Community College Pride

Connee_Jazmin.jpegJazmin Valenzuela offered us this testimonial to the value of a community college education. Jazmin is currently a senior at UC Santa Barbara. At left, she was our guest speaker at a fundraiser in 2015, pictured here with Connee Freeman, former Urban Foundation board member.

"After high school, I begrudgingly began attending community college. My plans of going to a four year school didn’t pan out and I felt defeated. I was angry because I felt like I had to settle for less, and upset because I thought to myself, “this place is for kids who don’t know where to go or what they want.”

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From Member to Intern

I have been a part of Kid City since 2012 and received help with applying to college. I soon became close to Laura, Alma and Anne and knew I could count on them for support.

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At the time, I was really stressed with the idea of applying to college and scholarships. However, every time I entered Kid City, I would feel relieved and knew everything would turn out great. I was paired with a mentor and we worked together on my personal statements. Kid City provided me with academic support and also with emotional support. Laura had us read and discuss an article about "impostor syndrome" and I related so much to it. She made me rethink my feeling of being an imposter and taught me to be more confident and take ownership of my hard work. 

Since I joined Kid City, I have always tried to give back in any way. I volunteered during Splash of LA and was part of college panels. This summer I wanted to play a bigger role and decided to become a Kid City intern.

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Monologue/Dialogue

Two years ago, just before entering her first year at UCLA, Jocelyn Martinez wrote this essay in response to reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while in my pre-college writing workshop at Kid City. A year later, Jocelyn, together with Maria Alonso taught the pre-college writing workshop. This week, to commemorate the MLK Jr. holiday, I asked one of Jocelyn's students to reflect on the meaning of her essay, two years later. In this way, students continue to be in dialog with Dr. King and with each other.

Monologue/Dialogue, by Jocelyn Martinez

Martin Luther King Jr. famously wrote, in his now renowned letter from Birmingham jail, that the American South of his time tragically lived in “monologue rather than dialogue.” Using such a loaded phrase, King captured an unjust American truth: the story of America is that of the white man; his African-American brothers, and other minorities, are largely ignored. Disgusted by the injustice of segregation and the degrading inferiority thrust upon thousands of African-Americans, Martin Luther King dedicated his time and efforts to making the story of America a story of all. To obtain such results, King first had to induce a shift from monologue to dialogue.

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Saul Nolasco: SMC to UCSB

Blog_Saul_Pic.jpgSaúl Nolasco, a former Santa Monica College student now at UC Santa Barbara, is finishing his first quarter and jokes that classes are too easy.

At first being away from his mother and little sister made him homesick. But he joined Hermanos Unidos and La Escuelita, clubs that help him stay active and give back to the community. At La Escuelita Saúl tutors local kids in math and helps them with homework. Saúl says that the clubs helped him adjust to campus life. "My homesickness subsided as soon as I joined Hermanos Unidos and La Escuelita. These two clubs on campus have helped with adjustment and reinforcement of being active. As a member of Hermanos Unidos I help promote academic excellence, community service, and social and personal development. As hermanos (brothers) we support each other as we prepare to graduate, thrive, and become respected leaders on campus and beyond." With Hermanos Unidos, Saúl volunteers at community events and is planning a Thanksgiving dinner for needy families.

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Nancy Avelino: Kid City Kid

The first day I went to Kid City is the day things started to get better and better.

IMG_8500.jpgI can still remember the summer I became a Kid City kid. It was before my senior year of high school and Kid City was offering job training, SAT math and verbal prep, personal statement writing, and many other workshops. I met Anne and Laura and bright faced high school students, all of whom made me feel comfortable and valued. Even though I was a bit shy and unsure of my abilities as a student and a leader, being at Kid City helped me take notice of my abilities. They encouraged me to participate in the job training course to enhance my ability as as speaker. Kid City has guided me to resources and information, such as toastmasters, to help me overcome my speech apprehension. Without Kid City, I might have remained a nervous girl with a dream to be a leader, but without knowledge of where to begin. 

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Deni Rodriguez, Reporter and Renaissance Woman

Deni_corsair_article.jpgDeni Rodriguez: artist, writer, thinker, as well as Kid City and Urban Foundation volunteer, is also a first-year Santa Monica College student. Deni wrote this lyrical piece for the Santa Monica College Corsair. No wonder they want her to write more articles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jocelyn Martinez publishes in UCLA's La Gente

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Jocelyn Martinez is one of ten Kid City students at UCLA. Now in her second year, she is majoring in English and writing for La Gente. Click here for the full article, about how monolingual Spanish speaking parents participate in activities to support their children studying at UCLA.

In addition to regularly volunteering at Kid City, Jocelyn taught a summer pre-college writing and "college-knowledge" course with fellow Kid City college student Maria Alonzo (UCSD) during summer, 2014. Look for more of Jocelyn's writing at Streetsblog LA, where she was recently hired as an intern, and many more places, sure to come in the future. Great work Jocelyn!

 

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Getting by at CSUN, with Katie's help

Katie___crew_square.jpgGoing off to college for the first time is a big transition for anyone; moving out of the parents and into a dorm with a complete stranger, and having to learn a lot of life skills very quickly forces one to become an adult over the course of  year, not to mention striving to achieve academic excellence. The stress can be overwhelming, and in times of need young adults need a support group to encourage them to do well and feel confident in their abilities and future. For me and my peers from Kid City that go to CSUN, that support group originated and is led by the wonderfully talented Katie Kevorkian.

 

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New! Kid City Videos by Roger Francisco, LACC film student

At Kid City, just like everywhere else, it's all about who you know. In this case, one of our Kid City student's friend's big brother's cousin. Roger Francisco, a film student at Los Angeles Community College made these two beautiful videos as a course project with support from classmates, instructors, and Kid City staff person (and fellow filmmaker) Alma Catalan. Take a look and thank Roger in the comments below.

http://youtu.be/-eMBphZ7LBY

http://youtu.be/vtbxwtpoVeA

 

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My name is Nosa Kenny Tilmon

Kenny_guitar.jpgMy name is Nosa Kenny Timon. I am a sophomore studying music education at California State University, Northridge. I have been listening to, playing, and learning about music and all the wonders it holds from the moment I picked up Ben Ede's electric guitar seven years ago.

 

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