Archive Page 2

My Neighborhood, My Self

By Nalani Melo

I have lived in Pasadena for the past 18 years of my life; meaning since I was born. Pasadena is a very nice city (at times I like to refer to it as a town because it sometimes has that small town feeling to it). After growing up in this “town”, I have realized that Pasadena has truly had an influenced on who I am today. At the same time, its not only the city itself that has affected me but the other Pasadenians. In Pasadena we have all kinds of people; different races, different styles, different cultures but at times social class seems to be a major category that keeps them separated. In Pasadena I have learned to value who I am and that there honestly is no need to pretend to be someone else or from some different neighborhood (in Pasadena). I am a lower middle class young mexican artist of the city of Pasadena and I am no longer going to be afraid to show it. Not even in classy, upper class, modern and sometimes boring Pasadena. But in the end, I will always want to come back to my little corner of my little town.

Financial Aid Woes

By Antony Juaregui 

I was always taught that financial aid was wrong by my parents.  When applying to colleges I came across the option to apply for financial aid or not.  I still remember my first taught being not to.  I remembered learning from my parents that “nothing is free.  Especially if it is from the government.”  I wasn’t going to just decide blindly to reject applying for financial aid.  I got a second opinion.

I visit the GEAR UP center- a UCLA sponsored college bound program- I remember I made them cry.  I asked so many questions that afterwards they were exhausted.  I ask “Why apply for financial aid?”  There response satisfied me.  They explained that my parents are tax payers and so am I because I work and so it isn’t really free; I’m just getting money back for college.  I decided to apply for financial aid.  I applied for FAFSA and some scholarships.

Time passed and I got my results.  I didn’t get financial aid.  It was embarrassing.  I know a lot of people who only go to college because they got financial aid and they do not believe in going otherwise because it is not worth wasting all your money on college.  I guess I am dumb because I still wanted to go.  I look at the money available and if my math is right I am only going to be here for two years.  That sucks; I wanted to graduate.  I reassure myself that something will happen.  I’ll find a way to pay for college.

I moved away from the money.  We I am at now jobs are scarce.  Finding a job seems impossible.  I know that back home there are jobs.  Maybe I’ll have to go to school there.  I really don’t want to but I might not have a choice.  I could hope my parent pay for my education, but I never see them having any money.  They always complain about the bills and stuff and they never seem to have any money to spend on themselves.  Also, if they do pay for me, I might not want that.  They will tell everyone that they paid for my education and hold it against me.

I fell more optimistic because it could of been worse.  I hear financial aid stories all the time and they are worse than mine.  My friend came out of the closet and so her parents declined to pay for her college.  Because she is under 24 she cannot get financial aid because of her parents income but she can’t force her parents to pay for college either.  She thought it was all over for her but she found a way to cheat the system.  The law states that if you are married heterosexually than your parents are no longer responsible for paying for your college.  So she found a friend and married him.  Now she receives financial aid.  She married for money- yeah- but it had to be done.

Communication Across Borders – Call for Contributors

Roosevelt High School students in Los Angeles sent Audiopostales “audio postcards” – to youth in Mexico City in a special Youth Radio program in Fall 2006.

Youth Radio Los Angeles is home to a our Spanish-language programming- Radio Juventud. AudioPostales is a cross-border radio project of Radio Juventud that allows bilingual youth in Tijuana, Baja California and Mexico City to collaborate with bilingual youth in Los Angeles, CA.

The conversations between participants dealt with everything from gender roles, lucha libre, homophobia in D.F., growing up in East Los Angeles, diabetes, and Mexican presidential elections.

Here is what one participant, Evelyn Xiomara Martinez, wrote on her blog about the importance of using digital media to connect young people across borders.

!La CoMmUnIcAsIoN pArA mI!

Para mi, la comunicación digital se significa mucho. Este medio de comunicación es maravillosamente increible porque para la gente que tiene aceso al internet, se puede comunicarse con otra gente al otro lado de la frontera o hasta del mar. Y todavia nosotros podemos saber que es lo que esta pasando y la verdad es que es muy agradale saber que gracias a esto medio nos podemos communicarnos gratis.

We’re launching a new project that promises to connect young people around to globe in conversations about the U.S. presidential elections.
Keep reading to find out how YOU can get involved!
Continue reading ‘Communication Across Borders – Call for Contributors’

Democratic Candidates and Same Sex Marriage

By Anne Santos


This whole time I thought the Democratic candidates backed same-sex marriage because I have read about their opinions on the LGBT community and they were all pretty positive. But, now I see that while they do want to help our community, like backing us up to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” and , they still have a problem with same sex marriage. Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama stated, “…what I’m interested in is making sure that those legal rights are available to people.”. They want to give us the same perks heterosexual couples already have, but still they fall short.

Obviously, I like where they’re going with this, especially since they are trying to help our community out, but I really don’t understand why they still can’t make same-sex marriages legal. doing what they’re doing is the equivalent of filling up a tank but letting it read empty. They’re giving us so much hope, giving us things we’ve been fighting for, but in the end, we still lose the big fight, in my opinion at least. I think it’s pretty stupid to let us take all the tiny steps, and act as though we are married, and for some reason, we still we are not granted the title.


From The Editor:

Gay marriage is often used as a campaign rally point for conservative bases during election seasons. Angel Hernandez and Marvin Alvarado of Youth Radio DC weigh in the gay marriage controversy. Check our their video commentary.

Will Things Really Change?

Editor Noah at our sister Blog Youth Radio Flows has some homework for you.

Let’s imagine Barack Obama is President – then what? Or Hillary pulls a major comeback?

Send Your Thoughts Here!

Latinos, Race and the Elections – a sneak preview

By Lizbeth Ayala (reporter) and Clare Robbins (producer)

LIZBETH: Here’s a quick preview to a story that I’m working on! The main question of the piece: is Barack Obama’s candidacy revealing different attitudes towards Blacks from young and old Latinos? Is it because younger Latinos have more experiences with the African American community than their older generations?

I listened to a couple of stories on NPR and this is what I thought. I was surprised to hear that one study in Durham, North Carolina found that the majority of Latino immigrants there say they identify more with whites, and have a more unfavorable view of African Americans. And I wonder why is that?

CLARE: Another question is: how will this play out in the elections? And is the bias identified in this story true in states like Texas, where it’s thought that a large Latino vote will go to Hillary Clinton? Is this something that is more common among older generations, whereas younger Latinos may not share that feeling towards Black people.

LIZBETH: To me it seems like the media makes this whole presidential election season all about race issues.  Also one thing that I found interesting was that, according to Luis Clemens – who runs the website Candidato USA–  most young Latino voters are more likely to vote with the Democratic Party, and that the older Latinos are most likely to be Republican.

CLARE: Looking ahead, we hope to talk with young and old Latinos alike about what it means to them that we might see the first African American president. Stay tuned for more on this story!

For Valentine’s Day, What Makes a Healthy Relationship?

One of Youth Radio’s “beats” is teen relationships. Within that, we have spent a lot of time examining the under-covered issue of teen dating violence. In the Summer of 2007, Youth Radio Los Angeles held a workshop exploring dating violence. The stories produced that session covered a wide range of topics that reveal societal pressures that sometimes result in abusive relationships. For example, we looked at gender roles in hip hop and pop music, teen pregnancy, and the pressures of homophobia. Our peer teachers Consuelo Cisneros and Anahi Canales wrote blog entries about teen dating violence more directly.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are re-publishing some of their writings, so that we may consider.. what makes our relationships healthy – or not?

“Teen Dating Violence”
No one deserves to be abused, and you’ll be amazed with how many people you know have been abused. Today I attended a “Dating and Domestic violence” workshop led by Maeve O’Leary, a student at UCLA and a local performing artist who has done peer health education since she was in High School. This powerful topic made me look back at many problems my friends, other people, and I have gone through. There are seven types of abuse…..

Physical: slapping, pushing, hitting, kicking, biting, etc.
Emotional: name-calling, putting down, insults, etc.
Sexual: being forced into sexual contact
Threats: “If you…I’ll kill you!”
Intimidation: gestures, looks, smashing things
Isolation: being kept from seeing or talking to others, not allowed to go out.
Economic: being given an allowance, not allowed to have a job, etc.

What exactly is domestic violence? Domestic violence or abuse often refers to violence between spouses, but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners. It occurs when a family member, an ex partner tries to physically or psychologically control another. I have witnessed emotional, economic, and intimidation.

For example, imagine a Dad who insults his children and wife on an almost everyday basis. He doesn’t let his daughters go out, talk to boys, have boyfriends and put on make up. When the girls go out with out permission, he assumes they went out to have sex or do drugs. Who does he blame? He blames his wife for not “raising them properly.” Mommy feels extremely guilty and is forced to give dad money. Here is where economic and psychological abuse take place. This is absolutely not a healthy relationship. The mother and her children are extremely intimidated by this guy.

Teenagers are victims of such violence as well. Here is where dating abuse takes place. Dating abuse is violence between teenagers.
Unfortunately many teenagers are not aware that they are in abusive relationships. Now picture a 16 year old boy treating his girlfriend almost as if she had no feelings. “You will never become a rock star, just kidding,” Kevin tells his girlfriend Matilda. Kevin accuses Matilda of cheating. He spent most of his days prank calling her. She felt as if she had no space.

Matilda was completely drenched in fear yet felt that she was in love with this person. She felt isolated from friends, and to catch up with her social life, she made a smart choice of getting involved in school. She joined many clubs like Youth for Positive Change, and MECHA.

When Matilda tried breaking up with him, he would beg her not to. He promised her that he would change, and she believed him. Who knows how he’s doing right now. She broke up with him and is currently working hard to achieve her goals.

People often jump into conclusions. Some say that people who are abused like the abuse, but no one likes abuse. Fear, children, love, guilt, and faith are the factors that do not allow the victims to walk away.

A healthy relationship consists of communication, trust, space, fairness, and most importantly respect. No one deserves an abusive relationship. Being abusive is not genetic or an illness. It is learned behavior. However, they need help just like the victims of violence need.