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Gratitude: A Tool for Boosting Self-esteem May 29, 2024

Written by Madison Jaffe.

Fashion magazines, beauty products, and diet campaigns bombard us every day with messages telling us that we aren’t good enough. They project messages saying we should be thinner, more stylish, or have softer skin. We are told that we aren’t enough, but can fix that with the swipe of a credit card to purchase their goods. However, these products change...

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Life Goals May 29, 2024

The following poem was written by our weekly writing group, The Green Walls Writer’s Project, in Zoom in 2020. Each person wrote a sentence about achieving their goals and then we put them all together to form a powerful poem. 

You encourage me to want to do my best daily

Because it’s not about me, 

It’s about what I did that was greater than me.

Scalpel in my...

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Peer Pressure & Alcohol May 23, 2024

Written by Sydney Parker, a senior at CSUCI.

I am currently a fourth-year college student, about to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree. I have noticed that throughout my college years, I have become less inclined to drink alcohol. In high school, I drank a lot more than I do now. I was that girl that would peer pressure my friends into drinking with me, which I regret deeply. A...

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An Educated School Girl May 01, 2024

Written by Lucy, age 17, a Ventura County high school student.

An educated school girl like me carries a backpack that holds all of the knowledge she owns which forces her spine down to the ground. An educated school girl like me carries books, pretty pencils and highlighters that mean nothing but for some reason it matters that they are pretty, an iPad, the clothing that she contemplates over...

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Reality Parties for Parents: A Parent’s Perspective Apr 15, 2024

By Sandy, a local parent and CSUCI student.

I admit it, I avoided this “Reality Party” idea when my three kids were in high school. My role this past week was to play the cool mom, letting the kids drink and have fun. This wasn’t a stretch for me. Even my kids made a joke about me playing this role. The horrible things that could have happened at my house while kids were...

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Hidden Dangers of Turning Away Mar 27, 2024

Essay and artwork by a BRITE youth spokesperson.

I have never been pressured to vape before.     

I am lucky enough to say that I was raised in a household where my mom was always making sure I was safe and happy. However, I know this isn’t the case for many others.  

Vaping has always been a prevalent problem at my school and community. So often I would...

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Help for the Chained Hands, Minds, and Hearts Mar 15, 2024

Written by Lucy M age 17

People mess up. They do stupid things. Trauma does that to people. Mental illnesses do that to people. What if you did something, no matter how messed up it is, and were called a monster for it? What if you were stripped of your right to being a human? What if you were treated like an animal? All because of one thing or multiple things that you did because you have...

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Alcoholism: From the Perspective of the Alcoholic, Interview 3 Mar 14, 2024

Written by Kidra Avery, a CSUCI Service-Learning student.

“There is risk, it’s serious, you will lose friends. People will die, but you’re not alone and if a time comes that you need help, there are people there for you.”

Rachel is a long-time friend of mine. She and I were in the same dance class as adolescents, and then attended and graduated from the same high school...

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Social Media’s Influence on Teen Marijuana Use Feb 27, 2024

This post was written by a CSUCI student.

Today it is almost impossible to avoid social media no matter where you are. We are completely inundated with technology and social media platforms, and we have to wonder what the effects of that are for kids and teenagers, as well as adults. Teenagers are the primary concern when discussing what social media usage does to the brain. Most if not all...

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Black History Feb 09, 2024

Written by Joel Brown, a Ventura County high school student, featuring artwork by Ellawyn Wood.

Every time they're reminded, so am I

But it’s wrong to remind them that I’m Black

I must feel something for the tragedies

I must cry for the rivers of blood that have been spilled

They remind us every year that there is a dream

That we have overcome

That change is happening

That the dream...

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Alcoholism: From the Perspective of the Alcoholic, Interview 2 Feb 06, 2024

By Kidra Avery, CSUCI Service Learning student.

This interview was conducted in person at the participant’s home. I received verbal consent from Andrew, the interviewee. Andrew is 27 years old and works as a barista at a local coffee shop. He and I met in high school and played on the men’s and women’s water polo teams both at our high school and local junior college. It was a...

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Alcoholism: From the Perspective of the Alcoholic, Interview 1 Jan 18, 2024

By Kidra Avery, a CSUCI Service Learning student.

This interview was conducted on Zoom on Tuesday September 29th, 2020. Jonathan and I have known each other since he got out of rehab the second time, and have remained friends since. Our interview was very casual, much like two friends speaking openly, with the awkward recognition that we were being recorded. This is his story.

What if you woke...

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 The BRITE program does not promote any unlawful use of drugs or alcohol.