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A girl learned she’s better off without her abusive father

I was touched by your story “I’m better off without my dad.” Many teens are going through these things every day and when they read your article they don’t feel alone. You may have had very tough times but in the end it leads to something better for you and your family. My parents are also separated and I know that anger you feel when you have a stepmom or stepdad because I have both. At first it may be hard but once you realize what they mean to your parents and family you understand that it’s for the best. I look up to you for writing this article and showing it to so many people even though it may hurt.
Ivan GarciaAnimo Leadership Charter HS

I was able to understand and make connections as I read the article “I’m better off without my dad.” Reading the words “I wanted him to understand the hurt I’d been feeling, but he only cared about himself” brought flashbacks of my dad. I totally understood what the author was talking about when she described her abusive dad. I am so glad that she was able to move on with her life and give her stepfather a chance. When I see a dad and daughter sharing special memories and demonstrating love toward each other it causes a pain in my heart that I know one day, with the help of God, will be gone.
Name withheld

A family struggled when mom lost her job

The article, “The recession hits home,” is very similar to my life. Because my dad is getting deported, my family has been ruined. My mom has no job and she has many bills to pay. She has to pay credit cards, car, gas, energy, and most importantly, the rent. My mom cries because she stresses a lot. She worries and I worry because she can’t find a job and I’m too young to work. I feel impotent and I wish I could do something. I wish everything was back to normal. I wish my dad was here.
Name withheld

P.E. is worth it

I relate to the article “Give P.E. a chance” because I used to be one of those snobby girls who didn’t like to get all sweaty. I look at them now and think, “Wow!” They’re missing out on so much fun and exercise, which is why a lot of teens are overweight. I try to do my best when I’m in P.E. class, even though I’m out there in the middle of the day and I get a little sweaty. Just bring some deodorant and an extra shirt and you’ll be OK.
Laura MorenoHollywood HS

I’m now in eighth grade and there is no P.E. But now people want P.E., even the ones that would just sit around in P.E. before. Sixth and seventh graders get P.E. I don’t think it’s fair that we don’t have it because eighth graders don’t get their daily exercise. It would even be OK if we had it once in a while, but to cut it completely is not fair.
Ronaldo C.Camino Nuevo MS

A girl was so stressed that she got sick

From seventh grade to ninth grade I put so much pressure on myself to be the best that I too became sick. I had become a monster and living with me was like walking on eggshells. My family and I finally had a discussion about me and school. I never knew that I was hurting them by not being happy. They wanted me to do well but to never forget to smile. Now as a sophomore I put less emphasis on the importance of being the best or having straight As. All I can do is my best.
Brianna AllenHollywood HS

I felt the exact same way [as Julia Waldow] during my freshman year, as the stress became almost unbearable.  My parents’ expectations were incredibly high and success was my main priority. As a sophomore now I have decided like the author “even though I studied less, I remembered things better because I was more relaxed …”  I also believe I’m not the only reader who can relate to this sort of stress. In the end, as the main point of the article still rings in my head, all I want is, “to go to college somewhere that will make me happy.”
Oscar AvilaCamino Nuevo MS


It’s hard to keep a New Year’s resolution

I was really able to connect with the article “New Year, new me” because I can easily relate to Merryck Dickerson. We both have tried to improve ourselves but to no avail. I believe that it’s a great idea that as we grow older we try to improve ourselves and our habits, but it is not nearly as easy as it seems. My resolution this year was to refrain from saying any insulting and disrespectful words. I failed after a couple of days. I hope that one year I can manage to overcome one of my negative habits and improve myself just like Merryck has managed to do push-ups so far.
Arely PaezAnimo Leadership Charter HS

I think it’s pathetic when someone tells me or I hear “This coming year there’s going to be a new me.” There is nothing wrong saying it but when you can’t and don’t succeed your words are useless. People can try being a new person only if they believe in themselves. I can relate this article in my life because I am one of those people who says, “New year, new me,” but then there is always something that makes me go back to how I usually act.
Anaid MayorgaHollywood HS

Former dropouts get a second chance

I am glad L.A. Youth published the story “Getting real about graduating.” It got me more serious about school. The dropouts talked about how they started with one bad grade and it got out of control. My last semester grades were bad because I had a lot of Cs and Bs, no As. I probably won’t go down that same path because my grades are improving but this snapped me back to reality and showed me exactly how important it is to get good grades.
Linda ArshakyanWilson MS (Glendale)

Students say budget cuts hurt education

When I was in middle school, I pictured high school to be like it was in movies—big stadiums, thousands of people, big football games and amazing pep rallies. But a lot of students at our school have stopped trying or even showing up. I know people who have transferred because of the poorness of our school. I am glad you wrote about the school cuts survey results to make people aware of how the budget cuts in high school can change the perspective of students on their learning. I hope high schools change this problem so students can have hope to learn and change the world.
Victor BanuelosAnimo Leadership Charter HS


A boy created his own comic strips

The article “Creating my own comics” inspired me. The way Austin talks about his love for creating comics makes me want to start drawing again. As a kid, I would take art classes but painting and fancy coloring didn’t catch my attention; I always loved cartoons. As I grew older, I stopped drawing altogether. I have recently begun drawing again and I enjoy it. None of my friends care for it, but reading this article has shown me what it’s all about. Drawing is about doing what you love and expressing yourself.
Kevin RodasHollywood HS

Creating my own comics really hit home because I am starting to draw my own comics now because of your article and because I really enjoy doing it. This article showed me that I could do what I like and enjoy doing it. I want to thank you for this awesome article and because it made me start doing what I like and also get better.
Israel BarbaAnimo Leadership Charter HS