Illustration by Edison Mellor-Goldman, 17, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

Leave us alone
I feared my father would never stop terrorizing my family.

When my father went to jail for hitting my mom, I thought everything was going to be fine. But it wasn’t. Things got worse after he was released from jail. He turned into some kind of monster who kept coming around harassing us and hitting my mom. I thought it would never end.
I was there for Barack Obama’s inauguration
Casey, 17, says the crowds and cold were worth it to be there for the inauguration of the first black president.
A mouthful of beats
Learning to beatbox has given Ben, 16, a talent to be proud of. WITH VIDEO OF BEN BEATBOXING!!
Gay couples should be allowed to marry
At first it wasn’t important to Stephany, 14, but she came to see this as a civil rights issue.
It’s about marriage, not hatred
Elliot, 16, feels he was unfairly attacked for his views opposing marriage for same-sex couples.
I’m glad she came here
Seventeen-year-old Brett's friendship with his family's housekeeper gave him a better understanding of illegal immigration.
Acting against AIDS
Putting on a play made Jessica, 17, realize that teens are at risk and need to protect themselves.
My food paradise
Edison, 17, has grown up going to the Farmers Market, eating dishes from all over the world. WITH PHOTO GALLERY.
Finally friendship
Camilla, 16, feels more confident and outgoing after making friends.
Eating right while eating out
After learning she had high cholesterol, Brandie, 17, made her diet healthier. WITH SIDEBAR OF TIPS ON HOW AND WHERE TO EAT MORE NUTRITIOUSLY.
Speaking up for gay marriage
Working on a gay-rights documentary helped Rene, 17, see the importance of this issue.
I wish the violence would stop
Teens suggest solutions to racial fights at school and gang problems.
Results from the violence survey
This fall we asked our readers to share their experiences with violence in their neighborhoods and at school. Here are the answers from the more than 1,000 teens who responded.
Readers respond to essays about gang violence
Our essay contest about the problems of violence inspired our readers to share their thoughts about how violence affects us all.
Teens react to Barack Obama’s inauguration
L.A. Youth writers were inspired by this history-making occasion and Barack Obama's speech.