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Many low-income Americans feel their votes don't count

Lylian Davis stood outside her mobile home, squinted at the sun and considered the presidential election.

“Yeah, I’m going to vote. For whom, I’m undecided.” Among her neighbors in Landfall, a tiny St. Paul suburb of mobile homes where 1 in 5 of about 700 residents lives in poverty, Davis thinks she’s unusual.

“ ‘ Oh, my vote doesn’t count.’ That’s all I hear around here.” Davis said.

Nationwide, low-income Americans vote at much lower rate than wealthier citizens. According to a 1990 survey published by Harvard University Press, almost 9 out of 10 individuals in families with incomes over $75,000 reported voting in presidential elections while only half of those in families with incomes under $15,000 reported voting.

Young voters stress economy, Iraq and health care

Andrew Korte, 21, sat on the steps outside of the library at the University of St. Thomas one recent afternoon, snacking on a sandwich along with his friend Jeremy Leavell. Leavell, 21, is also a student at St. Thomas. Like most young people around the nation, Korte is uncertain what the future has in store for him.

“There’s going to be a lot of students coming out of school looking for jobs, and they’re going to be more concerned about whether or not the jobs are going to be there,” said Korte.

He’s not alone. As the nation gears up for the November Presidential election, young Minnesota voters are voicing concerns about the economy, the Iraq war and education costs.

Many low-income voters fear their votes don't count

Lylian Davis stood outside her mobile home, squinted at the sun and considered the presidential election.

“Yeah, I’m going to vote. For whom, I’m undecided.” Among her neighbors in Landfall, a tiny St. Paul suburb of mobile homes where 1 in 5 of about 700 residents lives in poverty, Davis thinks she’s unusual.

“ ‘ Oh, my vote doesn’t count.’ That’s all I hear around here.” Davis said.

Hot summer, cool job market

For some teens, summer is a time to kick back, relax, and soak in the sun. But for many others, it is a time to make money by landing a summer job. However, across the nation the job market has been weakening and teens are feeling the impact.

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Tips for finding summer work

When it comes to landing a job in this summer’s competitive atmosphere, teens can do a few things to improve their chances.

Step-Up, a program that helps place 16 to 21 year-old Minneapolis residents in summer jobs, suggests putting together a resume and learn how to handle a interview. On the resume, highlight your volunteer work and family responsibilities.

Dressing up in character

When people usually talk about costume shops, they think of Halloween and decorations. But what do the people that work there go through? What is it like to work in this type of establishment?

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Dressing up in character

When people usually talk about costume shops, they think of Halloween and decorations. But what do the people that work there go through? What is it like to work in this type of establishment?

Tax time: Even if you aren't required to file, a refund may make it worth the trouble

While the world of work may open doors for teens financially, it also adds an element of responsibility to our lives – taxation.

The process of filing W-4s, W-2s and 1040s may seem overwhelming at first, but filing taxes is something that most people will face doing every year for the rest of their lives. Most teens have the opportunity to file the simplest of all federal tax forms, the 1040EZ. It is a simple, one-page form that can be used by individuals without dependents and can be filed electronically or on paper in a matter of minutes.

Extended adolescence may be widening the class gap

Both Courtney Johnson and Mariah Grunke attend the same high school, Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Both plan on attending college. Grunke is doing her applications independently because her father did not go to college and doesn’t like filling out forms. Meanwhile, Johnson’s parents are very involved in her application process.

Although seemingly insignificant, their parents’ ability to help them with things like college applications may make a big difference.

According to Teresa Swartz, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Minnesota, the amount of resources parents can give their young adult children affects the children’s future more than ever. And her research suggests that the gap between young adults from families with substantial resources and those with few is growing wider. That can lead to harmful social divisions, she says.

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Know the rules when you get a job

If you’re under the age of 18 and plan on performing in any aerial or acrobatic acts, Don’t. You would be breaking state law. And if you’re under the age of 16, don’t even think about operating any sort of dry cleaning equipment, meat slicing machinery or even snow blowers. Perhaps it’s for the best that people under 16 just stay away from machines altogether.

Though they may sound slightly absurd, these are real child labor laws put in place to help protect Minnesota’s children from exploitation and out of harm’s way.

Setting limits on my spending

Growing up, I don’t remember hearing my mom saying “No” very often. Nor did I hear her say, “I’m going to have to pay this all back someday.”

If she had, maybe my siblings and I would have thought more carefully about the difference between our wants and needs. Now, at 18 and on my own, I’m trying to figure that out.

School, mentors and work can help teens break the hold of poverty

When Shelly Hunter left home three years ago because of ongoing fights with her parents, she knew she’d have to work to support herself. At 16, she was a good student at a Minneapolis high school, and she planned to go to college.

But it was hard to earn enough for food, rent and a car. Shelly, who asked that her real name be kept private, had to leave school an hour early to pick up her boyfriend at his job. From 5 to 10 p.m., she worked at a McDonald’s in Minneapolis. After that, she cleaned offices until 3 a.m. After a few hours of sleep, she’d get up, take her boyfriend to work and get to school by 9:30 a.m.

Countdown to College: Got FAFSA?

After your school applications are finished, there is still another important application to fill out; the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Otherwise known as the FAFSA.

Using your parents’ tax information and a simple questionnaire, the FAFSA is crucial in helping determine the amount of aid you’ll receive from your college and outside sources or at the very least the way to a loan with a cheaper interest rates. Although it may seem frightening and tedious, there have been significant changes to the FAFSA that help promote ease of use.

FAFSA Online

www.fafsa.ed.gov is the site for online filing of the FAFSA. The online FAFSA is easier to follow, more secure, and faster for making deadlines. Instead of taking two weeks for processing like with the traditional paper application, the online FAFSA takes up to three business days!

Chasing fads keeps wallet empty

July 10th, 2006, was the most significant day marked on the 2006 calendar posted on the wall of my room. On that date T-Mobile officially released the latest and hippest version of one of its most popular cell phones, the Sidekick 3.

The hype surrounding this cell phone was ludicrous. So was the pricing — $399 plus tax.

I wanted it anyway.

I placed it at the top of my birthday list, which was four days later. To my disappointment, I didn’t get what I so desperately wanted. Angry and frustrated, I asked my parents why. They gave me the obvious reason: the cell phone was too expensive.

Countdown to college: Show me the money

How you pay for college is a giant factor in deciding which college is for you. The high cost of an education can seem overwhelming, and the best way to rid this feeling is through scholarships.

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Selling crops to help the family

In the Twin Cities, many Hmong teens spend their summers growing and selling vegetables to help support their families.

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Never too young to be homeless

It’s five a.m. in Minneapolis under the overhang of an abandoned building. It’s cold and damp from the morning dew. Most teenagers still have a few hours left to sleep, but not Mack, a 19-year-old runaway from Portland, Oregon. His life is far from average.

His bedtime is when he feels safe enough to sleep.

His alarm clock is the sun.

Summer in the City

Those lazy, hazy days of summer are times to be free or to work hard, to get your feet wet, your car dirty and your mind straight. Teens in ThreeSixty’s summer broadcast camp tell the stories of summer in the Twin Cities.

Education costly for undocumented immigrants

{{“Education costly for undocumented immigrants”}} by Edgar Ullaguari, Lincoln International High School

Teens compete for jobs with adults

Jevita Baheriy had been searching for a job with no luck. “Oh my God! It seems like I completed a thousand applications and there would be no calls back,” said the 17-year-old St. Paul resident.

Not only is there competition among teens for jobs, but also inexperienced teens find themselves competing with experienced adults. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, each year at least two million people between the ages of 16 and 24 swell the work force between April and July, making it even tougher for teens to secure a job.

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