What songs bring back old memories, or make you stop and listen, or bring you up when you’re down? Here’s what The kNOw writers had to say.

Finding True Love
All songs make me emotional in some way. One song that brings a lot of happiness and memories is “Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. It’s one of my top songs and I love it. The song is important to me because it talks about a journey through life and love, then finally finding the one who was made for you. I sing it all the time with my boyfriend, “God bless the broken the road that led me straight to you.” That’s the main line in the song. The song talks about how in life we are with people who might break our heart, but thanks to those people we find our true love.
-Angelina, 16


Lyrics That Make You Think
Hearing the song “Ironic” by Alanis Morrisette brings back memories of being in English class at Fresno High School. I remember that I was astonished by the lyrics of this song. They were really crazy lyrics and they make you think. Irony.
-Kevis, 18


Songs That Strengthen
I got home one night and noticed my mom had bruises on her neck, and a fat cut on her lip. My stepdad was gone and the kids were asleep. I looked at her and said, “He hit you again, didn’t he?” All she could do was cry. I told her we should call the police because she does not deserve to get hurt like this, especially by the person she loves. She begged me not to call the police. The next couple of days, I tried to stay close to her but he was all loving to her and apologizing.

Then one day my parents found out that our uncle molested my sisters and me because one of my sisters told a friend and they told a teacher. What hurt the most is that my stepdad started to molest me after he found out about this. After he finished hurting me physically, emotionally, and mentally, I went into the bathroom, took a shower, and scrubbed my body until I was almost bleeding. Then I would go to my bedroom, turn on the radio, and lay on my bed and cry.

Once, while I was on the bed listening to the radio, I heard a few songs that spoke to the way I was feeling. The first song related to my mom because it is about a mother who gets physically hurt by her husband. In the end she finds the courage to leave him and takes the kids with her. It’s by Christina Aguilera and it’s called “Mother.”

The other song I heard is by Reba McIntire and Kelly Clarkson, it is called “Because Of You” and this song related to both situations I was going through. If you listen to one of the verses, it says, “Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk, because of you I find it hard to trust not only me but everyone around me.” Every time I hear this song, I think back to everyone who has hurt me and everyone who has shown me love.
-“Marie”, 20


Whenever I hear the song “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, it reminds me of the movie, Titanic. I’m a big fan of that movie and I love the music in it. The part that comes to my mind when I listen to the song is when the Titanic breaks down and Jack and Rose are both struggling to survive. Also, the part at the end when Jack dies and Rose lived to tell the story.
-Dasen, 17


Nostalgic Songs
When I’m listening to music, there are always a couple of songs that remind me of certain events in my life. There’s one particular song that reminds me of my ex because it was a song we always listened to together when we first started dating. When I hear this song, it makes me stop what I’m doing and listen. When I hear this song, it reminds me of so many things that happened in the past two years. Like I really hated hearing this song when I was mad at my ex. There were a couple of weird instances when I put my iPod on shuffle and the song would play and my ex would call. This song will always serve as a reminder to me of how my ex will always be here for me. I know it’s cliché, but it was our song.

When I hear the song “EI” by Nelly, I think of my dad. This song reminds me of my dad because one day when I was sick and coming home from the hospital, the song came on the radio and my dad sang it funny to make me feel better.
-Arena, 16


Good Ol’ Times
When I was little, my mother would put on movies for her and I to watch. One movie was about two guys that would go clubbing all night every night. The song in the movie was called “Be My Lover.” I don’t know who the singer was but it was a great song and when I hear that song, it makes me think of the time my mom and I had together. We laughed all night. Those were the great times we spent together. That song is very old and I don’t hear it much but when I do it’s funny and makes me smile.
-“Omar”, 18


I always got into my grandma’s car with the sound of the Oldies. Just riding with her to the store was a blast from the past. I remember I never knew the people who sang the songs but I always could sing along. And my grandma would join in, that was our little way of connecting and bonding. Even to this day, when I go get something to eat at Taco Bell late at night, it is a memory I love because I will be singing with my grandma to all the oldies. That’s what I love most.
-Patrice, 18


Songs From The Past
The song that evokes feelings for me is the song sung during the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, the version from the 70s with Gene Wilder. Another song that “opened” my soul is the song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. These songs make me feel good inside because at the time there was a lot going on in my life and these songs served as a release for my anguish. After I heard these songs I felt my life was in the grasp of God and that my troubles would melt away like lemon drops, and I would rise above my struggles.
-Marcus, 18

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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