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Maya Ono, 17, Hip Hop Dance Battle, Hudson Valley
Interview by Erica Lee

Seventeen year old Maya Ono, a fortune baby from the Hudson Valley area, was lounging in the auditorium when I approached her. She was on a quick break from rehearsing with the Hip Hop Dance group.

Maya was a great interviewee. She was very open and her sincerity and honesty can be felt with each word. When asked why she chose to participate in the July 16th Festival, Maya replied "I had a great experience last time and I know there are a lot of new people involved so I wanted to make sure they [have a good experience] too."

Maya, who will be a senior in high school this fall, has many challenges in her life. With these challenges come many determinations and goals. For this festival, Maya told me she hopes to "better myself in all aspects of life, connect with Sensei, have the greatest possible July 16th, and bring energy back to [my] area." As I thanked her for the interview, I knew that she would accomplish each determination.

Brandon Jones, 13, Hip Hop MC Battle
Interview by Peggy Chen

Asked which school of rap he chose to represent in the hip-hop battle scene, he said, "Old School. My parents raised me on it, so I have a connection with it." His goals for the festival are "to advance as a rapper and to step up my chanting to 45 minutes a day."

"I get to meet people from all over NY and NJ [in the MC Battle Group] and get different views on their personalities and how they use their talent. I use my talent to spread positive messages.

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Journal 1 (April 23)
Journal 2 (May 14)
Journal 3 (May 21)
Journal 4 (June 11)
Journal 5 (June 18)
Journal 6 (June 25)
Journal 7 (July 1st)
July 8th & 9th
July 15th
July 16th

African Performance
Asian Performance
Brazilian Capoeira
Hip Hop (Dance Battle)
Hip Hop (DJ Battle)
Hip Hop (MC Battle)
Latin Dance
YMD Athletics
Youth Band
Youth Chorus
YWD Dance

Art Committee
Byakuren, Soka, Gajokai
Documentary Committee
Lunch Committee
Promotional Committee

April 23rd
May 14th
May 21st
June 11th
June 18th
June 25th (Teens)
June 25th
July 1st (Teens)
July 8th & 9th
July 15th