YCteen publishes true stories by teens, giving readers insight into the issues that matter most in young people's lives.
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Living Two Lives
I couldn’t continue lying to hide my family’s economic hardships
author image Enoch tries to hide his family’s poverty from his friends until the stress of lying to them pushes him to be honest with them.

When I was in 8th grade, my family had to move from Brooklyn to live with a family friend in Jersey City because we could not afford the rent. It was me, my mother, and my 12-year-old brother... [more]

From the Bronx to Brandeis Shelley, whose mom immigrated here from the DR, works hard to get herself into Brandeis. COVID-19 adds to the barriers blocking Shelley from greater opportunity than her mother had. [more]
Emmett. Kalief. Josiah. More Than Just Names Josiah has studied the history of white violence against black people for several years. He thinks the country may be "awakening" in the wake of George Floyd's murder. [more]
Seeing My Teachers as Human Beings During Quarantine In the midst of the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic, Jessica appreciates that her teachers are suffering too, even as they support and help their students. [more]
Waiting for the World to Come Back S.T. is in a group home for unaccompanied minors after fleeing violence in Guinea, Africa. He makes sense of the pandemic by painting. [more]
Coronavirus Wrecked My Transition From Foster Care Joanna managed to secure housing, daycare for her son, a school for herself, and the services she needed as she left foster care. But coronavirus shut it all down. [more]
Doing My Part to Control the Spread of the Coronavirus Matthew moved from denial to acceptance of the health crisis, drawing on his experience with depression. He took himself out of school before it closed, to protect others. [more]
Here, Queer, and Finally Clear Although Adrian's family was accepting "of queer stuff" they still felt that it was a "disgusting, wrong thing." Finally, they realize no one hated them for being gay but themselves. [more]
Taking the Best of Both Worlds Mocked by her family for not being able to properly hold chopsticks, Claire doesn’t feel Korean enough. A friend validates her feelings. [more]
Redefining Beauty for Myself Daleelah is self-conscious about her weight until she participates in a girls' empowerment group. There she discovers self-love as a revolutionary act in the face of society’s negative beauty stereotypes. [more]
Why Suspensions Don’t Work After getting suspended, Khyron considers the punishment and makes the case for its ineffectiveness, suggesting restorative justice is more apt. [more]