Ryan McCartan is a national award-winning actor

Despite fan club, award-winning teen actor remains humble

The 18-year-old Ryan McCartan spent his summer training in Germany, rubbing elbows with musical theater legends, and performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

Sabrina Kennelly

Diverse peers at school educate in ways arithmetic can't

I love Central High School’s diversity, and that’s why I’m concerned about the Saint Paul Public School district’s new plan, “Strong Schools, Strong Communities.” Because of new busing restrictions, I’m worried this plan might allow schools to become racially segregated again.

Hmong shaman ceremony

Hmong preteen next in line to become shaman

Kamolchai Hang, 12, of St. Paul, could become the next shaman in his Hmong family, continuing a religious tradition of more than 1,000 years.

Ready Htoo's family fled Burma when he was only 4 years old.

Fleeing persecution, Karen teen at home in Minnesota

When Ready Htoo tried his first hot dog in America he loved it – until he found out what it was called.

Reclamation exhibit at Franconia Sculpture Park

Sculpture garden for scamps

Ever had the urge to touch artwork at a museum? Well, here’s a place for you rule breakers who always get hassled by museum security officers — Franconia Sculpture Park, located 45 minutes northeast of the Twin Cities in Chisago Country.

Moving to Minnesota: Immigrants tell their stories

Stories can transform the past from words in a book into the light in an old man’s face and the longing in an immigrant’s voice.

Lina Marulanda

Staying for my son

I can tell that this country has better opportunities for my son. Better resources for education and different things. So I think now I’m sacrificing for him. And I am happy with that.

Shamso Hashi

Success is achievable

My name is Shamso Ali Hashi. I grew up in a small city outside Mogadishu. I finished high school there. I got married young and had 11 children in total. Six passed away and five are alive.

Kao Kalia Yang

Nowhere on the map of the world

I’m Hmong, and you cannot find Hmong on the map of the world. There is no country that is mine. So I link myself up to the people who love me, who no matter where we were, carved out a place to belong for me.

Junchi Vang

Carrying on the culture

I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. My 13 siblings and Mom and Dad all traveled here together when I was 13. I just graduated from Robbinsdale Armstrong High School and started my first year of college at the University of Minnesota this fall.

Annie Baldwin

In the South, you know where you stand

There was a lot of that going on because the Woolworth’s would not allow us to eat at the lunch counter — they had a separate lunch counter for us. The fellows were the ones who integrated the lunch counter. The females did not participate in the sit-ins at the lunch counter. We supported them, maybe doing papers or taking notes and making sure they didn’t get behind in the classes.

Matthew Little

Looking back at 90: A complete change in America

In the South, where I was born and educated, it was an established mores that African Americans, and to an extent, other minorities too, were basically inferior human beings.

Betty Ellison-Harpole

Growing up in the Jim Crow South: Prepared for racism

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, the seventh of eight children. I went to a segregated kindergarten, grade school, and high school. I had all African American teachers. They were very good. We lived in an African American neighborhood, where the people were very supportive of each other. At home they would tell us what we could expect out in the world and how we might be treated.

Vang Thao, Community of Peace Academy

Hmong culture being adopted across Twin Cities

At the 2010 Hmong New Year at the Metrodome, Jasmine Tierra Bondurant, an 18-year-old African-American girl, appeared on stage and sang two Hmong songs: “Mi Noog” by Sudden Rush and “Nyog Ib Sab” by Pagnia Xiong.

Catanis Yang, 19, of St. Michael, Minn. watched Jasmine perform and was blown away.

Kimberly Mao, Woodbury High School

Binge drinking does more damage than killing brain cells

Malcolm Peterson, a 21-year-old Century College student, binge drank once when he was 19 and doesn’t remember much from that night. He’s pieced together most of the night from what friends have told him, and he can only remember throwing up three out of five times. He passed out and awoke upstairs at his friend’s house where someone had carried him.

Author Lorna Liu, Woodbury High School

Think all-nighters help on tests? Experts say no.

When a test is coming up, many students hit the books a day before. Cramming, they stay up until the crack of dawn.

But new research suggests all-night study sessions may not be the best choice when studying for a test, because of the relationship between memory and sleep

Nasro Mahamud works on a project in Thomas Belt’s Arabic class at Roosevelt High

Salam. (Hello.)

Minneapolis public schools now offer K-12 Chinese and Arabic language classes.

Salwa holds up the purple, sequined dress she wore to PROM 2009

Future of prom for Muslim girls' in doubt

When their Islamic belief in modesty conflicted with being able to go to school prom, a group of Muslim women decided to host a dance just for girls so they could let their hair down, glam up in gowns, and dance the night away — no boys allowed.

Tiger cub playing grand piano

Tales of a tiger cub

A new book by a Chinese-American mother about her “extreme” parenting — threatening to burn stuffed animals of a daughter who doesn’t want to practice piano and rejecting hand-made birthday cards because they weren’t good enough — caused a storm of controversy. Lisa Fan, daughter of first-generation Chinese immigrant parents with high expectations, reacts to “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”

Patience before and after her big chop

My hair is a statement I never planned to make

More than a year ago, Patience Zalanga decided to “go natural” and stop chemically relaxing hair. After cutting it off in a “big chop,” this St. Paul teen’s hair took her on a journey of discovery about just how much of a statement hair can be.

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