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A girl made her immigrant parents’ college dreams come true 

While I was reading the article “Making their college dreams come true” I realized that I have much in common with Yesenia. My parents are also from El Salvador and want the best for my future. They always tell me, “If you want to be someone in life you’ve got to show them with hard work.” My parents can’t help me with the majority of my schoolwork, and that makes it harder for me. Yet, it benefits me too because it makes me have to think more for myself. When I accomplish a challenging task it makes me feel empowered and helps me know that I can do anything I put my mind to. My parents push me to get straight As, and I know they push me because they care about my education and want me to be somebody in life.
Ashley Tulle, Madison MS (North Hollywood)

It’s hard to have one of your parents not be able to help you because your homework is too difficult for them. But I liked how Yesenia never gave up and wanted to make her parents proud. Now that Yesenia is in college, I know that I can do what she did to make my mom proud.
Gabriella Diaz, Pacoima MS

I was really impressed with the article “Making their college dreams come true.” I admire Yesenia’s dedication to succeed. I also admire her for realizing that a good education means much more than perfect grades. It’s about getting informed about important issues in our communities and our country, and using that information to better ourselves and to try to improve things in society. Yesenia’s example is very inspiring.
Sophia Plesh, Wilson MS (Glendale)

We deserve safe parks 

What is the point of having parks if people are afraid to enter them? When I read about the shooting of a 19-year-old college student, I felt awful. He was just sitting on a bench minding his own business when it happened. This was a wake-up call to me about how unsafe parks can be. Even though I don’t spend much time at parks, I know I wouldn’t want to have to worry about gangs and killings when I’m sitting under a tree reading a book. It’s good advice to not go to a park after 7 p.m. and to always go with friends. There should be more security in parks because they are meant to make people of all ages feel welcome.
Maya Bocanegra, Madison MS

A teen was excited to ride the new Expo Line train

It was interesting to learn that there are train lines that connect downtown Los Angeles to outlying cities. I am considering buying a TAP card. I hope to use it if I am going to the Staples Center or the California Science Center. Maybe I could see the new space shuttle Endeavour! I am excited about the new light rail line and I hope I can use it instead of my parents having to drive me through the suffocating traffic in downtown L.A. Thank you for writing about this new method of travel that I am looking forward to trying.
Bhavin Shah, Wilson MS

A girl wondered when like becomes love

I started liking this guy in sixth grade and I still do. Since everyone knew how I felt toward him, people would ask me, “Are you in love with him?” My response would always be “no” because deep down inside I knew that it was just a really strong like. Even after two years of liking him a lot, I can’t say my feeling for him is love. I feel like I’m just too young to even know the meaning of love. Love isn’t a game and it shouldn’t be treated as one. When saying “I love you,” it should mean something huge.
Meylin Barillas, Madison MS

A Muslim girl defended her faith

I can relate to the article “In defense of my faith” because I’m Muslim too. I have heard many stories about how Muslims hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York. When I was in fifth grade, I heard one of my classmates saying she thought that Muslims were terrorists and that Islam is a bad religion. So I decided to stand up and defend my religion. I asked her, “What if an American hijacked planes and crashed them into the towers? Then you would also think that Americans and American religions weren’t good?” I think I made my point since from that day forward I have not heard anyone at school say things like that. Instead, people ask me about Islam and they wonder what makes Islam interesting. One thing that everyone should keep in mind is to never judge people because of their religion, and never doubt your own religion. Be proud of who you are and help people understand more about you.
Mujgan Nessari, Madison MS

Compare the Candidates 

I liked the article, “Compare the candidates.” I think it’s great for kids to be exposed to politics and see how political decisions made now will affect their lives in the future as they grow into the next generation of American voters. As a Barack Obama supporter, I think informational articles like this help show the great ideas that Obama promotes and some of Mitt Romney’s ideas that I don’t agree with.
Justin Fortaleza, Madison MS

A poet inspired a girl to want to be a writer

Daisy was inspired by the poems and works of Sylvia Plath, and at first I wondered how it was possible to be inspired by such dark writing? But as I read further, I realized that Plath used writing as therapy. The article reminded me of myself. I have been inspired by writers such as Jean de Meun (author of the allegorical poem Romance of the Rose), Alexandre Dumas and Philippa Gregory. I have also become interested in poetry and inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I am happy that there are still plenty of young people who like to write. Hopefully, the art of writing will thrive!
Aleksandra Shirzad, Madison MS