For Rachel Kelleher, 15, from Boston Latin Academy, seeing her little brothers crack up makes her glad.

“Hearing little kids laugh just makes you happy automatically,” says Kelleher. “How can a kid laughing not make you happy -- they are bodies full of joy.”

There are many different things that can give you this fuzzy feeling inside and put a sweet smile on your face. Celeste Gonzalez, 15, from BLA, says that hearing about positive things going on around her brings her joy. “It’s something good and positive that is happening in this world or in my life and everyone needs good news in their life,” says Gonzalez. “That is what keeps them going.” Deysi Gutierrez, 15, from Fenway High School, says that living without restrictions makes her feel great. “Having freedom makes me happy,” she says, “being able to go out whenever I want with no worries.”
Read more…

Josiah Wade, 15, believes that all models should be presented naturally.

“In this world,” says Wade, who goes to Margarita Muñiz Academy,

“Photoshop is the new ‘it,’ sadly.” While many celebrities have turned to Photoshop to enhance their images, lots of teens are turned-off by the process. “I hate models because they’re fake,” says Lashonda Cottrell, 15, from West Roxbury Academy. “All models should be themselves.” Sixteen-year-old Dnasia Lee understands why  models and their handlers use technology to touch-up their looks. “Models should try to be themselves because nobody is perfect,” says Lee, who goes to English High School. “Everyone has their own issues and flaws in life and there is insecurity and not thinking they’re beautiful the way they are.”
Read more…

Joshua Burkum is a bucket hat convert. Burkum didn’t really join the bucket brigade until he saw one of his favorite artists wearing them, Schoolboy Q.

“Bucket hats were ugly to me for a while but then I got used to seeing them around and I kind of got into them,” says Burkum, 18, from Roxbury.
Teens seem to change their fashion choices every other day – even for headgear. One time it’s tight-fit baseball caps and the next it’s baggy bucket hats. Jennifer Goodwin, 17, of Dorchester, says that she is the only one in her group of female friends who is really into bucket hats. “I religiously wear bucket hats,” says Goodwin. “If you see my Instagram, all you will see is me in a bucket hat. I always thought they were kind of chic but I never got the courage to wear it until last year.” Jonathan McCurbin, 19, of Roslindale, has been into bucket hats since he was a young boy. “Bucket hats are my thing,” he says. “My father has a bunch of them for when we go out fishing or sailing.” McCurbin began seeing more and more people get into the bucket hat trend over the past year. “I feel special that I was wearing them before they were in,” he says. “That’s always kind of cool.”
Read more…

Angela Lei, a junior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, is constantly on her phone, from using it on the train to being attached to it at home. It has gotten to the point where she is concerned about her interpersonal skills.

In today’s fast-paced culture, it is not uncommon to look around and see the majority of people looking down at screens. With things like texting and the Internet, it is not hard to understand the desire to be caught up with what is relevant. “I’m using it 24/7,” says Lei. For many teenagers, the convenience of having all of the answers at your fingertips is much too tempting to give up. Not only can you fi  home- work and research with ease, you can shop online, make dinner reservations, and buy movie tickets. After one gets used to the advantageous uses of technology, it is hard to stop. “People don’t know how to socialize anymore,” says Linh Vu, a junior at the O’Bryant. Society is so centered around technology that even the teenagers, who have grown up with it, have noticed the changes in their lifestyles. Holding onto the past will not help anyone, some teens say, but it also important to remember that technology is not everything.
Read more…
Twitter legend Daquan goes from 0 to 100 real fast, smokes weed, and takes his girls to the trap house. The Twitter-sphere is buzzing about Daquan, a fictional black figure notorious for disrupting the stereotypical safe white family by bringing its sons and daughters to the ’hood. He uses his ghetto persona to entice Caucasian teenagers, mostly girls, into joining his squad and becoming “black.” There are numerous accounts online where there is a photo of white teens getting scolded by their parents because of their change in behavior after hanging out with Daquan. Some of the memes say things like, “HOW DO YOU EXPECT DAQUAN TO PAY THESE BILLS!?” “CHILL MOM, HIS MIXTAPE DROPS IN A WEEK.” Vivian Greene, 15, from Boston Latin Academy, believes that this notion of white ignorance makes white women look bad. “I feel like the [message is] white girls should be submissive, have Daquan’s baby,” Greene says. According to, Daquan was created on July 2nd when @RealRaymondJ sent a tweet with a photograph of a young white woman waving off her mother and saying: “Mom I don’t want a David, I want a Daquan.” The site @YahBoyDaquan attracted more than 45,000 followers and, according to the International Business Times, had more than 100,000 mentions in 24 hours. Sixteen-year-old David Buefort, who was recently in an interracial relationship, feels that the creation of Daquan points to society’s reluctance to accept mixed couples. “I wouldn’t say it’s a big deal, so they shouldn’t make it a big deal,” says Buefort, from Jamaica Plain. Youth worker Freddie Riley believes that both blacks and whites have been disrespected by the presence of Daquan -- with blacks falsely depicted as dangerous and whites as sheltered. “It’s being hurtful to any type of racially different relationship,” says Riley, a former member of the Black Student Union at UMass/Amherst. “It’s ignorant.”
Read more…