Congresswoman Karen Bass: A Women’s History Month salute

By Francisco Garcia
Dorsey High School Culinary Arts Student

imageThe day I met Congresswoman Karen Bass was an interesting occasion. She visited the Dorsey High School Culinary Arts students for a special breakfast in her honor. I made one of my specialty items, Breakfast Egg Spread, made with hard boiled eggs mixed with black pepper, ranch dressing and green onions. The ingredients are spread on top of a toasted baguette and topped off with sprinkles of chopped turkey bacon. Cooking the Breakfast Egg Spread wasn’t the best part; it was watching everyone eat and enjoy what I cooked.

Meeting the Congresswoman, who represents South Los Angeles, was an honor because she took time out of her busy schedule to support our Let’s Move! project, “Cooking Live with Dorsey High.” We sat down at the table with Ms. Bass and ate French toast, turkey sausage with sugar-free syrup, omelettes stuffed with vegetables and apple pastries. This was a very educational experience as it taught me that I can really cook and that there are so many diverse foods for me to learn how to cook. I’m not used to cooking food from different cultures and now I know more about different foods and will test my cooking skills with preparing Soul Food in the Dorsey kitchen.

imageFrancisco Garcia preparing his Breakfast Egg Spread at Dorsey High School.

Breakfast with Congresswoman Karen Bass gave everyone the opportunity to have an close and personal talk with her. Our sponsor, Ms. Daphne Bradford, introduced her and the congresswoman accepted the invitation to come up to podium and tell us about her history-making accomplishments in the political world. I didn’t know Karen Bass was the first African American woman to serve as the Speaker of the California Assembly. Not many of my friends can say they made breakfast for a history-making member of Congress. After Representative Bass finished speaking, we took a big group picture and she was off to her next meeting with a full stomach compliments of “Cooking Live with Dorsey High.”

imageThe finished Breakfast Egg Spread prepared by Dorsey culinary student Francisco Garcia.

Crenshaw Digital Media Team develops an app for healthy eating

By Kevin Rivera
Crenshaw High School Senior

Going Banana’s for Health is the first game developed and designed by Mother Of Many’s Crenshaw High School Digital Media & Garden Team. Our digital media instructor, Ms. Daphne Bradford, the founder and CEO of Mother Of Many, opened the Windows 8 gaming opportunity for us when she was recognized by Microsoft as one the top innovative educators in the nation. Going Banana’s for Health was inspired by our Change What You Eat, Change How You Feel! healthy eating program supporting First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. Team members Esaul Parra, Kevin Rivera and Domonic Wilks developed the app.


The purpose of Going Banana’s for Health is to encourage adolescents to change their eating habits by making healthier choices. The game has three levels. The goal of each level is to drop Apple Dapple into Little Johnny’s mouth to avoid the danger of Little Johnny from being fed awful, unhealthy hot chips that most kids love. Each time you advance from level 1 to level 3, Little Johnny gets healthier if Apple Dapple makes it into his mouth.

The Level 1 challenge is to have Apple Dapple go jump through some platforms and eliminate the threat of the hot chips. As Apple Dapple jumps from various platforms, the player racks up points for destroying a bag by shooting Apple Dapple seeds at the bag of hot chips.

The game gets faster at Level 2. The goal is to rapidly get rid of the hot chips at a fast pace. The focus of this level is to jump on platforms as they move at different speeds. While that’s happening, you have to destroy the hot chips moving along the platforms by shooting Apple Dapple seeds. In doing so, the player can easily obtain a high score for jumping through these platforms in hopes of not falling off.

Level 3 is all about avoiding the vending machine dropping hot chips. The chips are dispensed from a vending machine-like box right next to Little Johnny. In order to reach him, Apple Dapple has to destroy all the hot chips sliding down a ramp towards him. After the player destroys the hot chips, Apple Dapple can go up the ramp without any threat and feed Little Johnny.

imageAuthor Kevin Rivera, one of the developers of the Crenshaw Digital Media Team’s healthy eating app.

When Apple Dapple eliminates the hot chips then it shows an example of how adolescence can choose to get rid of the junk food in their diet and go for the healthy alternative.

It was really fun programming Going Banana’s for Health. We used our Windows 7 laptop to make it for the Windows 8 App Store. This experience was like playing football without a football and still scoring a touchdown. Awesome!”
– Esaul Parra

“Who would’ve thought that I went from learning how to eat properly to making a game based off that? I actually made my first game with my Crenshaw high school peers for the Windows 8 App store. People like my peers and I are going to be the future.”
– Kevin Rivera

imageDomonic Wilks and Kevin Rivera with Crenshaw High School teacher Jacqueline Lopez.

Mother Of Many is launching a social media fundraising campaign in an effort to get a minimum of 1,000 people to donate $10 a month.

“Our grant with the California Endowment is coming to end and I’m hoping and praying M.O.M.’s Facebook and Twitter family and followers will give up one unhealthy meal or two Starbucks Coffees or Happy Hour drinks a month to support innovative education,” said Bradford.

If you would like to support Mother Of Many students visit www.MotherofMany and click the “Donate Now” button to make your $10.00 a month donation.

OPINION: A high school student’s observation of the mayoral forum

By Jesus Vargas

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the USC Bovard Auditorium hosted the 21st Annual Empowerment Congress Summit. This annual event brought together the five candidates in the Los Angeles mayoral election. Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry, and Emanuel Pleitez all took part of a community oriented forum that gave insight into their potential decisions as mayor of Los Angeles. [Read more…]

Build your own community

By Jesus Vargas
Jesus Vargas is a student at LAUSD USC MaST High School

imageThe summer of 2012 has come to an end and the 2012-2013 school year has begun! A school year that symbolizes a new beginning for some and what is the last year of high school for others. But at the end of day, this is a time in which students should be optimistic about the future. Whether some of us are beginning our high school journey or applying to colleges in order to end our journey, hard work and optimism will help us achieve greatness.

For many students in South LA, school is no longer something that excites them. With school being overshadowed by low budgets and a bad environment, this is no surprise. Once entering high school many of us seem to find comfort in socializing with our friends, which is not a bad thing at all. On the contrary, learning how to interact with peers is very important in order to be ready for college. But unfortunately, once the socializing has begun we seem to forget about our education. Once you forget about your education a negative chain reaction immediately begins. Grades begin to drop, parent conferences begin, you fail one or two classes, and last but not least you end up having to attend night or summer school to make up for these classes. Scenarios like these are very common in the South LA region, all due to the fact that many of us students don’t realize the power that we have.

Part of being successful in high school is learning how to receive the best of all the worlds that you take part in. In other words, there is a way to have fun, socialize with friends, and keep your grades up all at once. A great way for you to do that would be by starting a club at your school. Clubs around the nation range from math clubs to sports clubs. The possibilities in between are endless. You just have to come up with the idea and execute it.

* Find out what you want your club to be about
* Find a location where your club can meet
* Talk to your high school coordinator about it and receive an approval
* Recruit members

Those are the 4 basic steps to take in order to create a club at your school. But notice that recruiting members was left for last. That’s due to the fact that recruiting members may sometimes be the hardest thing to do. You may already have five friends that are willing to join, but you want to get to know new people. Making them believe that joining your club will be worth their time is not an easy task. But with hard work and optimism you will achieve to do so. Once you have created a club that is both fun and beneficial to the members, the hard work will have paid off.

And if that’s not enough to create your own club at school, do keep in mind that being part of a club counts as an extracurricular activity when applying for college. Colleges not only want to see excellent grades when applying, but want to see leaders. And what better way to show leadership than creating a small community within your school.

Well that’s just one way to be able to have a successful school year. There are plenty of others, but they will all require you to work hard. Nothing is hard, just a lot of work. Remember that.

URBAN TxT changing the lives of South LA teens

By Jesus Vargas

Jesus Vargas is a student at LAUSD USC MaST High School in South LA and a graduate of the URBAN TxT program.

imageLet’s be honest, South Los Angeles does not have the same reputation that West Los Angeles has. Just like the Middle East isn’t known for its natural resources but for its war and violence. Violence, drugs, and gangs are just a few things that come to mind when thinking of South Los Angeles. But there is a group in South Los Angeles that is daring to be different and rising against the stereotypes. This group goes by the name of URBAN TxT.

imageURBAN TxT was created by Oscar Menjivar as an attempt to cultivate young leaders and entrepreneurs in the South Los Angeles area. Menjivar has made URBAN TxT successful by only recruiting “the best of the best,” as he says it himself. He gives these teens a simple task, which is to create a website that helps the community and that can potentially become a business. They then learn about the different aspects of creating a website and decide which roles they want to take on. One can be anything from a developer to a designer.

Menjivar brings back previous URBAN TxT alumni to volunteer at URBAN TxT — alumni that now attend some of the most prestigious schools in the nation such as USC and Stanford. So it’s simple: URBAN TxT gives teens knowledge and a few year later they bring it back. This is an ongoing cycle that is slowly developing a community of its own.

imageLately Menjivar has shown this group of young men that hard work truly pays off. He has brought in some truly successful people to visit URBAN TxT. Nancy Vega, creator of PLAY BANK, and Emmanuel Pleitez, Chief Strategy Officer of SPOKEO who is running for Mayor of Los Angeles, compose this list of successful people. Menjivar has worked hard to bring them in and inspire these teens. Both speakers have shared their stories which are very similar to those of the boys in URBAN TxT right now; humbling to say the least. And a few weeks ago the work of the entire URBAN TxT community paid off when they were featured in as a tech camp aiming to cultivate teen entrepreneurs along with other programs in the nation. The only difference is that URBAN TxT was the only program from the western part of the nation. Accomplishments like this are slowly gaining URBAN TxT more recognition in both the worlds of technology and youth programs.

By engaging children in technology, the URBAN TxT staff have managed to change the lives of many local teens. Teenagers here now aspire to make a difference in their communities and live above the influence. That’s not any easy task when you’re surrounded by some of the most infamous streets in the United States. But let’s not forget the jewel of South Los Angeles: USC. Which is where URBAN TxT operates from. To be the best, you need to surround yourself by the best.

Could students run a high school?

By Jesus Vargas

LAUSD USC MaST High School isn’t a school that is run by students, but the students here have really decided to take their high school experience into their own hands. From sports clubs to fundraisers, most extracurricular activities are created by students and carefully planned by students.

imageMy name is Jesus, and I am a student at LAUSD USC MaST High School. Since my first day of high school I felt that I was part of something much bigger than myself. I could feel that family atmosphere as soon as I stepped foot on campus. But what I wasn’t able to see is what was going on behind the scenes. USC MaST, as I like to call it, can easily be part of a list of the top 10 schools with the least amount of funds in Los Angeles. There is virtually no money coming in to help our students. But this issue has not stopped us from reaching our goals.

We do not have a gym, so our basketball and volleyball teams practice outside on the concrete. We do not have a grass field, so our soccer and softball teams practice out on the concrete. We do not have a track, so our cross country team runs around USC. We don’t have money for uniforms or for the use of facilities, so we fund raise. We sell chocolates outside of school and sell food and snacks throughout lunch. While other high school students socialize throughout lunch, we sell snacks! Definitely not the most exciting thing to do. But what can we say? We’re athletes and as athletes we have the duty to be athletic. Yes, we’re willing to sell snacks in order to be athletic.

imageJust about a week ago, we had a sports banquet in which all of our athletes were awarded medals. As you can probably tell, we raised money in order have this banquet happen. I myself am part of the sports club at my school and provided fund raising ideas. Week in and week out some of our members sold pizza and nachos, while others sold cake pops. The banquet was a total success! Many of our families, along with family members, came to have dinner and had a great time. It felt more like a family reunion, to be honest. Enough money was raised so that every single student athlete received a medal and certain outstanding players received MVP medals.

Students obviously do not run USC MaST, but as you can see, our students make sure that we are not left behind. We understand that our society believes that money makes the world go round, but we at least attempt to make things move with the little money that we fund. And although we may not have state-of-the-art facilities in which to train and play, be sure that we will continue to FIGHT ON like Trojans.

Manual Arts students write about the riots

This is a collection of writings by ninth graders in Mark Gomez’ geography class at Manual Arts High School about the Los Angeles riots then and now. They wrote their essays using the five themes of geography with help from USC mentor Adriana Chavez-Lopez

No, the LA RIOTS was not cause of the beating of Rodney King. Rodney King was another issue but it was a little about it ’cause the black community got mad ’cause the judge saw the video and still had the guts to say that the four police man were innocent. And they got the black people more mad then what they were already.
Jocelyn Macias

What We Learn About Push Factors And The L.A. Riots
What we learn about the L.A. riots is that in 1965 five days before Watts exploded the Voting Rights Act had been signed into law. In 1992 the concerns are that sight of blacks destroying their own community. That the riots were like black gangs and that they were like destroying there[sic] own society and not thinking of their members.

What Push Factors Drive Emigration Means
Political Push Factors: War is one of many political factors that can create refugees. Well the people refugees may flee a country, because of the fear they had and its leaders.
Environmental Push Factors: In the 1840s, a devastating plant disease struck Ireland. In Ireland a fungus destroyed most of the important crops of potato and the potatoes were the main food in Ireland so they couldn’t have been destroyed.

Economic Push Factors: Most of the early immigrants to the United States were poor farmers or working people. People go to other communities for better jobs.
Raul Gonzalez

One thing I learned about the beating of Rodney King was that in 1992 there was a lot of police brutality. The LA riots were also about how whites were favored over blacks. This was proved when the cops beat Rodney King for 81 seconds on videotape and got away with it. This makes me ask why did the jury say that the cops that beat Rodney King were innocent. I am frustrated with police getting away with things today. For example, even now there are some police officers that will pull you over because of your skin color.
Jessi Rodriguez

Reading the “1992 L.A. in flames after ‘not guilty’ verdict” article, I learned how the L.A. riots began. Also, I learned about the issue of Rodney King refusing to get arrested and supposedly getting aggressive causing Rodney to be beaten by the police. This in fact was not true. The policemen were not found guilty therefore caused the riots to begin. But the beating of Rodney King was not the only reason why the L.A. riots began. Blacks were tired of being mistreated and not being allowed to go to places they would like to go, it was unfair. Whites knew Blacks were desperate for money and they took advantage but the Blacks couldn’t do much.

People wanted to put a stop to it, which led to the L.A. riots. People dragged motorists from their cars and beat them, cars were overturned and set on fire, and some people even took revenge against White and Asians. According to BBC news “at least 5 people were shot dead. About 2,000 were injured with a further 12,000 arrested.” Damages cost $1b to repair. Some people believed that people did this just to have new buildings but [in] reality they just wanted to be heard. A year later the police faced a second trial. Only the jury found two guilty, whose name were Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell. The point of this article was how people in South Central were tired of being unheard and mistreated. Some questions that I have that were not answer are: During the riots, how did Rodney King feel knowing part of why the L.A. riots happened was because of the beating? What could of happened if the police man were still not found guilty? This article reminds me of many issues, for example Martin Luther King. He and his family was also beaten and almost killed.

But he still fought for a change. Now we honor him on January 21. Martin Luther King went through many obstacles but yet he still achieved his goal, which was making change. I believe the L.A. riots were a good thing after all, even if people died.
Lisette Carranza

In my geography class we are talking about the LA Riots. Before reading the article about Rodney King, I didn’t know anything about the riots. I learned that policemen could be cruel and not always nice. The police had power over Rodney King and they abused it, so therefore he and the entire black community didn’t have the power to overcome the police. A question I have after reading about the riots is did one person start the riots or did a group of people start it?

The LA Riots were not only about beating Rodney King but also the whole Black community. If you were Black in 1992 and if you were somewhere at the wrong time or wrong place the same thing would have happened to you. I feel like I can relate to Rodney King because one of my family members passed through a similar situation. My uncle was stopped at a checkpoint and the cop stopped him because he looked dark. They took him to the police station and took his things so once he got deported the police station never gave him his cell phone or money. After reading about the riots knowing how cops beat Black people in 1992 and how my uncle was treated recently, I realized how in over 20 years there still hasn’t been a lot of change in racism.

Miriam Toledo

In my Geography class we have been learning a lot of new things. A few weeks ago we started to talk about the LA Riots. The LA Riots relate to Geography because in they wouldn’t give money to the rioters and that relates to Geography because of the 4 Worlds. What I recently learned was that over 2,000 people were injured in the LA Riots and 12,000 were arrested. Before learning this I didn’t know that Rodney King was NOT the MAIN reason for the LA Riots. He just maid[sic] black people say enough is enough. Some people may favor blacks and some may favor whites but more people favor the LAPD. In the Riots why were blacks beating Asians? When I heard about it, it reminded me of a few things like when people call Immigrants “Aliens” and insult them because they know they won’t fight back because they are scared. It also reminded me of the Civil War because they are treated differently because of their color “Discrimination.” I can relate to this because the LAPD are racist and they give people tickets and arrest them for their race. The problem has changed since the LA Riots but not completely gone away.
Belen Garcia

I learned that Watts exploded because the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, clearing away barriers for blacks to vote. This is related to the Voting Acts Right because it’s all about how blacks should have their own rights of voting. They were really happy because they had their chance of having voting rights. In a country that is about freedom why did blacks have to fight for theirs? This is really a lot like in EL Salvador where people always have to fight the government for their right. Another thing is that the people in El Salvador have too many problems with the government of getting their rights. Here in the United States is almost the same thing because its hard to get your rights especially for Latinos, sometimes Blacks, and other kinds of races. I wish that all those people that don’t have any rights they should get an opportunity of having some rights. Another thing is that about the people that cross that border and want an opportunity of having a job and helping their family and trying to be a citizen of this country. People all over the world think that they should come here because they think this is a country of jobs.

Isaac Castro

What I have learned from the Riots was how Rodney King’s beating was one of the causes for the riots. He wasn’t the main cause but a small portion. I didn’t really know anything about Rodney King and how he was beaten by four cops nor about the riots. This was really all new to me! But after I read the article and talked about it I learned a lot about him and how the LA Riots started. He was like the person who made the people lose control. In the end I think this is favoring the African Americans because those cops were punished for violating Rodney King’s civil rights! This favored the African Americans because they got the justice they fought for through all that violence they had to go through. One of the questions I had that wasn’t really answered was, “What happened to the four police officers that beat Rodney King after they served their punishment?” I would like to know what happened to them after all that happened. Did they live a normal life? Or a harsh one? This issue reminds me of how police authorities always believe the white person over the colored one. How could those four cops not be guilty — they have the beating of Rodney King on video! It was an all-white jury; it wasn’t really fair for Rodney King! One example is if a white person gets into trouble with a colored person, the police would most likely believe the white person! That’s what I learned about the Riots And Rodney King and his beating.
Nerry Amaya

I learned that the L.A. Riots started because of the beating of Rodney King, but it wasn’t the only cause. Four police officers were found guilty for beating Rodney King. A crowd of people started to burn shops and cars were turned over and set on fire. The Riot wasn’t only about police beating Rodney King, it was also about police brutality. People didn’t think that police brutality was fair. I think that police brutality isn’t fair and it needs to stop. Police need to start acting in a better way. I wonder why do police act so brutally. Is it because of peoples’ skin color or the way they look? Why did the police beat Rodney King? Why do police think their the shit only because they have a gun. Like what the hell is wrong with them? They should respect others too because they don’t like when people disrespect them. I think that the Rodney King case wasn’t fair because the judge was white and the police officers were too. The judge is racist because Rodney King was black and the four police officers where white so he didn’t think that the officers were guilty, people didn’t think that it was fair.
Ana Hernandez

I recently learned about the Rodney King beating and the not guilty verdict by the police who beat him. The Black people in the community reacted to that verdict because they found the judge’s verdict completely unfair and racist since the cops were White. A question I have is why did this whole Rodney King verdict have to occur. For the Whites and law to see how all of the police brutality and racism was affecting so many people in the community. I’ve seen people resist arrest before and Rodney King did not resist, the police began beating him while he couldn’t do anything and I’ve seen police beat at people like that and sometimes it isn’t fair because it could be five cops against one person, and that’s like what happened to Rodney King. Police can be rude sometimes, I’ve seen them be rude to my uncle once and they almost arrested him in our own house, they wanted him to come out of the house to talk but we all knew if he got out the property the cops would get him, for doing absolutely nothing. And since my uncle looks like a gang member, I believe the cops were discriminating him. The LA Riots did not only happen because of King, he was one of the reasons, but people just got tired of being mistreated and being judged for years and the police “not guilty” verdict finally made them react to the years of racism, beatings and unfairness, which is how the LA Riots occurred.
Carolina Silva

In 1992: LA in flames after ‘not guilty’ verdict article I learned that police officers were discriminating against other races that are not white, especially the blacks. What was significant about this article was that other law enforcements were concerned with what was going on and were disappointed in the LA police force especially on their behavior. This article favors the people with power and control over lesser people. The Rodney King verdict was unfair to many that thought those police officers should go to jail and pay for their hate crime against King. Though afterwards,” the four acquitted police officers had a second trial a year later on the federal charges of violating Rodney King’s civil rights.” Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell were found guilty and each had to serve two years in prison. That verdict seemed fair enough, even though there were more than two officers beating King.
Diana Renoj

The LA Riots
Recently in my Geography class we have been studying the LA Riots. We have been trying to figure out if things have changed since the LA Riots. We read about the Rodney King incident, we read about how Rodney King was beaten and how the police officers that did the beating were found innocent in the first trial. Something that I didn’t know was that in the second [trial] only the officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell [were tried]. The other two officers were Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno. I think the jury that had to do with the Rodney King trial was being unfair. They were being unfair because I think that they were being biased because they knew that the police were guilty but since they are the law enforcement they didn’t have to deal the consequences of their actions. Rodney King wasn’t the main reason why the LA Riots happened. I think that it was just one of the few reasons why the LA Riots happened. I think the LA Riots happened because people were tired of being mistreated because of the color of their skin. If everybody would be treated the same then the LA Riots would of never happened. I think the police officers were a big factor to the LA Riots I think this because the people who were being the most unfair were the police. I think that law enforcement today is still unfair. I think that some police officers are racist. For example, one time the police stopped my brother-in-law for no reason. I think they stopped him because he was black and he had west coast tattooed on his arms. The police had no reason to stop him; they were just being racist.
Casandra Gutierrez

After reading about the Rodney King matter I learned that police were very cruel and thought that they can do whatever they desired just because they were the authority. I feel like most people are in favor of Rodney King because he was brutally beaten for no reason at all. One of the questions I had was “Why would our country leaders allow such brutality towards people of color?” This issue reminded me of the racist policemen of today, and how they mistreat people, mostly people of color. The Rodney King issue really made me think about how the jury in the Rodney King trial could even think that the four policemen were not guilty after they beat an innocent man. The most ridiculous thing about the Rodney King trial was that the jury was all white, not a single person of color. The reason why the L.A. Riots occurred is that people were tired of all the racism going on towards them, and the Rodney King beating was the straw that broke the camels back. I can relate to this because I’m the type of person that will not tolerate any disrespect towards me or the people I care about
Karla Ayala

Like it’s 1991: Manual Arts High School students report on L.A. riot related news

In conjunction with the 20-year anniversary of the riots, Manual Arts students have been studying the cultural history of South Los Angeles. As part of the history unit, the students formed teams, reviewed a fact sheet on the Rodney King incident, and wrote a lead on a twenty-minute deadline. The reporting activity ended with the students reading their leads out loud to the class.

Here are the leads from the Manual Arts journalists:

Breaking News – March 4, 1991

LAPD police officers beat a driver after pulling him over for speeding on the westbound I-210 Freeway Sunday. The officers tasered, tackled and kicked the male, 25-year-old Rodney King, for over a minute.

A man was beaten and kicked by LAPD officers after being handcuffed for speeding in the Lake View Terrace neighborhood Sunday.

Five LAPD officers beat a driver for over a minute after arresting him for speeding in Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles. The usual police procedure is to tackle and cuff the suspect, but the officers tasered, kicked and beat the driver, 25-year-old Rodney King.

Interview with Jessica Sanabria


Foshay Learning Center’s Kimberly interviews her fellow student Jessica Sanabria about her future dreams.

Interview with Jessica Sanabria by melissaleu

Interview with Jasmine Taylor


Foshay Learning Center’s Abraham Riviera interviews his fellow student Jasmine Taylor about the best moment in her life.

Interview with Jasmine Taylor by melissaleu