Hidden homelessness, roller derby rinks, and true survivors: this week on Best of SNO

We’re always encouraging the amazing journalism programs in the SNO Network not to shy away from tough topics – and, judging by the Best of SNO inbox this week, some student journalists have been taking that suggestion seriously. With an in-depth feature on homelessness, an inspiring story about a girl who survived against all odds, and one student’s strength to keep living, the BoS submissions this week were heavy. But heavy stories are real stories, and honest, heartfelt journalism is what we live for. Read on for our weekly picks.

Homelessness in Iowa: A hidden issueAndi Munford, Vivian Le, Waukee High School
“Des Moines City officials have been evicting people from campsites, in some instances, giving a maximum of ten days notice for the homeless to pack their belongings. It leaves many people struggling to find another place to stay, possibly exposing them to danger. “How can this be a sensible action?” Joe Stevens, Joppa Co-Founder prompted. “Our city is putting additional hardship on people who are already down and out, which is keeping people homeless.”

Anywhere but hereLaura Godinez, Lewisville High School
“But as soon as I look at the board and see the video we’re about to watch, I freeze. And suddenly I’m not there. Suddenly it’s summer; suddenly it’s August. It’s the day that turned into a nightmare at 2 o’clock. A nightmare that lasted four days, and on that fourth day it turned into reality. All my friends were gathered together, but none of us wanted to be there. Because being there made it real, and none of us wanted it to be real.”

Adventure in the face of adversityReid Valentine, Coppell High School
“The three of them embark on adventures all over the country, such as riding a train through Canada. This is how they intend to take advantage of the time they have with Thomas. Through a Facebook page titled “The Adventures of Big T”, started in September 2014, Thomas’ travels are posted and shared with over 200 people who have liked the page.”

To be chosen and lovedKaris Skaggs, Francis Howell North High School
“She’s going to die, why waste our time?” Maria Michalski remembers her doctor saying while she was sick with Leukemia, a cancer of the blood. She was living as an orphan in Vladivostok, Russia, and she wasn’t expected to survive under her circumstances. On the other side of the world, Brent and Christine Michalski heard about her from some friends in a letter and knew they needed to do something to help.”

My life on the rinkCaroline Puckett, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
“I’ve seen the San Francisco Bay Bombers sling each other like rag dolls and show absolutely no mercy on the track; I’ve seen the broken bones and bleeding faces and bruised limbs women have in the movies. But, despite all the negativity and “Don’t do it”s I got, I decided to give it a try, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Want to see your own story featured on Best of SNO? We love featuring student journalism that’s interesting, well-written, and takes a unique angle on the stories we see every day. If you think you have what it takes, polish up that story (or video or multimedia piece) and submit it right here!