September Your Turn -- essay highlights

I believe taking away a woman’s right to abortion is taking away her freedom. There are diverse reasons why abortion is the best option. There may be rape; few people want a reminder of a traumatic event. There may also be financial issues; many women just can’t afford children. Additionally, women with weak emotional states frequently turn to alcohol and drugs and this dependency leads to abuse and/or neglect of her kids … If a woman makes this call, or wants the option to make this call, why do people pass judgment? Hard decisions are based on beliefs and if you make a decision based on what you believe, then everyone should both accept and respect your decision. — Sparkle Jones, 17, Humboldt High School

I want Barack Obama to open the border for three reasons. First, most of the Latinos want jobs. Second they want a life that Mexico can’t give us. Third, Latinos are not criminals; we just want a better life for our kids such as education, jobs, and things like that. — Luis Pacheco, 14, Harding High School

John McCain, buy me a car!
I want John McCain to buy us cars for three reasons. First, cars are very useful. Adults have cars, why can’t we? Second, I would drive to school if I have a car, and I would drive to other places like to the park, the mall, friends’ houses, work, or maybe other states. Who knows? Third, when the parents need you to go buy something at the market, you can easily drive your car to the market. — Nikki Sakjalernchaikun, 14, Harding High School

Money for schools
One of the best things the president could do for America’s youth is to make sure that schools are getting all the funding that they need, without raising the local taxes too much. Looking at Southwest Senior High, there currently are way too many students in each class. Many classes have 40 or more students and this can overwhelm teachers and leave students unnoticed and not getting the attention needed for a quality education … During “B Lunch,” many teens have realized that there was no more food to be eaten … Hungry teenagers are not a pretty sight, and … can cause students to be distracted in classes and fall behind. — Tate Pashibin, 14, Southwest Senior High

Dorian with his cousin Maryah

Fight cancer
My 14-year-old cousin Maryah has been battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, which is a rare form of bone cancer. She got it when she was nine and has been fighting it since. Although she is in remission at the moment, she has had it return four separate times. As a close family, we all share this pain deeply, and I just wish there was a cure so she wouldn’t have to constantly be in fear of it returning. I worry so greatly of losing this person I love so dearly. Please take into consideration making it a priority to fund more research for this deadly disease. — Dorian Martinson, 14, St. Francis High School

End the war in Iraq
I would tell them that I want a quick and efficient way of moving our troops out of Iraq. This is important to the lives of young Americans because we worry about our own fates when we become adults; some of us fear that there could be a draft if this war continues on. Many Americans either have family or friends that are off fighting in Iraq as well. It would improve our lives if we knew that these people could be brought home soon. — Ben Tracy, 14, Southwest High School

Obama, come to the Hmong New Year celebration
I want Obama to come to Hmong New Year … It would be very fun to see Hmong people and try Hmong foods. Third, it would be great for Obama to see our culture, and what Hmong New Year looks like. — Toua Hue Her, 15, Harding High School

Morgan Wilcock

Dreaming of college
I would describe to him how my older sister and I are more worried than ever about each being able to afford the college we wish to attend. I would tell him how we feel deep pressure to obtain good grades. I would inform him how as a freshmen, I am already concerned with preparing for my SAT and ACT exams, because high scores may make that much of a difference … I would hope that from information like this, the next president would vow to make a student’s dream college more accessible, and less of a dream but more of a dream come true. — Morgan Wilcock, 14, Southwest Senior High

Save the world
The teenagers of America don’t want to have to tell the next generation that there were once polar bears, we want to show them. We don’t want to only show them pictures of the rainforest, we want to be able to visit them. — Sienna Cohen, 13, of Southwest High School

Stop gangs and gun violence
You could stop the sale of guns to kids or making it so easy to get hem. Make more kids go to school so they can do something positive with their life. Stop all the gangs, pay more attention to the little people because we are the future, and if you don’t help us now while were young the future does not look so bright. — Aiesha Bluntson, 12, Afrocentric Academy

Lee Potter

End teen homelessness
I would tell him to do something about teen hunger and homelessness in America. I would present him with facts like 1.3 million homeless and run-away teens are on the streets every night. Every year 5,000 homeless teens die of illness, assault, or suicide. I would tell him to act upon this issue as a top priority. — Lee Potter, 15, of Southwest High School

Sara Powell

School lunch is gross
I would tell him high schools need a better lunches. They are gross and disgusting. Once a student got a green hamburger. We have to pay for juice, but some people cannot afford it! Their fries taste like they’re from 7 years ago. How are you supposed to know if they are or not? –- Sara Powell, 16, of Humboldt Senior High

Youth deserve rights too
Young Americans should have a later curfew, have more choices for things like job types and a choice to choose what they get to do in life without a parent giving them approval. The kids that want to work should be able to work, if they are thirteen or fourteen and want to work, then they should be able to. Kids need more money in this economy. –- Kody Jenniges, 16, of Humboldt Senior High

Better role models
Young Americans need … better role models. Not role models like Lil’ Wayne, and Lil’ Kim but more professional role models, like Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Hilary Clinton. By running for the presidential nomination, Hilary Clinton showed what women can do. Michelle Obama is a very successful and intelligent black woman. Barack Obama is a very successful, intelligent black man. We young Americans need more role models like these to raise the standards as to what we can do. — Kiara Hill, 16, of Humboldt Senior High