The workshop – titled “Telling Our Stories” – was aimed at nurturing voices that can serve as bridges to diverse perspectives for first-generation immigrants in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. As part of the program, a group of fourteen high school students studied the tenants of journalistic writing and storytelling through multimedia. They also discussed the dangers of misinformation in ethnic and mainstream media.
To help mentor the group, the workshop was taught by communications professionals from USC, the LA Times, and the AAAJ-LA. Since the workshop, two students have had their family’s immigration stories published in the Alhambra Source:
“I Don’t Belong” by Alhambra High School student Sofia Chie Huang:
The United States
In my parent’s eyes, the country of freedom, opportunity and quality education. I thought so too. Who knew immigrants were no longer welcome in their land? Now, I think the “immigrants bring down the economy” or “immigrants are criminals and terrorists” or “I have black guys counting my money” and “who’s doing the raping?” comments and jokes made by the president prove that I’m not white enough to be American.
“The grandfather I hardly knew” by Mission High School student Sidny Ramirez
Lolo Sonny visited our apartment unit on rare occasions. Since I don’t speak fluent Filipino, I couldn’t make out their conversations. But there is one thing I didn’t know. I have an Uncle named JayJay, my Mom’s brother. I don’t know what he looks like: the only thing I know about him is his unknown illness he had during his time in the Philippines. My mom was against Grandfather’s decision to bring her brother to the United States. But she reluctantly agreed to keep Uncle JayJay safe. I’m not sure how long Lolo Sonny took care of Uncle JayJay. But he managed to take care of him before tragedy struck.
You can read both Sofia and Sidny’s powerful stories on the Alhambra Source. This workshop was part of the Playhouse’s community engagement program, Engage! You can learn more about past and future Engage! events, including two free events coming up this February, here.