In Our Global Village: Local Action, Global Connections

Yet just like the residents whose stories they chronicle, these Boyle Heights youth have big plans. “I hope that one day segregation between social classes and race will disappear and we can all live in harmony,” writes Ismael. “I wish I could see my dad again and graduate from college,” Marissa writes.

They talk about becoming a firefighter, a cop, a neurosurgeon, a tattoo artist, a lawyer, a movie director, a mechanic, a culinary arts teacher, an architect, an author, a bartender, a good parent.

And they often tie their aspirations to giving back to their community and making a difference. “My dream is to become a social worker to ensure the safety of kids in Boyle Heights,” says Alejandra. “I want to give back to my community by doing something effective and promoting higher education.”

In a fitting wrap-up to their own year of hard work on the book, these students offer their own advice on transformation. “You can’t face the world if you’re not being you,” wrote Jessica. “My hope is we all find ourselves.”

When students and teachers unveiled In Our Global Village: Boyle Heights through The Eyes of its Youth to their senior banquet, Roosevelt High School Principal Sofia Freire called the In Our Global Village program “a brilliant way to leave a legacy, in the school and the community.” 

For the 110 seniors who produced the book, it was, in the words of Ruby, “unforgettable.”