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Isabella Jimenez: Launching a Food App to Inspire Healthy Eating


isabella jimenez myfunfood app

Isabella Jimenez is only 16 years old, but she’s already an entrepreneur and app creator. In fact, she got started when she was 12. Jimenez began creating her app called MyFunFood in 2018. The app is meant to be a digital cookbook where young people can learn to cook easy, healthy recipes, while also playing trivia games and learning health tips. After years of planning and development, Jimenez launched MyFunFood in December 2020. It’s available to download for free in the Apple Store. “The goal now that it's out is just to try to get it to not only kids, but adults and families as well, and not just the San Antonio area, but hopefully even the across the country,” Jimenez said. From a Cookbook to an App MyFunFood has come a long way since its inception. The app ...

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Kathryn Karam: Acknowledging Your Own Bias as a Person of Color


kathryn karam

Kathryn Karam isn’t afraid to speak out against racism and discrimination. She thinks that everyone should address their implicit biases and that being a person of color doesn’t prevent you from having bias. That’s why Karam wrote a column for her college newspaper, The Collegian, last fall after the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd Protests to raise awareness about how people of color can have their own biases against Black people. Karam comes from a family of Middle Eastern immigrants, growing up in a culture where topics like politics were taboo. Now she’s a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying journalism and public relations, where she hopes to continue the conversation. Raised by Immigrants Karam grew up in the suburbs of Boston, in ...

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Nancy Willard: Teaching Personal Empowerment and Resilience to Fight Bullying



Nancy Willard knows that the way educators are taught to handle bullying isn’t working, especially when it comes to cyberbullying. That’s why she’s written several books on bullying prevention and digital safety, including the first book ever published on cyberbullying. Willard is a former attorney and special education teacher in Veneta, Oregon who has dedicated her career to empowering students and families to stand up to bullies. She also taught those empowerment skills to her adopted Guatemalan daughter. Now she wants to help schools build more culturally relevant anti-bullying programs, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic ends and more schools return to in-person learning. A Background in Computer Law and Special Education Before working on building student ...

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Kendra Gage: Teaching Implicit Bias and Anti-Racism in the Classroom


Kendra Gage Implicit Bias

Kendra Gage starts off all her new classes addressing one obvious fact: she’s white. That’s because Gage is a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) who teaches African American studies, focusing on the Civil Rights Movement and addressing racism in modern America. Gage believes in addressing her whiteness because she wants students to be aware of implicit bias─ stereotypes that affect our understanding and decisions about others beyond our conscious control─in the classroom. She feels it’s her role as an educator to highlight her own implicit bias and allow students to question their own biases. “My very first lecture in class, I say, ‘This is who I am. I am white.’ I mean, I can't hide behind that, so I do address it,” Gage said. That is ...

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Cheryl Aguilar: Providing Mental Health Support to Families with Immigration Trauma



Immigration is difficult and often traumatic. People who immigrate to the U.S. often face a dangerous journey only to be met with aggression and xenophobia at the border. It can lead to loss of hope, anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Cheryl Aguilar wants to help families experiencing the trauma of immigration and adjusting to new life in the U.S. Aguilar immigrated from Honduras as a teenager, an experience that helped guide her to give back to immigrant communities. Aguilar is a clinical social worker and founding director and therapist at the Hope Center for Wellness. “As a therapist, one of the things that I do is help individuals, families, and communities heal from whatever distress, trauma, or experiences they might have encountered. I believe in holistic healing, ...

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Jennifer Rangel: Creating Bilingual Cartoons to Teach Zoning 101


Jennifer Rangel creates animated videos to teach residents about zoning

“Ever wondered why your neighborhood looks how it does?” Jennifer Rangel once asked herself this question. To find an answer, Rangel got a master’s degree in urban planning. Along the way, this Latina planner learned that discriminatory urban planning practices, like the zoning of land, had been used for white advantage for over a century, segregating communities and forging inequities in health and wealth among Latinos and other people of color. Rangel wanted to share what she learned. So she helped create workshops─then bilingual animated videos─to train neighborhood leaders, social workers, and others about zoning and how to get involved in zoning changes. “Understanding zoning is a critical step for residents as they try to undo previous harms and to ...

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Christina Duarte: Creating Virtual Health Classes to Fight the Pandemic in Laredo, Texas


Christina Duarte Creating Virtual Health Classes Fight Pandemic Laredo

Since childhood, Christina Duarte has wanted to help people. Helping people is why she became chief of health education and promotion for the Health Department of Laredo, Texas, a predominantly Latino city on the U.S.-Mexico border. When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Duarte immediately looked for ways to help her community, which struggled with disparities in COVID-19 case and death rates. So Duarte shifted the city’s in-person health classes to a virtual platform to help those at home during the height of the coronavirus quarantine. “Our participants continued to ask, ‘are you even going to have classes again? My mental health is at stake,’” she said. “Then the numbers increased. We started working on mental health preparedness here at the health department. ...

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9 Amazing Latino Contributions to Urban Space, Presented by James Rojas


James Rojas via CNU.org latino urbanism

Since James Rojas was child, he has been fascinated with urban spaces like streets, sidewalks, plazas, storefronts, yards, and porches. He started noticing how spaces made it easier or harder for families, neighbors, and strangers to interact. For example, his urban space experience got worse when his Latino family was uprooted from their home and expected to conform to how white city planners designed neighborhood streets for cars rather than for social connection. “[Latinos] are a humble, prideful, and creative people that express our memories, needs, and aspirations for working with  our hands and not through language,” Rojas said. “However, there are no planning tools that measure this relationship between the body and space. Therefore, our mobility needs can be ...

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