build up young readers Wed, 20 Nov 2019 01:18:54 +0000 “To be successful in any career you will need to know how to read,” said Torin Stephens, a student at Park Hill High School and employee of the Mid-Continent Public Library. 

Stephens went through an extensive interview process and held a passion for reading, making him applicable for a library assistant position.

“My job is amazing. I love getting to help provide access to vital resources that helps the community I serve to grow. I love getting to meet new patrons and hear their stories,” he said. 

Stephens is dedicated to his work in growing literacy rates, committing both his time and energy to a cause he believes is making a difference.

“I work an average 12-18 hours a week,” said Stephens. “I haven’t seen any effect on my schoolwork, though.”

Though he is the youngest employee at his library branch, Stephens sees his age as an advantage, not a setback.

“Currently at the location I work I am the youngest employee. It’s kind of neat to be the youngest. I think it helps me connect with young readers.”

Stephens began the job with one purpose: promoting literacy to young learners. 

“Helping young readers find books they will love and spawn a newfound love of reading is by far my favorite part of my job.”

The library has provided him with the necessary skills for future employment and success. 

“It has really promoted my employability skills. I think having this job has helped me with life skills like having effective time management and persuading people to do something, like read.”

For Stephens, helping people who visit the library is more than just pointing them at a row of cluttered shelves, it is an opportunity for him to give them a glimpse into his passion for literacy.

“When someone approaches me and asks for help, I love to help them find what they are looking for,” said Stephens. “I love to share books that have won awards or are nominees, it is a great resource for many who need a good book to read. I also love to share books that I have enjoyed in the past. I am an avid reader.”

Stephens tries to share his passion for reading with his classmates, teachers and the community as a whole. Anyone who steps foot into the library is a lover of literacy in the making.

“I love to give people the tagline of ‘young readers build future leaders.’ I promote it all over my school and the library. I feel that it’s true and it encourages younger kids to read, which is so important to me.”

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The Girls Are Fighting! Fri, 31 May 2019 14:00:09 +0000 On May 10th, Tati Westbrook, the YouTube beauty community’s very own ‘fairy godmother,’ uploaded a 43-minute long video accusing fellow beauty influencer and longtime best friend James Charles of promoting the vitamin brand, “Sugar Bear Hair,” that is a direct competitor of her own brand, “Halo Beauty.” In the video, Westbrook explains her close history with Charles, how he didn’t want to promote Halo in fear of its potential impact on his young fan base, and then goes into depth about how betrayed she felt and how embarrassing Charles’s sponsorship with Sugar Bear was for her and her company.

Then, seemingly in an effort to seize the moment, she further accused Charles of predatory behavior, and after his Sugar Bear Betrayal, and Westbrook saying he “manipulated straight men into thinking they’re gay” in a situation involving a waiter at a Seattle restaurant, she explains that she no longer wishes to be associated with him.

“I don’t think his career is over. I don’t think he’s cancelled. I think he needs some help and I think he needs better people around him,” Westbrook said in her video, “and I know I will never be that person again.”

This video sent the internet into a frenzy. Despite Westbrook’s expectations, Charles lost over 3 million subscribers in a matter of three days, #JamesCharlesIsOverParty trended, and the Kardashians, amongst a multitude of high-profile celebrities, all unfollowed him.

It truly seemed as though his career was over for good, and that he’d never be able to come back from this mess that Tati had exposed him for.

Until, not a week later, Charles returned with his own video (we’ll ignore the mess that was the apology video, entitled “tati”). In the video, nearly as long as Westbrook’s original, Charles explains his side, and uses receipt after receipt to show to his now-suspicious audience, and the now-hateful public, that the things he was originally accused of weren’t 100 percent truthful.

“I have never and will never use my fame, money, or my power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting. That is not me. The fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind,” Charles said.

Things instantly did a 180. Since the video’s upload, his subscriber count has again soared, regaining nearly half of the subscribers he originally lost in the span of two days. Westbrook and other beauty influencer Jeffree Star, whose name was brought up in Charles’s video, have both lost a chunk of subscribers. Not nearly as rapidly as Charles originally did, but decreasing all the same.

This sheep-like behavior exhibited by the general public brought into question, why is it so easy for people to turn on influencers that they look up to, and then, for that matter, turn right back again?

Twitter was unabashedly rampant with hate for James Charles on May 10th, and many were guaranteeing with their whole chests that there was no way he’d be able to come back from this.

Except he most definitely already has.

@Typicalcommentz on Twitter perfectly visualized the situation with a video of someone walking out of a room labelled, ‘Tati’s Channel,” and walking into a room labelled, “James’ Channel,” with the caption, “Everyone after seeing James Charles’s new video about Tati and Jeffree Star.”

The thing was, this exact video with the doors labelled oppositely had just gone viral a week ago. It was almost scary how easy a time the internet had switching sides in an argument that was “written better than s8 of game of thrones,” according to @evesluisa on Twitter.

“After this James Charles mess I’m convinced y’all just participate in cancel culture for the clout and that’s it,” said Twitter user @thordaya.

“Cancel Culture” was something that Charles had mentioned in his video as well. As someone who’s been at the center of numerous scandals, to Cancel Culture he’s no stranger. Many would argue that the term was coined because of people like him, influencers and celebrities who give legitimate reasons to be “cancelled” regularly.

“Are we supposed to see gossip and not talk about it?” said drag queen, actress and old friend of Charles, Willam Belli. Though Belli meant it jokingly, much can be said about the height of the degree at which everyone on the internet was able to relate to this. It seemed everyone had something to say, and every reason to “cancel” James Charles. As mentioned, even A-list, very high profile celebrities had something to say by unfollowing him.

A week later, however, the roles have switched, and though he’s still lost millions of followers and subscribers, any publicity seems to be good publicity for Charles. Especially when it takes only a few screenshots and a 40-minute video to get the general public back on his side.

“I think they all definitely made some stuff up, probably for money,” said sophomore Marilyn Jewitt.

No matter the truth, an argument with as much cultural impact as this one is far from unheard of, and also virtually guaranteed to happen again. Time will tell, but after all three main parties have pledged to take breaks from social media and from Youtube, perhaps the internet will be quiet for a good while, so that we can focus in on actually pressing issues, like the now eight-state-wide abortion ban, or climate change.

Best of luck, happiness, and good faith to Tati, James, and Jeffree, but the world could’ve gone without.

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NASA Announces Plans for 2024 Moon Landing Thu, 30 May 2019 14:00:18 +0000 This July will mark 50 years since the Apollo 11 space mission reached the Moon in 1969, and Neil Armstrong became the first man to ever set foot on the Moon.

And on May 14th, NASA announced through a video posted to Youtube, that “we are going” back.

The video, entitled ‘We Are Going,’ outlined NASA’s plans for the first manned moon-mission since the 70’s, and since amassing nearly 11 million views, it’s clear that the world is excited.

“SLS (Space Launch System) will be the most powerful rocket ever developed,” said one of many of spokespeople for the space organization that appeared throughout the four-minute video.

“And with components and production, and more in testing,” said a cacophany of various spokespeople,  “this system is capable of being the catalyst for deep space missions.”

This announcement is huge.

It’s the first time the space organization has expressed major plans for space travel in a long while. In the last few years, they’ve made many major advancements in their telescopes, and capturing images of things we’ve never been able to before, like the first ever picture of a black hole that was released in April.

But this specific endeavor is too monumental for a simple announcement. There was no way NASA couldn’t give a little explanation, presumably with a video, which does a thorough job explaining their plans and what the future is shaping up to become.

“This is the next chapter of human space exploration,” said NASA, and we’re watching it unfold right before our eyes.

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Tornado Season is Coming Wed, 29 May 2019 18:00:27 +0000 As the summer fast approaches, so does the threat of extreme, dangerous weather. In Kansas City, we sit at the very heart of “Tornado Alley” which is a term used to describe the area of the U.S. that most frequently see tornados.

Scientists and meteorologists are determining that this year, Kansas City has reached an all-time high, surpassing the largest spike in tornadoes they’d seen since 2003.

“Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri — those areas are still going to get tornadoes. I mean there’s no doubt about that,” said David Easterling, the director of national climate assessment for the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. “I think where you end up getting these kinds of storms is probably going to end up expanding.”

On May 22nd of this year alone, there were 5 tornadoes reported to touch down in Kansas and Missouri, leaving a path of death and destruction in its wake.

“It’s a scary situation, watching the news and all of a sudden hearing the sirens,” said sophomore Julius Briscoe, commenting on the storm that ripped its way through the Metro on May 28th. A total of 8 Missouri cities and counties were issued a severe tornado warning that night.

“You’re always scared of what mother nature might do and you’re just powerless to stop it,” said Briscoe.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has released a few tips on keeping yourself safe from natural disasters such as tornadoes, which we recommend everyone takes a look at.

“The weather in Kansas City right now is crazy. There is so much rain and flooding, and not to mention tornadoes,” said freshman Aidan Hance.

“I love rain and thunderstorms, but not to the point it has gotten in the past few weeks [bad floods and winds],” said Hance.

With tornado season only just beginning, lasting from May to early to mid-July, it is expected that Missouri will see quite a few more close calls before the end of the season. Scientists urge residents to stay updated on the local forecast and be prepared for any situation, having an action plan in place in the event of unexpected or life threatening weather conditions.


About the Photo: Building Block Daycare in Lawrence, Kansas only moments after an EF4 tornado tore into it on May 28th. No injuries have been reported.

Photo Credit: Dave D’Marko, Fox 4 News

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions… Wed, 29 May 2019 14:25:14 +0000 Celebrating the future is something far from uncommon for high school seniors. With their entire lives only a summer away from becoming reality, it’d be hard to imagine there being no excitement. The counseling department knows this, and shares the same excitement with students.

“I love to hear what people are doing and where they’re going,” said counselor Amy Reeves. “There’s just so many different avenues. It’s so cool.”

Since last year, the counseling department has thrown a “decision day” party in the cafeteria annex during lunch in celebration of the seniors and their high school journey coming to a close.

The annex is complete with a college-trivia game, a photobooth with props for days, and a small station to write messages on postcards to fellow seniors who are graduating.

“We changed the name,” said Reeves, “instead of ‘College Signing Day’ we changed it to ‘Decision Day,’ so that it incorporates military, army, and people that are going to work, to be more inclusive.”

In the midst of the festivities, senior Sabrina Lane shared that she’d be attending Drury University in the fall. “It’s just a good fit for me,” said Lane, “a good size, they had the sport I wanted and the major I wanted, so it was great.”

Senior Lauren Obie is attending Maple Woods “for two years, then going to a four-year,” she said, because she’s “taking advantage” of the A+ hours she’s accumulated over the last four years.

Wheaton College is the perfect fit for senior Soonmin Kwon, who is attending because “their financial aid was very good.”

Reeves believes it’s important to celebrate these major decisions because “kids work so hard. I’m so proud. They’re amazing.”

As the year comes to a close, and graduation approaches, the seniors take their first steps into the world, and Amy Reeves, along with the entire Park Hill Staff, wish them the best of luck.

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Addition to the Feature: Behind the Cosplay Characters Tue, 28 May 2019 00:31:43 +0000 As The Trojan covered in the latest issue, a specialized dressed group of people, cosplayers, it is important to take a deeper look into who makes the magic happen.

“What I do is I take commissions from people, so they pay me to make them props or costumes from their favorite video games, TV show, or just like a character that they’ve made,” said junior Chloe Shields, a costume designer.

Shields does not do it for the money, but to express her artistic abilities.

“I think it’s a good way to get creative energy out. It’s different than drawing and painting which can really wear you out. This is building something with your hands and it’s keeping the energy more fresh,” said Shields.

She enjoys making costumes for her friends, and often gives them leniency in her prices.

“It [normal prices] can be anywhere from 50 to 100 dollars. It usually takes about 30 to 40 dollars to make, so I can make a decent amount of profit. If it’s my friend I’ll charge them like 50 dollars, but it’s not always about the money. I like doing it so 15 to 25 dollars profit is not a big deal,” said Shields.

Though she enjoys creating all parts cosplay costumes, she finds one type more enjoyable than the others.

“Anything with armor. I’m not super good at sewing but I can make armor out of foam and it takes a lot of effort and time, but it’s really rewarding and looks very nice. I think it’s something that stands out,” said Shields.

Shields continues to express her creativity through design and impress her customers with the unique art.

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Most Anticipated Upcoming Concerts Tue, 28 May 2019 00:28:34 +0000 Whether you love hip hop, country, or rock, there is certainly a concert for you to attend this year. With more than 20 music venues for bands of all sizes to perform, there is never a shortage of music gracing our hometown. Here are the top 11 most anticipated concerts of the summer!


  1. Billie Eilish – June 7 – Silverstein Eye Center
  2. Hozier – June 4 – Arvest Bank Theatre
  3. Machine Gun Kelly – June 14 – Arvest Bank Theatre
  4. Shawn Mendes – July 19 – Sprint Center
  5. Khalid – July 21 – Sprint Center
  6. Tech N9ne – June 19 – The Cotillion
  7. Ozzy Osbourne – June 28 –  Sprint Center
  8. Chris Stapleton – Aug. 22 – Intrust Bank Arena
  9. Slipknot – Aug. 17 – Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
  10. Dierks Bentley – Aug. 22 – Starlight Theatre
  11. Cardi B – July 24 – Intrust Bank Arena


With many more concerts to be announced, Kansas City residents continue to wait in excitement for their favorite band to visit.

Junior Cameron Massieon is one of the fans who waits in excitement.

“I’m really excited because it’s going to be really interesting to go to because everybody knows all the songs and they’re going to probably lose their minds,” said Massieon, predicting what the Slipknot (a metal band) concert will be like. “I really like the energy that goes along with concerts, especially in the summer,” said Massieon.

Concerts, summer ones in particular, always have an upbeat, electric atmosphere that a lot of other concerts don’t.

“They play all of the songs that you know and it’s really awesome that you get to be involved with your favorite band,” said Massieon.

If you’re looking to see a concert that is guaranteed to make you tap your foot, then check out these 11 summer concerts and the many other artists that are performing in Kansas City within the coming months.


Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash.

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Flash Flood Warning Issued for 5/21/19 Tue, 21 May 2019 14:59:01 +0000 A flash flood warning was released this morning, May 21, to all of those in the Kansas City area. The warning lasts until 12 p.m. tonight. Due to the heavy rain the last few days, water has accumulated all over the city. In the case of a flash flood, to stay safe, review the following suggestions:

  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc., can become filled with water.
  • If outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there. Move away from dangerous flood waters.
  • If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way.
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