It’s sad when, for teens so young, the dream deferred becomes the dream denied.

Many Boston teens are multi-talented -- singing, dancing, drawing, shooting photographs or basketballs-- but find that life gets in the way of them turning their artistic and athletic gifts into future careers.

It is the opposite of all those making unrealistically loud noises about becoming the next superstar in this or that.

Ariel Hector, 16, does Spanish and hip-hop dancing but doesn’t expect to turn her moves into a profession. “I don’t see myself dancing to benefit my life,” says Hector, who goes to Brighton High School. Louis Brantley, 18, is a poet and rapper. Music remains important to him, he says, but he knows he needs to focus on everyday tasks like doing well in school and trying the more practical route of becoming a music- video producer. “Dreams of an unbeliever, soon to be an achiever,” says Brantley, from Dorchester. Anthony Berry, 13, from Jamaica Plain, is a basketballer but he realizes he won’t be dribbling his way into the NBA. He doesn’t want the travel and to be far from home. “My family over all things,” he says.
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Since she was younger, her definition of beauty has evolved. When she was five, her curls and twists were treasured as if they were ringlets of gold. Then she turned seven and took a trip to the hair salon so that she could get a hairdo that made her look just like mommy.

At the age of 13, she went away to camp and was sent along with braids. Now she’s 15 and interested in making her hair longer than it really is. That’s a typical hair narrative among many teenage girls. Still, when it comes to finding a companion, some boys seem to run away from the idea of artificial hair. “I don’t like weave,” says Dexter Forrester, 17, from Roxbury. “If it’s not taken care of, it looks matted and it’s just too much.” Jakhari Battle, 17, from Dorchester, says weave is just a style for girls without much going on atop their heads. “It’s fake hair,” he says. Others say they are more interested in personality and a pretty face than the look of locks. “I would not care if a girl wears weave as long as they’re a good person,” says Lieyon Canton, 14, from Dorchester. Some boys just feel that if you like someone, something as small as wearing weave should not get in the way.
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Sixteen-year-old AD, from South Boston, struggles to unburden her Attention Defi Hyperactivity Disorder every day.

“You can’t sit still,” says AD, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy. “You have trouble paying attention. I stare off into space because I get distracted so easily.” AD says she was diagnosed with ADHD in eighth grade after being recommended for a test by a teacher. She was put on a medication named Adderall. “It helps me focus,” AD says. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.9 million young people between the ages of 3 and 17 have been detected as having ADHD. Symptoms range from becoming bored easily and daydreaming to struggling to follow instructions. AD says ADHD was the cause for a lot of the bullying directed at her, from both students and teachers; she says one adult singled her out as the ‘special kid.’ ” AD says she managed to move beyond the bullying and create organizational strategies to help with her schoolwork. “I would have a notebook and pencil for each class color-coded,” she says. Now that she has become more self- confident, AD has developed a strong dislike for the way society views people with ADHD. “We’re not different, we just learn differently,” she says. “We are normal, we just need…a little extra attention.”
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The first iPhone was introduced in 2007 and, in all, 10 models have come out. I have had the iPhone 4, 4S, and now I have the 5.

Every year a new iPhone is released – basically the same with a new feature here and there. Yet people still spend hundreds of dollars on the latest one. The iPhone was created so that you can have a computer in the palm of your hands. The first one made history. Technology had never seen any phone so advanced. Subsequent versions added a GPS, faster speeds, better cameras, FaceTime, and Siri, a voice-controlled personal assistant. And so on…. Why do I keep buying iPhones? The sensation of having the newest one makes you believe that you’re more advanced in technology than anyone else. It makes you feel powerful. There will be a new iPhone coming soon, of course – Apple showed off two new models earlier this month. And, naturally, I will grab one.
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Kayli Guthrie, 17, from Boston Latin Academy, says that she remembers hearing about the situation in Africa back in April, and that it has made her think differently about education. “I feel very sad for these kids,” says Guthrie. “All they wanted was an education and they were punished for it. With everything that was going on, I realized how grateful I am to have the right to go to school.” In April, some 300 Nigerian girls were abducted from a school in northeast Nigeria. These secondary school students were woken up by gunfire and taken by an extremist group called Boko Haram, which when translated from the Hausa language means “Western education is a sin.” At press time, most of the girls were still missing. In America, many of today’s youth do not take advantage of the educational opportunities they are offered; they take much for granted. Yessenia Tejeda, 17, from BLA, feels fortunate for being able to acquire knowledge. “Education is something that should be valued, not hated,” says Tejeda. “Those girls were willing to risk their life to learn….This event really made me value my life and recognize the significance of the education I receive.”
Jacelys Suazo, 14, who resides in Roxbury, never heard about the abduction before it was mentioned to her, and her reaction wasn’t any different than that of many others. She was astonished.
“Wow! I didn’t realize that stuff like this can actually happen,” says Suazo. “Learning about this makes me feel grateful that I can go to school without putting my life at risk.”
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