My California Dream

Woman silhouetted against sunset was taken at Ocean Beach in San Diego, California Girl had just finished working out and was doing stretches on an outcropping of rocks can see sun setting over Pacific ocean in background.

In collaboration with some of our media partners from San Diego to Richmond, we asked young people in California to reflect on their “California dream,” and how it may be different from the aspirations of their family members who came before them.

Here’s what they had to say.

ALVIN ENGO, LONG BEACH

Photo: Seth Marceau/YR Media

“My father and I escaped from violence and poverty in the Philippines … So my California dream is to see peace and prosperity beyond compare for everybody in California.”

ZYANNA MAYNARD, FRESNO

Photo: Seth Marceau/YR Media

“For as long as I’ve known I’ve had asthma … My school has always had factories built around it and I feel like that contributes to my asthma. My California dream is to have better air quality for my children someday.”

MARYALEXIS GUTIÉRREZ, RICHMOND

Photo: Seth Marceau/YR Media

“I come from an immigrant family. My mom came from Costa Rica and her dream was to further her higher education, but [she] was unable to achieve that dream. So now my dream is to graduate from university.”

ENDIYA GRIFFIN, SAN DIEGO

Photo: Seth Marceau/YR Media

“The harsh, dehumanizing way that the U.S. treats immigrants makes me very worried that new and diverse cultures are not being cherished in the way that they should. My California dream is that those vivid pockets of culture in San Diego and across the state don’t go away.”

EMILIANO VILLA, OAKLAND

Photo: Seth Marceau/YR Media

“In 1984, my mom immigrated from Mexico to Oakland to seek better opportunities for her kids. Her California dream was for her kids to be able to get an education and have a career … The cost of living here has skyrocketed. Now, my California dream is just to be able to stay in my hometown.”

Thanks to our partners in the California Youth Media Network for collaborating on this project: VoicewavesThe kNOwRichmond Pulse, YR Media and The AjA Project. Follow more stories from the California Youth Media Network on Twitter.

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