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Emily

Age 16, Santa Ana

I want to graduate from a university and work in the State Department and then someday work abroad. I was born and raised in Santa Ana. I’ve grown up around tough obstacles like my friend’s families getting deported. Other youth in my school get involved with criminal activity and enter the juvenile system. 

I’ve grown up around tough obstacles.

My dream community center for youth would include recreational activities and open spaces, because there aren’t any open spaces in Santa Ana for kids to use and get exercise. Some areas of the city aren’t safe to walk by yourself, even during the day. Youth in Santa Ana need safe places to go. It would also have a quiet space for kids and youth to study and do normal things like read books. The city faces a lot of overcrowding issues, because there isn’t a lot of affordable housing for families. There are sometimes three families in a one bedroom apartment, so there isn’t even a small corner for youth to study or watch TV. ACT and SAT prep would also be helpful, as well as college prep and information about higher education for youth who don’t know about college. 

Instead of punishing youth, let’s support them.

In order for Santa Ana to develop into a city that’s not known for just crime or looked down upon, you need to invest in your youth. Instead of punishing youth, let’s support them. 

Youth in Santa Ana need safe places to go.

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