As a Chicago native, I take deep pride in not only representing, but advocating on behalf of this city. As a product of Chicago Public Schools I was afforded both a quality education and introduction to Chicago’s vibrant and ever-present diversity. Growing up on the city’s SouthWest side, I was influenced by its Mexican identity which taught me to stay committed not only in my search for the best tacos in the city, but understanding the story behind those who make them.
As I venture into my professional career, I stay determined in being both a source and advocate for marginalized communities, that is center around multimedia storytelling. As a gay person of color, it is difficult to find accurate representation of our stories. I hope to work for an organization that is committed to using their platform to help others understand the intersections of how one’s daily life is influenced and affected by our government, education system, health system, and societal norms. It is through this open dialogue that we as a society can actively appreciate and understand one another. It is through my versatility in various mediums that I hope to achieve this goal of improving the accessibility and engagement in local government in order to restore public trust in our institutions.
As a recent spring graduate of Loyola Chicago with a B.A. in Multimedia Journalism, I want to thank and recognize the sacrifices my parents continue to make to allow me the opportunity to explore visual storytelling; their faith in me is felt everyday.
My curiosity is Chicago’s public school system was initiated through my Mother, who has been a CPS teacher for over 15 years and would recount the daily struggles her students and parents were experiencing. Entering Walter Payton I was now in a position that afforded me opportunities to direct my curiosity in properly educating and understanding why there were such disparates in the public education system, but also a way to educate others on these inequities. Beyond my role as editor of the Payton PawPrint, I was a student organizer and advocate against mass budget cuts that affected predominately low-income and students of color in Chicago Public Schools.
I had the honor to address over 6,000 CTU members in a November 2015 rally at Grant Park.
Payton Paw Print
As editor-in-chief for the Payton PawPrint – Walter Payton College Prep’s student newspaper, I focused on local politics and education. I had the opportunity to interview various Chicago Public School board members including then Vice-president and now Illinois Deputy Governor Jesse Ruiz and Jaime Guzman. My coverage included numerous City Club of Chicago, City Hall, and CPS board meetings, including dozens of community events. My coverage earned four McCormick Foundation Journalism awards in Spring 2016.
During the 2015-2016, I wrote about the role student organizing plays in Chicago’s quest for quality public schools. Link