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Reality Parties for Parents: A Parent’s Perspective Apr 15, 2024

By Sandy, a local parent and CSUCI student.

I admit it, I avoided this “Reality Party” idea when my three kids were in high school. My role this past week was to play the cool mom, letting the kids drink and have fun. This wasn’t a stretch for me. Even my kids made a joke about me playing this role. The horrible things that could have happened at my house while kids were...

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Hidden Dangers of Turning Away Mar 27, 2024

Essay and artwork by a BRITE youth spokesperson.

I have never been pressured to vape before.     

I am lucky enough to say that I was raised in a household where my mom was always making sure I was safe and happy. However, I know this isn’t the case for many others.  

Vaping has always been a prevalent problem at my school and community. So often I would...

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Help for the Chained Hands, Minds, and Hearts Mar 15, 2024

Written by Lucy M age 17

People mess up. They do stupid things. Trauma does that to people. Mental illnesses do that to people. What if you did something, no matter how messed up it is, and were called a monster for it? What if you were stripped of your right to being a human? What if you were treated like an animal? All because of one thing or multiple things that you did because you have...

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Alcoholism: From the Perspective of the Alcoholic, Interview 3 Mar 14, 2024

Written by Kidra Avery, a CSUCI Service-Learning student.

“There is risk, it’s serious, you will lose friends. People will die, but you’re not alone and if a time comes that you need help, there are people there for you.”

Rachel is a long-time friend of mine. She and I were in the same dance class as adolescents, and then attended and graduated from the same high school...

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Social Media’s Influence on Teen Marijuana Use Feb 27, 2024

This post was written by a CSUCI student.

Today it is almost impossible to avoid social media no matter where you are. We are completely inundated with technology and social media platforms, and we have to wonder what the effects of that are for kids and teenagers, as well as adults. Teenagers are the primary concern when discussing what social media usage does to the brain. Most if not all...

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Black History Feb 09, 2024

Written by Joel Brown, a Ventura County high school student, featuring artwork by Ellawyn Wood.

Every time they're reminded, so am I

But it’s wrong to remind them that I’m Black

I must feel something for the tragedies

I must cry for the rivers of blood that have been spilled

They remind us every year that there is a dream

That we have overcome

That change is happening

That the dream...

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Alcoholism: From the Perspective of the Alcoholic, Interview 2 Feb 06, 2024

By Kidra Avery, CSUCI Service Learning student.

This interview was conducted in person at the participant’s home. I received verbal consent from Andrew, the interviewee. Andrew is 27 years old and works as a barista at a local coffee shop. He and I met in high school and played on the men’s and women’s water polo teams both at our high school and local junior college. It was a...

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Alcoholism: From the Perspective of the Alcoholic, Interview 1 Jan 18, 2024

By Kidra Avery, a CSUCI Service Learning student.

This interview was conducted on Zoom on Tuesday September 29th, 2020. Jonathan and I have known each other since he got out of rehab the second time, and have remained friends since. Our interview was very casual, much like two friends speaking openly, with the awkward recognition that we were being recorded. This is his story.

What if you woke...

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Adri's Mind Jan 16, 2024

Written by Adriana Campos, a CSUCI student.

I hope you’re well wherever you are in this world that we live in together, for some of your life can be light and you may have never doubted anything for a second, but for some of you it could be a place of overwhelming darkness. There is a thin line between the two when you experience both, and that’s me. I had never...

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What Are We Thinking? Jan 12, 2024

By Kai Yi Wang, a BRITE youth spokesperson.

“I’m gonna hang out with a few friends this Friday and smoke a little weed.”

I ignored him, working on my global paper in front of me, mumbling to myself about what I would write. I never really paid much attention to comments like these because jokes about drugs and sex were rampant at school. Despite only being in the 8th grade, it...

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Wealthy Jan 10, 2024

Written by Xienna Yepez, a CSUCI Service Learning student in Fall of 2020.

I’m a wealthy girl 

Living in a spoiled world 

Who’d pay anything

To wear your promise ring.

I miss your ribboned gifts

Sealed with a special kiss

And it’s funny, because all the money

Couldn’t buy it in a store. 

I bought a diamond pool 

To collect the tears you stole,


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Daughter of the River Jan 10, 2024

Written by Xienna Yepez, a CSUCI Service Learning student in Fall of 2020.

Confined to the elements,

I yield to nature, 

Accepting my gifts

And thankful for the power

That lives in me.

I am a daughter of the river

With water flowing

Through my veins.

It breathes life into me 

And washes over me like a wave 

I swim against the current 

And battle the tide   


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 The BRITE program does not promote any unlawful use of drugs or alcohol.