New youth magazine has ConU Influence

Seventeen. Teen People. Teen Vogue. Ads screaming, “Buy me! Wear me! You want me! You need me,” and models flaunting beauty and figures that many can only dream of possessing. Fashion. Make-up. Sports. Exercise. Friends. School. Dating. Sex. Teenagers have information, but how much of it is really relevant to them?

“Quite honestly, there aren’t many youth magazines at this date and time,” says 23-year-old volunteer co-ordinator Becky Lazarovic and one of the editors for the new teen orientated Circa 12-25, a magazine published by youth advocacy group Head & Hands.

“The ones that saturate supermarkets are targeted at teens, but their content seems to encourage nothing but conformity, and they are neither informative nor counter-culture,” Lazarovic says.

“What Circa 12-25 is going for is something in a sense similar to what The Hour or Mirror does with news, culture and creative writing, [have] a local focus, but targeted at a slightly younger age group.”

The first issue was published in December 2003, and was the brainchild of the organization’s staff members.

The name, which translates into “around 12 to 25,” signifies the magazine’s target age group. Rather than have an editor-in-chief, Circa 12-25 has an editorial board of around ten people who collectively worked together on the first issue.

According to Lazarovic, Circa 12-25’s objectives are to be an avenue for uncensored self-expression of youth as well as a medium for the coverage of youth-driven initiatives and articles relevant to young Montrealers.

The magazine also complements the organization’s endeavours to empower youth and initiate social change.

The reason Circa 12-25 was created?

“Head & Hands sees empowerment as giving people the tools which will help them participate in society and accomplish their goals. In the ‘zine project, we invited people [who have] little to no experience to gain tangible skills, which is one way to empower somebody,” says Lazarovic.

“Moreover, we wanted to have an anecdotal way of representing to the public and to our members who we actually help and work with. Through the voices that are expressed in the magazine, other youth can gain a true sense of their peers just as our members can gain a three-dimensional sense of the lived experiences of today’s youth.”

Funding for the project came from the Head & Hands budget, and many of the 1,500 copies were first distributed at the organization’s launch, then at its youth centre and its clinics as well as in local high schools and caf

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