A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Quinn Pieper, 17

#TransLivesMatter On March 3, Leelah Alcorn walked along highway I-9 for three miles before being struck by a semi-truck traveling down the highway. An elaborate diary entry she had written prior to her death included “The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender.” With the higher homicide rate for trans people — and an even higher one for trans people of color — the higher suicide rate for transgender teens, the legality of practices used to… Read More »

Yvonne Lieu, 17

Freedom of Bias Thursday afternoon was the moment that our founding fathers once again rolled in their graves due to the feelings of utter disgust towards the signing of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This Religious Freedom Restoration Act, mimicking another version passed in 1993 by Bill Clinton, is a law meant to protect religious rights. However, the twist that Republican Governor Mike Pence put upon this piece of legislation is that it legalizes discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and… Read More »

Priscilla Ng, 17

Affirmative Action How many times have you heard, “ He/She only got into __enter prestigious college__ because they’re black/ Latino/ Native American?” And how many times have adults told you that race has nothing to with admissions? That it’s based solely on hard work and a passion for knowledge? Affirmative action. Designed to help specific groups enter secondary education and the workforce, minority groups such as Latinos, Native Americans, African Americans, and women are receiving more opportunities to promote diversity… Read More »

Haaris Khan, 17

Pay Off College acceptance letters. Scholarships. Awards. Promotions. Public recognition. Leveling up in World of Warcraft. All of these things make our heart beat 10x faster. After all, we’ve worked so hard: we’ve studied hard, we’ve written and rewritten drafts for scholarship applications, we’ve played over 1000 hours in League of Legends. Earning an award or an acceptance is a great feeling, no doubt. But there’s a feeling out there, a high, that is not nearly as known. Imagine this:… Read More »

Mara Paley, 17

Attaining Nirvana Rounding the bend on I-80 East, the summits of the snowy Sierras are magically unveiled like curtains parting to reveal a beautiful day; coasting along the spectacular vistas of Highway 1, the waves below crash against the cliffs, a signature landscape of Northern California beaches.  Of course, there’s also the not-so-scenic endless dry and desolate expanse of Highway 5 across Nevada, where the road’s parallel white lines converge into a single point in the distance. And while not… Read More »

Dominik Martinez, 17

Project SERVE Look, I get community service. As an Eagle Scout and a former Boy Scout, I understand the value of giving back to the community that has helped raised you through adolescence. Giving back to one’s community provides an invaluable asset to any city, and should in every aspect be promoted from birth. I truly understand the importance of community service; yet I still cannot view any positive outcomes of Project SERVE’s mandatory implementation for seniors at Casa. Since… Read More »

Quinn Pieper, 17

Red, White, and Blue The hues of red, white, and blue reserve a sacred place in my heart. When I see the trifecta of our nation’s glorious colors, only one thought comes to mind: I am being pulled over right now. I feel it first in the acceleration of my heart’s pumping, and next in a stream of thoughts that had once included “What did I do wrong?” and “Am I being Punk’d?” but now consists of “How many times… Read More »

Serene Zidan, 17

Envisioning the Future The bright lights blind my tired eyes. As I sit waiting for my name to be called, the blank, white walls stare back at me. Breathing in the antiseptic air, I am immediately calmed. Someone calls my name. It is time. They hand me a dressing gown, then wait for me to change. They take my pulse. More waiting. The surgeon finally comes. He initials my calves, telling me they do that to make sure they are… Read More »

Priscilla Ng, 17

Fear of Failure I always believed that failure was not an option, that if I worked hard enough, any failure could be overcome, until my swimming incident. I tell my teammates and my coaches that “It feels like floating.” But “floating” is simply a euphemism, a concealment for the terror, the confusion, and the many other inexplicable feelings that flow rampantly throughout my head.  The “floating” is uttered as the most simple, candid explanation as to why I am grasped,… Read More »

Dominik Martinez, 17

Friday Nights My room is a horror movie for electronics. Strewn across every surface are various resistors, capacitors, wires, screwdrivers, and other electronic parts. I am the mad scientist, the person who rips into every device I can get my hands onto. Unlike the cliche horror villain, I do  not torture these poor devices for my own enjoyment; rather, I open them up to uncover the mysteries contained within them. Starting from a young age, and never once losing steam,… Read More »