Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


Daughter of the River Jan 10, 2024

Written by Xienna Yepez, a CSUCI Service Learning student in Fall of 2020.

Confined to the elements,

I yield to nature, 

Accepting my gifts

And thankful for the power

That lives in me.

I am a daughter of the river

With water flowing

Through my veins.

It breathes life into me 

And washes over me like a wave 

I swim against the current 

And battle the tide   


Continue Reading...
The Importance of Poetry Jan 10, 2024

Written by Xienna Yepez, a CSUCI Service Learning student in Fall of 2020.

Poetry is significant and can play a major role in identity. As a woman of color, identity is a big part of my life and I look for new ways every day to express that through different forms of art. Being a creative girl with the support of my family and teachers, I’ve grown to know what suits me the best and how I...

Continue Reading...
First Generation Oct 24, 2023

Written by a CSUCI student.

Being a first-generation student is something to take pride in. Being the first person in your family to obtain a higher degree such as a bachelor’s or master’s is phenomenal. I never thought I would go to college after graduating high school. I had decided I wanted to work, and I wanted something quick that would make me money. I didn’t go to...

Continue Reading...
Dear Disappointment Sep 21, 2023

The following letter was written by Israel Lozano during our 2020 weekly writing group, The Green Walls Writer’s Project, in response to a prompt to write a letter to our feelings. 

Dear Disappointment,

It’s been six years since we’ve first met. Knowing you, you’re probably planning to surprise me with something soon. Maybe some seasonal depression, anxiety during...

Continue Reading...
Children Need Support Aug 09, 2023

Content warning: This post includes mentions of child abuse, trauma, and mental health issues.

Written by a CSUCI student.

Every day since I was born seemed to be toxic and filled with worry. My family was extremely broken from a very young age. My earliest memories are of being 2 or 3 years old. It’s funny how our greatest memories are usually the worst. I recall punishments that...

Continue Reading...
Depression Jan 23, 2023

Written by Sofia Noriega, a Ventura County high school student.

Artwork by Eve Zhong, a Medea Creek Middle School student.


The sadness I feel every day and night 

No one to talk to through the pain I hide

Feeling alone and empty through my life 

Tears in my eyes like a big ocean tide


I can still pretend and put on a smile

Questioning my existence, can't give in

Like a...

Continue Reading...
Never Stop Doing Right Dec 27, 2022

Written by Ava Li, a BRITE youth spokesperson.

I’m not perfect. It can be hard to accept, but failure is just a part of life. I really hate mistakes, because I hate to be wrong. Every time I lose a tennis match, every time someone is angry with me, or every time I get hurt… I always find myself choking on regret, I am always trying to find something that I did wrong, because...

Continue Reading...
Mental Health in the Teenage Years Dec 27, 2022

A short interview about mental health by Kai Yi Wang, BRITE Youth Leader.

On August 16 2020, I did an interview with a friend of mine who had experience with the struggles of mental health. I wanted to get her perspective of how she views mental health and her thoughts on it. I’m so thankful I was able to share her thoughts and experiences in this piece.

Kai Yi: Can you introduce yourself...

Continue Reading...
A Burning Question Dec 27, 2022

Written by Israel Lozano, a BRITE youth spokesperson.

Our souls are like a candle

We start with one spark 

And ultimately wait until it’s put out

Once again, left in the dark

Candles aren’t meant to be long lasting

Earth, wind, water, even fire

Our flames can diminish like

Dried up spinach and while we hope our flame 

Just lasts longer than the rest

That’s not how...

Continue Reading...
Breaking Traditions Dec 16, 2022

This post was written by a CSUCI student, featuring artwork by Ellawyn Wood.


"Machismo" in Spanish is a strong or aggressive masculine pride often associated with a man's role in a traditional family. Unlike a “quinceañera” which is a milestone for Latino girls in which they celebrate their transition from childhood to woman-hood, machismo is not celebrated at...

Continue Reading...
Mountains Nov 15, 2022

Written by a BRITE young adult spokesperson.

I think that everyone has a story that they have to tell, no matter their age, gender, or experiences in their life. Some stories are positive in all of their aspects, while others have more steps than others that have varying degrees of feelings. I can compare it to a mountainous landscape, full of valleys and peaks; some have flowers, others are...

Continue Reading...
On My Side of the Road Nov 15, 2022

Written by Alexis Shumack, a young adult.

“Just stay on your side of the road. Don’t look at the other cars, Lex. Just keep looking forward.”

In the last few months, my dad has been teaching me how to drive. I have this habit, however, of freaking out (a little) whenever another car comes tearing up the other side of the road. I shall paint you a picture:

I am jamming to Lizzo...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3

Are you a Ventura County Youth interested in writing?

Contact Us

 The BRITE program does not promote any unlawful use of drugs or alcohol.