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The Youngest of the Youth: Teens and Kids Take the Spotlight
By Amari Snyder / Sunday, June 25th, 2006 / O'Henry High School

I want to start by saying: Thank you for reading this - especially if you're a kid or a teen! I've been given the exciting task of interviewing members eighteen and under who are participating in the Youth Festival. When you read this, I'll have just turned fourteen, so it seemed natural that got picked to do this. How hard could it be to interview a couple of teenagers and kids anyway?

I ended up talking to more than a couple: 26 to be exact. I couldn't help it! I had a great time and heard some really touching stories. It made me want to remind everyone that even very young members of the SGI work hard and have problems to contend with. Since I can't put 26 kids into a single article, I'll try to put them all into a series of articles. This is the first.

There are a wide variety of kids and teens in the SGI with a wide variety of talents and dreams. I interviewed Moth Madiala, who was shy but a great kid. He's only nine but works hard in Art Group and has big dreams. As of the time of the interview, he wanted to be an actor.

And then there was Justice Alexander, also nine, who was learning how to breakdance and says it is coming along well. He has a humble dream: he came to this group to learn how to do back flips! I got inspiration from Cielo Ornelas Macfarlane, from the African Dance Group. She was twelve years old, and looked like she was having a great time. She said she liked her group because everyone helped her, even if they weren't an instructor. At the beginning of the interview you would have never realized that Celio was losing a loved one. You see, her grandfather has cancer of the pancreas. Celio's real motivation is to make him proud.

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Journal 1 (April 23)
Journal 2 (May 14)
Journal 3 (May 21)
Journal 4 (June 11)
Journal 5 (June 18)
Journal 6 (June 25)
Journal 7 (July 1st)
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July 15th
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April 23rd
May 14th
May 21st
June 11th
June 18th
June 25th (Teens)
June 25th
July 1st (Teens)
July 8th & 9th
July 15th