By Eric Macias, GED Instructor
On April 30th, Representative Tony Cardenas from California hosted a report briefing on Capitol Hill where a panel of experts talked about the adversity young Latina/os face that tends to lead them towards detention centers. The briefing was mainly based on the recently released NCLR report, “Resilient Latino Youth: In Their Own Words.”
Geovany Posadas, a Montgomery County Conservation Corps participant, was part of the panel where he added a youth voice to the data collected in the report. His story of facing adversity fit well with what Patricia Foxen from NCLR, Maricela Garcia from Gads Hill Center, and Jeff Fleischer from the Youth Advocate Program (also a panelist) discussed in the form of statistics and shocking figures, such as the amount of money spent annually on juvenile arrests. I am glad and proud that Geovany spoke and personified what the report highlighted. Geovany’s advocacy in support of other young Latina/os in similar situations as his exemplified the needed support of young adults and programs that create safe spaces for youth to create their own positive pathway towards adulthood.
By Geovany Posadas, Montgomery County Conservation Corps Participant
What I spoke about was the different situations I have dealt with in my life and how I overcame those situations. I have dealt with the juvenile system many times, and I overcame that by understanding that I was wrong sometimes. I wanted to change; I wanted something positive. I thought about the difference I can make for my future, and I made changes.
I thought the event on the Hill was interesting. I got to learn more about youth adversity and the ways that we as a community can help those in need. Youth are actually our future, and we have to help build that future. Youth make mistakes and maybe end up in jail, but the government keeps them in cells without any intention of helping create their new futures. I felt as if I was a person who could help contribute to this change. I want to be able to give back to the community after being helped by a community.