The Valley Patriot’s New Teen Talk Columnist Ana Introduces Herself to Our Readers – TEEN TALK WITH ANA DEBERNARDO

EDITORS NOTE: This month we are resurrecting our Teen Talk column with 15-year-old Ana DeBernardo of Danvers who tells us she is very excited to write about being a teenager and a Latina. We have asked Ana to write about her life, experiences and her perspectives on life. Our last Teen Talk columnist, Tyler Dumont, has gone on to work at WHDH, Channel 7, and has won an Emmy since leaving the Valley Patriot, so we have high hopes that our new Teen Talk columnist is bound for greatness.





By: Ana Montserrat de Bernardo – October 2013

My name is Ana Montserrat de Bernardo and I am a sophomore at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. I have been reading The Valley Patriot for a while now, and I absolutely love it.

It’s different from the other newspapers I read, and I especially value the fact that it offers many different perspectives on a variety of subjects. I have always loved writing and I’m looking forward to having a forum where I can discuss different issues.

My aim is to write in a style that will appeal to other teens as I comment on world events, social problems, music, movies, and really anything that interests kids our age. It is also my intention to make this column a venue for any young person who wants to share their thoughts with other young Valley Patriot readers, and I will do my best to cultivate a free exchange of ideas in these pages each month.

Since this is my first column in this paper, I thought it would be a good idea to say a few words about myself. At home, I grew up speaking only Spanish, even before I learned English. We still speak primarily Spanish at home. I recently had my Quinceañera, or my “Sweet Fifteen” birthday celebration. This was planned by my mother and me for many months, and I wore a special dress we bought just for the occasion.

There was a Spanish Mass said for me at St. John the Baptist Church in Peabody, and my sister and I did the readings. I had my aunts and uncle there, as well as my cousins and, of course, my mom and dad. Many of my friends, from both my middle school and my high school, came to the mass. There were probably thirty of them, and it was nice to have everyone there.

Some of my friends don’t understand Español, but they are all Catholic and so they didn’t feel disoriented, and they knew what to do and when to do it. After that, my parents threw a big, beautiful party for me, with tons of food, and we all had an awesome time together. I loved my presents, especially the ritzy new rug for my bedroom!

We go to South America every summer to visit our family for two months. I have been told that I am an artist-in-the-making, and this summer, I studied painting with a very successful South American artist named Porfirio Bustos. He has a well-known art school, and I painted my first two oil paintings while I was there.

I had concentrated on drawing previously, and had some exposure to acrylic paints, but any artist will tell you that oils are a bigger challenge. They both turned out pretty well, though, and I recently entered one of them, which depicts a languid sunset river scene, into the Topsfield Fair art competition. I’ll let you know next month if I win a ribbon, but I know there are a lot of talented young artists out there.

My older sister, Lucía Beatriz, is 19 and a sophomore at Harvard. I like the fact that she is still in the Boston area and close enough for us to visit any time we want. I also have a brother, Dominic, who is 17 and is a junior at Malden Catholic High School. Dom lives, eats, breathes and dreams baseball, and plays on three different teams (indoors in the winter). I think that our family is more close-knit than most other families I have seen –at least that is how it feels to me. I also have two children named Tutti and Nala, my black and white toy poodles and those two are my little amiguitos –my buddies.

Tennis is my game. I play for St. Mary’s High School, and I really enjoy it much more than other sports. I play every chance I get, usually with my friend Alessa Padilla from my old middle school. I also play the piano and if you hear a song drifting through the air from the other room, that’s me. I am always singing to myself, and it keeps me in a good mood.

One last thing –and it’s a biggie. I don’t want to alienate my readers right off the bat, but my family roots for the Yankees. My favorite player is Robinson Canó. There. I said it. I needed to share the good and the bad, and there you have it.

This column is meant to introduce myself to Valley Patriot readers, and I hope that you have gotten to know me a little. I am really looking forward to sharing my thoughts in future editions. If anyone wants to get in touch with me, please write to me, Ana, at or Attention: ANA to