Second Edition: “Our Oakland” — Teaching Us All Something New

By: Makayla Tarango, Sophomore 

Our Oakland was a great experience for me in my freshman year. I got to learn a lot of information about the city I was born and raised in. I was so used to my community that I didn’t see anything wrong with it even though I had heard of so many bad stories and had lost family and friends here in Oakland due to crime. Our Oakland made me more knowledgeable of what my community should look like. I realized that where I live should be cleaner than what it is and safer for my family and me to make a quick trip to the store. Most importantly, I learned that all of the people in my community and I should respect each other more since we all have a similar struggle. I would do the Our Oakland project again if I could.

Recently I interviewed a freshman, Alexis Pruitt, about her experience with the “Our Oakland” project:

Me: What activities did you do for the Our Oakland project?

Alexis: Well we first we found an adult or family member to practice interviewing. Later on we went to Laney College to interview people on their opinion.

Me: What was your group’s topic? What interesting information did you find on your topic?

Alexis: My topic was gangs. Something interesting I heard was a lady told me that she thinks gangs are doing a lot of unconstructive things and they need to start doing more constructive things for our community.

Me: What was your most enjoyable moment during Our Oakland?

Alexis: Interviewing people and actually being able to understand others ideas on things.

Me: Were you prepared for this project? What preparation did you receive?

Alexis: Yes, I was prepared and I got everything done on time. Ms.Thomas helped us a lot by giving us a rubric and a recorder. She also gave us good ideas on what type of questions what could ask in interviews.

Me: Has participating in Our Oakland changed your outlook on Oakland or showed you something new?

Alexis: It showed me that people think young kids are the cause of Oakland’s problems.

This year’s “Our Oakland” project seems to have taught the freshmen a lot about their surroundings. I believe they have a better idea of what they could do to help themselves and others to be more positive. I hope each and every one of them gained something positive to use in their future. In conclusion, I like to think Ms.Thomas for all her hard work on this year’s “Our Oakland” and last year’s as well. You’re a brilliant woman, Ms.Thomas.

Edited By: Eva Oliver, Digital Journalism Teacher


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