A New York Times article about how the economy is influencing families recently caught Oprah's attention. As belts are tightening around the country, more parents are saying no to their children for the first time when it comes to money and shopping.
Oprah wanted to know what students were really thinking, so she sent Ali to take the teen pulse at a Maryland high school. Seventeen-year-old Brady says his dad just got laid off. "Usually they give me money, but now I feel really guilty asking for any money," he says. "I have a lot of money saved up, so I was using all the money I have saved up mostly."
Francisco is also feeling the financial strain at home after his father lost his job, but he says he has extra motivation to learn about what's really going on with the economy. "I'm 18, so I'm going to be voting this next election," he says. "It's really important for me to find out what is going on."
Ali also met Ryan, a 17-year-old who's worried about how he's going to afford college. "For years, my dad always said: 'College is not going to be a problem. We're going to take care of it.' But now its finally coming out that he's more and more worried," he says. "That day when the Dow went down 700 points, he just sat there watching [saying]: 'There goes your first semester. There goes your second semester.' Now he's worried because it's less than a year away."
Teens aren't just worried about how the financial crisis is affecting their bottom line—they're also worried about the future. "I just want it to go away," 17-year-old Kathleen says. "It's huge. It's billions and billions of dollars—that's more than I can ever perceive. I can't imagine that my generation is going to have to solve it."