Page 1


VOL. 21, ISSUE 2

V0X Vox TeenC o m m u nicat i o n s . o r g

What’s In YOUR Wallet?


Viva Italia, page 4 | Not Your Parents’ Cafeteria Food, page 10 | Find the Right College for You, page 12

hey readers, VOX is ringing in the new year with the first issue of 2014, the money issue! Feeling down on your luck when it comes to money? This issue should help you out!  Noni will have you starting off 2014 with helpful tips about how to make money as a teen, and Danielle will help you out with the job search. Once you read about how to make money, Rashah will teach you how to spend it in a piece about shopping on a teen budget. With extra money comes extra responsibility; make sure it doesn’t all go to your head. Vanessa writes about spoiled teens.  The college application submission season is here but if you are unsure about how to choose from the numerous colleges out there, Sachin gives some helpful

V0X ISSUE COORDINATOR Divanna Eckels, Riverwood WINTER ISSUE CONTRIBUTORS Caro Addams, Howard Vanessa Alva, Cross Keys Deja Brown, Harper-Archer Sania Chandrani, Parkview Vaughn Cyrus, North Springs Jade Eckels, Riverwood Courtney Farmer, Hollins University Naya James, DeKalb School of the Arts Karestiah Lawson, Chattahoochee Clarke Martin, Riverdale Lydia Mathis, Tri-Cities Arlena McClenton, DeKalb School of the Arts Randi Mobley, Westlake Rashah Neason, Woodland Christina Onuoha, Lovejoy Danielle Patrick, Southwest DeKalb Manuel Portillo, North Atlanta Mac Rowe, Academe of the Oaks Jalil Shareef, Collins Hill Cole Sullivan, Paideia Sachin Swami, Woodward Austin Thomas, Woodward Tajah Thomas, North Atlanta Dawit Trench, Wheeler Mikael Trench, Wheeler Noni Warren, Hillgrove Sara Wren, Atlanta International



advice on how to pick the right college for you. Speaking of school, Naya and Arlena write about how to bring the freshness of the farm to your school cafeteria. THE REST OF THE VOX TEEN STAFF Alexandria Wilson, Alexes Harris, Aliya Carrington, Alyssa Harris, Amy Pan, Andrea Echols, Anna Hall, Aspen Evans, Assata Muhammad, Brianna Curtis, Chad Gordon, Christian Stallworth, Courtney Atkinson, Crystal Hodge, Curtis Jones, Dallas Gordon, Damola Adebola-Wilson, Danielle Kreger, Daysha Corzine, Deja Hutcherson, Deja Mack, Demario Davis, Dominique Sabir, Edith Courtney, Elodie St. Louis, Eric Murphy, Erica Peek, Hallie Hartley, Ilana Ander, India Anderson, Jamaya Powell, Jelani Harris, Jenny Changnon, Josh Hollis, Kelsey Johnson, Kenny Hurd, Kiana Nelson, Lauren Polk, Lisa Liu, Lucy Rodriguez, Mahmood Thompson, Miles Turner, Morgan Copeland, Morgan Johnson, Naima McHardy, Nancy Ramirez, Nicole Zhu, Quinci McDowell, Safiya Miller, Sarah Richard, Shalom Lane, Sharmaine Fisher, Sia’ Richards, Simone Lewis, Tricia Merlino, Tru Spann, Tyler Sutton, Vashti Aveirls, Zani Nobles, Ziggy Oby

VOLUNTEERS/MENTORS Tammie Anderson, VOX Parent; Jaime Cregar, American Express; Michael Gresham, Turner Broadcasting System; Andreas Guilford, Community Volunteer; Raisa Habersham, Freelance Writer and VOX Alumna; Sharina Harris, Hilton Worldwide; Lindsey Knox, Turner Broadcasting System; Alyssa Lasseter, Habitat for Humanity; Susan Percy, Georgia Trend; Regina Portee, VOX Parent; Nick Strangis, ECI Management; Betsi and Danny Vesser, VOX Parents; Regina Portee, VOX Parent; Talia Witherspoon, Freelance Writer; Christina Zdanowicz, CNN iReport

VOX BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jessica Casey, Jones Day Todd Cregar, Historic Oakland Foundation Brianna Curtis, Booker T. Washington High School Whitney Deal, Kilpatrick Townsend Elizabeth Faist, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP Andrew B. Flake, Arnall Golden Gregory Sharina Harris, Hilton Worldwide Mary Hinkel, Community Volunteer Alcide Honore, Hooper & Honore, LLC Catherine Jefferson, InterContinental Hotels Group LaTonya Keaton, VOX Parent, PNC Financial Group Jimmy Kim, VOX Alumnus, Weissman Nowack Curry & Wilco Lindsey Knox, Turner Broadcasting System Karestiah Lawson, Chattahoochee High School

Caro reminisces about her Italian summer adventure, and Clarke writes about her adventures flying high solo in an airplane. Mac and Mikael write about what best friendship means to them with an awesome illustration predicting their friendship in the year 2070.  Randi reviews one of 2013’s biggest films, “The Butler.”  Sara reviews the album, “Calamari Tuesday,” the debut studio album by Feed Me, one of the projects of British record producer Jon Gooch.  As always, we have wonderful poetry and art included in this issue!  Start off the year right with the money edition of VOX! Happy 2014!

Table of Contents


— Divanna Eckels / VOX Staff

Clarke Martin, Riverdale High School Ellen Mendelsohn, CohnReznick Nadia Rahali, Loudermilk Center Marc Rice, Southern Company Mac Rowe, Academe of the Oaks Cole Sullivan, The Paideia School Alexandria Wilson, North Atlanta High School

VOX ADVISORY BOARD Kristina Christy, Turner Broadcasting Jocelyn Dorsey, WSB-TV Amy Glennon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Cathy Hampton, City of Atlanta Hank Klibanoff, Emory University Stanley Romanstein, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

VOX ADULT STAFF Jeff Romig Executive Director Rachel Alterman Wallack, MSW Director of Strategic Initiatives/Founder Katie V. Strangis, LMSW Director of Media and Programs Richard L. Eldredge Associate Editor Josie Footmon Program Intern

All rights reserved. © VOX Teen Communications, Inc., 2014. This paper is printed on recycled paper using soy ink. Please recycle!

No Job? No Problem!, page 16 Life and Times of the Dollar Bill, page 18 Journey Out of Brokeville, page 19 Spoiled Teenager Syndrome, page 20 Shopping On a Budget, page 21 You Won the Powerball, page 22 Art Out of Money Contest Winner, page 24

Finding the Right College Fit For You, page 12

PERSONAL + COMMUNITY STORIES Viva Italia, page 4 BFFs Parts One & Two, page 5 Let’s Go Fly an Airplane, page 8 Not Your Parents’ Cafeteria Food, page 10 Survival 101 Photo Essay, page 15


VOX is an independent newspaper and website produced by and about Atlanta-area teenagers. VOX is distributed by VOX Teen Communications, Inc., a nonprofit youthdevelopment organization. The views and opinions expressed in this paper are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect VOX Teen Communications, its Board of Directors, Staff or Supporters. VOX Teen Communications 229 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 725 Atlanta, GA 30303 404-614-0040 |




issue’s zation:


Connect with VOX!

Hot on the Streets, page 3 Extra Extra, page 3 Reviews, page 14 Advice, page 23 Letter to a Bully Contest Info, page 24 The Wall, page 25 Horoscopes, page 27 Final Word: VOX Media Cafe Summer 2014 Info, page 28


Hot On the Streets SkyView Atlanta Towering at almost 20 stories high, the SkyView Ferris Wheel provides an excellent view of Atlanta. Each of its 42 gondolas can hold up to six people. It’s open (and heated!), so grab a couple of friends and head to the wheel. Tickets cost $13.50 for those over the age of 12, but the view is worth more than the cost. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to When: Ongoing Cost: $13.50 ages 13+ Where: Downtown at Centennial Olympic Park ArTLab Looking to feed your creative side? Head to the High Museum of Art on January 25 and February 22 for their monthly ArTLab sessions, where you can explore art in the museum and improve your art skills in the studio. During these two sessions, you can choose between the DJ School and Design programs. All levels are welcome and supplies are provided. Interested? Visit to learn more. When: Jan. 25 and Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $20 per session Where: High Museum Atlanta Jewish Film Festival At the country’s second largest Jewish film festival, view films that examine Jewish culture and history, and get a chance to meet some of the actors and filmmakers! This year’s lineup includes 65 films from 20 countries, and will run from January 29 to February 20 at eight venues across the metro Atlanta area. For more information and tickets, visit When: Jan. 29 - Feb. 20 Where: All over metro Atlanta



TechArts Festival The TechArts Festival at Georgia Tech is an annual showcase for the music, dance, theater, literary arts and visual/ digital arts. The Festival, which will be held from February 13 to March 1, will feature a variety of arts experiences at venues across campus. Visit Georgia Tech’s Art department website,, for more information. When: Feb. 13 to March 1 Cost: Open to the community Where: Georgia Tech

Extra Extra! Big Election Year This November, Georgia voters will elect a governor and a new United States senator. Current Governor Nathan Deal (R) is expected to face off against State Senator Jason Carter (D-Decatur), the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. A battle is also brewing in the race for Senate. Democrat Michelle Nunn will likely be the Democratic nominee. Her Republican competitor will be selected after an early primary election in May. Teens can vote when they turn 18; registration is through the Georgia Secretary of State:

40 Days Whales: Giants of the Deep Learn more about the mysterious creatures known as whales. This exhibition at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History includes whale songs, traditional Maori legends from the South Pacific, and beautiful artifacts. The exhibition opens February 15. Don’t miss it! You can learn more about it at When: Opens Feb. 15 Cost: $17 for students Where: Fernbank Museum Shrek the Musical Love the movie Shrek? Well, you’ll adore Shrek the Musical! Only one act long, it will provide you with an amazing visual experience and capture the charm of the plot in a way that only a musical can. The show runs opens February 22. View the show schedule and purchase your ticket now at When: Feb. 22 - March 9 on weekends Cost: $20 - $35 Where: Alliance Theatre

— By Christina Onuoha / VOX Staff ART BY ALEXIS JOHNSON | VOX ALUMNA

Along with those offices, all 236 members of the Georgia General Assembly are up for re-election this year. State law prohibits fundraising activity while the legislature is in session and as a result, many contentious political issues are expected to be left off the table to save time. The only major issue legislators must vote on is the annual state budget. Late last year, the State Senate President Pro Tempore, David Shafer (R-Duluth), told the Augusta Chamber of Commerce, “Beyond the budget, I don’t know that there’s going to be a very ambitious agenda at all.”

Winter Olympics The 2014 winter Olympic Games kick off in Sochi, Russia this February with events such as cross country skiing, snowboarding and ice hockey. But even weeks before the opening ceremonies, controversies have arisen over security concerns and human rights. Around New Year’s Day, there were two terrorist bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd, killing more than 30 people. The president of the International

Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, expressed his “confidence in the Russian authorities to deliver safe and secure Games in Sochi” despite the security concerns. Russia has also faced human rights complaints in the lead-up to the Games, most notably for recent anti-gay legislation. In an apparent show of good faith, Russian president Vladimir Putin recently pardoned several high-profile prisoners, including, and perhaps most notably, members of the Moscow group Pussy Riot.

Recruiting Problems at Grady In early December, Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Erroll Davis announced an investigation into possible illegal recruitment for the football program at Grady High School. About 20 players were investigated for falsely saying that they lived within the Grady district in order to play on the team. The AJC reports that those students will have to leave the school, and their parents will pay up to $10,000. Grady football head coach Ronnie Millen has been reassigned while the investigation continues.

Morrow Getting Laser Tag On Tuesday, December 10, 2013 the city of Morrow approved the zoning for new recreation businesses. The new area is stated to be next to Southlake Mall. The idea was proposed by the owner of Monkey Joes, a kid’s play arena, to develop a laser tag business nearby. This would hopefully bring business to the surrounding mall area. This new business is beneficial to teens who are looking for activities and/or have younger siblings that can play at Monkey Joes, while they play laser tag in the same vicinity. — Reporting by Cole Sullivan and Clarke Martin / VOX Staff




By Caro Addams VOX Staff


he smell of fresh Italian food made my stomach growl as we traveled throughout Italy on vacation last summer. I loved having pizza for lunch and dinner. My feet got sore as we walked and learned the history of Italy. The smells of tomato sauce, basil and all the fresh ingredients were amazing. Everywhere we went, we walked instead of taking a car, which would have been nicer. Taking a car would have been easier for all of us, but walking allowed us to see more of the sights. The first place we traveled to was Rome. For the first few days, my mother and I looked around the city on our own, but soon enough my dad was able to join us. Some of the places we saw were the

MY STORY VOX: THE VOICE OF OUR GENERATION | WINTER 2014 Coliseum, Spanish steps, The Vatican, Pantheon and much more. The Vatican was impressive to see. St. Peter’s Basilica can hold more than 60,000 people. It's the biggest Christian church in the world. There were lots of people inside but not as many as 60,000. The place I enjoyed most was the Coliseum because I have always enjoyed history, and while I was there, I learned a lot of history. One interesting fact is that an emperor made the Coliseum a gift to the Roman people.

The Coliseum could hold about 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, and during the times of the Roman Empire, gladiator battles took place there. In Rome, my feet felt like they were going to fall off, but it was amazing to see all the things in Rome I have heard about and much more. After a few days in Rome, we took a train to Florence. I saw many sunflowers outside my window. I wanted to get closer and take pictures of them. When I was in Florence, we saw the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo. The Italians call Florence “Firenze,” because it means Florence in Italian. We went on a tour that took us to three hilltop towns. On that tour, we had lunch at a winery. The majority of the food I ate in Florence was pizza, too. We walked all over Florence too, went shopping, eating pizza and visited churches.

PAGE 5 After Florence, we went to a city known as Santa Margherita de Ligure. The village was by the sea. It was very pretty outside every day. The beach was more rocky than sandy, and we had to pay an admission to walk on the beach. Hiking to Portofino was slow paced, but it was totally worth it to see everything. There weren’t any people other than my family who spoke English. One day we went to Cinque Terre, which is a series of five towns that are built near the side of cliffs. We planned to hike them, but rockslides from last year blocked the path. The path between the villages was very steep to walk on but seeing all the villages was totally worth it. I really enjoyed this trip to Italy a lot. I didn't learn much Italian, but I heard it at a lot of places I went to. Once I got home, I put the pictures I took from the trip onto my laptop so I would have the memories of my trip. Caro, 18, is a senior at the Howard School, who loves volleyball and who might want to try musical theater in college. Caro also took the photos seen here, and she is pictured in the photo below.


BFFs, Part One: Mac’s Story By Mac Rowe VOX Staff


met Mikael back in 5th grade. He was alone at a table during lunch, so I decided to sit next to him. He wasn’t instantly my best friend, though. Because I was still a child, I wasn’t sure how I felt about him. (You know, you can’t really explain childhood feelings too well.) In 6th grade, we became best friends. We hung out a lot for the first half of the year, but after that I began to meet new friends. I started to spend less time with him, and as a result, he found new friends too. I was jealous, although I shouldn’t have been. After we argued a bit, we overcame that obstacle. We overcame a lot, fortunately. In 8th grade, things began to patch up, and only then did we officially claim to be best friends.

UntiI I thought I had to say goodbye to him, that is. One summer, Mikael told me that he would be moving away. I was heart-wrenched. I wasn’t mad at him, but over the years I had spent so much time with him that I didn’t think

we could still be best friends if he just moved to another state. But at a party on the last day of summer (and before the first day of high school), he was there. At the party. I was shocked. But more so, I was relieved. But there was still one other thing. Even though he would be staying in-state, he was going to a school 20 minutes away from mine. But we made it work. It’s been five years, and now look: we’re producing an article together. Best friendship has its ups and downs; however, the downs are easily fixable. A common misconception of best friendship is that you have to spend every waking moment with them, but that’s not true. I know I stated above that we got into arguments about that, but that was simply because I wasn’t spending enough time with him. It is nice to spend time with your best friend fairly more than your other friends, but don’t under or overdo it. Everybody needs a

Best friendship has its ups and downs; however, the downs are easily fixable. break sometimes. The best thing about having a best friend is you can trust them with more personal stuff that you might be worried to tell your other friends about. If you have a good best friend, they should be able to listen to you. Also, having a best friend is really just a title. You don’t have to perform some weird ancient rituals or something; just be true to yourself and your best friend, and you’ll have someone to have fun with. I also noticed, as I said above, that because Mikael and I were in two different schools, that we didn’t seem to hang out as much. But that doesn’t

have to be the case. Make plans with him or her to go see a movie or go to a local event. It’s always fun to see what your buddy’s up to, and how they’re doing. Just because you’re separated in schools, doesn’t mean you have be separated outside of school from your best friend. I learned that myself. Mac, 15, is a sophomore at Academe of the Oaks who drew the illustrations of himself and Mikael in the years 2014 and 2070.

Read Mikael’s Take...


BFFs, Part Two: Mikael’s Story By Mikael Trench VOX Staff


h man, Mac and me. Never would I have thought that our friendship would’ve lasted so many years. During 5th grade, we mainly limited our time together to the lunch table. After all, I think it would be safe to say that that’s where it all started for us. I was new to the school and very shy. I found that little table in the back to be the most comfortable place to eat my lunch, and at times I would question if I would ever make any friends. Then Mac came by and comforted me. He had gone to that school ever since kindergarten, and there were so many other kids there who also were at the school for that long period of time who he could’ve sat with. Why me? I would wonder to myself sometimes. But over time, it didn’t matter. Over the years in middle school, Mackenzie and I became best friends, and even when I moved to Marietta, we still found time to hang out. Honestly, though, it wasn’t always a

world of milk and honey when it came to us. We have dealt with times in our friendship where we were actually acting more childish than we thought. This was especially true of 7th grade, when I tried to avoid being Mackenzie’s friend altogether, because I felt that he was abandoning me for other friends. During that time, I also made new friends that made his blood boil with jealousy. In the end, though, all of our new friends abandoned us completely, and Mac and I were once again besties. One thing I learned from all my years of being best friends with Mac is best friends don’t have to be completely alike to be besties. Mac likes anime and comedies. I like Japanese monster movies and nature documentaries. Yet we both seem to have something that keeps us from being complete polar opposites. Over time, you can learn to like, or at least respect, what your best friend likes. If anything, it’s actually quite good to have friends who like the things you aren’t too used to, because you’ll be able to learn more about what different people like and why. Another thing to keep in mind with best friends is space and time apart. Sounds crazy, right? Well, I truly don’t think so. During our years in middle school, there would be times I’d feel annoyed by Mac’s presence, and I’d want space from him.

At times, this would be a door that just screamed “CONFLICT!” when opened up. Now that we go to different high schools, however, I actually want to see Mackenzie and hang out with him, because I’ve had time away from him. It’s good to spend time away from your best friend. In fact, if you and your bestie are having problems in your relationship, try spending time away from each other. Trust me. It makes a significant difference. Also, try making new friends. This doesn’t mean to put them over your best friend, but it’s healthy to take a breath of fresh air sometimes.


I’ve never had a friendship with anyone as long as I have had with Mackenzie, and I hope we remain best friends for a long time. To all you besties out there, I wish the best for you. Treat each other well, and don’t let anyone try to keep you two apart. Who knows, maybe you guys will grow old together — really old! Mikael, 15, is a sophomore at Wheeler High School who enjoys making short films.

It’s good to spend time away from your best friend. In fact, if you and your bestie are having problems in your relationship, try spending time away from each other. Trust me. It makes a significant difference.



Let’s Go Fly an Airplane Adventures high in the sky are both thrilling and peaceful for a Clayton County senior By Clarke Martin VOX Staff


s I closed the canopy on the day I performed my first solo flight, the first thing I thought was, “If I don’t land this plane, I’m going to crash.” I had done two weeks of preparation that led up to this point. Now it was time to put my knowledge and courage to the test. It was a day I would never forget.

Flight Line Last summer I had the opportunity to learn how to fly an airplane. I learned about this opportunity through a program I was in called OBAP, which stands for the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. I got involved with OBAP when I was 15, and I was looking for opportunities online to do during the summer. I have been interested in aviation since I was a child, so I knew I had to apply. This program lets students explore Delta Airlines’ facilities here in Atlanta, such as the control tower, flight simulators, and hangars. The best thing



is that Delta’s headquarters are right here in Atlanta, so there was not a long commute back and forth every day. Through this program, I heard about a different program called Flight Line. To participate in Flight Line, you must first be a part of OBAP. Then, 20 students are chosen to be interviewed for Flight

the past few years to have all 10 students solo. We had to learn various things, such as how to read METARs — the various controls and instruments in the plane — and how to operate them, how to do a thorough preflight, what V-Speeds are, and other various aviation terms we had to learn in order to be ready to fly on our own. While we were learning how to fly, we also made friendships along the way, encouraging and helping each other. We even gave each other call names like real pilots such as Full Throttle, Ginger, Veto, LYRD, Golf Charlie, Highlighter, Veto, Chillin, Chapelle, and mine, F.O.A, which stood for Fresh Off the Airplane.

“I am Going to Die” The day finally came when it was time for me to solo. I first had to do a check ride to make sure I was capable of taking off, landing and everything

I am going to have to do this on my own, and if I do not land this plane, I am going to die. Line. Only 10 are actually chosen to be a part of the program. Flight Line teaches students everything about aviation in just three weeks! The main goal of the program is to get kids to do their first solo flight.

F.O.A. There were 10 students in my Flight Line class: four girls and six guys. It was the first year the program had this many girls in the program, and we all soloed. We were also the first group in

in between on my own. My flight instructor never gave up on me, even when I took forever to learn how to land. Then I had to do a preflight check on the plane 353DC (Delta Charlie) the call name of my plane. I got into the plane and got ready. It was time. I was feeling OK until I was done with my run up and began to taxi to the runway. I made my radio call “Falcon Field, Diamond 353 Delta Charlie, Holding Short of Runway 3, 1, Falcon.” Once I got on the runway and put the

throttle all the way in, it hit me: I am going to have to do this on my own, and if I do not land this plane, I am going to die. Looking back, that last thought was a bit dramatic, but I knew that if I did one thing wrong, it could lead to other things going wrong in the plane. Knowing I could create a risk is a big pill to swallow when there was no one else in the plane to correct your mistake or tell me how to get out of a stall, which is a term for the angle of attack being too high and the plane begins to lose lift.

Flying Solo The feeling of being in the air and being in control of a plane is a unique feeling that I have not yet learned how to describe. It is almost peaceful being up in the air alone but not completely alone. I survived! Landing a plane on my own has to be the best feeling I’ve ever felt. There is a ritual that students go through on their first solo in Flight Line. Once you get out of the plane, your flight instructor cuts off the back of your shirt and writes your solo information on it, such as the date, the plane number, and which runway you used, and if they’re creative, they draw a picture of a plane. Next, is the messiest part. Three buckets and a trashcan all filled with water were waiting to be thrown on us after our instructors strategically moved out of the range of fire. I spent the rest of the day drying off and watching the others solo and dumping water on them. I really enjoyed my Flight Line experience! Clarke, 17, is a senior at Riverdale High School who is pictured on the opposite page before and after her first solo flight. When she’s on the ground, Clarke enjoys collecting comic books.


Not Your Parents’ Cafeteria Food Local program offers new resources for healthy eating at schools and home By Arlena McClenton and Naya James VOX Staff


he bell rings. Could it be lunchtime? From the crowd of students rushing through the halls, you know that it is. You shove your books in your backpack and join the herd madly scrambling toward the cafeteria. As you grab a tray, you’re slightly out of breath but one of the first in line. You sniff, trying of catch a whiff of the soup du jour. Plop. The lunch lady shovels something steaming and orange onto your tray. You’re worried because you can’t tell what food group it belongs to, but you’re hungry, so you’ll eat it anyway. You find your table, sit down, and utter a quick prayer that it’s edible. Why is this the norm in school cafeterias? Why is it so novel to know where your food comes from and have it actually taste good? Most school cafeterias carry a stigma of bad food, but those days are coming to an end. With the help of programs like Georgia Organics, Farm to Preschool, and Farm to School, Georgia teens can now get healthy while getting local food into their school cafeterias. All three organizations are nonprofits aiming to bring food from local farmers to the plates of Georgia families. But what makes local food different

from the regular food you buy at the grocery store? When you’re shopping, you often don’t know if your apple comes from California or Colombia. But when your food comes from a local farmer, you can pinpoint the exact tree it came from. When buying local produce, you know the farmers and their food processing methods, so you’re aware of what goes

the future, we’ll impress our food values upon our own children. In this way, we’ll directly determine whether child obesity rates rise or become nonexistent. Many teens, especially those in urban areas, simply aren’t exposed to natural foods. For example, I’m 16, and I’ve never tasted an avocado, although it’s a common fruit. The Organic Farming Research Foundation states that “young bodies in particular are more susceptible to the impacts of fungicides, pesticides, and other synthetic chemicals used in non-organically grown fruits and vegetables.” (You can find more of their findings at We’ve been raised on processed junk food and microwaved meals, so the idea of organic and local food may seem strange. This isn’t how it should be. Even school cafeterias have adopted the “zap and serve” strategy, by heating up pre-cooked meals instead of making them to order. Our models for healthy eating are practically nonexistent. There needs to be a change in the food values of Georgia consumers.

Our models for healthy eating are practically nonexistent. There needs to be a change in the food values of Georgia consumers. into the food you are eating. On the other hand, you can never fully know the history of food from faraway farms. One goal of Georgia Organics ( is to educate people about what they’re eating and to bring a variety of fresh food to the diets of Georgia’s citizens. But teens shouldn’t stand back and let Georgia Organics do all of the work. The local food movement is relevant to us, too. According to Georgia Health News, in 2007, Georgia had the second greatest obese child population in the nation. Today, it ranks 17. Though statistics like these show that Georgia has improved greatly, the obesity rate remains sky high amongst children and teens. In

After all, buying local food stimulates the local economy by bringing revenue to the farmers in your community. Money spent on Georgia produce stays in Georgia. Also, it creates jobs for farmers, who spend the money in the local economy by buying seeds, supplies, and tools. Since these farmers may now have surplus funds, they can try their hands at planting something new, which leads to diversified agriculture. Bringing change to your school can seem like a huge challenge. With these tips, however, you can make your school cafeteria healthier, one vegetable at a time.

Connect with the faculty, staff and clubs at your school. If you advertise your cause, you’ll gain followers.

Start a garden. Even if the school cafeteria can’t or won’t use the fruits and vegetables you grow, you can take them home or send them home with other students.

Learn how to cook! Unhealthy food is often tempting because of its convenience. If you learn how to whip up some grapefruit and blue cheese bruschetta on demand, eventually potatoes will tempt you more than potato chips.

Start small. You can try, but most people can’t reinvent the wheel in a day. Instead of attempting to completely overthrow the current regime of greasy pizza and mushy spinach, try instead to introduce a few new local edibles a semester. You’ll be making a difference without stressing yourself out.

Talk with the school nutritionist. It would be awkward to come bearing fresh fruit if the entire cafeteria is already local. Talk with everyone who may have any influence over what’s served for lunch at your school.

If all else fails, take the crusade to your own home. Many resources exist to help people locate nearby farms. The Georgia Organics website even has a nifty engine that will find a farm and organic food source near you. (goodfoodguide. Then enjoy your fresh sweet potato salad while everyone else stares mournfully at their soggy fish sticks. Naya, 17, and Arlena, 16, both attend DeKalb School of the Arts. Naya has a cat named Katy Purry and Arlena wishes the world had more organic kiwis.


Farm to School Summit By Arlena McClenton VOX Staff Last fall, I attended the first Farm to School Summit in the nation held at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta. Between classes and extracurricular activities, I barely have time to think about food, never mind if it’s local or organic. However, I approached the summit with an open mind, and what I learned surprised me. The day was punctuated with informative people and workshops. Alice Rolls, executive director of Georgia Organics, offered tips for teens who want to eat healthier. If you want more organic and local foods in the cafeteria, create a club. Or stake out a plot of land and start a community garden. “My biggest piece of advice for teens,” she said, her eyes twinkling, “is to get in the kitchen.” Cashawn Myers (at far right), executive director of HABESHA [Helping Africa By Establishing Schools at Home and Abroad], also had advice. His nonprofit sponsors the annual Harvest Fest in Atlanta each fall. Myers recommends researching Farm to School techniques by connecting with the nutritional director at your school and talking to the environmental clubs about

Photos from the Farm to School Summit last September by Naya James and Arlena McClenton (various exhibitions shown)



Finding the Right College 1 Fit for You VOX has a roadmap for teens unsure about where to start the often overwhelming selection process By Sachin Swami VOX Staff


t’s a dilemma that nearly all high school students go through: sifting through the seemingly millions of colleges to narrow it down to just a few. From balancing academics and track season to traveling every weekend for debate tournament, college should [and maybe always has] been a lingering question on most of our minds. Whether you have just entered high school or are already suffering from senioritis, it’s never the wrong time to start familiarizing yourself with colleges. But how do you narrow down from thousands of colleges? Follow the guide on these two pages for some of the factors to consider as you begin or continue your journey.




SETTING A campus’ setting can have prevalent impact on a student’s college experience. There never is a right or wrong answer as to what you may choose; it’s purely a matter of preference.


LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Decide on in-state versus out-ofstate schools.

In State For some people, it’s the only option. Whether it is for financial reasons or just for comfort and distance, if you’ve decided to go in-state, half the battle of making choices is over. The beauty of Georgia is it has a college for everyone, from a prestigious top 20 (Emory), one of the nation’s best technical and engineering schools (Georgia Institute of Technology), a SEC (the University of Georgia), or a variety of options for smaller liberal arts colleges such as Oglethorpe University and Agnes Scott College. Georgia also has several larger state schools, including Georgia State University and The University of West Georgia, which are typically less expensive and don’t have as rigid academic requirements.

Students who see themselves city goers might drift toward this option. Urban campuses are very vibrant in the heart of many major cities, which may “never sleep.” Students enjoy the proximity to the city at schools like New York University, where they are able to take advantage of studying in the heart of the financial capital of the United States with its immense job and internship opportunities. Unfortunately, urban campuses are known for lacking a true campus feel, as they are dispersed throughout major streets and buildings. A typical example of an urban setting is Boston University, which is strung out along Commonwealth Avenue and is located along four stops of the T, Boston’s public transit system. Students who find studying under the constant noise of buses and trains to be overwhelming might be deterred from such environments.

Suburban/College Town College towns are very popular with SEC schools. Athens, Georgia, like most suburban college towns, revolves around the college campus itself. The majority of the population of a college town will attend or be involved with the college. Students who mind living around the college atmosphere all the time might be turned off by the idea of college towns. College towns offer a serious sense of school spirit with many college-geared events and concerts. College towns also have their own distractions, including parties, sporting events and other activities, which may interfere with your ability to concentrate on your academics.

Rural Out of State The most important factor with considering out-of-state colleges and universities is location. Establishing a general area is a vital first step. Some might like the hustle and bustle of the Northeast, whereas others want the ability to unwind with yearlong perfect weather on the West Coast. Remember, college isn’t a 24/7 vacation, so do not be too eager to pick the place that’s the most relaxing.

Rural campuses appeal to students who love to breathe the fresh air and study on a balcony overlooking the mountains. College campuses situated in rural settings are often very safe and serene. Many find it easier and prefer to study in rural environments due to the fact that the distractions are not as noticeable. A prime example of a rural campus is Appalachian State University — where students rave about the beautiful views of the mountains and the pristine Appalachian air. Rural campuses are also very secluded. Not everyone will enjoy the outright seclusion and limitations of being on a rural campus.



SIZING IT UP Determine whether you’d rather be at a big school or a small one.

Big Schools Can you function in a grade-wide lecture hall, or do you need a more intimate classroom-sized learning environment? With big colleges come bigger classrooms and bigger campuses. Larger colleges can have a student body of over 20,000. People tend to be more familiar with larger colleges, which are known for embodying a more spirited and diverse student body. These campuses tend to stay interesting with more prevalent Greek life and constant sporting and social events. It is unlikely that you would know everyone in your graduating year, let alone in half your classes.

for prospective applicants on their websites. Research these to have a better understanding of what ballpark you need to be in order to stand a chance of admission. However, these are not a guaranteed acceptance, and colleges often don’t stick rigidly to these scores. Most colleges also heavily weigh extracurricular activities and the essay as a part of the application process. The most common way students divide up their prospective colleges is by categorizing them as reach, moderate, and safety schools. Remember, the use of the word “safety” can be a little misleading, as no student is guaranteed acceptance into any college.

Consider High School Activities Many of these are also found in colleges. College recruitment from sports to Model United Nations is common.

Small Schools

Read Student Reviews

However, this does not necessarily mean that these colleges are better. Prospective students who appreciate more intimate learning environments might not want to look at larger schools. From campus size to class size, if you prefer to be on a first-name basis and work one-on-one with your professors and don’t want an 800-acre campus, considering a smaller school is by no means the inferior option.

Undergraduates reviews can be found for any college, so get to know how the students live and feel about being there. Websites such as give ample testimonials and also display initial and long-term income figures for graduates.


ADDITIONAL TIPS Other things like student life can determine if a school is the right fit for you or not.

Be Realistic It’s easy to say that we would all like to go to Brown, Stanford or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but being realistic is a vital aspect. Colleges always provide a range for SAT/ACT scores as well as GPA and course requirements



STOP There are several mistakes students can make when looking into a college. Stop and think before determining your college prospects based on the three categories below: Friends Do not consider the colleges that your friends are applying to, just because your friends are applying there. Chances are, your preferences are different than theirs. Even though it may be nice to continue to have your best friend by your side, it’s important to understand that college is a time of growing and learning: apart from each other, sometimes. Deciding on a college based on a friend’s choice is an outright unintelligent decision.

Legacy Theory Just because a specific college runs in your family does not mean that it should be your primary choice or a guarantee you’ll get in. Go with what you want, not where your mom, dad, or grandparent decided to go. Names A so-called name college is not everything. Many colleges provide an equal if not higher caliber education, even without a brand name.

Visit The best way to know whether a college fits you is to visit. Many students are surprised by what they see, compared to their predetermined notions or how a website sells a school. College visits also help you become more self aware about what you might like or dislike. College fairs also frequently visit your area, so take the initiative to see where they may be happening.


Do not let yourself get overwhelmed with the abundance of choices and specific characteristics of every college. Bottom line being that college is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, and you are bound to enjoy almost anywhere you go. Aside from environments and social scenes, the whole reason you are going to college is to get an education, so don’t let that leave your foresight. Sachin, 17, is a junior at Woodward Academy who swims, acts and is always thinking about the future.

Additional Online Resources: • A YouTube channel devoted to gaining insight on the social, academic and admission scenes at numerous colleges is theUrocks • If you need help organizing all your prospective colleges as well as general information, visit


“Calamari Tuesday” by Feed Me/Jon Gooch

“The Butler” by Lee Daniels

By Sara Wren

By Randi Mobley

VOX Staff

VOX Staff

alamari Tuesday,” the new full-length album by Jon Gooch, more commonly known as Feed Me, debuted in the fall after a series of unique and musically diverse EPs, including “Big Adventure” (2010), “To the Stars” (2011), and “Escape from Electric Mountain” (2012). His music invariably falls under that category of electronic music, but Gooch’s careful attention to production quality and ability to tell a story through his music has made him a standout. Gooch’s alter ego Feed Me is a small green monster with a mischievous grin. Feed Me stemmed from a small sketch he had from back in school which eventually evolved into the little monster that he uses today. Gooch himself describes this album in an interview with as “a journey through various styles of music, two years of intensive touring around the world in a variety of incredible locations…” This couldn’t be more accurate. To listen to this album casually would be a disservice to the careful consideration he showed in making it , which is evident throughout the album. The symphonic tone in the opening track “Orion” quickly draws the listener in, but the tone quickly changes from an orchestral soft and airy mood to

ell-written and solidly directed by Lee Daniels, “The Butler” is a captivating drama that takes you from the sharecropping cotton fields of the 1920s to the present day. It tells the story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a man who served over 30 years in the White House as a butler. One may think that a story about a butler would be sleepinducing, yet Cecil’s story is anything but. Through Cecil’s eyes, we see events that shaped history as we know it, most notably the civil rights movement and the first election of Barack Obama. The movie starts off with the usual Lee Daniels melodrama, with Cecil’s father being murdered and his mother raped, but the film improves from there. The film focuses on Cecil’s journey from the plantation where he worked for the first 17 years of his life, to his meticulous training as a butler by a bakery owner, to his life as a butler at a Washington, D.C. hotel to the White House. The film could have simply been about Cecil’s tenure as a butler at the White House, but it is so much more than that. The audience gets to experience decades of the civil rights movement and social change through his character’s interactions at the White House and his



something harder. Despite that, it’s something you can’t help but find yourself bobbing your head along with. This precedence is carried though the entire album, highlighted and completed by beautiful vocals, ranging from a Jamaican reggaeton vibe (see: “Ophelia”) to the airy vocals from Tasha Baxter in “Ebb & Flow.” Gooch’s album is a must-listen, regardless of your views on electronic music. He combines the best both musically as well as visually. After all, he appears on the album’s cover in a suit with a model of his alter ego, Feed Me. Sara, 17, is a junior at Atlanta International School who loves writing, reading and trying new foods when she’s not working at the UPS Store.

life at home. One aspect of the film that really intrigued me was the relationship between Cecil and his son Louis (David Oyelowo). Louis is a fiery advocate for civil rights, staging sit-ins and actively participating as a member of the Black Panthers. Cecil, meanwhile, is the dogooder who never lifts a finger to fight for civil rights in fear of upsetting his


white employers. This storyline sets up an inner conflict between a father and son, something that has happened since the beginning of time, against an external conflict, the civil rights movement. It is masterfully done and gives the story even more depth.

“The Butler” is a fantastic film that serves as a great history lesson and a moving drama that will make you laugh, cry, shout for joy or anger, clap, and ultimately leave you with a satisfying movie experience. Randi, 16, goes to Westlake High School and loves eating ramen noodles dry.



Survival 101

Hollins University first-year and TriCities graduate learns how to survive in the woods for a first-year seminar course Photos and Captions by Courtney Farmer VOX Alumna From top, counterclockwise: At Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School in Catawba, Virginia, we were taught how to make a bed out of stuff on the ground and plastic. The purpose of the leaves is to keep our body temperatures steady, so we don’t freeze or overheat during the night. The student in the second photo was testing out the bed’s comfort level. Instructor Dina Bennett hangs from a log to show how sturdy the tent posts are. Students from my first-year seminar course at Hollins making shelter. The finished product with students Mae Collins, Ashton Holliday, Erin GalvinMcCoy and me.


No Job? No Problem! Teen explores various ways to make money outside of the 9-to-5 life

ways for teenagers to make money fast, without having to struggle to find a notso profitable job that is plenty of hard work but is not guaranteed good pay.

APP-ly Yourself Did you know you could get paid straight from your smartphone? There are apps like Gigwalk that are specifically for making money starting with your iPhone or Android. Gigwalk is an app where you do oddball jobs or temp work for businesses. Gigwalk pays money per

gig, but you have to do actual work. On Gigwalk, there are dots on a map, which tell you where there is a gig for you to do and how much it pays (see screenshot of the app below). The jobs start at a few dollars but once you gain more “streetcred” or “karma points” the pay for each gig increases. The typical gigs the businesses ask of you are mostly just taking pictures. Once you have collected all the karma points you desire, you can collect the money through PayPal. Another way to make quick money is by doing online surveys. Some pay up to $50 online; it just depends on which survey you choose to do and which ones you choose to look up.

Be an Entrepreneur Another long-term solution to making money, without having to find a regular 9-to-5 job, would be entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a way of creating a business to make your own money. Many successful teens have chosen to take this path by creating lemonade

the innovative idea to make handmade magnets and recycled coasters. My team and I purchased our materials for the magnets from a local craft store. We bought colored paper, glass, hot glue and thin copper coil. However, the coasters were all made from recycled vinyl records and cassette tapes. This may seem like an odd idea for a business, but we profited greatly because everything was made locally in the U.S. with no foreign importation of any products, and everything was recycled. At the end of our fiscal year, we ended up with a profit of over $5,000. Although our business venture was only a shortterm project, JA gave us the opportunity to make money and get a feel for what it's like to actually own something and make a profit from it. Many people don't know that their little ideas can end up making a lot of money in the end. Scottish teen entrepreneur Fraser Doherty used what his grandmother taught him to start his own company at age 14. His grandmother taught him

Although our business venture was only a short-term project, JA gave us the opportunity to make money and get a feel for what it’s like to actually own something and make a profit from it.

By Noni Warren VOX Staff


re you tired of having to settle for the average jobs for teenagers — at the mall or in fast food, for example — in Georgia? Last year, teen unemployment in Georgia was at an all-time high compared to 30.6 percent. However, it might be helpful to know that a plethora of teens have been through the same experience of not having a job or not being able to find one. I have researched

stands in the summer or selling arts and crafts they made at home. Any idea can come to life by creating your own business and selling your ideas. Junior Achievement (JA) is a teenoriented program that has helped many teens realize the potential profit in having your own business. In the JA program, teens are provided with the opportunity to come up with practically any idea they can think of to start their team’s business. Last year my team came up with

how to make jam, which he started off selling in his neighborhood. His business further developed and started reaching to international supermarkets and stores in countries like Australia, Finland, Russia, Denmark and Ireland. Because of his childhood dream, Fraser is now worth $2 million.

Sell Your Stuff Many Atlanta teens have also taken on the challenge of finding an alternate

solution to make money. Alexis Hill is a Georgia teen who has struggled to find employment over the past summers. Because she needed money to fund her summer activities, she found an alternate solution to her problem: selling old and gently worn clothes. Goodwill, Cillie’s, Plato’s Closet and many others will take your old, gently worn clothes, but some thrift stores, like Goodwill or Salvation Army, won’t pay for your clothes. "I just went through my closet and dresser drawers and got all the stuff I will never wear again or the old clothes my mom bought that I don't like, as well as my old clothes from when I was younger,” Hill said. “I took them to Plato's closet at Town Center and Once Upon a Child right next door. They went through all my clothes at Once Upon a Child and ended up giving me $150 for all my clothes. At Plato's Closet, I ended up with $50 for my clothes and ended my day with $200 dollars in my pocket for doing practically nothing!" Selling old clothes could end up being your quickest, most profitable venture. Some other ways might be, starting your own website and selling your own product, pet sitting, house sitting, starting your own tutoring business, teaching someone how to do or fix something, or promote products for businesses. Despite the obstacle of age, as long as you are finding a convenient way to make the most money in the shortest amount of time, legally, you’ll be golden. Noni, 16, is a junior at Hillgrove High School.



Resale/Consignment Shops around Atlanta Have no fear! You can sell your used/gently worn clothes, pretty much wherever you live in the metro Atlanta area. Check out our map below for locations and contact information for each store:

Plato’s Closet (multiple locations): Kennesaw 440 Barrett Parkway #18 Kennesaw, GA 30144 770-514-1902 Roswell/Alpharetta 10800 Alpharetta Hwy Alpharetta/Roswell, GA 30076


* *



Duluth 2255 Pleasant Hill Rd. Suite 400 Duluth, GA 30096 770-497-1115 Briarcliff 2484 Briarcliff Rd #23 Atlanta, GA 30329 404-929-0224



Jonesboro 7193 Mt. Zion Blvd. Jonesboro, GA 30236 770-471-7740 Rag-O-Rama (two locations):


Little Five Points, Atlanta 1111 Euclid Avenue NE Atlanta, GA 30307 404-658-1988 Sandy Springs 65500 Roswell Rd NE Sandy Springs, GA 30328 404-497-0701

Cillie’s Clothing: 3636 Dallas Hwy Suite 201 Marietta, Ga 30064 770-218-2767


Indicates approximate location in metro Atlanta. Please use addresses at left for precise locations!




n o i ct

2 Farmer Joe loads up a truck

u d o


with his cotton and linen harvest and ships it off to the company with the highest bid.

3 Crane & Co., the company that bought

Farmer Joe’s cotton and linen, then separates the plants into individual fibers, and its machines weave the linen and the cotton together ( 75% cotton and 25% linen).


1 On a hot summer morning, the

The newly made sheets of

farmer rides in his cotton gin and plucks his harvest from the ground as the gin separates seeds from the usable plant.

The Life and Times of the Dollar Bill

12 The next day, she goes back to the bank to exchange the wrinkly bill for a new one, and the cycle begins again.

11 After a long day of shopping, her

outfit is sweaty, so she pops it into the washer as soon as she gets home. Mrs. Farmer Joe forgot to take her leftover cash out of her pocket, so when it comes out - even though it’s in one piece (because it’s fabric) - it’s sullied.

Follow our nation’s currency from production to distribution

10 Farmer Joe’s wife pays a visit

to her local bank to withdraw some cash for a shopping trip.


now exchange old bills for these newer ones or withdraw their reserves as cash.

fabric are stacked and bound, and shipped off to Washington, D.C.



nce they arrive in Washington, D.C., the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing collects the stacks of fabric and brings them into the secure facility where the inking and cutting will happen in a long series of steps.

6 The highly secured die-cuts

are inserted into the mint and the machine starts whirring as it sucks in a sheet of fabric; it prints and cuts the sheet into strips.

7 Thus, the dollar is born. 8 The fabric, now money, is separated into “bricks” and “skids” and is shipped off to the United States Treasury then the Federal Reserve Banks.

n o i ut


ib r t is



Journey Out of Broke-ville

A look at the elusive job market and how to get over the frustrating search as unemployment for teens remains high

Helpful Websites for Your Job Search One of the top part-time job search engines for teens. This website is great for teens who are looking for a part-time job. By Danielle Patrick VOX Staff


s a young adult, it’s normal to want to start buying things for yourself. Your wants and needs are not only growing, but also becoming more expensive. With all of the items on your want list, you don’t want to have to burden your parents with the cost. So, now you begin thinking about getting a job. That way, you can earn money to buy the things that you want and make a step toward independence. Start by thinking about what jobs you’re willing to do. Oh, I want to work at a clothing store (and get a discount), you think, or I am NEVER going to work at a fast food restaurant! But then the actual job hunt begins. You spend hours and hours of scrolling and clicking on job hunt websites, filling out applications and sending them out. Then you wait … and wait … and wait. Then from all of the jobs you applied to, only ONE calls back. They want

to interview you. So you put on your snazziest clothes, and give them the best darn interview they’ve ever seen in their lives, or so you think! And what do you get for your efforts? They tell you that they’ll keep your application on file, and they’ll call you if they need you. So now you wait and wait (and wait some more) by the phone like a teenage girl waiting on her boyfriend to call. Was it my hair? My breath? At this point you’re willing to get a job anywhere — even those jobs you said you never would do. Weeks of applying, calling around, and interviewing has gone by and still no job. What could it be? Why hasn’t anyone called? Before you start coming down hard on yourself, there’s something I need to share with you. It’s not your fault! Since the decline of our economy in 2007, it has been hard on people of all ages to get jobs, but especially on teens. In May 2013, preceding summer job season for teens, the Employment Policies Institute released numbers stating that Georgia was ranked as the third worst

state for teen employment, with a teen unemployment rate of 30.6 percent. This high percentage in teen unemployment is due in part to teens now being in competition with adults for the jobs that teens used to largely occupy. Though these statistics are discouraging, don’t give up. In spite of the statistics, there is still a chance! There are several businesses in Georgia that are willing to help teens out. Companies like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A are known to hire employees as young as 14. They are also known to give out scholarships to their teenage employees to help them pursue a higher education. The key is to never lose hope. One thing you can do is find a goal to work toward. Find a reason for wanting the job and let that reason motivate you to never give up. Take it from Kandace, now a college student, who recalls searching for her first job. “It took me several months to get my first job. My dream car was what motivated me to keep looking. The deal I had with my parents was that they would match what I earned, so I had to earn my share.” Danielle is a senior at Southwest DeKalb High School.

Myfirstpaycheck website posts job opportunities and gives advice about first job experience for teens. If you need advice about how to keep and find the right job for you, visit this website. Governors Office for kids and families is an agency that helps famiies and communities work together through resoulution plans. Jobs to careers is a search engline for local jobs and careers opportunities. To start a career visit this website. SnagAJob is a profile matcher website for teen job opportunies. For a match-up with the perfect job for you, visit this website. This website provides a search engline for summer jobs and internships for the youth community. For summer job opportunities by city and state, please visit this website.


Spoiled Teenager Syndrome

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but some teens act like it does By Vanessa Alva

Since I started working, I realized money doesn't grow on trees. I am more careful with my spending and take care of the things I buy because I had to work for it,” she explains. It is easier to just ask for things. However, that doesn’t prepare us for the future. Why not? Because we get used to just expecting money to come to us and not working for it. Being spoiled does not mean just getting whatever you want. It also means not appreciating everything that you are given. Getting a job isn't a requirement. Simply helping around the house or doing community service can help. Many adults describe teens as "self-centered,” but by helping those who are less fortunate we can prove them wrong. Their struggles make our tantrums about not getting the phone we want seem pointless. That silent treatment we gave our parents over not getting it seems more ridiculous when we realize many people do not even have a home. Just being aware of our surroundings makes us reflect on ourselves and realize how dumb we acted. And remember this: Those material items do not define who someone is. Intelligence, personality, charisma and humor are what define you.

VOX Staff


hen someone mentions a spoiled teen, the first thing that pops into your head may be a girl having a temper tantrum because she didn't get the color car she wanted on MTV’s “My Sweet 16.” However, being spoiled goes beyond that. It is normal for teens to sometimes be spoiled by their parents, but at what point is it too much? As teens, we get caught up in ourselves at times and lose sight of the true value of material items. Inevitably, this leads us to a cruel reality: adulthood. We may be used to getting whatever we want. All we have to do is ask mom and dad for money and expect to get it. What will happen when our parents are no longer able or willing to provide for us? Do we just wait and expect money to fall from the sky, since we never learned how to actually work for it? The danger of being a spoiled teen is the large possibility of becoming a spoiled adult. There is still time to change bad habits before facing adulthood. It will be harder to change those bad habits when we’re adults. We can't expect our parents to pay our bills and finance our bad spending habits. We must learn to rely on ourselves and not always depend on our parents. It will make us more responsible and also give us satisfaction. Working teens realize how much those new must-have shoes really cost


when they have to work for them. Isela Cornejo, a high school junior, reflects on how getting a job changed her. "Working

makes me value money more. Before, I used to just get allowances and spend it fast. I would spend it on the silliest things.

Vanessa, 16, is a junior at Cross Keys High School who likes to smile throughout every awkward moment.


$hopping On a Budget By Rashah Neason VOX Staff


hen it comes to a teenager’s life, fashion plays a big role. It’s how we identify and separate ourselves from others. Fashion isn’t just about clothes; it’s about creating a style we can call our own. Fashion comes with a price tag, though, and often, a very expensive one at that. The good news, though, is that vintage is in. And with vintage comes thrift shops. Many teens believe that thrift store clothes are dirty, nasty and old, because they’re used. A lot of the clothes are indeed old, but you can find some that are fairly new. Plus a majority of the clothes are in good condition. And to solve the whole dirty problem, the clothes can easily be washed at home or sent to a dry cleaner. Some really cool thrift shops in the Atlanta area include Rag-o-Rama and Junkman’s Daughter in Little Five Points, and Plato’s Closet (various locations). These thrift store clothes are either new or in really good condition. Plus you can take your clothes there and sell them. Talk about a win-win situation. Now, if you’re looking for really old-looking clothes that are in decent condition but definitely need to be washed, then you can go to one of my favorite thrift stores, The Salvation Army. They have really funky clothes there that



I absolutely love, and you definitely will not see anyone around wearing the same thing. Maybe thrift shops aren’t your thing, and you can honestly call the mall

You can dress like your favorite star Katy Perry, or create something that’s all your own like Coco Chanel and still stay within your teen budget. your second home. Well, no worries. You can still go through all the racks in your favorite stores and have money to spare. However, the only way to do this is to not go overboard on spending. You should also realize a

very important thing when it comes to the mall: the clearance rack is your best friend. Get to know it, and you won’t regret it. Also, learn to shop by seasons. When it’s fall or winter, start to shop for summer clothes, and when it’s spring or summer, start to shop for winter clothes. That jacket you were dying to buy in the winter but was too expensive, will definitely be on sale come spring time. One of my favorite ways to shop is online. It’s a whole new world on the web, and tons of sites are really affordable, like Plus, if you’re like me, some days you really want to go shopping, but you’re just not in the mood to deal with the crowds and lines. Well, the internet offers you a way to shop from the comfort of your home, and you can also find really cool clothes that nobody else will be wearing. Saving money can be really hard for teens, but it’s definitely not impossible. You can dress like your favorite star Katy Perry, or create something that’s all your own like Coco Chanel, and still stay within your teen budget. So, go out there and take the fashion world by storm and still have money to spare. Rashah, is a junior at Woodland High School, who took the photos at left.

Rashah’s favorite shops to score vintage and vintage-like goods: Gypsy Rose Rusty Zipper

Urban Outfitters




VOX asked teens at South Cobb High School and Osborne High School:

You’ve just won the $44 million Powerball. How would you use the money to solve the challenges in your life?


inning the lottery is a life-changing experience. As a teenager, we face things like trying to find a job and focusing on school. But at the same time, we’re trying to enjoy ourselves. Money is a big problem for us. Sometimes, we can’t get a job because we’re too focused on school and we don’t have the time, or we just don’t know where to start. Going out with friends and enjoying ourselves is difficult when you can’t go out to the movies or to eat because we lack the money. Asking our parents for money, sometimes you feel like a bother. Winning the lottery will remove all worries. Many people get excited when they have so much money in their hands. Forty four million dollars is a lot of money too. I won’t be selfish with it either like others are. I want to help children with cancer to have a good time before it’s too late or maybe I could save someone’s life. I’ll save my money, too, and not waste it. I’ll save up for college and help my family out. I’ll enjoy my life.

Vanessa Mondragon South Cobb High School



f I won the Powerball worth $44 million, I would help as many people as I could to get back on their feet. The reason I would help these people is because I believe money is a material thing that buys you more material things, things that you might not need. You spend because you want and not because you need. So, I would help people, just to know that I made a positive impact in someone’s life. So why not give back to your community?

f I ever won the Powerball, I would change my life in so many ways. I would love to live with my parents, and they wouldn’t have to work and live out of state for my dad’s job. I would be so rich, I would have no need to work and I could just be happy with my family and stay in one place, in one state. I would be really happy if I had my family with me.

Amanda Teague South Cobb High School

f I won the Powerball, the first thing I would do is pay back any debts my parents have. After that, I would go to Mexico and give back to my family. I would buy land, a lot of land, and build a house for my parents to retire in my home state of Michoaran. I would then ask my family and close friends if they would like to extend their education. Once I did all that, I would buy land in Georgia and build the best track and off-road track there is. I would buy 10 GTRs and get all my friends and race and have fun. For the off-road track, I would buy 50 four-wheelers and 10 Jeep Grand Cherokees and mud ‘til the sun goes down. I would also give back to my high


f I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is pay for my college tuition at Spelman, which is about $20,000. Afterwards, I would focus on my other priorities, such as a car and an apartment. Winning the lottery would really change my life. I wouldn’t have to worry about financial aid, grants or loans. That would really be a load off my back. Having lots of money doesn’t mean spending every dime at one time.

Ebony Watkins South Cobb High School


Denise Escamilla South Cobb High School

school, Osborne because we are known as the school in Cobb County that has the least.


Esteban Solorio Osborne High School

f I won the Powerball, I would use it to solve the challenges in my life. I do not come from a very wealthy family, but I consider myself to be a smart student. I would use the money to pay for college. I would also help my family by paying the bills, purchasing groceries and even buy a new car for my dad since his is close to broken. My parents do so much for me, so I would want to give back and help them with their struggles and challenges.


Jesus Munive Osborne High School

have just won the $44 million Powerball. I always thought it would be more likely for me to get struck my lightning. Now that I have $44 million in my pocket, I ask myself how exactly do I spend this money? My teenage mind automatically thinks of infinite possibilities relating to materialistic goods, such as a new sports car or clothes. However, another part of me tells me to invest and spend it on something that will benefit my future. The first aspect of my life that would benefit from this would be my college tuition. The fact that I’m undocumented makes it extremely hard for me to apply for scholarships. On top of that, I am required to pay out-of-state tuition, which makes the cost rise by as much as three times the regular tuition rates. After spending a portion of my money on school tuition, I would provide my family with a certain amount of money to help them out even though they might not be struggling financially.

Anonymous Osborne High School

Powerball continues on page 23



y whole life my mom has always been worried about money. Money needed to pay bills, money for clothes, money for sports or clubs we join and the list could go on. So if I were to spontaneously win the Powerball worth over $44 million, without a doubt, I would give it all to my mother. My mom has made many sacrifices and works extremely hard to make my life memorable and successful. She would do anything to make me happy. Although this is her goal, she can’t always fulfill it, due to money issues. So if I were to win the Powerball, I would give this money to my amazing, caring mother.

Xomara Haeb South Cobb High School VOX asked teens at South Cobb High School:

How have you dealt with money issues in your life?


Socioeconomic Status By the Numbers The U.S. Census reported numbers by city, state and nation in 2012. Here’s a breakdown of the median household income and persons living below the poverty level in the metro Atlanta area compared to Georgia and the rest of the nation. Info from the American Community Survey and U.S. Census, 2012 Median Household Income, 2012 Percentage of persons below the federal poverty line, 2012


United States

$46,146 $47,209 $51,324 24.3%


ave you ever gone days without money? I have, so I had to figure out how to budget my money. I couldn’t buy all the things I wanted. I couldn’t live like that, so I had to find a way out. I had to come up with a plan that could get me out of this hole. I would have to get a job that pays good money. One day, I decided to fill out a bunch of applications. Everything that came into sight I applied for. At the time, I was working at the barbershop, sweeping up hair. I got paid $10 a day. But that wasn’t enough for me. Three weeks later, I’m talking on one of the newest cellphones, in top designer clothes and had money to spare. There was a way out, I just had to be patient. I had to have a budget. Now I have a smart budget that saves me a bunch of money.



Gebrelle Daniel South Cobb High School

ince I’ve been able to comprehend words and sentences, my parents instilled in me that saving money, wise spending and diversifying money is key. I grew up cutting yards and any other work for neighbors. Every penny I’ve saved has either been invested or put into a type



of savings bond. Over the years, I have lost and gained thousands. To further my investing ventures, I’m planning to start several businesses or liquidate and sell houses from the bank.


Chase Hughes South Cobb High School

hy does college cost so much? Colleges expect so much from students, and they want so much money. Just for one semester of school? Most people don’t have enough funds to pay for it. These days, kids have to go through a lot of stuff and want a better life. But how can they do that when college is expecting so much? We have to struggle with family issues, and gang-related drugs. It’s a struggle for teens who want to do better. When I think about my future, I see a great future for myself. But I worry about money for college and the expectations from the colleges I want to get into. That’s why most kids get to that point but then give up. Either because they can’t afford it or they don’t meet the requirements.

Adonis Umanzor South Cobb High School


Take Our Advice: Join VOX! Q: I’m thinking about joining VOX, but I want to know what it is like before I do. A: VOX is awesome, and your next opportunity to join (for free) is February! As an active teen staff member of VOX, though not mandatory, you will be expected to attended teen staff meetings which are bi-weekly during the school year, and once per month during the summer. After the icebreaker activities at meetings, we check in on the stories that are being written for the current edition and go over any other VOX-related things like workshops or events. And the best part is that it’s teen-led! As you may know, if you’re not into writing feature-length stories, you can also write shorter news articles and reviews. Also, you don’t necessarily have to be a writer at all to join VOX. You can also join VOX if you’re an artist! If anything, if you think you’d want to do something like this, don’t hesitate to join! Though the thought of writing for a citywide newspaper with meetings and deadlines might sound intimidating, you will find that VOX is anything but that. The great thing about VOX is that we always have fun and there’s no judgement! Download an application on the VOX website by visiting and apply by Feb. 8. — By Curtis Jones / VOX Staff (“I Knew VOX was Awesome” f/ Curtis and fellow staffer Akil. Check out the video at http://bit. ly/1dhvoNY )


Contest Winner

We asked teens: Using money, create a piece of art! Here’s the creative winner!

“Superheroes in Disguise” By Tammy Le, 16, DeKalb Early College Academy

Letter to or from a Bully Contest We want to know in 400-600 words:

At different times, we are victims, bullies, bystanders and allies. VOX wants you to write and submit a letter to a bully, or, if you’ve been a bully, a letter from a bully. What would you say to your bully or to your victim? Letters may be published anonymously (write ANONYMOUS at the top). E-mail your letter to or mail it to: VOX Teen Communications, 229 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 725, Atlanta, GA 30303 Please include the following information with your entry.


Deadline EXTENDED: February 10, 2014! First Prize: $100 Cash Second Prize: $50 Cash Apply Now!

NAME______________________________________________ ADDRESS__________________________________________ ADDRESS 2_________________________________________ CITY_________________________ZIP____________________ SCHOOL____________________________________________ AGE_______ PHONE__________________________________ E-MAIL _____________________________________________ We must receive your entries before the deadline. You must be between 13-19 and living in the metro Atlanta area to enter. All entries become property of VOX Teen Communications. The best submissions will be published in VOX.




Want To By Jolisa Brown VOX Staff Have my confidence Be unlinked to my circumstances, Be proud and strong Without being undermined by my fears The fears that I imagine are so transparent To those around me I reason that people see them and know Where I hurt

I see their fears too and know Where they hurt But then there are always those precious Few individuals Who seem fortified Invulnerable to the bulldozer that so Viciously tears apart all the rest of us Weaklings We all look to them And feel courage Our fears shrink and hiss in helplessness As we are encouraged to stand beside Them These people lead us

We let them We don’t see the inadequacy in them that We see in ourselves And have learned to look for in others But then there’s that moment Where they falter And we, standing beside them, shudder For our fear has gained a foothold And is reveling in the sudden transparency Of their fear Like sideways dominoes, we, once Encouraged by them, all fall And the bulldozer demolishes all the walls Even the little ones that we hadn’t noticed

Had begun to grow strong just in front of us And we cry We don’t know why We were never aware of just how much We’d began to hope But the fear is now back Cuddled comfortably in our laps And we’re back to before square 1 As we are now alone

More Poetry on page 26



Determination By Dawit Trench VOX Staff Complication, confusion, Weakens me in any way Accomplishments, success, Strengthens me every day Failure, negativity, leaves me feeling dull Encouragement, achievement, Keeps me on a roll No matter what’s impossible Always be unstoppable Never do less Always try your best Even if you can’t do it all Never fall That’s my point of view It’s my word to you.

Sounds in the Dark By Sania Chandrani VOX Staff Today a girl went to sleep In her bedroom next to her mother


VOX: THE VOICE OF OUR GENERATION | WINTER 2014 After having a nightmare Today a little girl of the same age was Slapped and called a whore As she was raped Today a little boy played His favorite video game Call of Duty Today a little boy of the same age Picked up a gun for the first time and Was forced to shoot a friend Today a couple was given The best gift of their lives And today a family lost their gift when She went to a concert and Never came home Today a man brought his first Paycheck home Today a man worked in the blazing heat To feed his family Today someone starved And someone slept soundly With a full belly Today someone was born And someone breathed her last breath Someone gave his first smile And someone grinned his last. Today, we’ll sleep in our beds, and We might not be able to sleep right away And sometimes we might hear a cry Outside in the night, in the sky, or Miles away. And we’ll brush it off as imaginary. But what if those screams are real? Those sounds in the night, The unheard cries, Those yearning screams. How many of us will hear those screams Tonight? How many of us will choose to listen?

Who cries in the rain Unseen by those who In the dark and all alone Go on their way Back home To the hurt and pain I’m takin’ a ride On that long black train Because I cry in the rain Alone with my pain The blade that cuts The tears that fall The blows that come The blood I shed Make me feel Alive As I ride that train To kingdom come The flames that burn The silence stings As the miles go by On the long and lonely Black train I ride The tears that fall The blood that sheds The blade that cuts Deeper still The blade that takes Away the pain The sun that sets On me today Takes me to another place Where all she wrote was Pain and gain

All She Wrote

#4 - Food for Thought

By D. Scott Jackson

By Austin Thomas

Special to VOX

VOX Staff

I’m takin’ a ride On that long black train A lovely ride Dark and alone Along the way I find An angel

I wish I hadn’t let you eat me up inside so much. Every day, gnawing at the back of my mind, twisting my stomach, freezing my feet till they were ice-cold as if you were saving them for later. Now I have been chewed up and spat



out, no longer appealing or satisfying to you, discarded. And I am so mangled and broken that when she comes along, she will be disgusted by me, unwilling to try this new food for thought. So I will sit, cold, ruined, untouched, till I am eventually thrown away into the waste bin of the universe, like all the others that were too hard, too complex to digest.



Capricorn (December 22 - January 19) Your ambitions will make you go down in history; just be patient! Aquarius (January 20 - February 18) Your originality will make your peers praise you and look up to you. Stay original; don’t take the easy way out. Pisces (February 19 - March 20) Your compassionate, accepting personality may come off as weak to others, but it will open the doors to new riches. Aries (March 21 - April 19) Your generosity will open new doors for you this year, but don’t let your short temper get the best of you.

VOX THANKS ITS DONORS Through VOX, Atlanta-area teens from diverse backgrounds develop skills to express themselves effectively and build a stronger community. Thanks to these corporate and community supporters for providing free educational opportunities for teens. In-Kind Support for VOX Atlanta Journal-Constitution Black Tie Catering Event Blueprint Holiday Inn Gwinnett Horseradish Grill Kilpatrick Townsend Moses Kim Loudermilk Center Shaina Oliphant Prime Wine and Spirits Zach Schnell THP Creative Group Other donors are listed online.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20) The loyalty you have to a cause will bring great blessings to your life this year. Don’t let your laziness and materialistic ideals get the upper hand. Gemini (May 21 - June 20) Your impulsive lifestyle is fun but it can be difficult to control. Keep in mind “STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN” and adapt to your surroundings in order to look your best.

PAGE 27 Being observant will get you through the obstacles your enemies will try to throw at you.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22) 2014 will be a good year for you. Your caring and clingy personality will be the gateway to your success. Leo (July 23 - August 22) Your stubbornness will be your greatest asset this year; many will try to discourage you, but you need to stay firm in your ideals. Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Anniversary Superheroes - $25,000 or more

Libra (September 23 - October 22) Your peaceful approach to things may not be the most reliable this year. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty. Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) Your resourcefulness will get you through tough times this year. Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21) Your independence is your greatest asset, yet your success doesn’t make you happy. — Horoscopes and Art by Manuel Portillo / VOX Staff

Superhero ($50,000 - $69,999) Fulton County Housing and Human Services Department: Office of Children and Youth Heroes ($25,000 - $49,999) United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta Champions ($10,000 - $24,999) The Atlanta Foundation The Atlanta Women’s Foundation Nordson Corporate Foundation

Anniversary Heroes - $10,000 to $24,999

Role Models ($2,500 - $4,999) City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs

Anniversary Champion - $5,000 to $9,999

Anniversary Leaders - $2,500 to $4,999

To learn more about VOX’s needs and to support our work, please visit or call us at 404-614-0040.


At VOX Media Cafe, teens will use 3 weeks to:


More information, including schedule, cost, application and scholarship information, at: ...or call 404.614.0040 for more information

VOX Teen Newspaper  

VOX Teen Newspaper Winter 2014 Edition, Theme: MONEY