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Teacher talks teens on Oprah

by Joyce Hollister

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School teacher Miki Trujillo plugged her book about talking to teens on the Oprah Show Friday.

Her book, “Why Can’t We Talk?” was published last spring.

“I think the biggest part for me was getting the message out there to hopefully change teens’ and parents’ lives by improving their communication,” Trujillo said Monday,

Trujillo believes her book gives teens a choice.

“They can read a passage and take it to their parents and say, ‘Please read this and later we can talk about it.'”

Teens who talk to their parent are better off, she said.

“Teens who communicate with their parents make healthier decisions,” she said.

Being on the show was “very exciting,” Trujillo said. She added that Orpah Winfrey’s personality is “pretty much what you see on TV.”

The talk show host held the book up on screen and told viewers if they were parents, they should buy the book.

A film crew from the program was at Trujillo’s Gardnerville Ranchos home Feb. 25 to tape her and some teens talking.

Trujillo flew to Chicago for the taping of the program Feb. 28 and watched the show with her family Friday.

Three of the teens who were taped were on the show, including one in the “Remembering Your Spirit” segment.

Though Trujillo and the teens appeared briefly, she thinks the national exposure for her book was well worth it.

“We always knew we would need a national hit like that,” she said. “Fortunately they (the producers) were interested.”

The title of the show was “How to Get a Grip On Your Teen’s Lip.”

For her book, Trujillo gathered essays from teen-agers all over the country by calling schools and talking to teens.

“I wanted to give the teens a voice. I think a lot of them feel alone, like they are the only ones going through whatever problem. I wanted them to see they are not alone. There are other kids out there going through the same thing.”

She changed the names in the book so the contributors couldn’t be identified.

Trujillo’s second book, “Teens Talkin’ Faith,” a collection of writings from teen-agers about their life experiences and how their faith has given them hope, is due out in September.