This was my first time volunteering in this kind of events. It felt good to help people in need. This allowed me see how grateful I am for what I have. - Maria Rodriguez
I now understand the trauma that exist in my community and the lack of resources that contributes to the high violence and poverty in low income community. This project has inspired me to come back to my community and give back. It made me realized that there is so much work that needs to be done, but also I saw that my community also has so much love and when we come together we make change happen. We made change happen. We are Watts and we are more than violence and crime, We are a community of passion and love! --Guadalupe Alviso
The Team Reflection:
As we started our project we realized that there was so much in in our community for mental health support. However, we focused our effort into bringing awareness about violence against women because of our current political climate. Yet, our project was so impactful that we managed to reach our entire community. Highlights of our project, research opportunity, leadership opportunity, conducting survey in our community, classroom presentations, interviewing survivors, attending survivors speaks conference, collaborating and participating with other community organizations, creating safe healing spaces, giving back to our community and becoming informed about policies that impact our community. Yet, we have reflected and believe that we could have done many things differently. We could have utilized our social media platform more effectively to increase awareness, but also to promote our events. We could have worked with other high schools around our area to increase the impact of the event. We have seen how working together can bring about change and we now believe that it is important to reach out to other local schools that might not have the opportunity to participate on these types of programs to increase change in our community. We now see the possibility to create a movement in which youth are the leaders of change. Overall, we are proud to have brought some change. Our school has adopted this event as a quarterly event that will serve the community giving the students the opportunity to engage in community service and community dialogue about a rooted issue that carries many stigma, mental health. Watts Girls Build LA bringing change for a better tomorrow!