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Community Connections: Meet Ruby M.

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What object connects you to your community? We asked the Youth Voices students at Arroyo High School this question at the end of our first meeting and requested they bring that object to our next class meeting. The items they brought and their explanations offer physical evidence of the personal link the students have with their neighborhood and identifies their departure point for this project: their experience, memories and personal understanding of their community. To see more of the student's work click HERE or use #kcetyv on Twitter and Instagram.


My name is Ruby M. and I'm in eleventh grade at Arroyo High School. There are many programs and clubs at our school to help our students with anything they what to get better and feel they are struggling in. I like my school, because we're proud of our school. The most important thing to know about me is that I love helping people. Many of my friends go through so many obstacles in their young lives such as: school, personal problems, or their home life. I really enjoy listening to friends, because it makes them feel good -- and having someone who listens helps ease all their mix emotions and pain.

The object that connects me to my community is a photo of my mom when she was in cosmetology school. The school she attended was in the historic El Monte Valley Mall. As a student my mom and her friends volunteered for a program that connected cosmetology students with women from a domestic violence shelter. Most of the women in the shelter had been beaten by their husbands or boyfriends and looking to rebuild their lives. My mom and her friends volunteered to help the women and rebuild their lives by doing their hair, showing them how to apply make-up, and regain their self-worth through a new set of nails or a french- tip manicure. Many of the women my mom met needed to be reminded how it felt to be beautiful, important, and fearless again.

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