Aldo Macias Arellano
Parent Organizer, Los Angeles at California Charter Schools Association (CCSA)
Garfield High School, Class of 2009
Kalamazoo College, Class of 2013
B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy and minor in a Sociology
‘In college, I started my own advocacy group for first-generation students.’
Do you have a favorite moment being a part of InnerCity Struggle?
What I will always appreciate about InnerCity Struggle and its United Students program was the political education on the status quo of our inner-city public schools and advocating for more A-G courses. I enjoyed the camaraderie between students from other high schools, the organizers, and InnerCity Struggle leadership. As well as the Bay Area college tour, which exposed me to visualize higher education. I always wonder if InnerCity Struggle still has those vans they used to pick us up from school and take us back home.
How did being a part of InnerCity Struggle as a youth impact who you are today?
InnerCity Struggle was a support system outside my family and school. It was outlet for student voice and creativity. It taught me how resourceful a community can be if we all work together.
What are you doing now?
InnerCity Struggle taught me to care about public education, especially for low-income Latino populations. In college, I started my own advocacy group for first-generation students. After college, I pursued a path that would allow me to organize my community to improve conditions for students in East LA. At CCSA, I am able to speak out for my community and set strategy for public policy.
Did InnerCity Struggle play a role in influencing your college and career path today?
Very much. At the end of the day, InnerCity Struggle was one of the reasons for which I was motivated to pursue higher education. The organizers were there for me when I lacked mentorship. The values that I took from collective actions, the building of community, and civic engagement are those which I practice today in my career.
What advice would you give to young people today?
Always ask for help and speak out. Our community is full of resources waiting to be found through networking.
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