Teen Voices: Summer Struggles of Social Media PLUS Introducing Isabella

Introducing Isabella

Isabella Dussias is a composer of classical and contemporary music. She writes, produces and sings her own original songs, which often reflect on issues that are important to today’s youth. She performed her first original piano solo at Kids Helping Kids with Cancer at age 11, and she has performed original classical piano works at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and in Vienna, Austria. Her original orchestral works have been performed locally, as well as by the Orlando Symphony Orchestra in the Walt Disney Theatre. Dussias also enjoys scoring music for film. She has been a finalist in the Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Competition for the last three years, as well as been involved in local contemporary music competitions. She is most passionate about writing music with messages that reflect the issues of today’s society. Look for her music on Apple Music, Spotify and at IsabellaDussias.com. Continue reading

Teen Voices: Being Present as the Future Unfolds

by Hannah Adamson

Spring has finally arrived and so has Decision Day and AP exam season. Needless to say, May is a big month for many teens, especially seniors.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Advanced Placement (AP) courses are high school classes that are taught at a college level. In May, these courses have standardized exams that determine if students can get college credit. Many students spend countless hours studying for these exams and can find them overwhelming. Continue reading

TEEN VOICES: With Uncertainty Comes Opportunities

by Hannah Adamson

The teenage years seem to be a loosely defined bridge between childhood and adulthood. It is a time when adolescents start to gain new independence and responsibilities. That said, it can be overwhelming to grow into these new roles and prepare for the future.

While it may not be intentional, I feel that society places pressure on teens to know what they want to do with their lives and have a plan on how to accomplish it. High schools’ focus on the future—rigorous academic schedules, career aptitude tests, standardized tests—is intended to help teens pursue their goals. As a young teen, however, I found it overwhelming to think about what I wanted to do with my life. It was exciting in all its possibility, but also intimidating to think I had to have it all figured out. Continue reading

Teen Voices: Building a Bridge to Middle School Confidence

by Hannah Adamson

Moving to middle school was quite a change—a bigger school, new classmates, more freedom. It was exciting, but also overwhelming. At elementary school I had found my groove; I had found a great group of friends and participated in many group activities. Sixth grade began and none of my close friends were in my classes. Everything, and everyone, was new. I did become friends with people I met and joined new school activities, but something just wasn’t right. I started to worry more about my appearance, who the “cool kids” were, why the crowded cafeteria felt lonely and if the girls laughing behind me were laughing at me or at something completely unrelated. I began to question if people really liked me, if I was accepted, if I was happy. I had all of these worries in my head, but, for the most part, always had a smile on my face. I did not want anyone to know that I was lonely and insecure; everyone else seemed to be doing just fine.  Continue reading

Teen Voices: Be Heard. Make a Difference.

As young adults and teens, we need to start taking action on issues where we want to see something changed. We can’t just look at these issues and say someone else will do it. We were given a voice so now as teens need to use it, especially on issues that affect us more than they affect adults such as school shootings. We have to stop school shootings nationwide because we are the ones sitting in the classrooms not knowing if we are safe. We are the ones that go to school every day to get a good education. We don’t go to school to worry about whether or not we will come home that day or see our parents again. We are the ones in the classrooms, so we need to be the ones to make the change.  Continue reading