Category Archives: teen program

Anna Deavere Smith On Collaboration

Actress, author, and playwright Anna Deavere Smith performed at Teen Voices’ annual fundraising event, Amplify, on April 14. In this clip from her performance, she talks about a race riot that took place in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, and portrays a Jewish woman who lives in the neighborhood. The message in this piece, Smith says, is that we can learn to solve problems when we collaborate, or “extend ourselves out from what we know.”


Saun Green Receives Unsung Heroine of Massachusetts Award

Today, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women honored 100 inspiring women at the Seventh Annual Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts Celebration. Teen Voices’ program director Saun Green was one of the women who were honored.

The event, held at the Massachusetts State House, brought together women who are making a difference, and who show determination, courage, and vision in changing their communities.

We are so thankful to have Saun in the Teen Voices community, and appreciate her for always being an inspiring, passionate, and supportive role model for the teen girls in our program.

Program Director Saun Green with First Lady of the City of Boston Angela Menino and Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Commission Marie Turley

Saun’s work with young women makes a huge difference in their lives. Here’s what some of Teen Voices’ teen editors have to say about her:

“One thing we love about you is how real and honest you are. We can come and talk to you about anything, even if it’s too much for you to take in sometimes. You listen to us and guide us as young women, telling us to come together not just as friends, but as sisters.” –  SaChe

I came to Teen Voices when I was 16 with a lot of hurt and pain and shyness. I didn’t think much of myself. But because of your program and the way you run it, I have been able to build my self esteem as well as open up to others without being afraid to tell my story.” – Malisa

Teen Voices has really impacted me in a good way. It is my home away from home.” – Lynn

I would say how Teen Voices changed me faster than I ever thought. Teen Voices made me feel safe, loved and they made me feel as if I wasn’t alone in the world.” – Lina

I feel that I can hold my head higher and nothing or no one can tear me down.  I feel that I can now walk with the confidence I never had. “ – Tatiana

Teen Voices changed my life.  It increased my self-esteem, helped me escape problems at home and with friends while preparing me for the working world. “ – Nathalie

Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Saun!

Putting the ‘Fun’ in Funds!

As we ride out the economic crisis, everyone is responding in different ways. At Teen Voices, we directly impact the way girls live their lives as adults, so we decided to address the issue through teaching teens about responsible handling of personal finances. To do this, we teamed up with the Financial Services Forum at UMass Boston’s Department of Accounting and Finance. Teen Voices peer leader Anna-Cat Brigida, 17, attended the workshop and shares her thoughts on the event.

On April 21 and 22, Teen Voices’ teen editors attended a financial workshop at UMass Boston. I know, you’re probably thinking finances are so boring! But that is where you are wrong! The financial literacy workshop was a blast, and it was very informative.  The presenters gave us a ton of useful information about how to spend our money wisely and plan for the future.

The staff at UMass – including Kristen Callahan, Nicole LaPointe, and Annette Florczak — really managed to make it fun for us to learn about money. We played a board game that allowed us to see what expenses and obstacles we will have to deal with as adults. The teen editors became very competitive over the game, which made things more interesting. We also learned how to make a budget and keep a log, to keep tracking of how we are spending our money…this helps us see where we might be wasting resources. We talked about how we love spending our money, which was a fun part of the conversation, and something all the workshop participants  all had in common.

On Day 2 of the finance workshop, we talked primarily about credit cards and how to manage them. We learned how to use credit cards responsibly – which means only spending what we can pay back.  The presenters shared their own personal stories of financial mistakes they had made in the past, and showed us that it’s easy to accumulate thousands of dollars of debt in a short amount of time. Hearing that they (now financial experts!) had made mistakes with credit cards in the past showed us just how easy it is to abuse credit. Although it is important not to go over the limit, we also learned that it is good to have a credit card in order to establish some type of credit, because no credit is just as bad as bad credit.  We also learned the difference between debit cards versus credit cards: when you pay with a debit card, the money comes straight from your account, and paying with a credit card is like borrowing money.

The staff also taught us how to file taxes when we get a job.  We learned about certain forms, such as the W-2, W-4, and 1040EZ, which everyone all required to fill out when you have a job. While filling out these forms, we learned what information we need to include, and what tax returns actually are. Knowing how to fill out the tax returns was a very important part of the Workshop, especially because many of us didn’t even know about it beforehand. Now we won’t stress out about our taxes like so many people do. This experience was super helpful. Who knew that learning about money can be fun?!

Media and Expression: An Approach for Helping Girls Process Trauma

Teen Voices Editor and Publisher Jessica Moore wrote an article for Youth Media Reporter about using media to help teen girls process traumatic events in their lives.

When the earthquake struck Haiti in January, many of our teen editors received devastating news about family members that had not survived the disaster. Teen Voices reached out and provided a space for our Haitian teens to recount their memories and emotions in the aftermath of the earthquake. Later, some of those teens told their stories on radio shows in the Boston area.

In her article, Jessica discusses the ways that providing opportunities for teens to share privately and publicly can help them to process difficult emotions surrounding traumatic situations.

Boston Globe Columnist Sarah Rodman Visits Teen Voices

Boston Globe arts and music columnist Sarah Rodman visited Teen Voices last Friday to talk about her start in journalism.

During her visit, she told the teen editors about some of the famous people she’s interviewed – including Nick Jonas and Snoop Dogg — which the teens found particularly exciting.

Rodman also shared some of her techniques for conducting successful interviews, such as being persistent in asking questions in order to get your interviewee to open up. She also suggests talking to people who know your interviewee in order to find out more information for your interview.

Rodman offered the girls some great advice about handling criticism as an arts and music columnist. She says she constantly reminds herself that as a columnist, it’s her job to write her opinion. If a reader doesn’t like it, that’s fine. When she gets harsh emails, she always responds politely and says that she’s sorry they feel that way. We’re so glad that Rodman visited Teen Voices to share her experiences with our teen editors.

Please visit the Globe’s website to read some of her work.

Sarah Rodman shares her experiences with Teen Voices' teen editors.

AMPLIFY 2010: Anna Deavere Smith

On April 14, 2010, Teen Voices will celebrate girls recreating media at our fourth annual AMPLIFY fundraising event! This year, we will celebrate the redesign and relaunch of Teen Voices magazine and

We are thrilled to announce Anna Deavere Smith as our keynote speaker for the event. The actor, playwright, and teacher enjoys a remarkably wide-ranging and respected career. Critics and audiences nationwide have acclaimed Smith’s work, which explores the American character and our multifaceted national identity.

Smith is best known for her documentary theatre style in plays such as Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles; in both, she played multiple and diverse roles written from interviews and archives of actual events. Teen Voices is excited to welcome Smith as our keynote speaker!

Buy your tickets before this event sells out!

For more on Anna Deavere Smith:

Top Five Ways YOU Can Get Involved with Teen Voices!

By Teen Voices editorial intern Jackie Catcher

You have a voice and we want to hear it! Teen Voices is about you—your thoughts, your feelings, and your input. Here are five ways for you to amplify your voice.

1. Become a teen editor! Are you a Boston-area teen interested in journalism? Here’s your chance to gain experience while meeting new friends and having a fantastic time. Teen editors meet to write the features you see on our website and in our magazine. Although our fall session is in full swing, there’s always the spring and summer sessions to look forward to. So start planning ahead and visit our website to apply.

2. Share the goods. Your words matter and we work hard to make sure they’re heard, but we can’t do it alone. Like something you read online? E-mail to a friend or post it on your own blog or profile. Love the magazine? Give submissions to your girlfriends or family members as holiday or birthday gifts. Want to see Teen Voices in your public or school library? Ask the librarian to stock it. Spread the word and stretch your impact.

3. Become a reviewer! Like music? Books? Free stuff? Teen Voices reviewers receive free books and CDs before they’re even released to the public. All we ask in return is your opinion, so is it a bestseller or a flop…you be the judge.

4. Become a Teen Voices Activist of the Month (AOTM) Are you a teen who’s changing your world? Are you passionate about a cause, devoted to an issue, or involved in an organization? We highlight movers and shakers like you each month in our online magazine. Nominate a friend or nominate yourself; we’d love to hear about what you’re doing to make our world a better place.

5. Amplify your voice! Submit your artwork, photos, poetry, essays, opinions, short stories and more to Teen Voices. We can’t get enough of your voice, so keep the submissions coming. Visit our website to learn more and submit!