Foster Youth Stories
Book reviews (March – April 2012)
If you want to read some great sci-fi/fantasy, our staff writers loved Mockingjay and Slaughterhouse-Five.
CD reviews (March- April 2012)
Our staff writers recommend CDs by Florence + the Machine, Hawk Nelson and LMFAO.
\\ FROM OUR READERS
Essay contest: Who do you admire?
Our essay contest winners wrote about a brother who is gay, a mom who works hard and an inspiring wife.
Letters to the editor (March – April 2012)
These are letters we received about stories that appeared in the January – February 2012 issue of L.A. Youth.
Essay contest: Who do you admire?
My brother was courageous for coming out
1st Place $50
Author’s name withheld
Illustration by Andrea Perez, 17, Bravo Medical Magnet HS
Growing up I never had a hero. I always thought it was a bogus idea to look up to someone when they haven’t done anything to actually gain your respect. I always thought that there was no one who I would admire in my life. The reasons being because everywhere you look people are shallow, they never think of others. But in recent years I’ve actually found a hero, someone who I can admire with my heart and be proud to say he’s who I admire. That person is my brother.
I have three brothers. I could lie and say they were always caring but I won’t. Growing up, most times they were harsh. I never had anyone to play with me or have a conversation with. They always looked down on me since I was the youngest. Since the biggest age gap was between me and them, sometimes they would take time to talk to me but most times they were off in their own world. But all of them had their good traits and the one I most admire is my second-oldest brother. Like me he is gay, and he’s gone through so much more than I have.
Coming out for him was the hardest. My mom and dad did not know how to deal with it. So they hit him. They thought the solution was beating the gay out of him and treating him harshly. Yet he didn’t back down and he kept true to who he was. I remember going to church and keeping him as the secret of the family. I could only imagine how he could feel being the black sheep of the family— staining our family. He also came out when most people didn’t accept homosexuals, saying they were a mistake of God and that they needed to die. I remember one day I was young and he came up to me in my room and said, “If you ever come out just know that it’s going to be easier for you. I cleared the way for you so it’ll be easier.” I guess he meant with my parents and my family, that they would accept me more easily. To this day, those words stay with me since he knew who I was when I was young. Even when I was denying it because society said we were sinners, he came up to me and said what needed to be said. Those simple words touched my heart and I have never forgotten them.
I love him so dearly. Because of those words I knew exactly what he went through, those words had the pain he went through laced all around them. I am proud to say he is my brother and my hero. He is the one who inspires me to be myself and not care what others say about me. That my life is my own and not anyone else’s, and I know I will always admire him for what he has done in my life. Because after all these years no matter what happens I know he will be there for me, because despite of all the prejudice in the world he will never back down from who he is, and neither will I.
My mom does it all
2nd place $30
By Nancy Vo, El Monte HS
When I saw the headline in L.A. Youth that said, “Who do you admire?” there was no doubt in my mind who I wanted to write about. My mom.
Well, to start off, my mom was not born anywhere near the U.S. She was born on the other side of the world: Hanoi, Vietnam. She grew up during a time when making money to help the family was much more important than receiving an education. She grew up...