My Pillar For Life, My Grandma

My Pillar For Life

One of the oldest people I know in my life is my grandmother. My grandmother has a rich history, from her life growing up with my great-uncles and great-aunts going to school, from getting in trouble, to memories of meeting and dealing with my mom and uncles and her husband.

My grandmother is a short, stout little woman who has a lot of power not only in her hands, but also in her voice. Just hearing her say “why don’t you go and sit down somewhere and stay out of grown folks conversation” to “come in and wash up and get ready to eat.”

My grandmother is an awesome woman. She loved cooking for lots of people and she is very compassionate. She is one of the pillars in my life. Just hearing her say “hello” when I call her makes me warm inside and think back on when she would take care of me. Just thinking about all those times when I bugged her and she would send me outside to play. And then I think about other times when she scolded me for coming in late, or when I was sent home from school, how she constantly told me that my education is important.

My grandmother has taught me a lot. She’s the only person who gave me inspiration to keep going through all my failures, and to overcome. She always gave words of encouragement to me no matter the situation. Come to think of it, she’s not just my grandmother, she’s my mama! I love her taste in style. She’s a woman of integrity and excellence, and she will tell it like it is. “If you don’t like it, chicken butt, go around the house and lick it up.” I thank God that I got to know a woman like her.
-Jesse, 17

Granny Lidy

Every family has or had a “family jewel”—the oldest person in the family; the one who has basically seen it all and has a great deal of wisdom. In my family, Granny Lidy is that precious jewel. She is somewhere around 90 years old (or older), I’m not sure. She is sick right now, but she refuses to stay in the hospital. She’s very stubborn, set in her own ways. She is my great-great grandmother and she means a lot to me. She lives in my hometown, Bakersfield, CA.

When I was little, I used to visit her a lot. She was so nice and always gave me what I wanted. I was her favorite and she was mine. It’s funny because she has always been old to me and I’m overwhelmed with happiness that she is still alive. From her, I learned family values and togetherness, because when I would go over, she would always have my older cousins come and spend time with me.

She taught me good manners and ever since I was little I’ve known how to clean up after myself. She taught me how to love myself. She always let me know how I pretty I was and made a big deal out of everything when I did right, praising me and rewarding me.

My Granny Lidy plays a huge role in our family. My family is very separated, but if there is anyone who can bring us together, it’s her. I love my Granny, the way her eyes light up when she sees me. She always shows me how happy she is to see me. Sometimes when I’m at her house, I catch her staring at me and I already know why. She misses me and I miss her. I remember when I would spend the night with her, I always wore her nightgowns that were way too big for me, trying to walk I would stumble my way into her bed. Then she would come and tuck me in. Then she would lie next to me in bed and I knew that everything was all right.

Writing this piece has made me realize how much I miss my Granny. I love her so much and I miss the old times. I wish I had a time machine, or I hope to dream of those memories, so I can feel what I felt over and over again.
-Laqusha, 21

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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