Mapping Community: Aaron B.


Creating personal maps is one of the first activities we do in Youth Voices. We asked the students at Mountain View High School to identify the places they spend time with friends, or places that have meaning to them as well as other key locations, people, and things. This begins the process of thinking more critically about their neighborhood along with initiating a creative freedom to express ideas that are true to their experiences. The maps provide an opportunity to put it down on paper and reflect on a personal memories that start to paint a clearer picture of their community and what they would like to see it become.

I've always thought of my town as small but after drawing it out I realized that it's not small at all. I started by drawing our rival school South El Monte and then all the "cool" places to eat and hangout including my friends house.

Name a place, corner or location in your neighborhood that you want to see changed.
The McDonalds in South El Monte has new houses being built next to where there used to be a mini golf course but it burned down. I feel like they should've repaired it because it's already hard for kids and teens to find a local place to hangout at as it is.

Where is a place with great colors?
There's this green ice cream truck that will drive around on occasion and it's unique because it plays a different tune and has a wider variety of ice cream.

Name a place that has a deep personal meaning to you.
Theres a bench on the corner of Parkway and Burkett that has a lot of meaning to me for personal reasons but it's a pretty peaceful place to sit and think.

What is a place that's always quiet?
The San Gabriel riverbed is pretty quiet and depending on who's there its also pretty peaceful.

Name a place that has history.
I would say downtown El Monte because its been through so many changes.

Where is a great place to hang out?
Doughnut because people there are friendly and if you stay there long enough they'll give you free food.

Name a place where people come together to participate in a shared activity.
My house is usually where my friends meet up to make our plans or just chill.

Who is a person that defines your neighborhood for you?
One person doesn't make this city we are a community and we all work together in making this city great.

Name a place or person that you are afraid to meet, or cross paths with.
I don't know anyone I'd be afraid of but there is this guy who walks around town with a cane and I see him everywhere and I really want to find out what his story is.

Where is a great place to eat in your neighborhood?
A great place to eat is Lamppost because the pizza is one of a kind and so is the restaurant.

The first layer of Aaron's neighborhood map.

The second layer of Aaron's map highlights important locations.

There's a lot of great places around El Monte but the things I've marked on the map are the ones that mean most to me.


Mapping Community: Sarahi S.


Mapping Community: Frank R.