Posts by AccessLocal.TV :
By: Edder Cruz
In many parts of Latin America, life is very complicated and difficult.
People have to deal with the violence that comes from gangs and drugs,
the cartels fighting over territories and low paying legal jobs. That’s
the reason so many families try to come to the United States. To them,
this is a land of opportunities, and they come for their chance at the
In Sacramento there are immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador,
Cuba, and even faraway Asian countries. In one way to get to the United
States isn’t hard for Mexicans, it is kind of easier because they only
have to cross one border. But for people in Central America it’s harder
because they have to cross 2 or 3 borders and deal with the violence
that’s going on in some of those countries.
Immigrants may get killed, kidnapped or in some cases girls get raped.
But for those who make it to the United States it’s still hard because
they have to do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do, and deal with
those who say that they came to take over the jobs that Americans can be
doing. The reality is that we don’t normally see Americans going out to
the fields to work the crops, working under the sun doing construction,
cleaning restrooms, office buildings, or houses, or doing landscaping
jobs. When can you remember seeing an American standing outside the
Home Depot asking for a job? But I bet you’ve seen an American asking
for money outside the same Home Depot. What does that tell you?
Now more States are making their own laws against immigrants, making
their life harder and trying to kick them out of their State. Didn’t the
United States get over this in the past? Or do we need a new Civil
Right’s movement since Americans are doing almost the same thing to
immigrants. If we go back into history you will see that this country
was made of immigrants going back to the original 13 colonies. There has
been a national movement against bulling, so why is it okay to bully the
immigrants? We are people too and we just want a better life just like
everyone else. That shouldn’t be illegal.
by Marilynn Wong, Kim Su, and Mimi Wong
In America there are lots of people who need help doing things such as cleaning up parks, donating food to homeless people, helping kids, and much more. Without the help of volunteers things would be hard and it would take forever to finish a task. Many people across America spend time do volunteering, especially teens, they look for volunteering opportunities in their community so they can finish the number of hours required for school. Others look for volunteering opportunities just to kill time. What does it actually benefit? A student at John.F. Kennedy high school, Mimi Wong, is now going to be a junior in the fall. She said, “Volunteering helps the community and yourself.” Another student that will also be a junior at C.K.M. McClatchy, Kim Su, replied “Volunteering benefits everyone.”
Why should we volunteer? Volunteering helps kids learn and grow. “You learn new leadership skills and it is worth the time. Also helping out in an event is fun because you get to meet new people and work with them.” said Mimi. Volunteering is like a job because you work with different people. Without the chance to volunteer you would never know what it would be like when you find a job. Without getting paid, volunteers gain a meaningful experience.
The community is stronger by the help of volunteers. By the help of many hands, there is a difference that is always made. “Volunteering benefits the community in many ways. For example, if there was an event, it won’t happen if there weren’t any helpers.” said Mimi. “A cleaner environment and fresh air is accomplished.” said Kim. Volunteers become more aware of the issues and needs in their community. Also, people become more connected and have a positive impact on their community.
One-timed volunteering opportunities are rare and sometimes hard to find. As Kim said, “I volunteered all around Sacramento and Elk Grove. I look online and whatever I find and I sign up for that event.” Hands on Sacramento and Volunteer Match website have a lot of volunteer opportunities for people who have free time. “The volunteer websites definitely made my life easier by letting me know where they are instead of me going to places signing up.” said Mimi.
Therefore, volunteering helps challenge you to do work you never done. It is similar to work and you are assigned to a task you have to get done. Volunteering helps you improve on your social skills to overcome shyness. Also, it helps you uncover your hidden skills. Helping others make a difference in the community and also make the world a better place.
By Sone Boutviseth
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next level. Today, in my experience as a fellow student I did not see this. Teachers tend to be slacking off, and not educating the students as well as they are needed.
Instead, students become more involved in teaching themselves. I hear complaints from students saying they feel as if they’re not being educated, they tend to be more confused than understanding the subject.
In my opinion, teachers don’t try their best in educating, offering credit, helping when students are in needed. I worry for my fellow class mates future and also mine, we look up to these people to help us, educate, and how much they reflect our upcoming future.
The way I see teachers today, they don’t care much enough for our education as well as we do, how much we are in need of their help. Teachers are getting paid to educate, but is it well enough?
From what I see teachers “educate” but they don’t care about it. Some of them don’t even know the subject well enough to teach the students or don’t educate at all! So where does this lead? Not to well enough educated students. When will our voice be heard?
By Sandra Bang
What do you wake up to in the morning? Is it the sound of birds in the air? Is it the smell of your breakfast? Have you ever woken up to the sound of your door smashing to the ground and the sound of cops yelling, “Get down here”? I should hope not. But in the middle of August, around the start of my 7th grade year, I did. And I will never forget the experiences that followed that day.
The first thing they did was make us (meaning my father, my sister, and I) come downstairs to the living room where they cuffed my father. My mother wasn’t at home at the moment because she was in Australia. Then they proceeded to question me: Name, age, do you know why we’re here, and all the little formalities. Then one by one, they wrote down the information and made us line up in our home to take photos of us like we were criminals, first the face shot, then then the profile. At the moment, I could feel no fear, and the only thing going through my mind was that I was going to be late for school.
The next thing they did was take us into the police cars. As my sister watched my dad being led to separate car from us, she began to cry. I don’t know why but I became increasingly irritated. “Shut up!” I told her and she immediately stopped. I think the reason why I got mad was because if she started crying, I would start too and if I wanted to stay strong, that couldn’t happen. The female officer that led my sister and I to this car eventually came back and we were driven off, without a single person telling us what was happening to us. When we finally arrived at the destination, we were taken to a waiting room where the movie Remember the Titans was playing. Then the police officer left us alone for about an hour until she returned with another woman named Pam. She told us we were in a place called a “receiving home” and told us this was where kids go until they were “placed”. I didn’t really understand it at the time but eventually I realized that we were going to be put into foster families. She led us to a dorm room, where I met other girls who were about to be placed.
For a month, we stayed in the dorm and I learned many different things bout the receiving home. First the boys and girls dorms were separate, on opposite sides of the home. The boys and girls would eat at different times usually and only during “school” or events were we allowed to mingle with the other. Each child was given an allowance, corresponding to their age, and depending on how good you were each day, you earned points, which allowed you to buy things from the store. There’s different people who come during each part of the day in order to keep surveillance on the kids. For example, during the evenings, Ms. Micayla would come in and watch us; then at around 10 p.m., Micayla would switch off with Sarah.
During my time there, I met a variety of people who were there. There was a girl there named Alena whom I really looked up to as an older sister. It was her 3rd time coming to the home. She told me her previous foster mother had a child that didn’t take too well to her. Apparently, the child tried to stab her but the foster mother didn’t care about Alena because she wasn’t her real child. So when Alena tried to defend herself by fighting against the girl, the foster mother became enraged and Alena had to return to the home. She always wore long sleeves and when she lifted them up for me to see, there were many old scars which were remainders of the days when she would cut herself due to depression. When I talked to the other girls, their stories were similar. They would tell me about how the foster families would usually forsake them for their real children and at times, they would be abused and go AWOL. In the home, I’d hear about some girls that would go AWOL, and they would usually be caught soon. But at other times, I’d hear some of the dorm workers tell the officers to forget it. So some of the officers wouldn’t even try to look for them. I remember hearing one of them say, “Who cares if a kid or two go missing? This place has too many kids anyways.”
My mother eventually came back from Australia. My sister and I were informed by our social worker and eventually, my mother was granted the right to visit us. Needless to say, it was an emotional reunion. She told me how the house was in shambles from being searched and how she was an emotional wreck because the lawyers were continuously hammering her with accusations and questions, saying how she was in on the “crime” with my father and how she abused us. She brought us some school books and our backpacks, which still had my wallet in it that held about a hundred dollars. When my mom left, we had our backpacks placed in storage. Before the visitation was over, my mom told me to beg my social worker to let us come back to her, and to try to be good so that they’ll let us out faster. I promised I would but nothing usually works out as plan.
Near September, we met with two different foster parents on different days. I felt like we were at an interview and they were trying to sell themselves to us. There was an African American couple and an Asian one. Our social workers placed us with the Asian couple, whom we eventually came to know as Eddy and Kathryn. She said that she felt we would be more comfortable in an environment that corresponds with our ethnicities. She said that she really wanted to get us placed as soon as possible because we were behaving very well in the home and deserved it. She also said that they were willing to take the both of us, which was rare for foster parents. Usually sibling are placed in different families and never have the luxury of meeting so frequently with each other. So soon after, we moved in with Eddy and Kathryn, our new foster parents. When we packed up to leave with them, I remember that three of our dorm mothers were very depressed. I remember especially Pam, the first person we met at the home, who hugged each of us and teared up. She said, “You two are such good kids. If they weren’t taking you, I would adopt you both.” After I left, I found her online and we talked for a while until she stopped responding to me. Then I found out the reason why was because she had cancer and to this day I still don’t know what happened to her.
We were with Eddy and Kathryn for about ¾ of the year. There was already a boy living there named Joey, who was 17, and soon after, they would take in another boy named Darrien, who was the same age as me at the time, 13. We bonded with both of them and eventually, I felt like they really were my brothers. I was very nervous being in their home. From the stories I’ve heard from the other kids, I thought my sister and I were going to suffer horribly, and probably be attacked from all sides. But we didn’t. And we got to know the two of them and we also bonded with them and it felt like they were family too. We got to know their family members and were taken on many different trips, like camping or snowboarding. From what I know, we were very fortunate to end up with such wonderful foster parents like them and I’ll never be able to show how grateful I am to them for taking such good care of us and giving us experiences we probably couldn’t have had with our own parents. The best part is that even when we returned to our mom, we still stayed in touch with them, their families, and our foster “siblings”.
During the summer after the end of 7th grade, we returned to our mother. And for a couple months after that, we attended court to our father’s hearing, where he was placed in jail for over a year for growing marijuana (before it was legal) and marital abuse. My mother divorced him while he was in jail and soon after that, our social worker told us we were finally released from the system. Just as suddenly as it all began, were no longer wards of the state and people stopped coming to check up on us. We were finally free.
By Sone Boutviseth
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next level. Today, in my experience as a fellow student I did not see that. Teachers tend to be slacking off, not educating the students as well as they are needed. Instead, students become more involved in teaching themselves. I hear complaints from students saying they feel as if they’re not being educated, they tend to be more confused than understanding to the subject.
In my opinion, teachers don’t try their best in educating, offering credit, or helping when students are in needed. I worry for my fellow class mates future and also mine, we looks up to these people to help us, educate, and how much they reflect our upcoming future. The way I see teachers today, they don’t care much enough for our education as well as we do, or how much we are in need of their help. Teachers are getting paid to educate, but is it well enough? From what I see teachers educate but they don’t care for it some of them don’t even know the subject well enough to teach the students or don’t educate at all! So where does this lead? Not to well enough educated students.
Ever since I was in middle school I would notice my friends older sisters or cousins getting pregnant when they were just 15 or 16 years old. When I would find out my friends and I would be shocked because we never expected it from them and I would think “What in the world is wrong with them?”
I think people should know that being a teen mom is difficult due to the fact that your body isn’t well developed and ready to carry it in your womb. What teens don’t know is that when your body isn’t ready the child can be born with lots of health problem and in most cases sadly may be born dead. Often we hear a lot on how teens may react like this because in some way teens blame their parents. When it comes to the ladies having to tell their parents most just decide to abort with out thinking about the child and knowing it has no fault at all.
Teen birth rates since 1990-2007 have gone up and down a lot among teenage women. In 2006 & 2007 for two years straight the teen birth rate was as high as 15-20% higher then previous year for all from teens ages 15-19. In 2006 the birth rate was 53.3% and in 2007 it was 49.4%. All these rates include birth, abortion, miscarriages, and still being pregnant. Teen birth rates through ethnicity in 2000 are various through ages 15-19; Black women 32% (153 teens), White women 28% (71 teens), Hispanic women 15% (139 teens) ; these scores have been increasing among the years.
Lastly, the views of teen pregnancies coming from teens are as simple as it can get. One teen I spoke with says “if you base it with reality TV and reality itself white girls are the most to get pregnant (according to teen mom!).” Another male met students says “In reality it’s all about Southern white girls getting the most pregnant.” A teacher at my school says ”Sometimes these pregnancies are about not having resources in the community and here at school. If we gave out condoms it can possibly be a step to prevention in our community(somewhat like in parts of Europe.)”
As you can see teen pregnancies have grown a tremendous amount of birth rates since 1990-2007. These rates were based on being pregnant, abortions, miscarriages, and adoptions. Therefore, I think there needs to be more resources for these teens, especially high school students and not just the small clinic’s like Planned Parenthood. The views on teens pregnancies will always be different and will be changing throughout the time. That’s why I chose to do a pregnancy prevention course and have teens know the risks for them and babies, and the challenges that will come throughout time.
By Pazou Lor
This is about my girl friend. She made some choices she regretted. Doing drugs and drinking alcohol are not good choices. Having friends that pressure you to make bad choices are not good either, but that was all she had.
She had a hard time growing up. She learned everything the hard way. She got into a lot of troubles just to hang out with her “friends”. She would do anything except ditch school and fail her classes. She done bad in everything except school. She disobeyed her parents and did not listen to anyone around her. She made bad choices, but she learned that, that was part of growing up, not to mean that every teenager does that. After she thought about everything and got tired of doing bad things. She then learned to stop hanging out with those people.
Now she focuses on school and other more important stuff and thinks back to how stupid she was back then. Well, teenagers, know how to say “no” to stuff you do not want to do and you control your own life, no one can stop you from what you want or do not want to do, except YOURSELF!
By Ramon Castellanos
The thirteen year old sat there crying, knowing that he was spending a life time in prison, his family members were heart broken, and not much could be done to get back in time. Just a few seconds back he was playing with fire trucks and now he will be spending a life time in prison or be sentenced to death. Could such child be held with such big responsibility as an adult? It is indeed unacceptable for such occurrence.
Have you ever wondered why a twelve, thirteen year old teenager is unable to go to a liquor store to buy beer, liquor? And are enable to smoke or watch R rated movies without an adults “OK”? That is because “they’re only kids.” They don’t have the same responsibilities as an adult does. “That is, until they foul up. Until they commit crimes. And the bigger the crime, the more eager to call them adults.” (Lundstron pg43) Appeals in the California court recently decided when to charge teenage offenders as adults, and so giving a lot of power to judges and not prosecutors. A judge has a lot of power and is able to make a lot of decisions and one of those decisions could affect a teenager for the rest of their life. What I am saying here is that kids are just kids, like the article, “kids are kids” by Marjie Lundstrom said, not adults. They are not fully mature, and are not fully developed to be adults.
I once though that we all teenagers were ignorant, that we didn’t understand anything, and that we were full of stupidity, but I came to realize that this wasn’t true. A research group from the University of California Los Angeles explained how “These frontal lobes, which inhibit our violent passions, rash actions, and regulate our emotions, are vastly immature throughout the teenage years.” (Thomspson, the Sacramento Bee). Having said this, we now know that when a young person such as a teenager makes a mistake or bad decision, that is due to the frontal lobes not fully being developed. They are super immature teens. The University of Los Angeles also discovered that during adolescence there is a massive brain tissue loss. “The loss was like a wildfire.” Our body grows and eventually we grow tall and strong, same goes to the brain, it grows and grows and gains more knowledge and understanding of things.
We are talking about death here, about life in prison, do you honestly think that this is a fair treatment for a human being? Nobody deserves to die, especially teenagers, at such young age, having to deal with such big responsibility, knowing that they are not ready to make decisions or hardly do anything big by themselves. Now “does planning mean the same thing for a thirteen year old with his diminished capacity for controlling erratic behavior, as it means for an adult?” (Thomson) of course not, an adult has the capacity to be independent and make his own decisions. That is why they are adults, that is why they have to decide weather to give the “OK” or not. Because they are adults and adults are not the same as kids, we all know that, and such behavior of a teen could be shaped, but not with death, with a punishment that would make them realize that they are wrong. Death is not the solution for anything. It only takes away someone’s life and breaks a family’s heart.
A teenager should not be convicted to death or life in prison. They are only kids and their brains are not fully developed to take the responsibility of an adult. It is the parent’s responsibility to watch out for their kids. The list of good and bad arguments goes on and on as weather a kid as young as thirteen years old should spend a lifetime in prison or have a death penalty. But a true fact is that no one deserves to die because we are all human beings. Specially a kid as young as twelve, thirteen, or fourteen, who’s life has just begun and has so many experiences to experience and so much life ahead of them.
http://www2.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/j/Juvenile_Startling_Finds_on_Teenage_Brains-Thompson.pdf (Thomspson, the Sacramento Bee)