How one teen explores — and escapes — through music

Rio Samaniego by Vanessa Valencia-Lopez. Portrait Project High School Journalism Institute 2018.

Rio Samaniego came home from another isolating day of school.

Once again, he sat alone during lunch, ostracized by his seventh-grade peers.

He lay in his bed and put on a new album recommended to him by a friend: “Worlds” by Porter Robinson. To Rio, the album conveyed nostalgia and sadness, themes that he related to and distracted him from the bullying at school.

“You can block out the negative aspects of life,” Rio said. “Some people use poetry or art, but I use music.”

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