Stopping youth violence

For the month of July, ThreeSixty’s Beginning Journalism Workshop students examined the causes and effects of youth violence. Their articles, photos and interviews all dealt with youth and violence. Minneapolis’s Blueprint for Action outlines ways to prevent and reduce youth violence.

The reporters share wisdom from a woman who’s son was murdered, the triumph of a young man on track to be a lawyer after troubled teen years, made surprising discoveries about the connections between teen pregnancy and violent lifestyles, and much more.

Teen guide to 2009 Minnesota State Fair

The first Saturday of the Minnesota State Fair, six ThreeSixty reporters spread out to investigate how to have the most fun at the fair. They found ways to have fun with just $10, and scouted out the best freebies. They interviewed the latest “butter head,” 2009 Princess Kay of the Milky Way Elizabeth Olson, and reported on an outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus in the 4-H building that sent competitors home. And more!

Special Project: MoneyTalk -- Financial Tips for Teens

Things like credit cards, buying a car, and opening a checking account all require great responsibility and can have terrible consequences if mismanaged.

New law makes it harder for teens to get credit cards

If you are a teenager and are considering applying for a credit card, you should think fast, because it won’t be so easy thanks to a recent change in federal law.

How to avoid credit cards' dangers

The college search is a big step for a teen. By the age of 17, not only are acceptance letters flooding your mailbox, but credit card applications are also sneaking their way in with the good news. In fact some of the applications come with pre-approved cards, embossed with your first and last name. It’s easy to feel important and rich, but it’s also dangerous.

Under the new federal law that takes effect in February, credit card companies can’t issue cards directly to anyone under 21. Instead, their parents or other adults must co-sign for the card, or teens must prove that they have sufficient income to pay off their debt.

A teen’s first real car shopping experience

My MoneyTalk teammates, Mary and Ariel, and I, are not exactly experts on cars. None of us has owned a car so we wanted to get a first-hand experience with car buying. To be honest, I was pretty clueless about cars, and Ariel and Mary weren’t car-smart either. I was nervous about how we would be treated. I had also read several articles online about how car dealerships are out to deceive buyers.

Buying a Car: What Teens Need to Know

As newly licensed drivers, many teens are interested in buying their own car. But owning a car comes with many costs and responsibilities to keep in mind before you buy.

College isn't the only option for finding a good job

When Xaye Thao-Pha started changing oil as an intern for Alexander’s Imports in Minneapolis when he was 18, he was already pretty certain about his future career.

He was good with his hands and he liked working on cars. “I use my hands for everything,” he said. As a senior at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, he started excelling in his auto mechanics classes in his senior year.

Best checking account offers for teens

As part of our MoneyTalk reporting, my partners Mary and Lisa and I went undercover to shop for the best checking account in town. We decided to zero in on three big banks: Twin Cities Financial, or TCF, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

Our first stop was Wells Fargo on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. A man greeted us at the door and asked if he could help us. Mary explained that we were shopping for bank accounts.


Scholarships can tempt injured teen athletes to play

As high school athletics become more competitive, many injured athletes rush their rehabilitation and come back early in hopes of achieving an athletic scholarship.

“College scouts, once they actually know that your injured, they’ll cut you off at that point, because than they can get someone who’s good and didn’t have a leg or an arm injury,” said Mychal Frelix, a linebacker and freshman at the University of St. Thomas.

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What skaters buy and why

Skateboarder Will Reierson spent $80 on a pair of trucks for his skateboard because they were the best on the market at the time, he said, but also because a friend recommended them. With hundreds of skateboard companies — national, international and local — ThreeSixty reporter Timothy Johnstad investigates why skaters buy what they do.

The fair for just $10

The first Saturday of the Minnesota State Fair, six ThreeSixty reporters spread out to investigate how to have the most fun at the fair for just $10 – not including the ticket price.

The reporters found lots of things to do with just $10, but also discovered some of the more popular activities and food at the fair were out of their price range.

Study abroad down, economy a suspect

If Renee Huset, a junior at the University of St. Thomas, hadn’t gone on a study abroad trip to South Africa, she wouldn’t have had a huge herd of zebras surround her on a safari.

“If that wasn’t cool enough, my friend Rachael told me to look to my left and I saw what looked like a scene from ‘The Lion King.’ Around a big watering hole were zebras, gazelles, wildebeests, and likely more animals I didn’t recognize running around carefree. It was amazing,” Huset said.

Fair freebies come with a price

Finding free stuff at the Minnesota State Fair can be fun, but tiring. Walking through the fair you’ll find many booths of businesses that are mostly concerned with advertising — no stuff for sale on a stick. Most people would not look at them twice if they didn’t know they gave out free stuff. We were sent out into the fair to find all the free stuff we could, and this is our advice.

Money Talk - Smart Shopping 101: Frugal back-to-school

Are you a teen looking to save money on clothing? You are not alone. According to, teen retail spending is down 14 percent this year. But it is not necessary to sacrifice your style to cut down on spending. Here are 12 easy ways to spend less and still look good.

Stimulus money changes lives for area teens

While the overall impact of President Obama’s $850 billion economic stimulus package is still uncertain, for more than 400 teens in St. Paul and Minneapolis, the funding has meant jobs and training.

My first job: freedom and responsibility

Before I got my job, I really wanted some clothes but my mom couldn’t give me the money because she was out of a job and had to pay the bills; I was broke.


Teens struggle to find jobs

Like most teens, Cecelia Leatherman, 17, knew she needed a job to pay for school and other expenses. But it wasn’t easy finding one. “When I was looking for jobs a year ago, I applied to almost every place in this area and I still couldn’t get one,” Leatherman said.


Living in America, waiting years for it to be home

Even though Cynthia Espinoza had lived in Minnesota for eight years, she had to pay out-of-state tuition when she went to Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

That’s because Espinoza, now 32, a political refugee from Guatemala, wasn’t a permanent resident, and didn’t qualify for in-state tuition.

Why the Achievement Gap? Need to work limits study time

I think one of the most important reasons for Minnesota’s big racial gap in graduation rates and test scores is the economic situation in many families. Like the majority of the Latino immigrant students I know, I have to work after school to help my family here and in Mexico. Consequently, I don’t have enough time to study or to do my homework in the evening.

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