Jesus Almaraz, Youth Journalist
Jesus is a 19-year old Mexican. He was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and brought to the US at age four. He has lived in Long Beach ever since. Being an undocumented youth, Jesus has had alot of struggles growing up until began to volunteer for the community. He is an organizer with Californians for Justice and Building Healthy Communities Long Beach and participates with coalitions in L.A. and Boyle Heights. Jesus wants to use his talent in filmmaking and photography to amplify the voices of the youth in the community.
Alyson Bryant, Youth Journalist
Alyson Bryant Is 23 years old raised in Long Beach and a Long Beach Poly High Graduate. While in high school Alyson has learned and seen a lot. She’s witnessed first-hand gang violence and seen the impacts and the effects it had on her friends and fellow classmates– from going to jail and being killed. As a result, she has a strong passion for at-risk youth and her community. She is a youth mentor for at the California Conference for Equality and Justice and focuses her work on Long Beach youth in schools and detention centers. Since high school, she has obtained a A.S. degree in criminal justice and is now working on her B.A. With the opportunity she has be given by Voicewaves, she is able to tell story about Long Beach and the issues it faces and speak for the communities whose voices are often marginalized.
Justine Calma, Youth Journalist
Justine is a journalist with a passion for social justice: her experience as an immigrant woman of color have led her to pursue issues in women’s empowerment, and be guided by the principal “think globally, act locally.” She graduated from UC Irvine in 2010 with degrees in International Studies and Literary Journalism. While in college she was involved with the Filipino student organization, Kababayan, and was part of the student movement for affordable education. After college she joined Public Allies LA, an Americorps program that provides individuals with personal and professional development to lead in the nonprofit sector. While at Public Allies Justine interned with Khmer Girls in Action, where she now works full-time as a media & program coordinator.
Joshua Jimenez, Youth Journalist
Joshua is a 19 year old Filipino American, born and raised on the Eastside of Long Beach. Growing up on the Eastside is rough, especially for Joshua, growing up in gangs, drugs, and seeing struggle with his close friends and family. It wasn’t until he started getting involved with activism in the Filipino community that he was getting in touch with his culture. He now educates and organizes Filipino youth and his peers about their culture and the issues they face in our community. Joshua wants to use his passion of making documentary films about the stories of working class people in his community to give voice to the working class Filipinos in the city of Long Beach.
Adalhi Montes, Youth Journalist
As a teenager, Adalhi began volunteering at many programs helping our communities become healthier and safer to provide resources to people in need. He was involved with Weed and Seed in Central Long Beach and is a youth mentor for the California Conference for Equality and Justice. Adalhi is also in the process of completing the neighborhood leadership program at the Advanced Organizing Institute and is studying Radio and television broadcasting at LBCC. In the future, he looks forward to joining the Marine Corps and continuing his education.
Patrick Moreno, Youth Beat Reporter
Patrick Moreno is a 23-year old graduate of the CSULB department of journalism. He wrote for the Daily 49er while at CSULB, and was hired in September as a beat reporter for Voicewaves. Moreno has spent more than a year reporting on the diverse communities of Long Beach, and loves to tell the stories of the people he calls his neighbors.
Originally from Ventura California, Moreno studied photography for 5 years before transferring to CSULB to work on his writing.
At the heart of his work is Moreno’s love for culture and the arts, but it is through factual and fair reporting that he hopes to transform his community into a place where people can express themselves and continue to thrive. Patrick is also a musician, artist and photographer, beach bum, and capoerista!
Taitu Negus, Youth Journalist
Taitu Negus is a 16 year old junior attending Millikan High School. She has been a resident of Central Long Beach for 10 years. Taitu assists in small events at her school and enjoys helping in the community. She has won awards for her writing and has been on honor roll throughout her school years. She is also a part of the National Honors Student Society due to her academic performance. She would like to attend UCLA or Pomona College to study at the undergraduate level before eventually attaining a D.D.S. and/or M.D.D.
Taitu is interested in digital media, math, science, and helping the more disadvantaged areas of Long Beach become progressive in their daily living habits.
Carl Phillips, Youth Journalist
Carl Phillips is a college student and native of Long Beach. He’s a human rights activist who is currently studying journalism at Long Beach City College. After graduating high school in 2005, he took some time off to learn about himself, to accept his entire identity — homosexual orientation included. It was after this self-acceptance that he could move forward and progress; part of this progression was finding ways to help his community. Carl was able to do this by working for the Long Beach Public Library, where he helps to write resumes and with computer services.
Carl believes in the journalist’s obligation to report the truth. He believes people need the truth in order to make informed, healthy decisions. Carl enjoys reading and writing immensely; they are two of his favorite pass times. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and learning new things.
John Oliver Santiago, Youth Journalist
John Oliver Santiago recently immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 2004. He is the youngest born of a conservative and traditional Filipino family. He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School and was part of the prestigious Program of Additional Curricular Experience (PACE) program — a college-prepatory program highly regarded across the nation. John Oliver was a part of the California Scholarship Club for three years. And, for three years, he competed at the National History Day Competition in the Documentary Division — taking home an Honorary Mention and placing First on the County Level which allowed him to make it to the State Championships. John Oliver is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, after taking 10 Advanced Placement tests and scoring an average of 3 or higher. John Oliver was selected as speaker for his high school graduation, performing a spoken word poem in front of over 500 graduating students and their families.
John Oliver currently attends Long Beach City College, with the hopes of transferring to University of California, Berkeley in two years. At UC Berkeley, he plans on double-majoring in economics and international policy. He intends to ultimately work for the State Department. He also enjoys writing spoken word poetry and reading. After living in Long Beach for nearly seven years, he wants to see it held in the same regard as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York — a culturally, socially, and economically important part of the United States.
Daniel Tavai, Youth Journalist
Daniel Tavai is a Samoan American who has lived through out California, Hawaii, and in Samoa. He is versed in all aspects of digital video production including cinematography and non-linear editing. Through VoiceWaves, Daniel is interested in bringing to light issues affecting the Samoan American and Polynesian American communities such as gang violence as well as the loss of cultural identity.
Michelle Zenarosa, Project Content Coordinator + Executive Editor
Michelle Zenarosa is a media-maker committed to building alternative and vibrant community media platforms. She has worked as a journalist for over a decade at various media outlets that include local newspapers, news wires and industry trade magazines, as well as non-profits like the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and Population Connection in Washington, D.C. and groups like INCITE! DC Women of Color Against Violence and Off Our Backs Magazine. Growing up in the diverse Southern California area, she is dedicated to grassroots community-based journalism at the local and hyperlocal level, where she believes it has some of the most direct impact. She has been a facilitator for storytelling by youth in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Palestine.
Michelle received her bachelors in journalism and peace studies at Cal State Long Beach and masters in public affairs journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her work has also been featured in independent magazines like Left Turn, $pread, Make/Shift, MaximumRocknRoll and LOUDmouth.
Antonio Ruiz, Director of Community Engagement
Antonio Ruiz manages several production and social networking entities under the banner of actionsandsolutions.com. First, as Executive Producer of Really Big Boom Productions, he is a developer and producer of creative content for a spectrum of digital media platforms.
Ruiz earned his reputation as a seasoned executive producer specializing in live television events and large scale productions for over 16 years. As the former Executive Producer of Live Events for E! Networks, Antonio helped build a brand identity that has become a pop culture icon, the Red Carpet. He executive produced live coverage of award shows, including the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, Grammys, Primetime Emmys, as well as live movie premieres and the ultimate icon “Fashion Police.”
Under the banner The Creativity Network, Antonio Ruiz is a producer of a promotional and marketing website for Arts and Culture. Long a Arts and Culture Advocate, Ruiz has created a public-private network that seeks to build a network to develop and train the next generation of Creatives.
Active in community affairs, Ruiz is a ember of the Arts Council for Long Beach Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. He’s also the past Chair of the Steering Committee of the Connected Corridor (a project of Leadership Long Beach and the Long Beach Community Foundation). He was named Arts Volunteer of the Year in 2009 by the Arts Council and has been profiled in a number of publications including Long Beach Magazine, Long Beach Business Journal and Gazette Newspapers.