The Steps One Homeless Teen Took To Get A Full Ride To Yale

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">Andazola Marquez at Yale during her freshman year.</span>

Viviana Andazola Marquez ranks getting into Yale as the single proudest moment of her life. Her frank personal statement about growing up homeless was published by The New York Times as part of a collection of college essays about money. Being selected was as much a symbol for her as it was an accomplishment.

“It was affirmation that my life was under my control. I knew that things would never be the same and that I could make anything I wanted of myself,” Andazola Marquez told The Huffington Post over the phone last week.

Excerpt from Sasha Bronner’s article in the Huffington Post– read more

Male teen artists gain empathy for young women through TRUE Skool project

Domonique Whitehurst reads his original poem about lessons Tracy Rolkosky is learning from the challenges of poverty for “My Sister’s Story.” (Photo by Andrea Waxman)

The brightly painted performance and gallery space at TRUE Skool vibrated with energy and anticipation at a recent gathering showcasing the teen participants’ summer work at the youth arts program.

“I had a chance to hear a few of you practice last week and was so moved by the thoughtfulness and effort that you put into honoring your sister’s stories,” Katie Mullen, youth mentor and board vice president, told the young male performers.

Excerpt from Andrea Waxman’s article in the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service- Read more.

Small Amounts of Teen Exercise Reduce Cancer and Heart Deaths Mid-Life

Teen gymnast (Source: Wikimedia)

Teen girls who exercise as little as an hour a week for three months may reduce, to a surprising degree, risk of death from many diseases in adulthood, according to a Vanderbilt University study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Excerpt for Cynthia Fox’s article in Bioscience Read more


BHC 0824 KIDS Molly Doss 2.jpg

CHILHOWIE, Va. — A Chilhowie teenager is one step — or perhaps, one song — closer to realizing her dreams.

Earlier this month, Molly Doss traveled to Pittsburgh to audition for the last season of “American Idol,” the TV singing competition that began airing on FOX in 2002.

During the nerve-wracking experience, Doss said silent prayers and a favorite inspirational message prepared her to sing in front of a producer and 10,000 people.

Excerpt from Carolyn Wilson’s article in the Bristol Herald Courier- Read more.

Emirati teen is shedding the pounds for a healthier life

DUBAI // Not so long ago, Hamad Al Sabri was like most 15-year-old boys. He loved junk food and his idea of physical activity was thumbing buttons on his PlayStation.

He weighed 75 kilograms and while he knew his sedentary lifestyle was bad for his health, he lacked the self motivation needed to make a change.

“I felt I couldn’t wear the clothes I wanted to, like skinny jeans. I was bullied in school for being fat and unfit and I felt very uncomfortable going to the beach,” said Hamad, who was barred from a running competition at school this year because of his weight.

Excerpt from Melanie Swan’s article in the UAE National- Read More

Le Roy author travels the world of teens

BATAVIA — Teens may very well live in a world all their own.

Retired psychologist, author and columnist Joseph Langen has found a way to at least visit them. He has written a book, “Make the Best of Your Teen Years.”

“I wanted to give them some things to think about,” he said at his Le Roy home. “They’re trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be.”

He actually started writing it several years ago and then stopped. He thought he was about finished with the project but left it alone for awhile. Then he asked some people to read it and they — adults and teens alike — said they wanted to see more of the stories. So he went back to work on it and ended up with 11 chapters and a story for each. There are also poems to set the tone.

Langen dedicated his book to his very subjects: a group of teens that shared their own struggles, concerns and experiences. Instead of writing what he thought kids deal with, Langen first issued questionnaires followed by in-depth interviews to be able to better understand their world.

After working with that age group for 35 years, he figured he had a good starting point. But there needed to be more. As a teen, one is no longer a child and not yet an adult, he said. There can be many topics those youth find troubling or, at the very least, puzzling.

So he dove into topics of one’s emotions, family, friends, physical, mental and sexual health, love, difficulties, spirituality and future. Areas within those topics include suicide, self-injury, substance abuse, bullying, death, homosexuality and pregnancy. Each chapter includes a story, loosely based, about a day in the life of a teen.

For example, Alice talks about her appearance while John discovers why a stranger makes him so angry. After the story, Langen makes a series of suggestions. To make better sense of your feelings, he suggests that the reader make a list of things he/she feels bad about and another list of everything he/she is good at doing.

“I wanted to help teens realize they’re not weird,” he said. “The virtual world has taken over. It has really taken away the human part of interaction. It is OK to talk with other people. Don’t limit yourselves to texting. They know what you’re saying but not how you’re feeling.”

He thinks it might be a good idea that parents read some of the book as well. He wasn’t certain if troubled teens would be as inclined to just read this book themselves. It may be a nice gift from a parent, teacher or counselor. It’s also a helpful aid for peers to be able to understand one another, he said.

“The stories are not about any one person; they’re to give you an idea of what it’s like for kids,” he said. “I think it can be a bridge for talking about difficult things with your parents. Teenagers are sort of a mystery.”

Langen worked for more than three decades with children, teens, adults and seniors to help them to deal with assorted stress. He has written six books and his next project is to condense a previous book into 30 pages about stress for teens and adults.

Langen has a blog at

For more information about his book, go to The book is available in either paperback or ebook formats.

Article by Joanne Beck, The Daily News, Batavia NY

Teen mum chases her dreams to become a doctor

16-year-old Georgia Hageman, with her son 1 year old Mason, is determined to overcome criticism and challenges to become a doctor. Photo / Supplied

HER heartfelt open letter shed light on the fears and challenges of being a pregnant 15-year-old. Now Auckland teen Georgia Hageman is mother to a chubby, 1-year-old son.

In the 13 months since her letter was published in the Herald, Georgia – now 16 – has faced public criticism and lost friends.

She has been yelled at in the street by strangers and reduced to tears in a shopping mall, but the gutsy teen is determined to gain financial independence and become a doctor.

“It is all hard and I am still adjusting,” she said from her Whenuapai home, with her son, Mason, cradled in her lap. “It’s really, really hard but at the same time it is the best thing that ever happens to you.

Excerpt from the Sunshine Coast Daily division of the New Zealand Herald – read more 

Teen Who Saved a Man’s Life By Using Three Simple Words Got The Most Amazing Thank You

16-year-old Jamie Harrington, from Dublin, was on his way to the store to pick up some Gatorade (as you do) when he saw a man sitting on the ledge of a bridge.

“I stopped and asked him if he was okay, but I knew from the look in his eyes he wasn’t, and he didn’t say anything either, but I saw tears coming from his eyes,” he shared with Humans of Dublin, in a post that has since been liked nearly 40,000 times.

Excerpt from a Redbook article- read more

What I Wish More People Understood About Losing A Best Friend

It was a lazy mid-morning, one of those where you just don’t want to get out of bed. I remember becoming hyper-aware when the phone rang, suddenly.

“Hannah is dead” is all I heard my friend Caroline say on the other line.

Something broke inside of me.

“What do you mean Hannah is dead?” was my initial reaction. It simply couldn’t be. This wasn’t my life. It was all a joke … right?

Wrong. Caroline wasn’t being her normally playful self. Hannah had been in a car accident, and just like that, she was gone.

Excerpt from Garrett Paknis’s article in Mind/Body/Green- read more

Teen Depression

teen stress

Teen depression is a serious medical problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It affects how your teen thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. Although mood disorders, such as depression, can occur at any time in life, symptoms may be different between teens and adults.

Issues such as peer pressure, academic expectations and changing bodies can bring a lot of ups and downs for teens. But for some teens, the lows are more than just temporary feelings – they’re a symptom of depression.

Excerpt from a Mayo Clinic article in the Imperial Valley News- read more