As a new year approaches, the Boyle Heights Beat news team is excited to embark  on  new projects, stories and journeys.

With the community’s support, we’ve already  accomplished a great deal.  Youth reporters just published the fifth edition of our quarterly bilingual newspaper.  Meanwhile, our talented adult contributors are sharing their insights on community life on  and  As this  video  by local journalist Steve Saldivar shows, Boyle Heights Beat transforms the lives of the young reporters and gives voice to a vibrant, community whose stories often go untold.

In this season of giving, please consider a donation  to help sustain our work in 2013.   

tshirt bhbBoyle Heights Beat, a youth reporter and junior at Theodore Roosevelt High School, captures the spirit of Boyle Heights Beat well:

“People that care for the community are involved in writing for the community. It gives not a sense of family, but a sense of unity. You know who you are writing for.”

More about Boyle Heights Beat

La Opinión  distributes  Boyle Heights Beat’s print edition  to 23,000 homes, and it is also available at schools, businesses, and community centers – reaching most of the nearly 90,000 community residents here.

With guidance from seasoned journalists at  La Opinión  and the  USC Annenberg School of Journalism,  teens from three local high schools work countless hours to report and tell the unique stories of our neighborhood.   Dedicated community members also serve as sources and guides.

Jennifer Lam’s data-rich story on  the proliferation of liquor stores in Boyle Heights  made the front page of  La Opinión  and  helped prompt state inspection visits here. That story, and Jennifer’s recent look at  the lack of green space    in Boyle Heights, came from discussions with concerned residents at our regular community meetings.   Another youth reporter, Yazmin  Núñez,   responding to community concerns, recently wrote a thoughtful article on the lack of healthy food choices titled  “Is Boyle Heights a food desert or a food swamp?”

Adult contributors, meanwhile, share their stories online. Teacher Gene Dean recently videotaped perspectives of  his Roosevelt High  students, and  Jesús Hermosillo, who grew up in  Wyvernwood Garden Apartments,  wrote a thoughtful essay on the need for gun control, prompted by a recent shooting at a Food4Less and the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We also like to celebrate Boyle Heights’ cultural riches, including its  traditions,  art  and  music scene.

Please help us continue the work we do at Boyle Heights Beat through 2013! We will provide a Boyle Heights Beat t-shirt for gifts of $30 or more.

Your support will help provide the following essential services and equipment:

Voice recorder: $50

Camera: $200

Laptop:   $400

Meals for 15 hungry youth reporters: $150

Roundtrip bus transportation to work with  La Opinión: $300

Student stipend for one semester: $250

One month of intensive mentoring for up to 7 reporters: $360

Printing costs: $2,500

How to make a contribution:

Boyle Heights Beat is a project of  La Opinión  and the  USC Annenberg School of Journalism. To make a  tax-deductible contribution  this year, please make your check out to  “University of Southern California”  and write “Boyle Heights Beat” in the memo field. If your letter is postmarked by December 31, it will be treated as a 2012 contribution. Please  send your gift   to:

Megan Buehler, Assistant Director of Development

USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

3502 Watt Way, Suite 304

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281

You can also give a gift online by following these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on a choice: “I am making a new one-time gift” or “I am making a recurring gift.”
  3. Under  Choose Where to Direct your Gift, select:  Please direct my gift to a specific school or program.
  4. A long list of programs will appear. Scroll to the very bottom and check the box that says:  Search all schools and funds.
  5. Type in  USC Boyle Heights Beat Fund  and then “Next.”
  6. Ensure that the phrase  “USC Boyle Heights Beat Fund”  appears on the next screen.
  7. Follow the instructions for a credit card payment.
  8. Questions or problems paying online? You can also leave a message with your name and number for the USC Annenberg Development Office at:  213-821-1660.   That phone will be checked once a day during the holidays. Be sure to mention you want your gift to go to  Boyle Heights Beat.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!!

Michelle Levander and Pedro Rojas

Co-Editors & Publishers

And the Boyle Heights Beat News Team

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