A Courageous Completion: Zine Graduates Jan-March 2013

Zine Interns reading their work

Finishing something is always fun

“This is the first thing I’ve ever completed!”

We hear that often on youth’s last day at Zine–a day of celebration and presentation.

Krystal reading a selection from the Group Zine

Krystal reading a selection from the Group Zine

On their last day of work, youth get to share their completed publication with an audience of friends, family members and community supporters, who by listening and responding, get to affirm the youth and challenge any internal  mantras of defeat they may have inherited.

Each Zine graduate receives a certification of completion and a letter of recommendation–oftentimes their first ever.

At Zine, we’re lucky to get to recognize the importance of these young people’s words and the limitlessness of their potential. For eight weeks, we try to relay that message. The group graduation is a way to seal that message into their minds as they prepare for the job search ahead.

So, help us communicate that message to our Zine Grads. Be there!

Lanoir showing off her personal Zine

Lanoir showing off her personal Zine

Zine Graduations are open to all community members interested in encouraging young people at the beginning of their employment journey.

Click here to sign up on our emailing listing to receive Zine Grad updates.

Until then, enjoy some photos from our last Zine Graduation taken for us by some students at SU (thanks Marsha, Nicole, Mckenna, and Bridgette).

Michael reading a poem from his personal Zine.

Michael reading a poem from his personal Zine.

Zine Instructor Shaun joins in the fun of reading the Group Zine

Zine Instructor Shaun joins in the fun of reading the Group Zine

Zine Grad Jan March 2013 3

Zine Grads receive letters of recommendation and certificates of completion

Zine grad Jan-March 2013 5

Ziners sell their zines at Zine Graduations ($3 in Black and White; $5-7 in color)

Ziners sell their zines at Zine Graduations ($3 in Black and White; $5-7 in color)


Ode to My Shoes-For-Crews

A Poem by Lanoir

My old black shoes for crews.
They were given to me when I started working at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
I wore them every day to work. Slip-free slip-on Chuck Taylor knock offs.
I wore them every night on my way back to the shelter, I wore them to the rap show and didn’t mind if they were thrashed, I wore them at a party, I wore them at the function.
Shoes specifically made for people working in environments around food.
Then I lost my housing.
These were the only shoes I had to wear, the only sneakers in my storage space.
I wore them to go spend a night at a friend’s house, I wore these shoes to go look for jobs, and I wore these shoes when I got the jobs.
Leather black size 12 chuck Taylor knock offs.
I wore these shoes for 3 months straight and I have scored the coolest job at Hard Rock Café.
Yet I still have to wear with these damn shoes.
Impressionable, money making shoes.
I’ve became so used to them, they’ve became my little good luck charms.
Damn shoes have been holding on strong to my fabulous hardworking feet, getting me to where I need to be.
Now they’re all ran down and when I walk they squeak.
But no matter how many pairs I buy, these shoes are surely neat.


They’re something to get lost in.
Snuggled on a couch
With lots of thick blankets
And fluffy pillows
And it’s warm,
I open up my thick book
And let myself be
Immersed in the world
That is written in the pages.
It’s calm like sitting on a mountain peak,
It all becomes real in my mind.
Like watching a movie
Only it’s more colorful
Because it’s my own
Creating the scenes
And the details
And the characters
And how they look
From how they’re described
To what they would look like in my mind.
Life is much more challenging.
I think of reading books as an escape.
In life, you’re never sure what’s going to happen
Unlike the set path in the book
where everything’s going to be alright.
In life it’s not like that. It’s not pre-written.
It’s a story written in the moment.
Sometimes it’s pretty vivid.
I can imagine being right there with them
Going through the story with them.
With the people in life,
You don’t know everything about the people in your life
But in the book you know everything about the characters.
I don’t know if I can trust them
But I think I’ve learned to be able to trust people more
Just because of my life my right now—you have to
Be more willing to put your trust in people you don’t really know.
If life was a genre it would be a mystery
I know who did the things
It’s a question of why
They did the things they did
And why they hide them.
Its like there’s a whole pretend life
That they want everyone else to see
But only I know what was really going on
And I’m suppose to keep
This whole image of pretend
But I couldn’t live with that.
I ended that chapter and began a new one.
Only now I don’t know where this chapter
Will lead me
But at least I know that it can only be better
Than the story that it once was.

More out of Life

By Piotr

I want my child back.
I want that woman who will never leave my side,
and who can also be a good mother.
I want that perfect job. I need more moral support.
I need a father, or mentor.

I’m turning down a path no one can follow,
and I need someone to stop me.
My heart is broken,
and I’m broken.
I need someone to fix Me.

I need a companion, a partner in crime,
a dog, a cat, or a person.

I need to be fixed. I can’t live broken.

Someone, please hear my cries of pain, and fix Me.
Just hold Me in your arms,
and tell Me you’ll always be there for Me, and that I’ll be fine.
I need more out of life…


By Kristin

I want to release you.
Your memory.
Your face.
Your laugh.
Your smile.
I want to release the feelings I have towards you.
The love.
The hared.
The sadness.
The ache.
The pain.
I can’t move on till I release you.
I can’t move on till you release me.
I miss you.
Do you miss me too?
I’ve been hoping so.
That’s why I need to release you.
I have too much hope.
For you.
For us.
I can’t hold onto that anymore.
It’s not fair.
To me. To anyone.
I can’t let you haunt me.
You lost me.
No chance for more hope.
I try to forget you existed.
I try to get over you.
I try to release your memory.
My heart’s racing.
I try to fall in love with someone new.
I try to make my life better than it’s ever been.
I try to live everyday to it’s fullest.
Will I always be this way?
Will life always be so difficult?

The Beach

By Shyla 

Beach, drawing and photo by Shyla

Beach, drawing and photo by Shyla


As I  walk along the hot smooth sand  it makes me feel like my life is in my hands.

The beautiful bright sun smiles down on me—-   shines so bright makes me not ever want to leave.

This beach that I describe is like my home, makes me feel loved when there’s no loved shown.

I come here for peace and silence, more so to get away from all the violence.

As the wind hits the trees they come together to sing.

That lets me know that life is not just a thing and life is not a dream.

Life is what you make it so if you get an opportunity take it.

Life is not a game so embrace it because a lot of people won’t make it the beach is heaven on earth being at a beach is like a rebirth.

Things I know

By Anonymous

I know that I wish I could sleep in later everyday.

Cheshire Stencil by Anonymous

Cheshire Stencil by Anonymous

I imagine I could go through everyday feeling more awake.

I know that I have trouble sleeping
I don’t want to stay asleep
Because I don’t want to know what I’m going to dream.
And when I do dream, I don’t want to sleep.
And then I wake up.

I know it’s kind of hard to talk to anyone.
Just because I’m socially awkward all the time—
I never know what to say.
I know I’m not very good at small talk.

I know that I’m really good at listening though.
Most of the time. Sometimes. Usually.

I know that I’m not sure what I’m gonna do
With the rest of my life.
It’s kind of a big question mark.
But I know that I’ll have people
If I just look for them and ask the right questions,
I’ll know what to do.

A Place to Stay

By Devin

Fluffy blankets cascade
Around me.
Filling every orifice
With the absorbed

Snoring echoes through
The hallow abode,
Rapturous sound
Strong as any geode.

*Beep Beep Beep*
The alarm clock wakes
Itself from the small
Plastic box resting
At the side.

Groggy mumbling
Meets the incessant
*Beep Beep Bee—*
A closed fist hits the
Snooze button.

A wet nose touches
Skin, jolting
The sleeping giant awake,
Bushy tail wagging,
Urging him to start the day.


A poem by Krystal

My life journey by Krystal

My life journey by Krystal

My life has been a journey.
Moving up & down, back & forth, side to side.
Taking 2 steps forward, always taking 2 steps back
To know what’s happening or going on.

My life has been a journey.
14 years old with a belly, too big to be only one.
Some money in my pocket but no where to go.
Spending money on drugs to sell to the fiends that been yearning
Cause my son needed to eat as well.

My life has been a journey.
A long road to follow,
As I swallow my long brick road.
But still no where to go.
Growing up knowing as a young buck a sickly, ill, burn with a disease that was curable.
So my mind was at ease.

My life has been a journey.
Needle in my skin as I think if it was ripping.
Oxygen as if I was breathing no more.
Wet cloth as if I was very ill of cancer.
Hospitalized for the 5 pounds 10.5 ounces and 21 inches baby coming out of me.
Ripping out of me, in loud screams.
But ah me, the tears of joy as I saw the pretty light skin,
Holding close to my cheek. Soft like tissue,
But so little and gentle touch as
If you felt a warm soft pillow.
My life has been a journey.
A journey that I walked for 18 years
And will walk for another 18 years and more,
On the further and better success.
Do you want to walk in my shoes?
I don’t think you do or