When you think of rivers, lakes and streams, you picture a euphoric sight. The sun shining, birds chirping and crisp, clean; clear water. The scenery draws you into a magical getaway of peace and solitude. But the harsh reality is that this is not always the case near some of Sacramento’s most prominent bodies of water.
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.
After seeing the increase in hate crimes towards Asian Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak, I wondered if one day I would be one of the victims I saw on the news. Working in a grocery store for almost 40 hours a week I was outside in the world for the majority of the time, putting myself at even more risk.
As summer ends, kids start to dread going back to school while parents go back to their usual schedule of waking up, dropping their kids off and then going to work. For many, there’s not much to look forward to during the months of August and September. That is, until the beginning of October comes around each year. Continue Reading
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.
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.