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COMMITMENTS : THE WORD ON THE STREET : What Troubles Our Teens? : Lack of school spirit, segregation and uncertain futures are a few of the worries high school students expressed when Times staff writer Michael Quintanilla asked them to share their greatest fears and concerns.

May 02, 1994|Michael Quintanilla | Times staff writer

Carmelia Mejia, 18, senior at Verdugo Hills High School

I'm really concerned and nervous about my future because it seems like it's really hard for people to get along. People are really ignorant. There's racism, prejudice and cultural ignorance.

Why do we have to categorize people as Latino, white, black? I get upset when people put up this wall around me just because of my race or gender. Just accept me for who I am.

I don't think our world will be a perfect world, that's not our reality. But I definitely think more of us need to fight the negative things out there and try to bring out some positive in society.

Gilbert Samora, 17, junior at San Fernando High School

Something that really bothers me is the bad reputation that my school has. People accuse our school of having taggers and guys who carry guns. Every school has that, but our school gets a worse reputation than others because people pay attention to what goes on outside the school rather than what goes on inside.

For me, going to San Fernando High has been about getting an education and getting involved with my education by taking pride in my school. There are a lot of students willing to put time and effort into improving our school, but you never hear about that.

Tracy Ferrier, 18, senior at Crenshaw High School

I feel that my generation is very materialistic with clothing, cars, money.

They're not into education. They've forgotten about their past.

Our ancestors were more focused. People of our generation don't respect our history and ancestry. If they did, then there would be less problems like gang violence, racial violence, teen-age pregnancy and crime.

We should be progressing, not regressing. My history teacher always tells us: "Each one teach one. If you learn something pass it onto someone else."

That's what I'm trying to do.

David Mancia, 17, senior at Belmont High School

I'm scared for the talented kids at my high school who will give up and not make something important of their lives. A lot of students I know are way more talented than they give themselves credit for.

But financially, it's difficult for the majority of the students at Belmont to go on to college.

Music is the one true love that I have right now. When I'm down and depressed and I don't have anyone to talk to, I'll play my horn instead of resolving my anger through violence.

My advice to kids is to find something you really love whether it's basketball or drawing or surfing.

Jennifer Amy Ranletti, 18, senior, Hollywood High School

What gets me angry is that only a few of us students are really out there helping our school. There are always a lot of people saying, "This is wrong, this is wrong." And those people never do anything to make it right.

I belong to a group of students who do get out there and do something about the things in our community that are wrong.

When I graduate, I'm not cutting my ties to my school like a lot of people in the community have done. I'll be coming back to my high school and help teach students in vocal production classes and I'll continue to help the cheerleading squad.

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