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Jessika Officer

Current Age: 21
   MMmmmmm...... what could I say about myself..........? Well, I joined Y-Press in the early months of 2003. I came in as a young, quiet, and shy girl eager to learn about the world of journalism. I loved to read and write, but my communication skills were not up to par. Those skills improved quickly when I began to form questions and interview all kinds of youth. Being a Y-Press member for five years, I have traveled to places outside the Indianapolis area like IU in Bloomington to participate in a Writer's Workshop, and Benin, West Africa to interview youth about their growing democracy. Now, I am still quiet-but not shy- and when as before it was hard for me to form my own opinion and present it rationally with others, now,I sometimes have to consciously hold my tongue to hear what other people's opinions. Y-Press has given me some pretty cool experiences, and I have a few stories/reviews to show for it: Poverty Feeds the Child Slave Trade, Teens Consider the Possibility of a Military Draft, Students Would Ask Where Writers Get their Book Ideas, Home Away From Home, Inclusive Classrooms, Youths Reach Mini Finish Line, and Ahh, Summer: A Great Time to Turn Some Pages.          

Interests: Music, Dance, and International Relations.

Hobbies: Playing the guitar, dancing, singing, and reading.
Favorite Color: Black- but usually all colors are my favorite colors
Favorite Book(s): Little Women or The Kite Runner (can't decide)
Favorite Movie(s): Meet Joe Black
Favorite Food: pizza
Favorite YPress Story: Poverty Feeds The Child Slave Trade

Stories by Jessika

audio
Teens and media
By Hrishikesh Deshpande, 15, Jessika Officer, 18, Michelle Hu, 18, Min Qiao, 18, Grace Bronson, 17, Ali Tahir, 15
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Loan reform will help students
By Jessika Officer, 17, Grace Bronson, 17
The student loan program was revamped at the same time health care was reformed. President Obama called the measure “one of the most significant investments in higher education since the G.I. Bill” of 1944.
audio
Youth and the economy
By Vincent Demyan, 15, Hrishikesh Deshpande, 14, Jessika Officer, 17, Michelle Hu, 17
In this series, four Y-Press journalists explore how the current economy has affected youth. While many stories have been done about adults and the economy, few mentioned teens.
Inclusive classrooms
By Shelby Helton, 16, Jessika Officer, 15, Olivia Haynes, 16
Emerson Barnett believes that he is successful today, in part, because of mainstreaming. Being included in typical classrooms allowed him and his classmates to face his cerebral palsy head-on.
Firdas Abamislimov
Home away from home
By Rebecca Salois, 17, Mihir Kumar, 13, Jessika Officer, 15
Firdas Abamislimov, 15; Abdullah Abamislimov and Yusuf Abamislimov, both 12; and Maleyka Musoyeva, 15, were born in Russia and miss their friends and family still there, but they consider themselves lucky. Their ancestors were deported from their own country more than 60 years ago, and as Meskhetian Turks have faced a long, hard struggle. About 70 of these refugees are working to make Indianapolis their home.
Poverty feeds the child slave trade
By Jessika Officer, 14
COTONOU, Benin -- Amavi guesses she's 13. She doesn't know her last name or her native village. And she has survived canings, hard labor and a desperate yearning to see her mother.
Benin: full-speed into the future
By Jessika Officer, 14, Jonathan Gainer, 14, Keisha Mitchell, 18, Elisabeth Randall, 17, Zoe Hayes, 18, Chris Reissaus, 17
Though unfamiliar to Americans and home to a painful past, the West African nation of Benin quickly is becoming the center of hope in the region.