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Hopeful Signs in Syria; Tamerlan Tsarnaev Buried

Aired May 10, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Friday. That`s awesome. I`m Carl. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. Today we`re going to talk about paying for college, and here how performer takes on bullying. But first, we got something about Syria that United Nations representative called the first hopeful news in the very long time.

The fighting in Syria has been going on since early 2011. Reports say more than 70,000 people have been killed. It started with protests against the Syrian government. That country`s military cracked down on the protesters, eventually rebels armed themselves and started fighting against the government forces. Some people have talked about the international community getting involved by sending troops. This week, we heard about a possible diplomatic solution. On the left here, is U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. On the right, is Russia`s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. They said their countries want to set up a conference as soon as possible to work on forming a new government for Syria. If that happens, this meeting would be the first time that the sides fighting in Syria would come together to negotiate.

In Massachusetts, the question of where to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev seems to be settled. Earlier in the week, a funeral director said he couldn`t find a cemetery to accept the body of the Boston terror bombing suspect.


SGT. KERRY HAZELHURST, WORCESTER POLICE DEPT.: As result of our public appeal for help, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased. His body is no longer in the city of Worcester, and is now entombed.


AZUZ: Police didn`t say where the burial site is, but they thanked the community that provided it.

Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Lane`s science class at Mary Harris Intermediate in Fort Worth, Texas. What is the oldest college or university in the United States. Here we go. Is it William and Mary, Harvard, Rutgers or Princeton? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Harvard University was founded in 1636, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

Student loan debt is soaring. The American Institute of CPAs recently took a survey of student loan borrowers, and found the money they owe has made some of them postpone buying cars or houses, in some cases even delay getting married. What`s more, 60 percent of them said they have some regret about taking out student loans. So, what`s a student who`s planning on college to do?

When education savings account is a good start, you`re never too young to put money aside. Even a small scholarship can help with tuition and shrink down a loan and there are often grants available. Federal, state and private, that can save you money if you qualify. Work study programs may enable you to pay as you go without rocking up so much debt. There`s also this: not every well paying job requires a four-year college degree. Dental hygienist may only have an associate`s degree, but can work their way up to a $68,000 salary. And with a formal apprenticeship, you can work in construction of mechanical trades earning 50,000 or more. So think about the higher education you need before committing to college. And remember that while student loans are one way of paying, they are not always the only way.

Kayla Wheeler is thinking about where she wants to go to college, but before she moves into a dorm, she`ll compete in a world championship swimming competition. Dana Rebik of affiliate KCPQ in Washington State tells us more about the accomplishments of this high school junior.


KAYLA WHEELER, PARALYMPIC SWIMMER: I`ve got female swimmer of the day all three days and swimmer of the meet, as well as the gold medal and everything I swam. These are the medals that I got for getting first ...

DANA REBIK, CNN CORRESSPONDENT: The Mountlake Terrace High School junior holds the Paralympic world record in the 15 meter butterfly. She`s competed in Mexico Brazin and the Netherlands

JOYCE WHEELER, KAYLA`S MOTHER: And just when you think she can`t do any better, she does it again.

REBIK: Kayla`s mom Joyce started her daughter in swim lessons after a doctor recommended hydrotherapy for Kayla`s disability. The 16-year old was born with no legs and only one arm.

JOYCE WHEELER: It`s kind of indescribable. I mean, you know, when they announce her name representing the United States, I mean I just get goosebumps all over. Even still, you know, I`m just so amazed that that`s my child.

WHEELER: I`m really heavy in extracurriculars.

REBIK: Aside from swimming ...


REBIK: She bowls, skies and plays baseball.

JOYCE WHEELER: We`re always told her there is nothing you can`t do, we just might have to figure out a different way for you to do it and she has pushed the envelope.

REBIK: That is an understatement. Kayla is under Rocketry and Robotics Team and is taking advanced classes at Edmonds Community College, an amazing inspiration, both in an out of the water.

KAYLA WHEELER: I also like being able to represent my country, that`s pretty amazing. Breaking records is always fun, too, and getting medals and stuff, but it`s - I like really being out there as a role model for other people.


AZUZ: See if you can ID me. I`m an art form, often involved in poetry. I might have lines that rhyme, but it`s not required. I`m usually performed by speaking out loud. In fact, that`s in my name.

I`m spoken word poetry. And I don`t have a specific meter or pattern.

It`s the kind of poetry that Shane Koyczan performs. One of his poems is called "To This Day," is about the kind of impact that bullying can have on people.

It`s something Shane dealt with when he was younger, and now he hopes his words can help others who might be facing similar struggles.


SHANE KOYCZAN, POET: The video is called "To This Day", it`s a piece that I wrote probably about three years ago, and it was really just to serve, you know, put an armor on the shoulders of people who may not have that in their lives. Sometimes the sense of comfort can be enough or a sense of camaraderie can help you get through it half time. It was done out of compassion, it was done because I understand what people are going through, I`ve been through it myself.

(voice over): Of the school halls were battleground, we found ourselves out number day after wretched day we used to stay inside the recess, because outside was worse

(on camera): You know people say all the time, oh we talk about bullying it doesn`t do anything, It does do something. I was raised in time where nobody talked about bullying, and it was devastating to walk through halls. There are no anti-bullying posters, there are no messages from celebrities saying, hey, you know, it`s OK, like maintain who you are, be who you are - we didn`t have any of that, and that was - that was very isolating and you felt very alone.

(voice over): And if you can`t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer because there`s something inside you that makes you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit ...

(on camera): I think it`s - it`s a little bit comforting to know that people are so passionate about - talking about this. It does mean that we do care, like if it did really does demonstrate that. You know, it`s like we don`t have a solution, but we are trying, at least we`re trying. That was the point behind the project was to really show people that you`re not alone.

(voice over): But our live will only ever always continue to be a balancing act. That does less to do with pain and more to do with beauty.


AZUZ: Good stuff. Your voice now on the controversy surrounding a shirt made in memory of a Missouri student. We covered that earlier this week.

Morgan says, she understands the shirt is a symbol to remember a loved one, but you have to think of others and what it might mean to them. Some view it as a sign of racism.

Charles says, the flag itself has changed from a racism symbol into a Southern pride flag. "I think it should be allowed, if you openly express it`s pride, not prejudice."

From JaiQuanna, "I understand if a family wants to find a symbol to remember a loved one, but to put that flag on a shirt is disrespectful to many people.

From Steven, "The flag is an object that represents Southern independence. I say, let it stay."

Tiger wrote, "It`s true the heritage is big in defining someone, but when going against an established school policy, I`d like to think Colby`s friends and family could have found another way to represent his life."

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we`ve been sharing some of the I-reports you`ve sent in like this one:


UNIDENTIFIED BOYS: We love you, Mrs. Morton (ph), this much.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Wow, this is awesome. Just like Mrs. Morton.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Mrs. Morton you (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Mrs. Morton is a phenomenal teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: She`s by far one of the cool teachers I`ve ever met.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Mrs. Martin, you`re seriously the best AP government teacher I`ve ever had. Hands down.


AZUZ: Check out more of those I-reports. Go to CNNSTUDENTNEWS.COM. While you`re there, you can go to our blog and give a shoutout to your favorite teacher.

Another story of appreciation closes out today`s show. After a game recently, Dodgers all star Matt Kemp came over to meet Josh Jones. Josh is 19. Huge Dodgers` fan and he`s fighting cancer. In this Youtube video you could see Kemp sign a ball for him, then he decided to give Josh his hat and his jersey. Then he took off his cleats and handed those over too. Kemp said he just wanted to give Josh a memory he`d never forget. If that`s what he was going for - he knocked it out of the park. It`s time for us to run, teachers don`t forget to show your feedback about today`s show on our homepage. I hope all of you have a great weekend, and if you`re watching on HLN, we now join HLN`s programming in progress.