Athena Jreij, a junior at St. Lucy's Priory High School in Glendora, describes how she feels when adults write off the worries of young people.
As I kneeled on the pew of the prayer room in my Catholic high school, my skirt tucked around my thighs, my hands were clasped tightly, intertwined. ... My chin rested on my fist and looking up to Mother Mary holding baby Jesus, tears ran down my face, landing on the collar of my white polo. My shoulders sat heavy and my heart lay in my chest with great weight. In my head, I asked for guidance and strength, but was interrupted by the faint noise of two teachers laughing in the faculty room next door.
“Oh yes, it’s so hard being a 16-year-old and your only worry is homework and texting on your phone!”