The YPIE QuaranTimes

Volume 1: May 14, 2020

Illustration by Valentina Rojas, YPIE Scholar 2024

In this Issue


YPIE QuaranTimes Staff

Salamatu Lawal
Alyssa Lee
Catarina Mendes
Tereza Biswaz
Gabriel Cantos
Justine Espino
Vanessa Gentile
Darius Harley
Catarina Mendes
Alessandra Ortega
Valentina Rojas
Aileen Zambrano 
Cedony Allen


Welcome to the YPIE QuaranTimes

Produced by YPIE’s Journalism major, the YPIE QuaranTimes is a way for YPIE students to connect and share experiences during these unprecedented times. YPIE Scholars are using this time in so many creative, meaningful ways. As such, the YPIE Journalism major hopes to highlight all of the talent in our community through this publication.

When the World Was Silent

By Vanessa Gentile, YPIE Scholar 2027

Things never truly felt right when all of this began. Sure, everyone has that off feeling, but this one is stronger than any other I have had before. Everything was quiet--too quiet, it seemed. It’s like the outside world has become dangerous to everyone. It’s sad. People that venture out to work are seen as “heroes” for doing their jobs. I can’t even bear to think that my parents can come home one day and fall very ill, because they had no choice but to work. They are the essential workers, the “heroes” in this crisis


It’s really lonely here at home. My social life has been flung out the window. I haven’t been talking to many people since this began. The main company I have is myself. Yet there really isn’t much I can do with other people. The most we can do is talk through a screen.


This invisible apocalypse has taken so many people’s lives. I can’t seem to find a single person that has any hope left. Any high spirits are temporary; the hope dies the moment you hear about more people losing family members or that supplies are running out in hospitals. I have to shut off the news. This is all anyone is talking about.


But what about all the good things? The people adopting animals? The birthdays? The good in the world is being outnumbered by the bad. That was the last thing anyone wanted to happen, right? No one wanted this, but now we’re all stuck at home complaining.


With all of this in mind, I beg you to not go outside unless absolutely necessary. If you do go outside, wear a mask. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. Practice social distancing. This is all going to get worse if we don’t do anything about it. This isn’t a selfish disease. You can infect many people by just being exposed to the virus. Please keep this in mind every time you think about going out.

Student Voices

"Although there has been no physical school, this "quarantine" has been beneficial for my personal life.  I've been able to enhance my cooking skills, musical skills, and typing skills.  I've been able to forge a stronger bond between family.  In this "quarantine" I've learned that things happen for a reason.  Well for me, this has happened so that I can grow a stronger bond with my family."
Gabriel C., YPIE Scholar 2027 

If Today Was Not A Pandemic...

By Alessandra Ortega, YPIE Scholar 2026

Everything happens for a reason

Pandemic or not something major was destined to happen

It is sad to state that the world we live in

Waits until something bad happens to take action

When truly it should be the other way around

However there is no need to look at this era with negativity or the smaller picture

Open your minds this pandemic is our friend

The friend that everyone dislikes because it's our reality

Our friend showed us our system is truly broken and unfair to its people

Our friend who is going to make us be grateful for everything we took for granted

We cannot control our friend we have to let it be

We can control the way we invite and react to our friend

Our friend will be gone soon but hopefully not forgotten

Our friend revealed us the reality and the reaction of humans race

Our friend exposed how weak humans are mentally

Along with how terrified we are to face reality

Us humans need thicker skin to roam this planet the way we were destined to

If Today Was Not A Pandemic, What Would I Be Doing?

“It’s May 6, 2020; 12:36 p.m. on a Wednesday. If today was not a pandemic, I’d be leaving 6th period, and on my way to 7th period lunch. My friends and I would be planning Suri’s 17th birthday party for this upcoming weekend. After school, you’d be able to catch us sitting on the benches right outside the door. Eventually Mr. Cartica would come and tell us to go home and we’d laugh for a while and instead go to Carlos’ for a quick bite. At around 4 my mom would come to pick my sister and I up. We might’ve stopped by my grandma's house to say hello and see the rest of my family. My baby cousin would’ve been there, and I would’ve taken her out to the swings in the back. After eating dinner, we’d say goodbye and go home. Once home, I’d either be getting ready to go to the gym with my friend or I’d be catching up on the tons of homework given to me that day. If today was not a pandemic, it’d be a regular school day for me.” 
Aileen Z., YPIE Scholar 2025
"During one of our free periods, my friends and I got to go outside to the YHS atrium for the first time in our high school lives. This was the day before quarantine started."
Justine E., YPIE Scholar 2025
Illustration by
Darius H., YPIE Scholar 2027
“If today was not a pandemic then I would have been in school. And after school I would have been at ypie, which usually ends at 6 for me. After all that, I would have done homework for that day and end my day by being on my phone. There isn’t much I do but it all depends on the days. Today would have just been a casual school day.”
Tereza B., YPIE Scholar 2027 
"If today was not a pandemic I would be finished with school and finished with my softball practices. I would be happy and able to hug my family and Friends and just have a normal day outside playing catch with my sister and neighbor and eating barbecue or getting ice cream. Sadly this pandemic has happened and changed my lifestyle to what I would never imagine. I know how to stay 6ft away from friends and family especially my mom and dad who work and one of them is a cop. Now I have to wear face masks even to just get some fresh air and wash my hand more than 20 times a day. I can’t see my friends and now I have to be homeschooled for the rest of the school year. I totally wish I had my old life back😓."
Melissa R.,  YPIE Scholar 2026 

Sick of Video Games? 8 Other Things to do During Quarantine

By Catarina Mendes, YPIE Scholar 2025

During this unprecedented time, many are struggling to stay entertained while largely confined to their homes. It is important to find activities you can still enjoy while social distancing and staying indoors as much as possible. Below is a list of activities you can do to help curb your boredom!



Many people are using their newfound time to learn a new trade or just hone their skills. Baking and cooking can be a relaxing and rewarding activity. You will be able to create delicious meals and desserts to enjoy from the comfort of your home. You can get started by digging up the old recipe books or searching online for easy recipes. You find some easy recipes here with Buzzfeed’s 25 Beginner Meals Kids And Adults Can Cook Together.


Call a friend

Not being able to see people in person makes being social all the more important. Call someone you know such as a friend or family member to check-in and see how they’re doing. It could help get your mind off of things. Talking to someone on the phone may be a welcome way to interact with others and allow you to regain some sense of normalcy. There are different ways you can go about this, such as calling on the phone, face timing, texting, or even having group zoom video chat calls. Everyone likes talking to their friends!


Netflix party

Netflix offers a shared viewing feature so you can watch movies or shows with friends remotely! This is another great activity to promote socializing at a distance. You can simply download it as a chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store.


Play games

There are lots of different types of games you could play. Dust off the old board games and play a fun, competitive round with the family! If you have old number puzzles or word games lying around, you could try those too. Plus, you’ll be exercising your mind. There’s also lots of online game resources, such as quiz websites. For example, JetPunk - World's Best Quizzes donates 5% of their revenue towards planting trees, and Freerice donates ad revenue to the World Food Program, which works to end world hunger by donating much needed supplies to the less fortunate. You can make a difference and help improve the Earth from the comfort of your room simply by playing online quiz games, and learn new things in the process! You can even find number puzzles or word games online if you don’t have any lying around, such as Binary puzzles, solve online or print - and Web Sudoku - Billions of Free Sudoku Puzzles to Play Online, or order some board games to be delivered.


Learn a new language

Being able to speak more than one language is a great skill to have! Not only will you be able to communicate with a wider range of people, it could also improve certain job prospects for you! Language learning is a great way to keep your mind active, as well. You can use language learning apps such as babel or duolingo to get started, or order materials online. There’s also a variety of great resources online and in book form such as podcasts or youtube channels, or books on your target language. You can try Language Learning from the Yonkers Public library system to access some free resources, too. So if you’ve ever had the random desire to learn French or Swahili, now may be the time!


Write or draw

You can imagine anything you want and make it come to life in so many ways! You could write poems or short stories, or draw wacky characters, and who knows, maybe you’ll even keep it up after the pandemic ends! You could even take up digital drawing through apps such as the free autodesk sketchbook. Both writing and drawing can offer a creative outlet for you to express yourself. Create some new artwork for your room or write a poem for a parent.


Go outside

While we all must do our part and stay indoors when we can, we also need fresh air. Being outside is a natural part of human life, and if you are stuck inside for weeks on end, it could take a toll on your mental and even physical health. Go for a short walk around your neighborhood if it’s quiet enough, go out to your backyard if you have one, or simply poke your head out the door. Be sure to wear a mask and keep a safe distance between yourself and others if you choose to go outside!



Now is the perfect time to get a leg up on all those messy boring projects you could never make time for! Getting the living space tidy can help you feel more efficient and productive. You’ll be satisfied knowing that you were able to get something done, and enjoy your cleaner, newly organized space.


There are many ways you can stay engaged while staying safe at home. With the extra time many people find themselves with, it may be a challenge to avoid boredom, but we can still have fun and stay engaged while in quarantine.

Learn more about the YPIE QuaranTimes
Interested in contributing?  Email Cedony Allen, YPIE QuaranTimes Advisor and College Readiness Manager.

92 Main Street, Suite 101

Yonkers, NY 10701

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Flickr

© 2020 by Yonkers Partners in Education