• Dear Youth Voices Community,

    Hello, my name is Christy-Lynn Lagula. I am 16 years old and I am an 11th grader at Fremont High School. I am currently doing a junior research project on the Foster care system. So

  • In the last month, our class has been reading an Autobiography. The book is called, “Street Life” by Victor Rios. In the book, Victor talks about his life. Starting from when he was a child until he became a gro

  • I chose these images because I felt like it went with the quotes I chose from the book “Street Life”. I chose that background because it’s a symbol of Oakland and the place the story takes place is in Oakla

  • Dear Dr. Rios,

    My name is Christy-Lynn Lagula.  I am 16 years old, and I live in Oakland, Ca. I currently go to Fremont High School. I have just finished chapter 8 of your autobiography Street Life. When I

    • Christy,
      I should read this book! It sounds like Victor Rios has been through his fair share of hardships, for sure. I just came back from the Bay Area this weekend! It is interesting the contrast between the Berkeley area and the Oakland area. It almost felt like there was a level of segregation, where the more privileged white folk stood on one side, the few well-off minorities in the middle, and the lower-class minorities on the other side. It was a little strange walking through whitewashed sidewalks and emerging on an entirely different path in just minutes. I am lucky enough to never have feared for my life as a result of violence, since I was born to a middle class family in a suburban area with little-to-no gang violence. Gang violence doesn’t scare me so much as it saddens me. There are arbitrary fights happening everywhere, money going to one side when it should be going to another, and people being hurt for seemingly no reason. I wish, honestly, that there was an answer to all of the chaos in the world. This article from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201002/how-world-peace-is-possible … has an interesting take on world peace, which pertains to both a global scale and an inner-city micro scale. If everyone were working toward actively bettering themselves, rather than actively worsening others, the world would collectively build each other up, almost by accident. Self-bolstering, then, is the key to achieving peace among nations, tribes, gangs, and any other kind of enemy, provided, of course, that it is not driven by greed or hunger for power. Self-betterment for the pure sake of being happy, if sought after by all, would balance the non-equilibrium.

      I’d like to hear what you think.

    • Christy,
      I really liked your letter to Dr. Rios because it explained exactly why you thought his book, and life, was an accomplishment. It seems like he has been through some difficult times and worked his best to reach his potential, and you have found that message in the book. You might enjoy reading, “Tattoos on the Heart” which is a book about a man who helps people who have been in gangs recover and begin a new life. It seems like these books have a lot in common.

  • After reading the first three chapters of Victor Rios’ Street Life, I feel impressed about the events he is telling his audience. In looking at the imagery he uses to tell his story, I noticed that he uses K

  •    They ask me who I do it for, and most people expect to hear, “For myself”. I do it for the people that never had a chance. I lost my sister when she was one years old, and I lost my brothers to the system

    • Christy,
      Your story touched my heart. This was beautifully written and you wrote about your family with such love I could feel it. You have come a long way and I find your story interesting because it is very inspiring. I would love to know more about your organization, “Hope,” and all the work you do. Thanks for sharing your positivity and you’re right, nothing can stop you now.

    • Christy,
      I really enjoyed reading this story, I thought that it was a powerful thing you did by opening Hope. My grandmother works with an organization in Utah called The House of Hope, which is sort of a half way house for women who were recently released from jail or struggling with drug addiction, things like that, and their children. Though the two organizations are different, reading this made an impact on me because I have also worked with The House of Hope and seen the struggles that some people can face. Keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s ideas like yours that change peoples lives. I think it’s awesome that you took initiative and opened Hope, it’s inspiring.

    • Dear Christy,

      I really enjoyed reading your post because I felt like you were writing straight from your heart. As I read your post, I was inspired to become just like you and create my own program to help those in need. I relate to many of your experiences like losing a loved one at a young age and siblings getting sent to jail. I’m so sorry for your lost, I know exactly how it feels to lose someone, but not someone that was so young, like in your case. I can only imagine how would that feel. I really appreciate you spreading your positivity to the world. I feel like this world needs people like you and just maybe, there wouldn’t be so many disconnected families.

  • Dear John,
    I am impressed by your post, “Causes of Depression” because it is very true. Teen nowadays like to keep things inside because we feel like we can not trust anyone or no one will understand.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is, “Stress is another thing people struggle to overcome because they have a lot they dealing with…[Read more]

  • Animal testing is unethical, and the government needs to outlaw it. Animals have rights almost the same as humans. Animals deserve good treatment and respect. Animals have feelings also. They can feel pain, fear,

  • Dear Sophie,
    I am surprised by your post, “Is Technology Affectiong Our Relationships?”
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is, “When we send confortantational messages over phone rather than in person it blocks us from registering the negative emotional responses, which gives the illusion that we’re not really doing harm” because i…[Read more]

  • Christy commented on the post, My Body 2 years, 5 months ago

    Dear Janyah,
    I am inspired by your post ¨My Body,” because it is very true. We females should always have self love in order for someone to love or feel for us.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is, ¨Most outcomes are stravation, trying to gain weight, suicide, and depression” I think this is true because I see a lot of females nowad…[Read more]

  • Dear Leaders of America,


       Hi, my name is Christy-Lynn Lagula, I’m 15 years old and I currently stay in Oakland, Ca and I am a 11th grader at Fremont High. What I learned from researching Char

    • Good job! I am really impressed with this. I liked your solution about how we should build more shelters for the homeless in order to help them out and keep the streets looking clean. I really believe that if more shelters were built that would help a lot. I cant wait until you post again because it was very educational to read and there was very good solutions.

    • Dear Christy,

      I can see that you are passionate about this issue with homeless and police brutality, America has lots of issues and those are absolutely an issue. But, do you think that offering shelter to the homeless should be our priority right now? Don’t you think that the immigration problem happening right now is more important? Lots more lives are at stake with trump threatening to deport immigrants. So, why shouldn’t we focus on a bigger problem right in front of our faces right now? Police brutality is a pretty big issue as well, but I would like to ask how the leaders of America will be able to solve the police brutality problem. They can’t watch over every police out there are make sure that nothing happens. The system will have slip up sometimes so how you you make sure that doesn’t happen, because just the leaders alone will not solve the problem.
      Thanks for lifting up your voice and sharing your opinion. -Kevin

    • Hi Christy, Good job on your essay! I like how you stated all the issues you would like our leaders to fix and I agree that police brutality is an important issue to solve. Keep up the good work!

    • dear Christy your essay has really impacted me because this is real and they should be making homeless shelters for people that are homeless and this would help by maintain clean in the streets of oakland. what did you mean about teens like your age has been killed because of violence you.

  • Christy became a registered member 2 years, 10 months ago