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Mid-City CAN Blog

Young City Heights leaders plan for future

From left, Angeli Hernandez and Rosa Olascoaga led a discussion called “Being an Ambassador – Representing” on Feb. 22 during a state-wide Building Healthy Communities youth leadership retreat. Mid-City CAN photo

From left, Angeli Hernandez and Rosa Olascoaga led a discussion called “Being an Ambassador – Representing” on Feb. 22 during a state-wide Building Healthy Communities youth leadership retreat.

Mid-City CAN photo

From Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, two City Heights resident leaders, Rosa Olascoaga and Angeli Hernandez, traveled to Long Beach to be part of the "Building Healthy Communities and Sons and Brothers Youth and Adult Ally Leadership Retreat." Building Healthy Communities is a 10 year, $1 billion initiative to change the way health happens in 14 California Communities, including City Heights. Sons and Brothers is part of "an alliance of change agents committed to improving the life chances of California's boys and young men of color."
Rosa and Angeli led a skill building session called "Being an Ambassador – Representing" during the Saturday training at the event.


By Angeli Hernandez


Part of the reason that we were there was because of the Sons and Brothers process. There was a lot of urging from women leaders not to forget about other women in the process. One of the best parts was the fact that we were able to connect with other sites, knowing that the work that they are doing is similar to the work that we are doing in City Heights. [We were] able to show them our model behind our work. I hope they can reach the same thing or something better that we can take back as well.


The conference was a chance for youth coordinators, steering committee, research interns, youth council [members and others to be] able to have a leadership meeting to [see what areas] we can target statewide. One of the things I took from this convening, was seeing how other sites [including ours] expanded and grew from the initial plans and the BHC work.
At the skill building event, we talked about how we started at the Building Healthy Communities Hub. I joined the hub, Mid-City CAN, three years ago after finding out about it through the Faces for the Future program at Hoover High School. Rosa found out about it through her brother and Reality Changers.
As you Youth Council members, we try to be ambassadors and improve our skill. We have to be knowledgeable and represent the whole organization. We don't want to put our opinions into things.
We have to be objective and conduct ourselves in a certain way when we talk to people. If we are the first people they know in an organization, we have to give a good impression of it.
We got to see a lot of people in other communities and cities. We have all grown up now. Most of us are in our twenties. We talked about the challenges of our changing roles as we get older.
We also talked about transportation and how we are way ahead of some other communities -- in City Heights -- through our advocacy of Youth Opportunity (Bus) passes. Transportation is important for the safety and health of a community. Youth face a lack of transportation, which limits their opportunities.

 

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