May 16, 2022


Redheads vs. The Sun

All over tropical vacation spots, redheads are applying their one hundred sunblock, though this is true, scientists have researched why redheads burn easily and it is all because of their genetic makeup. Vacationing is meant for  enjoyment and good memories, but due to natural redheads, it is a little more difficult. When advocating about this topic, it is important to understand the genetic makeup and ways to prevent harsh burns. 

Each and everyone’s body wants to protect itself from any harmful factors that people encounter on a day to day basis and the UV sun rays are one of them. What the body does to protect from the sun is producing eumelanin. The process of eumelanin when the sun hits the body is to turn the skin darker in an attempt to defend it from harmful factors (Ginger Parrot). Having the capability to perform this defense mechanism is what reduces sunburn on others skins, except for redheads. With that being said, researchers have proved that redheads have “low eumelanin and high pheomelanin,” indicating that redheads do not have the same protection as other natural hair colors (Ginger Parrot). Having this disadvantage creates more difficult tasks they will have to face on a warm climate vacation. The website Sunsense wrote an article that states; “scientists have found that people with the gene for red hair are less able to protect themselves against the sun’s UV rays…. Showing additional sun damage equivalent to spending an extra twenty-one years in the sun compared to people with the gene,” demonstrating how harshly an impact this mutation has on a person’s skin and health. By simply having a more rare hair color than others, it causes extravagant consequences to the skin. This vital information has informed many redheads across the world to know why they are burning quicker than others and how it can truly impact their quality of life. 

Using this information about the low eumelanin in the body, steps can be done to easily reduce the amount of burn a red haired person could obtain. Choosing sunscreen, covering up, reapplication, and shade are all examples of steps towards successfully lowering the probability of getting burnt. Choosing the right sunscreen is vital to each redhead, and the two factors that make up a good sunscreen are “an appropriately high sun protection factor” and “it provides broad spectrum cover,” explaining that without these factors, the sunblock will not be protective (Sunsense). The sun will always find a way to burn a redhead, so if sunscreen is applied regularly and abundantly, it is more likely to not get burned or obtain a skin problem in the future. According to the Skin Care foundation; “We [redheads] are more than one and a half times as likely to develop basal cell carcinomas, the most common form of skin cancer,” acknowledging the extreme effects the mutation has on individuals with red hair. Having the slightest difference in DNA make up or anything in the body causes a whirlwind of dangerous possibilities. Different forms of skin cancer or other diseases are harmful and easily contractible to people with this mutation. Knowing how to prevent a sunburn is very important, especially to a redhead due to all the harmful effects the sun can cause if the skin is not cared for.

Genetics are different in every human and create unique qualities in them. Learning about what is going on in our bodies can lead us to want to know more to get rid of any possible preventable diseases in the future. Redheads have a genetic mutation that does cause them to be susceptible to sunburn faster than brunettes because of the amount of eumelanin in their bodies. Though this is proved, there are ways to still enjoy outdoor adventures, just with extra steps. As said before, warm climate vacations are all about enjoying the nice weather with ones each person cares about, but one must always stay protected from the sun no matter what hair color they may have. 

Works Cited 

GingerParrot. “Why Do Redheads (and Other People) Sunburn so Easily?” Ginger Parrot, 4 June 2021,                        and-other-people-sunburn-so-easily/.

Wpadmin. “A Guide to Sun Protection for Redheads.” SunSense, 20 Mar. 2018,

“Red Alert!” The Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 Aug. 2019,           

The causes of the pandemic

In the article ¨Pandemic effects on students”(McGraw Hill) I learned that during these hard times of the pandemic there was an emotional effect. This is awful because people had lost their lives due to Covid. With getting Covid people could get depression because they are stuck in the house doing nothing. That could also miss up their mental issues also. They could also get depression by one of their love ones dying from Covid. Something that caught my attention about this article is that it was a big change with this pandemic people had to change the way they live and sorround them selfs with fewer people.

I think this is a sad case because its world wide that the pandemic happend. This is a sad case because more people are coming out with depression and other mental health issues. I hope with the years go by this pandemic could go away and go back to normal so that everybody could be happy. With going back to normal everybody has to get the vacinee so that there wouldnt be no more depression or other mental issues with this pandemic.

If everything goes back to normal would depression and other mental issues would be a problem?


I am
from gratitude and praise
a daily battle against myself
refinement of the human body
refinement of the mind and soul
I am
from the earth, the heavens and the universe
I am
from death to life to death
I am
from training to serve
Conditioning to climb
Practice to play
the endless pursuit of wisdom
of answers
Learning to live
As a soldier under the almighty
I am
I am

Asian Parental Pressure IS NOT OKAY!!!


Throughout my entire life I have always seen an Asian parent being strict on their children. They want their children to get all 4’s in their elementary report card and get a 95+ average in their middle and high school grades. They want them to get into any specialized high school as it was for their “benefit”. They want them to get into an Ivy League college. Finally, they want them to become successful lawyers and doctors.
I am very passionate about this topic because, it bothers me that parents do not understand the difference between the right amount and too much pressure. They think that getting into prestigious schools ensures success in life. This may be because, previously they did not have the opportunity to be successful in life. However, they think that their children can lead a successful life. Little do they know that this negatively impacts their children. For instance these children can do drugs, develop suicidal thoughts, and become depressed. Before I did not know that there was a solution to such a problem BUT there is. The solution is, these parents just must trust their children in what they are doing and, comfort them whenever they encounter failure. In addition, these parents need to show their children that they are proud of them to ensure the best success a person can obtain.

Aubiography of a Writer

Day 01
I have never labeled myself as a ‘good writer’. This is mostly because I don’t often write; not because I don’t like to, but because I simply don’t have time. I think that I would achieve ‘good writer’ status if wrote regularly and allowed myself to take time to culminate ideas. I will use these entries to explore how I create new ideas and my preferred styles of writing.

Day 02
It is currently 11:49 PM. You may be thinking that I am just another procrastinator who tries to finish assignments last minute, but that’s not the case. I tried to write an entry after school, but I couldn’t. Then I came back to it before dinner, and the gears in my head were still not turning.
But now, now is when the bizarre ideas intrude into my thoughts. When, what should I wear to school tomorrow? turns into, what if dreams are actually real life and reality is when we are dreaming?
It makes me wonder if I am actually most productive at night, or if it’s just when the symptoms of a bad case of sleep deprivation start to shine through.

Day 03
These entries give me flashbacks of my second grade self. I would write in a diary just about every night, talking about my day or something that I was thinking about. This is when I first understood how powerful writing is. It is a stress reliever. It is powerful. It is exhausting; but the final product is a masterpiece. My go-to style of writing (and reading) is short and sweet. I prefer phrases that have deep meanings over a drawn-out paragraph.

Day 04
There are times when I try to convey an idea on paper but it does not come out right. I often delete multiple sentences as I try to find the perfect words. The words must flow yet still be bold enough to catch attention. I wouldn’t call my indecisive nature a flaw, but it definitely makes writing more time-consuming.

Day 05
I have been inspired recently by my brother’s music. It is amazing how his lyrics flow so easily with the melody that he creates. Some of his songs are fictional, but others express deep emotion and I really enjoy connecting with them. One of my favorite lines that he has ever written is, “What will goodness really win you when subconscious action solely rules you”. I don’t even necessarily know what it means, however, these lyrics resonate with me. My brother’s lyrics make me want to write more, so that I can improve and be able to create a true form of art along with him.

The book “Street Life” can change your future

The book “ Street Life” is about a young man named Victor who had a rough childhood growing up. Victor was born in Mexico. Victor’s mom and little brother crossed the border and moved to California. He joined a gang at 13 years-old because he didn’t have any money and felt a gang would protect him. As he was more into the gang violence, he witnessed his best friend getting shot and killed. Victor was in and out of juvenile. He ran into his old teacher, and she helped him change his life around. My favorite part of the book is when Victor graduated from college and accomplished his dreams to help other young kids that’s in a gang and have bad grades. I recommend high school students to read “ Street Life” because this motivated me to chase my dreams and go to college. Dr. Rios taught me that no matter how you’re struggling and living, it’s never too late to become whatever you put your heart into.

More then just education

In one of my earlier post “Why memorization doesn’t work” I addressed the issue that in the US education system we are essentially expecting kids to mimic the teachers words rather than learn or want to learn.Ben Orlin, author of “When Memorization Gets in the way”, explains “Some things are worth memorizing–addresses, PINs, your parents’ birthdays. The sine of π/2 is not among them. It’s a fact that matters only insofar as it connects to other ideas. Although some things are essential to memorize to understand a broader concept memorization is not how we are to learn the concept itself. Because of this we aren’t preparing the future generations for their future which should be the ultimate goal of any school.

After further research and an interview with Patrick Lambert, Principal of Judge Memorial High school, I realized school is just more then just education. Preparing us for our future entails more then just the knowledge we receive on an annual basis. “Our goal is to develop critical thinkers before they leave, of we haven’t done that then we have failed” Lambert explained. He wants us to grow not only academically but physically spiritually and socially. Preparing us for our future is more then just being able to get good grades, he understands we live in a system that we can’t change but doing the best he can to prepare us students is his mission statement. Lambert also explained that he had all the teachers read a book about this exact topic to encourage teachers to instill a love of learning and to notice the improvement itself rather then the individual grade.

Another crucial aspect is your character, Lambert pointed out. This is where the growing spiritually comes in, us as people not only in the workforce but basically everywhere else. Being upfront about ones character or teaching students how to live a good life whatever that means to them is a difficult thing to do as a public institution. “Being a private school we have that advantage of being able to be upfront about sensitive topics as such” according to Lambert. It’s something he encourages all schools to at least attempt at doing. Of course Judge is not a perfect school either we have much room for improvement and the students will say its the worst, “but if you ask an alumni ten years from now how they feel they will say they were too lucky to have an opportunity as such”. Its not just education that will get you through life but being able to grow physically spiritually, socially, and academically is what we describe preparation to be.

Dear, Dr. Rios

Dear Dr. Rios,

My name is Dynasty Spinks Breazeale. I am a 11th grader at Fremont High School. I am a straight A student and goals in life. When I graduate I want to go to college and become a lawyer. I have just finished chapter 7 and 8 of your autobiography Street Life. When I first started reading the book I knew you was gone have a rough life. As I was reading the book I visualized and put myself in your shoes. It made me sad to know what you been through. So far I been finding quotes and making responses to them.


I feel hurt about different parts of your story that you shared in the chapters titled “The Snake Belt” and “A True Gangster”.


In chapter 7, when you said “But worse I had backstabbed my own mother, betrayed her hopes for me to finish school, after all the pain and work. Even though my mother had made many mistakes while raising me…,”(page 36), I want you to know that It is good to have a state of mind you have, to realize you hurt your mom. Also, you said “I thought that the least I could do for my mother was to pay her back for having given birth to me” (page 37), and I thought It was hard for you to admit that you thank her after what all she did to you Dr. Rios.


Then I read chapter 8 where I read “ The stranger placed the gun on my forehead, the cold steel giving me an instant rush of goosebumps” (page 42) and I realized you never mentioned about being traumatized to go outside. If I was in that situation I would be scared to step a foot outside especially at the age of 11-years-old. Lastly, you shared “I grabbed the gun and pointed it towards the guys. Then, I raised the gun towards the air and shot into the night sky” (page 46), and I want you to know that it was smart of you to not kill the guys because you wouldn’t be able to become who you are today or successful. These two chapters was interesting and kind of emotional. To you kow that you joined a gang at a young age and still alive is a blessing.


Thank you for reading, and I hope to hear from you,



Street Life

Dear Dr. Rios:

My name is Eduardo Guzman. I’m in the 11th grade, and I hate politics. I also hate people who talk too much because they annoy me. I have just finished chapter 8 of your autobiography Street Life. When I first started reading your book, I thought it would be about growing up in poverty and having many struggles. Also, I thought that it would have many consequences about growing up with no father.

I have done different types of imagery annotations where you try to use your senses to be able to understand the book and the author’s attitude. I have also done “Talk to the Author” annotations is writing as if you were talking to the author. A blog post is putting your thoughts out to a wide audience, which is another thing I have done. An audio recording is where you put yourself in the author’s shoes and letting your experience come out of you.

I feel empathy about different parts of your story that you shared in the chapters titled “The Snake Belt” and “A True Gangster.”

In chapter 7, when you said, ”But worse, I had backstabbed my mother, betrayed her hopes for me to finish school, after all of her pain and hard work” (pg 36), I want you to know that, Victor, it must have been painful to know that you hurt your mother who has supported you to the best of her ability. In addition,you were destroying her dreams and her wishes for you to become someone who won’t have to relive their past. Also, you said ”To make my mother proud, to thank her for keeping me alive and sheltered, I decided to go back to school”(page 36), and I thought Victor, it must have been a struggle to have to go back to school after not being there for months, all the questions that they will ask you.

Then I read chapter 8 where I read ”Mi’jo, no seas menso, walk on the other side of the street! She answered, frustrated. As much as I loved my mother, she sometimes did not have the right advice for me” (page 41). I realized it must have been frustrating, Victor, to run home and try to get advice for getting hurt but they didn’t really help you. Lastly, you shared ”The stranger placed the gun on my forehead, the cold steel giving me an instant rush of goosebumps” (page 42), and I want you to know that it must have been a life-changing moment in your life, Victor, almost being killed and unable to do anything but accept it.

Thank you for taking time to reading this, and I hope to hear from you,


My Life 20 Years From Now

I see myself in 20 years living in a lavish house, it’d have five bedrooms, five bathrooms, two living rooms, and two living rooms. I’ll have nice cars, and own a bunch of properties. I’d have a beautiful wife and have four kids. We’ll have a pair of cats. I’ll be working in an architecture firm. My office would have pictures of the many projects I designed.  Various plants to decorate my office, like roses, a small cactus, and a venus flytrap. My desk would be a nice glass table with a great apple computer.  I’ll have a nice view of the city.

In 20 Years

In 20 years it would be 2038. I would be standing inside a stadium with hundreds of thousands of people. I’m going to say a prayer in the locker room before going to the field. People would be cheering for my team and me. I will be wearing number 3 uniform. Tie my cleats nice and tight. Tuck in my shirt, look professional. My squad will be singing the national anthem of their country. I will be playing with everything I got being competitive. It would be the 90th minute; everybody is tired. I will still be running pushing myself to over the limit. As the last second’s approach, I get a small chance, and I take advantage, and I score. Winning the game and becoming the champions. My daily life would be waking up and meeting with the team, eating, training together. At this point in my life, I would be a professional footballer. I’m inspiring the people who play football that anything is possible if they work hard and stay dedicated. In 20 years things would change, technology would be very advanced. However, peace will never settle because stereotypes will always be around. As long as people judge one another peace will be impossible.

Dr.Rios Pain

I feel nervous about posting my first audio recording on Youth Voices. This is my own reading focusing on tone and inflection in a passage from Dr. Victor Rios’ autobiography called Street Life. My understanding of tone in a literary text is the volume in your voice and how you say the words with emotion. Inflection means marking up the text with highlight, underlining, squiggle, and a slash “ / ”.  The relationship between tone and inflection is they both have something to do with volume.


I am attaching an image of my marked-up text. I highlighted the three paragraphs I’m reading. The marking is showing my tone and inflection. I circled where I emphasize. The slash is when I’m pausing. I underlined when I’m slowing down and I squiggled the speed of my tone.


I hope that you see how my voice sounds according to the text mark-up. I would really appreciate feedback.

Dr. Rios Rough Times

After reading the first three chapters of Victor Rios’ Street Life, I feel sad about the events he is telling his audience. In looking at the imagery he uses to tell his story, I realized that he uses visual and kinesthetic imagery in the first three chapters of his autobiography.


The first type of sensory detail I want to focus on is visual imagery. In chapter 2, he was mentioning how is mother treated his siblings with little affection. The sensory detail that follows is ”She provided food and shelter, when she could, and expected us to go to school, but she rarely hugged us or told us she loved us” (Rios, 7). The effect this has is to make the reader feel how unloved and alone he was. The author wants the reader to visualize his mother not being there for him.


The second type of sensory detail I want to focus on is auditory imagery. In chapter 3, his nickname of the school year became “bastard”. Victor was called “bastard “hundreds of times that year. The sensory detail that follows is ‘Every time I walked into class I heard, ”There goes the bastard”’ (Rios,12). The effect this has is to make the reader feel a sense of being blamed for not having a father in his life. While some people might feel sorry for him, I don’t because my father is not in my life because I won’t allow him, and that is okay with me.


The third type of sensory detail I want to focus on is kinesthetic imagery. In chapter 3, he decided to visit his dad because he wants to tell his kids one day about their grandpa. The sensory detail that follows is “Finally, when I got to his house, I took a deep breath, walked to his door, planted my feet firmly on the ground to keep my right leg from shaking with fear, and knocked” (Rios,12). The effect this has is to make the audience feel afraid and sick to their stomach as he walked up the stairs to see his father for the first time. This makes a reader have that feeling of now knowing someone that they are going to see for the first time, and the stomach turns so that you want to vomit. It makes the reader hope that Victor gets the outcome that he wanted and is not wasting his time.


Overall, Dr. Victor Rios wants me to understand that his mother had a rough childhood, which made it hard for her to love. Dr. Rios wants me to understand that whatever you go through don’t doubt yourself.




20 years from now I want to have a foster child, but I will hopefully not be in any relationship. I will start my day by getting up at 6 am. By 8 am I will be heading to work as a counselor for troubled teens in the OUSD. While working with a few of these students, I see myself through these lost teen’s who have all struggled to figure out what to do with their own lives. I want to be able to provide a healthy environment for students who feel unsafe so that they can be able to know that they have a place to go instead of being on the streets and turning to bad habits to deal with their problems. I also want to be able to be someone that these students can trust without thinking I am going to “snitch” on them. The job of helping troubled teens if very important to me because currently as a teen I struggle trying to meet all the expectations my parents have, and it’s very stressful to know I can’t be what they want me to be. After my day at work is over, I will go home and finish my day by spending time with my child and having a lovely dinner.

The Life I Would Want To Have In 20 Years

I see myself in 20 years waking up to a house with three children and my lovely wife. I am a professional basketball player in the NBA, I play Shooting guard and Point guard when needed. I wake every morning at 5 am and head to our training facility and leave out at 6:30. Afterwards, I headed to the gym with the team for stretches and to practice drills. We get on a flight to wherever my game will be so I would naturally put on my headphones until I’m there. I get off the plane and walk into the stadium and head to the locker room and change my attire. After the game I go home to my family and have fun with my kids and my beautiful stay at home wife who takes care of our kids while I’m at work. At the end of the day, I conversate with her about her day and how she’s feeling and listen to everything she has to say. During this time of my life, I would be happy about the things I accomplished and the family I have

what my future would be like in 20 years

In 20 years I will hopefully be a major architect out in Europe and be surrounded by my family and some of the people I consider close to me. A normal day would be me going to work as an architect. A typical day at my job would be checking out blueprints and start making buildings according to them. Hopefully I would get to work on  corporate buildings and other significant projects. Such as building a stadium for a soccer team. Another part of my job would be going to places where there is a high level of poverty and helping out the people and making houses for them and teaching them simple building techniques. At this point in my life, I would be more happy with what I would have accomplished. I would be living a dream. Me achieving this would hopefully inspire children not only my kids to work hard, but for other kids, that may think that they are  not capable of becoming an architect that it is possible as long as they put hard work and dedication into it they would be anything. That’s what a day in my life would hopefully look like in 20 years.

what my life would be like in 20 years

In 20 years, I see myself driving a four-door white jeep wrangler. I am a successful lawyer with a college degree helping helpless people fight for their lives. I have a file to finish in two weeks of a case to free a teenage boy; he was blamed for something he did not do. I married the love of my life, we’ve been together for 21 years. We will be having our second child Tayuahe. Our first child is a boy, and his name is Elijuah. My family and I live in a three-bedroom condo with marble counters and hardwood floors. My husband is a professional chief and works five days out of a week. When we do not have time with our first born our mothers will take turns babysitting Elijuah. I plan on retiring when I turn 45 years old because I am also a book writer and that career is a success. My second book is called “Dynasty Story Tell Part 2,” and it made $18,000 in 3 months. All the money I’m making will help me open my first clothing line, and the clothing line would be for my little sisters so they can make the business grow. My life in 20 years would be successful.

20 Years from now

The day starts with the alarm clock blowing up at the break of dawn and me wanting to smash the snooze button from my lack of sleep. I have taught myself that there are no days off for me at this point and slowly and quietly try to get off my king size bed without waking my partner. I proceed to check any notifications I might have for the day hoping to god it won’t be such a hectic day. Thankfully my administrative assistant is on top of it and has already emailed me a list of the most important things I should take care of. I set out to do them, but before I walk out the door, I pray to a cross by the door in hopes of a successful day.


Most of my days would start like that, and when I’m done running my errands, I will drive myself back home in my new 2038 Mercedes-Benz. The whole way back home I would be bumping rap music and swinging my car along the curved uphill roads. When I finally reach the crest of the mountain, I would pull in to my six car garage and go inside my beautiful two story house. When I did enter my house, everyone will be greeting me home like all my pets, my two kids, and my wife.

My Life in 20 Years

In 20 years, I want to retire from professional football with lots of money;  I don’t want to be working I want people to work for me, be my own boss and start my own business. I would like to inspire the kids giving back to them. At this moment I want all my nieces and nephews to be in my life because I don’t want to have kids, But my brothers might.  I would hope my mom and dad are out of jail. I want to be happy with all my family home at once. I want everybody that is close to me to not worried about struggling because they would be able to come work for me and make money, so we all eat. I also would help people struggling like donate to foster carers and homeless shelters. I want to walk around a part of Oakland and give money to people. At this point in my life, I hope to be at my happiest moment not worried about needing something I could already have the money to get it. In Oakland, I would want to pay for apartments to get build for people living in poverty.

The life of Ramirez!

I kind don’t have anyone who is supporting out for me right now. It is something that I will do for myself. Things are dreams also think of a soccer game you need goals to win, and you need goals for your dreams. My daily habit is going to school, after school over then go to work. I inspired my own self-learning how our parents had a struggle. Mostly if they are immigrants who overcome faced those challenges and they have you as a child where you see yourself right now in a big huge problem. Thanks to those who need to be abandoned their child’s. I inspire myself been a good person to other people who respect. For example, I respect the teachers who are helpful. Even my family is respectful so I became a nice person from my family. From now on, no career that doesn’t mean that nothing because I am on track to have a career that everyone will be surprised at when I showed them. I will make my family happy more happy than they ever have felt happy in there like. I will show my family everything is possible.

My Amazing Future


   I have so many dreams and goals in my life and everyone in this world has dreams to start and to complete.My dad worked hard in his life to make me and my brothers happy, and one day I will return his hard work and make him, and my mom feels good and enjoys the rest of their lives together.I will help my brothers and sisters with there schools and money to support them to finish college because college is expensive and they need to receive help from someone. I’m here to help my family and also poor people. My job is to work at my dad store I want to buy a franchise and buy businesses in Oakland and help out the poor because very little do. I would invest all of my money to the mosques and make more people smile because of what I had been through. There is a sign that says you only sympathize with a person only if you had been through it. My dream is to make all the poor people feel like people want to help them because sometimes they feel worthless. When people see help coming towards them, they start to feel wanted in this world. Then my family is a big part of my life. My career is in the future a doctor and also a businessman.

Creating Who I Envy

I woke up with enough sleep to keep my eyes open, but my body begs to differ. As my vision clears up, I see (with no surprise) my husband dead asleep. Thankfully he doesn’t snore as loud as his parents. Now, I can either be nice today and decide to wake him up with breakfast,  or, I can wake his ass up by scaring the shit out of him…I’ll do both. After, I wake my children up to get ready for school and eat breakfast. I start getting ready myself.  Half an hour later I have all the actors arrive become someone else. Each brush stroke is emphasizing the facial features of a bare naked face, slowly but surely becoming the same outcome as the past few months.  A brand new style and a brand new person ready to act like someone else. Now that everything isn’t as hectic, my tense muscles relax, and the thought of coffee makes me happy. Pretty soon the next actor arrived, and I’m excited to do what I love. I’ve been standing up for hours and my legs ache, now that I’m pretty much done doing the actors makeup and wardrobe, I enjoy watching the scenes thinking I wish I could act as realistically as them, maybe I would’ve had a different career.


   They ask me who I do it for, and most people expect to hear, “For myself”. I do it for the people that never had a chance. I lost my sister when she was one years old, and I lost my brothers to the system when they were young. So all I ever dreamed of doing was to get my brothers back and help troubled families before it got too late. Now I own a Business helping foster kids and families in need.  I created this program called Hope to keep families together. Giving classes to parents to help build better and stronger bonds with their kids and give any advice needed. Classes for children to learn how to cope with their tempers and feelings and how to talk to their parents about anything and everything. Opportunities and support for foster youth to have a bright future.

Well, today is the first annual opening. I am so nervous. All I could think of while I was getting my hair and makeup done is, “I finally did it, I finally made it.” I looked up and stared at myself in the mirror and tried to keep myself from crying. I was so proud of myself. Then my two little brothers ran into the room and hugged me saying it’s time to go Ate (Big Sister). Seeing them happy warms my heart. I got up and was ready to start this journey. When I walked out all I saw was beautiful people and so much light coming from the flashes of people’s phones. I knew nothing can stop me now. I had my little brothers on the side of me, my sister in my heart, and a huge pair of scissors I was ready to cut the ribbon.

Two sides of a coin

Based on research and interviews, Gentrification is a big topic in Oakland but there are both positives and negatives to the change.


Positives of Gentrification


What good things has gentrification brought to you? The opinion of others consist of them being able to connect with new people. Gentrification also mixes races and thoughts of people, brings totally different people together. One of my interviewees, Ernesto Villalba an 18 year old who grew up in Oakland and attends Lighthouse Charter school, states, “ I’ve met people that have moved into Oakland and they’ve become good friends of mine” (Villalba). This interviewee says that due to Gentrification he has made good friends some that are close to him now. He says, “I’ve lost two good friends but life has managed to give me in return two more” (Villalba). This shows that gentrification can lead to people making connections, his friends come from a different country then him and have different cultures. They still manage to be friends, his friends have gave him a different view about gentrification. In his view gentrification has taken friends from him but has also given him new ones. He doesn’t think gentrification is okay. He has never been kicked out of his home but he is a gentrifier, when his family moved into Oakland. His feelings about gentrification are confirmed by an article named, “How Gentrification works” by Dave Ross. In this article it states that good things happen to cities like Oakland when gentrification occurs. Some good things that happen is more construction and lower crime rates. In the article it says, “ Gentrification is a sign of economic growth. As money begins to flow into a neighborhood, many aspects of everyday life are changed for the better. Buildings and parks are renovated and beautified. Jobs arrive with the increased construction activity”(Ross). Both these things help the Oakland community, the construction helps because it improves the city’s structural looks and there would be more jobs available for those in need of one. Construction is needed in Oakland to renovate our parks and make them a nice place to take our kids and give them good memories of this city. The lower crime rates are helpful for the safety of this city, the future kids of Oakland get to experience a non-violent city this would result in people thinking more positively. More construction and lower crime rates are needed to build a prosperous Oakland, this would give Oakland a new face out to those who think negatively about our city. With all of this there’s a big increase in economic growth, with more money flowing in, there could be more funding for the Oakland unified school district and other important factors of this city. Oakland would benefit from gentrification because of what it provides for it.


Negatives of Gentrification

What bad things has gentrification brought to you? Gentrification has harmed a lot of families in Oakland, it mainly affects the familie with the lowest economic status. One of my interviewees, Edwing Solano a 16 year old who was born in Jalisco, Mexico but was raised in Oakland and now attends Fremont high school as an 11th grader. He is not just an interviewee to me he is a really close friend of mine. Me and him have seen a lot of things in this city and the changes that have happened. He thinks gentrification is messed up that is not right for people of low economies to be targeted and kicked out their homes. He states, “ People that want to move into Oakland should see who they are kicking out instead of just moving in and causing harm to families”(Solano). This clearly supports the fact that gentrification affects the communities families. People being kicked out of their homes have practically nowhere to go if their economic status is low. Some people decide to fight back in order to not lose their only home but end up losing even more. Something else that my interviewee said that stood out was, “Me and my neighbours are like family, I’ve been living in this block since I was brought here at a small age and if my family was being gentrified. I’m sure they wouldn’t like their new neighbours because its liking kicking one of your family members out of the family and bringing in a stranger it just doesn’t go”(Solano). This shows that gentrification can not only hurt the victims but the people close to them. Wealthier families start moving into Oakland, making this city look rich and powerful. But there’s nothing good into that if the people that want to live like that are being kicked out into another old version of Oakland. This doesn’t make Oakland better it’s just getting rid of its real residents and bringing in new ones that will start living in a city build by the poor. This is supported by an article titled, “How many are being displaced by gentrification in Oakland” by Olivia Allen-Price. In this article it shows that gentrification means nothing but harm it shows the struggles people have to live through after being gentrified. This article states, “Rents are up. Housing prices are up. We’re all paying more and it seems no one is immune. The place where prices are rising the fastest isn’t San Francisco anymore — it’s Oakland”(Allen). This shows that prices that use hit San Francisco are now hitting Oakland and faster. Pricing will keep rising until this becomes another S.F, there would be only rich people walking the streets. All of the people of Oakland that can’t keep up with the rising prices are going to be forced to move out. They are going to be forced to live in unconditional places that is practically unlivable, it’s absurd what people do to get money, to get the upper hand in this world.

In conclusion, Gentrification brings both positive and negative things to Oakland. It shows that it can grow but with the consequences of having new residents. It will be a safer and higher economic city but in order to reach this, the city would go through a lot of suffering and losses. People have different opinions about gentrification, I hope I made you see the true view of it. Who knows I would’ve never typed this if my parents didn’t gentrify to Oakland.


Annotated Bibliography


Allen-Price, Olivia. “How Many Are Being Displaced by Gentrification in Oakland?” KQED News, 10 Feb. 2017,


This explains how people are being displaced by people that have a better economic status. The people that are moved out are force to live in unconditional places where everything is bad and not a livable place. People come into Oakland trying to start a new life but they are ruining someone’s life by coming in.


Roos, Dave. “How Gentrification Works.” HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 17 May 2011,


This shows how gentrification is a good factor, it shows how more economic growth happens. There is also more construction in the neighborhood, you see more growth in between people. It says there is even a drop in violence, the crime rate dropped.

Solano , Edwing. “Gentrification in Oakland .” January 6, 2018.


He knows what gentrification is he thinks is bad for the community. He’s seen gentrification happen and he thinks it’s wrong and messed up. He said if he was in their shoes we wouldn’t let go of his home that easily he would try to fight but he said it would depend on the reasons. He thinks it’s wrong for people to be kicked out their homes if they know they have nowhere else to go. He would want to change but he thinks that it wouldn’t help, he said there’s laws i can’t go against with. He said even though gentrification is bad it helps meet new people he said “you and me meet because of it so you tell me”.


Villalba , Ernesto . “Gentrification in Oakland .” January 3, 2018.


He has seen less people of color and more people with good economies. He says gentrification has good benefits and bad ones too. He said he’s lost friends to gentrification and has also made some pretty good friends because of it. He lost friendship to two really close people due to gentrification. He also explained that that gentrification might of changed their lives into better ones or into worst ones. he doesn’t know if he could change gentrification. He said it’s good because I meet new people and because i lose people but it helps me connect with people i never thought i would meet and have strong bonds with.


A Letter to the Policeman

My people don’t like you badge wearing knuckleheads,

that’s just where we at.

Screaming “ All lives matter “  is a protest against my protest,

what kind of” ish”“ is that?


I’m sorry you can never feel our life,

tryna have faith, but we never felt alright.

It’s very hard to elevate when this country is run by whites.


Young black men tryna find jobs but didn’t get calls back yet.

Now they gotta sell drugs to put food in their cabinet.

Yall wanna copy our slang and everything that we know.

Tryna steal Black culture and then make it’s your own.

We can’t even drive without cops tryna start ish.

 Were tired of the systematic racism bull-ish.

All you care about is a badge and power and

 being ugly and that’s the policeman within you.


Hatred all in your brain, it slowly starts to convince you,

Then you’ll teach it to your children, then the cycle continues.


I praise 2Pac like he was a ‘fuckin’ God

He was fighting for his life way before he “fuckin” died.


Can’t erase the scars with a bandage.

I’m hopin’ maybe we can come to an understandin’.


It’s like we livin’ in the same buildin’ but splittin’ into  two sides,

We still don’t like you,

But there’s two sides to every story and now you know mine.

Shadow in the corner

Something that has interested me for years is sleep paralysis.  Many people I have talked to have never experienced sleep paralysis, and after doing some research I’ve realized that this is not something that happens to many people in their day to day lives, and if so, they don’t often experience again.  Sleep paralysis, in short for those of you who haven’t heard about it or experienced it yourselves, it is the feeling of being paralyzed in your sleep.  For some people they see shadows in the shape of people in their rooms or swirling black clouds, for others it’s just an intense feeling of fear.  Whether you actually see something or not, the consistent factor is fear.  I am wondering if any of you have experienced sleep paralysis, and if so, what was your experience like?

We all the SAME

My name is Javier Valdes, I’m a Latino male from Oakland California.  When researching the Charlottesville protest I found that people are too scared to change and hold on to values from 50 years ago.  A protest that started when a statue of a general from over 100 years ago was to be removed turned violent. Growing up in Oakland, a city where the color ratio ranges from white to black you learn that everyone’s the same but people are treated differently.  Cops in my city aren’t really trusted because they don’t always come when someone rings or need them depending on the neighborhood.  People get treated differently based on how you look or act.  As the elected leaders, you should prioritize the racism in the higher parts of the government the fact that we still have discrimination based on the amount you make or the color of your skin is terrible.  At this point in our country’s history we should be equal not face tougher restrictions when in fact everyone’s an immigrant in their own right.  As an American leader you should understand first off we are all equal regardless of the color of our skin.  No one should judge someone or discriminate when we are no one to judge no one.  We need to stop the hate and ignore stereotypes if we want  to move on and continue developing as a society.  The future America will look like a place of equality where people don’t feel discriminated against or unsafe or lesser than anyone else because, we as a country and society will learn from our mistakes and all the unnecessary violence as a whole.


Signed, Javier Valdes

Photo by Elvert Barnes

Truth about about America

Dear Leaders of America,

My name is Saoronn Oeurn. I go to Fremont High School and i’m 16 years old. I had attend to this school for 2 years now going for 3 years. I am in the 11th grade.

When I was reading charlotte I wanted to let you know that people is getting out of hand. I had saw what happen in charlotte and I had enough with people on people crime. The KKK had a rally and other people had enough also. They made a rally that was against the KKK and the KKK members had drove thru the rally and killed 1 person and injured at least 20 people.

The solution I have is that bring a couple of KKK members to talk about why they don’t like other races and let them talk to other people that don’t have feeling on who or what they are.

I wish we all come together and be as one. No more racism, no crime, no police brutality, no gang affiliation and no drugs.

Sincerely, Saoronn Oeurn


A day in my life

A Day in My lIfe

My day has many emotions in it and I love how being in New York makes this possible.

Ishak’s Feelings About Life

Bederlin’s usual lifestyle



Family and Friends at Playland

A Day in My Life

This weekend I went with my family and friends to Playland. We had a really great time. (Click on any image to enlarge.)

Special Photos