youth

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.

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.

Children as Young as Ten Battling Eating Disorders

Aug 12, 2014
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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Migrant Children May Be Sheltered in Massachusetts

Jul 21, 2014
M. Hoffmann/UNHCR / The Migration Policy Institute

According to the independent think tank The Migration Policy Institute, 85 percent of the Central American migrant children who have arrived in the U.S. over the past few months are reunited with relatives here. Most go to places with established communities of Central American families, including cities in Connecticut like New Haven and Hartford. Others go to Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s announcement Friday that Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee might be used to shelter immigrant children caught base commanders by surprise.

   Base spokesman, Master Sgt  Andrew Biscoe, said Westover is an active airfield with operational and security concerns that would need be addressed  before it could house up to a thousand children.  Also, lodging at the base is used on the weekends by thousands of reservists.

Gov. Deval Patrick says no decision has been made on a request from the Obama administration for Massachusetts to shelter some of the unaccompanied children who have been streaming across the nation’s southern border

Patrick seemed sympathetic to the request when he called the situation on the southern border a “humanitarian crisis” adding Massachusetts should do what it can to help.  Republican State Rep. Nick Boldyga of Southwick said the governor should reject the federal request to temporarily house the immigrant children.

What Honduran Children Are Fleeing

Jul 16, 2014

One participant in the debate over what to do with unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S. from Central America is Sonia Nazario.

Nazario is author of the acclaimed 2006 book “Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother,” which she updated in 2013.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The transgender community has been watching Connecticut and its handling of a 16-year-old transgender girl, who's in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

"They call me the Wolf," said the 25-year-old human smuggler sitting in front of me, sipping a Coke and stepping away for frequent cellphone calls.

"Everybody says we're the problem, but it's the reverse. The gringos don't want to get their hands dirty. So I bring them the Mexicans and Central Americans to do the dirty work for them," he says, smiling.

State of Connecticut

The attorneys for a transgender teen in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families want a judge to oversee her care. This comes after DCF moved her to an all-boys facility after she allegedly assaulted a youth and staff member over the weekend.

826 Paranormal / Creative Commons

The trial of the alleged killer of a 14-year old Bridgeport youth began Monday. Justin Thompson was one of three teens killed amid a spate of deadly violence in the city in 2012.

Following calls by residents for better police protection, Bridgeport imposed a youth curfew that year. For the past two years, kids under age 18 have needed permission from a parent or legal guardian to be on the streets after 11:00 pm on weeknights, and after midnight on weekends.

Connecticut Dept. of Correction

A 16-year-old transgender girl who was placed at York women's prison in April will be moved next week.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Tony Ferraiolo knew from a young age that he was born into the wrong body. It would be years before he was comfortable enough to transition from a female to male transgender person. 

Ferraiolo's story is told in the award-winning documentary, "A Self-Made Man." The film's screening is sold out on Saturday, June 21 at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven.

Cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students has dropped to the lowest level in 22 years, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The percentage of students who reported smoking a cigarette at least one day in the last 30 days fell to 15.7 percent in 2013, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a large federal survey that has been tracking youth smoking since 1991.

On Wednesday, Rashema Melson will graduate at the top of her class as the valedictorian of Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C. She's headed to Georgetown University this fall on a full scholarship.

Chion Wolf

President Obama announced a five-year, $200 million initiative to help young black men succeed. It's called "My Brother's Keeper," and aims to work with non-profits and foundations to search for solutions to the  problems of young black men. Leaders cite school and job readiness, discipline, and parenting as a few of the problems they'll tackle, but it's  mostly the bone-crushing poverty and low expectations that hold them back. 

This well-intended initiative put forth to help young black men succeed will  help a few beat the odds at the expense of the masses. The success feels good but may not change much.

Connecticut Dept. of Correction

A 16-year-old transgender girl who's been held at Connecticut's women's prison for almost two months could be moved to a Massachusetts facility in the next couple of weeks. 

Hanay / Creative Commons

A group of students at East Haven High School created a short documentary, “Weaving the Way: Lessons From the Weaver Bird.” The film recently won outstanding documentary short at the Connecticut Student Film Festival.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Advocates for a 16-year-old transgender girl at York women’s prison are working with the Department of Children and Families to find a foster family for Jane Doe. Her story continues to attract national attention. 

Mark Mühlhaus / attenzione

Students in five Connecticut technical high schools are set to present findings and recommendations from a year-long investigation of the environmental impact of their school's energy use. 

Maria Diaz / YouTube.com

Bridgeport police are defending the actions of a police officer shown in an Internet video forcefully arresting a teenager. 

Rebecca Hildreth / Creative Commons

When the Boston Marathon bombing occurred, neuroscientists at Harvard University were midway through a study on trauma and the adolescent brain. As a result, they said they were able to make some new scientific links between PTSD and media exposure.

Last April, Professor Katie McLaughlin and her colleagues at Harvard were studying the brains of young people who’d been through serious adversity. They had recruited about 150 children and teens. Half had reported early trauma or stress, and half had not.

How hard can it be for school cafeterias to swap white bread for whole-grain tortillas, cut sodium, and nudge kids to put more fruit and vegetables on their trays?

Tougher than you might imagine, according to some schools.

More than 4,000 children are in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families. But it's one girl, known as Jane Doe, who has galvanized advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth.

JECO Photo / Creative Commons

New data from the State Department of Education show high school graduation rates continuing to improve in Connecticut. 

Chion Wolf

The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, Caroline Hewins was an early advocate for taking seriously the reading needs of children starting in the late 19th century. Prior to that children's lit wasn't really treated as a genre that could stand on its own two feet.  

Today, of course, it's massive and diverse. Its themes range from light to darkness, its language may be mannered or naturalistic, its art may be glorious or crude.  And, there really seems to be a readership for all those possibilities. But, some would say we need more diversity.

Today on the show, we talk about children's books, first from the perspective of two authors and then with a scholar and a librarian.

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