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A teen struggles with depression

I read the article “Held down by depression” because I was depressed for a short time. I was going through some complicated problems with my father, but it wasn’t so bad that I didn’t go to school or had to be sent to a group home to get help for it. I just had to talk to someone about my problems and that helped tremendously. I encourage you to write more articles about things like that.
Name withheld

I totally understand how Karen feels. I’m 16 also and I suffer from depression. Just a year ago, I was in her position. Instead of a group home, I was placed in a mental hospital. I learned so much from my experience that I also wrote an article about it for my school newspaper. I love that I was able to reach out to more kids who felt the same, but never spoke up about it. Great article!
Hazelynn, comment on

After reading “Held down by depression” I realized that in sixth grade I was depressed, because the kids at my school made fun of me. I would always cry and be sad and of course would not want to go to school. Time passed and I met this teacher at school and talked with her. I let my feelings out about everything and everyone. I felt so much better.
Name withheld

When my dad moved to New Jersey, I was very depressed. I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want to go to my mom’s messy house. I had thoughts of suicide. I hated my life. Eventually I realized that life goes on. Now I am so happy and nothing can bring me down. I ignore the fact that my dad is 4,000 miles away. To me it feels like he is right up the street. So when you’re depressed, just don’t think about what is making you sad and move on.
Name withheld

We must be careful about STDs 

I was blown away by how Frank Reed explained such a taboo subject as STDs in a teen-friendly way. I really needed clarification about this. I’m 16 and around the age when some people start having sex. As a teen I wonder, “Am I ready?” This article makes me feel more confident.
Xavier Magaña, Hollywood HS

Don’t text and drive

 I do not drive but my mother does. She has a bad habit of texting or Facebooking while driving. It really scares me; she hardly looks at the road. I hope that this article makes her see the error of her ways. No life is worth [risking by] answering a text message.

Madelinn Ornelas, International Studies Learning Center (South Gate)

I totally agree with the article “I should have kept my hands on the wheel.” I disagree with the other [driver] being the guilty person because you were the one texting. But it was responsible of you to tell your friend not to text. You are lucky that your mom let you drive your car again. I think you have learned your lesson, so keep encouraging other people not to text and drive at the same time. 
Edward Perez, International Studies Learning Center

I also got into a car accident. I was with my mother and she was texting and then BOOM … we crashed. I got so scared. Now I’m so traumatized about getting into another accident. So every time my mom has her phone with her while she drives I take it away from her. My mother learned her lesson and stopped texting while she drives. I tell her, “Yes, Mom! Thank you.” Yuri is very smart for not texting anymore. And she’s smart for telling her friends to stop texting.
Kim Cruz, Hollywood HS

I agree with this article because texting while driving is dangerous. A lot of teens and even adults are addicted to their phones. They think it’s OK if they check it while they are driving and accidents happen like what happened to Yuri in this article. I see a lot of people looking at their phones while driving. If everyone didn’t text and drive, there would be a lot less accidents out there.
Christian Saghi, Wilson MS (Glendale)

Girls’ sports deserve equal treatment

I found the article “Where can we play ball?” to be a very good example of sexism. I feel girls deserve the same amount of equipment and practice space as the boys. If the school’s excuse is that there is not enough money for equipment and field space, why don’t the teams just take turns by sharing the better field or the equipment? I believe female athletes can play any sport as good as any male athlete can. I am very proud of Karina Arias for writing about this.
Lora Haytaian, Wilson MS

I really enjoyed this article by Karina. Growing up playing sports I’ve noticed that girls do not get much support or respect from others. I play girls basketball for Hollywood High and the school doesn’t pay attention to us. During the morning announcements they will announce that the boys have a basketball game but not if we do. The next day if we win and the boys lose, they will announce the boys’ score but mention anything about us. I think all sports should be respected equally whether it’s a girls’ sport or a boys’ sport.
Ashley Ramirez, Hollywood HS

LEGOs are a creative outlet for a teen

I loved the article about LEGOs because every time I get out of bed in the morning, I go straight to my LEGO table. My LEGO table is a table made out of LEGOs with LEGO creations that I have made on top. I can totally compare his life with mine because I’m 13 and playing with LEGOs. Most people say that I have no life, but I don’t care what people think. I LOVE LEGOS.
Jessica Thlick, Wilson MS

A girl had problems juggling school and her job

This article taught me an important lesson. You can only do so much before you break because there is not much time. I am happy that Jennifer decided to cut down on the [hours she worked at her] job and focus on her studies more. My dad always tells me not to put money over school because money comes and goes. I enjoyed reading this article because I am a sophomore and plan on working during my junior year, but only if I have time. I am on the school’s baseball team and that takes up most of my time.
Martin Estrada, Hollywood HS

I can relate to the article “Balancing act.” I have a hard time balancing my life. Every day I come home from school, eat and then start doing homework at 4 until it is time for my tae kwon do lessons which are at 7:20. Right after I return from tae kwon do at 8:30, I take a shower and then do homework until midnight. Just like Jennifer, I do not have any free time left for myself. I agree with Jennifer that people should be realistic when they set goals for themselves. I learned that managing time is the key to a better life.
Alexander Ayvazov, Wilson MS

A tomboy doesn’t like wearing dresses

The way Jean wrote about her insecurities really made me think. As I was reading this article it felt like the writer was giving me advice. I don’t like wearing dresses. Every time I have to wear a dress, I try to avoid it or wear something more casual. I have so many things in common with Jean that I feel like I could talk to her and she’d understand. This story was inspiring.
Nancy Martinez, Hollywood HS

After I finished reading about the girl who felt uncomfortable wearing dresses and skirts, I felt bad for her. I used to be uncomfortable with them too, but got over it eventually because I stopped caring what others thought. But it was inspiring to me how she got over her insecurity and realized that everyone else has something they are insecure about.
Kristine Kevorkova, Wilson MS

Eating healthy isn’t easy

When I read the article “What’s on your plate?” I was surprised at how many people failed the eating healthy challenge. After reading this article, I realized that I don’t eat as healthy as I had thought. The only reason that I am in shape is because I play a lot of sports. I am going to try finding the website the L.A. Youth writers used in the challenge so that I can take it. I really like that you put this article in the paper because it’s easy to eat unhealthy and not know it. Editor’s note: If you want to challenge yourself to eat healthier go to
Austin Ortega, Wilson MS

Remembering 9/11

This article took me into the lives of kids who were old enough to realize what was happening in New York on Sept. 11. Reading the article made me feel like I was there at the time of the attacks. I couldn’t help but believe the emotions and thoughts of these writers. I will always wonder what was going through the thousands of people’s heads at the moment when they knew they were going to lose their lives on Sept. 11. What came to mind first? Was it their families, their close friends or fear? How are the lives of those who lost their loved ones on 9/11? I hope happy, safe and joyful lives to the families and friends who lost a loved one.
Patrick Stepanian, Wilson MS