by J’Mya Gray-Martinez
San Francisco Chronicle reporter Chip Johnson blamed problems with youth centers (two open and a third about to open) in West Oakland on lack of staff and programs.
Journalism 1 decided to pitch in, providing insight into what should be included in local youth centers and what also needs reform.
“We should have more programs at school instead of at youth centers, because it’s easier for students to get their SAT prep, help on their homework or class work right here.” (Abbas Hassan)
“More music, dancing, singing, college. Students are bored after school. So they need something to do. If you have these programs then the kids won’t need to do drugs or harmful things like that.” (Jaden Nixon, who transferred out of McClymonds)
“I’m happy with the programs that Oakland has to offer me. I can go to the YMCA on weekends and the Boys & Girls Club on weekdays. They have sports for you to play and they’re very safe. The programs are kind of healthy but you can get good exercise. It keeps the violence away. (Parrish Kendricks)
“Healthy living programs. Not just with eating but when it comes to relationships, violence, and interactions. I want to see programs that will affect the youth like scared straight programs. Also, I want to see more people kids can trust and rely on. Lastly, I want to see more jobs like YEP or Youth Uprising.” (Kaya LaForte)
“I would like to see fun programs. Also educational programs that will help us in the long run. For example, a program that teaches you useful things like how to write a resume, fill out a college application and things like that. I would really like to see tutoring programs also.” (Hailey King)
“We need more fine Arts and Educational Programs because there are a lot of talented kids I know around Oakland that don’t get a chance to show their true talents, and then they get caught up in gangs, drugs, and violence.” (J’Mya Gray-Martinez)
In Oakland, I believe we need to provide more programs during school hours so students are forced to go. (Quaylin Wesley)
Ask Naya: time to heal those secret scars
My friends are ignoring me. Nobody wants to acknowledge the pain that I carry.
Will I get over this feeling of being deeply misunderstood?
Dear Deeply Hurt
There are kids out there who need comfort and help, these kids are “the hurt ones,” the ones that you see with their faces down on the desk or who come to school late so that people won’t ask “What’s wrong?”
There’s a reason why they give no answer, because they know we’ll forget about it since we are all too busy paying attention to ourselves (and taking selfies).
I understand their scars: what I mean by scars are not cutting yourself, but living with hurt feelings that are never spoken or acknowledged. Most people turn away from those feelings. The “hurt ones” are invisible to the crowd, or are seen as weird or creepy.
I tell you everyone has scars, so don’t hide away from us, get to know us. “Scars are meant to be heard, not meant to be kept”
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Posted in anxiety, changes, Children, Commentary, opinion, pride, relationships, resilience, School News, stereotype, stress, Youth
Tagged advice column, Ask Naya, feelings, friendship, isolation, relationships, teenage angst