A trip cut short. A sick parent. Canceled graduations, proms, and birthdays. As we were putting together this issue of Choices, we were reminded of all the ways your lives have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But we were also moved by your acts of ingenuity and kindness: helping strangers, helping each other, and finding lessons in the challenges of the situation. While we hope that by the time you read this story the worst is behind us, we know that we’ll continue to be awed by you for years to come. That’s why we asked teens from across the country to share their experiences serving their communities, facing heartbreaks big and small, and overcoming adversity. Consider this both a time capsule of a historical moment and a handbook for moving forward: What have we discovered about resilience? How has our world changed in the past six months, and what have we learned? We hope you find some answers— and endless inspiration—with the stories below.
In the midst of the devastating deaths and illness we’ve found some silver linings. Can we make the positive effects last?