The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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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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Living in a Shelter Wasn’t As Bad as I Thought
A change in circumstances leads to a change in perspective.
author image When Rianna's mom loses her job, the family has to move into a shelter. Of course it isn't like the comfort of home, but it's not the cramped, crowded, dirty place she expected.

When I was 10 years old, my mom, sister, brother, and I lived in a brownstone apartment in Flatbush. We had a three-bedroom with a kitchen and living room... [more]

Moving On Moving On
When I Want to Cut, Instead I.... - How I Stopped Fighting - Forgiving My Father - I Can't Save My Syster - I'm Done With Abusive Boyfriends - PLUS - Writing Contest: Win $100!
[more stories]
There Are Better Ways to Cope The writer is treated badly and inconsistently by her mother and grandmother. She cuts herself to relieve her pain, but moves toward stopping with the help of music, reading, and writing. [more]
Trying to Make Up Lost Time When the writer’s mom is released from prison after nine years, it takes time for the two to adjust. Although the writer remains guarded, she is open to building a closer relationship. [more]
I Can't Save My Sister The author's mother subjects the author and her twin sister to extreme abuse, which is worse when she drinks. The author gets herself to college after they go into care, but her sister slides into addiction. [more]
Broken Homes Zaniyah gets pregnant before she ages out, in part to have the family she didn't have in foster care. Her NYCHA apartment has problems, but it does have family. [more]
I Didn't Get to Be a Kid The writer's childhood was a blur of drug dealing, abuse, death, and chaos. He mourns never getting to "do kid things" and ponders how he'll ever be able to trust. [more]
Living on Your Own Psychotherapists Sylvia Lester and Marina Stolerman of The Fostering Connection give tips on how to make a house or apartment a home and how to live on your own. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
Falling Into Trust The author feels isolated at school, partly because of abuse at home. She makes a friend and tells him ALMOST everything. She discovers he's held back some secrets too. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
Peaceful Warrior The author, frustrated by abuse and unfairness, fights. After hitting a pregnant girl, she realizes she must stop and does, with the help of yoga, running, and therapy. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
How to Ditch Bad Habits—and Bad Relationships A therapist explains how abuse and neglect can lead to isolating behaviors like fighting, cutting, substance abuse as well as more abusive relationships. She also gives practical tips for quitting self-destructive habits. [more]
Not My Father's Son V.M.'s father abandons the family and then berates V.M. for crying when his mother dies. V.M. learns how to be a better man by tuning into good role models and his own compassion. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
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