Bends and Banks: Communities, Water, and the American River

Bends and Banks: Communities, Water, and the American River, is a set of five stories produced by a team of journalist fellows in Spring, 2022. The team includes four student journalists: Madalyn Wright, Vontress Ortega, Katelyn Vengersammy, and Aviana Loveall. They were all awarded through the California Humanities “Emerging Journalist” Fellowship with the Journalism program at Sierra College.

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Motherhood and Me

Becoming a mother at 17 was scary to me. I thought that I would ruin my children’s lives before they ever had a chance. Following in the footsteps of my mother and determined to break a cycle. Just a teenager not knowing myself or even who I would be. I did not understand the responsibility that I was taking on, not for just one child, but six.

I had to strive to be better than I’d ever been and understand that mistakes would potentially put me and my children in a bad position. It was up to me, and only me, to ensure that my children had everything under the sun, no matter the curve balls thrown in my path.

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A Tribute to Dr. Reyes Ortega

The above 13-minute video features an interview with Dr. Reyes Ortega about his work with the Puente program at Sierra College and his legacy as he enters into retirement. After the interview in the video, two former students share personal tributes. In the written article below, other former students pay tribute to their transformative teacher and offer advice to future students.

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