In the September/October 2016 issue of YCteen, our teen writers explore the topics that matter most to them, including the presidential election, police brutality, and homelessness.

In “Black Lives and Blue Lives Matter,” Bryant Alston is both a member of the Police Explorers and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. After personally experiencing racial profiling, he considers what it means to want a career in law enforcement while acknowledging racism exists in the NYPD.

Hoa Vu, the writer of “Homeless, But Not Hopeless,” shares her experience of living in shelters with her family. School is a haven where she can exercise her control and work towards goals that will lead her out of her unpredictable living situation.

Building supportive and trusting relationships with your students at the beginning of the school year is the key to a comfortable and engaging learning environment.

That’s why the two lessons in the Lesson Guide examine the ways the student-teacher relationship can affect positive change, promote confidence, and ensure academic success.

Selena Garcia’s story, “Don’t Push Me Out,” stresses the need for teachers to understand her and encourage her while David Hammer’s story, “From Shy Boy to Ally,” speaks to both the writer’s resilience when dealing with bullying and the need for teachers to be better allies.

Discussing these stories with your students will lead to fruitful conversations about what they need from their teachers to feel safe and like they belong.

Youth Comm Reporter Youth Comm