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Unaccompanied minor. Asylee. Immigrant. Migrant. Refugee. 1st Gen. Undocumented. There are many definitions of youth who seek a new life in the US. There is one definition that fits them all:
-to endure 


 "¡Aguantate!" chided in Spanish  by parents  or groups of friends  when someone is complaining means, "Suck it up!"  

When you say it to yourself, it means 

"hold on"













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Jonathan Fein Proaño, Integrations Manager for the Unaccompanied Children's program at the International Rescue Committee in Los Angeles helps us understand the challenges and paths to citizenship for youth seeking asylum in the US.   And what do all those letters mean, anyway?

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There for You
Child Translators
American Dream

                                     Angelica Benitez

   embodies the toughness that it takes

         push past your challenges and the

beauty nurtured by an open heart

   and mind. Her sense of social

        justice and belief in the

        power of narrative are

invigorating. She has been

 with connectopod since

the age of ten.  She started

    Mission College this year!


  The Wisdom of Angie B...

Pacoima Pioneers
Big Sky
Children's voices
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The freight trains that cross Mexico are known as ‘La Bestia’ – the beast. Photograph: Zuma Press/Alamy


Angie B 

This was Angie at 10

While on one of her stops on her way to the US, Karina showed her work in a gallery in Poland. Here she shares her perceptions of her journey through her art. Karina speaks 5 languages!


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                                                              First-generation Victoria Benitez

interviews her 'mama valorosa' (courageous mother) in Spanish with an English intro.

  Vicky says interviewing her single mom  Norma, gave her a deeper insight into

-and appreciation of- her mom's fighting spirit. A fighting spirit that Vicky has

obviously inherited! Just listen to the one-minute intro to her piece! Vicky is a great

writer. She took the initiative to record and edit on her own.



Vicky's intro

        "Through life's ups and downs, we've had a good time. Despite the fright of the drops and

loops. Enjoying the ride called life, because the people we are with make it special.

My ride or die,.


Mi Mama Valorosa."  




A group of students working on a story for Connectopod uncover the journals of researcher John C. at the Canoga Park LAPL. He had discovered a new planet: K-68. The team pieces together the history of this planet, which sounds quite a bit like our own. Is  K-68 doomed to repeat our mistakes? Will ORB be able to restore balance? Who are the Paused and the Resumed? Find out!

Created by Fernando Avalos, Jennifer Maqueda, Norsorrfhia Cardenas, Ixchel Lopez, Quetzali Lopez, Marcia Melkonian, Betsy Foldes Meiman

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                                                                    Daniela Catalan has been a Connectopod                                                                                Reporter  since the age of 10! She is also first                                                                         generation, making good on the opportunities her                                         parents sacrificed for.  Now 18, she is combining  her natural organizational  and leadership skills in college, as she seeks to build toward a career in business.In the meantime, she manages her whole department at Six Flags!


     In Isabella Saeedy's fast-paced screenplay with a cast of quirky characters, Catherine, an environmental studies major at Columbia battles power, money, and hypocrisy to save the life of a neglected tree in Central Park who is slated to be cut down. All while struggling to finish her dissertation in time to graduate!

  Isabella Is first generation Iranian. We first met her on the Connectopod/Los Angeles Public Library/CSUN Strength United collaboration -The Domestic Violence Awareness Project, which culminated in a published graphic novel and three podcasts.    

 Isabella passed away this summer.  

 We thought the best way to honor her was to celebrate the talent she used in the service of making the world a better place. This project was to be a gift to Isabella's memory and to her family. 


It turned out to be her gift to us.

This funny and touching screenplay was recorded at Literati Audio by Connectopod peers,                  professional actors and audio producers, a professional director who is also a USC professor,                   and some of his students. We wanted to create the trajectory Isabella imagined.