Illustration by Lily Clark, 17, Immaculate Heart HS

Dad, please stop smoking
Jennifer, 15, has tried to get him to quit but he won’t listen to her.

I was born into a smoking family. My dad, uncles and older cousins smoke all the time. They never listen to anyone’s pleas to quit. I hate it when they smoke right in front of my face or at my house because I can’t stand the smell. I’m scared that one day I might get sick from inhaling the wafts of thick smoke. Even though I tell them about the risks to their health, nothing has stopped their addiction, even when my grandpa died from smoking.
Carrying my personality
These teens express who they are with their bags.
Give museums a chance
Christian, 17, says art isn’t just nice to look at, it can also be thought provoking.
I thought I’d never play again
After years of severe back pain, Claudia, 17, finally gets to play the sport she loves.
My disease doesn’t hold me back
Hanifati, 16, has had health problems all her life, but she's still still doing the things she wants to do.
My community needs a hospital
When 16-year-old Ronsanise was hit by a car, it was hard for her to travel a long distance to get treated.
Interview with a North Korean refugee
Joseph, a North Korean refugee who came to the United States when he was 17, shares his journey and challenges in this interview with Ha Young.
Choosing my own path
Bon Jin, 18, is pursuing writing, even though it’s not what his parents wanted.
They’re family, not foster kids
When babies can't live with their parents, Helen, 15, and her family take them in and give them love.
North Koreans shouldn’t have to suffer
When Ha Young, 16, learned about refugees who risked their lives to escape, she wished she could help them.
I’m a Barbie girl
For 16-year-old Jessica, her collectible dolls are more than toys.
Is your family prepared for an earthquake?
Most of our staff writers said no.
My family went up in smoke
Julie, 15, writes about what it's like when the homeless woman on the street is your drug-addicted mom. Reprinted from 1994.