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LOS ANGELES – Sofia C. Zaragoza is a 19-year-old queer Latin American student from LA Pierce College at LACCD. Zaragoza, a major in English, is transferred from the Pierce campus to the University of California at Berkeley in the fall of 2021.

She was also recently accepted into the Mellon Mayes Undergraduate Research Fellowship, where she will continue her research in English through what she calls “an interdisciplinary feminist lens”. In an interview with the Los Angeles Blade on Wednesday, Zaragoza told the newspaper that her passion for social justice, fairness and literature has led her to various positions at her college, including as student senator, president of ‘a student government committee, where she maintained inclusion as her top priority.

She believes that her intersectional identity has led her to offer a diverse and rewarding perspective for all the activities in which she participates. Finally, she hopes to eventually provide that same supportive and enriching environment to future generations of students throughout her career, she says.

“In a lot of ways I think I was privileged – in high school (Grover Cleveland Charter High School) with the program I was also in the Gay-Straight Alliance,” she said.

Sofia C. Zaragoza

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District told the Blade that it is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all of its students, so in the case of Zaragoza, that commitment becomes fundamental later when students enter university or continue in a work environment. She told The Blade that she felt that support when she was dating Cleveland.

While attending LACCD’s Pierce, she says she felt very much support for her identity as a queer Latinx. The only things she said represented a personal loss was the interruption of her studies by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The biggest loss has been the person himself, oh! and social interactions, ”she said. She credits the educational opportunities LACCD provided her with making admission to UC Berkley a reality.

Haunted by the weight of navigating an often intolerant society as a gay woman from
color, Nadia Noemi Martinez channels these ghosts both as an academic and as a writer.

Addressing the experience, vulnerability and romance based on these identities, his writing
tries to grasp these difficulties through vulnerable emotions and the embodiment of his
own intimate transparency with its readers, tells Noemi to the Blade.

Nadia Noemi Martinez

“The LACCD system prepared me,” she says. “I found my ground, discovered, reinforced in life by my teachers, allowing me to achieve what I will now experience.”

In addition to her own personal life experiences, Nadia devotes much of her growth and self-discovery to the stories and work staged by queer activists before her – and certainly those who will come after. With acceptance to Hunter College in New York City as a major in English literature this fall, she will continue to emphasize the importance of challenging the literary canon and the structure of higher education itself in relation to marginalized identities. .

His central belief that through the outlet of creating art, such as prose and poetry, is one of the most profound ways of expressing what is foreign to those outside the confines of a queer body. . While she hopes her voice and experiences will be heard, she wants the stories of her loved ones and loved ones to be heard as well.

“It was the discovery at ELAC in this Queer Lit class that gave me the basics,” Noemi said.

Thirty-six year old single mom, with a brilliant sense of humor even as she battles a physical challenge, Jamey Dee, who told The Blade, “I choose to use ‘queer’ to be inclusive “is grateful to LACCD and Pierce College for dramatically improving its quality of life.

“LACCD has helped me with my extreme dyslexia and allowed me to graduate from Pierce College, which has been a blessing in my life,” she said.

“I would love to continue working to help LACCD and Pierce College in the future with my law degree. I’m starting Cal Lutheran in the fall and then plan to go to law school, ”she added. [California Lutheran University is a private liberal arts university in Thousand Oaks, California.] “I also want to help battered women and the queer community with pro bono law, as a way to help and give back.”

Dee told The Blade that she went to school to help herself grow and expand her business opportunities. From his teenage years in Ventura County to his twists and turns in the Pacific Northwest and then back to California, Dee said his journey has been difficult. But when she finally settled in and enrolled at Pierce, it was the Office of Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) and a nice employee named David Phoenix who ultimately identified her severe case of dyslexia and then worked alongside him to ensure his academic success.

This sense of accomplishment, coupled with a greater sense of stability and a loving partner, led to her graduation from Pierce. “It has been beneficial, it has helped me navigate my journey myself,” she said.

Jamey Dee

Michael P Fuller, Director of Institutional Advancement at LACCD, noted, “The students of LA Community College are true heroes overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the pursuit of a college education.

Fuller, also noted; “In the past year of unprecedented challenges, foundations and individuals have come together to make 2020 the most successful fundraising year of all time for the Foundation for Los Angeles Community Colleges.

In turn, the Foundation gave more than 25,000 prizes directly to students, including laptops, grocery gift cards, food deliveries, Internet hotspots, and emergency grants. . These grants and awards change lives forever and affect generations to come. “

Los Angeles Blade editor Troy Masters said the Blade Foundation, a 501C3 branch of the Los Angeles Blade and Washington Blade, will support an LGBT scholarship program through Director Fuller’s office aimed at developing the academic career of LGBTQIA students who wish to pursue journalism.

“Supporting LGBTQIA youth who show promise as journalists and who value the media for their ability to promote social justice and the needs of our people is something that is close to my heart. It’s time for my generation to hand over the baton, ”said Masters. adding “and a scholarship program to support community college students is the right way forward on so many levels.”

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