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Jackelyne

Age 18, Boyle Heights

I am a feminist Chicana who enjoys leading youth and showing them that we have a voice in our community and in our world. My greatest dream is to graduate from college and work in City Hall because I want to give back to my community. I feel like it’s my responsibility to show other youth that it’s possible to get where I am.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without youth development. Legacy LA prepared me for college. They gave me that extra push and support.

Politicians don’t want to accept the fact that there needs to be more youth programs in our city. They complain about youth being bad and unproductive. Youth in my community are looked down on. Everyone sees them as bad, poor, doing drugs, or in gangs. There’s a lot of youth incarceration and criminalization.

There are so many police here because people think of us as a bad community. Once people tell you you’re bad, you’re going to start acting badly. Instead of sending kids to jail, why don’t they invest in them? Since we are the future, why aren’t they helping us prepare to change the world?

I am possible means I can achieve anything I put my mind to, no matter where I’m from.

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