Boundary Busters

When Alivia Allen was little, she played with Barbie dolls but also rode dirt bikes and four-wheelers. She remembers hitting a rock and being thrown from the four-wheeler. Get back up, her father told her. Don’t be scared. Father and daughter tinkered on cars together, getting their hands dirty in the garage, her father taking note of how much she enjoyed the work and calling her the son he never had. Allen, now 18, is the first female structural ironworker in the erector division at JPW Compa

Boundary Busters: 3 Syracuse women blaze trails in male-dominated fields

Editor’s note: This story is part of the Deconstructing the Divide, an extensive reporting project by student journalists at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications that explored Syracuse’s inequality issues since last fall. See all of the stories – and video, audio and interactive graphics – here. When Alivia Allen was little, she played with Barbie dolls but also rode dirt bikes and four-wheelers. She remembers hitting a rock and being thrown from the four-wheeler

In the world of TikTok, Shockey Sanders stays true to herself

Shockey Sanders sits on her dorm bed contemplating whether she should skip sociology 101. It’s her fourth class of the day and she’s exhausted from working in labs. Having recently joined TikTok, she decides to make a video. Using the trending audio “Shawty in Love” by Playboi Carti, with her vinyl collection behind her, she jokes about being too tired to go to class. Luckily, she finds the motivation to attend class, but first, she uploads the 15-second video. Turning off all notifications, s

Having alopecia, Maggie D'Amaro gains new perspective on life

Maggie D’Amaro sits in the chair, her patience evaporating as the salon workers scurry back and forth ignoring her. Eleven-year-old Maggie wishes to be anywhere else. Seven hours and $2,000 later, the salon workers place the thick, dark-brown wig on top of young Maggie’s head. The custom human hair wig falls right above her shoulders. It’s itchy. It’s uncomfortable. She hates it. “When they put it on her, she ripped it off her head, threw it across the room and said, ‘I’ll never wear it,’” sai

How drugged driving, stoned workers in legal weed states impacts NY marijuana legalization

This is part of a Syracuse University student-driven reporting project through the NewsHouse website that is being published in USA TODAY Network. It takes a deep look at marijuana issues in New York as the state's drug laws remain in flux. If you spend time in Colorado, you might encounter ads that raise difficult questions about marijuana. “Would you let a bus driver high on marijuana drive your kids to school?” asks one. “Would you let your doctor perform surgery on you if he was under the

Marijuana legalization poses threats in the workplace and on the road

If you spend time in Colorado, you might encounter ads that raise difficult questions about marijuana. “Would you let a bus driver high on marijuana drive your kids to school?” asks one. “Would you let your doctor perform surgery on you if he was under the influence of marijuana?” another wonders. The advertisements are part of a campaign by the Colorado Department of Transportation, which struggles with one of the more vexing issues surrounding legalized marijuana, the fact that it’s often ha

A symbolic demonstration held to push for a Lead Safe Syracuse

Sunday afternoon mothers placed empty strollers outside of City Hall as a symbolic reminder of whose health and safety are at stake in implementing the Syracuse Lead Abatement and Control Ordinance. The demonstration was organized by Families for Lead Freedom Now, a Syracuse group advocating for children and families impacted by lead paint poisoning, the Syracuse Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, CNY Solidarity Coalition and Onondaga Votes. Demonstrators gathered to encourage the
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