By Anonymous

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or pretty much all my life I wondered why I had so many different doctors. I’m not sure how many doctors I had, but I remember when I was younger I went to San Francisco for doctor visits twice a year. When I was 13 years old, it was at one of these visits that I found out I have HIV. They told me that when I was born, my mother, who also has the virus, passed it on to me.

When I first found out that I had the virus, I didn’t know what it meant. I don’t think I’d ever even heard of HIV or AIDS before that day, so because of this I wasn’t really scared when I found out about it. I didn’t know what to say when they told me I had it, but I could tell it wasn’t a good thing to have because of the expressions on everyone’s faces and their tone when they told me about it. When they asked me if I had any questions, there was only one question I could think of: Was I going to die?

When they told me about it everything made sense. It made clear why my mom and I had to take special medication. After they told me the news, they told me about a summer camp for kids like me called Camp Kindle. It made clear why they always had a red ribbon at this camp.

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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