Letters to the editor (May – June 2010 issue)
These are letters we received about stories that appeared in the March – April 2010 issue of L.A. Youth.
Eating healthy is hard
I really enjoyed reading the article “Why is eating healthy so hard?” because I can relate to it. I have tried to eat healthy many times but my mom works a lot so a lot of times we eat fast food. I am an athlete so I want to eat healthy to be able to improve in my sport, but seeing the fast food on the table is very tempting and I start eating. Ernesto is setting a great example to those who want to start eating healthy and hopefully he can be an example for his siblings too. Hopefully he can accomplish his goal.
Victor Lopez, International Studies Learning Center (South Gate)
Many people can’t afford to eat healthy or go to a gym and because of this, there are a lot of obese people in poor communities. I’m glad there was an article published to bring up the topic. Something needs to be done.
Rebecca Carreon, International Studies Learning Center
There’s more to South Central than stereotypes
I thought the stories in “We defy the stereotypes” were something everyone should consider. It’s true that a lot of people are prejudiced when they meet someone who’s another race. I was shocked when I read each writer’s story about race in South Central L.A. People can be so judgmental; haven’t they heard “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Just because they live in South Central doesn’t mean that they don’t care about their futures. These students are victims of racial discrimination but it didn’t bring them down. They’re strong and determined to fulfill their dreams and that’s what is important. We need more people like them!
Linda Sau, San Gabriel HS
Reading “We defy the stereotypes” made me feel that I could understand how difficult life can be for some people. I liked this article because the stories were incredibly vivid; I could picture what they experienced in my head. When Yesenia wrote about the marijuana incident, I understood how she felt when a guy said “I thought that you smoked.” People have unrightfully assumed I smoke. The way she stood up for herself made me admire her willpower.
What I also found fascinating was how strong Frank was when he was pulled over by the police. I have never been in a situation so frightening, and just reading the article made me shiver. Being accused of a shooting is serious. When Frank wrote, “I was angry but I couldn’t get too angry because I knew that they were doing their job,” I was in shock. I would have been furious with the officer, but Frank took the high road and forgave him.
Reading this article made me realize how hard life can be for minorities and other ethnicities. I think that the teens who wrote this article are all very strong willed and great people. They have been through so much because of thier race, and they still can smile about it and be proud. Skin color doesn’t change a person’s attitude, so why treat them differently or stereotype them? It’s incredibly wrong.
Nicho Arrata, Sonora HS
Missing my family
The article “Mom, I missed you” stood out to me the most. The writer explained the difficulties that she had to go through. She saw her family only on the weekends. If I was in her situation I would go crazy. I’m really happy she’s living with her family again. She taught me to appreciate the little things in life that my family gives me.
Mari Mkrtchyan, Wilson MS (Glendale)
I adopted my dog from a shelter
I really liked the article about rescuing pets from the animal shelter because I’m a big animal lover. It makes me sad to know that thousands of pets are being euthanized because their owners either can’t or don’t want to take care of them. People should spay or neuter their pets because shelters are overcrowded with abandoned animals, and those who don’t find homes are killed. It’s great that the author rescued his dog from the shelter and saved her life. I’m considering getting a dog soon and I am planning to adopt as well.
Jessica Jorge, International Studies Learning Center
The article, “I rescued my dog from a shelter” really touched my heart. I can relate to this story because for the past four Saturdays I have been working at a shelter and I see many animals that need a home. Every time I go I wish I could adopt all of them and give them a home, but that’s impossible. I just wish there were more people like Stanton to adopt and care for a helpless animal.
Jessica Robles, International Studies Learning Center
Teens should take sex seriously
I related very much to “Thinking about the consequences of sex” because I have friends who got pregnant at an early age and kept their babies. I also had a friend who had an abortion when she was 18. She didn’t want to have an abortion but she thought it was best because she was in an unstable relationship and she didn’t want the child to go through the pain and discomfort of not having a complete family. I can understand her point of view but I know that there are couples who can’t have children and would like to adopt. I don’t judge people who get abortions because they have their reasons. Instead of judging them we have to stand by them because a decision like that is painful and not easy to make. If you can’t handle the consequences, then stop doing what you are doing.
Nallely Avellaneda, International Studies Learning Center
This article made me think about and feel grateful that my sister had her children and gave me a niece and nephew. It made me imagine my life without them. I think it’s ridiculous how sex can be so casual and meaningless. I’ve always been against abortion because I think everything is a gift from God. Teens think that sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancies are things that won’t ever happen to them if they have sex. Most don’t realize how serious sex can be.
Samhy de Guia, Wilson MS
I had the courage to be myself
I can relate to “I can just be me” so much because I see how music influences the styles and personalities of my peers. Brett reminded me of myself. I also began to venture out and listen to other types of music because I was stuck on one type of music. Hopefully this article helps people understand that there is more music to be heard than the type you normally listen to.
Desiree Jimenez, International Studies Learning Center
When I read the article “I can just be me” I realized I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. I am constantly teased by classmates to cut my hair but I don’t care. I have curly hair down to my lip but I straighten it sometimes because I prefer my hair straight. I am also into hardcore music. I also wear skinny jeans although they are kind of uncomfortable. At times I feel my teachers look at me differently because of the way I look. I have long black hair, tight shirts and two lip piercings called snake bites. A lot of people would judge me just by looking at me and assume that I only like rock but I enjoy every type of music. I am completely comfortable with the way I look and would not change my style just to get new friends or to be accepted.
Michael Hernandez, International Studies Learning Center
After reading, “I can just be me,” I felt I could relate with the writer’s story. I was also "trying too hard to fit in" with my peers and I would let people affect “the way I dressed and the people I talked to.” It was reassuring to know I wasn’t the only one dealing with the same kind of issue.
What I also found incredible was that the writer was able to be open up and listen to other music unlike a lot of people. There are many students who attend my school who would never even consider giving other genres of music a listen. It was pleasant to hear about someone who really appreciates multiple kinds of music.
I hope other teens will read this article and realize that they don’t have to be someone they’re not just to impress other people. People don’t notice that you don’t need to conform to others’ expectations to be accepted.
Christian Compean, Sonora HS
Being an understanding friend
I really liked the article “You can tell me.” It is nice to know that even though each person is unique, your closest friends are still there for you. It’s sad that some schools, religions and people in general are so judgmental toward homosexuality. Misusing the word “gay” is also wrong because it can hurt people without us even realizing. I support all sexualities. There is no reason to hide it. It’s what makes you, you.
Bina Kapoor, International Studies Learning Center
I can relate to this article because I know what it’s like to have a best friend who is gay. Like the writer, gay people used to freak me out and I was uncomfortable around them. But now I see it a whole different way. When my best friend told me she was bisexual, I was a bit shocked, but I got used to it and accepted her the way she was.
The article “You can tell me” really hit close to me because I have a friend who’s gay and I never realized it until he finally told me. We’ve been friends for years and for him to get the courage to tell me was one of the bravest things I’ve seen. At first, I was uncomfortable with the idea of him being gay but then, like the author of the article, my opinions changed and I saw nothing was wrong with him. I learned to not be prejudiced and to support my friend. He was like anyone else who needed someone to talk to. I’m now more open-minded and believe in gay rights. This article reminded me how brave my friend was.