Who is your Latina BFF?

Your squad is not complete without your best friend. You two are a two-for-one deal, practically joined by the hip.  Whether you’re more of a singer or an actress, your similarities are endless.  Which celebrity has what it takes to call you their closest friend and be the epitome of #SquadGoals?  

1. Which award show would your BFF invite you to?

a) Teen Choice Awards

b) Golden Globes

c) People’s Choice Awards

d) Emmy Awards

e) Kids’ Choice Awards

f) Radio Disney Music Awards


2. How would you gals spend the weekend? 

a) Getting brunch

b) Bicycling around town

c) Working out

d) Watching Netflix

e) Going to Disneyland

f) At the beach


3. What signature style do you both have?

a) Red lipstick

b) Bright smile

c) Colorful hair

d) Winged eyeliner

e) Bold statement necklace

f) Hoop earrings


4. Where would you vacation together?

a) Paris

b) Hong Kong

c) London

d) San Francisco

e) New York City

f) Berlin

5. How will the world know you are BFFs?

 a) Performing together live

b) Walking down the red carpet together

c) Featuring in a hit song together

d) Modeling in a shoot together

e) Guest starring in a show together

f) Being in a music video together


6. Where would you and your BFF be interviewed?

a) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

b) The Ellen DeGeneres Show

c) Late Night With Seth Meyers

d) Latina Magazine

e) Tiger Beat Magazine

f) Billboard Magazine


Mostly A’s – Selena Gomez
You’ve grown into a very lovely young lady alongside your BFF Selena. When you’re not having tea parties, you’re featuring in high end fashion magazines. You know the importance of family but also love your friends dearly. You have a tight group of friends but no adventure can ever beat one with your BFF. 

Mostly B’s – Gina Rodriguez
Hollywood is your playground with this Jane the Virgin actress. Aside from making inspirational speeches, you and your Golden Globe bestie know how to stay humble. You both are all for that comfy, casual style but once you hit the red carpet, all eyes are on you.

Mostly C’s – Demi Lovato
You’ve been through some tough times, but you made it because of your best friend’s support. You’re all about that edgy life with Demi by your side. You’re not one to worry about what others think about you since you’re too busy setting trends. Keep spreading body positivity.

Mostly D’s – Diane Guerrero
You’re not complete without this “Orange Is the New Black” actress by your side. You gals know exactly how to pull off every outfit: with confidence. Aside from being sass queens together, you also stand up for social issues Latinos face like immigration reforms.

Mostly E’s – Raini Rodriguez
You and Raini are complete Disney babes. The “Austin & Ally” actress knows exactly how to make you laugh-out-loud when you’re feeling down. Your quirky personalities make you a dynamic duo.

Mostly F’s – Becky G
You and Becky are all about sticking to your roots. Whether it’s creating a song of your heritage or including your culture into your music videos, you aren’t ashamed to be proud of who you are. You both know how hard work pays off but you also know how to have fun in your work

Running with Ambition

Behrend-Track-main-resizedA successful athlete and student, Ayla Lopez has worked hard to be where she is today. Entering her senior year of high school this year, she looks forward to another running season and beyond that: college. This is her story.

Often training in the scorching heat of Texas, Alya Lopez has been working hard to reach a new PR (Personal Record, reference to your best time in an event). Determined to break physical and mental barriers, she trains year round to compete in the 800m and 1500m with the hopes of being better than the race before. Training since she was eight years old, Lopez will soon reach the tenth year mark as a runner and athlete.

Lopez wasn’t always a runner; she started off as a cheerleader. Eight-year old Ayla would be practicing her twirls and cheers, but would sometimes watch her older brother train under the guidance of Sam Walker, a legendary track coach of El Paso. Wanting to try it out, Lopez went to a few practices and thought it was “fun.” From there her running career began.

Lopez continued on running even when she was discouraged by others or faced defeat. She was told that running wasn’t “girly enough” and that she should stick with cheerleading. Ignoring these comments  she continued training and in her first race as an eight year old, she got dead last in the 800m race and was told that maybe running wasn’t for her. It was only a year later where she qualified for the opportunity to run at Nationals where she won her first All-American title. Since then Lopez has been going to Nationals across the nation almost every year, visiting Nebraska, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, and most recently Chicago, Illinois where she has earned All-American titles in the 800m and 1500m and PRed almost every year.

When Walker decided to retire from coaching mid-way through Lopez’s running athletic career, her father stepped in and created the running club TexaStrong. Under her father’s guidance, Lopez has able to overcome obstacles as an athlete and achieve the PRs she wanted. Training simultaneously with her high school team and with TexaStrong during the school year, she trains up to 17.5 hours a week with one day off. During the summer, Lopez trains twice a day to become a stronger athlete. However, this can sometimes strain her body, her will, and her spirit.

“Before Nationals [last year], I had bad shin splints and road runs hurt, I was burnt out. But I looked at old pictures and videos of me training [when I was younger] and remembered that [running] is something I love,” says Lopez.

While Lopez is a remarkable runner, she is just as impressive academically and as a community member. She was invited to be a part of the National Hispanic Institute (NHI), an organization geared towards recognizing academically successful Latinos, as a sophomore. Lopez was nominated as All District Academic in Track her sophomore year as well, an award given to a male and female athlete (for every sport) that has the highest GPA within the district.

Lopez volunteers at the local public library, Dorris Van Doren, where she reads to children every Wednesday in the summertime. She has also helped coach the younger kids in father’s running club when she is taking time off or in her off season. Other times she is acts as a volunteer and counselor at Rescue Mission in El Paso or the Yellow Mustard Café (a shelter for the homeless). Lopez has also been involved in the fundraising for donation to a local women’s shelter.

“Don’t compare yourself to others, you know what you can do,” Lopez advices. “Don’t give up, take a moment to look back and ask yourself why it was your passion. You can do so much more. It’s not easy, but doable.”

As Lopez continues her goals as an athlete and student, she hopes to go to a Texas college that will give her an opportunity to run for them. With hard work and dedication, Lopez is a prime example of how it pays off in the end.

How to Beat the Heat

Girls JumpingEl sol is going down but do not let it fool you, take the necessary precautions for the remaining days of sun. That’s why it’s important to watch out for signs of dehydration and alert familia and amigos as well.Be mindful when you go outside to have some fun and come up with a hydration plan. Agua is essential because it fuels your body and it helps you more than you think. Therefore the more you know the better, learn how much water you need to perform at your best and the most important part have fun under the sun.

Every city in the United States is different in so many ways and weather is one of them. No matter where in the country you live staying hydrated is very important. The weather changes constantly so it is important to stay updated and alert for any drastic changes in the weather conditions. For instance even though summer is practically over; precautions still have to be considered and taken when doing outdoor activities.

First things first what’s dehydration? It is basically the loss of water and salts that are essential for regular function of your body for this reason at the first sign of dehydration let someone knows. Not sure what to look for, well here is a list that will describe signs of dehydration.

  • Thirst: it may not be the best indicator that your body needs water but is a big one. At this point your body is already 1-2% dehydrated. (NAFC newsletter 08/2015.)
  • Urine color: the clearer the better. The more water your drink the clearer your urine output will be, dark urine is no good.
  • Mental Changes: You will feel dizzy, light-headed or confused.
  • Dry mouth: Dry lips and feeling thirsty after drinking water.

Planning ahead never hurts; a smart chica is always prepared to deal with whatever comes her way. Consider to use a daily planner that you can easily have access to it, either on your phone or on a notebook; think of activities that you must do outdoors and find alternatives when you have to be outside and you know it will be muy caluroso! Check the weather forecast in advance and do not let the sun melt your plans.

Agua, agua and more agua! You might be wondering how much water is enough? Although the exact amount of water needed per day has not been determined by scientists, it really depends on each person’s activity, diet and complexion. So if you are the type of chica who is all about outdoors activities bebe plenty of water the day before. A healthy number of water intake recommended is 8 glasses of water a day, that way you’ll be good to go and have plenty of energy the next day.

Did you know that the human body is made of approximately 65% of water? In fact, water is essential for life to exist; it makes us healthier, help us to maintain the balance of all of the body’s systems, avoid cramping in muscles, temperature control just to mention a couple of its benefits.

Water makes everything mucho mejor, have H2O with you at all times and it will always be your best ally. Keep in mind dehydration signs and share them with amigos and familia. If you want to know more and have an accurate number of water intake consult your primary doctor or a nutritionist to get more informed according to your complexion and lifestyle. Enjoy the end of the summer and have a healthy return to escuela.

Dieciséis de Septiembre

In the United States, Independence Day is celebrated on July 4th because that is when Thomas Jefferson drafted a historic document to gain our Independence from Great Britain. In Mexico, May 5th has evolved with cultural celebrations leading us to think that their Independence was on this day. Although, “Cinco de Mayo” was the day the Mexican army declared victory over France at the Battle of Puebla, not Independence Day.

On September 16th 1810, a parish priest from Dolores, Miguel Hidalgo, called upon his parishioners to fight for their Independence. Today, every year on September 15th at midnight, people gather around in big crowds all over the country and give out “El Grito”, or shout, of “¡Viva Mexico!” to commemorate another year of Mexico’s Independence. Most of all, this shout reminds the people from Mexico of those who died for Mexico’s freedom.

“Every year my family and I cross the border to Mexico on September 15th to give out “El Grito”, the streets get flooded with people gathering and you can see red white and green all over the streets. It truly is something amazing, people of all ages are joined together, from month old babies to 90 year olds.” said Denis, 25.

No matter the age groups, people make plans to celebrate their country’s Independence. Even though some people only go for the parties and screaming, others are on the other side of the scale cherishing every moment of it.

“My first baby was born on September 10th 3 years ago and we still took him with us to Mexico as a 5 day old baby to celebrate with us, even though we had to be from afar instead of being inside the crowds. We don’t go for the screaming or the party, we go because it is a wonderful thing to see so many people caring for our beautiful Mexico and its history” said Gaby, 28.

“It is so much fun, I have never been to actual Mexico to celebrate Mexico’s Independence, but my family is Hispanic and we celebrate it here, in the United States. We throw a big party at my house filled with decorations and Hispanic music, we even hire mariachis to play at our party, it is a wonderful celebration to be able to celebrate another year of your country’s freedom” says Emily, 19.

Nowadays, both the 15th and 16th of September are celebrated to commemorate Mexico’s Independence. Similar to the 4th of July, the United States’ Independence Day, Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated with festivities including dancing, fireworks, parades, and performances. Get your sombreros out and celebrate Mexico’s Independence. ¡Viva Mexico!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month


Hispanic heritage month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15th,  and it focuses on our history and how Hispanics have helped shape the United states. Former president Gerald ford proclaimed September 10th-16th being national Hispanic heritage week in 1974. It was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402 to become a month long celebration. You are part of a very powerful, inspiring, and fastest growing minority group in the country.
Today, according to the CDC, the Hispanic population is roughly 54 million in the U.S. (CDC). Part of this population includes proud and successful Hispanic Americans with different cultural backgrounds.  In 2012, Mexicans made up 64% of the total U.S. population, followed by Puerto Ricans (9.4%), Salvadorans (3.8 %), Cubans (3.7%), Dominicans (3.1%), and Guatemalans (2.3%). Other Hispanic or Latino groups made up 13.7% of the total Hispanic population.
There are various ways to celebrate your culture during this month. From eating delicious food to celebrating your favorite cultural tradition, you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month any way you like!
Food is a popular choice, especially when you have the opportunity to try different dishes from other cultures. Try a Peruvian style ceviche, which is usually seafood based, in a citrus salsa.Tasty appetizers like Cuban croquettes are lightly breaded and filled with common ingredients such as creamy cheese and ham. Simpler recipes can be a Mexican style quesadilla — a yummy, melty, cheesy treat that you can personalize to your taste. Have fun preparing meals like these con tu familia.
You do not have to throw a huge party to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month; nada malo en escuchar música to celebrate your heritage. Have a party or even d


ance contest while you enjoy some merengue, salsa, or bachata. Rockalingua is a dvd of Spanish music videos you can enjoy.
Enjoy the great outdoors while playing games inspired by your culture. Embrace each other with a game of el corazon de la piña. Donquijote.org suggests the worldwide popular and traditional Spanish game of rayuela, also known as “hop scotch”.
There are so many reasons to remember and appreciate your history.  Be even more creative this month, you can find craft ideas or even host a play with your amigos that captures  famous Hispanics or a historic event.

Pope Francisco: Our First Latino Pope!

Pope-Francis-smilingOur current Pope, Pope Francisco, is the first Latin American Pope to grace the Vatican. Pope Francisco was born Mario Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina and worked as a nightclub bouncer before entering the seminary to become a Catholic priest. He then went on to become Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and when his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2014 he was voted into the papacy.

In office since the end of 2014, his election caused great celebration throughout Latin America as they cheered on the beginning of a new era, one in which the head of the Catholic Church and one of the most powerful world leaders, was Latino.

Many Latinos remember the moment they learned that a fellow Latino had been named as Pope. Maribel, 18, of Mexican descent and a devout Catholic, says that she recalls watching on television as Pope’s Francisco’s election was announced. She immediately jumped up cheering and screaming and her whole family gathered around to embrace and celebrate. “It’s not just because he speaks Spanish,” she says. “Latin America needs a Latino Pope who knows the problems in Latin America and how to deal with them.”

Laura, 19, says that she was shopping when she found out via text message, and that she left the store almost immediately to go to her parish Cathedral and give thanks for his election. There she found plenty of other Latinos gathered around praying a Rosary for their new Pope. She says, “I know the Pope is one of the most powerful figures in the world. Having him in office while bring more awareness and attention to our region of the world.”

But while most Hispanics were overjoyed that their new Pope was Argentine, others criticized Pope Francisco as ‘not Latino enough.’ An article published in Huffington Post: Latino Voices, entitled “Is Pope Francis Latino?” suggested that because the Pope’s parents migrated to Argentina from Italy before his birth, he is not Latino.

But why can’t Pope Francisco be Argentine just because his parents were immigrants? Latinos in the United States have heard this argument before, as others sometime criticize them as not ‘real’ Americans if their parents or grandparents came from elsewhere. But truth is, the Pope was born in Latin America, speaks Spanish, and is intimately aware of the culture and issues in the region. Discrimination against him based on the fact that his parents were immigrants takes away from the reality of the situation: Latin America has a Spanish-speaking Pope who was born and raised there and is dedicated to addressing their concerns. Pope Francisco himself has demonstrated his concern for Latin American affairs in his numerous critiques of income inequality in the region, and his urging of their leaders to adapt policies that support workers’ human dignity. He has also worked closely with the impoverished and marginalized peoples of Argentina. The world carefully watches and listens to the words of the Pope, and his repeated speeches and efforts concerning Latin America both revives cultural pride and encourages the rest of the world to heed the needs of the region.

5 Things Every Teen Should Have in Their Bag

latina student with backpackBy Yulissa Zambrano

Now I know what you’re thinking, “But I already carry all these textbooks and folders! I can’t make room for more things!” Luckily, all of these items are small, so the struggle of squeezing in more things in your backpack or bag won’t be too bad (unless you’re really loaded on those textbooks!).

1. Mint gum
A regular school day lasts around 7 hours, and most students only brush their teeth before school. Your breath during or after the day can feel or smell yucky, so why not bring mint gum to freshen up your breath? You will thank yourself for chewing mint gum regularly when you talk to that crush of yours! (An alternative for gum is mints- still gives you fresh breath without getting in trouble with your teachers!).

2. Bandages
Almost everybody’s had some sort of slight injury a bandage could help cover, such as those tiny yet painful paper cuts or a scrape on your knee from P.E. class. Whatever the case may be, bandages are always super useful to have with you. Not only will they be helpful in your small cuts and scrapes, but your friends will probably be happy to know you can help them out in a situation like that by providing a bandage.

3. Tissues
If you’re anything like me, you feel pretty embarrassed and annoying getting up a few times during class to grab a tissue. This can especially be awkward during flu season. Drug stores always have to-go sized tissues in stock, so maybe buy a few to clean up your mocos!

4. Hand sanitizer
Again, getting up out of your seat during class to just pump a dab of hand sanitizer in your hand can be a little weird when you can just have your own tiny bottle right in your bag. A lot of hand sanitizers now come in various scents and come with those hooks to hang from your zipper, and even though it’s just hand sanitizer, it’s cute and it is important in order to avoid getting sick.

5. Extra pair of earphones
I cannot stress how many times this could’ve saved my life during high school. Sitting in class or in the bus without listening to my own music was a major buzzkill. I can almost guarantee that there will be at least one day you will forget your earphones. Seriously, save yourself from that misery and keep an extra pair of earphones in your bag.

Maybe none of these things will help you ace your tests, but taking care of yourself is a 24/7 priority. School can get you busy but these five things can help you learn how to accomplish doing awesome in school and taking care of yourself!

Michelle Phan: Remaining True to Your Goals

maxresdefaultThis March during Spring Break I had the opportunity, thanks to Latinitas, to attend SXSW. SXSW is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that occur annually in Austin, Texas. This year both Latinos and women were prominently featured, and I attended with the goal of learning as much as I could from figures that are inspiring to Latinitas. One figure in particular caught my attention as I know that she is especially popular among preteen and teenage girls. That person is Michelle Phan, the explosively famous YouTuber who performs makeup tutorials on camera, and also runs her own makeup line called Em.

Michelle, along with Lucky Magazine editor-in-chief Eva Chen, headed a panel about how to remain true to ourselves and to our goals. Michelle started out the panel by noting that “right now is such a hard time to be a female because we are judged on so many different platforms.” She’s right: real life, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat…There are dozens of different ways in which who we are and what we say and how we look are analyzed and judged. So what’s a girl to do?

Michelle said that first off it is important to decide who you are. You must ask yourself: “What do you represent? What story do you want to tell?” It is important to ask yourself these questions because without a sense of what you believe and who you want to be you may fall prey to the lies others tell you about yourself.

Speaking of those with unkind things to say, Michelle says to “ignore the bullies and give platform to those speaking and doing good.” Once you have a vision for yourself and have learned to combat negativity you are ready to begin actively achieving your goals. Surround yourself with those who believe in and support those goals.

Michelle knows what she’s taking about. Behind her glamorous image and creative talent is a woman who endured much hardship to get to where she is today. Born to Vietnamese immigrants, her father left the family when she was very young. Her mother, living in poverty, struggled to provide for Michelle and her brother. She dreamed of Michelle becoming a doctor. Michelle, as much as she loved her mother and wanted to make her happy, knew instinctively that medicine was not her calling. So at the last minute she enrolled in art classes instead and paid her way working as a waitress.

She did not begin filming her YouTube videos until she was turned down for a job selling makeup at the Lancôme counter. She knew that, despite what others believed, she had a talent for makeup and could use it to help others. She began discussing and applying makeup herself on camera, and quickly gained followers. Her “Barbie Makeup” tutorial has 6 million views and counting! Major beauty lines soon noticed her success and talent. Lancôme, who had once turned her down for a job, returned to offer Michelle her very own makeup line with them! A while later, she received an offer for a book deal.

Today, Michelle has over 7 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, a makeup line called ‘Em’ and a published book. But even as she works hard to remain successful she remembers the importance of giving back to those most in need. At the SXSW panel she told the audience that she was headed to China the next day to promote a non-profit that foments education on a global scale. Her dedication to both achieving her own dreams and helping others to achieve theirs is an inspiring reminder that when we discover our life purpose we positively affect the lives of others.

SxAméricas Review


Ever consider going to a film festival and wish it was based around more Latin culture? SxAméricas is the perfect place just for that!

SxAméricas is an extension of SxSW that takes place during the weeklong event held in mid-March in Austin, Texas.

At SxAméricas, there are festivals and panels that connect leaders from the technology, music, and film industry world through U.S. Latinos and Latin Americans.

According to the SxSW website, “SxAméricas is a platform to network, share innovative ideas, and create new partnerships across all creative industries from North America, South America, and Central America.”

Some of the Latina representatives at SxAméricas were Julie Ann Crommett (with Google), Lucinda Martinez (with HBO), Lauren Giraldo (from Vine and Youtube), and even Gloria Trevi.(Expand and briefly introduce their background).

Julie Ann Crommet is the program manager of computer science education in media at Google. Her main focus at work is to add diversity to the computer science field and change the views the media has on computer science. Before working at Google, she worked at NBCUniversal and was in charge of the diversity within the company off camera. She also graduated from Harvard with a bachelors of arts in English.

Lucinda Martinez is the HBO Senior Vice President of Multicultural Marketing. She is responsible for the creation of HBO Lation, and she’s responsible for HBO’s current marketing towards the large group of multicultural shows on the TV station, from African American, Latino, and Asian cultures. Before working for HBO, she worked as a director on Comedy Central. She was also the woman who started the Latino Health Summit with the American Heart Association. Lucinda received her bachelors of arts from Columbia University.

Lauren Giraldo, now 17, started making videos on Vine in 2013 just for the fun of it. She was in high school and didn’t think anything of it at first because only her friends watched her Vines. Before she knew it, she was getting thousands of views on Vine and became “Vine famous.” Her videos are just her doing whatever she thinks is fun — which sometimes includes going up to strangers in public and asking them to marry her. She started posting videos onto her Youtube channel in June 2015 after she had already gotten so many followers and views on her Vine videos.

Gloria Trevi is a pop-rock singer/songwriter from Mexico. She started as a solo artist in 1989 and was immediately successful (after having sung on the streets of Mexico and been in a girl group). In 1993, she was Pop Female Artist of the Year at the Lo Nuestro Awards. She has since moved from Mexico City to McAllen, Texas, and is working on her singing and acting career.

Each one of these women had different things to say about women in media, as well as women working in the business of television and other media outlets.

Lucinda Martinez began to talk about Latinas, specifically, when discussing the viewers for her shows on HBO.

“We’re not a race. Latino is not a race,” she said. “We’re a combination of races. Mixing is Latino. A character can be anybody. We’re so diverse.”

Julie Ann Crommett discussed what made her go into computer science and storytelling. She talked about her life as a Cuban and Puerto Rican.

“I was passionate about finding a place in the world and as a Latina,” she said.

At the panel she spoke at, she was also asked why so many girls were not pursuing computer sciences. Crommett’s answer was:

1)      Not enough encouragement from parents and,

2)      The girl’s perception of the career itself.

“Computer Science is how you revolutionize the world,” Crommett said in regards to her field work.

Lauren Giraldo spoke about social media and how she got to be where she is today at the panel she spoke at. She was asked what the key to succeeding in social media was.

“Be yourself. They’re already following you. That’s what works,” she said. “Even if you’re really weird, you know, they’ll like it.”

And as far as her “Spanglish” goes, she said it’s great for herself and for her viewers, and they love it. She believes it allows the viewers to relate to her and her family. It’s a different type of relationship for them.

All of the women at SxAméricas main focus was teaching young girls how to succeed in the business. Just remember, if they can do it, anyone else can do it too.


The World of Poetry Slam

girl w/microphoneThe saying goes that the pen is mightier than the sword. Poetry slams take that concept pretty literally. A poetry slam is a battle of words and rhyme, all to win the hearts—and the high scores—of the judges.

Poetry slams started in Chicago in 1984. Since then, they have spread all over the United States and all over the world. Ireland holds the annual All Ireland Poetry Slam. Competitions can range from local open-signup events to national competitions where qualifying or an invitation may be required.

Regardless of the level of competition, the structure of slams stays pretty similar. Before the showcase begins, a few judges are randomly chosen from the audience. They will be responsible for assigning a score from 1 to 10 for each performer. The competitions are usually divided into rounds with a few poets being eliminated each time. The poets preform a poem that they have written, usually from memory. Poets have three minutes to impress the judges and going over the time will result in a penalty.

The poems and the poets are the real stars of these competitions. Poetry competitions allow them to show off their writing and their bravery to the entire audience. Slam poetry ranges is style and delivery but is made to be read out loud like a high-stakes version of spoken word. Poems can have the rhythm and rhymes of hip hop or they can be fast-spoken rants with emphasis and timing. Slam poetry is all about the delivery. Poetry topics can be political or emotional or just funny. They are usually inspired by life. Slam thrives off of everyone’s uniqueness.

Slam contestants cover a whole spectrum of ages. Recently there has been a rise of a youth poetry slam movement for young people only. Poetry can be an educational tool, a method of self-expression, and a confidence boost. The Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam is on its 19th year in San Francisco. Spoken word and slam poetry is being taught in schools. Slam competitions and open mics are featured in television shows like ABC Family’s The Fosters. Teenagers share their poetry on YouTube for their followers and fans. There are many ways to get involved in the poetry slam world.

University of Texas at Austin student Arati Warrier, 21, has been a part of competitive poetry teams and competed in the Texas Grand Slam last year. She said poetry was always been a part of her life but slam opened up a new dimension of the art for her.

”Writing has always been an important tool for me to cope, vent, live,” Warrier said. “Slam poetry saved my life. To be able to share my work with a community, to watch poets get free on stage and to experience it myself, has been nothing short of religious experience for me.”

For Warrier, slam poetry is a safe place to be bold and explore her life through performance.

“It’s inspiring and cathartic to push my art forward with people who care and feel so deeply,” Warrier said.  ”I’m lucky for everything spoken word and slam poetry has given me: better writing skills, empowering performances, and my best friends.”

With a strong following of poets and performers, poetry slams may be around for quite a while. New competitions are popping up in cities all of the time. It may be a relatively new art form, but it has a lot to offer.

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