When we think of a homeless person, we sometimes think of adults living under a bridge. But on any given night in Minnesota, more than 2,500 people younger than 21 are estimated to be homeless and on their own.
In ThreeSixty Journalism’s February-March magazine issue, you’ll find stories about a teen who lived in a shelter after her family lost their home to foreclosure, a church that started a food shelf for teens, and the challenges faced by teens who “age out” of the foster-care system. High school students wrote all of the stories.
During the year, ThreeSixty Journalism — a program of the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences — trains and mentors high school students, primarily low-income and minority teens, in journalism skills. They learn by producing content for ThreeSixty Journalism’s website and a quarterly print magazine that goes out to 200 middle schools, high schools, public libraries and youth organizations.
The third of issue of the year highlights stories about teen homelessness, migrating for a chance at a better life, and more on other issues that matter to teens. Here’s a closer look at what you’ll find in this issue:
- Being homeless is scary, but it made me stronger. Vang Thao from Community of Peace Academy gives a personal account of what it was like living in a shelter.
- No bitterness whatsoever. Mariya Khan from Anoka High School interviews a local black elder who moved to Minnesota from the Jim Crow South.
- Hate the violence, not the turban. Amolak Singh from Nova Classical Academy writes about an ignorant encounter he experienced when he was 8-years-old because he wore a turban.
- When numbers have colors. Isaura Greene from Great River School provides a first-hand account of what it’s like living with synesthesia, experiencing two senses at once.
“The teens who write these stories work intensely with ThreeSixty Journalism staff, Twin Cities professional journalists and St. Thomas professors,” explained Andrea Salazar, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer who works with the program.
“In the end, they a give voice to teen issues and become role models for their peers. The community benefits by getting a glimpse into the teen experience while teachers benefit by using the content to teach nonfiction, promote reading and writing, and discuss articles and story ideas.”