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Homeless teens are working hard to turn their lives around

I really enjoyed reading the article “Getting off the streets” because reading about Luis’s and Lace’s lives was pretty shocking. It was hard to believe that they had gone through so much even though they are only teenagers. Luis and Lace are two very inspiring teens. They went from having nothing at all to building their lives up. They’ve done so much to benefit themselves already and I’m sure they’re going to accomplish tons more in the future.
Kelly Boonkrong
, Wilson MS (Glendale)

I found the cover story really interesting. I had believed that most homeless people were alcoholics or dropouts who couldn’t get a house because they wasted their money on drugs or alcohol. Before, I was reluctant to give homeless people money because I thought, “Oh, they will just use the money to buy drugs or alcohol,” but now I know that most of them had no support and were really unlucky.
Christian Jensen, Wilson MS

After reading “Getting off the streets” from the March/April 2011 issue, it made me realize what I truly have. It really hit me hard that every year more than 25,000 teenagers are homeless and that’s only in the United States. I liked this article because a teenager could come across this article and it could help them. What I also found fascinating were the stories of Lace’s and Luis’s lives before they got to Covenant House. Lace would live in shelters with her mom and little sister, but she ended up in foster care. Luis’s life was surrounded with drug abuse, gangs, jail and foster homes. Finally, this article showed me how life can take an unexpected turn. It has made me realize sometimes life isn’t that great and just like Lace you have to make the most of it. I’d like to thank you L.A. Youth for raising awareness about teenage homelessness.
Cassandra Rouch, Sunny Hills HS (Fullerton)


A boy no longer believes his race holds him back

I really enjoyed this article because what Edgar says is true. Many people think that Latinos cannot graduate. I disagree because if you look, there are lots of Latinos who grow up to be something important in life. The quote which says, “I no longer think that Latinos can’t be as successful as others,” inspires me by making me do better in school to prove what it says.
Carol Santiago
, Wilson MS

The article “My race doesn’t hold me back” caught my eye because the writer’s background was similar to mine; he is Latino. And just like Edgar, both of my parents work low-paying jobs and we are barely making it. I can’t ask for money. I can’t ask my parents for help when I get stuck on a homework problem because they didn’t get much education back in their homeland. For almost half a year, my parents were unemployed and I couldn’t go out and have fun very much. But I got something out of it. I learned to not be selfish by only thinking about myself. I learned how to be hardworking and responsible by getting a job that ultimately paid for all my expenses.
Raul Martinez, Franklin HS

Your article is very clear and strong. I am inspired by your aspirations. I have a similar perspective that many teenagers in America are very prejudiced toward others. I am Indonesian Muslim so I know what it feels like to be a minority, especially being a Muslim girl who wears a headscarf. Some people might think I’m an extremist. Thank you for writing this article.
, Comment from

A girl eventually overcame her shyness

If the writer of “Alone at a new school” reads this, I just want to say that you helped me. I’m going to be a high school student and I am afraid. Your story sounded like me when I went from a Christian elementary school to a public middle school. I was afraid and alone but after reading your story, I realized that if I had opened up earlier to the students around me, I would’ve had more friends. I’m glad L.A. Youth published your story. It showed me that new kids all go through the same experience but those kids just need to open up a bit more.
Ashley Yim
, Wilson MS

When I read “Alone at a new school,” I felt happy for Sophie because she managed to go from a shy new kid to the friend everyone knows. I found this article interesting because Sophie didn’t have to do too much to make new friends; all she had to do was say “Hey, I’m Sophie! I think we were in the English class last year. What’s your name again?” I feel it’s important to have articles like this in each issue because it shows teens that they don’t have to change who they are as a person to make new friends, whether they’re old or new to a school.
llll What I enjoyed about this was that Sophie decided to sign up for a social class such as journalism and was determined to go on with it, even though she was shy. She said she did it because “Just because I didn’t know anyone else in the class didn’t mean I was going to give up on something I like to do,” and that kind of determination ended up benefiting her. I think that teens who are new at a school or are bored with their life at school should try new things and make new friends.
llll Finally, this article made me realize that not every person in high school is mean, or fits a certain stereotype, like the popular girl who sat in front of Sophie. When Sophie commented on her sweater, they ended up becoming great friends. So instead of this unfriendly stuck up girl that she had been expecting, she was nice and friendly. Shy teens should be inspired to try giving a small conversation chance to turn in to a huge friendship.
Crystal Baca, Sunny Hills HS

A teen copes with his asthma

I can better understand the daily life of someone with asthma after reading the article “Gasping for air.” I don’t struggle with asthma, but it pained me to read about the difficulties that Brian faced because of his lung weakness. But his ability to do martial arts and to play the trumpet is impressive. It inspires me to hear of someone with a health problem who manages to succeed.
Liam Spires, Wilson MS

You wrote a great article. Hopefully you’ll grow out of your asthma soon. You might be a marathon runner someday … who knows.
Ann, Comment from

A teen loves classical music

Classical music never goes out of style” was an interesting article and one that I relate to. I love to listen to classical music as much as I love to play it. During seventh grade, when I was in my school’s orchestra playing the violin, I started to appreciate classical music much more. Since then, I have learned a few other instruments, but I especially like the violin, cello and snare drum. I also listen to classical music every day on KUSC. I agree that classical music never goes out of style.
Timothy Lee, Wilson MS

Should police use dogs to search for drugs at school?

I agree with the writer that people should not bring drugs to school and that there should be police at schools. There should be searches for drugs at the entrance of the school. It is illegal for kids to smoke. You could end up in a hospital if you smoke a lot. You could go to jail if you get caught at school. There are very strict laws about smoking.
Carlos Campos
, Centennial College Prep Academy (Huntington Park)