I spent a great five years at Inland Empire Community News–covering community events and telling stories of hardship and success.
After much reflection, I decided to part ways with the publishing group that provided me a big break. It was here that I threw myself into the fray of community service and justice, and in return, gained the skills to become an effective storyteller.
The people of Colton, Rialto, and San Bernardino have some of the most inspiring, heart wrenching, frustrating, empowering, and uplifting stories. And through the trust of so many people, I was able to share these tales with readers.
To the people who trusted me with telling their narratives–a sincere thank you. I think of Colton Relay For Life leaders Marla Robledo and Paula Flores–two strong-willed women that diligently work year after year to memorialize and empower cancer patients and survivors.
Here’s to Marilyn Necochea, who helped bring forth justice for her sister Michelle Flores–brutally murdered by her husband Jonathan over 20 years ago. As a domestic violence survivor, she continues to advocate for women that suffer through partner abuse.
Jamie Rios, an inspiration to many across San Bernardino. I’ll miss hearing the stories of the young boys that flourish into men under your tutelage. Tom Dolan, Sergio Luna, and the Inland Congregations United for Change: I will continue to admire the work you do to shed light on gun violence and mobilize young voters.
Of course, I want to thank Gloria and Bill Harrison for providing me with the platform to not only showcase my skills, but give a voice to the voiceless. I also want to thank Maryjoy Duncan and the late Diana Harrison Martinez for pushing me to become a better writer and professional. Sincere thanks to my good friend Michael Segura for helping me produce great videos and other multimedia content for the 5,000 plus followers on IECN’s social media pages.
This isn’t goodbye. I don’t plan to leave the Inland region anytime soon. In fact, my new role as the Communications Director for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) will ensure I continue to uplift our communities. A large majority of residents are misinformed about the logistics industry and the impact it has on our region. While short term economic gains may help, it ultimately has a long term detriment on public health and sustainability. I will put all my strength to ensuring we receive environmental justice for everyone.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all the readers and viewers who followed up every week. Your stories are forever stored in my memory.
Until next time. Adelante!