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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Juvenile Justice (36 found)
Note: These stories are from Represent and its sister publication, YCteen, which is written by New York City public high school students.
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In the wake of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's murder, Geraldo Rivera went on TV to say that black and Hispanic youth shouldn't wear hoodies because it makes them look menacing. Olivia is outraged and argues that Geraldo's logic is demeaning and ridiculous. (full text)
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After Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer who says he shot in self-defense, Anthony points out that feeling threatened and actually being in danger are two different things. (full text)
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This imaginative novel about a teen in foster care, pulls you in with its violent, strange, and dramatic plot—and then gets you to think about your own choices. (full text)
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Demetria joins a new Black Lives Matter club in her school. She gets frustrated with her small role, but overcomes her impatience for the sake of the cause. (full text)
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At age 15, Alesha is seduced and then abused by a predator in his 30s. She details how he manipulated her, then how she got free and repaired her damaged self-worth. (full text)
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S.G.'s birth parents lost custody of her and her brother because they sold drugs in a gang. S.G. kept up with her brother after they went to separate homes and is heartbroken when he too joins the gang. (full text)
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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. (full text)
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Bryant joins the youth program Police Explorers, and then gets racially profiled by two officers who haul him down to the station. He explores both sides of the issue of police harassment of young black men. (full text)
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The author is serving an eight-year sentence in prison and taking college classes while there so she can come out with her bachelor's degree. (full text)
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Diamonique pays tribute to her two lawyers, who checked in with her, fought for her, gave her good advice, and inspired her to stay out of trouble. (full text)
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Najet is serving an eight-year term in prison for attempted murder and several other charges. She describes a day inside, including working at the mosque, studying for college classes, and avoiding other inmates. (full text)
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The author was incarcerated three times, at an after-school outpatient program, at a residential treatment facility, and finally in adult jail on Riker's Island. He explains which punishments inspired him to straighten up. (full text)
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The author's lust for money gets him in trouble, but he learns to redirect that desire into a plan to become an accountant. (full text)
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Valencia was full of anger from her abusive upbringing and got into a lot of trouble. Some staff wrote her off, but a judge gave her a second chance. (full text)
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Chimore wants to have a good credit history because she's about to age out of foster care. Then she finds out that her identity has been stolen and fraudulent credit card accounts opened in her name. (full text)
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Christopher begins to forgive his mom, and they start family therapy together. (full text)
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Although many of his friends are gang members, the writer decides not to join. (full text)
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Charlene gives into peer pressure from her friends to cut school, drink, and smoke. When they are arrested, she has a change of heart. (full text)
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The writer thinks jail is a joke—until he gets sent there. (full text)
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After being arrested for assault, Fred is sent to a residential treatment center, where he eventually learns ways to deal with his anger and his violent past. (full text)
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The writer won’t stay with her boyfriend if he stays in the Latin Kings. (full text)
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Juan is torn between watching his friends’ backs and staying out of trouble. (full text)
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The author meets a guy she really likes and they start going out. Then he plans a “surprise.” (full text)
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Joseph struggles between angered resentment and love for his older brother, who goes from star student to drug addict and eventually lands in jail. (full text)
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Sedrick reviews the film Moonlight about a character he's never seen in a movie: "A gay thug, who is big and scary, but who expresses his feelings." (full text)
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Bryant joins the youth program Police Explorers, and then gets racially profiled by two officers who haul him down to the station. He explores both sides of the issue of police harassment of young black men. (full text)
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Jaelyn heads down to New York City’s City Hall to cover rally protesting police brutality against black people organized by Millions March NYC, a local group affiliated with Black Lives Matter. (full text)
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After doing jail time for robbery, the writer begins to reevaluate his life. However, he doesn't make a significant change until his grandmother dies; she had pressed him to leave the street life behind. (full text)
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When the writer gets locked up in juvenile detention for three months, she uses everything she learned in therapy to stay out of fights. (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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The writer's chaotic home life leaves her with uncontrolled rage. She releases her anger by inflicting pain on others, and eventually ends up behind bars. That prompted her to get help by starting therapy. (full text)
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Najet, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence, describes the mandatory anger management course she has to take while behind bars. (full text)
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In 1991, one of the wrongfully convicted teens, Raymond Santana, published a poem in our prison newsletter. Meanwhile, teen reporter Tracy Rainford argued that the boys' confessions seemed coerced. She turned out to be right. (full text)
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Yusef Salaam was convicted and then exonerated in the 1989 rape of a Central Park jogger. Here, he describes the experience. (full text)
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In his book "I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup," David Chura, a former English teacher at the Westchester County jail, shows how the juvenile justice system, instead of rehabilitating traumatized teens, treats them inhumanely. (full text)
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BitTorrent is the new Napster—a method of quickly and stealthily obtaining copyrighted music, movies, games, and software for free. The writer uses it as a convenient and free way to get the movies and music he wants, even though it's illegal to download copyrighted material. (full text)

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