In My Own Words: Armand and Ali talk about Boys and Men of Color camp

City Heights Boys and Men of Color attendees

The California Endowment and Sierra Nevada Journeys supported a weeklong summer enrichment camp from July 15 to 21 in Portola – a California town 45 minutes northwest of Reno – for 115 boys and young men of color affiliated with Building Healthy Communities.

Attendees were 15 to 23 years old.

City Heights sent a group of seven boys and young men of color to attend the camp. Two of them talked about why they wanted to go.

The camp’s goals included fostering youth leadership development, increasing knowledge of health equity issues, forging relationships between young people across Building Healthy Communities and supporting team building in a natural environment.

This is what they wrote before they took off on their journey.

I’m Armand Binombe. I’m 16. I go to Crawford (High Educational Complex) and will be a junior this coming school year.

We are going to Portola, going for a summer Boys and Men of Color camp.

It’s for fun, but it’s mostly a leadership enrichment camp. So we are going to learn how to become leaders in our community and learn how to get involved in the community.

I’d like to bring back teen engagement. We don’t have a lot of teens being active in the community.

They don’t really get involved.

My name is Ali Ahmed. I’m 14. I’m going to Crawford. I’ll be a freshman this year. I’m going to the camp sponsored by The California Endowment and Sierra Nevada Journeys.

It is for Boys and Men of Color and the purpose is to try to get people from a bunch of cultures to understand each other. They will try to help the communities where they live and try to solve some of the problems there and make it a better place.

We will learn how to have the skills to resolve conflicts.

I’m excited about it.

It will be important to learn how to solve problems, because it is kind of an issue when you get in a fight or something and you don’t want to hurt someone, and you don’t want to argue. You just want to stop it.