Second Chance (A Ninth Grade Student’s Poem on Redemption)

Everyone needs a second chance,

A second chance to say goodbye.

To say sorry, to understand.

To hold a grudge or to start a new chapter,

A chance to remain hurt, or a chance to forgive and forget.

But why remain hurt if there’s a second chance to stop hurting.

I need a second chance, you need a second chance,

We need a second chance.


MT is a Black 9th grade student at Dorsey High School in the West Adams area of Los Angeles. His favorite hobbies include playing basketball when he’s outside, and playing Fortnite when he’s stuck at home. This poem is dedicated to his father.


The Path of Togetherness (An Eighth Grade Student’s Poem on Growth)

As I wait patiently and try
Desperately to gain enlightenment I recognize a path that
Represents something unique.

Independently I strive to connect with this path,
But there are battles inside me casting a blinding fog
Trying to distract me. 

The fog tries to cast away my connection to the path,
But when I look closer, it calls out to me.

The path communicates a message of bonding,
Of teamwork and togetherness

It communicates gracefully, pushing me forward.

I recognize the path as one creating new opportunities for my future.

The path begins to become a part of me,
My trust starts to build upon this path I chose.

I have new paths to make, where I can manifest ideas
To develop my own independence
And to help others grow and manifest theirs.


This poem is dedicated to the Los Cuentos community.

A Strand of Humanity (An Eighth Grade Student’s Poem on this Covid19 Season)

I sit here alone between four dark walls
Longing for a connection I can’t help but recall

This deadly virus has taken more than spirit and soul.
It’s also broken a ritual between me and my friends.

I wish I could say “hi” to them,
Or shake their hands, or tap them on the shoulder.

Now we sit isolated in virtual reality,
Only a strand of humanity.

School and work are gone, off limits
But these places aren’t just somewhere to be,

They also bring light in to a dark room.

Calamity over the virus now makes for empty shelves,
People panicking ignorantly,
Angering themselves, shoving each other.

I hope to see some deliverance soon,
A respite from this gloom to light up my room.


This poem is dedicated to the city of Los Angeles and all who read this poem.

How to Beat Summer 2019: Part III

Los Cuentos with J.T; Summer 2019

Alright, so you made it past How to Beat Summer 2019 Parts I & II and are now nearing the finish line. However, if you think the third and final part of this series will be easier because you’ve gotten through the first two lists, you’re in for a surprise.

1. START YOUR OWN BUSINESS OR ENTERPRISE. To some, this may sound “too far advanced,” but it can be done in so many ways that it’s actually much easier than it appears. You can start a band, or you can start a rap career. You can start painting, illustrating or photographing the world you live in, or you can start making delicious soup out of it; you can start on your path to becoming a motivational speaker, or you can start on your destiny as a fashion designer. But first, you need to start by getting organized, which is where your outline comes in. Depending on your choice, your outline will answer one of the following questions from this list:

I. What will your podcast talk about to make it unique?
II. How will your raps set you apart from the competition?
III. What will your paintings show about the importance of self-expression?
IV. What will your photo or drawing capture that the world needs to see?
V. What will the name of your soup kitchen be?
VI. What will your motivational speech sound like? Or, who will your ‘target audience’ be? (E.G. Youth, undocumented, queer communities, etc.)
VII. Who will your fashion design be for? (Same as above)

Your business can also be an idea from outside the list, but check with me first about it. No matter what the idea though, you’re going to need an outline explaining the mission of your business. For any questions on your outline, I’m just around the block.

2. RECORD YOUR FIRST PODCAST FOR YOUR BIZ. UPLOAD IT TO SOUNDCLOUD. HIT PUBLISH. Here, you’re not only going to create your own original content, but you’re also going to build a platform to showcase it like a pro. But wait, I can hear the doubts trickling in already: What are you going to record? Or, what if you record, but people think your podcast is silly? Or what if no one stops by to listen? These are the kinds of questions that many creators ask before starting something new, but the fact is that such questions just get in your way; they’re based on fear, not reality, and this is because we all have the ability to be creative in our unique way that others can learn from. Moreover, what you should really be concerned about is how if you’re not taking advantage of how quickly you can make your own podcast in 2019, that’s a way bigger loss than someone thinking your recordings are silly. And. Here’s. The. Best. Part:

This Summer 2019, if you’re up for this challenge on our list, I will show you how to make your own podcast. Wait, did someone say challenge? Like our Hat Challenge, or our New Hoodie Challenge? Yes, indeed, Youngs!

3. COMPLETE BOTH ITEMS ON THIS LIST TO WIN THE FIRST EVER BLACK & WHITE HOODIE BY J.T. That’s right. If you choose to start your rap career this Summer 2019, you’re not only going to write and record your verse, but you’re going to record your own podcast telling people more about your rap. The first step to building your podcast will be an outline. If you choose to start a soup kitchen, you’ll record a podcast describing your kitchen’s menu with details like how I’ve done with these posts.

To make things more interesting, you’ll also be choosing a pseudonym, or a mysterious online name specifically for this project, which in actuality is how a lot of the internet used to be, since a lot us were shy about our work when we were just starting out! Complete these steps, and I assure you that you’ll be the first student to ever WIN the First Black & White Hoodie by Jimbo Times.

SO, are you entering the challenge? Then get a MOVE ON! For all yours questions, try the new contact form to reach me. I can’t wait to see all your ideas!


How to Beat Summer 2019: Part II

Greatness Looming; Spring 2019
Los Cuentos with David; Spring 2019

So it’s the second day of summer and you did everything outlined in How to Beat Summer 2019: Part I, even though you didn’t quite do everything (since I’m still waiting for my next round of (five) subscribers). But even after that you feel like you’re still not enjoying the most awesome summer of all time yet. Why? This is because if you’re anything like most humans, sometimes your mood–like the weather–is simply going to change by the day. First, understand that June Gloom is totally real. Second, fear not! Below are three additional tips for you to start making Summer 2019 your best right now, right away:

1. TAKE A BROOM AND DUSTPAN. FIND AN AREA. SWEEP THAT S***. Try this for just an hour. Admittedly, an hour of sweeping floors at home will seem to pale in comparison to an hour with your team on Fortnite, but all of us know it’ll eventually be time to put the game down. When that time comes, think about this: everything at home besides the game, from the distance between the couch and the TV, to the way the pictures in the living room are framed, to the fake art on the walls and the old toys, and even to the boogers you hide underneath the desk, is all arranged exactly the way it is because of somebody’s doing.

And so, if you can make just a few simple changes to the way your living room, kitchen, or some other spot at home looks with just a little bit of cleaning, you right away boost your chances to create change in your social and emotional life too. How? Because the person you want to be out there needs to start with the person you are at home first, and the person at home always needs to get organized before they can do big things out there. Now, the hardest part of cleaning house is just getting started with the cleaning, but I guarantee that once you get going, you can really get into renewing the space around you as a therapeutic experience. Don’t believe me? Watch THIS.

2. WRITE (or PAINT, or DRAW). It may come as no surprise to you that I’m something of an ambassador for literacy, or the ability to read and write. In particular, I like reading books and talking about books and telling others about books they’ve never heard of and also looking for new books and different ways to get those books and even different ways to read them and—you get my point. However, have I told you about how much I actually enjoy WRITING, too?!

Here’s another secret for you to keep in mind. This entire website, and all of my creative work everywhere, started with just a little bit of writing when I was a teen. Don’t believe me? See it with your own eyes, skeptic. This is why I believe the most important part of summer is the creative work that you emerge with at the end of the season. Now does this mean you still have to write even if you’re not much of a “writer”? Actually, yes it does, because writing is a proven way for anyone to release emotions. But doeit mean that writing is the only way to release emotion? No. You can also paint or draw, or even dance. As long as you’re picking up one of those pencils (or brushes or feet) of yours and splashing ideas on to the paper (or canvas or floor) of something authentic to you, you’re setting up for some major payoffs this summer. Now, what to write about, you ask? Oh, don’t worry about that, How to Beat the Summer: Part III will have plenty of options for you.

3. LEARN HOW TO CUT YOUR OWN HAIR. THEN DO IT. Okay, now this tip doesn’t need to be read too literally. As in, let’s move one step at a time here. But think for a moment about the benefit of learning how to cut your own hair this summer:

I. You’ll save $15 every two months, which in a year becomes nearly $100 on savings since you won’t need to go to the barbershop or salon (much love to the barbers and all the stylists out there, though). $100 can get you a lot of Los Cuentos Merch.

II. You can’t get mad at yourself for a bad haircut (because when it’s your fault instead of someone else’s, it’s all good). The same is true when you make your own eggs, pancakes, or other meals. And ON THIS NOTE: substitute “Cut” for “Cook” and “Hair” for “Mac & Cheese” and then message me as soon as you need someone to taste the samples. It shall be arranged!

III. You stand to love yourself for cutting your own hair (or cooking your own Mac & Cheese, because if you look fresh or eat good all thanks to your own genius, that’s what it feels like to be a rock-star).

Now let’s be frank, neither haircutting or home-cooking are quite for everyone, so it’ll be okay with me if you actually avoid this last tip (though if you’re brave enough to actually cut your own hair, let me know). Your cleaning and your writing, however, will be absolutely key if you hope to win the next contest for Los Cuentos. Expect the announcement of our next contest in How to Beat the Summer: Part III, scheduled for this next Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 8:00 AM. Set up a reminders! You will not want to miss it.


Two Sides of Wonder (An 8th Grade Student’s Poem on Being)

U sit and wonder in class,
U sit in wonder at home,
I wonder why,
Why do I wonder,
Why do u wonder?

But isn’t it all wonderful
When we wonder
About being wonderful,

Or when we wonder about
What makes us wonder.

I wonder why, actually
I wonder why we wonder,
And what we wonder.

I wonder about my lady
Who’s got me bubbling lately,
Says my side is where she stay
But what happens when u drift away.

Look back at my pops, wonder where he’s at all day,
No kap, I’m just a young Black teen
Who wants to grow up and pursue his dreams.

A young visionary who wants to make sure
It’s always food in mom’s fridge,

Who wants to rise, uplift his friends,
Get bands, and count up the dividends.


Don’t Be One Who You Are Not (A 7th Grade Student’s Poem on Identity)

Don’t be one who you are not,
Be one who you are.

Wearing a mask wears you out,
Faking fatigues.

The most exhausting activity is
When you pretend to be
What you know you aren’t.

Everybody has something special inside,
They just don’t always show it.

Search deep inside,
And in your heart
You’ll know it.


Doubt is My Father’s Knee (A 7th Grade Student’s Poem on Doubt)

Who doubts me,
I doubt me, my friends doubt me,
Doubt just finds me.

I think of my father’s fall
Even after puncturing his knee
He still wanted to drive us home,
He didn’t want to quit on us,
He had no doubt about it.

Rest in peace Ermias.

Nipsey believed in everyone,
His passing has led other leaders to step up.
His hopes have led others to care for our community,
Other influencers now continue his work.

I can also help others face doubt.
I can inspire my family.

Like my dad holding up an open knee,
Showing all of us how to stand tall
No matter what holds us down.


I Knew (A 7th Grade Student’s Poem on Doubt)

Doubt, my dim companion.

We can hurt from many things,
But what’s most painful is
When our loved ones doubt
How much they’re truly loved.

If you’re in doubt
Then follow your heart,
If you’re in doubt
Then follow your instincts.

Keep your spirit salient through the motions.

One of the worst feelings is
To doubt something,
To doubt yourself.

Doubt keeps our minds captive
And fearful of the things which
Make up our past.

Fearful of the seconds that make up the present,
Fearful of the hours that make up tomorrow.

But when you doubt,
Know that I knew how much
You loved me.

When life was sweet,
And when life was dark,

When you told me,
And when you didn’t.

When it was easy and when it was hard. I knew.

I knew you didn’t
Doubt me.


This poem is dedicated to my aunt, uncle, parents and teachers.

The Soft Graze and the Pitch (An 8th Grade Student’s Poem on Doubt)

There is no other breath like doubt,
Moving through it are different pulses of


Mulling over to myself,

Am I enough?

My main concern
Is not being enough,

Why do I need to be the best to succeed?
Why do I need to become better?
Better yet, how do I become better?

I strike the field to calm my doubt
Stepping on the pitch, feeling the breeze
The ticklish grass barefoot
The soft graze and the goal,

Accept life for what it truly is
Accept that everyone has a dark side
Let out emotions and feeling,

Don’t hold on, but just move on.

Rest In Peace, Mac Miller <3