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Community Connections: Meet Sophia S.

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What object connects you to your community? We asked this question to the Youth Voices students at South El Monte High School at the end of our first meeting, and requested that they bring this object to our next class. These objects, along with their explanations, offer physical evidence of the personal link the students have with their neighborhood, and served as their point of departure for their Youth Voices Project: their experience, memories, and personal understanding of their community. To see more of the students' work click HERE or use #kcetyv on Twitter and Instagram.

My name is Sophia S., I'm a Junior at South EL Monte High School. Growing up in in the City of South El Monte has been an exciting journey because all of the local parks, library, town hall, and riverbeds have created a sanctuary growing up. Whittier Narrows Park has a large lake and has fun activities like fishing, boat racing, and bike rentals, which allows you to interact with community residents. Attending South El Monte High School has been a wonderful experience because, I've gotten to meet new people from different backgrounds and histories different from my own. The teachers here are very involved with student activities and work hard to help us students. I'm proud of the high school and the student body. Something important to know about me is that I'm very involved with my school and my community. I'm currently an officer for 5 clubs that keep me busy and encourage me to commune with my fellow students and make changes in our school. I'm also involved in sports like tennis and track which have helped me become healthier. Although, I may have little time to hang out, I do make the time to enjoy my friends and family.

The object that connects me to my neighborhood is The South El Monte News our local city news letter. The news letter allows me to stay informed on the changes and events happening locally. It contains pictures of clubs, teams, and students from South El Monte High School that achieved new heights. Once a month, I'm eager to find the newspaper in my mailbox and read all the fun stuff that is happening in our city. I've met new people and joined new clubs advertised in the news letter. My dad and I enjoy reading the news letter together and laughing at the funny cartoons. These are the memories I cherish the most.

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