youth

CCSU Students React to Obama's Visit, Message

Mar 6, 2014
Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama spoke Wednesday to a packed gymnasium at Central Connecticut State University. Several CCSU students talked with WNPR about the president's call for a hike in the minimum wage, and opportunity for all.

Standing outside the Detrick Gymnasium, student Anna Battey said she thought President Obama’s speech was brilliant. "I work at a teas shop," she said. "I work for minimum wage, so anything helps. I'm a college student, so anything helps."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each year, 1.4 million of the nation’s eleven- to 17-year-olds enter the juvenile justice system. Of these boys and girls, some 71,000 are sent to incarceration facilities, where they may remain for several months in seclusion from the outside world. 

We usually think of the flu as an illness that afflicts the elderly. But this season the virus seems to be hitting younger people hard.

This winter at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the median age of people hospitalized with influenza was 28.5 years. Many of the worst cases of flu occurred in young, otherwise healthy people.

The teenage years are a tumultuous time, with about 11 percent developing depression by age 18. Lack of sleep may increase teenagers' risk of depression, two studies say.

Teenagers who don't get enough sleep are four times as likely to develop major depressive disorder as their peers who sleep more, according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. They tracked the habits of more than 4,000 adolescents over a year.

Ira Gelb / Creative Commons

The FBI and dozens of law enforcement agencies rescued 16 juveniles in four states, including Connecticut, during an operation that targeted forced prostitution around the Super Bowl. 

Sure, you think, my kid's on a football team. That takes care of his exercise needs, right? Probably not.

"There are these bursts of activity," says Jim Sallis, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. "But if you think about it, one hour of playing football out on the field means that the vast majority of that time is spent standing around waiting for the next play."

Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.

"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."

Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.

"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. But his classmates are out running and jumping outside.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

A woman who was was forced into prostitution as a teenager spoke at the state's first conference on domestic sex trafficking. 

Audrey Morrissey, 51, is a Massachusetts resident who detailed how she was forced into prostitution after suffering from low self-esteem and lack of nurturing at home. She eventually turned her life around, and now counsels young girls through the initiative, My Life My Choice

Everyone knows that the first rule of driving is never take your eyes off the road.

Teen drivers start off being careful, but they tend to start multitasking after just a few months behind the wheel, according to research published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

And while older drivers can handle eating or talking to passengers, which trip up the newbies, dialing a cell phone increased the risk of accidents among young and experienced drivers alike.

Chion Wolf

“Invisible” is often a term used for homeless youth who fall through the cracks, who lack support and resources. Often, these young people are from minority groups, or are LGBT. Many come out of the foster or juvenile justice system. Fifty percent of them do not have a high school diploma. 

It’s a sad story, and one that is hard to quantify, because there are few hard numbers on how many young people are on the streets. 

frankiefotografie/iStock / Thinkstock

A study released this month explores homelessness among youths in Connecticut. The report, called “Invisible No More,” was co-authored by two researchers, Derrick Gordon and Bronwyn Hunter, of The Consultation Center at Yale University School of Medicine. They found that homeless youths are a virtually invisible population in the state, often not connected to services that could help steer them away from the risks of poverty, crime, and addiction. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state said that a new law aimed at getting juveniles out of the adult prison system is working. It's called the "raise the age" law and was fully implemented last year.

Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.

Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of Rent scheduled for next March.

Rent is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.

A teen's relationship — or lack of good relationship — with parents, pals or teachers may have a lot to do with why most kids aren't getting the nine to 10 hours of sleep that doctors recommend. The hormonal disruptions of puberty likely also play a role.

After voting for him in large numbers in 2008 and 2012, young Americans are souring on President Obama.

According to a new Harvard University Institute of Politics poll, just 41 percent of millennials — adults ages 18-29 — approve of Obama's job performance, his lowest-ever standing among the group and an 11-point drop from April.

Flickr Creative Commons / seantoyer

A state commission discussed legislation today that could give juvenile offenders an earlier opportunity for parole. The proposal would also eliminate life sentences without parole for inmates convicted of a crime committed when they were under the age of 18.

The first satellite ever developed by high school students to make it to space is believed to be orbiting Earth after getting a ride aboard a U.S. military rocket Tuesday night from Wallops Island, Va.

Fittingly, perhaps, you can send it a text message.

The satellite, using a voice synthesizer, is built to transform that text into an audio message that can be heard over certain radio frequencies around the globe, and in different languages.

Duesentrieb / Creative Commons

Full disclosure: I was in my high school's Model United Nations club for two years, representing the countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sudan.

There's something innately human about wanting to play pretend. It's one reason why people read, watch movies, and play videogames. At its core, that's what Model U.N. is: pretend. When you get a group of several hundred, highly passionate high school students (dare I say geeks?), blood boils, friendships are broken, and sanctions are imposed. But gosh darn it...it's fun.

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Malloy announced three new initiatives that will make it easier for families to access mental health services, and to provide better identification and intervention for children and teens with mental health issues. 

It seems odd to say that someone "lost" the Nobel Peace Prize. But that's what some folks were saying this week about Malala Yousafzai, who was favored to win the award because of the resilience she showed after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

The NFL adopted a new rule this season that makes it illegal for players to hit with the crown of their helmet. In other words, ramming your head into someone.

Christine Stuart / CT News Junkie

Almost a third of those who have signed up on Connecticut's health care exchange so far are in the coveted under-35 demographic. The exchange has been operating for just over a week. By Tuesday, the exchange had processed just over 1,400 applications.

Collective Consciousness Theatre

The tenth annual Arts for Healing Festival began on Wednesday. Yale New Haven Children's Hospital created the festival to feature art, music, poetry and performances by patients and health care providers.

Ryan Cassella / WNPR

The town of Greenwich is still coping with the tragic death of a teenager earlier this year. A Greenwich high school student took his own life just hours after the first day of school. A preliminary investigation pointed to bullying as having played a role in the suicide.

Each year, Marji Lipshez-Shapiro leads anti-bullying programs in about 200 Connecticut schools as the education director for the state Office of the Anti-Defamation League. Lipshez-Shapiro will be in Greenwich this week, joined by students from Greenwich High School, for conversation with parents on what they need to know about bullying, name-calling, and cyber-bullying.

Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. The rollout is in the first of three phases, and ultimately, the goal is to distribute more than 600,000 devices.

But less than a week after getting their iPads, almost 200 of the districts' high school students found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use.

Drug Enforcement Agency

Last Saturday night, seven people overdosed at a dance music show at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury. It’s believed they were taking a powerful hallucinogenic drug called 2C-P. Four people collapsed at nearly the same time. By the time police arrived, one 19-year-old had stopped breathing. Officers used CPR and a defibrillator to treat him. The victims were hospitalized and have been released.

Michael Dorausch / Creative Commons

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, together with more than 35 attorneys general from other states, wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the advertising and sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. There are currently no federal age restrictions on the sale of e-cigarrettes, which have become very popular, very quickly.

A story in the Financial Times caught our eye this week. It was on foreign workers in South Korea.

The story looked at the town of Ansan, where about 7.6 percent of the population is foreign. They come from other Asian countries, as well as from Russia. Here's one of the reasons for the change in South Korea, a highly homogeneous society:

Liftarn / Wikimedia Commons

New restrictions on teen drivers in other states, like New Jersey, are provoking debate in Connecticut, where tightened laws appear to have had a positive effect. In 2008, driving laws changed in response to a spate of crashes.

The laws prevented new drivers from carrying passengers, enforced a tough curfew, and mandated parent and teen instruction.

A school district in Southern California has hired a private firm to comb through the cyber lives of its 14,000 middle- and high-school students, looking for signs of trouble.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Glendale Unified School District is spending $40,000 to have the firm monitor social media use among the district's students. School officials want to know if the kids are posting suicidal thoughts, obscenities or comments intended to bully fellow students.

Pages