Housing, Immigration, and Substance Abuse Exhibit to Raise Awareness in Half Moon Bay

yli is My Story

My name is Phoenix Reyes and I am a senior at Pilarcitos High School. I am currently a member of the YLI group here at Pilarcitos. I really only joined because of the snacks, but then I ended up liking the class. Because the youth group focused on interesting topics and things I actually care about – affordable housing, immigration, and substance abuse – I knew I would not be bored.

In this process of building with the group, I started to realize how important it is for the community to know about these issues – to be aware of what is going on around them. They need to know what exactly city council is deciding for us, the overall community.  In order to raise awareness, we’re planning the Housing, Immigration, and Substance Abuse (H.I.S.) Freedom Gallery Exhibit to take place on June 7th at Pilarcitos High School. The event will give direct insight on what our neighbors and community members are facing right now, whether it is immigration or affordable housing and how access to substances can affect us negatively.

I am enjoying planning this event. It means being a part of something to help people, and especially the people in my community. Coming from personal experience, it is important that there is a change made in the Half Moon Bay community.  The one thing I like most about YLI is that it is really like a family: we laugh together, tell jokes about each other, and it is a space where I don’t feel judged or like I have to be a certain kind of person to be in it. I’ll be graduating this year, and I am really happy that I was able to find a group that I could connect and build a solid relationship with, and make a big impact in my community.