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FlickrCC/Yanis

 

Editor's note: The author's last name has been withheld for privacy reasons.

When I was nine, my father started coming home late at night. He would walk through the door like nothing was wrong. But I knew something was. My mother would shout uncontrollably at him, and even threaten divorce. But these were empty words - my mother couldn’t afford to get a divorce, nor was it socially acceptable in Chinese culture.

I later learned that because of him, my mother’s bank account was cancelled, and all her hard-earned money was gambled away at the horse races.

Oakland high school confronts daily violence

Jan 7, 2014
Brett Myers/Youth Radio

Castlemont High in East Oakland, looks like many other California schools – colorful box-style buildings with big windows – but inside, teacher Demetria Huntsman and several students are deconstructing a shooting that happened out front just 30 minutes before I got there.

Under CC license from Andy Oakley

Three years ago, when Christian Hernandez was 16 years old, he recorded a joke voicemail greeting. It starts off with, “Hello. Hey! Uh, can’t understand you.” It’s meant to trick the caller into thinking it’s Hernandez on the phone. Eventually, callers hear, “Ha, voicemail! You know what to do stupid.” Now, at 19, Hernandez is looking for a job, and the greeting which started off as a joke for friends is now a liability.