VAHS Senior Published by the LA Times

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Alexis Gonzalez, a senior at Valor Academy High School, wrote an article about anti-semitism on college campuses that was published in the LA Times.  Her story can be read here. Alexis was interviewed about her article and why she chose to write about this topic. Check out what she had to say below.

What is your article about?

In my own words, my article is to expose the extent of which we see anti-Semitism on college campuses. It’s also about how we can prevent these actions. In my opinion, it comes down to how you raise your children and teaching them that it’s not okay to replicate these acts of hatred. It’s a matter of integrity.

What motivated you to write this article?

Originally, I wrote this assignment for my AP composition class. We were writing an article to submit to the LA times. Most students wrote about the election, but I wanted to do something different and write about something I was passionate about, which for me has always been social justice. At the time, I was also a junior intern at the Shoah Foundation, which teaches high school students about the cycle of prejudice and hatred throughout history and how we can stop that cycle, focusing primarily on anti-Semitism.

What first prompted you to volunteer with the Shoah Foundation?

I had previously been a part of other programs on USC’s campus. I was really interested in the Shoah Foundation, and the application was opening up. I researched the foundation and saw that it focused on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, which is something that I have always thought was such a major event that shows what can happen when people sit idly by as atrocities happen.

Do you hope to continue this work in college? How?

110%–of course! I’m applying to Occidental College because they have an emphasis on communication through writing and social justice.

What are your career aspirations?

I want to be able to travel and see the world and experience different cultures. I want to think about that when choosing a career, and I think journalism is a great way to do that. It’s a career that allows me to do what I love and be creative and to expose others to the issues that are facing the world to try to stop the injustices that we see in the world today.

Alexis would like to recognize Kyle Fink, who facilitates the program at the LA times that published her article. The program is a great way for students interested in journalism to get exposure to what it’s like and develop their voice as writers.

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