What you need to know about the protests in Ferguson

The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed when shot and killed by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, has sparked national outcry and protests by people who believe Brown, an African-American, was killed from alleged racial discrimination

These protests began shortly after Aug. 9, when Officer Darren Wilson, driving his squad car, asked Brown, and his friend, to stop walking. During the confrontation, reports say Brown ran at the officer at which point Wilson, according to pending investigation, shot him six times.

Brown’s case is not the first death to occur out of alleged prejudice in the past few years. Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager who was shot by George Zimmerman in 2012, also caused a media debate that racial bigotry was still strongly evident in the United States.

Through a trial, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter which caused even stronger controversy over inequality. With Brown’s case proceeding before a grand jury, people are taking to the streets demanding that this time justice be served.

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Madison White

Hello blog readers! My name is Madison White, and I am a junior at William Penn Senior High School. I am one of the new Teen Takeover blog writers too! It feels awesome to be able to type that!

Anyway, my interest in journalism stems from my love for writing. I am always carrying a notebook with me, just so I can jot down story ideas. In school, I am one of the best writers in my class. My writing pieces are well thought out and properly detailed. Although most of the time I only write for my own pleasure, I am ecstatic that I will be able to share my work with you! I will write about daily life through the teenagers point of view. From balancing work and school, to the reaction of a Fangirl who just saw the “love of her life” in concert, I will write about it all.

My hobbies consist of reading, listening to music, art, and school. Reading lets me escape daily life, and travel to different worlds. Music and art provide the same escape. My taste in music is extremely varied, meaning I don’t have a favorite genre, but my all-time favorite band is 5 Seconds Of Summer. School is a hobby, because I absolutely love it! I am a participant in student council, and yearbook. I plan on continuing my education by hopefully going to college in New York. I would double-major in English and History. My dream job is to become a book publisher.

So, that’s me. I am super stoked to have this opportunity with Teen Takeover! This is going to one of the best experiences of my life! Let’s get this party started!

P.S. I am leaving you will my favorite inspirational quote,

“Shoot for the moon, because even if you fall, you will land among the stars.” -Les Brown



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Seven fun things to do and see in Washington, D.C.


The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument

This summer was my first trip to Washington D.C. for the United States Junior National AAU basketball championships. The tournament was held at the Washington D.C Convention Center. There were more than 200 teams playing on 30 courts. Basketball players were present from around the country.

Over the course of four days, teams played an average of six games. there were college scouts from schools including University of North Carolina, Duke University and the University of Notre Dame. Professional athlete Skylar Diggins, who plays for the Tulsa Shock in the WMBA, even made a surprise appearance.

With the tournament being held in the middle of the city, there were plenty of things to do and see.

Yes, I was indeed a tourist.

There is a bit of something for everyone to like in Washington D.C.. Here is a list of my top 7 favorite things to do in D.C.: Continue reading “Seven fun things to do and see in Washington, D.C.” »

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Well to start, I’d like to tell you something’s about myself. I recently turned 16, I attend Central York High School and my name is Spencer Blake. One of my favorite topics to write about is sports. This is most likely due to my active personality. Watching ESPN almost everyday showed me the opportunities that are out there. Sports are my passion and always will be. When you get to know me better you will discover another passion I have. It is more discrete and is something I have gotten into in the past year. My newly formed passion is shoes, I have started collecting shoes ranging from Nike to an less popular brand, Li Ning. I hope that through this group we will all get to know each other better.

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Meet The Staff: Autumn Wilhide

Hello everyone! My name is Autumn Wilhide and I’m currently a junior at Northeastern High School. I am also a new member to the Teen Takeover staff and very thrilled to be able to say that!

I’ve had an affinity for reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I am a member of my school’s book club along with our art and literary magazine committee and was also in newspaper club during middle school. No matter what I write, whether it be a fictional story, a diary entry, an article for a newspaper or even just an essay for chemistry class, I somehow also find myself devoted wholeheartedly to the words and ideas that flow from my fingertips. Writing comes like second nature to me and I find it is easier to express my thoughts through my writing rather than through articulated words.

Apart from writing, I do have other hobbies. I play for my school’s field hockey team and run hurdles during the spring season of track and field. I am also involved in quiz bowl, student government, Envirothon, and National Spanish Honor Society. Out of school, I do somehow find time to waste by watching shows and movies on Netflix. A few of my guilty pleasures include completing crossword puzzles and watching Jeopardy! every night. The latter might actually qualify as an addiction; I have an alarm set on my phone for three minutes before the broadcasting time so I won’t miss a second.

As a writer for Teen Takeover, I want to construct articles relevant to today’s teens and the issues they face. Whether it be school lunches or after-school jobs,  I believe that having a voice in society is very important to any teenager and through my writing I hope to express not only mine, but all teenagers’ voices.

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Summer Travels: Poetry in San Fran

This summer is the summer I will forever remember as the summer I discovered that “Frisco” was not, in fact, a nickname for San Francisco, but an actual city in California. Color me shocked (what color is shocked? a vibrant pink?).  I learned this because, last week, I visited California (and the West Coast) for the Second Ever Time in my life.

Technically, I was there for a wedding in Santa Rosa. But this is a very technical assessment at best, because I only spent about five hours actually wedding-ing, and I stayed in NorCal for five days. Only two of those days were spent in San Francisco, and while I could go on (and on and on and on) about the beauty of the vineyards and Pacific coast beaches (positively frigid!), the city is what I want to talk about.

The city is a big place, and it was hugely different from what I recalled about it from my

One of murals I saw in the Mission District.

One of murals I saw in the Mission District.

few hours spent there in May 2013 (the First Ever Time). This time, we stayed in the Mission District in an Airbnb apartment. Let me tell you: the Mission (named after Spanish missionaries who took residence there during colonization) is a darned funky place. There are bakeries (Tartine, the most amazing of bakeries!) and vintage shops tucked into tiny corners, and just the murals make it worth a visit.

As soon as we arrived at out lavender-with-indigo-accents-painted apartment, I felt an excited twitching in my stomach. I was already in Maddie-the-tourist-who-gets-thrills-from-just-looking-at-buildings mode, and my main goal for the entire vacation was a day away.

Setting goals for a vacation is not usually a great plan, because sometimes things just don’t work out, and then you get so terminally disappointed that you can hardly enjoy anything else (does this happen to everyone, or is it just me?). Fortunately, that didn’t happen this time– I was going to visit City Lights Books, and my family (including my sister, who tends to feel harassed after just a few hours in a city) could not have stopped me if they tried.

To give some background information here: I am a poet. I like poetry a lot, and I really, really like the Beat poets, especially Allen Ginsberg. City Lights, as it happens, started out as a Beat bookstore, and published Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl and Other Poems”, which lead to an important obscenity trial that helped open up the publishing industry. Yes, I was more than a little excited.

And the best thing? When I arrived at City Lights for a reading following a meal of the

The bookstore itself, complete with a mural on one sight and a gigantic sign.

The bookstore itself, complete with a mural on one sight and a gigantic sign.

most delicious Chinese food I have eaten in several years (see: House of Nanking), it was everything I thought it could be. There was a jazz musician playing in the street outside, and every surface of the store was covered in books (three whole floors of books!). There were students discussing the writing of Charles Bukowski in the cramped aisles between bookshelves, and silent, tall young men browsing the selection of Hemingway.

There was a reading that evening by authors Lucy Corin and Adam Wilson, and though I won’t bore you with details, I will say: it was great. They were funny, enthusiastic, and thoughtful. I went home (very late) that evening completely satisfied, with that feeling like when you’ve eaten just the right amount of food.

What I learned from the West Coast is not how to hang loose, duuuude, nor how to plan better vacations (I blame my dad for the general disorganization). It taught me how to be content with what you get– I got to visit City Lights, and it was amazing, and I won’t be able to do that again probably for quite a long time. The next day was my mother’s, my sister’s, and my father’s, but not mine– for one of the first times ever, I stopped obsessing. For the first time ever, I was completely satisfied with my vacation before it even ended.

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Reflection of my freshman year of high school

I never realized the struggle that school could be until the first day of freshman year.

I walked into the ominous double doors for the first time and was immediately hit with the scent of the first day of school. It was a mix of anxiety, anticipation and a lot of sweat.

My first task of the day was to get to homeroom. Apparently, it was just a short walk from the front door, but I did not figure that out until I circled around the entire school. To me, the hallways were a maze. The map that I was given would have helped, if I did not need a microscope to read it.

When I finally managed to get to class, I realized that the hallways were the least of my problems. The teachers are foreign to me and extremely different from the friendly elementary school teachers. I never thought that teachers would be cruel enough to assign homework on the first day of school.

After my first round of classes, I finally got a reprieve — lunch. I easily found the cafeteria only to discover that none of my friends had the same lunch shift as I did. So, I was left wandering aimlessly in the cafeteria until I stumbled upon a group of fellow freshman.

By this time, I was praying that the day would be over soon and the rest of the year would just pass in a blur. Continue reading “Reflection of my freshman year of high school” »

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Top ten classic summer songs

Rock, New Age, Reggae, and Hip Hop are all words used in the universal language of music. However, there’s a certain time of year when a new category comes out to play. Encouraged by the rising of the thermostat, summer songs begin to reappear after their year of hibernation and make their way back onto the radio. After all, catchy tunes have a hard time of accepting obscurity. And summer songs always find the perfect melody to play right back into people’s hearts. However, for a song to be considered a classic, it must be among the best of its kind. For this list, the following ten tunes were selected based on their popularity with the public and their ability to capture the themes associated with summer.

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Mazematician amazes vacationers in North Carolina



Sand maze created by Aaron Gutknecht at Sunset Beach, North Carolina

While on vacation in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, a beach goer might stumble upon the artwork of mazematician Aaron Gutknecht. Gutknecht, originally from Arnold, near New Kensington, Pennsylvania, creates his own original sand mazes by using just a trusty shovel and his imagination.

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Searching for the right college isn’t as easy as ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’


Boy is that a loaded word.

To high school freshmen, it signifies the freedom from your parents and being treated like a kid that lays just out-of-reach. To parents, it’s the moment your baby girl or boy becomes an adult who you can only hope will make the right decisions as he or she enters the real world. And to high school seniors, college is the gateway to a new life imbued with independence, responsibility and hardships much unlike anything we may have experienced before.

However, before college, comes a great search, a search for our place, our home, for the next however many years following high school. Continue reading “Searching for the right college isn’t as easy as ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’” »

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