La Cultura Cura offers youth positive alternatives to violence and incarceration through a range of services and cultural arts activities including intensive case management, court advocacy, mental health services, and innovative arts programming. La Cultura Cura is noted for providing critical programming for monolingual Spanish-speaking and multicultural Latinx youth and their families.
La Cultura Cura’s programs and services focus on the experience facing Chicano/Latinx youth in San Francisco. The goal of La Cultura Cura is to have a positive, lasting impact on the lives of our young participants so that they may positively impact the health and wellness of the Chicano/Latino community of which they are a part. Through a combination of services and innovative cultural arts programming, the staff of La Cultura Cura develops meaningful and consistent relationships with youth to expand their life skills, reinforce positive cultural identity, and motivate them to make positive contributions to their community.
La Cultura Cura 2019 + KG’s Story
2019 was also extremely hard for our families. Anti-immigrant sentiment increased substantially, fueling racism and violence, leaving our families feeling fearful, isolated, traumatized and unwelcome. Every day we are reminded that our community is strong, resilient and determined like KG, a 17-year-old female-identified participant of La Cultura Cura.
KG arrived in the U.S. three years ago from El Salvador to be reunified with her mother and step-father, who she hadn’t seen in 5 years. KG then enrolled at Balboa High School, and It didn’t take long before she began having transitional school problems – new country, language and system. KG was bullied, and attacked by her peers and defended herself the best way she knew how. KG was on the verge of being expelled from not only the school, but the school district. KG’s problems did not stop there, she was also challenged with her new relationship with her mother.
As a last resort to keeping KG in school, her guidance counselor Ms. Ramirez introduced her to the newcomer’s support group. In that support group was when KG, learned about La Cultura Cura (LCC) – one of IFR’s programs that offers youth with positive alternatives to violence and incarceration. After some time, LCC gained KG’s trust, and she was assigned a care manager and a mental health specialist.
Roberto Gonzales, KG’s care manager, helped her realize her potential and helped her set her own goals. Roberto also facilitated a transfer to Ida B. Wells High School, as an alternative to being expelled from the school district. JJ, KG’s mental health specialist helped her navigate the system by helping her use her words at school and with her parents. JJ even helped KG and her parents get to a mutual place of understanding. KG expressed “In the past, I would advocate for myself by fighting. Now, I advocate for myself using my words.”
Through a more individualized approach at Ida B. Wells High School, KG went from not attending school and almost being expelled to becoming an honor roll student. This quarter KG has not missed a day of school, holds a 3.4 GPA, and is on track to graduate early with plans of attending City College. KG states “I feel safe at LCC. I now recognize the power of my words and actions thanks to all the work I’ve put in, and the trust and relationships that I’ve built with LCC staff.”
In the words of LCC’s program director Luiz Guevara “We are so incredibly proud of all of KG’s hard work, and all the efforts that she is making in improving her own, her family’s and her friend’s lives. This is evidence of what community and healing can do.”
Every day your support makes stories like KG’s possible. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to help more children, youth, and families like KG’s reach their full potential, thrive and heal.
We need your help to make this happen. Your support will make a real, lasting impact on our community.
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