South LA Stories: The Youth Perspective


     Hey, My name is Latrice Ventura, I am an intern with LA Commons. I got started with the internship with LA Commons through The Right Way Foundation, which specializes in preparing foster youth transitioning from being a foster child to becoming an independent adult. I found The Right Way Foundation through a referral because I mentioned to my attorney at the time that I wanted to find a guidance counselor and The Right Way Foundation was a perfect fit for me. I immediately felt the positive and supportive energy that filled the environment and got to work. A few weeks later I got a new job at Staples and interviewed for several internships including LA Commons, Rhyman Arts, Grand Performances and more. LA Commons snatched me up and I have been more than excited to work with them and I would like to take full advantage of being able to work with youth artists, tell their  stories, and encourage them to continue to express themselves through their artwork.


       As a part of my internship duties, I have the opportunity to participate with various project teams, interacting with youth artists on Mural projects in South LA. Each Mural has a different team and impact on the community. My first experience was February 9, 2017 at the workshop at EXPO Center. The art students came in eager to get started with Beth Peterson. They engaged in a discussion about health and were asked what they do to stay healthy. The students mentioned that they listen to music, participate in a sport, read, and draw. LA Commons does a very great job stimulating the mind, discussing questions that promotes thought and evokes emotion.  Later they were ask to draw a picture that illustrated the activity they did to stay healthy. They had the choice to choose from an activity that contributed to their mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual health. I enjoyed the workshop and I was happy that health was something being discussed during the workshop. I believe that health is important, especially mental and physical health and was satisfied that the students were not only drawing but engaging in discussion that made them think about health.