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Hannah Nearpass
The Montgazette Contributor

Calling all coffee lovers! Coffee holds a very special place in the hearts of the 83% of adults in America who consume coffee daily. “I’d be so groggy without it,” says Sarah Haplin, a student at Montgomery County Community College, who drinks two to three cups of coffee a day, seven days a week, but where does she get her coffee? Sarah spends thirty dollars a week, one hundred and twenty dollars a month on coffee at Wawa. She does not buy her coffee on campus.

“It tastes awful,” Haplin says in regards to the coffee that she has experienced on campus. The College offers four food services on Central Campus. Other than the College Hall cafeteria, Park Place in Parkhouse Hall, Books and Bytes in College Hall, and the Portal Café or One Village Coffee in the Advanced Technology Center all offer coffee to students on campus.

Books and Bytes is referred to by students as the campus Starbucks. The café carries Starbucks products and serves items such as ice coffees, Frappuccino’s, lattes, and so forth. However, some students are unsatisfied. “Starbucks here is awful,” says student Jared Jackson. He continues, “I hear they leave (the products) out too long.”

An employee at Books and Bytes in College Hall, self-proclaimed lifetime Montgomery County Community College student Jake Harrison, unveiled the truth behind all the gossip. “Not all of our products are from Starbucks,” Harrison informs. With a couple of people waiting in line for the coffee services, it did not seem that everyone shared the same opinion of Sarah Haplin or Jared Jackson. Jake also went on to say that Books and Bytes is open to hearing student suggestions. If suggestions are within reason and realistic, the staff is more than willing to take them into consideration.

One Village Coffee, too, is open to suggestions. Mary Koutsouros runs the coffee spot located in the Advanced Technology Center and offered her input on behalf of her café. “All of our coffee is (distributed by) One Village Coffee, right out of Harleysville.” Mary elaborates, “I grind my beans fresh, measure them, and brew.” Mary also is willing to consider advised preferences and potential improvements.

If you are an unsatisfied student that has a craving for coffee, you can improve the circumstances and be the change. Express your opinion and share advice with the local cafes on campus. The businesses are more than willing to listen and they’re likely to adapt to customer preferences within reason to brighten student’s days, with a little help of caffeine!

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Photos courtesy of MCCC Communications Dept.

My Dream Job

Ariel Angelichio
The Montgazette Contributor

I hope to be a child psychologist. Working in the field of psychology has always been a dream of mine. What would make my career perfect would be working with children who suffer with mental health problems. Also, learning about psychology has always been interesting to me, especially here at Montgomery County Community College.

First, I love psychology because I love learning about it. I love the field and how complex it can be. You can work almost anywhere with a degree in psychology from a school to a prison. Taking courses at the college for psychology is great, and I only have two left after this spring semester. Classes are always interesting and the professors share personal stories that make me even more eager to start my career someday. My favorite class so far has been Abnormal Psychology with Professor Kathleen Nash.

Secondly, I want to be a psychologist because of my own struggles. When I was younger, I suffered from severe depression and anxiety. A psychologist helped me cope and solve the issues at my lowest points in life. They put me on a prescription regime that helped me get back to being myself again. This made me realize that that’s what I would love to do for someone else, help them get their life back in control.

Thirdly, I wish to work with children. I am great with them and I can relate to a lot of children’s issues dealing with mental health because I have been there. Through all of it, life wasn’t easy for me growing up, dealing with abandonment issues, physical abuse, and even mental abuse. My parents were always in and out of my life, at times I wouldn’t see them for months, even years. I had nobody to talk to, or vent my feelings to without being judged or yelled at by someone in my family. I was always told to “suck it up”, or “stop being a cry baby, Ariel.”

Eventually, I learned that I needed help on my own, and not from someone close to me. I needed an outsider’s view on things, I had fallen apart. I first went to a mental health clinic when I was fourteen, and I stayed there a few times after that. They gave me the help I needed, at Horsham Clinic, and I was always better when I returned. Finally, in 2014, I felt complete and whole again when I came out. I knew that was the last time I would allow myself to stoop that low, and I was strong enough to face the world head on all by myself.

Therapy was my next step in life. After coming out of Horsham Clinic, I voluntarily went to therapy. The therapist soon learned that my family was a major component in my mental health, and we had therapists come to our house twice a week for the next eight months. This helped us enormously and today we have functioned much better as a family.

As a result, I hope to become a child psychologist. I will do anything to fulfil this dream of mine. Going to school for so long and putting all of my effort into something I love and not achieving my goal is not an option for me. I will help children someday soon.

Michelle Harbison
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

Andrea Guest, Manager of Phanatic Events for the Philadelphia Phillies, came to my Mass Media and Society class to tell us about her job working for the Phillies, after graduating with a degree in Communications.  Guest offered me the opportunity to shadow her for a day at Citizens Bank Park and meet some of her co-workers.  Most exciting of all, I got to sit down and chat with the Phillie Phanatic.

When you think of the Phillie Phanatic, what do you think of? Do you think of a large, overly-excited, fluff ball? Well, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the Phanatic. According to Forbes Magazine, the Phillie Phanatic is baseball’s most recognizable and popular mascot.

During my day at the Phillies organization, the morning started out with a tour of the stadium. Ms. Guest showed me the media room, the Diamond Club for ticket holders, and even the Phanatic’s dressing room.  He has banjos, all sorts of interesting costumes, and a ginormous suitcase – Phanaticsized, of course!

Scott Brandreth, Director of Merchandise, was a Communications major in college. He and his team come up with ideas for giveaways for fans.  When Guest visited my class, she gave us lots of fun giveaways.  Brandreth’s office has lots of those giveaways and more bobbleheads than I could count and even a cardboard cutout of Phillies Infielder Ryan Howard’s face.

I sat down with the Phanatic’s main man, Tom Burgoyne, next. A marketing major in college, Burgoyne began his job with the Phillies in 1989 as the back-up for Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic.  Burgoyne said, other than feeling like a “rock star” when he is in costume, his job has opened doors for him to work with all departments at the Phillies and even write books.  The reaction that fans have when they see the Phanatic – and the love they have for him –  was the inspiration for one of his books, Pheel the Love. Burgoyne has also written numerous children’s books for a Phillies reading program called Phanatic About Reading.

The one thing that everyone I talked to agreed with was that they love working for the Phillies. According to Guest, “No two days are ever the same.” I met John Brazer, Director of Fun and Games, and the fun appears to be catching. Many of the people who work with this organization have been with the Phillies for twenty-plus years, and by spending the day at the stadium I could tell why.

As a student interested in Communications, I found it cool to learn about managing the Phanatic, marketing and promotions for the Phillies, college nights, and the Phillies Fitness program.  But as a Phillies fan, being able to follow Guest and see all the behind-the-scene aspects of the Phillies organization was an awesome experience.

Phillie Phanatic Locker Room

On a tour of the Phillies’ stadium, Harbison met the Phillie Phanatic Photo by Michelle Harbison

IMG_7048 Andrea Guest of Philadelphia Phillies special guest

Andrea Guest (left) and Michelle Harbison (right) Photo by Michelle Harbison

Justin Oakes
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

A dashing young quarterback takes the field, bushy hair bouncing, looking fit and ready to put up a good preseason fight. There’s a heat in the air and the crowd is pumped and looking forward to a terrific game. As the people in the crowd are asked to rise and remove their hats for the “The StarSpangled Banner,” people gape in horror as the young quarterback refuses to rise, instead opting to take a knee.

Colin Kaepernick made headline news in the Fall of 2016, not for his football skills, but for the social justice movement he started by taking a knee during multiple games while the national anthem was playing. Under normal circumstances, it would be safe to assume that anyone who takes a knee during the most patriotic song of the nation’s history would be, himself, unpatriotic. But Kaepernick’s message was as loud and clear and as patriotic as a social justice message should be: police violence against unarmed African Americans must end.

Jumping ahead to March 22, President Donald Trump spoke to a seemingly enthusiastic crowd in San Francisco, the city that Kaepernick is based out of, about the potential reasoning behind Kaepernick’s future unemployment possibilities. The President stated, “It was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump,” while egging on the crowd and welcoming the boos directed at Kaepernick.

But it was Kaepernick who proved that actions speak louder than words. Meals on Wheels, a company that provides elderly citizens with food, is expected to receive major funding cuts due to the new budget plan proposed by Trump. On March 23, the day after Trump made his remarks, Meals on Wheels publicly thanked Kaepernick for his generous $50,000 contribution to its program.

In addition to his donation to Meals on Wheels, Kaepernick has been very active in giving back to the community. The Million Dollar Pledge was set up by Kaepernick as a way of giving back to various organizations all over the world. Through the help of fundraising, as well as donating proceeds of his football jersey sales, Kaepernick is donating $100,000 each month for ten months to different charitable organizations of his choosing.

Also, Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Campaign was started in response to the atrocities being committed by certain police officers against primarily black youth. The campaign focuses on informing children and young adults about their rights as individuals and how they can interact with law enforcement officials of whom they feel threatened by. According to its website, the goal of the campaign is to “create the change that is much needed in this world.”

Trump’s remarks may not be presidential, but they certainly aren’t un-Trump-like. And while the President is off spewing his hatred of a football star, said football star is out making a difference. In a nation founded on the actions and hard work of brave men and women who vow to stand up for what’s right, it’s refreshing to see a man like Kaepernick start to move it in the right direction. Specifically, Kaepernick seems to be helping the inner cities, the one’s that Trump said he would save.

Score 1: Kaepernick. Score 0: Trump.

Patriotism is all a matter of perspective. If taking away meals from the elderly is one’s idea of what patriotism should look like, so be it, that’s life, as they say. But I’ve always known in my heart that the America I grew up in and came to know and love was only made possible because of the people like Colin Kaepernick who chose to stand up for what’s right.

In the end, it seems that Mr. Kaepernick is giving more back to U.S. citizens and working harder for the people than the president himself. Not bad for a guy who kneels during the national anthem, not bad at all.

Sashea Cooper
The Montgazette Contributor

The Community college is not like high school. Students don’t have their old cliques anymore, the classes are hours long, and it is almost impossible to get through it alone. Community College is the best way to get a higher education economically, but even with cost-efficient education, students drop out. There are plenty of reasons why this happens. One reason in particular would be social involvement within the college.

Students join clubs that are relative to their major or interests to connect with the college more. Getting more involved helps build friendships with other students. Having a friend in college is beneficial because the students can form study groups together. It gives them the motivation to keep up with their due dates and attendance.

Bill Gates once said, “The problem isn’t that not enough people are going to college. The problem is that not enough people are finishing.” Gates is a college drop-out himself and he told The New York Times that it is important that you do graduate. The advisors at community colleges encourage students to take the opportunity to join the clubs on campus and participate in all classroom activities. Montgomery County Community College has many clubs to offer that fit a variety of interests. They will also work with anyone dealing with a tight schedule.

The website collegescorecard.ed.gov has the community college graduation rates from 2014: Delaware County Community College was 15%, Bucks County Community College was 12%, Community College of Philadelphia was 10%, and Montgomery County Community College was 16%.

The community college graduation rates are so low because of the students’ lack of interest. When most students drop out, they go straight into the workforce, making less than what they could be making if they graduated and received a degree. After speaking with four college dropouts, one claimed to just like the workforce better than school and three out of the four admitted that they were companionless and unmotivated. These graduation rates can increase with a little help from college advisors and leaders.

On the College’s website in the campus life category, there is a section called Student Leadership and Involvement. In that section, there is a paragraph about getting involved that says, “Being engaged in campus life can make all the difference in your time here. Our Student Leadership and Involvement Office supports your academic, social, cultural and personal growth through programs and activities that create a true sense of community among students, faculty and staff.” This shows that community colleges are trying to increase their graduation rates by getting their students to connect with the college.

Social involvement within a college is what pushes students to graduate. Students should join clubs and participate in campus activities to stay connected with the college and successfully graduate.

Justin Oakes
The Montgazette Contributor

South African comedian and talk show host, Trevor Noah, performed at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Friday, April 7 to a more than enthusiastic crowd of Philadelphians and Daily Show fans.

When the show was originally announced back in February, tickets sold so fast that a second event had to be scheduled on the same night, leaving Noah to perform for one sold out show at 8 PM and another packed one at 10:30 PM.

His topics of discussion ranged anywhere from tacos in America to the native tongue that his mother spoke back in South Africa. However, it was when Trevor began to speak about the crisis in Syria that the audience seemed most engaged. Noah had a most ingenious way of broaching the topic: by combining humor and satire with a real, down-to-earth message about the cost of military spending and the hypocrisy of closing American doors on refugees while claiming to help them.

Noah’s approach to taboo subjects is quite remarkable, considering most would have no idea where to begin when it comes to the issues that matter but are just too hard to talk about. Yet, Noah seemed to be in his element, taking topics like racism and Trump family affairs in stride and spinning everything he says to have a positive message for Americans.

The message?

Stay “woke.”

He urged people to never be afraid to ask questions about topics like race and politics, because, according to him, it’s better to have an ignorant person be educated than to stay ignorant.

Leah Schick, a resident of Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County, spoke directly about Noah’s honesty, saying how he told his jokes but then “turned them around into all these profound statements about life and hatred and love and the state of our country.” The Daily Show host showed that he’ll never miss a comedic beat and he’ll never cease to entertain a crowd.