by Athena Jones and Stacey Samuel, CNN
Upper Marlboro, MD (CNN) – Edward Burroughs is only 19 years old, but he isn't new to the political scene. He's held elected office for more than a year.
Burroughs won his seat on the Prince George's County, MD school board back in 2010, at just 17. By the time his term began, he was old enough to serve.
Now the college sophomore is hoping voters will give him a chance to do so again. The tall, lanky teen, who wears his hair in twists, donned khakis, a coat and a backpack to spend primary day greeting voters and handing out literature outside the polls. By that night, he had won his district's primary, pulling in 67 percent of the vote. Burroughs' chief concerns are teacher quality and shielding students in the classroom from the effects of deep budget cuts.
"At the end of the day, it's about student success, so I think that's really my role as a member of the school board," said Burroughs, who is studying Education Policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and hopes to become a teacher. "My number one priority is going to be hiring and retaining highly-qualified teachers, and the ones that we have, we need to pay them more, and the ones that are struggling we need to provide them professional development. If they're not able to be successful after that, they have to exit our system."
Burroughs is one of three young candidates running for seats on the school board in one of the state's lowest-performing counties. All three won their primaries and are gearing up for the November election. They believe their youth is a plus, arguing that they were students in these schools not long ago and know what is needed to improve them.
by Jaqueline Hurtado and Michael Martinez, CNN
(CNN) A California doctoral student who's an undocumented immigrant has published a free how-to guide on the Internet instructing similar immigrants on finding employment after college and maintaining good health "living in the shadows."
The inspiration for the book came from her family, she said.
"My father has always told me look for solutions instead of the problems," says Iliana Guadalupe Perez, an immigrant since the age of 8 when her parents brought her to the United States from Mexico.
"I always try to find the solution to the problem, if this door closed, what can I do so it opens to me?"
Perez's immigration status has been her biggest problem: she is part of the millions of undocumented students around the country. But she is also a college graduate, and yet her legal status still stands in the way of her job prospects. It's to the point where she wonders if doors won't open, could there be a window?
Perez graduated from California State University, Fresno, in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in science and mathematics and a minor in economics. Even after she had a diploma in her hand, she heard the whispers that her legal status would still prevent her from pursuing a career.
Questions about why her parents would bring her to an unfamiliar place – illegally – stuck with her. Seeing the many opportunities afforded to legal residents, Perez says she knew she couldn't give up on her future.