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Tweet City Heights: An Inspiring Teen, a Cultural Divide and a Lao Celebration

By Megan Burks

Olascoaga: The More I Learn, the More I Can Do
U-T San Diego featured City Heights youth leader Marcos Olascoaga this week. The teen became involved with Mid-City CAN two years ago. Now he carries business cards. His afternoons are filled with meetings.

“Mid-City CAN taught me that it doesn’t matter who you are, it’s what you do that really matters,” Olascoaga told the U-T.

And he does a lot, from organizing graffiti cleanups with his sister, to meeting elected officials, to teaching his parents about health insurance and his baby sister English.

One of Olascoaga’s biggest efforts now is helping to get a skate park built in City Heights. A skater himself, he became committed to finding his peers a safe skate spot after being hit by a car while skating last year.

“He is constantly yearning to learn more, meet more people and finding new skills to add to his tool bar,” said Mark Tran, youth community organizer for Mid-City CAN, of Olascoaga. “He is becoming a huge force in the community.”

See this HealthyCal.org video on why City Heights skaters want a skate park.

Follow Mid-City CAN @midcitycan.

Language Barrier Creates Emotional Barrier for Immigrant Family
In a deeply personal radio piece, KPCC intern James Kim takes listeners into the home of his Korean immigrant parents. They speak Korean. He doesn’t anymore.

The language barrier has left a wider emotional gap between him and his parents. The conversation he has with them for this piece is the first time he’s really communicated with them. He had to do so through an interpreter.

This has made my relationship with my parents difficult to cultivate. We always are easily irritated with each other because we constantly misunderstand what each of us is saying. We can hardly explain a movie’s plot line to one another, let alone express what we’re going through. The only time I talk with my parents is when I’m asking them, “What’s for dinner?”


Language isn’t the only problem though. As Kim learns for the first time, his parents judge him as being apathetic to their culture and personal histories.

We explored a similar theme in a story about refugee women teaching their daughters traditional East African recipes.

Follow KPCC’s Off-Ramp show @KPCCofframp.

Poll Shows More Californians Support Soda Tax
A poll released this week shows three out of five California voters would support a tax on sweetened beverages to help fight childhood obesity.

State lawmakers are not currently considering a soda tax initiative, but anti-obesity groups have long said it would improve the health of California’s children.

In a decade-long study released last summer, researchers found children’s body mass indexes rose when soda was cheap and decreased when juice and milk were more affordable.

According to the Soda Sucks campaign, a typical bottle of soda contains 65 grams of sugar; the American Heart Association suggests children should consume just 6 grams of sugar each day.

Follow SodaSucks @SodaSucks.

Celebrate Lao New Year This Weekend
San Diego’s Lao community is celebrating its New Year this weekend 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Market Creek Plaza. Admission is $3.

Attendees will experience the traditional Angel of Mercy Parade (Nang Sangkhan), art exhibits, traditional foods, dance, music and ping-pong and Kataw competitons.

Follow Market Creek Plaza @MarketCreekPlz.


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One Response to Tweet City Heights: An Inspiring Teen, a Cultural Divide and a Lao Celebration

  1. Pingback: Tweet City Heights: Mexican Migration to U.S. Slows to Trickle | Speak City Heights

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