Meet Sac BHC Youth Media Team newest team member Evan Navarro…

Hi, my name is Evan Navarro, I’m 16 years old, and I’m currently attending Inderkum High School.  This is my first time working as an intern with the BHC family and I am very excited to work with these wonderful people. I have had some experience with photography, film, and video editing through past experiences through self discovery projects from school.

My hobbies are playing volleyball, playing musical instruments such as the guitar or ukulele, singing, listening to music, and watching YouTube and Netflix. I don’t have any favorite sports teams or players in general.

In the future, I plan to go to college and major in film and video production. I am currently indecisive of where I would like to go to college but I am open to any suggestions. I would love to major in this field because I found my passion through film and video editing through watching movies, YouTubers, and most importantly through my sophomore project. To further explain what the “sophomore project” is – it is an assignment that focused on topics such as self discovery/self exploration in which sophomores pick a subject that interests them and would like to pursue in the future. Throughout this project, I learned more about my self as an individual pursuing my interests and decided what I wanted to do with my future – which was film and video editing/production.

I believe this summer internship will help guide me through the methods of producing and editing film/video. This experience will be beneficial towards my future because I’m getting a head start on my career and will teach me the skills I need to be successful as a film/video editor. I am very excited to work and gain the knowledge I need to learn to be a successful individual pursuing in the performing arts industry.

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Meet Sac BHC Youth Media Team newest member Ethan Szeto…

My name is Ethan Szeto, I’m 14 years old, and I am going to be attending West Campus High School.  I’ve been apart if the BHC family for quite a while. Finally, I get to be apart of the Youth Media Team.  Some of my hobbies are eating, making bummy YouTube videos, watching and playing both basketball and soccer, and spending time with friends and family.  My favorite basketball team is the Sacramento Kings. My favorite soccer team is FC Barcelona and Spain. My favorite basketball player is Buddy Hield. My favorite soccer player is Gerard Piqué.

In the future I plan on going to UCLA to do Sport Medicine. The reason I want to deal with sport medicine. Well it’s simple if I can’t make a sports team I would like to be close to the sport I like and I find it fun working with the human body.  I feel like this summer program will benefit me, because it will help me with recording skills and taking some really good pictures.

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Women’s Portrait Project: Celebrating Women in Sac BHC Jaelyn…

“My biggest goal in life or my biggest wish is self-awareness, self-actualization, self-determinism.  Because to know who you are, I think to be able to understand yourself, you’re able to understand so many other people.”

Jaelyn Singleton


Which living person do you most admire?

Michelle Obama probably.  She’s just so elegant and just – it’s confidence without ego.  She stands by herself.  She is not just the first lady, she is Michelle Obama.


What is your idea of happiness?

I think happiness for me is to be free.  Free from fear – free to do what you will and fear is a thing that doesn’t allow you to do what you will.  I think happiness is the implication that you can go where you want to go.


What is your most treasured possession?

I don’t really have an attachment to a lot of stuff.  But my grandma gave me this box of all of her little things that she wanted to make sure that I kept – she collects coins so all her old coins are in there.  All of her . . . really good pictures. 


Jaelyn was born in South Los Angeles but as a preschooler she and her mother relocated to Sacramento, her mother’s city of birth.  In this period, she attended schools in both affluent and impoverished neighborhoods making her keenly aware of the effect place has on individual and community, especially on health and health equity.  More recently she had close friends injured and paralyzed by shootings and neighborhood violence.  These experiences, coupled with a family history of substance abuse and mental illness, have motivated her to effect change within her community and to engage with Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Sacramento.

Education has always been important to Jaelyn.  In Sacramento she experienced two different educational systems:  a predominately minority school and a predominately White school on the east side of the city.  She describes herself as, “too White for the Black kids and too Black for the White kids”, thus she never felt a sense of belonging among her peers or within her community.  When it came time to enroll in high school, Jaelyn actively sought out McClatchy High School for its rigorous Humanities and International Studies Program as well as the diversity of the neighborhood it is located in.

During high school Jaleyn became active in BHC activities and programs as well as other leadership efforts.  At age thirteen she started volunteering with BHC’s Girls on the Rise, a youth-driven organization for women of color aimed at developing leadership skills with a focus on health advocacy.  Later, she worked with the Sacramento Young Feminist Coalition (SYFC), a collective of high school students throughout Sacramento that met bi-weekly to organize events in an effort to support local organizations.  The SYFC also developed and facilitated annual conferences focusing on issues such as reproductive justice, self-love and self-care.  Jaelyn worked closely with the Youth Leadership Team, a collaborative youth-led program within BHC Sacramento and she attended The California Endowment’s Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreat and Sisters and Brothers at the Capitol in 2014.  Even now, at age eighteen, she continues to work with Girls on the Rise where she was recently hired as a member of their permanent staff – her work focuses on mentorship and healthy food access.

In her first year of college at Sacramento State University, Jaelyn is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Ethnic Studies.  While she is keenly aware of the impact of her grounding in Sacramento, she sees herself seeking new places, new experiences and most importantly, new perspectives.  She is passionate about mentoring youth to cultivate their ability to “make their own decisions with no fear” so that they do not have to choose between “an education or being safe”.

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Women’s Portrait Project: Celebrating Women in Sacramento BHC

“Nothing beats a failure like a try.”

 Araiye Thomas-Haysbert


Which living person do you most admire?

Oprah.  She is just a powerful figure – she is a role model to me.


What is your idea of happiness?

Seeing my mom smile.  I think the happiest moment I’m going to have is when she gives me a hug after coming off the stage at graduation.  I think that’s going to be the happiest moment of my life. 


What is your most treasured possession?

This locket my mom gave me.  She gave me and my little sister our own locket.  She just . . . kissed it and to me that sealed it . . . her presence is there always.



Araiye hesitates when asked where she is from.  She was born in Sacramento, but throughout her seventeen years she has moved almost too many times to count.  Together, Araiye, her siblings and her mother were homeless throughout her freshman and sophomore years in high school, causing her to attend six different schools in two years.  While experiencing a continuous process of transition, Araiye began to notice the extreme inequity that existed between the schools within affluent Sacramento communities, such as Elk Grove, and disenfranchised areas of South Sacramento.

Even while enduring homelessness, Araiye gravitated toward community engagement and, after being introduced to Youth Engagement Coordinator Alondra Young, she became involved with Building Healthy Communities (BHC) programs and activities.  Between her sophomore and junior year in high school, she began teaching summer art classes for children.  Beyond this, she devoted time to working as a leader within the BHC’s Youth Leadership Group.  With other youth leaders, Araiye helped organize a town hall with mayoral candidates, including current mayor Darrell Steinberg.  The town hall served as a platform for young men and women to engage with mayoral candidates, fostering a “youth voice” on issues that concern families and communities.

While working with BHC youth and programs, Araiye embraced her sexual orientation and gender identity.  Coming out as a lesbian was challenging for Araiye, particularly because her mother initially had difficulty accepting her identity.  Araiye stated – in no uncertain terms – that she was “really, really depressed coming out”.  But Araiye’s advocacy work has helped her mother accept her daughter’s sexual orientation and gender expression.  In fact, Araiye is most proud of the advocacy work she has conducted around gender justice issues.  She served as President of the Gay Straight Alliance in her high school, attended Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreats for two consecutive years, and just recently participated in the Queer and Trans Youth Summit developed by The California Endowment.  She has also attended Sisters and Brothers at the Capitol, a conference designed to strengthen leadership and advocacy skills among young leaders of color.  With these experiences as part of her life, Araiye is interested in continuing to advocate for policy that affects LGBTQ youth.

Araiye is fearless even though she is keenly aware that she faces considerable discrimination as a self-proclaimed “triple” minority:  a Black, lesbian, woman.  At only seventeen years old she has already overcome hardships many adults never have to face.  She has not simply overcome adversity, but she has persevered.  Araiye will be attending Benedict College in South Carolina in the fall, making her the first in her family to attend college.  When asked about future goals, she candidly states she has not quite figured that out yet, but confidently says, “I’m here to make a difference, to do something, be a leader – not be a statistic”.

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Criminal Activity happening in our community…

Over the past few months, there have been reports of robberies within Sacramento generally targeted towards Asians. Victims have shared their stories on Facebook of getting robbed of their phones and purses when pulling up to their driveways and one even being shot in the leg. There have also been videos shared numerous times on Facebook showing victims getting robbed at gunpoint right in front of their own homes in broad daylight.IMG_9063

As an Asian living in South Sacramento, hearing and watching these stories and videos makes me angry. I hear more and more reports of robberies within Sacramento and with the culprits caught on camera. Even so, I feel like the police are not stepping up and helping out the Asian community. I know many Asians do not feel safe going home knowing that they can get robbed or even killed, including myself.

This past week, there was an incident that occurred right down the street from my house at 2 AM, where phones and purses were taken. This has caused me to be more alert and paranoid of my surroundings every time I go home, making sure I recognize every car near my house. I play out scenarios of what I can do if I was to be the next victim.
The increase of crimes has caused people to look out for one another and rise up as a community. Social media is also helping each other and acting as a modern day neighborhood watch. However, the police needs to help our community and prevent these crimes from increasing.


by Cindy Chao

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Sac BHC Youth Media Team visit to the State Capitol

Hey guys, this is Calvin from the Sac BHC Youth Media team and I just want to share about our visit to the State Capitol last week. For many of us at our team we had visited the State Capitol prior to this visit and what was excited was that Senator Dr. Richard Pan’s staff arranged a visit for us to learn about the legislation and a behind the scenes of a senator’s office. Our first stop was visiting the legislative hearing and we got to see our Senator Pan working on the floor. It was so important for us to learn about the process behind any bill and how hard the senators work to make them into law. On our second stop we got to talk with Senator Pan and take some picture and since he was in session our time with him was cut short, non the less we were excited to meet him since we saw him for the first time at the HEAT press conference a week prior and we saw how he cares for his community as he supported many community orgs and residents of Sacramento on making sure that UC Davis Health System takes Medi-Cal patients back and helps them get the services they need and deserve.

Up next we got to meet a legislative assistant and she share about her experience working with media and in the state capitol. She mentioned that it was an exciting place for her since it is a fast-phase atmosphere and she is constantly challenged to meet the needs of her boss. Gave us a behind the scenes of what we could do in our future if we end up in communications.

Overall we got a chance to almost see how many senators are supported by a team of many and their work most of the times goes unheard and unseen. For us, it was a great way to thank them and share with them our ideas and also learn from them, as an exchange of best practices was the highlight of our meeting.

With what it has to be the highlight of the trip we met an actual real-life newspaper reporter. Her name is Cynthia Moreno who works for Vida En El Valle a Spanish newspaper that serves the Latino community on many issues affecting them. But what was our highlight was been able to hear Cynthia’s story and how she ended up being a reporter. It was a very inspirational story and it also brought us to reconsider our social media activity and how people portray us via social media. Cynthia shared many best practices and experiences that we will implement and share with our team. Over all she made us look at reporters in a way we never knew them.fb

We also want to extend our gratitude to the people that made this trip a reality. Senator Dr. Richard Pan’s staff Claire Colon and Karen Abrego, without them this would have not been possible. Thanks for allow us the youth to visit our State Capitol in a way we had never seen it. We learn so much just from our 4-hour visit and we hope that this will become an annual visit for others to learn about our legislative system and get to meet awesome people that always work so hard and seldom get or receive their due credit. Thanks so all who made our trip possible.fb5t


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Jasmine’s Summer Video Project.

Hi, my name is Jasmine Duong, and for a while now, I’ve always been passionate in nursing and health. I love making people happy and laugh similar to making videos and making your audience pleased. I’m passionate in film, but health was on a different level. I get hot headed and excited about the topic. I want to help others make changes in their lives for the better.

This whole summer I have been working with the Sac BHC Youth Media Tea, and I’ve definitely learned a lot about myself, others, and film. Originally, I joined because they focused on using social media to share meaningful messages as well as explore one of my other passions, which was filming. Health is a big issue and social media would be a great stage to address health issues. I’ve experienced a lot this summer and I made so many cool memories with the crew! They’re funny, cool, and weird people. We’ve done a variety of video projects, and each time we filmed, it’s another practice to improve and learn something new!IMG_6265

For my summer project, I wanted to create a video sharing my strongest passion which is health and nursing. I want to use film as my stage and share my passions and thoughts. Health is a really important topic to me.

I believe once you lose your health, you lose almost everything. You could develop diabetes, and that connects to being able to develop heart diseases, kidney failure, vision loss amputations. You could have depression because of lack of confidence or being bullied or family problems leading to eating disorders and self-harm. You could be obese and develop heart diseases and atherosclerosis, a disease where cholesterol and other substances are stuck in your arteries.

It’s all interconnected. That’s whats’ fascinating. Diseases can cause you to develop another disease or complication.

Health is something that affects all of us, including myself, I’ve learned just as much about myself through health as I have about the profession.

Health is made up of two parts: mental and physical. A good balance is needed in order to achieve good health. I’ve got to admit, I’m not the most healthiest person. I’m struggling with both parts, but this is a journey and I’m trying to better my health. I have anxiety, so I’m trying to cope and deal with this condition, as well as being slightly overweight, I’m losing weight to better my health and choosing to eat more healthier. I still do eat junk food, but in moderation.

I want people, including myself, to be aware of their health and to live the longest they can and make memories, experience, learn, and teach the next generation the past. People often say if you don’t look forward, you can never move on. That’s true, but if you never look back in the past and reflect, you never learn and you make the same common mistake that can be avoided. I’m not just refering to physical or mental health, but learning and growing as a person.

I want people to learn and make healthier choices to live a healthy and happy well-balanced life. And it’s easier said than done, which is why being healthy is such a struggle!

I want to make a difference. I want to use the knowledge I gained from school and apply it to real life. I have seen someone collapse in front of me and I stood frozen. I couldn’t do anything because at that time, I knew nothing about health. Now, I have more knowledge and I want to be someone who people can rely on. I find health and nursing really enjoyable.

Learning about health wasn’t easy because I needed to know biology and chemistry as well; It has been a really tough journey. And to be honest, I wasn’t particularly interested in health or the medical field at first. It seemed cool and amazing if I was capable of doing it, but I had no interest in pursuing the health profession. But as I continue learning more about health and seeing what I can do, I find it really enjoyable and a strong passion of mine. I keep finding myself falling more in love with this profession. I’m not confident that I’m going to make it through since nursing isn’t easy in college or in nursing school. There’s actually a lot of competition. As cliche as this sounds, I won’t give up.

I hope that the video I create will display how important nursing and health is to me.

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Calvin’s Summer Video Project.

Hello, my name is Calvin Szeto and I have been working with the Sac BHC Youth Media Team throughout this summer. I am grateful that I am part of such a wonderful team who supports each other and I plan on returning next summer. Through my summer project, I am going to put my skills to the test by doing a recap of this summer.

As I previously stated above, my summer project will be a recap from my perspective of my summer spent with the youth media team.  I have always been intrigued of professional photos and films. Going into this program, I was nervous of who I would meet and what I would encounter, but they helped me learn new skills and taught me how to use professional equipment. This summer has been memorable as my team and I have all bonded together through numerous activities and events, such as attending the Boys and Men of Color Summit, and Friday breaks. Furthermore, I would love to show everyone not only how my summer was, but how much I have learned and progressed throughout the year.CALVIN 2016

Not only I have taught myself, but my peers as well. My first day coming here, I had some personal experience with a DSLR and editing, but not a lot. I had a small test to see what myself and my other intern at the time, Jasmine, could do. Both of us had decent footage, but we both knew that both of us needed obvious improvement. Within that first week, we had went to the Girls on the Rise Conference. I had met two new interns, Breanna and Matthew. Editing the video I learned how Jasmine’s and my styles of editing were different. Our second event was the Block Party presented by the Crocker Art Museum. Alberto, Bobby, Jasmine, and I attended and filmed. The Block Party was live and vivid, and editing the video felt like a breeze as I had practice using Final Cut Pro. Through that event, we had seen one of my classmates Vanna. A week or so had passed by, and I heard that two new interns were coming, the following day, Caleb, Malika, and Weyman had came. I had already known Weyman and Malika, so it was a refreshing experience as I had not seen them in a while. Caleb was a new person that I had met, I initially did not like him, but the day after I grew to like him. We had training from RYSE in Richmond, and I learned how everyone’s style of editing was like. Then, we attended the Boys and Men of Color Summit. There were mistakes made by all of us on the crew, but we pulled through together as a team. Within that same week, Vanna had joined the team, and we made two others videos, Pokevote and the Full House intro. I decided to partake in one video, but both were recorded and edited by me. I am proud that I was able to produce both within a day. Breanna was finished with her part, so we made the Full House intro/HCC video for her. Pokevote was to get the message to vote but also be trendy as Pokemon go is a hit now. Finally, all of us on the team have our own personal projects, so stay tuned! I hope you will enjoy how summer sixteen was for me!

Thanks to all! The chances are high but possibilities are endless…

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Malika’s Summer Video Project…

Some point in our life we have all experienced stress. It could be from starting your essay the night before it is due or interviewing for a new job, but what exactly is stress? The American Physiological Association defines stress as “the feeling of being overwhelmed, worried, or run-down.” Sometimes this “feeling” can control your life by affecting your productivity or and the way you handle things. You may not know this but stress can also affect your physical health. Stress can make it difficult to breathe, cause nausea, and increase the risk of heart disease.IMG_5701

My name is Malika You and I am a senior in high school. Senior year is stressful because there is so much to do, but so little time. I am going to have to start applying for colleges, learn how to manage and make money, and start driving. My friends and family struggle with stress and even sometimes to a larger extent. I know that there are many teenagers out there with the same problem so for my summer project I want to help those who suffer from stress try to learn how to manage it. I will give tips on what to do when under stress and why you should control the problem instead of ignoring it. I hope that you will learn something new and use it to your advantage to live a less stressful life.

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Vanna Hoang’s Summer Video Project.

Hi, my name is Vanna Hoang, and I am from the Sacramento BHC Youth Media Team. For about a year now, I’ve been practicing and learning how to dance. As time had passed, I have learned that many people are affected physically and mentally from dancing. Many people dance, and I want to discover and learn even more as I keep on dancing.Vanna2016


For my summer project, I want to open up a small part of the dancing world to those who are not into dancing. I was first interested in dancing when I went to dance shows because a friend had encouraged me to go, and dancing seemed really fun afterwards. I still go to shows, but I do not perform in them because I do not believe that I am good enough.


Of all the kinds of hip hop dancing, the main five kinds are social dances, boogaloo, breaking, popping, and locking. I do best in popping and locking. My summer project will not be just about the two dances I specialize in, but it will show as much of the dancing world that I experience when I attend shows and meet-ups.

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