Jesus Alonso Jr. is growing up in Lamont. His mother Amada (member of Vecinos Unidos) works long hours at a local packing plant, and Jesus Sr. is a maintenance worker. They are proud of Jesus, who is taking an active leadership role in his community. Jesus attributes much of his success to the DHF youth program:
“Before the youth group, I only thought about what I’m going to do with my life and how I’m going to improve my life. Now, I see the success of my community as being intertwined with my own success.”
Jesus first encountered the DHF Youth Program with his younger brother on a sweltering hot summer day at the “Waterganza”, a social forum for youth that included water games for entertainment. Soon after, they went on their first ever camping trip with DHFY.
Jesus, along with his peers have hosted health fairs, planned a Haiti relief Benefit Concert, organized soccer tournaments, volunteered for the Vecinos Unidos Christmas Toy Drive, participated in a youth Lock-In (24 hours of games and activities.), and gone on camping trips all over California. In addition, he engaged in educational outreach and voter awareness drives that resulted in the passage of a measure that increased infrastructure and recreation funding for the city of Arvin. Jesus is currently taking an active lead in establishing an organic community garden in Lamont.