Race and identity: 'Well then, what are you?'

With help from her parents, Simone Cazares learned to embrace her multiracial heritage at an early age. But it still leads to questions — and a lot of surprise — from peers who are often only convinced by what they see on the surface.

Race and identity: 'You're only pretending'

If you’ve ever moved away from your childhood home, you might know what it’s like to see a familiar place yet feel like you no longer belong.

Race and identity: 'You're not black enough'

What does it mean to be “black?” Deborah Honore reflects on her Ethiopian, Congolese and African-American background, and how stereotypes craft an image of “black” that only perpetuates the negative.

Coloring outside the script lines: Are audiences able to look beyond race for acting roles?

Can Santa Claus be black? Does Cinderella have to be blonde? Amira Warren-Yearby explores how race plays a role in how you view certain book, TV or movie characters.

Drowning out the noise: Musical tastes don’t have to be defined by skin color

If you’re black, you must be into hip-hop and R&B. White kids love rock music. Those are the stereotypes, right? Except for one Somali girl, race and music don’t have to be defined so narrowly.

A dream realized: An exchange student’s arrival in America opens eyes, hearts

Riding a big yellow school bus felt like a piece of the American dream to one exchange student. Yet despite the new experiences, life overseas can pose challenges.


Pieces of a puzzle: Adoption journey feels like ‘impossible scavenger hunt’

Even with a big part of her past shrouded in mystery, one teen writer finds comfort in the confusion of her adoption origin.


Calling a timeout: How much is too much when it comes to our sports obsessions?

Do we love sports TOO much? A fellow sports fan examines his priorities, and those of society, as the attention we pay athletes continues to grow and grow.

Give yourself a break, teens: Look in the mirror to see your own worst critic

There’s nothing to romanticize about depression or self-hatred. But how can you pull yourself out of the mental gutter and embrace the real you?

Test of faith: Shift in beliefs led to affirmative yes vote for marriage amendment

As the same-sex marriage celebrations continue, one St. Thomas student reflects on her own beliefs—and how dedicating herself to religion may have changed her vote, but (hopefully) not her friendships.

Faith in a box: Conflicted feelings confirm a new approach to religious identity

At the moment she should have been forging an important bond with Catholicism, a once-proud “Jesus Freak” began examining her faith.

My life in east St. Paul: What you learn here shapes who you are, how to get out

“Trust none.” It might not be an original motto only said in east St. Paul, but it’s one that several teenagers swear by on this side of town.

Student voices: What does living in east St. Paul mean to you?

We asked several members of the student council at Johnson High School to share snapshots of their life so readers could see the neighborhood they know and appreciate—through their eyes.

Something to prove: Achieving the IB diploma goes beyond a simple piece of paper

As one Harding High School student has come to learn, life with strict IB diploma requirements has a way of ruining plans. Is it worth it?

Behind the scenes: Danielle Wong reflects on her essay, 'Keys for comfort'

To be honest, I began my personal essay with no idea what I was going to write about.


Struggle with anxiety puts future plans into focus

It’s only (gulp) high school, right? For Mina Yuan, being prepared means being perfect — which can be a tough reality to grapple with.

Keys for comfort: Teen pianist begins playing for right reasons

Danielle Wong’s relationship with her piano hasn’t always been harmonious. Then she started playing for herself.

The struggle to get help: 'Some of us can't do everything ourselves ...'

“Taking care of yourself can have a lot of stigma, but it’s an important thing to do,” writes Tatum Anderson. She also has a few solutions for how others can help her along the way.

Sweet rewards: A job scooping ice cream taught one time-strapped teen valuable lessons

Thinking about a part-time job this summer? Veteran Izzy’s scooper/shift manager Simeon Lancaster has some helpful advice.

(Anti) social media: Teens might 'live' on Facebook and Twitter, but thinking is still required

Think Facebook and Twitter is all fun and games? The Steubenville rape case puts teens under the social media microscope.

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