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A Letter from the Youth Literary Advisory Board

May 14, 2020

Below is a letter from 826 Boston’s Youth Literary Advisory Board. To send in a submission for their upcoming publication, click here. To read more about the publication and find ideas on what to write about, click here. 

Dear Boston students and residents,

Coronavirus has completely turned our lives upside down. It sucks. I think we can all agree on that. As students and residents of Boston, you’re probably bored or going through an existential crisis. It’s fine. We all are. Major events that students around the world were looking forward to participating in have all been canceled. No cap and no gown. But despite this pandemic that has forced us to stay home and practice social distancing, we still have to have hope. As youth, we must stick together either by Zoom or Google Hangouts. We are Boston Strong, guys! Let’s show coronavirus what we are made of.

826 Boston’s Youth Literary Advisory Board (YLAB) is publishing a book dedicated to our identities. We want students in grades 7-12 to share stories with us about how you are staying empowered during this pandemic. We want to learn more about your self-identity and why you are unique.

This pandemic has not only changed our perception of time, but it has also changed the way people around the world live their lives. Coronavirus has also changed the course of our publication. Originally our book was supposed to be published in June. Unfortunately, that’s no longer happening. When we first heard the news, it was hard not to be discouraged and frustrated with the whole situation. But luckily there was some good hidden behind all the bad news and misfortune. One of the few good things that came from the pandemic is the ability to solicit contributions from students across the city, not just 826 Boston participants. That means you!

You could write some poems or make some art. We think this is a great time for youth to come together as a community and share what matters through art. This project is important to us, and it should be to you, too! Your contribution is going to give strength to our cause of believing in ourselves, standing up for what is right and making changes through our voices, poems, narrative writing, and art.

As the YLAB students, we are the generation to make change. We believe that we all can share our thoughts and feelings together. We are the future. We are not going to let this pandemic stop us or keep us stagnant. It’s platforms such as YLAB that are going to keep us together and stay connected during rough times and bring some joy to our day.

Stay safe, make sure to wash your hands, and practice social distancing.


Youth Literary Advisory Board

Asiyah, 18, Department of Youth Engagement/NOVA
Berlanda, 20, Boston International Newcomers Academy
Djaza, 14, John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science
Helen, 19, Jeremiah E. Burke High School alumna
Kaylany, 14, John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science
Kevin, 18, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers
Lordorina, 19, Boston International Newcomers Academy
Marangela, 18, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers
Zariah, 17, Jeremiah E. Burke High School

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