Editor’s note: This interview is part of our occasional “Meet the Beat” series, profiling our youth news team. Carmen González was interviewed by Boyle Heights Beat youth journalist Marlén Gamas.

Carmen González, 17:

Felícitas and Gonzalo Méndez High School, Class of 2019

Why did you join BHB? 

I always loved writing and telling stories, so my teacher told me about BHB, and I joined.

Carmen González (right) on Radio Pulso a Boyle Heights Beat Podcast.

What do you most enjoy about Radio Pulso?

I enjoy live interviews on the podcast. Those are the most fun. I love interviewing people and talking to them. That’s where I create bonds with them. I like that it’s live and not edited or on paper – just two people having a conversation.

What’s something specific you’ve learned about producing live radio? 

Producing a live radio show is so much work. It’s very draining. You have to be full of energy. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun. If we make a mistake on air, we laugh at it.

What’s something you’ve learned through the program about your community? 

I’ve learned that there are people with opinions different from mine, and I’ve sometimes had to respect that to get my point across. Before, I would only consider people that thought like my part of my community. But now, through interviewing people for articles, I’ve found a sense of community in other spaces where not everyone thinks like me or agrees with what I agree with.

What’s something you’ve learned through the program about yourself? 

I learned that I work well under pressure. I also learned that I have a connection with Boyle Heights. Before, I wouldn’t consider myself a Boyle Heights resident, but now I definitely do. I think I realized that I like Boyle Heights and how much it impacted me and the way I see the world.

What are your college and career aspirations? Do you think you want to continue working in journalism? 

I’m a senior in high school, and I’m hoping to pursue journalism as my major. I’m going to pair it up with gender studies because I think women should be telling the stories of women. I hope to eventually have my own magazine. It’s hard for me to work under a boss, so I would need to create something.

Has the program helped you overcome any challenges or barriers? If so, tell us about it.

I think it just made me more confident as a writer. I’ve always had good speaking skills and interviewing skills, so it just took me up to the next level and built my confidence.

What do your family and community think of the Beat and/or your involvement with the Beat? 

My mom really likes it. My dad lives in Mexico, and every time my mom goes to Mexico with my siblings, we send out a stack of papers with my articles in it. They like that I’m in a room with other youth writing about issues that are important to us.

All photos by Gus Ruelas.

A former Boyle Heights Beat team with playwright Josefina López.

The Boyle Heights Beat has become a go-to news source for community residents, civic leaders and policymakers. The Beat also opens new horizons for its youth reporters, providing them with unparalleled experience in civic participation, critical thinking and community leadership.

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