Calafia

When You Grow Up Poor

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YLI is My Story

The more I remember my 8th birthday, the more I examine the idea that I had money for either a birthday cake or a present. My family couldn’t afford to get me both. When I came to this realization, I started thinking about other things that might have pointed to this truth.

Our Drying Lake: attraction or is it a threat?

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YLI is My Story

This is the reality for youth in my community and that’s how environmental injustice shows up in my life, quite literally in the air I breathe. The reality is the Salton Sea is drying up and has been drying up since 2003, the year I was born.

Unexpected Worries

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YLI is My Story

My mom, aunts, and uncles had to discuss how much they were all going to pitch in to pay for the medical bills and possibly for the funeral, since my grandpa’s condition didn’t seem to improve. With my family’s situation, I know how important it is to have healthcare.

Finding My Voice Amongst the Silence

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YLI is My Story

I’ve come to understand through my experience that a multitude of perspectives are needed in order to make comprehensive judgements. And by inserting my own perspective and morals into the discussion as well, I’ve learned that progress does not come from one-size fits all solutions, because they simply don’t exist.

Education is a Privilege (although it shouldn’t be)

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YLI is My Story

Having to work since a very young age, my father didn’t have access to the educational opportunities I have been fortunate enough to be privy to. He instilled in me this love for learning, to take school seriously in order to equip myself with the tools and skills I would need to succeed, to make something of myself.

Gender roles where we least expect them

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YLI is My Story

Every time men at home talked over me or invalidated my arguments because of my gender, it mirrored each time a boy at school did. But I quickly realized that this conditioning wasn’t only impacting me, it was also impacting the way my brother views women and his role in society.

The Feminism Club: The Story of My City Series

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YLI is My Story

The Gender Equality Club at Edison High School in Fresno is a group on campus dedicated to providing a safe space for feminist-minded students to come together, participate in discussion and share important news about current events in their community. 

Saving the Salton Sea: The Story of My City Series

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YLI is My Story

Branded as a literal oasis in the Imperial Valley, the Salton Sea now exists in a state of post-apocalyptic dilapidation. With dead fish lining its shore, the lake emits a strong malodorous stench that severely impacts those with respiratory issues.