These Lake Oswego and West Linn teens represent a wide range of interests, opinions and backgrounds. And they can't wait to start the conversation. Why don't we begin the introductions?

Tyler Smith

Lake Oswego High School, senior

My birth given name is Tyler Joseph Smith. I'd like to think it doesn't match my personality.

I was born and raised in Eugene. I have a rather large family, and up until a couple of years ago, I had 10 grandparents.

I was a shy, mellow, yet intellectual (I'd like to think) kid until I moved to Lake Oswego at the end of my seventh grade year. I grew up with an interesting crowd of people, opening up my mind and my perspectives on life.

With the death of my father at age 8 I was raised by my mother and the other male adults in my life.

I am now a senior at Lakeridge High School where I am no longer shy and whether it's good or not, not really mellow either.

I believe text is the most important instrument we have in our culture, and I hope to uplift and inspire the readers of my work. I enjoy biking and running and conversation.

The greatest inspiration of all comes from the conversations we have throughout our lives.

Without them there isn't much to life.

Additionally, I find myself to be a diehard tea fan - mainly green and black.

Elliot Prince

Wilsonville High School, sophomore

It's 1:49 a.m., the day before my 'intro column - a biography that shows some personality' is due. I am settled on the cold concrete steps of my West Linn home. Friends would say: 'Aren't you scared?' There is nothing to fear. These cities are two of the safest in the state. Their predictability, ease, comfort and sense of security are reasons why people describe this as 'the good life.'

I have lived here my entire life. I am both sorry and proud to say I do not like it. What an ignorant little girl who does not appreciate what she has, right? I know this area is rare in the world. This is one reason I am not planning to stay past graduation.

I attended WLHS last year and transferred to Wilsonville for my sophomore year.

My goal is not to insult readers or vent pessimistic perspectives. It is simply to voice my point of view and to encourage you, as readers to think for yourselves. I am doing this to step out of my comfort zone. One of my favorite quotes is, 'If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention,' - random bumper sticker. I hope to pay attention and influence others to do the same. I will be honest with readers and myself in everything I write.

Ben Silbert

Lakeridge High School, junior

Wow, my writing in the Review/Tidings. It's so amazing that this, right here, will be printed, put in mailboxes all around Lake Oswego and West Linn, and read by hundreds of people.

All the other activities I have - soccer, tennis, student government and so on - don't have the same level of influence as the simple words I will write as a member of the Review/Tidings Youth Board.

Unfortunately, I can't really reflect on this too long as it is almost 1 a.m. and as a result of soccer and Lake Oswego Youth City Council, books and binders still cover my desk.

Since moving here from Ohio about 14 months ago, and especially this year, I have been very busy with some hard classes: Mock Trial, Link Crew and everything else.

Really though, I like being fairly busy. And because of the people I've met and hang out with, I'm happiest living here in Lake Oswego.

It's time to get back to work, so this is all I have to write until I get the opportunity to do my first article in the coming weeks. Until then, have a great day. Go Pacers.

Lucy Walker

West Linn High School, junior

I'm guessing that most people reading this have never tried to define a teen-ager. As a whole we're pretty much lumped together into one adult-defying, rock 'n' roll listening group, it's hard to for us to distinguish ourselves when no one else will.

So, here I sit. At my computer, my eyes blurring from the glare of the screen as the minutes tick by. Trying to figure out what really does make me, Lucy Walker, different from a 'normal teen.' Deep down, every teenager wants the same things. So what separates us?

For me, I think it's the way that I look at the world. I see the world as a place that can, and needs to be changed. I am not afraid to stand up and say what I believe or to sit down and write what I believe.

I am excited for Youth Board this year, because I know it will be a place for me not only to voice my opinions but to have them challenged. I hope that my writings will help my community see things from a different perspective, or at least start some discussions! Thanks for reading, and I look forward to a great year.

Karen Li

Lake Oswego High School, junior

I am talkative and reserved, sarcastic and serious, open-minded and stubborn, hyper and laid-back…

I'm a junior at LOHS. I've been in the Lake Oswego School District my entire life, and I'm very grateful for the very privileged life I've had.

A unique thing about me is that I can speak four languages - English, Chinese, Spanish and French. The reason why I enjoy learning languages so much is because it allows me to interact with more people from different backgrounds and understand their culture.

I have a bit of a competitive streak, and I can debate my opinions with people for hours. I enjoy talking about politics and current events since I believe they're extremely important and have a direct impact on our lives. I'm excited about the upcoming election, and I look forward to writing about that, as well as all sorts of other topics.

Mark Poppert

West Linn High School, junior

If you looked at a picture of me 10 years ago in my little orange shirt with tiger paws over it, you would have never guessed that little scout was me. But here I am, six months away from becoming an eagle scout and only now I am really looking back at what it all meant.

It is rather ridiculous to think of all the random skills I have picked up over the years - how to treat for shock and seizures, how to throw a knife into a bulls eye 15 yards away and how set a fire by hitting a match with an axe - just a few that come to mind.

But I think it has also made me a better leader, an outgoing person and just a tad bit weird. It opened doors to worlds like the Mt. Hood National Forest, which I would have never found on my own.

Most importantly though, it made me think - whether about politics, economics or philosophy - to this day I have never stopped thinking. And I don't plan to any time soon.

Lara Andersson

Lakeridge High School, junior

I was born and lived in Stockholm, Sweden, until I was six years old. So, I grew up learning a unique language and culture.

My mother is American and brought my family back to her hometown of Lake Oswego in 1996 and we have lived here ever since.

French is another passion of mine. I love trying to decipher short stories and talking to my French classmates.

My other interests are varied from literature to cooking.

Cooking has always been a passion of mine, and I enjoy experimenting with new recipes. My friends are very good at supporting my culinary interest and, even after telling them of my infatuation with the idea of making a batch of mayonnaise cupcakes that I had seen in an incredibly indulgent cookbook, they (although somewhat reluctantly) agreed to try them.

Additionally, I will be participating in my first year of Company this coming year as well as leading Lakeridge environmental efforts through Roots and Shoots and Recycling club.

I plan on trying debate team along with dabbling in some extra curricular art and accordion classes.

I look forward to an exciting year on this Youth Board!

Billy Rathje

Lake Oswego High School, sophomoreWhen I'm not writing, I'm either acting or playing the guitar. I'm mostly a self-taught guitarist, and I also play some piano. I enjoy music quite a bit, and one of my dream jobs is to be a composer.

Throughout my life, I have always engaged in some form of acting or speaking. I also like going to theater, so don't be surprised if I review a show or two.

I enjoy writing reviews and opinion pieces. Some of my favorite books include 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' 'The Chosen,' 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Fahrenheit 451.'

In the future, I hope to pursue writing, drama, theater lighting, music, philosophy and even math. I enjoy following economic and local events.

I've been involved in student senate, and I hope to participate in more political activities this year.

Right now, I am watching the campaign trail closely, and I hope to bring a liberal slant to the Youth Board. Go Obama! I'm especially lucky to be on the Youth Board during an election year!

Rosa Glenn

Lake Oswego High School, junior

I was born in Dublin, Ireland, where I lived for the first five years of my life. We'd always moved around a lot when I was a kid, but the move to America didn't seem like a big one at the time.

Then again, I was told I would get $100 spending money at Toys 'R' Us and thought America was a few hours away. Four Barbies and a bouncy ball later, we moved into a house in Lake Oswego. We were supposed to stay here two years; we've been here 10.

Now I'm a junior at LOHS. Along the way I've participated in school sports and plays. I play tennis and co-ed rec. soccer, love to draw, paint, write, hike and raft.

I'm an avid follower of politics and have been glued to the TV this election season.

In regards to life after high school, I have no idea what I want to do. For now, I'm just enjoying my second to last year and look forward to writing with the paper.

Oliver Field

Riverdale High School, junior

Hello Lake Oswego, it's Oliver Field. That's right, it's me again. You're stuck with me for another whole year.

Although I was born in Milwaukee, Wis., I have lived in Portland for 12 years, and I went to Uplands Elementary until third grade before switching schools to Riverdale.

My family isn't one that likes to sit around. Soccer takes up most of my life. I love the sport and its international appeal, and I'm hoping to play in college in the future. My favorite European team is Arsenal in North London. Since I don't get there too often, I can be found at Portland Timber's games.

I enjoy our city and all it has to offer. Like most teen-agers, I like hanging out with my friends and going to the movies. I also play trumpet, guitar and a little piano.

I have always enjoyed writing at school, and the Youth Board is a great opportunity. I am looking forward to another year of writing for the Review/ Tidings.

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