Want to be on the Teen Takeover staff?

Calling all teenagers in York County! Interested in getting your work professionally edited, and published online and in print? Having an impact on York County and beyond? Talking with other teens about issues at school and in your neighborhoods?

State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, speaks with members of the York Daily Record's Teen Takeover staff Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in the newspaper's conference room. (Chris Dunn - Daily Record/Sunday News)

State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, speaks with members of the York Daily Record’s Teen Takeover staff Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in the newspaper’s conference room. (Chris Dunn – Daily Record/Sunday News)

Consider joining the York Daily Record/Sunday News Teen Takeover staff. Members will interview sources, write one story a month, post to the Teen Takeover blog and attend a monthly meeting.

Interested applicants between the ages of 14 and 17 should send the following information:

– A cover letter stating why you are applying for the program and why you should be chosen. In addition, pitch a story idea to us: Summarize what a specific story might be about.

– Be sure to include your full name, grade and school with the letter. Also include your phone number and email address. If you’d like to include social media information such as your Twitter handle, please do so.

– Two samples of your writing (articles, essays, term papers or short stories)

– Two letters of recommendation from references such as a teacher, guidance counselor, coach or neighbor (not your parents).

Send your applications to York Daily Record, Teen Takeover c/o Ed Mahon, 1891 Loucks Road, York, PA 17408 or email emahon@ydr.com. Applications are accepted on a rolling admission.

What kind of stories do Teen Takeover staffers write?

Explore the blog! Here are a few links.

How teens can get involved at the York County SPCA

In the presidential primaries, who’s the jock and who’s the prep?

YCP Rhapsody: A weird, dysfunctional family

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Dover Area students stand in solidarity with York Tech students

By Sophie Barnes

Students at Dover Area High School are standing in solidarity with York County School of Technology students through a black out.

This is following the recent incidents involving reports of racism and division both in York Tech and across the country. A video shot Wednesday at York Tech shows students carrying a sign for President-elect Donald Trump, while someone yells “White power.”

At Dover, some students wore black clothing on Friday, as a symbol of standing with the school and country as a whole.

Keith Davis, a sophomore at Dover Area High School, said that his main goal through the movement was unity.

“I don’t like how the school is separated,” Davis said.

Rajah Fink, a junior at Dover Area High School, called the behavior at York Tech “disgusting.”

“Things will get better,” Fink said.

Another junior at Dover Area High School participating in the blackout, Yasmin Kadima, said, “People aren’t talking about it enough. We did this to support York Tech. We want them to know that they aren’t alone in this.”

Dave Portelles, an English teacher at Dover Area High School, and his first period class tried to bring some light into the recent darkness. Portelles said one student was “rattled and upset.” The student said that the world was feeling “dark,” to which Portelles responded, “That’s not okay.”

Portelles said the students spent five minutes coming up with “words of unity, equality and peace,” and they wrote them on the sidewalk outside the school.

“We put it on the way to the student parking lot so that the students see the positivity as they leave for the weekend,” Portelles said.

Dover Area High School students wrote messages to encourage unity on Friday. (Photo by Sophie Barnes)

Dover Area High School students wrote messages to encourage unity on Friday. (Photo by Sophie Barnes)

He encouraged students to take pictures of the notes and messages, and to post them on social media so their friends and peers could see them. Portelles said the writings aren’t meant to send a political message.

“We just want to inject some hope and positivity in an otherwise dark and negative world,” he said.

Sophie Barnes, who is an eleventh grade student at Dover Area High School, is a member of the YDR’s Teen Takeover program.

Dover Area High School students wrote messages to encourage unity on Friday. (Photo by Sophie Barnes)

Dover Area High School students wrote messages to encourage unity on Friday. (Photo by Sophie Barnes)

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Summer Jobs: Career and Workplace Readiness Camp at South Western High School


At South Western High School in Hanover, PA, the Career Department and the Hanover Chamber of Commerce created and sponsored the Career and Workplace Readiness Camp. This summer, the camp directors were business teacher Kathy Miserendino and career counselor Lisa Dennis at South Western High School. The four day camp was a learning experience for the campers to meet entrepreneurs and employees who are employed at various companies in Hanover. It focused on resumes, applications, the hiring process, and young entrepreneurs.

On the first day of camp, the campers visited Divino Pizzeria and Grille. The campers learned that the successful family run business is currently operated by Jason Eckenrode, who is in his 20s. Eckenrode works about 140 hours a week. He began working in the pizza business at 14 years old. He said that most businesses turn a profit in their first three years, however, he turned a profit after one month. His passion for making pizza and for serving people gives him the drive every day to make his business succeed.


So’s Taekwondo has been passed down three generations and is currently being managed by Derek So, who is in his 20s. So attended South Western High School and took business courses with Miserendino. He shared with the campers that he started running the business when he was a sophomore. He said that when he is hiring someone, he’s looking for a person that has different strengths from himself and the rest of his staff. He said that one of his tests for applicants is for them to clean a toilet. He said that the test measures an applicant’s willingness, detail-orientation, and if that applicant has a different way of completing a task. He also shared the importance of organization, confidence, time management, and prioritization.

The third day focused on business and entrepreneurship including a panel of local entrepreneurs: Amanda Weaver, owner of The Cabbage Patch (an upscale children’s resale boutique) and Top it off Frozen Yogurt; Dakotah Moses, President of Moses Family Jerky and a South Western graduate of 2013; and Sean Adams, creator of Rising Sun Snacks. The local entrepreneurs discussed the rewards and challenges of owning a business, the importance of feedback, and caring about their customers. Weaver said that she loves being able to help and give back to the community. She said that The Cabbage Patch is frequented by many needy families who have foster children, parents in prison, and are struggling to make ends meet. She also said, “In whatever you do, make sure you are passionate about it.” Moses started his family run business in high school through his utilization of social media, networking, and word of mouth. He would even bring in samples of beef jerky for his classmates. Moses sells his products through local farmers’ markets. Adams said that he relies on customer feedback to drive his business. He has even created a program for customers to rank their favorite flavors. His business is mostly online and the products have a subscription option and are shipped.

The last stop for the campers was the Academy for Media Production. The campers learned about the one year program that the Academy offers that educates its students about photography and audio and video production under one of the most reasonable tuitions, which can be aligned with three more years of college. Bill Chenaille, director of admissions, and the rest of the staff come from very specialized professional backgrounds. He shared information about the internships and summer camps that the Academy offers as well as the Academy’s alumni successes. He shared that combining art and technology makes an artist’s career very profitable. He shared how each noise in a film has to be created because it is not possible to create them digitally, and it is illegal to use a file from another filmmaker. He also gave the campers a photography demonstration where he swapped facial features of some of the campers.

At many parts of the Career and Workplace Readiness Camp, successful business people gave a similar message: Your career path most likely will change. Seeking ongoing educational opportunities, selecting a career you are passionate about, making connections with people who could help you in your future, and taking advantage of the opportunities offered in high school are all ways to help you be ready for that change.

*Pictures provided by Kathy Miserendino and Lisa Dennis

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Summer job: York teen guides young gymnasts

Trinity Thomas, of York, is a gymnast and coaches in Lancaster. (Photo submitted by Trinity Thomas)

Trinity Thomas, of York, is a gymnast and coaches in Lancaster. (Photo submitted by Trinity Thomas)

For Trinity Thomas, there is no summer vacation.

Trinity is a 15-year-old member of the USA Gymnastics team and Junior International Elite gymnast. She spends most of her time doing gymnastics, even in the off season, summer, when she coaches at her home gym, Prestige Gymnastics in Lancaster.

Early morning practices begin at 7 a.m. for Trinity. Once training ends at 11:30, work starts.

Trinity started gymnastics at age 6, which is actually considered late. She started working and practicing at Prestige Gymnastics in 2014.

At Prestige Gymnastics, the girls are split into levels based on skill.

Trinity is at the junior elite level which means she competes internationally. Junior elite is the second highest level of gymnastics, only before senior elite. The girls that she coaches are level 5, usually 7-12 years old.

Since Trinity is only 15, her age is both a positive and negative for her job. When asked what her hardest thing or largest obstacle was in coaching, she explained how the gymnasts had to trust her.

In gymnastics, the trust between a coach and gymnast is extremely important. Trust allows the gymnast to train confidently. If she falls, the coach will catch her. If she makes a mistake, the coach will correct her. Trinity said since she is only 15 the girls might not trust her as much as some of the older coaches.

On the other hand, Trinity loves gymnastics. It’s her passion, and it has to be, at the intense level that she competes. And the fact that she is so young, but has so much experience might make her an even better coach.

“I love working with the kids because I feel that I can teach them a lot being a young teenager myself because I know what goes through their little heads,”

Trinity currently lives in York and attends Connections Academy, a cyber school.

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An open letter to Eric Trump

Mr. Eric Trump,

Your recent statement regarding your sister Ivanka hit me. While on CBS This Morning, you were asked about Ivanka and sexual harassment in the workplace, and you said, “Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it.” I do not disagree with you that your sister is a strong and powerful woman. She is the founder of her own brand and is leading several large projects that all focus on the edification of women.

While Ivanka may work with wonderful, driven people, sexual harassment in the workplace is everywhere.

Objectification does not see status, wealth or family.

This does not mean your sister is immune to the unwelcome looks or advances in the workplace. Objectification does not see status, wealth or family. I found your comment ignorant and offensive.

Do not try to say because Ivanka is a strong and powerful woman, that she could not allow herself to be subjected to such treatment. Multiple “strong, powerful” women from Fox News recently came out with allegations against former producer, Roger Ailes. Due to the allegations, Ailes stepped down from his position at Fox, offering further evidence that no one is immune from its effects.

In fact, someone asked your father, Donald Trump, what he would do if Ivanka was the subject of Ailes alleged harassment. Your father replied, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.” That statement offends me more than your statement. So, if I am understanding this correctly, because a woman is disrespected in a workplace, his advice is that it is her responsibility to quit her job. Even if this is something she has worked toward her whole life, she must be the one to quit and somehow find another job. Finding another job is much easier when it is a family business. However, in today’s economy, most people do not have the luxury of simply finding another career. Also, though you may not be aware of this, education is expensive. We don’t all have access to “small loans of a million dollars” to help fund our education. I also found it interesting how your father states nothing about wanting Ivanka to come forward with the allegations. He simply states that it is her job to move on and brush it under the carpet. He makes it sound as if it needs to be covered up by quietly moving on and starting fresh somewhere else.

Sexual harassment in the workplace needs to be addressed head on, and not brushed under the carpet. Your ignorance on the issue also needs to be addressed. We wish to be viewed subjectively, not objectively. As poet Dylan Thomas states, “Don’t go gentle into that good night.” As women, we will not go gentle into that good night.


Sophie Barnes

 Sophie Barnes, who will be an eleventh grade student at Dover Area High School in the fall, is a member of the YDR’s Teen Takeover program.

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Summer jobs: Finding work, and a family

Kinyania Middleton, a William Penn Senior High School student, works at McDonalds in York. (Photo by Shaniece Holmes-Brown)

Kinyania Middleton, a William Penn Senior High School student, works at McDonalds in York. (Photo by Shaniece Holmes-Brown)

By Shaniece Holmes-Brown

Kinyania Middleton found herself becoming part of a “McFamily” with her coworkers in her summer job.

Kinyania is an upcoming senior at William Penn Senior High School, and she has worked at McDonalds since August of last year.

“The best part is definitely my coworkers, everyone is so supportive of each other,” she said.

Kinyania needed a job, and McDonald’s is convenient because it’s very close to school.

Her work load varies from working the register to handling the drive thru, and she is currently learning how to work the grill. She says that working in fast food has its difficulties.

“Keeping my head on straight is very difficult because sometimes it’s hard communicating with your coworkers since everyone’s so busy. Tensions can rise quickly between dealing with the drive thru and lobby customers at the same time,” she said.

Kinyania is trying to become a crew trainer, to show newcomers the ropes.

“I have started saving up for college, which is why I’ve worked so hard this summer,” she said.

Shaniece Holmes-Brown will be a senior at William Penn Senior High School this fall. She is a member of the YDR Teen Takeover staff.

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New shop offers designer brands, smaller pricetags

Looking for a nice Lilly Pulitzer dress before you head to the beach for one last summer hoorah?

You can find one at a new store in Shrewsbury – for half the price.

Since March there has been a new place to shop on Main St. in Shrewsbury. Sabrina Zannino, of Delta, opened up a high-end, low-cost thrift store called Designer Consignor Fashion. The consignment shop is the first in the area to cater to shoppers who want designer clothing at low costs.
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Making Hot People Cool All Summer Long – One Teen’s Summer Job

Erin Kalizak (Left), and Gabby Maiorano, Bonkey's employees

Erin Kalizak (Left), and Gabby Maiorano, Bonkey’s employees

Bonkey’s Ice Cream has long been a staple of summer in New Freedom, Pa. Since its opening in 2003, both locals and visitors have flocked to the old movie theater to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream and snowballs with family and friends.

Family is, in many ways, the root of Bonkey’s. Founded by a husband-wife team, family connections are everywhere in the business, including the employees. 16-year-old Erin Kalizak, a three-summer employee, knows this first hand. She’s the third of her siblings to work at the ice cream shop. This is part of the reason why she wanted to work there in the first place. “[Bonkey’s] has a fun environment, good coworkers… I could tell it would be a strong and welcoming first job.”

Erin dipping ice cream

Even the application process has a family touch. “There isn’t really a formal interview… First impressions are everything.”

Bonnie and Keith, the owners of Bonkey’s, also ask other employees about the applicant. Because many of the workers are local high school or college students, they often know the person applying.

Once a new employee is hired, they are trained partially by Bonnie and partially by an older staff member. It’s a very learn-as-you-go process, and mistakes are expected. “I was bad at soft serve, for example, so [my trainer] made me do every cone that day,” said Kalizak. Her trainer happened to be her older brother. But, as she said, “You have to learn from your mistakes. That’s what the ice cream business has taught me.”

When asked about her favorite part of the job, Erin promptly replied that it was getting to work with so many amazing people, including the bosses. “You don’t often hear about jobs with amazing bosses.” She replied. “But Bonnie and Keith treat us like our own kids. They teach us so many life lessons.”

One example, said the teen, not to take your job for granted. They’re often reminded of this when it rains, which Erin says is the hardest part of the job. “You’ve just cleaned the whole place, and you’re surrounded by a ton of ice cream, and you sit there. Plus, it’s only a summer job.”


Erin also added that working with people on a daily basis has considerably strengthened her communication skills. She said that most people who come in are locals. “You get to know their orders, and you can have conversations with them.” She mentioned. “But when new people come in, you have to help them out. Bonkey’s is a colorful, fun place. It can be kind of overwhelming at first.”

But, she says that helping new customers learn the ropes at Bonkey’s is one of the best parts. “Our goal for the summer is to make hot people cool and more smiles.”

One of the cool things about working at Bonkey’s is that, along with a paycheck, employees gather tips. Erin said that this helps her divide what she spends (tips) and what she saves for college (paycheck). She also added that while this job is so great, it’s not currently hiring. “You really need to apply before the season starts,” she advised, saying many college kids come back to town and resume their old jobs.

For any teen who is considering looking for a fun summer job in the near future, Bonkey’s may just be the place to look.

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Summer jobs: Here’s a cool way to make money


Brendan Paules, second season at Rita’s (Photo by Kate Cramer)

You might say Brendan Paules has a sweet job that keeps him cool all summer.

He is working his second season at Rita’s Italian Ice, Shrewsbury location.

Brendan, an upcoming junior at Susquehannock High School, knew he wanted a job and was looking around the spring of 2015. “A friend of mine texted me and said that there was an opening here and I knew a lot of people who worked here. It’s a really small staff, usually the only way to get a job is if you know someone,” Brendan said. “I put in an application and I got called in to do an interview…”

Brendan’s friend who referred him to Rita’s also trained him when he first started working. “We started with the simple stuff, usually sweeping the ice, and


(Photo by Kate Cramer)

then moved to more complicated things. There are a lot of different items that we make, but working on the cones was probably the hardest,” he said.

The hardest part of his job, Brendan says, is memorization since they cannot write orders down. “When customers come up… Especially big groups, you just have to memorize it.” However, he said that the job is helpful with his communication skills.

When asked what he does with his paychecks, Brendan said he usually just saves them. But recently, he purchased his first car since he just got his license. “I am just saving it for the future… And for gas and insurance,” he said.


Treats from Rita’s being enjoyed on a sunny day (Photo by Kate Cramer)

The second season worker says that he definitely plans on keeping the job until college, possibly even after that.

Kate Cramer is an upcoming sophomore at Susquehannock High School. Besides studying and writing for Teen Takeover, she spends her time enjoying  literature, art, photography, tennis, and the outdoors.

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Why Megyn Kelly is a role model for young journalists (column)


Almost everyone at some point in their life has been bullied.  However, not many have been bullied in the national spotlight. Even fewer, have been bullied by one of the most powerful men in America.  One woman has been through all three, and continues to do her job with poise, elegance and class.  This is why, as an aspiring journalist, I look up to Megyn Kelly.

The feud began during the first GOP debate in August, during which Kelly asked Donald Trump a question about his treatment of women, mentioning several terms he has previously called women.  Trump didn’t react well to the question and later stated on Twitter:

“Wow, @megynkelly really bombed tonight.”

She was simply doing her job.  She was being a journalist in a world that is dominated by negative press and a negative connotation to the word “journalism. ” All Kelly did was ask the questions that everyone else was too afraid to ask and she was slammed for it. In my opinion, Trump’s reaction was a defense mechanism. He wasn’t prepared to have to own up to what he had done. He didn’t see Kelly as capable of asking thought provoking questions.

Trump repeatedly called her “Crazy Megyn” on Twitter and even stated that people needed to boycott her show. He also referred to her as “unwatchable,” “sick” and “average.” All this because he felt she was unfairly harsh to him during the GOP debate in August.

                                    freedom of press photo

(At the Newseum in Washington D.C. // Photo: Sophie Barnes )

 Now, Kelly is a powerful woman also.  Her show “The Kelly File” is on Fox News and covers all sorts of issues. Nothing was stopping her from firing insults right back at Trump and shooting down all his comments. With more than 1.7 million followers, she could have tweeted anything in retaliation, and it would have definitely been reposted. However, she simply turned the other cheek.

These hits continued to come, the names were thrown, and the shady comments were made, all by Trump. Kelly didn’t lash out, she didn’t return the hate, and she continued to do her job.

She asked to have an interview with him, and instead of slamming him, she carried her constant elegance through the interview. She was courteous and conducted it as a professional.  The entire nation, along with me, was anxious to see what potential backlash would occur.

And yet, we saw none of that.

I truly respected and looked up to Kelly during this interview. Her ability to simply talk with her bully, while still being respectful and professional, was very inspiring to see.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is the biggest load of baloney I have read in my life. Words do hurt.  Lowering someone’s intelligence or abilities to seemingly raise your own confidence is such a contradiction. I have been told hateful and hurtful things in my career as a student. However, Kelly helps to inspire me to keep my cool and stay respectful to the antagonists.

Hurdles will not stop me from achieving what I want. One leg at a time, I will get over it, no matter the height and I will do so with dignity, grace and respect, just like Kelly.

I want to be like Kelly both now, and hopefully in the future, as a journalist.  I want to be able to continue to do my passion without the stigma of being called “unwatchable” or “sick.” I want to bravely find the facts, and share them with people regardless of what others say. I want my only press pass to be the First Amendment to the Constitution, which no one can take away from me. Kelly’s resilience is a true mark of her professionalism and her passion for the work she does. Her confidence is not only in her job, but more importantly in herself. With more confidence comes a stronger journalist.

 Sophie Barnes, who will be an eleventh grade student at Dover Area High School in the fall, is a member of the YDR’s Teen Takeover program.

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Teens spruce up their space at Martin Library

Students at York Suburban High School created banners to brighten up the Teen Forum at Martin Library. (Submitted)

Students at York Suburban High School created banners to brighten up the Teen Forum at Martin Library. (Submitted)

Dawn States, teen services coordinator at Martin Library,  is overjoyed with the newest additions to the library’s Teen Forum: new teen-designed banners to highlight the different genres of books.

States said the Teen Forum previously had small, boring old posters that were falling off the walls. One day, she was wandering around with teen volunteer Jennifer Seabra, rehanging the posters, and talked about how she wanted something different.

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