Kevin Rodriguez, 17, who attends Boston Latin School, believes that older folks are very important for society, that they are filled with wisdom, and that they also keep traditions alive. “I have seen myself in my grandparents because we have some similar ways of doing things,” says Rodriguez. “There are many things we young people can do to help them, but I think the most important one is just spending time with them.” Often, some teens say, what elders want is just someone to talk to. So being an audience to their life stories is a great way for teens to show their appreciation. Other youth, however, simply can’t be bothered. They see the older generation as burdens who, for example, walk too slowly and clog up the supermarket aisles. Bonnie Ramos, 19, strongly disagrees. She says she has a great relationship with her grandparents, especially the grandmother who gives her advice. “I think elders should be respected and it is good to give them help in any way because they might not be as capable as a younger person to get what they need,” says Ramos, who lives in East Boston. Juan Lopera, 17, appreciates the history and knowledge in those who came before him. “Old people for me are great people because they are our ancestors,” says Lopera, from Boston Community Leadership Academy. “They have been through life in more difficult situations than us. They have become more wise.”
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Relationships
Flirtationship = More than friends, less than a relationship
Often, at least one teen in this state has an emotional or physical interest in the friend, but each still maintains an undefined role in the other’s life. It’s a complicated link. You’re not really with the other, but you flirt a lot. It can remain harmless or it can lead to a relationship. It starts off really simple, light, easy, fun, and uncomplicated. But as soon as one person has more feelings than the other, or moves into a relationship with someone else, all the rules change and someone can get hurt. Say you meet a new, cute guy and he asks you out. If the guy you’re in a flirtationship with had feelings for you, this could cause jealousy between you two. In the end, whether it’s a friendship, relationship, or even a flirtationship, jealousy is the number one cause of break-ups out there.
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Zhane’a Williams, 17, describes a fake Louis Vuitton handbag. “It feels like plastic. Cheap material,” says Williams, from Dorchester. Real: Sharp and clear. Soft. If it’s stiff? Toss it! Funky stitching? You already lost it. Lower than seven hunna — 700 dollars? Not real! Dust bag — which the LV comes in — isn’t high quality? It’s a dust rag. Many teens are influenced by the material things they wear. “Status,” says Williams. “It shows or makes it seem like you have money and are well-off compared to others around you.” You won’t find teens in big box discount stores looking for something real to get their status up. It’ll only bring them down. “I think a name-brand bag will last longer,” says Nijkah Morris, now 20, from Dorchester. “It’s durable, and overall a better investment rather than buying a bunch of normal bags every couple months when they fall apart.” Morris says she would like a real one but, for now, has to settle for the imitation knockoff that can be had for $45. Tatianna Marie, 19, from Dorchester, goes for a pretty bag, real or fake. “Honestly, it really doesn’t matter as long as the bag’s cute,” says Marie. “I’ll take it name brand or not.”
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For a movie star, Matt Damon has a very down-to-earth entry on his bucket list. “If I had a bucket list, I’d say raising my four girls to be strong, good women would be number one,” Damon was quoted as saying in Parade magazine. It may be surprising to hear that celebrities have their own bucket lists, since they seem to get whatever they want on a regular basis. However, child star Lil’ Romeo — who now goes by the more grown-up name “Romeo” — was quoted on SI.com as saying that going to the Super Bowl was on his bucket list. He explained that he was too busy with school and other things to attend. As for me, my bucket list is filled with adventure. Before I die, I would like to go diving -- skydiving, cliff diving, and scuba diving.
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Tiffanie Ortiz, 17, loves to wear urban fashion because she gets to express herself through her clothing. “I’ve been wearing it since I was 14,” says Ortiz, from Urban Science Academy. Urban fashion is a style born of the street. It’s a look that emerges from neighborhoods as opposed to being ripped from the pages of fashion magazines. Yet it still has a classy appeal to it. Think J.Lo -- now a glamour girl but originally from the Bronx. Ortiz is known for her unique way of wearing highwasted pants and blazers to her place of employment -- a sneaker shop. Briannally Ortiz, 15, from Boston Latin Academy, likes urban fashion because it is spontaneous and fresh. She was in the South End recently when she saw a young woman walk by in a fall skirt with flower patterns. She asked the woman where she got it: Forever 21. Briannally Ortiz went and bought one for herself.
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