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Arianna Balderrama

Hello. I’m Arianna and I’m 168 months of age.

Before my birth and the amazing opportunity for the world to be blessed with my presence, my parents made their way to the US from Mexico. As the daughter of Hispanic parents, I realized at a young age that many families like mine got no respect from those who believe every Hispanic is taking their jobs, or are only here to expand a drug cartel.

I’m sure a lot of Hispanics worry about being stripped away from all they have worked for when, in fact, the main reason for an unsettling shift is for the benefit of kids like me. People simply want the best for their children, therefore making a journey to a land that promises hope is just another outcome rooted in care and love.

Growing up Hispanic meant living in so much fear and caution. Fear remained throughout my years of getting older, and I wanted to make a change somehow so we wouldn’t have to be afraid anymore. How I chose to reach my small goal was to exceed all expectations of me. I managed to get good grades, tried not to be such a big hassle, and held myself accountable to my responsibilites and more.

With that idea in mind, I was classified as mature and considerate of others.

Not to brag, but I was a blessing as a child.

I am the youngest of three daughters making up a family of five. My father was the only one who worked and sustained all of us under his roof. It was always heartbreaking, but liberating at the same time, to watch someone work so hard for his family. Looking back, the talks on finishing school and acquiring a fulfilling career just fueled the fire of will to continue trying.

My family has always been different.

I’ve never seen a sitcom made that contrasted similarities, therefore I thought we were all just too good to be on the television. Instead we lived our days in our own motion picture. My personal movie would be a chick-flick, if you couldn’t tell.

From a young age I have always been distant from people. I never liked interaction with others, so I found my time being spent working on random writings and reading however many books I could. My love for all things literature never faded and it continues to reign.

I get told the way I think is fascinating, so my views on the arsenal of problems came from reading articles online. I had ammunition to fire at those who only saw the surface of the situation, and not evaluating both sides seemed utterly wrong to me. Then, like an angel, I was presented with the sudden love for journalism.

I want to pursue a career in journalism as a way to help those who choose to be informed properly, rather than looking at one biased scripture.

Currently, I am surviving high school.

As I said before, I have been told that my maturity is not meant for someone my age, therefore spending hours on end with kids who think as they should, or worse, by the views of society, is a battle I am proud to say I am overcoming. I am doing so calmly, for the most part.

Being an intern at OUT FRONT is one of the best opportunities I’ve had. Everyone at the office has proven to be an all-around good person. Listening to their opinions and watching them stand on desks to prove a point is an overwhelming experience. They hold their ground …

Passionate conversations are not the only experience I have witnessed. I’ve been granted the opportunity to learn about transcribing, interviewing, writing an article, as well as the many names of sushi. In fact, I was published recently.

When I get older, I would like to still be interning, or working, at OUT FRONT, for my gratitude for them is endless. I want to be able to tell the truth about whatever I am covering and make people fear me. In the end, I am hoping for my chick-flick film to close off with an ending never to forget.

Jeremiah Ntepp

My name is Jeremiah and I’m 17 years old.

I grew up in the inner city of Denver, and I love to write and love to read. When I am not drowning in ocean of homework, I am at the urban farm where I work. This is a place where I get to ride horses, work with children, and even wrestle pigs if I am feeling frisky! Every day, I walk down the hallways of East High School and I always think about how life is much more interesting in my head. Sitting at a desk every day is something everyone must do to get through school, but when I am crunching numbers or pushing pencils through essays I know that five minutes in, I will get bored again!           

I love to write fantasy short stories where medieval nobles wander through forgotten forests, or ashes rise from a witch’s cauldron, but in school I am often pushed to write about quadratic formulas or rhetoric devices.

You know — things that will help me in the real world.

In school I am most likely seen as an unleashed poet, the bringer of truth, the whisper that breaks the silence. Hopefully these titles overshadow last year’s title of “weird black kid who never stops reading teen fiction!” While I may give off a very sophistically withdrawn impression, I am actually quite energetic, spunky, but mostly I am a walking contradiction.

From going to gangster-rap concerts at night and accepting academic awards from the mayor in the morning, I do not have plan; I just do my own thing, and hope it all works out. I ride and train ponies in my Jordans, and when my friends are shooting hoops, I am reading Gabriel Marquez or Toni Morrison.

I love OUT FRONT. It is dangerously daring and also full of uncomfortable truth. Sprinkle some great political commentary and we have an amazing magazine. The writers at OUT FRONT are inspiring inside and outside their resplendent entries. I am so glad that I have been given the opportunity to be a part and even contribute to the growth and journey of OUT FRONT. I hope that I can bring some of my ideas or perspective to the magazine.

I am hoping to provide some of my insight; I know the experience of growing up in a low-income neighborhood. I am aware that when you are young, bored, and hungry, you are inevitably going to go looking for trouble. Not only will you get into trouble, but you will have a hard time being focused and staying motivated in class. This needs to be addressed; there is no denying the parallels between kids who perform below standard, and kids who are impacted by socioeconomic influences. Kids who go to school starving are not going to perform to full potential in school, along with kids who are bullied due to sexual orientation, and kids who do not have role models in their households.                   

Hopefully I can provide ways to help and raise awareness to what transpires in the young communities I immerse myself in. I look forward to being part of a great team. I hope I can gain a lot of insight and perspective as I give mine.

OUT FRONT is going to change forever because the black sheep has entered the arena. The freak off the leash has finally gained the pen; righteousness shall ring out of every interview and article. The truth will beam down as the dark sky splits. In conclusion, thank you much for this opportunity.