Editor’s note: This interview is part of our occasional “Meet the Beat” series, profiling our youth news team. Keven Almontes was interviewed by Boyle Heights Beat intern Diana Kruzman.

Keven Almontes, 17

Senior at Roosevelt High School

Why did you join BHB? 

I’m a very closed person – I don’t seek out other activities. Journalism was never something I planned on doing, but it sparked my interest, so I applied to seek out more opportunities and explore new things.

Keven Almontes (left) with Jesse Hardman and Carmen González in the studio recording Radio Pulso, a Boyle Heights Beat Podcast.

What do you most enjoy about Radio Pulso?

What I enjoy most is all the stories that are told. Print and audio are similar but with audio you feel more emotion, and you have more of a closer connection.

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

Running the sound board. I always thought radio was simple – I never knew what was behind the scenes, but through Radio Pulso I learned how to run the music, the audio clips. I run the whole two hours for the show.

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

I moved to Boyle Heights when I was 12 years old, but I was hesitant to explore my community because I knew about the stereotypes – that it’s dangerous, that there’s gang activity. Through BHB I learned about the history of Boyle Heights – the mom-and-pop shops, how everyone here is connected.

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

I’m more capable of stuff than I think I am. I always shut myself down, but writing stories helps me think more positively and think that I can actually do it. It made me more extroverted and social so I’m able to write more stories.

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

I’m not too sure if I’m going to continue working in journalism, but it’s definitely an option. It opened up a new pathway for me in college, and I plan on attending a four-year college. I like being behind the scenes of a camera or audio recording, so film is my top choice, and second is photography.

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

One challenge I overcame was being very closed and not being very open about myself. Talking to all the mentors and students from different schools around Boyle Heights made me feel like I’m not alone – we share similar problems, and here we all unite and work on the newspaper.

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

They love it. They’re really happy that I’m in it because they see that I enjoy doing it, and they want me to pursue it more.

All photos by Gus Ruelas

The Boyle Heights Beat team.

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.

The youth news team asks for your financial support to continue this important work in the coming year.

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