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What I didn’t learn in sex ed

I read the sexual health Q&A and was amazed. My teacher didn’t mention any of those facts. If I had never stumbled upon that information, I would have never known much about the different STDs and their effects. I agree with the writer’s idea of encouraging schools to have a more thorough sex education class. Without it, teens wouldn’t have any idea about safe sex.
Ricardo Cerda, Bell Gardens HS

Wow! I am shocked at the things I didn’t know but now know because of this article. The Q&A was really helpful. It had questions that some of us are too scared or shy to ask. It’s good that Meklit wrote this article because it’s true that sex ed doesn’t inform you of everything. Now because Meklit asked those questions we know why we should be careful. Also, now we know that we should think about the consequences before we take that step. 
Digna Castro, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

Exploring L.A. On the train

I related to the article “All the places we go.” When I don’t have school, my mom, sister and I take the train to places to buy gifts and clothes. I enjoy taking the train because it moves fast and you see a blur out the window. Next year I am excited to go to a school that is farther away from home so I will be able to ride the train home from school every day! Ashley has the life because she gets to explore the city on the train. I really enjoyed this article because what I want is an adventure every day. I would love to travel long distances on the train.
Franky Estupinian, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

A girl isn’t angry anymore

The article “Making peace with my past” caught my attention. Juliana lost her mother at the age of 9 and got abused by her grandmother. She had a tough life and a lot of anger built up inside. I love that she overcame her problems and is a positive person now. She inspires me to not think about what has happened to me in the past and try to live the happiest life I can.
Ani Najaryan, Wilson MS (Glendale)

I was shocked to learn that a grandmother abused her granddaughters. I’ve known kids who were in the same situation as Juliana. My parents used to take care of foster kids and I’ve seen kids who are angry, frustrated and scared because of the things they’ve been through. I kind of understand, but I don’t think you can understand a person completely until you’ve been in their shoes. I am really happy that Juliana is finding a way to deal with her problems.
Jesus Ojeda, East Valley HS  (North Hollywood)

This article was great because it made me realize how important it is to appreciate what you have in life. In the article, Juliana wishes she had her family with her. But then she realizes that even though she might not have her family, she has the staff in her group home, who are always going to be there for her. Juliana was very lucky to have her staff there for her, even when she was angry and she would take her anger out on them. I also realized how lucky I am to have both of my parents in my life. Realizing how lucky I am made me want to appreciate it while I still have it. Why not appreciate something, instead of complaining about something you do not have.
Guadalupe Chimil, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

We can all help the environment

The article “Our actions add up” related to me because my parents and I recycle or reuse almost everything. For example, we recycle cans, paper, plastic, etc. We reuse anything that is recyclable, and we turn off lights or electronics when they’re not in use. Also, when we get extra ketchup packets, we empty the ketchup into the bottle. I’m doing my part for the environment.
Adrian Saldate, Bell Gardens HS

Reading the article “Our actions add up” gave me a better understanding of why we should recycle. I could relate to many experiences of growing up in a community where there is a lot of littering. This article made me think about our environment. Not only was the article written in an interesting way, but it also included ways to help the environment. We can all help make the world a cleaner place, but to achieve that goal we need everyone to do their part.
Krissbeth Granados, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

This article is so true. Most students at my school just throw their bottles on the ground. I get mad because my friends do it too. I’ve told them to put their bottles in the recycling bin. Our school has two big bins to recycle paper and plastic so there is no excuse. I try to tell my friends to think about the environment and about global warming but they never listen. Hopefully I will get my message across. I try my best to set an example at school by using the same bottle for water. I wish more students would care.
Ashley Mendoza, Madison MS (North Hollywood)

I have religion in my life again

Reading the article “I believe again” made me think about my own beliefs. Being an atheist I really connected with the writer’s views of religion. The writer’s epiphany—that religion was not a simple set of beliefs, but a means of happiness—was very intriguing. Though I don’t plan on changing my own religious views any time soon, this article showed me religion’s role in someone else’s life.
Matej Zampach, Wilson MS

I am a Catholic, but I don’t believe that science can prove my faith. I understand why the writer turned into an atheist using logic, but I did enjoy the end when he embraced his religion and realized that faith doesn’t have to be solved.
Cesar Sanchez, East Valley HS

I really liked this article. I was raised as a Christian. It was interesting reading about the different opinions on religion. Being able to get thoughts from different sides when it comes to beliefs was really great. My friends and I have contrasting views on faith. I learned to understand where people are coming from. This article taught me to respect all views.
Tristine Nubla, Wilson MS

Dealing with the death of a classmate

The article “Remembering a classmate” showed me how losing someone can change your point of view on death. Jennifer was afraid of death but after the death of her classmate, Aydin Salek, she isn’t. As Jennifer wrote, “When you die your body may leave but your soul doesn’t; your soul stays in people’s hearts.”
Marjorie Casas, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

This article made me look at life with a new perspective. I felt like I connected with Jennifer because I was in shock reading about how this young man died. Teenagers make a lot of mistakes and it sucks that sometimes these mistakes lead to losing your life. Reading this article makes me want to enjoy my life and love all my friends and family. Live every day as if it were your last!
Carmen Lopez, East Valley HS

What I liked about this article was that even though she didn’t know the person who died, she still felt sad. I can’t imagine losing one of my friends or family. I remember my sixth grade teacher would always talk about her daughter. But a couple of months ago her daughter died in a car accident. Even though I didn’t know her personally, hearing about the accident made me want to cry. Wanting to cry for a stranger, I wondered how her mom handled it.
Sami Islam, Madison MS

I like spending time with my family

I connected with Yasamin because my mom is strict about everything I do. I’m not allowed to go to parties or go out with my friends. I’m always with my family. I’m not going to lie, I get bored, but it’s good to be with your family. It brings you closer and they are always there when you need them.
Lorena Angueano, East Valley HS

I’m also Persian and my life is very similar to the writer’s and a little different as well. I love my Persian culture, but my parents are not as strict as hers. I am learning to be thankful for having nice parents. Yasamin is very lucky that she got to go to Iran because I have never been there. I hope one day I can go and enjoy my Persian culture like she did.
Shervin Rahimimanesh, Wilson MS

It’s important to be counted in the census

I found the article “Time to be counted” interesting because I never knew what the U.S. Census was for.  By filling out the census our community and state could have enough representatives in Congress and receive money that we need for our schools, libraries and hospitals. It’s reassuring to know that the information we give is confidential. People shouldn’t be afraid to answer the questions. Like the writer said, this simple task will greatly affect our community.
Megan Llamas, Wilson MS