From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship


Sami Armin is a biology student at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. She enjoys playing tennis, golf and writing poetry, and hopes to someday publish a series of poetry books. Her poem is dedicated to her parents and aunts. She can be reached at [email protected]

Rebecca Ayres received a psychology degree from Santa Clara University and currently volunteers full-time. She plans on earning a master’s in social work to become a counselor. Her story is dedicated to her wonderfully supportive friends, her ex-roommates and their significant others, her family and NBKC members everywhere (especially Melissa). She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

James D. Barron is the author of She’s Having a Baby—And I’m Having a Breakdown, She’s Had a Baby—And I’m Having a Meltdown, and She Wants a Ring—And I Don’t Wanna Change a Thing. He can be reached at [email protected]

Jennifer Baxton is a writer currently living in a “weird” suburb of Los Angeles. An alumni of AmeriCorps, she has been trained as a red-carded firefighter and a national park ranger. Currently, Jennifer teaches writing compositions at too many community colleges in Southern California. She can be reached at [email protected]

Marjee Berry-Wellman is a Christian author and proud mother of Jeff, Josh and Julie, as well as her angel baby, Melanie. Writing is Marjee’s passion, and she hopes to leave readers with something solid to digest. Born and raised in Sterling, Illinois, Marjee currently resides in Clarion, Iowa. She welcomes feedback at mrj[email protected]

Amanda Bertrand attends Cook College at Rutgers University in New Jersey. This is her first published work, and she is extremely excited. She would like to thank her family and friends for always being there for her. She dedicates this work to Ken R. Brams. She can be reached at [email protected]

Hannah Brandys is twenty-two years old and lives in Toronto, Canada. She wrote “The First” when she was fifteen, and she is thrilled to have the chance to share it with others. Hannah’s hobbies include reading, writing, skiing, kickboxing and traveling. She can be reached at [email protected]

Noah Campana is an English and psychology major who gives talks to teens about sex and relationships. He enjoys running, climbing and sleeping. He knows karate and seventeen other Japanese words and is best known for spontaneously singing, “Play that Funky Music White Boy.” This and everything else he does is dedicated to God—”you rock!” He can be reached at [email protected]

Amy Catalano is a college student who enjoys writing creatively in her free time. This is her first attempt at publication, and she’d like to pursue a career in writing later in life. She can be reached at [email protected]

Linda Chiara is a freelance writer in Connecticut. Her work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, Boys’ Life, The Christian Science Monitor, Family Circle and Baby Talk. She also writes regularly for parenting magazines. She is married and has three terrific sons. She can be reached at [email protected]

Adam Cohen lives in Maui, Hawaii. He is currently working in the health-food industry. He is an accomplished pianist of eleven years and has played in many presentations. He is an inspiring writer and poet. This story is dedicated to his best friend and truest brother, David Byrne.

Melissa Collette is a twenty-one-year-old college student living in California. Some of her other works can be found in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II and Teen Love: On Friendship. She is grateful for the opportunity to inspire teens through her poetry. She can be reached at [email protected]

Cheryl Costello-Forshey’s poetry has been published in numerous Chicken Soup books as well as Stories for a Teen’s Heart, Stories for a Faithful Heart, Stories for a Teen’s Heart 2 and A Pleasant Place. She can be reached at [email protected]

Amanda Cuda is a full-time reporter for the Connecticut Post newspaper, based in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Language magazine, and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium. She can be reached at [email protected]

Molly Day wrote her poem at the age of thirteen. She is now sixteen years old and a junior at Carmel High School where she is involved in student government, National Honor Society and varsity soccer. She hopes to study premed in college, while simultaneously pursuing a major in English. She can be reached at [email protected]

Scott Diel lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He can be reached at [email protected]

Delicia Dudley is now a college freshman in the Tri-Cities of Washington. She dedicates this story to anyone who has ever made a mistake.

Ashleigh Dumas is a student at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. In her spare time she enjoys skiing, writing and hanging out with friends and family. She would like to dedicate her story to her grandfather, Michael Nelligan, and is happy to announce that his prediction for her when she was a little girl has come true: She has found her true love—her high-school sweetheart, Luke.

Jonathan Evans is from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, and is now an English and human development double-major at Boston College. His piece, written in high school, is dedicated to all of those he loves—his teachers, friends and especially his father, mother and sister. He can be reached at [email protected]

Melinda Favreau is a junior at Mt. Ararat High School, where she plays field hockey and the flute. She is a staff member of her community’s teen newspaper, as well as her school’s newspaper. She was the winner of Teen magazine’s 1998 reader fiction contest. She can be reached at [email protected]

Anne G. Fegely, nineteen years old, currently attends James Madison University in pursuit of an English degree and secondary education minor. Her hobbies include writing poetry, sketching portraits and powerlifting. Her poetry has been published in the Teen Love series. She would like to dedicate her poem to her parents and Mrs. Getz.

Brian Firenzi is a sophomore in high school in California. He enjoys creating videos with his friends, writing screenplays and snowboarding. Brain aspires to work in journalism or filmmaking. He can be reached at [email protected]

Molly Gaebler is a fifteen-year-old high-school student in Berkeley, California. She enjoys writing and is a reporter for her school newspaper, the Berkeley High Jacket. In addition to writing, she takes pleasure in dancing, playing goalie for her field hockey team and playing lacrosse. She can be reached at [email protected]

Erin Gandia is sixteen years old and a junior at Carthage Central High School. An honor-roll student, Erin is involved in theater and enjoys listening to and performing music. Her parents and friends are very important aspects in her life. She can be reached at [email protected]

Gwynne Garfinkle lives in Los Angeles. Her poetry, fiction, essays and music reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff, Exquisite Corpse, Big Bridge, The American Voice, Loca and the Los Angeles New Times.

Ambrosia Gilchrist is a freelance writer in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In her short writing career, she has been published numerous times for her poetry, and has had artworks placed in galleries in her hometown. She loves sports and all of the arts. She is currently in the ninth grade in the advanced program at Bedford Road Collegiate.

Randy Glasbergen is one of America’s most widely and frequently published cartoonists. More than 25,000 of his cartoons have been published by Funny Times, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Guideposts for Teens, Campus Life, America Online and many others. His daily comic panel “The Better Half” is syndicated worldwide by King Features Syndicate. He is also the author of three cartooning instruction books and several cartoon anthologies. You can find more of Randy’s cartoons online at

Kristy Glassen is a student at Penn State University. As a senior graduating in December, she wanted to take this opportunity to say thank-you to those people who have stuck by her side through it all. They know who they are. To her family, Mom, Dad and Ryan, she thanks them for believing in her and giving her the courage to chase her dreams. Her love goes out to them. This quote sums up how she looks at life, “I am not afraid of tomorrow. I have seen yesterday, and I love today.” She can be reached at [email protected]

Benedicta Goveia is a ninth-grade student living in Toronto, Canada. She enjoys reading and writing to a great extent and is aspiring to get her first book published by her sixteenth birthday. Her other interests include collecting Harry Potter items and playing the piano.

Nicole Hamberger is a sixteen-year-old optimist who loves to give back to her community. Aside from her passion for writing, she volunteers at Saint Barnabas Hospital twice a week, working in both the emergency room and the Child Care Development Center. She also teaches religious education and enjoys spending time with her friends.

Amy Hilborn is an honors English student at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, hoping to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing. She has been published at her university and the Poetry Institute of Canada. Written when seventeen years old, this story is dedicated to her family and her boyfriend, Colin.

Jayme Johnson is a college student. This is her first published piece. She would like to thank her friends and family for supporting her, Chrissie for being her best friend for ten years and running, and her boyfriend, Chris, for always being there for her. She can be reached at [email protected]

Bret Anthony Johnston is a writer in northern Michigan. This story is dedicated to his brother, Bill.

Caitlin Keryc is a student at Columbia University. Though she has not decided on a major, she’s living it up in New York City and enjoying all that college life has to offer. She wrote this story for her junior year writing class in high school. She can be reached at [email protected]

Cassie Kirby lives in Livonia, Michigan. She is currently in college, studying to be an elementary-school teacher. She would like to thank her family, her boyfriend and her best friends for their unwavering support and constant laughs. She can be reached at [email protected]

Sarah Klapak is a high-school student living in Wyoming, Ontario, Canada. She coaches recreational gymnastics, enjoys writing short stories and poems, has aspirations of becoming a teacher of the deaf and is strong in her Christian faith. She can be reached at [email protected]

Michelle LaNoce is a college student in New York. She is a very outgoing person who lives life to the fullest, always seeking out new opportunities and striving to obtain her many goals. She can be reached at [email protected]

Paula Leifer is currently a dance and English education major at the University of Maryland. This story was written when she was a sophomore in high school, and she hopes to continue pursuing her writing career throughout college. She can be reached at [email protected]

Kathryn Litzenberger is a student at the University of Rhode Island where she is majoring in secondary education and English. She has been previously published in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. This piece is dedicated to her best friend, Erin, who has never let her down. She can be reached at [email protected]

Laura Loken is currently a freshman majoring in elementary education at the University of North Dakota. She is a past contributor to Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul III and is excited about being part of the series again. She can be reached at [email protected]

Joanna Long wrote her piece when was fifteen years old. She still enjoys writing, but her favorite study is history. She likes to play soccer, swim, take part in almost any outdoor activity and hang out with her friends. She can be reached at [email protected]

Eleanor Luken is an amateur high-school writer from Louisville, Kentucky. She can be reached at [email protected]

Anna Maier is a first-year college student in Michigan. She is working toward a degree in education with hopes of teaching the hearing-impaired. She submitted her piece as part of a final exam in her high-school English class. Anna can be reached at [email protected]

Cortney Martin has been writing since age ten and penned “What I Really Learned in World Geography” as a high-school senior. Now a college sophomore, Cortney is on staff at The Pasadena Citizen newspaper and writes short stories in her spare time. She can be reached at [email protected]

Paige Melillo is a 2002 graduate of Boston University’s College of Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]

Dan Mulhausen just graduated from Columbia Basin Community College. He is now attending school at the University of Oregon. Since the story was written, Dan and Tash have unfortunately gone separate ways, but they remain close friends. He can be reached at [email protected]

Laura O’Neill is a freelance writer in Ellicott City, Missouri. She is sixteen years old and attends Mount de Sales Academy. She is very involved in her parish’s youth ministry program and hopes to pursue a career as a youth minister. Laura can be reached at [email protected]

Lorelei Pablo is a twenty-one-year-old immigrant from the Philippines. She arrived in the United States on November 30, 2001. She is working full-time as a certified nursing assistant in one of the best nursing homes in her home state. She enjoys writing poems in her leisure time. She also has plans to continue her studies in the near future.

Michael T. Powers, whose writing appears in many inspirational teen books, is a high-school girls’ coach, youth director and the author of his own book, Straight from the Heart. For a sneak peek or to join the thousands of worldwide readers on his daily inspirational e-mail list, visit He can also be reached at [email protected]

Sara Profitt will graduate with the Class of 2003 at Brookville High School in Ohio. She is involved in several clubs and has been a staff member of her school newspaper every year of high school. Sara plans to attend college where she will major in English and theater. This poem is dedicated to Chris. She can be reached at [email protected]

Zihanna Rahman is seventeen years old and wrote “Sorrows Underneath” in her sophomore year of high school. She started writing stories in elementary school, but moved on to poetry and lyrics in high school. She finds inspiration through music and art. Her other writings can be found on her Web site at She can be reached at [email protected]

Jennifer Reichert is a freelance writer in Los Angeles, where she is currently an undergraduate at UCLA, majoring in English. She recently studied at Cambridge University, England. She is also a former staff member for the UCLA Daily Bruin, and presently interns for a film production company.

Marissa Roche will be completing her junior year in high school this spring. She attends Gardner High School in Gardner, Massachusetts. She is very active in her school and her community. She loves to write poetry and has been published in anthologies from She can be reached at [email protected]

Katherine Rowe is a student in college and plans to major in English. She enjoys writing and attending acting workshops. She is a loyal reader of the entire Chicken Soup series and became inspired by the books to write her own story. Katherine can be reached at [email protected]

Jodi Rudin is a high-school senior. She enjoys reading and writing short stories. She facilitates The Pacific Institute’s curriculum Increasing Your Causative Power, which is a self-help program for teens. This story is in memory of Mary Scharlach. She can be reached at [email protected]

Amanda Russell is a resident of Tennessee, who enjoys writing poems and short stories. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in theater education at Middle Tennessee State University. This story is dedicated to her best friend, Kristen Hrusovsky. She can be reached at [email protected]

Michelle Siil is a girl of many words. “Breathing” is her first published work, hopefully one of many. When Michelle graduates from college in 2006, she hopes to become a teacher and a writer. She appreciates the support of her family, friends and teachers. Michelle can be reached at [email protected]

Rebecca Slobada is a student at Translyvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. She is studying art and psychology and will graduate in 2005. She can be reached at [email protected]

Bobbi Smith is partner in a Baha’i-inspired socioeconomic development project based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Her story is dedicated to Norman and Toni Smith, Erika Hastings Adlparvar, the Smiths, the Sabripours and all those who have enabled her to serve. She can be reached at [email protected]

Ronica Stromberg has written for many publications and is the author of the young adult mystery, The Glass Inheritance published by Royal Fireworks Press. She is currently at work on a teen series to be published by Moody Press. She can be reached at [email protected]

Jenifer Sunday is a high-school student in Massachusetts. She plans to attend college in the fall and will major in art education. Her poetry has also been published in Devotions of the Mind. This poem is dedicated to her dearest friends. She can be reached at [email protected]

Allison Thorp is a freshman at West Virginia Wesleyan College majoring in music education and English. She enjoys playing the piano, especially for the college jazz ensemble. She is secretary for her class and is active in Kappa Phi, a Christian woman’s organization. She can be reached at [email protected]

Pegah Vaghaye started writing poetry and short stories as early as eight years old. Since then, she has been a member of several writing organizations and has contributed her works to youth and church newsletters and magazines. She hopes to publish her compilation of poems someday. She may be reached at [email protected]

Christy Vander Griendt is educating herself toward a career in forensics and pathology at Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Her passion for poetry is what led her to write the poem, “One Step Behind,” which was written for and dedicated to her sister.

Christine Walsh is a comedian and actress in Boston, Massachusetts. Outside of the spotlight, she is a nanny for two beautiful and adventurous toddlers, Jacob and Joshua. Christine wishes to thank David for his love and ability to always make her smile.

Staci Warren wrote this poem when she was twelve years old during a hard time for her family. Her stepdad had just died and she wanted to cheer up her mother. She is fourteen years old and goes to Allen High School. She is glad she has made it this far and believes in “never stop dreaming.”

Sarah Watroba is a freshman at Oswego State University. She is majoring in broadcasting and plans to pursue a career in the television or radio industry. Her poem is dedicated to the class of 2001 of North Tonawanda High School. It was read to all of the graduates on their final day in high school at an assembly dedicated to taking the next step in life. The class of 2001 was her inspiration for writing this poem. She will never forget the memories they shared and the lessons that she learned during those unforgettable four years. Best of luck to all future graduates. She can be reached at [email protected]

Jennifer Winkelman works in the marketing research industry. Her understanding and hardworking husband truly proves that finding the man of your dreams is possible! This story is dedicated to her best friend, “Mary Anne,” who was there for her through everything. Jenny can be reached at [email protected]

Adelene Wong is currently a senior in the International Baccalaureate program. She wants to thank her mother and sister for all the support they’ve given over the years. She wishes to share this thought: A closed mind is a good thing to lose. Be open, honest and empathetic. You will get a lot further than you think!

Rebecca Woolf is a freelance writer and photographer who has written for Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II and III, Teen Love: On Relationships, Teen Love: On Friendship, Teen Love: A Journal on Friendship, 19 (the popular UK magazine) and more. Keep your eyes out for Rebecca’s first solo book of poetry titled, Through Broken Mirrors: A Reflective Memoir. Rebecca is the program director and newsletter editor for Lead the Star, a creative company devoted to inspiring creativity and strength of identity in young adults. She can be reached at [email protected]

Pey Jung Yeong is a seventeen-year-old college student currently studying in Australia. Born in Malaysia, she was actively involved in debates and essay competitions in her high-school days. She enjoys reading, writing and playing the piano in her spare time. She can be reached at [email protected]

Kelley Youmans is a junior at Michigan State majoring in English education. This is her first publication, but she has been on YM’s news team and writes daily. She dedicates this story to her family and friends for their support and to her sister Sarah. She can be reached at [email protected]

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