This week marks the final week in the Race and Oral History course. After the readings, excursion, internship, and preparing for the community event, I came to understand how thankful I am for this opportunity. I was able to meet folks within UCSD that taught me a lot about myself and different styles of working with youth. I’m sure I’ve stated this before, but I am a striving educator for youth of color. Barrio Logan College Institute is my first real-world experience in the classroom engaging with the demographic and age group that I intend to teach. In this experience, I learned a great deal.

For one, I understand what it truly means to be committed to community. BLCI has a unique system where students and their parents are expected to be involved in the program in order to promote the success of the students. This is a unique model that I have not encountered a lot as it demands for the time commitment of individuals from backgrounds that do not necessarily allow for time to be used freely. However, I found that this program really pushed for parental involvement and it worked. Looking forward, I wonder how this model can be applied within my classroom space because it truly does that a village to raise a kid.

Another experience I am grateful for is meeting Salma, the person I interviewed. I was lucky enough to encounter her from a scholarship application, but ended up meeting and talking to her about life, her struggles, and her dreams. Her youthful vigor has reignited a passion for youth empowerment and teaching because I saw myself in how she carried herself. Although young, she has a lot of dreams that she plans on achieving. I may not be that much older than her, but the world has definitely aged me. I’m glad I met her because I am reminded of being young but also being fierce in the face of the world.