The mission of the California Coalition for Youth is to empower and improve the lives of California’s youth. In line with this, the California Coalition for Youth created the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) as an opportunity for youth (ages 12-24) to get involved in their local and state communities. With this in mind, this space is meant to provide the YAB as well as other youth or youth supporters a chance to share their opinions on current events, creative content or anything similar and relevant.

We invite everyone including readers to submit content and ideas for this space on a continuous basis.

Who We Are Today

By CCY

I often sit and ponder who we could’ve been.
If our lives had gone just perfect and we had no scars on our skin.
If our fathers were still our heroes.
Our mothers still our definition of a saint.
The number of trials we faced was zero.
We never stared into eyes filled with hate.
We got all A’s and studied hard.
Had no enemies to be seen.
Lived in a house with white picket fence and big front yard.
Reality preferred to our dreams.
Our siblings never became addicts.
Our parents never split.
A therapist never described our story as tragic.
No need to nervously bite our lips.
We never got evicted.
Never lived on the streets.
Our morals never twisted.
We never crumbled to our knees.
Never had to fight.
Or step beyond the law.
Never questioned our choices
Or our will to live at all.
Never felt hopeless.
Never felt depression in our chest.
Never had a relationship broken.
Never failed a really important test.
We never got told no.
We never got shut down.
We were never described by our teachers as “slow”
The tune of our own breathing was never an annoying sound.
Never lied or cheated.
Never hurt someone we loved.
Never got mistreated.
Never told we were bums.
But that’s just not the case.
Fate had different plans.
We have scars we care not to explain.
Memories we can’t stand.
We get stressed out and panic.
We become lost in our thoughts.
We have unhealthy habits.
Our shirts have stains and spots.
However, you could never understand how joyful we truly are.
Because everything listed after “never” could have never turned us falling rocks into shooting stars.
If we didn’t have scars where would we find stories?
If we hadn’t felt those “lows” how could we appreciate the “highs” in all their glory?
Yes we’ve been at rock bottom.
And we have felt true grief.
But we look back and think that’s awesome!
Those experiences molded us into the strong young people you see.
We’re more powerful now than ever and not because of a perfect life.
How could you possibly handle perfect if you never learned to conquer strife?
It’s such an old cliche “keep going, it gets better”
But with all honesty I can proclaim after living a life of storms you truly appreciate the sunny weather.
We have been beaten and broken.
Life has put us in situations where we didn’t have anything good to say.
But if my life was a movie and I was allowed to alter the script before someone pressed play.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
Because I’m not worried about what could’ve been.
I instead focus on who we are today.
By Levi


Categories: Youth Voices



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