In a televised forum before a packed house at City Hall on Thursday evening, a panel of Rock Hill students tackled some of toughest topics that teens today face.
Chief among them: bullying in an age when technology changes at the speed of a text message.
It happens "not even once a week, but everyday," Northwestern High junior Mohit Gupta told the crowd.
"It's really sickening how much drama goes on because of Facebook," Northwestern High 10th-grader Hannah Gresham added.
Never miss a local story.
The discussion was part of an annual youth forum put on by the city's No Room for Racism Committee.
Jane Alleva, director of York County All on Board Coalition, was guest speaker and dancers from the New Attitude Performing Arts Center performed before the seven teens took the floor.
The intent of the series is to spotlight youth issues, said Carol Harvey, a committee member who helped organize the forum.
"We can talk all we want to," Harvey said. "But when people see youth actually talking and sharing ideas, it's a call to action.
"It's so important. This is our future."
One year, teens discussed consequences of peer pressure. Another year, local students spoke about race relations.
Thursday's forum, titled "Get your swagger back!" focused on building self-esteem, improving body image and confronting bullies.
Moderator Keith Wilks, Rock Hill schools' director of student services, started the discussion by putting swagger in context.
"In the '60s it was 'bad,'" Wilks said. In the '70s it was "cool." The '80s, "fresh." The '90s were "hip."
"In the early 2000s, we were 'chillin'." Today, it's "swag."
The group talked about how important it is to develop confidence and a positive self-image to avoid succumbing to taunts from peers.
"You can't look to other people to tell you you're capable of doing something," Rock Hill High junior Markiera McCullough said.
While the teens didn't get into specific examples of bullying they've witnessed, Bryan Alleva, a York Technical College student, said he's seen the effects of verbal tormenting.
"When you call someone something, like 'pizza face' or whatever, it takes away their name or their identity," he said.
Before ending the discussion, the teens offered advice to middle and elementary schoolers.
"Be yourself," Northwestern High senior Ariel Barnes said. "No one can be better than you.
"The comments, the statuses, the bashing won't matter ... if you're comfortable in your own skin."
Don't stress over appearances and whether your clothes match, Bryan Alleva said. "You'll have way more fun if you just let it be."
Try to turn the bad feelings from bullying into something positive, Northwestern High junior Denise Lockhart said.
"Make changes that you feel are necessary," McCullough said. "Don't let other people's negativity lead you to change."
"Have positive friends," Jared McIlwain said. "Don't surround yourself with negativity."
"There's two different kinds of swagger," Gresham said. "Positive and negative.
"Make a positive impact on Rock Hill, the community and America with your swagger."