“This city is quiet, they have many programs that benefit the community, and I’m very happy to be part of this valley.” These were the words of Maria Julia Lopez, a mother who attended the 3rd Annual Family Forum at San Gabriel High School, on why she loved the San Gabriel Valley.
Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) organized last Saturday's event which focused on providing parents and youth in the San Gabriel Valley with information regarding community engagement, health and safety, higher education, among other important issues. (Alhambra Source was a co-sponsor).
APALC is a legal and civic rights organization that assists Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). This year’s Family Forum started with the theme of “Strengthening the Hands of Our Community.” Over 200 people visited the workshops, watched performances, and attended the resource fair.
During the day-long program, there were 18 different workshops that parents and students could attend. For parents, there were sessions on areas like cooking a healthy Chinese meal as well as college finances and scholarships. Concurrent youth workshops included topics such as finding a job or finding a balance in life goals.
“I think we learned a lot of new stuff and it was nice to be exposed to more cultures,” said Sarah Kim, a junior at Mark Keppel High School who attended a workshop on art and drawing.
Besides the workshops, a resource fair of different organizations was held in the courtyard of the campus. The fair featured a number of health-related groups, such as Planned Parenthood and APA Healthcare. Participants were able to learn more about health topics through fliers, pamphlets, and demonstrations.
“As an organization, we understand how important families are in strengthening knowledge and helping themselves help each other,” said Mayra Yñiguez, a health educator with Planned Parenthood in Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley. “I’m very happy and overwhelmed to see community members take an active role in their own health.”
The day’s festivities ended with entertaining performances by the Taiko Center of Los Angeles and the Hi/Low Hip Hop Crew of San Gabriel High School. For those participants who attended workshops and the resource fair, they also had the opportunity to win raffle prizes like a rice cooker and an ACER laptop. The planning committee of students, parents, and staff of APALC worked tirelessly for the program with hopes that the resources and information would prove invaluable to the event attendees.
“In the San Gabriel Valley, there aren’t a lot of events that provide parents and students the resources that they need,” said Mike Pedro, Youth and Community Coordinator for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. “I hope it continues every year and that the parents know that we’re here to provide services to the community.”