Hear My Voice — Stories from our youth
Young voices carry a powerful message
In this week’s special report called “Hear My Voice,” 15 young people from around the Denver metro area share their stories, their passions, their hopes for the future. They range in age from …
Abigayle Post, 18, helped push for a law to lower the voting age in Golden to 16 years of age, as well as help write city legislation to ban conversion therapy, the practice of …
Chloe McNamee, 17, a leader of Children's Hospital Colorado's Youth Advocacy Board, a group of 20 metro-area students who raise awareness and advocate for mental health, struggles with anxiety and …
Cyndy Dominguez, 20, attends Sobesky Academy in Lakewood and is participating in Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Project Search Program, which teaches young people with developmental disabilities …
Ikram Zetraoui, 18, was a freshman in high school when she moved to Denver from Morocco to live with her older sister​. A high school senior, she hopes to study psychology and criminology to become …
Isaiah Alfonso, 16, volunteers with Rainbow Alley, a safe space for young members of the LGBTQ community. After dealing with mental health challenges, he fell behind in school, eventually to the …
Wesley Ferguson, 18, told his family and friends he was gay when he was a high school freshman so that he would no longer be hidden in the shadows. The national moment of silence after the Parkland …
Tay Anderson, 20, is running for the Denver Public Schools board election in 2019 because he wants to improve safety in schools. A student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, he is taking a …
Brisa Bejarano-Gonzalez, 19, is a freshman at University of Colorado-Denver. She received a $10,000 scholarship from Hide in Plain Sight, a nonprofit that helps homeless students pursue higher …
Maria Alsubhi, 19, was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to the United States when she was in eighth grade. Because of her dad’s love of exploring, Alsubhi has traveled to seven countries throughout …
Abigayle Post, 18, and Codey Carr, 15, helped push for a law to lower the voting age in Golden to 16 years of age, as well as help write city legislation to ban conversion therapy, the practice of …
Vanessa Garcia, 23, was 15 years old when she gave birth to her son. She was “scared, disappointed ... in disbelief” when she found out she was pregnant. She relied on Hope House, a nonprofit in …
Mike Andrews, 20, a volunteer coach at The Phoenix, a sober active community in Denver, began using meth and heroin when he was 13 years old, getting high with his mother. He got his GED before …
Elizabeth Osterhoudt, 17, is a member of the Pueblo of Jemez Native American tribe and has family who lives on a New Mexico reservation. Growing up in a predominantly white community, she says she …
Ben Yoshida, 17, uses his Buddhist faith to strive to make the world a better place. Buddhism focuses on reaching a sense of peace and learning the meaning of life by following in the footsteps of …

Thanks and links for Hear My Voice

To the Voices:

Creating “Hear My Voice” with each of you was truly an indescribable experience for me. I was gifted with the opportunity to learn so much from you, and I am grateful to have met such influential people. This project would not have such an impact without each of your generous spirits, wise words, unique experiences and, most importantly, willingness to speak out. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with me.

Thank you, also, to Rainbow Alley, Hope House of Colorado, Children's Hospital Colorado, The Phoenix, Golden Votes 16+ and Hide in Plain Sight for their help with this project.

To hear more from the voices

Tay Anderson — on Twitter and Facebook

Rokaya Abdulameer — on Instagram

Ikram Zetraoui — on Instagram

Elizabeth Osterhoudt — on Instagram

Chloe McNamee — on Instagram

Codey Carr — on Instagram

Abigayle Post — on Instagram

Wesley Ferguson — on Instagram

Isaiah Alfanso — on Instagram

Cyndy Dominguez — on Instagram

Maria Alsubhi — on Snapchat

Mike Andrews — on Instagram

Ben Yoshida — on Instagram and Twitter

And thanks also to Vanessa Garcia and Brisa Bejanero-Gonzalez for letting me share part of their story.

Hear my voice — about the reporter

Taylore Todd, 17, is a senior at Castle View High School in Castle Rock, where she is copy editor of the yearbook. She has been involved in the school’s journalism program for four years and has spent the past nine weeks interning at Colorado Community Media.

Todd was inspired to do this project by Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York.” She has always loved learning about people and their experiences and is passionate about advocating for social equality for people of all backgrounds. She used both interests to create the idea for “Hear My Voice.”

To report and write the stories for this project, she interviewed youths from Castle Rock to Arvada to Denver and other metro-area municipalities to find out how they see their place in today’s world.

“I haven’t been through a lot of the experiences they have been through,” Todd said of the young people she interviewed. “It made me aware of what more I can do. This world is going to be ours someday — it might as well start listening to us now.”

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