Heart disease plays a part of the heart and the arteries/veins. It is also known has cardiovascular disease. The coronary arteries carry blood and oxygen to your heart.  It is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries to your heart. Another way to call it is, hardening of the arteries. Because of the buildup of plaque the arteries gets narrow and it will cause the process of transfer blood to the heart to slow down or it can stop.

There are some risk factors that can’t be avoided due to gene or aging.  The risk of heart disease increases while you age, but this process starts with fat deposits in the arteries and may begin at a young age. Men have higher risks of getting heart disease than women who are still getting their menstrual period, but after menopause the risk for women is closer to the risk for men. If your parents or other close relatives had the disease, you are at higher chance to get it.  Another hand, there are many other risk factors that you have control over, which you can change.

Stop the habit of smoking and the use of tobacco because the more you smoke, the higher risk you put yourself to hardening your arteries. Be active and exercise more, at least 30 minutes a day on a 5 days week. With exercising make sure to maintain a healthy weight. The way you can figure out what weight is healthy for you are by calculating your height and weight to estimate how much body fat you have. (BMI) If you’re a drinker, you probably want to limit yourself to no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men.

Other things that increase the risk for heart disease is: diabetes cholesterol and being overweight. Heart disease is a major problem of diabetes and the leading cause of early death among people with diabetes. About 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease. When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in walls of your arteries. Overweight is considered a major risk factor for both heart disease and heart attack. By being 20 percent overweight increases your risk for developing heart disease.  Inactive individual is more likely to become diabetic, have blood pressure and or high cholesterol. With all three of these conditions combine it increase the chance of getting heart disease.

Symptoms may be noticeable, but there are times that you can have the disease without any sign of symptom. The most common symptom is feeling chest pain. The cause of the pain is when the heart is not getting enough blood or oxygen. The pain may feel heavy or like someone is squeezing your heart. The pain that you feel is under your breastbone, neck, arms and stomach or upper back. Another sign that you will get is shortness of breath and tiredness with activity. If you get short of breathes while climbing couple steps or in an activity, it means that you need to be aware of what you’re eating in order to gain the energy for your body to keep up with everyday life activities or routines.

Nutrition is important to your health and it helps you control some of the risk factors. Foods that consider as unhealthy food are: Fried chicken, pizza, burgers, French fries, deep fried, fried rice, backed goods and etc. Eating too much red meat and adding a lot of salt to your product isn’t healthy. Fruits, vegetables and whole gains are considering healthy food. Have more low fat dairy products and proteins. An example is, instead of milk get skim/Low fat milk. Instead of eating so much red meat, take fish, eggs/dairy, chicken and beans.

This is a preventable and treatable disease through medication and changing life styles. Each individual has his or her own way of how to recover and maintain from the disease.

Fast food is considered as unhealthy food, whish is not good for your body because the food there contains many salt and oil. Too many fat will cause problems in the body itself. Eat more greens and homemade food.

To all the youth out there, protect yourself by watching what you’re eating. Eat more vegetables and less French fries. Instead of drinking a can of soda, drink green tea. While watching television, eat fruits and vegetable rather than eating potato chips and popcorns. Try to eliminate burger, pizza and fried chicken. Switch it to rice, fish and veggie. Be active by playing sport, doing martial arts and Tai chi. Meditate to relax the mind and body, so that it gives the relaxation to the blood flow. Remember to stay healthy by staying active and choosing the right food for you to maintain a good BMI for your body.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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Adolescent Pregnancy is when girls under the age of 19 or younger who are pregnant. Kids ages 12-14 years old are more likely than other adolescent to have unplanned sexual intercourse. In another word, they are more likely to be talked into having sex without being educated on using protection. Two-thirds of adolescent pregnancies happen to teen’s age of 18-19.

Risk factors that may cause pregnancy include: younger age, economic disadvantage, older male partner and single or teen parents. While being involved in sexual activities, there will be denial from the teen. If the teen is pregnant, there are usually weight changes. Either there will be weight gain or weight loss die to vomiting. There are pregnancy test and pregnancy ultrasound to test if it’s positive and to check accurate dates for pregnancy.

There is options available to the pregnant teen, which should be, consider carefully such as: abortion, adoption and raising the child with the support of your family or community support. A health provider should explain all options to the parents or the father of the baby as appropriate.  Pregnant teens need to quit smoking, alcohol use and drug use because it can harm the baby. There should be suitable exercise for the teen mom in order to stay healthy. With the decision of keeping the baby and if recently given birth, they should be encouraged and helped to remain in school and reenter educational programs that give them the skills to be better parents.

Having a kid in such young age can limit the things that you have plan to do. For some people by being pregnant lead to depression and substance abuse. Who’s going to support you and the kid? You can’t even support yourself. What makes you think that you can support the baby? If you’re not ready and not financially stable, don’t even think about being sexual active. Yes, there is protection such as condom, birth control pill and etc. Condom is not 100 percent prove for protection. Birth control pill won’t have any effect if you don’t know how to use it successfully.

There are many ways for you to prevent yourself by getting pregnant in such a young age. By being educated about the human bodies. Provide details that by being unprotected sex can lead to other diseases such as STD. Research shows that by having the knowledge, it help decrease teen pregnancy rates. Parents should encourage their kids to wait to have sex until marriage, or until they are mature enough to take responsibility for their actions.

Be educated and make right decision for your own good. Remember to stay protected if being sexual active.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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As someone who rarely drinks, this is what I’ve concluded about drinking culture: There is always an occasion for alcohol. If you are celebrating: drink. If you are mourning: drink. When you’re happy, alcohol will make you happier. When you’re sad, alcohol will make you happier. When you’re angry, alcohol will make your anger feel more justified. When you’ve acted on your justified anger and murdered the person who wronged you, alcohol will make you feel less guilty about it.

by Diana Lu

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If you are attending a MPLS high school, here is a recommended guide which you can follow to make sure you get your high school diploma on time. Every high school vary from credits in their classes and of how much you need to graduate (63-66 credits total). Typically in all of your four years of high school, you’ll most likely have all or most of credits by the time you are a senior. But of course, as a freshman or someone who needs help on preparing what is the most effective way to get all your credits in, this a plan you can follow.

Here is the list of required credits that you will need to graduate:

1. English/Writing/Language Arts = 4 years

2. Social Studies = 4 years

3. Mathematics = 3 years

4. Physical Education/Health = 1 year

5. Arts = 1 year

6. Electives

First of the bat, it is wise to get rid of your required credits first. Why? Because it will allow you to take other classes later in your high school years without having to worry whether you have enough credits or not. Required credits such as health, art, or PE can be offered through variety of classes. It is really up to how much of these classes are offered through your high school.

As a freshman and sophomore, you want to at least start on good grades. You may want to maintain grades of A through C because colleges will look through your high school transcript. It is okay to have worse grades and here, but during your first two years it will be the easiest. Therefore, make the most out of it, join sports/clubs, and do/organize/attend after-school activities.

Electives such as language, choir, AVID, band, theatre, and more, can also help add up credits. But remember it’s more about the required credits in reading, math, science, history, art, and health that will affect your graduation.

It is optional to take a language class such as Spanish, French, Chinese, Somalian, etc. Most high schools recommends it because it looks good on your transcript and if a college you want to go to requires language class, 2 years of a high school language class may help you not take it again in college.

When you reach the option to take IB or AP courses if your high school offer it, then you’ll eventually have to make a choice. The IB program have challenging courses with lots of work and you can obtain a IB diploma along with the program. The AP program allows students to take and be prepped for college level courses along with earning some college credits if they pass the class.

If you don’t want to do either and have a good standing in your grades, you can always apply for PSEO. The PSEO program allows you to take college courses for both high school and college credits. But it is for students who are juniors and seniors who can be responsible, take on college courses, and find their own transportation if needed. You want to choose the best one suited for you because all three will require extra efforts and may be stressful at some point.

When you’re a junior/senior, people will pressure you about your life choice after graduation. There will be a lot of resources available to all kinds of students so make sure to make the most out of it. If you need help on college applications, scholarship essays, making up credits, financial papers, and more, you can always turn to your counselor. It does not necessary mean that everyone is going to apply for college or can go to college. It really is up to your own decision and how you want to live your life after high school.

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If you want to learn Hmong, here are some basic sayings you can start out with. Hmong is a rather difficult language if you can’t get the right pronunciation and tone. The dialect that most Hmong Americans use is called White Hmong and that is the dialect which most non-Hmong speakers learn first.

1. Nyob zoo! (nyaw zhong) = Hello!

2. Koj nyob li cas? (kaw nyaw lee caa) = How are you doing? or How are you?

3. Kuv hlub koj. (gku lu kaw) = I love you.

4. Kuv lub npe hu ua ___. (gku lu bay who u-wa) = My name is ____.

5. Sib ntsim dua! (she jean dwa) = Good bye! or Let’s meet again!

6. Ua tsaug. (u-wa chouw) = Thank you.

7. Kuv nyob zoo. (gku nyaw zhong) = I’ve been living well/good.

8. Kuv tsis cam. (gku che ca) = I don’t want to. or I will not.

9. Kuv yog xeem hmoob ____? (gku yhall seng hmong) = My Hmong last name is ____.  (Or take out the Hmong part)

10. Kuv tuaj ntawm lub nroog hu ua ____ (gku twa der lu droong who u-wa) = I came from the town called ____.

11. Zoo siab hnub yug (zhong shia new you)= Happy Birthday!

12. Koj puas kab pab kuv?  (kaw pwall ka pa gku) = Can you help me?

13. Aws. (ugeh) = Yes.

14. Thov txiv (thall tsi) = I’m sorry.

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“Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.”

- Jinato Hu


People of different race, language, cultures, and heritage all carry different things that may not seem similar to what other groups may have. It is up to the citizens/people/society/everyone to be able to cope with the differences, diversity, and be responsible to understand one another. Although there are some agreements or disagreement on certain perspectives, norms, and cultures, we can’t expect peace with each other without putting aside our differences. It’s not about which group is better or one is worse, but allowing people to be together in harmony for the sake that we all want to live in the same world.

To being with, if everyone was taught from a young age to accept that there other groups out there and being able to be surrounded by them, then we would grow up accepting that fact. But not everyone is like due to their own reasons. What we should not do is use religions, traditions, power, norms, or any stubborn reasonings to cut off from other groups. Why? Probably because the world is full of all kinds of people and not everyone is going to fulfill those expectations. If more people are able to be the bigger person and properly act like an adult, then we would not have to worry as much about bringing harm to other innocent lives and the environment.

One of the reasons that people may do what they think is “right” is because of religion, cultural practices, and traditions. There are a lot of wrong traditions that should not practice anymore due to the fact that it is either life threatening, discriminating, racist, or wrong to commit on any human being. Arguably, those kinds of traditions that were developed more than decades ago should not be put into use of the future generations. It is not changing or ruining the culture, instead it is letting the future generation adapt better into it.

But not everyone is like that because sometimes it is influenced by how society presents them. Back then, society did not care about finding the correct and reliable information because they did not know much. Nowadays, it is changing, but popular stereotypes still lingers. What some people don’t realize is that although some people tolerate stereotypes, some people find it offensive and rather disrespectful. It is best not to assume how a group or person is going to be like due to how society presents them because they are individuals who may think differently of themselves.

Basically, there are a lot of things that all cultures and societies need to let go because we can’t find peace with another group if there are already wrongs doing within your own group. For example, no one should be forced to get marry from such a young age because he/she is not an adult who have not experience the real world and understand his/her own position of who, and what she/he wants to be. This applies to many cultures that still practices this. It is not attacking the cultures, but it’s pointing out the wrong doing that is committed towards children. Another example is that being a hermaphrodite, bisexual, gay, or lesbian is wrong, which does not matter unless you are that person. Part of having freedom is being able to chose how you live and who you want to be. It’s not about what your friends/family/society think is right because it doesn’t mean they are right and should chose how you can live.

Of course, our society will never be able to reach 100% peace with so many different kinds of people. Stereotypes, discriminations, and other degrading presentations of a cultural group will always exist. People are not naturally racist, rather just uneducated or ignorant of certain groups. Really, it’s up for them to be able to find the correct information, then understand, and know the truth so that they won’t judge others incorrectly. There will be some things that will separates people because of the way we grow and what and who we learn it from.

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With the introduction of cigarettes, many negative effects continue to happen because of the toxic chemicals that are being made available and sold to people. Although the tobacco industry has been around more than 50 years, their customers probably have not made it that far. It is quite sad that the sacrifice for such riches are their customers who are the ones at risks. Here are some facts that you should know about cigarettes:


“Over the past 50 years, more than 20 million Americans have died as a result of smoking, including 2.5 million nonsmokers who died from heart disease or lung cancer caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.” -

  • Smokers now are more at risks compared to smokers in the past due to the change of ingredients in cigarettes.
  • The tobacco industry continues to thrive and increase the price of their brand(s) and in return, makes billions of profit each year off of their customers.
  • People who smoke put lasting effect on their teeth. Not only will the teeth began to stay yellowish, there will be a increase of plaque and tartar, risk of developing oral cancer and luekoplakia, and losing teeth involved.
  • The effect it takes on our society is the increased death rates, loss of productivity, and increased health care cost.
  • Cigarettes have been proved to be addictive with nicotine as one of the ingredients, therefore, it does explain one of the reasons why people still continue to smoke.
  • Factors that influence people to smoke even though they know it is bad for them is because of stress, peer pressure, temptation, curiosity, parental/surrounding smokers, false information, addiction, media, and comfort.
  • Tobacco related diseases are preventable! But it is really up to smokers to decide when to quit and let their body recover.
  • There is no real solution to shut down the tobacco industry, but we can decrease the rate of deaths, lower the risk of diseases, and cigarette customers.
  • Smokers will often cough up mucus that went wrongly into the lungs, therefore a continuous cycle of shortness of breath and having less oxygen in the body.
  • There are reasons why cigarettes don’t have the ingredients in it listed on the package. It is because they do not want their customers to know the chemicals and toxins that are put in cigarettes. If tobacco industries did such thing, it would undermine their point that “smoking is acceptable”.

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My First Work Experience

By Joshua Yang, 16

Asian Media Access

My first work experience was working with the YWCA. In this program we watched little kids and helped them out with their homework. Every Monday and Wednesday we watch the kids at City-view. Tuesdays and Thursdays we went to Olson Middle School.

It was a fun experience, but it was also a frightening experience since I didn’t know anyone. To make things easier for me, I hung out with the kids more and got to know them better. Soon others like the elders started talking to me.

By the time I quit I had a lot of friends and a lot of free time. With the friends I made while working with the Y, we made a lot of mini videos. So my first work experience wasn’t bad or good—it was okay.

My First Job

By Pheng Vang, 16

Asian Media Access

My first job was to build a retaining wall, and I thought it was easy. Then later on it became harder than I thought it was. I experienced a lot from this job. I learned that you need patience, a lot of water, and it’s a lot of fun.

This job requires a lot of patience because you don’t simply lay bricks on each other. You have to level the bricks with a ruler that has a bubble inside of it. The bubbles have to be in between two lines, so sometimes it gets really frustrating, but I got used to it.

You need a lot of water for this job because you are going to be working out in the sun. You need to carry lots of heavy stuff like bricks, rocks, and buckets full of dirt. You get thirsty very quickly.

This job was a lot of fun to me because my teammates and I have fun joking around with each other. Sometimes they try to rap, and that’s what makes it funny. I had fun working with my boss. Although this job was hard, I still liked it because my future job will be in construction, building roads or houses.

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High school is a difficult stage for teenagers because it is time where they grow up into adults and transition into the real world. There are many challenges teenagers have to go through to find themselves their own place. We all want to be normal like others, but of course, normal is overrated. Rather, be unique and find yourself. Be original and handle things on your own term. Here are some tips on how to survive high school and get the most experience out of it.


1. Avoid being part of the bandwagon. Or in simpler words, just don’t be a part of the “groups” you don’t feel right in. Better to have your own group or yourself than put on a fake persona.

2. Staying true to yourself is probably the best option because you will be less likely to be influence by people. Although sometimes it’s okay to be influenced by the people you trust, it’s not wise to blindly follow others. Be wise about your situation and think of the ways you would handle it.

3. Don’t worried about other people you do not know. Just worry about yourself and important people in your life. Why waste time on them? It’s your time you are losing, not theirs. So just focus on yourself and education.


4. Stay out of drama! Don’t get involved in things you are not involve yourself. It is a lot easier for you to avoid trash talk, gossip, and rumors. Besides, it does not make you feel good about yourself or anyone.

5. Try to be nice to everyone as much as possible. Of course, if someone is being disrespectful to you it is a lot quicker for you to tell a teacher than start a fight. in the end, you will only get into more trouble trying to defend your pride. So it would be better for you to avoid confrontations.

6. Get your education done first before worrying about your allowance. Arguably it is not a wise decision because there are not many jobs that pay high school students well. We all know that we want spending money for certain things, but it can wait. If you want a job, it is better to get a part time job than drop out of high school.


7. Make and stay connected to your friends. You want to have some good friends while high school that will support you as you support them. Do not bother making friends with people you do not like. It’ll only result in situations where you would not want to be.

8. If you can, avoid being in a relationship from a young age. Dating is fun, but it is not necessary for you to have one. Just because other people have it, it does not mean you need to. Relationships can either be good or bad for high school students. So just be careful and aware of your relationship. Do not let it influence you to make bad decisions, etc. Here some things to avoid while dating in high school:

  • Drugs
  • Unprotected Sex
  • Abusive partner
  • Spending too much time on your partner
  • Staying out past your curfew (whether it’s  your house rule or the legal curfew) with your partner

9. Don’t do drugs/smoke/unprotected sex if you can by the time you graduate. Although people and the media make it seem like you have to do all these crazy things in order to have fun while in high school; it’s not true. Avoid these things that will dramatically affect your future. If you want to smoke, wait till you’re eighteen then you’ll be responsible for your own health. If you want to have intercourse, be and stay protected no matter if it’s through condoms, pills, or shots, etc. For drugs, it is probably wise to stay away from it forever. It is not hard, just don’t let other teen’s influence you.


10. Stop being so materialistic. Now that means stop worrying about how much things you got. Do not stress about how you need this and that. Your life should not be measured by your insignificant objects and surroundings. Even though you may not have much like other people, you need to appreciate the things you do have. There are a lot of kids out there who would love to be in your place so don’t take yourself for granted.

11. Make sure you pass all your classes! Now, the main point of going to high school is to graduate with a high school diploma. Don’t stop trying till you get all your credits in then you can be less serious about it. Sure, you might have a tough time in some classes and fail others. But that does not mean you cannot make it up. Just be ready to be responsible for your own grades.


12. Join clubs/activities/plays/games/etc, that will keep you involve in high school. Find something you want to do whether its sport, at, music, a instrument, etc., and join a group that is a representative of our school. You don’t have to if you don’t want, but it’ll get you to have more opportunities.

13. Build connections with your teachers/coaches/colleagues! This will help you get recommendation letters for scholarships and colleges. It is important for you to have evidences to show that you are a good and dedicated student.


14. Develop your writing skills! You want to be college level ready for writing your essays for scholarships/colleges/projects. If you do decide to further your education, you will need to learn how to improve your writing for college. Therefore, it is wise to try to do so throughout your high school.

15. All in all, enjoy and make the most fun of your high school years. Although it may be stressful, believe in that you’ll be able to make it! Preservation, determination, and faith in yourself will get you far past high school. Good luck!

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There were a lot of things/projects/activities that we wanted to do. But for some reasons, we either stop doing it, drop it, or leave it halfway unfinished. Here are some tips on how to stay dedicated on what you can/want/need to do:


1. Do it with passion! Maybe you need to revisit the originally reason why you wanted to start this project. It’s probably about time to see what made you wanted to do this in the first place if you’re feeling lost.


2. Well if it’s not good enough, just redo it again and start from scratch. You may realize that there things you needed to take out, put in, and rearrange. Who knows? Maybe it’ll turn out even better than your first try. So keep trying and start from the beginning to find out what you did not good enough for yourself.


3. Have fun and enjoy it! Whatever you’re doing may be stressful or have a lot of pressure on you, but it should enjoyed throughout the process. Like people say, it’s not really how you start, but how you finish is what matter. You want to enjoy it as much as possible and finish it on a good note.


4. Set a goal for yourself of the time you are available for it! It may be hard if you’re busy, but if you committed to it then time and effort is a necessary part. So make sure that you can actually give your own personal time for it.


5. Be open-minded about your project. It may not turned out the way you wanted whether it was better or worse. But things can change along the way. Stay dedicated to whatever it may even if it turns out a bit different than you imagined. So don’t so hard on yourself.

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