Women's History Month: Every Woman Has a Story

Updated: May 8, 2021

March 31, 2021

Fading Away by Annabelle Bradley, YPIE Scholar 2028

In this Issue

YPIE QuaranTimes Staff


Salamatu Lawal, Editor-in-Chief and Pandemic News Editor

Alyssa Lee, Assistant Editor-in-Chief and Our Voices Heard Editor

Catarina Mendes, Politics Editor

Julia Azulay, Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor

Shemar Forbes, Layout Editor and Director of Communications

Yismel Castro, Layout Editor


Sean Vargas-Arcia

Julia Azulay

Annabelle Bradley

Paola Baizan

Khadija Dewan

Natalie Flores

Shemar Forbes

Vanessa Gentile

Hillary Diaz Castillo

Amber Morales

Natalie Maldonado

Catarina Mendes

Benjamin Rodríguez

Anushka Singh

Danielle Yeboah


Max Silverman

Welcome to the YPIE QuaranTimes

Women’s History Month is served with due diligence at the beginning of the celebration; sadly, its purpose is slowly forgotten as the month draws to a close. That's why we at the YPIE QuaranTimes want to remind everyone to commemorate the efforts of the women who came before us as well as those who continue to leave their mark on the sands of time.

It’s Been a Year--How COVID-19 Has Ravaged Our World

By Catarina Mendes, YPIE Scholar 2025

Around one year ago this month, everything came to a standstill as the local, state and federal government began to realize the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Strict restrictions were imposed on workplaces, social gatherings and schools, workplaces, and entertainment venues were closed, some never to reopen. It may have seemed as if the world had descended into madness. People feared going outside, masks became the norm, and healthcare workers became widely celebrated as the heroes they have always been for their intense dedication and sacrifices.

To date, the United States has lost over 535,000 lives to this devastating virus and recorded over 29 million infections. During this trying year, our lives have been disrupted tremendously. Loved ones have been lost, with many dying alone, in fear, in hospitals where no one was allowed to visit over concerns of further infections. Video chats became the go-to way to socialize as people grew bored and even depressed at home.

Not being able to see friends and family and have natural social interactions took a toll on many, especially children, who were deprived of the ability to socially grow and connect with other children. Many high schoolers were unable to see their friends and teachers one last time before heading off to college and didn’t get a proper graduation or prom.

Especially devastating are the financial burdens this pandemic has caused and exacerbated. Many have lost jobs this past year and have struggled to make ends meet. The U.S.’s unemployment rate peaked at roughly 15% in April of 2020, the highest in U.S. history. This number represented a shockingly large figure of millions of Americans who were forced to live in fear of how they would get by and potentially how they would support their families as well. Eviction moratoriums were issued, preventing many from becoming homeless, but this has also enabled squatters.

Truly, Americans and other people all across the globe have had to adapt extremely quickly to many unprecedented changes and losses, and we have now been pushing through for roughly one year. Some communities have been able to rid themselves entirely of COVID-19, while others are still struggling to fully contain the virus.

Mass vaccination campaigns have been rolled out in many nations to administer the fastest-developed vaccine in history. Only recently are the positive effects of this great achievement being realized. Finally, after a very long year, hope is on the horizon as President Biden hopes to have every adult in the U.S. eligible for the vaccine by May 1st.

As the global population struggled to cope with such sudden, devastating changes to their daily lives, health care workers were forced to work even harder than ever before and faced extreme emotional trauma as they dealt with many deaths and witnessed a countless number of patients and families being torn apart by fear and grief in these unusual times. Many of these brave front-line workers are women, who have worked hard on the teams that have developed the vaccines that will lead us out of this situation.

In fact, it’s known that there are significantly more women than men working in various healthcare positions. 89% of all registered nurses are female. Of those who are in healthcare support occupations, such as occupational and physical therapy aides, medical assistants, medical equipment preparers, and nursing assistants, nearly 87% are women.

Nurses have played a key role in overseeing patient care and helping patients to feel comfortable during these difficult circumstances. Other healthcare workers have worked to ensure patients are properly treated and receive the care they need for optimal recovery.

The leadership and dedication of women not only in hospitals but also in science has been instrumental to helping combat COVID-19. Oxford University’s AstraZeneca vaccine trial was led by Professor Sarah Gilbert and German Company BioN-Tech’s partnership with Pfizer to create a vaccine that was spearheaded by Dr. Ozlem Tureci, the company’s co-founder.

Women across healthcare and medical science have made a tremendous impact on our ability to fight COVID-19 and progress to a safer world. As we continue to make progress in our battle, it’s important to take time to reflect on the milestones we have reached, both good and bad, and remember all the ways in which COVID-19 has greatly affected humanity. Little more than one year ago, no one would have guessed what the infamous year of 2020 would bring.

Floral Prints by Shemar Forbes, YPIE Scholar 2025

Science Research Amidst a Year-long Quarantine

By Sean Vargas-Arcia, YPIE Scholar 2026

As a student in YPIE’s Regeneron Science Research Program, I began working on my science research project with my mentor, Dr. Jacqueline Gofshteyn, a pediatric neurologist at Weill Cornell Medical Center in February of 2020. Since I have had epilepsy my whole life, and I felt bad for the other children who were forced to call the hospital their home, I decided to base my research on the condition of epilepsy. Dr. Jacqueline Gofstheyn, who was my step-in neurologist for my two neurosurgeries in late January and early February of that year, specializes in refractory epilepsy, specifically Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, I have been meeting with my mentor on Zoom every single week.

In June of 2020, after being approved by Weill Cornell’s system, I received an ID, set up an account and learned how to navigate the system. That summer, since my mentor wanted me to contribute to her research, I worked as an intern for Weill Cornell Medical Center, where I read various research papers on LGS, and by July of 2020, I had finally come up with a hypothesis.

I discovered that females are more commonly diagnosed with LGS along with the recurring theme that LGS was most commonly misdiagnosed and that the male to female ratio of patients with LGS is 1.3:1.6. I considered how females may be more often misdiagnosed with LGS than males. After speaking to my mentor about my hypothesis, she researched the question, and she told me that did not find any clear answers. With this, I began my experimentation.

I took several courses to ensure that I made the right decisions while looking at the patient data, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training across different subjects. By August, I was granted Epic Read-Only access, which allowed me to view patient files through a program called Epic Hyperspace. At that time, I created a RedCaps dataset, including demographics, the age of diagnosis, prior malformations, and whether the patient had been misdiagnosed before. If a patient had been misdiagnosed, I noted what they were misdiagnosed with and how long it lasted.

During the next couple of months, up until the end of January 2021, I collected patient data. With the help of my mentor’s Excel spreadsheet of patients with LGS and their Medical Record Numbers (MRNs), I was able to look through a total of 152 patient files. Since LGS is commonly diagnosed during infancy, my job was to look through the full history of each of the 152 patients assigned.

I began with the 152 patient files and ended up having 16 patients who met the credentials I needed for my experiment. In addition to my original hypothesis, I also hypothesized that gene expression is responsible for the misdiagnosis of LGS. I can support this with the fact that a vast majority of the females in my experiment had a chromosome three mutation and were misdiagnosed with LGS. This led me to believe that the chromosome three mutation in females is presented similarly to the regular chromosome three in males, causing some/many females to fall under the misdiagnosis category.

All of this has allowed me to say that I have been working in the neuroscience field and building my resume for more than a year now, during a pandemic no less. And to this day, I am continuing to work on my neuroscience research.

Celebrating Women's History Month by Khadija Dewan, YPIE Scholar 2028

The Celebration of Females

By Khadija Dewan, YPIE Scholar 2028

She is brave, courageous like a lion.

She is resilient, she will never stop trying.

She is unstoppable, just as the sunrise.

She is brilliant, her limits are the skies.

She is wondrous, inside and out,

Stunning in her appearance, her character, there’s no doubt.

She is incredible, knowledgeable, and independent,

A marvelous being, her existence a transcendence.

So who is this woman, the definition of perfection,

With confidence, beauty, and a heart filled with affection?

Who is this woman and where can she be found?

She surrounds you everywhere, if only you’d look around!

She is my mother, my sister, and my aunts!

My grandmothers, my friends, and everyone who’s fought,

For our freedom, well-being, and for a better life,

With bravery and dedication, all to end strife.

She is Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and Amy Tan,

Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, and every woman who has a plan!

Every woman who has initiative, love, and good intent,

Thus even the less-known we mustn't forget.

So this month, we celebrate our women and girls,

These lovely humans who have brightened and altered our worlds.

These females who have fought continuously and strived,

And these females who our children have looked up to all their lives.

Women: The Pioneers of Today, Tomorrow, and the Future

Natalie Maldonado Smith, YPIE Scholar 2025

Women have been at the forefront of monumental advancements since the dawn of time. Their creations have transformed the way people live and have made intricate and difficult solutions more accessible. We can attribute many of our household favorites to these brilliant women.

One of the most fascinating contributions made was by Ada Lovelace, who was an English mathematician who wrote the world’s first computer algorithm. Lovelace came up with this revolutionary idea in 1843. The fact that Lovelace created something that is so crucial in this day and age at that time is certainly incredible; she was certainly ahead of her time.

The next invention hits close to home. According to Health Careers, it’s estimated that the world’s population drinks around two billion cups of coffee per day, and one popular method of making coffee is through the use of coffee filters. That’s where our next bright inventor comes in. Thanks to Melitta Bentz, a German housewife, people worldwide can enjoy rich and smooth coffee on a daily basis. Additionally, Bentz invented a coffee filter system in 1908 and founded a business that still exists today. As someone who regularly brews coffee and uses coffee filters, I can confidently say that Bentz’s invention is truly amazing and that her coffee filters are excellent at doing their job.

Another important invention constructed was made by Marie Van Brittan Brown. She created the first home security system in 1966, which brought safety and relief to people everywhere. The world can be a fearful place, but knowing one can be protected, specifically in their own home, is a blessing. She really put the word “safety” in the phrase “in the safety of my own home.”

Women continue to impress the world with their intriguing ideas and their riveting inventions. From technology to security, women have thought of and done it all. I cannot wait to see what women have in store, but for now, I will just marvel at their past creations, in the hopes that I can be a female innovator and change the world for the better as they did.

Female Journalists Who Have Made a Tremendous Impact on Society

By Shemar Forbes, YPIE Scholar 2025

From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley to Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and Beloved by Toni Morrison, women have long been involved in the writing field. Thus, it is no surprise that the journalism industry is filled with the most fascinating women. Unfortunately, many of these women are overshadowed by their male counterparts, who dominate the industry. Because of this, female journalists whose accomplishments have made some of the greatest impacts on society will be highlighted in the following list.

  • Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)

Ida B. Wells appeared on the list for monumental figures in Black history for the QuaranTimes Black History 365: A Year-Round Conversation issue; therefore, it is only appropriate that she is featured in this list as well.

Wells was born an enslaved person in Holly Springs, Mississippi and later set free by the Emancipation Proclamation, where she and many other African Americans at the time dealt with racial prejudices and were limited by discriminatory rules and practices.

Wells' own experience with racial injustice led her to become an exceptional journalist. A number of her articles based on racial and political issues were published in Black periodicals and newspapers in the South, including the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight, and the Free Speech, both of which she owned.

While working as a journalist, Wells was also a teacher in Memphis, Tennessee. Although she only held this position for a few years, Wells was able to bring awareness to the poor conditions of Black-only schools in the city through her newspaper articles that exposed the flaws of the Memphis Board of Education, setting the foundation for later school-related reforms.

In the 1890s, after her friend and dozens of other African Americans were wrongfully lynched, Wells spent months traveling in the South to gather information about other lynching incidents. Through her writing, Wells led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States, where she ultimately founded and joined groups striving for African American justice.

  • Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998)

Ranked among the top war journalists of her time, Martha Gelhorn reported on almost every major global conflict that had occurred during her 60-year career.

These events included the Spanish Civil War, the Vietnam War, and the Second World War, where she was, in fact, the only female journalist at the Normandy Invasion on D-Day.

In addition to being one of the greatest war correspondents of her time, Gellhorn also wrote several novels, memoirs, novellas, and short stories, many of which were based on her personal experiences.

Gellhorn’s most notable works included What Mad Pursuit and The Trouble I’ve Seen, which were some of her first novels; and Vietnam: A New Kind of War and Travels with Myself and Another, which described her experiences in war and traveling around the world.

In honor of her work, The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism prize was created in order to honor journalists who have gone above and beyond and whose work “...has penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth...”

  • Hu Shili (1953-Present)

Hu Shili is a Chinese journalist who is considered one of the most revered reporters in such a media-restrained country.

Shili was born into a family of distinguished journalists and publishers; however, her family fell into political disfavor during the Cultural Revolution and was forced to work in the countryside. In 1970, Shili joined the army, and after the Cultural Revolution ended, she attended college and graduated with a degree in journalism.

Shili eventually worked as a reporter for the Worker’s Daily, and in 1995, she became the international editor of the China Business Times, where she provided information on China’s current affairs and business activities.

Then, in 1998, Shili left the staff writers at China Business Times and founded Caijing, a business and finance magazine, for which she later became the editor-in-chief. Under Shili’s guidance, Caijing pushed the boundaries of press freedom in China by publishing articles that critiqued government policy and exposed bribery and deceitful business practices.

Although Shili resigned as editor-in-chief of Caijing in 2009, her work still lives on today, and, in 2011, Shili was listed as one of the top 100 most influential people by Time magazine and was ranked as the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.

  • Christiane Amanpour (1958-Present)

Christiane Amanpour spent the majority of her life growing up in Tehran, Iran. In 1979, however, her whole world came crashing down around her when a revolution broke out in her country, forcing her family into exile and fueling her career interest in journalism.

Today, Amanpour is CNN's chief international reporter and has previously worked for ABC News and for CBS' 60 Minutes.

Although she first gained notice for her 1985 report on Iran, it was her historical coverage of the Bosnian crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s that led her to become the internationally recognized correspondent she is now.

In addition to her coverage of major international events, Amanpour has interviewed multiple world leaders, including French President Jacques Chirac, then-British prime minister Tony Blair, and King Abdullah of Jordan, among many others.

To date, Amanpour has earned several Emmys and Peabody awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award along with countless other awards for her outstanding work.

These women represent a small fraction of the hundreds of incredibly talented female journalists who have made a dent in this world, and their hard work and perseverance serves as inspiration for the generations to come as they successfully demonstrated that anything is possible, despite the challenges and setbacks one may face.

Artwork by Hillary Diaz Castillo, YPIE Scholar 2025

8 Amazing Female Artists for Women’s History Month

By Anushka Singh, YPIE Scholar 2028

1. Rina Sawayama

This genre-defying, Japanese-British singer and songwriter is an expert at portraying themes of identity, depression, family, and love with her captivating glitchy, electropop sound.

Song Recommendations:

  • Tokyo Love Hotel

  • Bad Friend

  • Cherry

2. Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu isn’t known as the “Queen of Neo-Soul” for nothing. This incredible African-American singer and songwriter’s eccentric style and vocals have made her songs some that will be remembered for years to come.

Song Recommendations:

  • On & On

  • A.D. 2000

  • Kiss Me On My Neck

3. SZA

Solana Imani Rowe, also known as SZA, is an African-American contemporary R&B artist, known best for her Grammy-nominated album, CTRL, and recent single “Good Days.” Her lyrics feature subjects like abandonment, love, and perseverance, and her honeyed vocals are the perfect addition to any sound.

Song Recommendations:

  • Drew Barrymore

  • Normal Girl

  • Broken Clocks

4. Mitski

This Japanese-American indie rock singer-songwriter is guaranteed to tug on your heartstrings and make you feel exactly what she is feeling through her raw, expressive lyrics about femininity, depression, and love, as well as her equally gut-wrenching vocals.

Song Recommendations:

  • Because Dreaming Costs Money, My Dear

  • Happy

  • Your Best American Girl

5. Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill is regarded as one of the most influential singers of her generation, known for breaking barriers for female rappers and bringing hip hop and neo-soul into mainstream music. Her solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and her time in Fugees, have brought a number of incredible songs to the world.

Song Recommendations:

  • Lost Ones

  • Killing Me Softly With His Song

  • Tell Him

6. Jhené Aiko

Hearing the sultry, soulful vocals of R&B singer and songwriter Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo is like listening to an angel whisper in your ear. Her lyrics, filled with subtleties, portray such feelings as distress, anger, and bliss. She is best known for her recent R&B album, Chilombo.

Song Recommendations:

  • While We’re Young

  • Triggered (freestyle)

  • Born Tired

7. Red Velvet

The duality of the five-member South Korean girl group Red Velvet, consisting of members Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy, and Yeri, is bound to encaptivate any listener for the long run. Their music falls into either the “Red” category, which includes their more bubblegum-pop, upbeat songs, or the “Velvet” category, which takes on a more sultry and elegant sound.

Song Recommendations:

  • Psycho

  • Bad Boy

  • Be Natural

8. Shreya Goshal

Unlike the others on this list, Shreya Goshal is a playback singer, meaning her songs are pre-recorded for use in films. One of the most famous names in Bollywood, her incredible voice and range, as well as her mastery of over 19 languages, including Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, and Hindi, have made her a staple in studios throughout India.

Song Recommendations:

  • Deewani Mastani

  • Dola re Dola

  • Om Shanti Om

Gender Constraints: Anyone Can Be Masculine (or Feminine!)

By Vanessa Gentile, YPIE Scholar 2027

Have you ever been told that you can’t act feminine or masculine? Have you ever had your sexuality or gender identity questioned for wearing certain clothing or liking certain things that people of your gender typically “don’t like”? If so, you have been subjected to gender ste