[dropcap]The biggest risk[/dropcap] I have ever taken was to lie to my parents. I know lying is not good but in my case it kind of is. I lied to my parents and it feels bad but in a way I know it’s for their own good. It’s hard to explain.

I come from a traditional Mexican family. A family believes that drinking and smoking is a sin, and staying a virgin until the day you say “I do” is the way life should be. To me it’s hard lying to my parents because when I lie, I start to panic. I believe that honesty is the key to a good relationship with your family, friends, co-workers and even your life partner.

But when it comes to the point where I have to disappoint someone who means a lot to me, honesty is not the first thing on my mind. In my house, when you do something bad, there is never a forgive-and-forget. The wrong choice haunts you for the rest of your life.

I’m making it seem like I did something really bad but in reality, it’s not that bad. My risk involved not telling my parents that I liked girls and that I wasn’t into guys.[pullquote_right] My risk involved not telling my parents that I liked girls and that I wasn’t into guys.[/pullquote_right]

I’m the youngest and only living daughter in my house, so there are reasons why I would keep this a secret. After losing two sisters, I was the only little girl who survived, the visitor from heaven, you could say.

My two older sisters died when they were babies. They didn’t get a chance to live. Then there is me, the last child. I was a miracle. I was born near on New Years, like one hour away from midnight. There was something wrong with me though. I had to stay in the hospital for almost three weeks until I was able to breath and eat like a normal baby.

My mother said that after losing two babies, they couldn’t take the pain of losing one more, so I was their last hope. As I grew up, my parents were very protective, so it’s hard for me to disappoint them.

I finally realized that if my parents love me so much, they should still love me for who I am, so I told them the truth. My dad looked at me differently for a while but I could tell he still loved me. My mom thought I was crazy and insisted I see a doctor. But after a month, things went back to normal. The risk of telling them was difficult and weird, but it’s a risk I’m glad I took.

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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