Another Utah teen, Emma Fryer, 17, of West Jordan, would also call on the president to remember that diversity is what makes our country great. "I hope that he listens to everyone in America," she said in a phone interview.
Brea and Emma's letters to Trump are among the six essays by Utah teens included in a just-released anthology, "Dear Mr. President: Teen Voices From Across the Country." "I am hopeful, I am scared, I am proud, I am hurt, I am invigorated," Emma wrote in her essay.
The book was the brainchild of writer Ingrid Ricks, a Logan native and University of Utah graduate now transplanted to Seattle. Ricks, the author of the bestselling young adult memoir "Hippie Boy," is launching "Dear Mr. President" in concert with Friday's Inauguration ceremonies. (It's available as a free Kindle download through Sunday; see box for details.)
The project grew out of Ricks' feelings of powerlessness after the election, particularly her concern about the sky-rocketing cost of health care after battling breast cancer and vision issues. Her two teenage daughters and other students expressed similar feelings after an election in which they weren't eligible to vote.
With a team of editors and designers, Ricks called on teens to submit essays addressed to the incoming president. Along with the Utah teens, youths from Connecticut, California, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Washington state submitted their thoughts for the book.
"I hope that the message and their voices get out so far and wide that the new administration and Congress will read their stories and their letters and their poems," Ricks says. "That's what I hope. We're starting a movement here."
Or as 17-year-old Yein Ji, of North Salt Lake, writes in her poem, "A Message From Us," labeling herself as the daughter of immigrants: "We are here for better lives / and we're not turning back."