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There were two stories that interested me in the September issue of L.A. Youth. One was "He ruined our family." I admire Jennifer for her courage. She had a lot of guts to do what she did and I’m glad she wrote it down as a story for the rest of the teens to read. The second one was "I (heartagram) my tattoo." I also have a tattoo that I love to show off. Ray’s telling the truth about letting go and doing something for yourself. Please tell both of these writers I enjoyed their stories and look forward to their next ones.
—Krystianna Estorga, Banning HS

Bouncing back from depression

I think the article "Bouncing back" was really inspiring! I’ve gone through depression quite a lot, so I can really relate to this story. This story has a voice that not only speaks for the writer, but for everyone around the world going through depression. It goes to show that after every storm there will always be sunshine! In addition, it goes to show that to be truly happy, you only need yourself. Who cares what anyone thinks about you. This is a lesson in life that was difficult for me to learn, but it was the key to my happiness.
—Name withheld

I was so touched by David Bacon’s article "Bouncing back" about foster care. I realize now that there are many kids out there who are basically living in hell because they feel abandoned and I can’t do anything to help them. I was extremely sad when I read that David was depressed and wouldn’t stop eating. No one deserves to be depressed. I really admire David’s effort to get better, and he succeeded. He lost 55 pounds and I know even I can’t do that. It’s all thanks to the staff member that helped David. She became his trainer and helped him lose all his weight. What the world needs more of is kind staff members like her.
—Tammy Lo, San Gabriel HS

My mom’s boyfriend put us through hell

The article "He ruined our family" really touched my heart and made me feel sympathy toward Jennifer. The story of her bad experience made me feel as if I were a ghost in that scene, trying to help her but no one was able to see or hear me. I kind of felt the urge she had of trying to help her mom and her fear of people not accepting the way she was at school. Once she had the courage to open up, I could feel the anger she had toward her mom’s boyfriend.

Jennifer was really brave to share this part of her life with the world. I just hope that anyone who reads this article and has the same problems acts up quickly before it’s too late.
—Mayra Sanchez, San Gabriel HS

Determined to speak at graduation

The girl in the article "Determined to speak" was very brave. She was willing to try everything she could to get what she wanted. Also, even after her teachers and principal told her "No, you can’t make a speech," she did it anyway. Many people today are afraid to speak up for themselves because they are afraid of the consequences. That’s why so many people miss out on many chances to do or get what they want. I am just like them. I am always scared to make speeches and presentations, and I barely ever speak up for myself. When I see people who aren’t scared to do these things, I think to myself that everyone should learn to be like that. People should learn to overcome their fears and also their problems. That’s why I admire the girl in this article for speaking up for herself.
—Tiffany Dong, San Gabriel HS

Does school start too early?

I don’t think starting school early causes people to always lose sleep. I think homework is the real issue. Some people have more homework than others. People might take only five classes, but most of them might be AP or honors classes. These classes give tons of homework and it takes forever. On the other hand, the author is correct in a way, because most of the time, more class equals more homework. So I think that the homework should be cut back a bit, not time at school.
—Henry Huang, San Gabriel HS

I agree with the first part of this article, but in the second part the writer goes against school starting later. I was shocked when I read this. I had always thought that all high school students wanted a later start time to school.

I would like a later start time, especially because I have zero period. In the article, the writer said if school started later, school would also end later, and she would have less time to do the things she loved. Well, I think that there is no point to getting out of school earlier to do the things you love, if you are too tired.
—Simon Lee, San Gabriel HS

An Asian in a club for Latinos

As I read the article "Mis amigos latinos," it really opened my mind. I am Latina, so I am familiar with MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán]; my oldest brother was a member. He always talked to me about all of the hardships Latinos go through, so I always figured that MEChA was for only Latinos. This article showed me that other cultures (minorities) go through the same hardships as Latinos. However, I do wonder about the name. Doesn’t it give the impression that it’s for only Latinos?
—Janet Corvera, San Gabriel HS

I thought it was really cool how an Asian kid was accepted into a mostly Latino community in "Mis amigos latinos." There’s so much racism among different ethnic groups going around these days that I just couldn’t believe how well George fit in. Where I go to school, most of the students are split into two main ethnic groups—Hispanics and Asians. There’s always cruel and harsh name-calling from both sides.

Don’t get me wrong. Not all Asians hang out only with other Asians and not all Hispanics hang out only with other Hispanics. Some of us enjoy the presence of a person from a different background and culture, but it’s unusual.

I guess no matter how hard some of us try there will always be racism and discrimination. Even though we’re all humans, some people will always think they’re better than others. There’s so much we can learn about each other, but we don’t give each other the chance because we concentrate so much on trying to hurt and humiliate each other. If only we were all accepted like George, but I haven’t given up hope yet.

Getting a tattoo

I agree with Ray Tenorio when he speaks of how he needed to get his tattoo. Every individual is different and if we feel like to be ourselves and truly in touch with ourselves, we need a tattoo, why stop us? He wasn’t offending anyone and the heartagram is actually really pretty. A lot of parents try and stop their children from getting tattoos, but I don’t see a problem with it. I don’t have a tattoo, but if I felt the need to get one, I doubt there’s anything that could stop me.
—Diana Cao, San Gabriel HS

Two weeks of no TV

I think that these articles are very interesting, especially the one about television. These days teens watch too much TV. It’s almost like a drug to them. I can relate because I was also like that, until the Internet came along. Now the Internet has turned into an addiction to me like TV was before.
—Kimberly Lam, San Gabriel HS

I actually never realized how it would be to give up TV. I’ve always kinda considered it part of my daily routine. I guess if I did more or found something to do, I wouldn’t have the need to spend my days lazing about with the TV on. My life is pretty boring so I guess TV is a way to escape from life as I know it. I could probably do more around the house, maybe clean more, organize, find things that I’ve been looking for. My mom loves to come home from work to a clean house so I should cut back on TV and make her happy by cleaning. Who knows, maybe I’ll get something in return.
—Jeremy Barahona, San Gabriel HS

Coaches, players and trainers offer tips for NBA hopefuls

I think the article "Shooting for the NBA" has a lot of helpful information. It shows just how hard the road to the NBA is and how much dedication you need to make it. I am a player trying to see if I have what it takes to make it. This article has shown me some of the steps I have to take and what places I have to be, such as playing for many leagues and working hard.
—Nikola Janosevic, San Gabriel HS