On September 25th, students and parents were invited to attend the charter renewal for Animo Pat Brown, which occurs every 5 years. For students, this was a great way to learn how the charter system works, and how the board of education plays a role in our everyday lives regarding our education and whether or not we get to go to school. In order to appeal to the board of education and secure our renewal, Mr.Reed chose a couple of students to give a speech on their opinions of the school and their quality of education.
Although the majority of the students who attended the charter renewal were able to experience the whole thing, APB Senior Karen Plasencia was able to accompany Mr. Reed throughout the whole renewal process, which meant being in front of the board of education. In order to be prepared in case she was asked to speak, Mr. Reed had Karen prepare a speech about her opinion and experience from the school. She explained how “ We were all in the same room as the board members, meaning we first handedly knew what was going”.
Another student who attended the charter renewal was APB Senior Francisco Cernas, he said “ The whole event was very overwhelming and confusing, I didn’t know what was going on”. Francisco then described how long the line was getting into the lobby, and how packed lobby actually was, the lobby was filled with other schools and their representatives.
Although Karen and Francisco had different experiences, they were both able to see how the board of education comes together in order to make a firm decision on our quality of education. This experience has taught the students who attended the renewal that education is valuable and something worth fighting for.
— Hector and Kimberly, Class of 2019
 

Student Reflections

 

Using my voice in the community was the most impactful to me because it was a wonderful experience that I will never forget. I attended a couple of marches this year and I would have never really gone without taking this course because I got to learn how important it is to stand up for what you believe in, but in a greater crowd. I participated in a couple things the school did let us use our voice and our rights for something greater. It was wonderful seeing how many people are willing to do the same for their beliefs but also for what is really right. So many people believe that small things can’t impact people or people are just followers but what they don’t know is that most movements begin small. Everything takes time to grow and become something many more people really care about. So using my voice was very impactful but also important to me because it was something out of my comfort zone to see all kinds of people fighting for something so big and important for our future. Learning all of this helped me because I was able to go home and speak to my family of what I learned but also how important it is to put our rights to good use in this world. Society will begin to understand the changes and what the future is to come. I am moderate conservative so I may not agree with many things that are being passed right now but it does not people I do not respect people’s decisions, we all have  voice to use but not all have the same opinions. The march for our lives is something that was very moving but also amazing to witness because its part of an era we won’t forget but also part of something greater for our children and our safety. I was glad that I was able to use my voice to show the world that restrictions should be something serious and important.

— giselle, class of 2018

Throughout my AP Government class, a civic action I believe was the most impactful to me was making politics part of the conversation. I enjoyed discussing politics with my friends and family because it shows who they are. It was interesting for me to hear their viewpoints, and understand their reasoning for having opposing ideologies than me. When we did the survey to help determine where we fall on the political spectrum, I was surprised by the outcomes of some of them. My mom introduced beliefs and rights to me, but yet we differentiated on the political spectrum. In the beginning of the year, we were asked to record a conversation between a family member, and introduce aspects of our beliefs into the conversation. I did this assignment with my sister, and I was astonished to hear the way her mind processed the same information I had. We had the same beliefs, but the connections and thought process that led to that belief was different than mine. Involving politics into the conversation with friends or family is important because you both can educate yourselves together about ongoing events. Not only that, but being able to bond with someone about something that can have a big impact in your life is valuable, and being able to share your ideas with someone who understands you is empowering. I find myself talking about politics more often now because I was unaware about how decisions in government affected me. Many people think that government is just laws, but it’s about the people involved in this process including ourselves.

— wendy, class of 2018

The most impactful experience I had was teaching others about government. Especially during moments like the government shutdown and the struggle for DACA, many people in my family relied on Latino talk shows for their information, and because of this they had  a point of view that was highly skewed and largely focused on the shock value that the information had. However, when I came home I would try to educate my family on what was really going on. I would explain to them as much of the story as I could, and if they had question I couldn’t answer I would do some research into it. I had fun when I taught them because I was able to actually use the things I was learning in class in the real world. The things I was doing had an actual effect. I was teaching them to not just accept facts at face value because the real truth is rarely simple enough to explain in 5 minutes. I was trying to instill in them the passion for government that you had instilled in us. Teaching them started a domino effect that I had not anticipated. I had heard my mother explaining the system of checks and balance to my aunt over the phone once meaning she was teaching her sister what I had taught her, and I have no doubt that my aunt retained that information and told it to someone else. My family is spreading this information in our community, and thus allowing my community to be more informed.

— yuliana, class of 2018

 I think the most impactful thing we did this year on civic action was making politics part of the conversation whether it had to do with talking to our parents and friends about it or participating in community forums or reaching across partisan divide with pen pal. This made me realize that many people thought differently than me and why did they feel this way. The one that shocked me the most was to hear my parents point of view on the government. My stepdad and my mom both agreed that the government wants the poor to stay poor and the rich to only get richer because we barely get paid enough to pay our rent and to have a little bit of money on the side for things we need. Not only is it important to stay informed of what the government is doing but to educate your family and friends about their rights or what is going on is also important. Especially if certain things apply to them. Also do not be scared to stand up for yourself and others, if you feel as if the government is doing something wrong then speak up, make a petition, write a letter to your senate. There is many things we can do that will capture the attention of the government. I was not even aware that we could do all these things but gov/econ helped me realize that there is an alternative to everything.


  • sara, class of 2018

 

What impacted me the most from this civil action was talking about politics with my family. I feel this had a big impact on me because my family didn’t know much about the government or about the laws and about what was going on at the time. I had taught them some new things and I helped them to stay informed about the government and the laws. This helped me come closer with my family and it helped my family to stay more aware of the government. So know me and my family talk about politics more often and we keep each other informed. I feel this was the most important thing because it brought my family closer and it brought us closer to politics. We also discuss about what we can do to help or government and to help our people in the community by getting them also involved in politics and voting. This was the biggest impact to me because we never use to talk about government or politics like this and I am thankful for learning so much and having a impactful experience

— jose, class of 2018

The thing we did this year on civic action that was the most impactful to me was “Engage with Elected Representative” because I feel like I gained a new experienced that I loved. By engaging with elected representatives I was able to voice out my opinions on gun violence to someone who has the power to take it to important people with connections so it can be heard/considered. This is very important to me because it shows how I am not letting my values get stepped on and I also had the power to speak for other people who could express themselves. As a result, I was able to encourage many students to be up to date on the news because if we don’t speak up, there won’t be any reforms and our lives will be endangered by others. As I participated in this civic engagement, it has shown to me that I want this to be a part of my future, we the people need to have our opinions heard because in reality the government does not know how we are living our lives, only we do. And if there are things that are bothering us, such as gun violence and police misconduct we have the right to reach out to the elected representative and make sure that there are things changed. I understand that I started late in deciding to with elected representative but I know that this is just the beginning to a fresh new start and you will see me in the news protesting and motivating people to not be quiet and come outside and participate because everyone's voice matters.

— daniela, class of 2018

This year we participated in many civic action from calling the senators to performing walkouts to show that we’re passionate for what we love and will not remain silent if we feel like something is wrong. A civic action that mainly impacted my life or mainly point of view on a certain thing was Using my voice in the community. The way we did this was by organizing and performing the walk out. In this walk out we had shown remorse to the kids that were killed in the Parkland shooting. This was a very impactful and special moment for me because not only did it show me how we’re here for each other and will stick with each other no matter how big the situation is. But it also showed me that gun control and gun violence can potentially be the or is the biggest problem America is currently facing because so many innocent people are dying and we’re not doing enough things in our power to try to stop this catastrophe. Also another thing that was very meaningful to me was when we all wrote letters to the survivors of The parkland shooting because it shows how we might be far from them but we all genuinely care about the safety and comfort of other students across the world. All of this changed my point of view on gun laws because before all of this i used to be for guns and over this time I’ve seen how sloppy America has gotten with handling and distributing guns to their citizens and how they can instantly fall in the wrong hands.

— angel, class of 2018

This year, I learned so much about my own political ideology, how politics and the government works, and I learned how to make an impact in politics. For example, creating voting guides for the eligible voters of my community was an impactful experience for me because I learned that anyone can be informed and educate others. I felt empowered to be able to inform my community and to encourage civic engagement. It is important for people to be informed about the candidates, the policies, and the locations that people are able to vote. I have learned that a major reason why people do not participate in civic engagement is because people are unaware or uninformed about the power that they hold. The only way there will be a positive change in our communities is if we are agents of change, and if we are civically engaged. I also learned that it is not a difficult task to stand up for my own beliefs, and I learned that I can impact policy. I started to contact my representatives, congressmen and congresswomen to advocate for my stance on certain bills or proposals. I also learned that it is important to call and thank representatives for voting a certain way on a bill. Your voice will be heard, if you make it heard. I encourage students, parents, teachers, and anyone I meet to participate in politics. Voting is not the only way to be engaged, although it is important. I make it my priority to inform people that they too have a voice, power, and there are ways to influence the law such as by participating in protests, voting, calling representatives, discussing politics, and so much more! I am thankful to have taken this class, taught by Mr. Snyder because I truly learned about the power I hold. I am inspired to continue to make change in my community, and working with my classmates is only the beginning.

— ayla, class of 2018