The –ISM Youth Files – Meet The Writers

Meet some of our new youth writers for The –Ism Youth Files

We had many incredible pieces from our rounds of submissions for The -Ism Youth Files. While we continue contracting and meeting with our winners, we are excited to announce three of these exciting writers!

  • Jenell Theobald
    Creator of the essay “The Many Who Don’t Fit In” Jenell Theobald is an incoming sophomore at the International School of Beaverton. Like many Americans, she inherited many different cultural backgrounds. She was also born with developmental and physical disabilities, including high-functioning autism. This led to her being bullied a lot when she was young, and… Read more: Jenell Theobald
  • Keona Burch (Rose Zhang)
    Creator of the poems “A Wish for Rain” and “Fault” Keona Burch (Rose Zhang) is from Portland, Oregon, but currently studying at Northfield Mount Hermon, a boarding high school in Massachusetts. She enjoys creative writing but only began writing poetry this past year. Since she has not had her work published before, she is so excited… Read more: Keona Burch (Rose Zhang)
  • Danica Leung
    Creator of the graphic novel “Wild Geese” A recent graduate from Lincoln High School, Danica Leung (she/her) intends to study political science at Emory University as a freshman in the fall. She has previously written for the Cardinal Times, and in Stepping Stone Publishing; she has also done freelance art work although this is first time publishing… Read more: Danica Leung
  • Kylynn Lucio
    KyLynn Hattie Lucio (she/hers) is a  Native American junior at Springfield Public Schools (Minnesota) in the hopes of becoming a therapist or a writer. This will be KyLynn’s first time having her work published! She is extremely excited and she is so happy to be recognized for her work. She loves to write when she’s feeling down… Read more: Kylynn Lucio
  • Trini Feng
    Trini Feng (she/her) is a high school senior from suburban Illinois. She enjoys writing in a variety of genres and forms, always finding a new way to experiment with language. Her work has previously been published in Hooligan Mag, Bluefire, and Ice Lolly Review, among others. She is also the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Renaissance Review, a literary journal that… Read more: Trini Feng
  • Kaitlyn O’Neill
    As a current high school student at Oregon Episcopal School, Kaitlyn O’Neill(she/her) discovered her love for poetry in her tenth-grade English class. Kaitlyn has always had a passion for performing, so naturally, she found herself familiarizing herself with slam poetry in particular. Working with MediaRites is Kaitlyn’s first professional project, but she is sure that it certainly will… Read more: Kaitlyn O’Neill
  • Isabella Santana
    A recent graduate from West High School, Isabella Santana (she/her) hopes that her words can change the world. Isabella has received recognition for her writing on a local, state, and national level. She recently received the title of Los Angeles Youth Poet Ambassador, one of ten in Los Angeles County. In January of 2022, she received a… Read more: Isabella Santana
  • Katherine Elliott
    Katherine Elliott is currently studying at Summit Olympus in the hopes of getting into college and becoming a Pharmacist.  Previous work has included Creating a Story (Arts Corps) and various other art projects, so this is one of the first official works created. Katherine is very excited for this opportunity to share her creations with others.… Read more: Katherine Elliott
  • Genevieve Bascos-Arce
    Genevieve Bascos-Arce is a Filipino-American freshman (14) studying at Dulles High School who hopes to showcase creativity in traditional careers such as medical science. She is looking forward to entering more creative writing work and art pieces to diverse platforms in the near future. Book after book and sketch after sketch, she enjoys reading fantasy and… Read more: Genevieve Bascos-Arce
  • Roodley Merilo
    Roodley is a Haitian-American senior at New London high school that hopes to become an accomplished writer in the near future. Previous works have included writing 12 a.m. Thoughts for Writer Block INC as well as being commisioned for a piece with F.R.E.S.H. In his free time Roodley likes to take pictures for his community and… Read more: Roodley Merilo
  • Ella Celko
    Ella is in the sixth grade at Childpeace Montessori School.  She lives in Portland with her parents, brother, and two cats.  She enjoys drawing and playing with her cats.  She also loves sushi and macarons.
  • Journeya
    I’m Journeya, and at this moment, I am 17 years old. I live in Mystic Connecticut with my soul companions Callie the talkative cat, Jasper the energetic beagle, and all of my wonderfully joyous plant friends. Fun fact: I live right by the famous Mystic Pizza and walk by it from time to time. 
  • Nico
    Niko Boskovic is 21 years old and lives in Portland, Oregon where he attended high school and graduated in June of 2019. Before high school, he was homeschooled and underwent a lot of therapy to treat his autism, but the thing was, he never really needed most of it. While he was minimally-speaking, it became clear once he learned… Read more: Nico
  • Deandre Avant
    I’m Deandre Avant (he/him). I was born and raised here in Boston, Massachusetts. I have three brothers, four sisters, two nieces and two nephews. I went to Boston Arts Academy for five years as a Visual Arts major. I also worked for the Boch Center as a Dancer for three summers. Now I work for Teen Empowerment… Read more: Deandre Avant
  • Cara Chen
    Cara Chen (she/her) is a student at Lakeridge High School. She has previously published work under the pen name Coco in the February 2022 and May 2022 editions of Tripping the Zine Fantastic, an online publication. She hopes to continue pursuing writing wholeheartedly, either as a hobby or a career, and she takes great joy in… Read more: Cara Chen
  • Veronica Salrin
    Veronica Salrin (any pronouns) is a sophomore at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. This is their first time publishing, and they are beyond grateful for the opportunity to. Veronica struggles with a connective tissue disorder, and uses writing to describe their struggles in these areas. They hope to attend Rice University, Depaul University, or… Read more: Veronica Salrin
  • Erik Nielsen
    Erik Nielsen, an eleventh grader at Churchill High School, is currently live in Livonia, Michigan with his parents and younger sister. While most of his time is devoted to school, he also loves to play basketball and enjoys the outdoors. For the longest time, he would have told anyone that math and science were the… Read more: Erik Nielsen
  • Mila Kashiwabara
    Mila Kashiwabara is so excited to be featured in this writing project. She is 10 years old and she lives in Portland Oregon. Mila is an actor, singer and dancer but in her free time she enjoys writing and journaling. This is her first writing piece that is going to be in an eBook or be… Read more: Mila Kashiwabara
  • Adrija Jana
    Adrija Jana is a passionately creative writer based in India. She mostly creates poetry pieces based on her personal experiences as well as social issues she is passionate about. Her work mostly revolves around protest against period  poverty, marital rape and advocating for freedom of choice. She is inspired by writers such as Margaret Mitchell and… Read more: Adrija Jana
  • Freya Sticka
    Freya is a 15 year old high schooler who lives in Portland Oregon.  Freya loves to write, paint, and be creative.  She is also very interested in learning Asian languages.  She can speak Chinese Mandarin fluently. She is currently learning Japanese.  Her goal is to attend Oxford University to study philosophy