It’s been an emotional high for many of us celebrating the unprecedented victory of Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States! We know there are many challenges and questions that lie in the months and years ahead, but we can at least breathe a sigh of relief knowing that change is around the corner, knowing that Americans desire something better, knowing we have just witnessed history…The kNOw Youth had something to say as well.


“Omar”, 17
I’m happy that Obama won. He’s for the people so I know my voice will be heard. Obama has a lot of work to do for us and we have a lot to say so it makes it hard for him to think about things for the youth and teens because we have to deal with what happened in the past. Obama has to know that the U.S. is not an easy country to run and he will have to work hard for the people.

Laqusha, 20
I’m very excited and overwhelmed with joy that Obama is president of the USA! I am now proud to be an American. It’s so cool to see a minority as president. Aside from everything else that qualifies Obama to be president, it’s a plus that he is African American. He gives our people hope.

Gracie, 16
For me personally, I’m just very glad that Election Day has passed. The president has been picked and we can all move on with our lives. I’m sick and tired of people always talking about politics and sending me text messages that state the tallies for the presidential runners, which weren’t very accurate. Although I’m very disappointed that Prop 8 passed in California, there’s always room for change in the future. With the future generations, we are getting our voice out there. If people don’t like it then that’s too bad because our voices are meant to be heard and will be heard.

Peter, 16
I am really happy that a new person was elected because I despised Bush for being in office for too long. I’m glad that America has pivoted away from an only white male president. For me, I am pro-Democrat because the conservative ways are pro-industrial and pro-business which isn’t all too healthy for our natural lands. I also come from a low-income family, which the Democratic party helped. I am not too happy about all the propositions that did and didn’t pass because I was against prop 8 and 1A but I can’t say anything because I’m not 18 yet.

Anna, 17
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 is a day that will always be remembered. A day that made history. Many people were happy, and some were angry from the results. I believe that everything that happened was done for a reason. Even though I didn’t agree with some of the propositions that were passed, I believe that sooner or later everything will fall into place. I was happy that Obama won though. I feel that he will change America. His victory speech was strong. He showed me he could be a good president. I honestly believed he wouldn’t be a good president at first, but then as I listened to what he had to say, I was able to understand his goals as president. He wants to work with America. He wants the people to show him what they need. He wants the people that don’t want him as a president to show him what they need. Show him how he can make America a better place. I believe everything happened happens for a reason.

Marcus, 18
I feel the results of the election made history in many ways. One being that we have the first African American as president, and also that the country united in finding a solution to its many trials and tribulations. Obama promised to bring upon this country a better environment for everyone, from immigrants, to the poor, to ending the Iraq War. Obama makes this nation an example of all that is possible and gives Americans a new outlook on life in the sense that we can accomplish goals that will move us forward and become productive.

Jaleesa, 18
I am overjoyed that the election has come to an end. Everywhere I have turned, someone was talking about one of the propositions or the presidential candidates. Yes, Obama won, McCain lost—it’s as simple as that. It’s all over, finally…

I am extremely disappointed that Prop 8 passed, but that only proves how close-minded and conservative some people really are. I would have thought California, a place where people came to live alternative lifestyles, a place famous for being so liberal, would not pass a proposition that would make it a law to discriminate against its GLBT citizens. Honestly, it disgusts me, but in all actuality, I must remember that not all people were raised as I was, or have the same beliefs I do. I am proud to say that I voted, but it feels crushing that the proposition I thought wasn’t going to pass did. The people of California have spoken. It is said and done. There is nothing we can do about it…for now…just wait, only four more years, this isn’t over yet.

Kevis, 17
I was working at the polls on Election Day and it was a very unique experience. I’m getting the chance to see what it’s like in a polling place, and getting to know people that I will probably never get to see again in a lifetime. It was very tiring but fun to see how people react at the polls. The only part I didn’t like was the end when we had to put everything away.

Arena, 16
I have so many thoughts running through my mind after Election Day. First off, I’d like to say that I’m really happy and excited that Obama won! No, he did not just win, but he won by a landslide! This really shows that American wants change. I’d also like to say that I’m happy that I was part of history in the making. When people ask where I was when Obama won, I can say that I was working at a polling place in West Fresno, Precinct 9 to be exact. It just makes me feel so ecstatic about our future. Obama winning isn’t just about making history and changes, but his victory also opens so many doors for the underdogs. It he can do it, then so many other people can too.

Chanda, 20
I don’t care who won the presidency this year because of how everyone in my family has been talking and because I didn’t want anyone to be mad at me for choosing the wrong person. I hope that Obama does a good job. I hope Obama and McCain can get along and that McCain agrees to help Obama with whatever he wants help on. I am glad that Obama won. Even if hadn’t won, it would still be put in the history books because for the first time we had a woman and a Black man run for president. And now we have a Black president. All we have to do in the next election is try to actually get a good enough woman candidate to run and to win the presidency. I don’t know if we made the right decision but we won’t find out until we let Obama try to be the best president ever.

People need to learn how to give everyone a chance and not put them down just because he is not the one they wanted to win. Everyone has their opinion, choice, and ideas but that’s what makes us unique and different, and that’s why we went with change.

Victoria, 16
“Yes we can” is what I will look for this upcoming four years. I am ecstatic for the fact that Obama has made history. FDR has shown his 100 days in office as an outstanding president. This is what I’m looking forward to in 2009. As far as talking about politics, it’s far too complicated. I have screamed at my friend about propositions and I deeply regret it. I am happy for the future and the “yes we can” attitude.

Dasen, 17
I am overjoyed right here, right now, at this very moment! We’re making history by having our very first president as an African American. Not only will this affect America, but also every part of the world. On Election night, as I listened to the Hmong radio channel, KBIF 900AM, many people called in and expressed their feelings about the new president. The majority of people who called were very happy with the results while others had known nothing until then.

I believe Obama will be a wonderful and strong president. I hope he fulfills his promises and leads this nation to a new era of government. I was very touched to hear his victory speech. I loved the way he related the history of the U.S. to show how far we have come as a nation. The lady he mentioned, Anne Nixon Cooper, touched me most and made me almost break into tears. I can picture myself in her position and experiencing one century of the U.S. and then finally seeing this change.

Patrice, 17
I am so overjoyed at the moment that I can’t even speak! I can’t wait to let my future kids know that I was a part of something so big. I was here and working when we had our first Black president. I witnessed history. I feel honored and humbled and I want to take on the world. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Jesse, 17
God has opened a window and showed people that you can live life without limits. I am highly joyous and its contagious to know that change has swept the atmosphere, and also that for this coming year there is a lot to be done. Obama has a lot to tackle, rebuild and tear down, but he can’t get it done alone. There are many things that he can’t tackle by himself, like high teen pregnancy rates, or helping broken families stay together. These are just some of the issues that we as average citizens can focus on. We will be “one together” in the U.S.

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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