YCteen publishes true stories by teens, giving readers insight into the issues that matter most in young people's lives.
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Write for Youth Communication: Video
Behind the Scenes: Teen writers describe what it's like to work at YCteen.
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Social Justice (30 found)
Note: These stories are from YCteen and its sister publication, Represent, which is written by and for youth in foster care.
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Sherilyn learns how her habit of littering affects sea life and begins to care about the environment. (full text)
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Like millions of her peers, Julijana was horrified by "Kony 2012," the viral video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. She wonders why many adults weren't similarly moved, and digs deeper into the story behind the video. (full text)
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Otis's mother kicks him out and he ends up in a homeless shelter with much older men who drink, smoke and do drugs. He has a hard time facing the reality of his situation. (full text)
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Teens write about what the issues they care most about during this presidential campaign. LGBTQ rights, poverty, gun control, and voter restrictions are some of the topics they cover. (full text)
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The writer, a Stuyvesant High School student, is eligible for free lunch and her family is on food stamps. She writes about how this government assistance benefits her. (full text)
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Climate change isn't a far off concept, it's affecting us now. Cindy urges our politicians to make the issue a priority and to take immediate actions. (full text)
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Hoa writes about moving from shelter to shelter: “Experiencing homelessness is something no child should have to go through, but it’s made me sympathetic toward other people who are struggling." (full text)
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Aniqa reports on racism experienced by black students in her school. When a #hashtag is created to inspire students to speak out, the school community must confront difficult issues. (full text)
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Bernadette was shy and insecure. In an effort to become more outgoing and confident, she joins several youth councils. (full text)
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On Hande's last trip to Turkey, she sees Syrian refugees and realizes anyone could be driven from their home. She asks all countries to welcome refugees. (full text)
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Julia shows solidarity with her LGBTQ friends by participating in a Day of Silence to honor those silenced by bullying. (full text)
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After the decision not to indict the white police officer accused of killing Eric Garner, who was black, five writers went to their first-ever protest. (full text)
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Using specific examples from their lives, contest winners write to President Obama about why he needs to make climate change a priority today. (full text)
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Julijana is horrified by "Kony 2012," a video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, and immediately shares the link on Facebook. However, after learning more about the viral video, she wonders if social media is an effective tool for activism. (full text)
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This teen-friendly guide to the Occupy Wall Street movement—with accompanying videos—explains the financial inequality that activists are protesting. (full text)
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You can't swim or fish in Brooklyn's polluted canal, but the EPA and a handful of concerned citizens are working hard to clean it up. (full text)
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While Wall St. has recovered from the recession, a lot of low and moderate income workers have lost their jobs permanently. NYC reporters travel to three different neighborhoods (wealthy, moderate income, and poor) to find out on the ground how the recession is affecting people. (full text)
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The recession of 2008-2011 is the latest setback for Marco’s father, an immigrant who hoped to find financial stability when he came to the U.S. 20 years ago. (full text)
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When Antwaun returns to Harlem after living in a safer, more middle class neighborhood in Queens, he realizes how far he's traveled from his roots. (full text)
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Natasha interviews minority teens in the suburbs to explore the relationship between race and success. (full text)
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The writer lives in a poor neighborhood where junk food predominates. (full text)
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Diana feels ashamed that her family is on welfare—until she sees what it’s like to pay bills. (full text)
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Jazmine connects bell hooks' insights on class and race to what she sees around her and suggests ways for poor people of color to organize. (full text)
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Margaret interviews several people and groups who share strategies on how girls and women can respond to sexual harassers safely but effectively. (full text)
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Five youth advocates, ages 21-30, who were themselves in foster care, discuss how they told their own stories, learned to communicate effectively, began helping others, and their ideas for system change. (full text)
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Miguel joins youth-led advocacy group FACE (Fostering Advocacy Change and Empowerment) and finds satisfaction in helping others and sharpening his public speaking skills. (full text)
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Youth advocates in California and Oregon travel to their state capitols to lobby for improvements to those states' foster care systems. (full text)
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Jesse goes into care at age 9 and anger leads him to a life of drugs, violence, and homelessness. He cleans up, finds God, and devotes his life to helping others. (full text)
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Victor interviews former foster youth Jessica Maxwell, who heads up the Foster Youth Success Alliance. FYSA is pushing for legislation that would require New York state to pay for college for youth in care. (full text)
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The Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC) is a group of youth and adults working to improve foster care in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In one of their projects, young people are trained to go into homes and talk privately with kids about their concerns. (full text)

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