Life is a journey. My time at Access Local taught me many things but most important of all, it shows me ways to improve my life at every corner.
There are many realities to the world. People are born differently, raised differently, know things differently. My time as a Neighborhood News Correspondent has allowed me to explore those realities that were not my own. I remember my first video I did about the Summer of Service. To me, it was a program that I have grown up with and kept me out of trouble. To other students, it was an essential part of their life. Their parents have to work year round, especially those from low-income households and do not have time to spend with their children. The Summer of Service offers a home to those kids when school is out. That video was the beginning of my journey to learn more about the world and myself.
I learn that sometimes it is not just enough to put yourself in other people’s shoes. There is a more complex process to understand people and why they do what they do. Through these stories, through spending time with them, very often the entire day, I learned to know what they experience. It is when I sit down to write an article about them or make a video, that I start contemplating the deeper meaning behind their work. Whether it’s a local youth action group, legislation, or a community event, there is always a deeper story to be told, the story of South Sacramento.
To the future Neighborhood News Correspondents, I have advice for you. This internship makes you a journalist, it gives you power and opportunity under your command that many don’t have. Don’t be afraid to question anything. Do not accept the norm as it is and never accept the answer of “it has always been this way.” Be creative in your work and express all you have to yourself to demonstrate that you care about your project. It is through that process can you come to enjoy being a journalist. My biggest advice is, do not be afraid. If you are naturally shy, this program is an odyssey for you to become brave. If you are naturally brave, this program will take you to heights you never know you could go.
Doctors would treat a heart attack with immediate care. Most would not let their patient suffer silently and die. However, despite the fact that about half of all Americans will experience mental health issues, many will not get any help until they reach a critical state.
Conditions such as depression and bipolar disorders have early signs of warning but are often overlooked. Many mental health illnesses stem from childhood trauma that is left unchecked. Whether it may be abusive parents or just overloaded school workloads, adolescence is a prime time for mental health illness to take roots. This could lead people to develop serious illnesses that will stop them from being productive citizens of the world. It gets even worse when they see themselves as weak and do not get treatment. Most cases of suicide resulted from people suffering silently with their mental health condition. Fortunately, there is a developing culture that fosters acceptance about mental health illness.
“You have more of a connection to your peers than an adult and sometimes it’s more comfortable to talk to someone around your age.” says Andre Davis, a student from John F. Kennedy High School. Adolescences sometime can only talk to people around their age because they have no connection to an adult. There is a need to raise awareness about the early signs of incoming mental health illness.
May is the month of mental health awareness throughout America. During this time, there are widespread campaigns through social media in an attempt to get attention to the mental health crisis. Organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness emphasis on the fact that people do not suffer alone and they do not have to endure mental health conditions by themselves. Outreach programs encourage people to look for early warning signs before it’s too late. In fact, that was the goal for 2016 mental health awareness month, summarized in their slogan B4STAGE4.
Mental Health issues are one of the main contributing factors to suicide, the 10th leading cause of death in America. Heart attacks cannot be ignored, so why should mental health issues?
The young people will eventually inherit the politics of the world. According to the National Public Radio, the turnout rate of “Millennial” voters is among the lowest of all the current generations at only forty-six percent. In case you didn’t know, Millennials are young people currently between the age of twenty-two and thirty-five. To some, there appears to be a lack of confidence in the government from the young people. In fact, according to Harvard University, young people’s trust in the political process is now historically low.
One explanation for all of this could be that there is a lack of engagement in the political process when the person is a teenager. Many teens in the Sacramento City Unified School District do not know that the district is getting a new superintendent. While this could affect their life greatly, many do not know anything about it. Many do not know who the current superintendent is nor do they know the fact that the current superintendent, Jose Banda, stands to receive extra retirement money by spending time just a short amount of time here at SCUSD.
This lack of political engagement in local politics could be one of the reasons why young people are not engaged in politic as they should be. There were efforts in trying to get the youth of Sacramento to engage in the politics of the Sacramento school system. The Student Advisory Council of SCUSD held a youth town hall meeting for discussion of the selection of the new superintendent. Despite a total student turnout of less than thirty, there was a discussion between young people of how school politics should run.
“I want to make sure all that all this information will be involved in the interviewing process [for the new superintendent],” said Natalie Rosas, Student Board Member of SCUSD during a student town hall meeting. According to the Constitution, “We the people” are the one who grants the government their power. However, what happens when the people do not participate in their government?
A job fair aimed at young people aged 16-24 was held last weekend in Downtown Sacramento. The job fair was a place for students and adults to go in and get interviews for internships and jobs or learn about the resources around them.
Many organizations and businesses came to the event to provide young people with the information they needed. Some of the many organizations that came were Wendy’s, Carpenters Training, Laborers Local 185, and the Sacramento Regional Conservation.
“I’m hoping that I can work out something with the many people who came out to offer job opportunities,” said 17-year old job seeker Angel Perez. “I’m actually a little bit nervous.”
The fair wasn’t only for jobs, there were also community service opportunities from colleges such as Sacramento City Community College.
“It’s important for the youth to be out because it shows initiative,” said Raul Rodriguez from the City of Sacramento stand at the job fair. “Were offering different business programs. At Sac City College we have 212 support programs as well as two-year degrees. It doesn’t stop there we also have stuff on financial and transfer information.”
“I met with the construction workers from the union and It may something that I could be interested in actually,” said 18-year-old job hunter Diego Santana. “I applied for Wendy’s right then and here pretty quickly.”
The youth job fair brought a good amount of people most including students who came as field trips from their schools. Many people who came to the event left with backpacks full of papers from the stand at the fair.
Film that connects women and their cause and a show that features art in Black and White elements in arriving on LiveWire. Soroptimist International of Metropolitan Sacramento brings the Lunafest Film Festival to town and will be sharing about this festival. While the Cordova Council will be talking about The Black and White Art Show opening soon.
Lunafest is a Short Film Festival that embraces women and their causes on film. On April 8th Soroptimist International of Metropolitan Sacramento hosts this empowering festival in Sacramento.
For More Information:
The Black and White Art Show opens April 9th. This exciting Art Show features Rancho Corvoda Artist, creating different black and white works of art. Artists use a variety of different medians, such as ink pen, oil, embroidery, photography and more.
For More Information:
Join us for LiveWire! every Wednesday at 5 p.m. on Access Sacramento. Watch Comcast or Consolidated Communications, channel 17 or on AT&T channel 14. You can also watch the program streaming from Access Sacramento.org at the same time it airs live. The encore presentation airs Thursday at 8:30 p.m.
Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at
On March 7th, the Sacramento City Unified School District launched a campaign that defends undocumented students from deportation in the face of ICE agents. This came along soon after the Sacramento City Unified School District Trustees began hearing from teachers, parents, and administrators that children are terrified of being deported or even their family members being deported.
In December, the board of trustees came up with a resolution declaring SCUSD schools “Safe Havens” to any immigration agency and anti-immigration rhetoric.
Board member Jessie Ryan said that the campaign aims to reassure the undocumented students in the district that going to school is completely safe and that the school is there to protect the students if need be. Ryan said that shortly after the presidential election, third graders at one school were too afraid of going outside during recess because they felt that they would be deported.
“The worst case scenario would be children afraid of showing up to school because of fear of deportation,” said Ryan.
It is estimated that in California alone there are around 2,350,000 undocumented immigrants, making up about 6% of the population. Around 1,850,000 of those undocumented immigrants are in the workforce.
This philosophy is gaining traction in other districts all over the state. San Francisco Unified School District says they are “developing a rapid response protocol to support children and families,” if law enforcement is in or around schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District voted in February to make their schools “Safe Havens” and create centers of support for undocumented families threatened by immigration.
“Personally I believe that Safe Haven schools is an amazing thing to any student that wants to extend their education,” says Angel Perez, a student at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento.“This gives them the ability to feel more comfortable accomplishing their dreams.”
For some though, the idea of a “Safe haven” school isn’t sitting well. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones believes legislation like this that would prevent local agencies from entering schools would be invalid because it conflicts with federal law.
“I have a strong belief that it violates federal law,” says Jones. “Every sheriff is going to be in a very difficult position to decide what they personally are going to do should this pass.”
“It’s important for Sacramento City Unified to reiterate that we’re focused on the education of every child who resides in our district, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and that’s what this resolution does,” said SCUSD Trustee Jay Hansen.
“I was brought in as a child by my parents,” said one undocumented SCUSD, too afraid to give their name due to the fear of deportation. “I was brought here for a better life than the one I possibly would’ve had if left in Mexico. One day my best friend and I were walking to the corner store, my best friend also being undocumented. And he told me he’d wait outside as I entered and got whatever I was going to get. I came back out a few minutes later to the sight of police detaining my best friend.”
“I just remember not being able to do anything,” the undocumented student recalled. “Just slowly walking off because I knew I would be deported as well if I did anything. It was horrible, we made eye contact. I don’t know what he could’ve done while I was in the store but that was the last time I saw my best friend.”
Only time will tell how this new legislation from the Sacramento City Unified School District will turn out.
Sacramento could be called the greatest melting pot in California. Many immigrants and refugees have called the City of Trees home since it was first established. One of the largest ethnicities that have connections to Sacramento are the Hmong people. Unknown to many Americans, there was a “Secret War” in Laos at the same time of the Vietnam War. The U.S dropped more bombs on the Laos region that was connected to Vietnam than it did in World War II against Germany and Japan combined. Thousand of Hmongs died during what people now call the “Secret War.” Even to this day, the war affects people who lived in the area that was bombed decades ago. Tiny pellet bombs about the size of a baseball have been mistaken for playthings by children who live there. Once disturbed, the bomb explodes, killing or decapitating limbs of the kids who were mistakenly playing with it.
As the name implied, the Secret War is something has been lost in many of the history books. However, the people who have been through it never forget, both Americans who dropped the bombs and Hmong who survived it. So that’s why the “Hmong Story 40- The 4 decades” exhibit about the journey the Hmong people made to America is now in Sacramento. Many people are gathering at the Serna Center where there are exhibitions containing historic Hmong artifacts of the time of the Secret War and speakers who have been through the war itself.
See Vang, the outreach coordinator of Hmong Story 40, say in an interview about the exhibit “The purpose of the veteran day is to honor our Hmong veteran who fought during the Vietnam war and the secret war. It is part of our project to honor our parent and grandparents.”
Many of the 3rd and 4th generation Hmongs do not know about their ancestor’s histories with the Secret War. However, the ones who have come to America as the result of is can remember it like yesterday. The pain of the war is literally embodied within those first generation Hmong refugees. Many believe that it is their job to make sure that their story of pain, as well as joy, are not lost within the future generations. The Hmong Story 40 will continue to have events like this to serve as a reminder, as a record of the history that the Hmong people have been through.
On February 9th, in Sacramento at the Capitol, there will be an event called San Joaquin Valley Health Fund Equity on the Mall. This event aims to unite the people of San Joaquin Valley against issues that they face in their communities. It will be set up on the west side of the Capitol and speakers will talk about the issues of equity in their area. The event organizers believe that communities along San Joaquin Valley haven’t had equity and the same opportunities as other cities in California.
Organizers are coming with an all-around approach for dealing with racial, health equity, and some of most pressing issues in the valley. Some of those include sustainable agriculture, community safety, drinking water, education, environmental justice, and housing. Over a thousand people from the valley are coming to support this event.
Organizers will also have special guests that will come and support their cause. Diane Dooley, Secretary of California Department of Health and Human Services, will be making appearing as well as many state elected officials such as Senator Ricardo Lara and assembly members Joaquin Arambula, Rob Bonta, and Tony thurmond.
Attendees will gather for a briefing in room 4202 to go over everything that will be done during the day. The San Joaquin Valley Health Fund is in partnership with over 50 organizations alongside nine state and national foundations. They hope that they can unite everyone to bring awareness about equity in their community.
“Together, we will continue to sow seeds so that transformative change takes place in the Valley.” Said Chet P. Hewitt in a blog post on January 25th.
Registation will begin at 11:30 followed by a welcoming by Diane Littlefield. From then on out the event takes off and does what it was meant to do.
For more information about this event please click here.