The problem with skin bleaching

“If only you were a few shades lighter, you would have been so beautiful, honey.”


The problem with skin bleaching

“If only you were a few shades lighter, you would have been so beautiful, honey.”

AMIRA ADAWE GREW UP in a comfortable home surrounded by people who appreciated her skin.


Extracurriculars: Choose quality over quantity

Join activities to feed your passions, not just to pad your college application 

SENIOR YEAR IS a transition period for high school students, a time to discover who they want to be in


The (lack of) youth vote: Young people need to take part in their civic duty

ELECTIONS ARE HOW WE hold officials accountable.


Finding a path in business: A student’s experience with DECA points toward a future in business



No other option but success

I SAT IN MY dad’s taxicab waiting for my sister, silently observing all the movement around me.

Beating the blues, with help from the blues

“Music is powerful. As people listen to it, they can be affected. They respond.” —Ray Charles


Finding myself in a foreign country

DESTINATION: Liberia, West Africa.

Travel distance: 7,690 miles.

Mission accomplished.

604 pages of the Quran, memorized

AT 4 A.M., MOST TEENAGERS are usually sleeping in their cozy beds. I was 12 and wide awake. Memorizing the Quran.

My journey to happiness

I STARE INTO the antique body-length mirror mounted on the wall in the bathroom.

Ready for my life after high school

ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO, I was dorm-room shopping.

I was moving out of the house for the fall semester.

Saying goodbye to my parents.

Meeting my new roommate.


Turning my disappointment into a high note

IT FELT AS IF bandits had banned me from lead clarinetist in my high school band ensemble.

Discovering the power of language

I NERVOUSLY STEPPED through the classroom door­way with my father trailing behind me.

Finding a voice through sports

“WHAT SIZE ARE your shoes?” the man asked.

“What?” I turned to see the only person waiting at the bus stop.

“Your shoes,” he said, gesturing at my feet.

The act of helping

I LURCHED FORWARD in the backseat of my mom’s green minivan, restrained only by my seatbelt, so she could see me in her peripheral vision while driving.

Loving myself

“WE WANT ‘THUNDER Thighs’ on our team,” shouted a classmate.

All the girls in gym class darted their eyes toward me. I had no words. And while most laughed, I ran to the bathroom.

Learning from my mother’s sacrifice

THERE SHE WAS, the woman who carried me in her womb with every inch and every muscle of her body for nine straight months, exasperated on the couch next to my 4-year-old sister.

Becoming resilient, in and out of the pool

IT WAS COLD. Freezing cold. Like the sub-zero temperatures of Antarctica.

More than helping with cleaning

THE BROOM BRUSHED the floor of the kitchen as my mom sighed.

“Mom, do you need help with anything?” I ask.

My life as a gamer

I CAN FEEL my sweat-encased fingers stick to the keys. The rapid pounding of my heart resounds in my head. I hear the powerful boom of the woman’s voice as we land the winning hit, “Victory!”

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