Dear students of Pittsburgh:

Are you tired of hearing, “Oh, teens these days, they don’t care. They are married to their iPhones. They are poorly educated. They are not informed. They are not prepared for the challenges of the world.” Prove you care. Would you like to share something about your life that doesn’t fit into the box of what your English teacher is asking for?

Do you want to talk about what’s challenging and exciting about being a teen in Pittsburgh and don’t think enough adults are listening to what you have to say?

What matters to you and your friends?

PublicSource is a place where people through their writing come to tell their stories, speak their minds, express their concerns in the most authentic way, share challenges of their communities and what they want to change. Do you have a passion for good writing that’s brave, passionate and true? We want to hear from you. PublicSource ( is a media organization here in Pittsburgh focused on giving voice to people who aren’t being heard.

We’re reaching out to local teens, looking for you to tell us what’s up.

Do you have ideas on how to improve your education? What social pressures are you dealing with? How can you make your neighborhood safer? Do you have concerns about the environment? What’s the future look like to you? College and a successful job — or do you fear student debt and unemployment?

PublicSource’s team of professional journalists will choose 10 students to work with to develop your idea further and produce a polished first-person piece for publication.

What you’ll get: Upon publication of your piece, you will be paid $200. You’ll also officially be a published author! You’ll have experience working with a media organization and something to add to your resume and college applications.

Check out a few examples of students who have worked with us in the past:

Tamia wrote about living in Clairton, a community she thinks could be improved if there wasn’t so much emphasis on high school football —

Amariah shared about a time she felt discriminated against by a teacher and how she coped with experiencing racism —

Please send a summary of 300 words or less about your idea and why it’s important to you to write about it. Include your name, age/grade and school along with the best ways to contact you. Send to by July 1, 2017.