Cell Phones and School

I was once a student who had lost motivation in doing anything involving school related things such as homework, because my electronic device always distracted me. I told my mom I didn’t want a phone anymore because I realized how much of a problem it was for my education and my future. Today, technology is still a very big problem.

Students who have phones are focused on not getting caught during class to prevent their phones being taken away. One way to avoid getting caught is being on during independent reading.

One of the main problems, that I think, is teens failing classes because of social media and texting. They do not do homework whatsoever. Teens think being on social media is more interesting than their education and future. They don’t think of the consequences they will go through.

I think the teens who are failing school, often think they can’t do the school assignments or pass the tests because they weren’t taught it, but really they just never pay attention to teachers.

One solution for teens to continue to do well in school and to have social media time is for parents to take away their children’s phone before school and give it to them after they are all finished with homework. Second, is to set a time limit for how long you should be on technology but spend most of the time doing homework.

Jennifer Chaney
Bethel, AK


The back and forth thoughts race in my head, constantly worrying about what others have said. Do I fulfill the dreams in my heart, or do I fit into the world and play my part.

No one has dreams that don’t seem small, often we place them to the side when reality gives us a call. But I ask you why can’t you have more? And who said that the ceiling was your floor.

Why can’t you do great things? And have the satisfaction that greatness brings. Who said you were inept, who said the thoughts you have, have to stay a concept.

Let your gift rise to the top, and if people criticize you don’t stop. I want you to see that you were designed with a gift to change the earth, Satan has just been fighting you so you wouldn’t realize your worth.

He didn’t want you to see how important that you are, and how your gift can bless this world by far. He is a master at getting you to discount what’s inside of you, and causing you to think there is nothing special about what you do.

I am here to tell you he is nothing more than a liar, and each time you step out God lifts you higher. Don’t let him whisper to you all of your failures and flaws, refuse to give into to his powerless claws.

There is liberty and freedom in being yourself, let go of others opinions they are bad for your health. When you feel like you can’t go on anymore, look into the storm and say I have more in store.

Defeat can’t stop greatness from flowing through your veins, and if it does remember all of its pains. After all that has been done, you will lift your hands in victory because you have won.

Bryson Menegak
Tununak, AK

Focus On Retirement Planning — It’s Your Future

When most people begin their career, retirement is the farthest thing from their mind. Instead, they focus on trying to purchase a home, start a family, or perhaps save money for travel. Retirement seems so far away for many younger people that they delay putting aside money. However, it’s very important to save for the future — if you want to enjoy it.

An employer-sponsored retirement plan or 401(k) can be a useful way to set aside funds for retirement, especially if your employer offers matching funds on what you invest. If you don’t work for an employer that offers this type of plan, there are many other plans designed to help you save for retirement.

From solo 401(k)s to traditional and Roth IRAs, there are programs designed to fit a multitude of budgets. The earlier you start to save, the more funds you’ll have ready for retirement.

In addition to traditional programs, the U.S. Department of the Treasury now offers a retirement savings option called myRA. There is no minimum to open the account, you can contribute what you can afford, and you can withdraw funds with ease. To learn more about myRA, visit www.myra.gov.

And, as always, there is Social Security, which is funded by taxes you pay while you work. To get estimates of future benefits and check your earnings record for accuracy, you can create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Prepare for your future and start saving — and planning — today!

Robin Schmidt
Social Security Administration
Alaska Public Affairs Specialist