I am currently attending the University of California, Merced majoring in Sociology. I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico and immigrated to the United States when I was twelve years old. I am very proud to be Mexican, but I consider my second home to be Sacramento, CA because I have lived most of my life in Del Paso Heights. My life in the United States has been a rollercoaster, coming from a low income household and being undocumented has made my life challenging, but it has also taught me to be determined. My upbringing has inspired me to pursue a career that will allow me to help others and advocate for their needs.
That is why I am very excited and thankful to be part of Building Healthy Communities this summer because their overall mission and principles reflect what I hope to do in the future. I am eager to learn from the projects they are working on and I hope to bring growth to their vision. I will use my previous experience in advocating for animal rights and the undocumented community to impact now different sectors in our society. I am a big believer on the saying, “be the change you would like to see in the world” which it’s why I will continue to follow advocacy.
The injustices in our society could be burdens at times for myself, that’s when I decide to give myself self-care. I enjoy trying new vegan restaurants with my family, friends, or even alone. It feels like adventures to me and brings me the most happiness.
Thank you BHC for allowing me to share a brief summary about myself and the warm welcoming to your team!
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Hi! My name is Jasmine Kingston and this is my first time working with The HUB. I am 16 years old. I am a junior at Sacramento Charter High School. My hobbies include bike riding and walking my dog around the park, baking sweets, and reading on my bed. I done graphic designs made videos with the Sacramento Food Bank and I enjoy taking photographs (mostly portraits and nature).
In the future, I want to be a pediatrician or a marine biologist. The reason I want to go into the medical field is because I want to be able to keep children or animals healthy. I believe this summer internship will help me in my career path and in school now because I will learn ways to help my community by sending a message on a problem no one else might’ve thought of.
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My name is Daniel Rodriguez and I’m 17 years old. I am excited to be part of the BHC family and very thrilled to work with my fellow interns. I plan to make this experience the best. I love that we will be making videos and working with cameras. This internship goes hand in hand with one of my favorite hobbies, taking pictures of anything and editing them. Along with taking pictures, I like to design t-shirts on my spare time, basically really into fashion and design.
I plan to attend college right after high school and enter in either Medicine or Business. I like both subjects so it may be tricky picking one of them or maybe do both. I’ve had a lot of interest in medicine since I was a kid but as I’ve grown up I’ve grown to like the way a business works. By myself I’ve started to design shirts and I am working on taking those designs and incorporate them into a clothing brand. On the medicine aspect I have taken Human Anatomy and I will take Phycology this following school year.
I want to make the most out of this summer internship by involving myself with BHC and the people who are with me, together as a team. I will take this experience and use it to better my hobbies. Also use this experience as a learning experience
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My name is Maria Wilson; I am 17 years old and currently attend Hiram Johnson High School. My dream is to be an Animator, or have an art related job. I draw a lot in my free time, in between school and programs I partake in. My plan for the future is to attend a four-year university or art school, and major in animation. I’m excited to be a part of the BHC team, and look forward to making PSA’s, and helping build Healthy communities.
I enjoy creating pieces of art that people enjoy, this includes stickers, which I often give as presents to my friends and loved ones. My hobbies include painting, drawing, reading, playing with my dogs, and shopping. I’m very interested in what goes on in my community, and helping in anyway I can which is why I joined this program.
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My name is Jaylynn Northern-Ross and I’m 16 years old. I have big dreams and want to be successful in life. I have many passions and goals for myself. I have a big passion for sports and music specifically basketball and rap. On my free time I will go the gym or to the park and just play for hours and hours. Or on a rainy day I’ll be in the house playing video games, writing music, or just drawing cartoons.
In the future I see myself graduating from a four-year university and starting my own business in video games and graphic design. I’ve had this dream since I was 10 years old that 1 day people will be buying my games that I created, buying comic books, or even watching my TV programming network.
What I feel I will bring to this internship is joy, fun, a chance to give everybody to speak their minds. I feel this internship will bring me 1 step closer to my dreams and I will get a good experience from this opportunity.
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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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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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“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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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 astatistic”.
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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.
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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