youth

Dylan's Wings of Change

Ian and Nicole Hockley lost  their son, Dylan, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

Dylan had autism, and some problems with speech and engaging socially. After his death, his parents started a foundation called Dylan's Wings of Change to help children with similar difficulties develop fully. Their Wingman program is little different because it's for all kids.

A new study challenges the prevailing notion that student debt is the primary reason young adults delay buying a home. The report was co-authored by Dartmouth Sociology Professor Jason Houle and University of Wisconsin Social Work Professor Lawrence Berger. It’s published by Third Way, which describes itself as a centrist think tank.

Lee Morley / Creative Commons

Bartlomiej Palosz, 15, committed suicide in 2013, on the first day of his sophomore year in high school. Now his parents are suing the town of Greenwich and its school board, claiming that not enough was done to address the years of bullying that their son endured. 

Chion Wolf

  Our guest this hour, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, was at the center of a public hearing this week at the state capitol in the wake of two reports critical of the state’s juvenile detention facilities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Committee on Children met on Wednesday to learn more about the conditions at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for boys and the nearby Pueblo Unit for girls. 

Connecticut DCF

Connecticut lawmakers are preparing to learn more about the conditions and practices at the state's juvenile detention facilities.

"If a kid is in first period when they should still be asleep, how much are they really learning?"

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Earlier this week, the state Department of Children and Families took emergency steps to protect children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit, including the phase out of face-down and mechanical restraints, expanded clinical staffing, and required counseling sessions when a youth is in isolation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report by the state Office of the Child Advocate reveals dangerous safety issues for children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit.

"What are we trying to accomplish for these youth, and can you really accomplish meaningful treatment, meaningful trauma-informed treatment, in a juvenile prison?" asked Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan.

It's family vacation time, and I've taken the kids back to where I grew up — a small plot of land off a dirt road in Kansas.

For my city kids, this is supposed to be heaven. There are freshly laid chicken eggs to gather, new kittens to play with and miles of pasture to explore.

But we're not outside.

I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom watching my 7-year-old son and his 11-year-old-cousin stare at a screen. The older kid is teaching the younger the secrets of one of the most popular games on Earth: Minecraft.

Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the McKinney, Texas, police officer seen on a video forcing a teenage girl to the ground and briefly drawing his gun while attempting to break up a disturbance at a community pool, has resigned. Police Chief Greg Conley made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday evening.

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

Connecticut's second-highest court has ruled that a transgender teenager's due process rights were violated when the state's child welfare agency sought her transfer to a prison last year.

ADVISORY: This video contains profanity and violence.

Police responding to reported disturbance at a community pool in McKinney, Texas, are seen in a video posted to YouTube aggressively subduing black teenagers and, at one point, pulling a gun on them.

Tema Silk / NEPR

May is a big month for the Nutmegs — Connecticut’s children’s book award. This year’s winners were just announced, the result of votes from kids across the state. Some students also have a say in which books are nominated. 

There hasn't been much to cheer about in Nepal this week as it copes with a devastating earthquake — but cheers and applause broke out in Kathmandu Thursday after a teenager was pulled alive from a collapsed building.

For five days, the teenager was covered in the rubble of a seven-story building hit by Saturday's powerful quake. Rescue workers who got him out included an American disaster response team that arrived in Nepal this week.

Courtesy of the New Haven Independent

About six years ago, I reported about a young fireball pitcher from New Haven named Jericho Scott. When he was just ten years old, his 40-mile-an-hour pitches were so good that one league decided he shouldn’t be allowed to pitch. The story in 2008 went flying around the Internet faster than Scott's fastball.

Ten days ago, Scott, 16 years old, was killed in a drive-by shooting in New Haven. He was a student at Wilbur Cross High School, and had continued to stand out on the ball field.

Twitter

A 17-year-old girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state of Connecticut is going home on Monday. The teen known as Cassandra C has been held at a local children's hospital since December. 

Natasha Vora / Creative Commons

Schools in Connecticut and across the nation are reporting a consistent rise in the number of students with mental health issues, and an increase in the complexity and severity of problems. This week, WNPR focuses attention on a particularly troubling condition: self-injury.

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A judge has ruled a 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state must remain in the temporary custody of the Department of Children and Families until her treatments are finished.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Advocates for juveniles want the state legislature to repeal a rarely used law that allows Connecticut's Department of Children and Families to request a youth be transferred to an adult prison. 

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In her latest book, Burning Down the House, journalist and author Nell Bernstein explores the dark side of America’s juvenile justice system. Through the eye-opening stories of incarcerated youths, she argues that it’s time to shut down the nation’s juvenile prisons once and for all.

While most teenagers recognize that texting while driving is a bad idea, they may be less clear about the risk of other activities – like changing clothes.

Twenty-seven percent of teens say they sometimes change clothes and shoes while driving, a study finds. They also reported that they often change contact lenses, put on makeup and do homework behind the wheel.

Jackie Fortin

A 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state testified at a closed-door hearing on Monday. She and her mother are seeking her release from state custody.

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.

A report in The New York Times said the number of college-educated people moving to city centers has surged, up 37 percent since 2000, even while their populations have shrunk slightly. What’s behind that trend, and is it happening in Connecticut?

WNPR/David DesRoches

The frigid February air stings Odane Campbell as he slogs across ice and snow toward the bus stop. Huddling with friends, the only thing to do is hope the bus isn't late this morning.

It's moments like this when the 18-year-old realizes how far away from Jamaica he actually is.

"Jamaica is not this cold out there," he said. "It's like pretty warm, like summer all the time."

Jackie Fortin

A Connecticut teen who refused chemotherapy to treat a curable cancer is now in remission. But her attorney said she's still fighting a court order that has her in the temporary custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

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

For the past few months, NPR has been telling stories of the millennial generation — the largest and most diverse cohort in American history. To help give them a face, we asked 18- to 34-year-olds to take a selfie. (Groanworthy, I know. Stay with me.)

Tara Baker Photograhy

In a music field crowded with singer-songwriters, Connecticut up-and-comer Connor Wallowitz is a little different. Sure, he has the requisite following on Facebook and YouTube, and a well-received debut album. But what makes Connor unique is that he's only 13 years old.

Wallowitz has written about 30 songs so far, five in the last month alone, and is gaining fans and accolades for his debut CD, Bleeding Colors. The CD was released last fall, and Connor is hard at work on what he hopes will be his follow-up album.

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. 

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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