Atlanta Teen Voices / all

Teens at GTI Share Their Voices at Teen Institute

by share

Teens’ voices shared in partnership with Georgia Teen Institute, organized by GUIDE (edited by VOX for grammar and spelling).

What is something today’s teens have expertise to talk about in our communities?  What would you say if you had the microphone and the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions about today’s teen generation?

Today’s teen generation is good and bad. Adults [consider us to be] the worst generation, but they don’t understand the struggles, pain, and peer pressure we face everyday at home, school, and [on] social media.

Sydney Lockett, 13


I feel like our generation is great but needs help. Because teens feel like they are always being attacked. At school, I feel attacked about [the] dress code. Because I sometimes get in trouble for wearing something when there are a couple more people that have the same piece of clothing on.

Yasmine King, 14


I think our generation is a great group kids! We are often misunderstood – and sometimes even misguided. But I think we can and will have a bright future!

Indiana Flynt, 17


I believe that so many teens are misunderstood.

Jada Archibald, 13


We as teens always complain about not being heard and that we are often stereotyped. Yet when given a chance to speak up, we often keep quiet. When we are given chances to prove adults wrong, we do not take [the] opportunity. If we ever want to be heard, we must speak out. If we ever want our image to change, we have to change the picture and change our ways. If we ever want to be called great, we must show our greatness.

Megan Archibald, 15


Our generation is like leaves. We are all connected and stand in the same spot and place in society. We all sit on one bold branch attached to this tree, ready [to] branch out. It’s always important to keep it real and be your true self, and by sharing your thoughts and being a leader, you’re one step closer to making a breakthrough and accomplishments in society.

Matalyn Santini, 18


Dear adults,

I believe that youth should be given the chance to be independent. Dependency will never teach them to think on their own. They will never be able to stand alone. They will never learn [to] do things on their own and will rely on others for their benefit. A lack of independence creates a lack of wisdom. When you have wisdom things will be easy for you. They say that knowledge is power, however what people fail to realize is that independence and self-desire is what roots wisdom. All in all, I believe that youth should be give the freedom of independence as it will help better them internally in all aspects.


Mutasem Shopon


I think teens would be experts in talking about being misunderstood by parents and other adults. I know that I feel as if sometimes my parents misunderstand me, especially if I make a mistake. They act as if when they were teenagers, they didn’t make mistakes. I know they try to get us to learn from their mistakes, and they hold high expectations for us to shape us to be wonderful people, but sometimes I feel like they need to let us talk and explain all the details of the mistake and let us work it out and talk about it. I know if I make a mistake that I shouldn’t have done my mom gets angry and yells at me and makes me mad so I feel like if both the parent and teen use self-control and talk through mistakes, it will help the teen not feel misunderstood and the parent feel better about trusting the teen, and it will keep teen relationships with their parents health[y].

Jessica Thornhill, 13


I believe that today’s teens are just a glimpse of a bright future. When we’re young, we’re brought up the way that the adults in our lives believe is the best way. Sometimes, those ways aren’t the ways we’d want to go if we were given the choice. Many teens were brought up to believe hateful and close-minded things, but we have the power to believe what we think is right. We have the power to break the chains of hate and close-mindedness. Today’s teens are experiencing and witnessing a transition. Slowly, more people are becoming more true to themselves and expressing themselves regardless of what others would think. Teens today are accepting and determined to make a change.

Zion Martell, 15


In today’s society, adults assume teens are immature, irresponsible children who behave compulsively. However, as we grow older and reach our high school age, adults expect teenagers to fulfill so many more responsibilities. Yet while teens do indeed fulfill their responsibilities, adults still fail to give them what teens want most:  respected. As teenagers, we form our own opinions, and we want to voice our opinions. However, when teens go to adults with their thoughts and opinions, they are brushed aside and put beneath the thoughts of elders. And while elders do deserve the respect of teens, the younger generations thoughts and ideas are more up to date, meaning our way of thinking may not have as much wisdom, but it knows the current society. I believe that if adults expect us to have responsibilities and to respect them, they in turn should respect our more innovative way of thinking.

Chandler Wooten, 15


They teach us not to judge others, right?

So if I dye my hair, wear dreads or get a tattoo

why do I lose respect.

The color or style of my hair, the amount of piercings

I have or how I express myself does not dictate

who I am.

Why can’t a teenager want to be a doctor but

can’t I have purple hair/

Why can’t a mother be fitting because she has


Why can’t a young woman get a job because she

has braids?

When did someone’s self-expression become the

unspoken sign of incapability?

Who decided teenagers have to dress like they’re

at their own funeral to get a scholarship?

When will I be respected for being who I want to be?

When will judgement be absent from the road to my future.

Peyton Wilson, 14


I think today’s teens have the attitude that they are entitled to the same thing their parents/grandparents have. They want to be given anything they want without working for it. I was raised [with the belief] that you have to work for everything you need or want. Today’s teens don’t see that; they think they should be handed everything and not have to work for it. This causes them (myself included) to not take care of stuff the same way we do when we pay for it. For example, people are given phones all the time and break them all the time;  I have always bought my own phone and have never broken one. As well, I think everybody’s first car should be an old, beaten-up car they paid for, because when they finally get something new/nice, they appreciate it more.

Collin Johnson, 16

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *