youth

Being a Teen
4:12 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

What’s the Hardest Part About Being a Teen?

Shamoya Hanson is a senior at the Journalism and Media Academy in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Some things teenagers have to deal with just don’t change. Heartbreak, hormones, heightened social anxiety -- it's all just part of the package. 

But things that are unique to the 2015 teen experience -- social media, texting, and ephemeral messaging -- take regular teen issues to a whole new level. This isn’t breaking news, but teens are saying that adults still don’t fully get it. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Do You Really Know What Your Teen Is Thinking?

Cindy Rodriguez is a reading specialist at King Philip middle school in West Hartford and the author of “When Reason Breaks”
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s not easy being a teenager today. Teens need to do well in school, give back to the community, participate in extracurricular activities, and keep up with a social scene intensified by social media. We also ask them to act responsibly, make good choices, and think about their future.

We're looking for "adult behavior" from people forced to live under our rules. It's a tough balancing act that comes with a lot of pressure.  

Sometimes, their friends are looking for something different and peer pressure can lead to bad decisions and risky behaviors.

It may not sound like they have to deal with much -- but that’s part of the problem. Adults have a tendency to underestimate what teens feel, and how powerfully they feel it.

And if kids have friends, don’t get in trouble, and get pretty good grades, parents and teachers don’t always notice the kids struggling to cope with emotions hidden beneath the surface.

The World Health Organization says depression is the most common cause of illness and disability for teens between 10 and 19 years old and suicide is the third most common cause of death in adolescents...just behind traffic accidents.

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Voicemail Project
3:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

The WNPR Voicemail Project: Teens On the Edge

chiesADIbeinasco Creative Commons

WNPR has an experimental radio project and we want you to get involved. The idea is simple: we provide a theme; you call our hotline and tell a story.

The theme: What's so hard about being a teen?

On Friday, January 30, WNPR's Where We Live will talk about the challenges of being a teenager.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

The Young and Restless in Connecticut

Downtown Hartford on the Connecticut River.
Ricky Aponte Creative Commons

More young people are moving to the heart of cities, according to a report from think tank City Observatory. This includes cities that we usually think of as “economically troubled,” like Buffalo, Cleveland, and, yes, even Hartford. Some of these cities have been losing their overall population, but gaining in their numbers of college graduates in their 20s and 30s.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

After Connecticut Teen Undergoes Chemotherapy, Questions on Informed Consent for Minors

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that a 17-year-old cancer patient must continue chemotherapy treatment.
Linus Ekenstam Creative Commons

The story of Cassandra C, 17, dominated national headlines after she refused treatment for a curable cancer. The Connecticut Supreme Court agreed with a lower court decision that the Department of Children and Families can retain temporary custody of the girl, and force her to undergo chemotherapy. We hear from Cassandra's attorney about next steps for her.

We also talk with medical experts about informed consent. Should Cassandra and other minor patients like her be forced to undergo treatment?

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Medical Decisions
7:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Cassandra C Could Leave Hospital While Waiting for Next Chemo Treatment

Cassandra C, 17, was ordered to continue her chemotherapy treatment despite her objections.
Jackie Fortin

Cassandra C, 17, is being forced by the state to undergo chemotherapy treatment for her Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Under a court order, DCF has had temporary custody of Cassandra since mid-December.

DCF now says it is exploring other options for her while she continues treatment. Cassandra's next chemotherapy treatment won't happen for several weeks, so she may be allowed to leave the hospital and live in a group home. While there, she would continue to receive other treatments DCF says she needs.

Cassandra's attorney, Joshua Michtom, said on WNPR's Where We Live that Cassandra is in her hospital room with someone at guard at all times. For her, he said, being anywhere other than her one room in the hospital would be preferable.

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Juvenile Arrests
8:44 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Behavior Program Leads to Fewer Connecticut Kids in Court

Jeff Vanderploeg, vice president for mental health initiatives at the Child Health and Development Institute, discusses a behavior intervention strategy at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
David DesRoches

Nate Quesnel, the superintendent of schools in East Hartford, told a story about a student sitting in the back of the classroom, a wool cap pulled over his eyebrows, his faced glued to a cell phone, his fingers attacking the screen in a gaming frenzy.

"Right away, I recoiled inside," Quesnel said. "I felt embarrassed." He was embarrassed because at the time, an executive from Xerox was presenting the students with information on job skills, including how to act during an interview.

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Medical Ethics
9:46 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Are Teenagers Capable Of Making Life-Or-Death Decisions?

Cassandra, age 17, is in a Hartford, Conn., hospital where the state is compelling her to undergo cancer treatment.
Cassandra AP

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 9:53 am

The Connecticut Supreme Court's ruling that 17-year-old Cassandra could be forced to undergo cancer treatment sparked thousands of impassioned comments on NPR.org and Facebook.

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Medical Decisions
2:51 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Connecticut Supreme Court: Teen Can't Refuse Chemotherapy

Jackie Fortin, at center, is Cassandra C's mother, pictured with attorneys James Sexton, Mike Taylor and Cassandra's attorney, Joshua Michtom
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

In a swift ruling on Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court decided that a teen recently diagnosed with cancer can't refuse life-saving chemotherapy.

According to the ruling, state officials are not violating the teen's rights by forcing her to undergo chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. The teen, known as Cassandra C, will be free to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18 in September.

For the past month, Cassandra has been held at a local hospital, undergoing chemotherapy treatment against her wishes. Doctors said chemotherapy would give her an 85 percent chance of survival and without the treatment, she could die.

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Medical Decisions
7:56 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Can Connecticut Force A Teenage Girl To Undergo Chemotherapy?

Jackie Fortin's daughter, Cassandra, last summer.
Courtesy of Jackie Fortin

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 5:58 pm

Update at 3:05 ET: The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday afternoon that the state can require Cassandra to continue treatment.

Her mother, Jackie Fortin, said she's disappointed by the decision. "She knows I love her and I'm going to keep fighting for her because this is her decision," Fortin said. "I know more than anyone, more than DCF, that my daughter is old enough, mature enough to make a decision. If she wasn't, I'd be making that decision."

Here's our original story, reported Thursday morning:

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Smoking Survey
1:37 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

E-Cigarettes Make Inroads With Children in Connecticut

Credit Sodanie Chea / Creative Commons

A study from Yale School of Medicine said a quarter of high school students in Connecticut have tried an electronic cigarette. 

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Going Digital
11:08 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Girl Scout Cookies Will Soon Be Just A Click Away

In this undated photo released by the Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts Bria and Shirell practice selling cookies on one of two new digital platforms. It's the first time the organization has allowed the sales of cookies using a mobile app or personalized websites.
Girl Scouts of the USA AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 1:56 pm

Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Samoas just became easier to buy: Girl Scouts will now be able to use Digital Cookies to sell the treats online.

"Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space," said Sarah Angel-Johnson, chief digital cookie executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA. "Online is where entrepreneurship is going."

Her comments were reported by The Associated Press.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

The Young and Restless in Connecticut

Downtown Hartford on the Connecticut River.
Ricky Aponte Creative Commons

More young people are moving to the heart of cities, according to a report from think tank City Observatory. This includes cities that we usually think of as “economically troubled,” like Buffalo, Cleveland, and, yes, even Hartford. Some of these cities have been losing their overall population, but gaining in their numbers of college graduates in their 20s and 30s.

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Migrant Youth
4:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

From NYC's International Schools, Lessons For Teaching Unaccompanied Minors

Alexandra Starr

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 4:47 pm

Flushing International High School is like a teenage version of the United Nations. Walk down the hallway and you can meet students from Colombia, China, Ecuador, Bangladesh and South Korea.

"Our students come from about 40 different countries, speak 20 different languages," says Lara Evangelista, the school's principal.

With schools around the country scrambling to educate the more than 57,000 unaccompanied child migrants who've crossed the border this year, I came to see what lessons International Schools like this one can offer.

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Prisons
3:40 am
Wed October 15, 2014

'Culture Of Violence' Pervades Rikers' Juvenile Facilities

An inmate at Rikers Island juvenile detention facility carries a plastic fork behind his back as he walks with other inmates. A recent report found that juvenile detainees are subjected to routine violence, both by other inmates and by correction officers.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 4:19 pm

For most of New York, Rikers Island is out of sight and out of mind. It's in the middle of the East River between Queens and the Bronx. There's only one unmarked bridge that leads on and off. But a recent report on violence by correction officers, or COs, was no surprise to those who've spent time there.

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New Boom
9:31 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Getting Some 'Me' Time: Why Millennials Are So Individualistic

Millennials are often painted as the entitled, selfie-snapping generation. But many researchers say that "me" time will help young people make better decisions in the long run.
© Eugenio Marongiu iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:35 am

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

They are a class of self-centered, self-absorbed, selfie-snapping 20-somethings. This is how many critics have come to define the millennial generation.

But hold on, isn't this what was said about every generation when it was young? Minus the selfies of course.

Some scholars argue that millennials aren't entitled — they just have more time to be themselves.

Markers Of Adulthood

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Politics
3:14 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Millennial Voters Are Paying Attention — So Why Don't More Vote?

Rapper Lil Jon appears in a new ad for Rock the Vote's 2014 campaign. The organization was founded to get Generation X engaged in politics, and is adapting its tactics to reach millennials.
Courtesy of Rock the Vote

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

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New Boom
3:28 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously

This 30-year-old millennial helped found — and now runs — Facebook. His net worth is estimated at more than $33 billion.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:28 pm

In the U.S., people born between 1980 and 2000 now outnumber baby boomers, and their numbers are still growing because of immigration. This generation is already shaping American life, and in a series of stories — largely reported by millennials themselves — NPR will explore how this New Boom is transforming the country.

There are more millennials in America right now than baby boomers — more than 80 million of us.

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Louisiana
8:03 am
Thu October 2, 2014

New Orleans Schools Face A Surge Of Unaccompanied Minors

Yashua Cantillano, 14, arrived in New Orleans in June from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He's now enrolled in a charter school, Carver Prep, on the city's east side.
Mallory Falk/WWNO

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 8:17 pm

For 14-year-old Yashua Cantillano, life in New Orleans is an improvement.

But that's not saying much.

Just three months ago, Yashua was in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, dodging gang members. He says they would drive by his school, guns visible, threatening to kill him, his younger brother — Yashua's whole family.

"We'd hide all day," Yashua says, "and that kept us from going to school."

After crossing the U.S. border illegally, he came to New Orleans and ultimately enrolled at Carver Prep, a small charter school on the city's east side.

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Crime
1:58 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Juvenile Arrests Down 40 Percent in Connecticut

Mike Lawlor in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut officials are attributing a 40 percent drop in juvenile arrests statewide over the past five years to a number of factors, including reform efforts dating back more than a decade, and a national decrease in juvenile crime. 

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Video Games
8:01 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Minecraft's Business Model: A Video Game That Leaves You Alone

Will Davidson and his Minecraft creation, modeled off the Santa Cruz Mission
Steve Henn

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 2:38 pm

Minecraft is deceptively simple video game. You're dropped into a virtual world, and you get to build things. It's like a digital Lego set, but with infinite pieces.

Its simplicity makes it a big hit with kids, like 10-year old Will Davidson. Last year, Will built a Spanish mission for a school report. He modeled his off the Santa Cruz Mission. "I made a chapel over here," Davidson says. "I also have a bell tower."

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State Supreme Court
9:27 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Conn. Court To Take Up Juvenile Sentencing

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 4:01 pm

Connecticut's Supreme Court has decided to take up three cases that could decide how the state handles the convictions of children who commit murder and other violent crimes.

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WAMC News
11:58 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Springfield Declares Anti-bullying Weekend

The Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation was formed in 2010 to keep alive the memory of Carl who the previous year committed suicide at age 11 after suffering repeated bullying

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 6:26 pm

A number of activities to raise funds and awareness to combat bullying will take place this week in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the suicide five years ago of an 11-year- old student focused national attention on bullying in schools.

The Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation has scheduled a series of events that began Wednesday with a mayoral designation of the second weekend in September as “Anti-Bullying Weekend” in the city of Springfield. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Talking About Suicide

Robin Williams in a scene from the 2006 film, "The Night Listener."

The recent death of actor Robin Williams left many people shocked, and it re-started the conversation about suicide, its warning signs, and ways to get help. We revisit a show we did about the illness last year.

We also hear a moving story about depression from author Andrew Solomon, who shared it at The Connecticut Forum earlier this year.

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School Start
1:38 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens' Health

About 40 percent of high schools start before 8 a.m., which contributes to chronic sleep deprivation among teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Chris Waits/Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:44 am

Many parents have pushed for a later start to the school day for teenagers, with limited success. But parents just got a boost from the nation's pediatricians, who say that making middle and high schoolers start classes before 8:30 a.m. threatens children's' health, safety and academic performance.

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Child Health
10:18 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Children as Young as Ten Battling Eating Disorders

Children younger than ever are struggling with eating disorders.
Wavebreakmedia Ltd. Thinkstock

Thousands of Connecticut adults and children – some as young as ten – struggle with eating disorders with many suffering secretly because the life-threatening psychiatric condition has gone undiagnosed and untreated, experts in the field report.

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Migrant Youth
3:32 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Trauma Plagues Many Immigrant Kids In U.S. Illegally

A young immigrant caught crossing the border illegally is housed inside the McAllen Border Patrol Station in McAllen, Texas, last month.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 11:15 am

Many of the Central American children who have entered the U.S illegally in recent months have come with a heavy burden — a history of hardship and violence. And many of the children now face difficult and uncertain futures.

This has social service agencies around the country scrambling to figure out how to help the more than 30,000 unaccompanied minors who have been placed with family and friends since January, as they await their immigration hearings.

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YouthBuild
1:17 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Hartford Organizations Get $2.2 Million to Help At-Risk Youth

Anibal Torres, participant in a YouthBuild program in California.
Credit U.S. Department of Labor

Two Connecticut organizations are sharing $2.2 million in federal funds to help youth who have been in trouble with the law or dropped out of school. 

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Transgender Teen
1:58 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Connecticut Child Advocate Criticizes DCF for Care of Transgender Teen

Connecticut's child advocate, Sarah Eagan, in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Office of the Child Advocate is criticizing the Connecticut Department of Children and Families for its "public shaming" of Jane Doe after a recent incident at the state locked unit for troubled girls. Child advocate Sarah Eagan is also concerned about how often DCF staff is restraining youth at the state's locked facilities for girls and boys.

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Youth Migrants
3:15 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Bridgeport and New Haven Weigh Whether to House Migrant Children

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp in a file photo.
Credit Melissa Bailey / New Haven Independent

The mayors of Connecticut's cities will take part in a conference call this week to discuss whether their communities have space to host some of the children from Central America who have been flooding the U.S. border.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch are hosting the call on Friday. Harp said they will make the request to their counterparts in Hamden, Meriden, New Britain, East Hartford, Waterbury, Hartford, West Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford.

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