YC runs intensive nonfiction writing programs for teens in New York City, where they’re mentored by a professional editor to write personal stories about their lives and about issues that affect young people. Their stories are published in our two award-winning magazines, YouthComm and Represent, which are read by thousands of teens, educators, policymakers, and other adults who work with and for young people.
My long road to supportive housing and stability
I first went into foster care when I was 12 years old because my mom abused and neglected me. (My father was mostly not around.) My last placement was at a residential treatment facility called Madonna Heights, where the other girls bullied me.
We tried to have a semblance of a normal childhood in desperate circumstances.
by Alice Zong
It’s quiet in the house and my sister and I are sound asleep. There’s a blue tint coming in from the window; this morning light rests over our eyelids and slowly wakes us from our dreams. We share a bed, and when she starts moving around I begin gaining consciousness.
More than 2,500 teens have participated in Youth Communication’s writing programs. Some have achieved levels of success (in writing as well as in distinguished careers in other fields) but what really characterizes our alumni is their spirit of community service. By writing for Youth Communication, they learned that their stories could have an immediate impact, and that experience has had a powerful effect on Youth Communication’s teen writers and influenced their career decisions.
Being in the YC writing program has allowed me to explore a side of myself that I have grown to be proud of. It has provided me with a voice that can share stores that are not just beneficial for myself but hopefully for others as well. The YC program is fun, engaging, and extremely helpful in growing your skills as a writer and helping you with school and career success. I would encourage other teens to not just read the stories by writers from the YC program but also to join and share their own stories with other teens.— TEEN WRITER