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What makes you proud about your culture?

“The food—pozole, menudo, tacos. That’s what I like to eat. My favorite is tacos.”
Victor Magana, 14, Jordan HS Freshman Academy (Long Beach)
“I’m Mexican. We’ve been through so much and we’re still here together unified. How we celebrate things, it’s awesome. Cinco de Mayo. The food, the music, how we bring the whole family together to celebrate.”
Willy Moncada, 15, Jordan HS Freshman Academy
“I’m proud because a lot of African Americans don’t make it through school at my age but I’m trying. There’s been a lot of trouble with African Americans and they still try hard to stay strong.”
Ruth James, 14, Jordan HS Freshman Academy
“I like how they fight to better their lives. In Mexico, they struggle to survive, to earn money. They risk their lives to come to the U.S. so their families can have a better life. My mom did that for me so we could have better things than she did.”
Erick Gonzalez, 17, Morningside HS (Inglewood)
“I love the variety of dances my [Latino] culture has, as well as the variety of people. We could all look different and belong to the same culture.”
Samantha Ortega, 17, Lynwood HS
“I think it’s really interesting that there is such cultural diversity in the Philippines. A lot of us aren’t just pure Filipino, some of us are also mixed with Portuguese, Malaysian, Spanish and Mexican. I’m proud of the fact that a lot of Filipinos are nurses and caregivers and it just shows that most of us of are really compassionate people.”
Mariel Villalon, 17,  Providence HS (Burbank)
“I love British history, especially the Crusades and any classic story that has to do with knights. I love having something in common with some of my favorite stories in British literature.”
Max Navarro, 16, Providence HS
“Whenever I meet anyone who is Ukrainian, I feel a connection to them. I love this feeling because it makes me feel part of something much bigger than myself. I also love how much emphasis is put on family gatherings. Being with family is the greatest thing in the world for me. Plus the food we have is amazing and beats any fast food stuff
you’d find here.”
Andrea Kusina, 17, Providence HS
“I’m proud of my Belizean culture because of its social and musical aspects. Belizeans are really sociable people. My dad is a very friendly and outgoing person and I try to be as well. I also enjoy the popular Belizean music, reggae, which both my parents listen to often.”
Briana Bedran, 15, Warren HS (Downey)
“I feel my culture is beautiful music. The music represents all of us, our own rhythms, our own feel to certain things. I like rap. It expresses the pain in our culture. It also tells you how to overcome it and keep your head up.”
Tyrell Bell, 16, Morningside HS
“I like the beaches. My parents are from El Salvador. They’ve shown me pictures. There are certain cities where the beach is very nice. The water is cleaner there, it looks more pure. I’d like to go.”
Samuel Ramos, 17, Morningside HS
“Well, I like that we do everything together. Our foods are great. I mean, being Italian and Mexican, it’s all about food.”
David Pelayo, 15, Lynwood HS
“I’m proud of the hardships my family faced to come here to this country. The way my family shared these experiences with me will help me with my future.”
Elizabeth Gramillo, 13, Southeast MS (South Gate)
“I’m proud that Mexican people are hardworking and that they come from faraway places to make lives for themselves and families. Most Mexican people put their money toward their family, for their future, for their house. I appreciate what I have because I know a lot of people don’t have the opportunities I have in this country.”
Bryan Anguiano, 17, Morningside HS
“I love that my Salvadorian culture is so festive.”
Sandra Siliezar, 15, Lynwood HS
“Some people say Puerto Ricans are Jamaican and black or different things like Mexican and black. What it is is Spanish Indian and black. I like it because I can hang out with Spanish people, black people and Indian people.”
Jonathan Cook, 15, Jordan Freshman Academy
“I’m Samoan and black. I like my Samoan side because I like to dance. We dance Tahitian and Polynesian. I like our food. Chop suey and pancakes. We’re really cultural and go to church a lot.”
Tateanna Erby, 15, Jordan Freshman Academy
“The food. I like tamales, all kinds of tacos. My mom cooks a lot of different stuff. A lot of the food is healthy and tastes good. I’ve been eating it all my life and it feels like it’s part of me.”
Pedro Aguirre, 17, Morningside HS
“My parents came from Mexico so they could support their families back home. My mom had a family of 12 brothers and sisters. She was the only one who came to support them. They want us to have the education they never had. I’m planning on going to college. I want to be a computer technician. I want to be happy and the way I can be happy is with them having the life they never had. I want them to retire with me supporting them.”
Rogelio Ramirez, 17, Morningside HS