Vicky Nguyen

San Francisco Bay Area Writer & Photographer

As COVID-19 Pandemic Rages On, Asian American Journalists Continue To Make Headlines

Unlike medical professionals, most journalists are not trained to work during a contagious virus outbreak, let alone a virus with so many unknowns. But as essential businesses, news outlets continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reporters are putting themselves at risk in order to get important, indispensable information out to the public while still trying to soothe people’s anxieties during unparalleled times. “It’s a parenting story; it’s an education story; it’s a personal invest

In Times Of Crisis, Creatives Are Helping Light The Way

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, but coping with the distress and emotional turmoil after this pandemic is going to take more than an injection or a pill. The damage it inflicts may reach much further and last much longer than the virus itself can spread. Outside, a war rages on—but inside the heads of millions of Americans, a whirlwind of anxiety and fear is its own battle. Housebound during quarantine, people are stuck reading story after news story about how bad circumstances are,

Black History Month Focuses on Voter Rights, Suppression

Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association to hold a lecture on Voting Rights this Saturday African Americans and the Vote is the theme for this year’s Black History Month, a topical subject for an election year. Appropriately, the theme coincides with the 150th Anniversary of the 15th Amendment. The 15th Amendment, which stated no citizen would be denied a vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” was meant to guarantee the vote to Black men after the American Civil

Annual Homeless Count Begins in Monrovia

Volunteers hit the streets of Monrovia to count homeless during the first day of the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count Tuesday. The count is designed and run by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to help understand and fight homelessness. Due to the large geography of Los Angeles County, the count is split into three days. The Monrovia count is a part of the count for San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys during the first day. West Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles and South Bay w

Christmas Decorations Light Up Homes, Light Up Hearts in Monrovia

One of the great thrills that we can look forward to during the holidays is enjoying the lights and decorations that people put on their homes. Most houses might put up a string of lights or two, but for the most spectacular, beautiful, and elaborate displays, Monrovia acknowledges the remarkable hard work of homes and businesses to spread Christmas cheer during an annual home decorating contest. Winners from the contest hope their displays inspire and strengthen community togetherness in Monro

History Lives on Through Jose Antonio Aguirre’s Public Art

It’s easy to think public art as background noise. It’s natural to dismiss as too peripheral for busy commuters and distracted passerbys to ever stop and take notice. But muralist Jose Antonio Aguirre, who has 35 permanent artworks commissioned in various places (Southern California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Mexico), believes that the value of public art is how easily it becomes a part of our everyday lives.

Lighting technician speaks on experience in Hong Kong riots

Gigi Yue was afraid to breathe. She was hit by tear gas fired by Hong Kong police into a crowd of pro-democracy protesters, and all she could do was try to avoid inhaling the white smoke, which creates a burning sensation in the eyes and lungs. “You just hear people. They’re shouting ‘Move! Move! Go away!’ and then smoke starts to come, and then you know you got to run, because it’s coming at you,” Yue said.

Monrovia Student Suspended After Warning Peers of School Threat on Social Media

Parents say their son was wrongfully suspended from Monrovia High School after he warned others about a possible school shooting threat on social media in September. Wayne Perry believes the punishment for his son, who does not wish for his name to be published, was partially motivated by race and a result of a rushed investigation by authorities. “They rushed to judgement and just assumed my son created this whole mess, and because of it, they tried to expel him from the school,” Perry said.

Kinesiology Department lacks Air Conditioning

The Kinesiology Department has filed a work environment grievance for lack of air conditioning in several rooms within department buildings. The grievance was filed in August after repeated failures to rectify the problem over the course of eight years. The grievance was for lack of air conditioning in fitness rooms as well as faculty offices. Faculty have since been moved to bungalows, but the lack of air conditioning in the classrooms are still pending. The Kinesiology Department rooms are

Fire Department Expedites Removal of Brush Hazard

Living in a high fire severity zone such as Monrovia means taking responsibility to comply with brush clearance requirements. While most Monrovians comply, a handful of homeowners have difficulty or refuse to comply with requirements, several citations have been issued. Stubborn homeowners will be given three citations and increasing fines before the case goes through an abatement process with a city attorney to determine if the fire department can legally clear the brush. In a worst-case scena

UPS partnership to offer training for rehab youth

For youth in juvenile rehabilitation camps, finding work upon release can be a daunting task. To address this issue, East Los Angeles College has been working with the Los Angeles County Probation and United Postal Service to provide youth with job opportunities in the logistics industry after discharge. The creation of the 10-week, three-course program was led by ELAC logistics professor Leonardo Medina. Initially offering one course last fall to Camp Afflerbaugh, a rehabilitation center in

Speech and Debate Team brings home win

The East Los Angeles College Speech and Debate Team won their second consecutive community college championship title at the National Forensics Association Tournament in Santa Ana, which ran from April 18-22. At NFA, the team competed against four-year universities as well as other community colleges. They placed second among California schools and 17th in the nation overall. When the team went up to receive their award during the awards ceremony, the sound was cut on the video recording, becau

Workshop provides employment skills training

Students received training on collaboration methods at a trial for a series of employment skill workshops on Friday at East Los Angeles College. The “21st Century Employability Workshop” on collaboration was a follow-up to a workshop on resume-building run by the Child, Family, and Education Studies Department. The collaboration workshop included training in conflict resolution and team development. Students were required to participate in several exercises, such as creating an ad campaign as

Facebook group helps Huskies resolve issues

When Jasine Cumplido was looking for a job as a student on East Los Angeles College campus, she could have spent hours researching online. Instead, Cumplido drafted a question and posted it on Facebook. “Does anyone know of any departments on campus that hire student workers without work study?? I need a job and I just found out I don’t qualify for work study because I’m receiving [sic] a Cal Grant,” Cumplido’s post reads. Within 20 minutes after Cumplido posted her original question, she beg

Anthropology professor overcomes dyslexia

Christine Sepulveda sometimes puts the wrong address into her GPS. She will enter the wrong numbers, causing her and her husband to drive around in circles. When she is teaching her anthropology classes at East Los Angeles College, she mumbles to herself the words and numbers as she writes problems on the board. If she is sleepy or stressed out, she says things backward. “I might say something like, ‘Egg cells in males and sperm cells in females,’ and I’ll realize as it’s coming out and everyb

Toni Harris more than a dreamer

Simply known as Toni to friends, the 22-year-old free safety has since starred in a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, granting her all kinds of attention by press and social media. When it comes to her dreams, Antoinette Harris won’t let anyone veer her off the trail she’s blazing. Despite demonstrating her asset to the football team when she first came to East Los Angeles College in 2017, the staff initially had reservations about how a female athlete would fit in

Construction begins on housing for homeless veterans

EXPOSITION PARK — Construction of a $32 million supportive housing complex for homeless veterans in Exposition Park began Dec. 14. The RISE Apartments, at 4050 S. Figueroa St., is intended for those making 30 to 50 percent of the area median income and transitioning into a supportive housing community. “The groundbreaking for the RISE apartments was yet another giant step in the city’s effort to eliminate homelessness and ensure our most vulnerable people have a shot at living a life of dignit

Bill calls for two years of free tuition at community colleges

LOS ANGELES — Under a proposed California law, first-time community-college students attending full-time could be given two years of free tuition. Assembly Bill 2 was introduced on Dec. 4 at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. It is intended as a step toward free community college for students in California. Currently, the program in California waives the first year of community college for all first-time, full-time students. The bill will extend this to include a second year. It will be heard

Karen Bass to serve as chair of Congressional Black Caucus

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Rep. Karen Bass will prioritize highlighting activities of Congressional Black Caucus members as the new caucus chair for the incoming 116th Congress. “One of my primary goals is to lift up the accomplishments of individual members of the Congressional Black Caucus so that black Americans understand exactly what the Congressional Black Caucus has done and is doing, especially in the Trump era,” Bass said. Bass, who will serve her fifth term representing the 37th Congressiona
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