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During the past four years, Teen Pulse has given many students a rare opportunity to get a real taste of journalism.
By learning how to write hard news stories, make deadlines, conduct interviews and give their opinions in a local newspaper, students have entertained readers throughout the community by giving them a teenager’s point of view on many subjects.
Teen Pulse is taking a break for the summer and will continue at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, but only if the team has an adult supervisor.
If you are an adult who has journalism experience and is interested in leading the team, contact Los Alamos Monitor Publisher Ben Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To show your support for Teen Pulse, you can also vote in the “Would you like to see Teen Pulse continue?” poll at lamonitor.com.
If you are a high school or middle school student interested in joining the team, email the incoming teenager supervisor, Tom Hanlon, at email@example.com.
For this school year’s last issue of Teen Pulse, the staff writers on the team took time to reflect on what writing for the page has done for them.
Alexandra Hehlen, incoming college freshman
I have written for Teen Pulse since my freshman year of high school, when I began my fashion column. When I look back at my first stories, or even at pieces I wrote a year ago, I can see a marked improvement in my writing skills.
Being hired in December of 2013 as a student intern for The Los Alamos Monitor and as the teenage supervisor for Teen Pulse took my involvement in the team to the next level.
Not only did I continue writing my fashion column; I also began editing my fellow teammates’ stories, organizing our weekly meetings, teaching journalism rules at those meetings and writing more hard news stories.
Being the teenage supervisor of the team was an extremely enriching experience for me, especially since I will spend the next four years of college studying journalism. Writing for this page has taught me so much, from making deadlines to writing in accordance with AP Style to being an eloquent leader.
Teen Pulse has given me the opportunity to make a positive impact on the community, build my skills as a writer and make lifelong friends.
I hope to see the page continue to flourish, and I will always be a strong supporter of its extremely talented staff. Thank you to the Teen Pulse members, The Los Alamos Monitor staff and the community for your support.
Tom Hanlon, incoming senior
I joined Teen Pulse before the page was even called Teen Pulse. In September 2011, the Los Alamos Monitor published a notice in the paper about a possible volunteer teen page starting the next year and I jumped at the opportunity.
Under the guidance of former graphics editor Jennifer Garcia, the new staff of Teen Pulse immediately got to work and started cranking out pages every Sunday. After writing for the page for four years, Teen Pulse has really become part of my life.
I have gained many skills through writing for the teen page, but the most noticeable of these are my communication and writing skills. Although interviewing complete strangers was a big challenge for me when I first started, the process has become much easier with experience. By interviewing professionals and students, my confidence has increased because of the effective communication skills necessary for the job.
Although I have taken writing classes in high school, nothing has improved my writing skills more than being a member of Teen Pulse.
This is because when I write things for Teen Pulse, I enjoy doing the research and writing a story that will be published instead of graded like a school essay. While I wasn’t considering a career in journalism when I first joined Teen Pulse, writing for the page has opened my eyes up to journalism as a possible career.
I hope other students can have the same opportunity to write for this page that I did. I would also like to thank Alexandra Hehlen for being such an amazing teen editor and friend to all of us.
Ben Hanlon, incoming sophomore
I’ve been in Teen Pulse ever since I was old enough to join, in seventh grade. Writing for Teen Pulse has not only improved my writing skills, but also my sense of responsibility. Teen Pulse isn’t just a volunteer job; it is a big part of my life in Los Alamos.
Being on the team has given me many opportunities such as writing reviews of newly released movies, writing hard news articles and interviewing teens for the “Word on the Street” section.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a part of the Teen Pulse staff is the weekly meetings, at which we have developed a fun camaraderie. I encourage teens to become a part of this great experience, which will benefit them tremendously.
Owen Bradbury Aranda, incoming college freshman
For me, Teen Pulse was never something I did because I wanted to gain experience in journalism or learn how to improve my writing; I joined the team because it was something fun that I could do with my free time. Although these were my initial intentions, Teen Pulse became so much more. The team became like a family for me: a great group of friends who gave me fun, love and support every Friday afternoon.
Writing for the page has been an important part of my life since I started sophomore year. Some of my fondest high school memories were created in Teen Pulse, and I will be missing the team’s company as I continue my journey to college.
Joining the team not only helped me improve my writing ability, but also helped me to prepare for my future and understand the subtleties of published writing. I feel Teen Pulse is special, and it should continue to be so. The page has been informing the community on local news with a teen perspective for the past three years.
Although I have not been with the page from the start, I certainly do not want to see it go. Teen Pulse is so much more than a single page lost in the Monitor, it is a place for teens to speak out and express their opinions. It is unique, gives a voice to the youth of Los Alamos, and helps the community grow stronger.
Wilbur Wang, incoming sophomore
For me, from the beginning, joining Teen Pulse was about sharing art and serving the community instead of just adding a new activity to my schedule.
It was exciting to see my art printed onto a page, thought-out and well-planned instead of staring at pages and pages of pencil lines and smeared, wet ink in an old sketchbook.
When I started out, I did not plan to invest time experiencing and learning journalistic writing, styles and rules. In fact, I only planned to draw, but the activities that we completed together as a team at our weekly meetings taught me a lot about grammar and writing. I was able to extend these lessons to the educational, wonderful and heart-pounding experience that we call high school.
Because of my positive experience this year, I hope to increase my involvement in this team and to participate in other aspects of the page.
I also hope to see Teen Pulse continue giving a voice to the teenagers at Los Alamos High School.
The past 121 days on Teen Pulse have given me the opportunity to analyze and to view Los Alamos from a different perspective.
I have not only been exposed to the thrill of knowing that my words are being printed and that my opinions are being read, but also to a sense of community responsibility, realizing that the words I write represent not only myself, but also Los Alamos’ teen population.
Yet to me, Teen Pulse wasn’t just about journalism or getting the job done. Teen Pulse was about having fun, enjoying time spent with charismatic individuals, all of whom shared interest in words and communication.
My memories may not be as abundant as those of my fellow members, but I can say with certainty that I have benefited from being a part of Teen Pulse, gaining writing experience and creating ties and memorable moments with new people.