Mapping Community: Frank R.

Frank on his penny board

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.

Drawing my own map was interesting to me because I saw a visual picture of all the places around my community that mean the most to me. I first started tracing out the streets that I am most familiar with and started to fill out some locations. The most important thing that I included in my map was my childhood home. I included the house where I grew up in my map because I hold many memories there and it's right next to the San Gabriel River. I grew up next to the river and also hold a few memories there.

I'm not really sure what I want to see changed in my neighborhood but I know something that I think should be included. I strongly think a skatepark should be built in El Monte. There is so many skaters in this community, including myself. I see skaters everywhere but there isn't a specific place where they could skate freely without causing any trouble.

A place with great colors would be my High School. Mountain View is the only place with colors. There is a lot a spirit with our class colors in Mountain View.

Name a place that has a deep personal meaning to you.
My childhood house has a very deep personal meaning to me because it is where I started becoming who I am today.

What is a place that's always quiet?
The El Monte Library is really the only quiet place in our community.

Name a place that has "history?"
A place that has history is the El Monte Museum of History. It shows how the city of El Monte was founded.

A great place to hang out?
A great place to hang out is at school. There's a lot of people and you can just chill and talk with friends.

A place where people come together to participate in a shared activity.
Mountain View Park. Lots of people go there and play sports and hang out with friends.

Who is a person that defines your neighborhood for you.
A person that I think defines my neighborhood is my history teacher, Mr. Zuniga. He grew up in El Monte and always talks about the community.

Name a place or person that you are afraid to meet or cross paths with.
A place that I do not want to mess with is small neighborhoods and some apartments because there are gang members.

Where is a great place to eat in your neighborhood?
A great place to eat is Karina's Tacos. In my opinion, they are the best Tacos in El Monte.

The first layer of Frank's neighborhood map.

The second layer of Frank's map shows more details about his neighborhood.

I included all the schools that I attended on my map because I had most of my life's memories there.


Mapping Community: Aaron B.


Mapping Community: Esther A.