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Issue #224 (December-January, 2010-2011) issue cover
The Ambition Issue

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Oumou's best friend is pushed into an arranged marriage at the age of 14, dashing the girls' hopes of going to college together.

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Rumonat is annoyed that her younger brother gets better grades than her. When he starts slipping up, she has to decide whether to help him or to gloat.

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In a quiz with examples, Evin shows readers there's more to plagiarism than cutting and pasting. (full text)

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In a sidebar to his plagiarism quiz, Evin provides tips on how to make sure you're not plagiarizing. (full text)

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Ravyn credits a school trip to France with inspiring her to travel internationally and "think big" about her future.

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Are teens' hopes of becoming rich and famous realistic? The answer is in the numbers.

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When she joins her school's Gospel chorus, Suzy is upset to find that most of her peers don't share her dedication. Eventually, she comes to see her hard work in a different light.

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In this Sex Ed column, Ravyn considers a study showing that many New York City teens have had same-sex partners. (full text)

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Nesshell feels that some of her peers' ideas about their future are unrealistic. She asks readers to consider where they want to be in twenty years, and what specific steps they will take to get there.

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In a sidebar to "But How Will You Get There?," Nesshell tests out the Bureau of Labor Statistics' career information page for young people.

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Parents often tell their children, "You can be anything you want to be"— but is it true? Rosie argues that it's not, and that hearing it too much encourages unrealistic dreams.

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In a roundtable discussion, five writers consider the pros and cons of ambition in its many guises.

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After her beloved Aunt Euphita is seriously injured in a car accident, Annmarie helps support her through a painful recovery. Along the way, she develops a new appreciation for family.


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After a conversation with his father about what would happen without garbage collection, Evin reconsiders the value of different careers.

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Can money buy happiness? And how much control do we really have over our happiness, anyway? Jhanae explains psychologists' answers to these vexing questions.

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Kelly reviews the movie It's Kind of a Funny Story, a comedy about a suicidal teen who checks himself into a mental hospital.

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Conor moves from the Deep South to downtown Manhattan—and discovers that he's been a closeted New Yorker all along.

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In this comic, a feminist folk singer transforms herself into a sex object to attract money and attention.

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While it contains inaccuracies, The Social Network centers on a main character—Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—who is unquestionably ambitious. Sherilyn considers whether we can draw any lessons from his success. (full text)

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Brittany becomes critical of her body at an early age. As a teen, she's inspired by a TV talk show to be more accepting of herself.
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