Mapping Community: Sarahi S.

Bicyclist riding on the San Gabriel River Bike Path, Photo by Sarahi S.

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 a map of my community was really creative. I started off with my house because that is the main place I am usually at. The most important place I had to include was my high school. The reason for that is it is also like my home. Mountain View High School means a lot to me.

One place I would want to see a change in is this place near my high school. It is located on Valley Blvd across from a metal recycling place. It is really empty and there is a lot of dirt. Not only that, it also looks very lonely. The freeway is next to it and other places, that a lot of people go too. I believe they would want to see something green plants on that little area.

A place with great colors would be the plaza near my house. Day or night there is always beautiful colors everywhere. Even if they are only restaurants and markets, it is a great place to be because you can see people from your community.

One place that has deep personal meaning to me is my school. The reason for this is because I literally love to learn new stuff everyday.

One quiet place in El Monte would be El Monte Public Library. It is a place people go when they need to study, read, or relax.

A place that has history is the El Monte Museum of History. It is a place where the history of our community can be found. This museum shows El Monte back when there were farms.

One place that has a lot of meaning to me is the batting cages. The reason for this is because I love softball and it also helps me on my batting skills.

A place where I come together and participate in activities is at school. My friends and I play softball when we really don't have anything to do.

A person that defines my neighborhood is the men that sells corn, ice cream, and chips throughout the neighborhood. The snacks are really good even though they are bad for you.

A place I'm afraid to go is The Boys and Girls Club. The reason for that is there is a lot of gangsters.

A really great place to eat is my house. My mom absolutely makes the greatest food ever. Not only that but she also makes my sisters and I a lot of veggies.

Other places I marked on my map are the fast food places I sometimes go to.

The first layer of Sarahi's map shows key locations in her neighborhood.

The second layer of Sarahi's map offers more details about her neighborhood.

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Mapping Community: Monique C.

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Mapping Community: Aaron B.

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